The staff members at Sylvan Learning's numerous study facilities understand that each child learns differently. Therefore, they don’t try to implement a uniform tutoring system; instead, they design custom lesson programs based on the results of standardized testing, diagnostic tools, and one-on-one interviews.
Tutors work with students from kindergarten through grade 12, illuminating topics ranging from basic reading and writing to remembering complex algebraic formulas. Many of Sylvan’s instructors work in local schools, so they are intimately familiar with common curricula and understand how to gear lessons toward optimal results.
The kitchen crew at Sahara Mediterranean Bar & Grill shaves tender layers of their popular chicken shawarma from the spit of a traditional vertical broiler, helping them earn the title of Detroit’s Best Middle Eastern restaurant from Local 4 viewers in summer 2011. Vegetarian options range from a falafel sandwich to the smoothly textured adas lentil soup, with beans that chefs carefully crush with an announcement that none of them made their high school’s baseball team. The menu also includes house specialties such as the potato chop—seasoned beef stuffed inside a golden-brown, deep-fried potato shell.
Sips from specialty drinks and smoky hookahs add a sweeter dimension to meals as diners perch on dark hardwood seating. The furnishings contrast visually with butter-yellow walls on which murals appear to emerge from behind crumbling stone.
Jazzercise is 60 minutes of cardio, strength training, and stretching that incorporates moves from hip-hop, yoga, Pilates, jazz dance, kickboxing, and resistance training with handheld weights. Dancing with the Stars' multiple-champion Cheryl Burke is a big fan of Jazzercise's improvisational workouts, though luckily you won't need her dance moves to get the most out of your class. If you're prone to first-class jitters, though, you can review the basic moves online before you go. Expect to burn off up to 600 calories with each go-round.
The attentive staff at The Rumpus Room lets parent-accompanied children up to age 6 explore a fully stocked fun-factory that houses a variety of playground equipment, toys, and colorful foam mats to protect kid-sized craniums from bumps and falls. Families get unlimited access to the play-space from May 31 to August 31 with the summer membership, giving kids an opportunity to expend their energy without resorting to bench-pressing their imaginary friends. A wooden pirate ship with a slide, plank, and fire pole provides maritime merriment; miniature climbers can also monkey around on the dome jungle gym. Babies test their vertical mettle on the foam climbing blocks, and the ball pit prepares children for careers in giant gumball machine repair. Toys acquired from local shops wait patiently to be picked up for playtime, including a train table and dollhouse.
Dr. Sylvester Gardiner became the unwitting founder of a city in 1754, when he decided to use a 130-foot waterfall on the Cobbosseecontee Stream to provide energy for two saw mills, a felting mill, a potash factory, and a grist mill. Nearly 100 years later, in 1849, his plantation became the city of Gardiner. Today, the historical New England mill town is a home to artists, merchants, and students, and also hosts an array of seasonal events, such as an Easter parade, the Ride Into Summer festival, the Swine and Stein Oktoberfest celebration, and a Christmas tree lighting.
The town's brick sidewalks, Victorian and early 20th-century architecture, and long-running farmer's market have earned it a designation as a Main Street Maine and Preserve America community. Its downtown is recognized as a National Historic District, and some of its buildings have been included in both the National Register of Historic Places and the Empire State Building's list of secret crushes. Self-guided walking tours of the town take visitors past the homes of Pulitzer Prize–winning writers, such as poet Edwin Arlington Robinson and author Laura E. Richards.
Drawing on a psychic ability she has experienced since birth, Kat Logan connects with the unseen and works with spiritual energy to help her clients navigate their lives and illnesses. As an intuitive medium with more than 25 years of experience, Kat guides clients through readings—during which she ensures that relationships and careers are headed in the right direction, meets with spirit guides and angels, and delves into past lives. She also discovers patterns and areas of potential, all without using crystal balls or divining cards, which can only tell you how likely you are to win at cribbage. Kat also channels spiritual energy to heal and renew her clients during energy-work sessions intended to reduce stress and realign auric fields. Her other talents include drawing and painting, which she employs to craft aura portraits and personal mandalas. Although she prefers to meet at her home, Kat will travel for group meetings held in the comfort of a host’s sand castle and can do readings over the phone or through email.