Christopher and Melanie Romano?s kids have long loved the music, iPads loaded with games, and fun flavors of Let?s Yo! When they?d frequent their neighborhood outpost, they felt assured they were feeding their kids a healthier alternative to ice cream. "Even in the winter, my kids wanted to go," Christopher says. "They would have gone every day if I'd have let them."
When the couple decided they wanted to quit the corporate world and open a business, Let?s Yo! seemed like a natural fit. They soon opened up shop, where customers self-serve 18 all-natural, organic flavors brimming with live active cultures. The flavors rotate regularly, with varieties such as sea-salt-caramel pretzel, red velvet cupcake, and California tart. Next, guests pile on premium toppings such as Andes mints, mixed nuts, and Kashi cereal?as well as about 10 different types of syrups, including Reese's peanut-butter topping and mango syrup. The staff members get fresh-fruit deliveries daily, which they chop up or splice via laser vision.
Along with iPads loaded with the latest apps, Christopher outfitted the shop with a flat-screen TV and free WiFi. He chats regularly with the customers who swing by for a cup or stop in after the gym for a yogurt protein shake. And he says it's definitely a change of pace from his Wall Street job. "The hardest choice you have to make is what topping you want," he says.
In support of her high-decibel new album, Rihanna kicks off her hotly anticipated LOUD tour with emphatic gusto and a sizzling roster of special guests. Like an art show at a sundae bar, the LOUD tour floods the senses, enchanting audiences with lavishly designed sets, myriad costume changes, move-busting dancers, and Rihanna's songbook of Grammy magnets. Crooner Cee Lo Green augments the songful offerings with his own vocal talents, and Roc Nation rapper and rhythm scientist J. Cole further helps resuscitate ear drums traumatized by the outside world's blaring car horns and shrill howler monkeys.
As she struggled to surmount issues with her own weight, Boogie Box Fitness creator Dede Barbanti drew from her professional dance background, martial-arts training, and enthusiasm for exercise to pioneer the gym's rigorous yet fun workout routine. The calorie-flaming moves, which have been featured by Dr. Oz and publications such as Dance magazine, have since spawned BBX Kids and the more vigorous BBX Hardcore. Behind the regimens' popularity lie easy-to-follow steps culled from kickboxing, strength training, plyometrics, and Latin and hip-hop dance. In addition to motivating patrons to shimmy into fitter physiques, Dede channels her expertise as a certified personal trainer and sports nutritionist into the BBX Body membership site. Here, visitors can peruse custom menu plans, exercise tutorials, and life-coaching advice given by the world's smartest biceps.
One of the state's oldest on-site photo stores, Custom Photo and Framing offers a wealth of services for taking, preserving, and transferring treasured images. On-site experts develop film and turn digital files into prints, which can reside in custom-made frames or scurry in the nude as the wind whips against their bare pixels. Aside from printing and framing, technicians also transfer images to keepsakes, including mousepads, holiday ornaments, and dog bowls. Instructors teach aspiring shutterbugs the fundamentals of composition, color, and lighting through the digital travel-photography class, and sure-handed computers retouch and restore archived photographs. Video-to-DVD conversion and photo-digitalization services bring memories into the modern age via shiny, compact time capsules.
Northeast Mountain Guiding's adventures take place everywhere from the lofty peaks of the Himalayas to the canyons of Arizona and the waters of upstate New York. Guided by outdoors experts that are trained by organizations such as the Professional Climbing Guides Institute, students and expedition groups tackle rocky inclines, mountainous trails, and swiftly flowing waters. Whether Northeast Mountain Guiding is organizing an overnight jaunt through the Adirondacks or a daylong introduction to ice climbing, the company ensures that every detail is considered, drawing on the local familiarity that each of its regional offices possesses to prepare for any possibility. In keeping with this meticulous approach, the professionals either provide any necessary gear for the journey or remind adventurers what they should bring, such as sunscreen or a pint-sized sleeping bag for their teddy bear.
Inside Jin's Studio 35 Hair & Nails, owner Jinsun Matarese transforms locks from frizzy tendrils to sleek tresses through keratin treatments, Brazilian blowouts, and Japanese hair-straightening techniques. Drawing on her training in Japan, Jin skillfully uses the salon's Japanese hair-straightening system to tame unwanted curls. In addition to smoothing locks, she and her stylists cut and color manes, adding carefully blended highlights and lowlights to create natural-looking tones. Jin’s Studio rounds out beauty treatments with nail services; waxing; full-body, custom spray tans; or full-consciousness swaps of your mind into another patron's body.