New York City looked different in 1906. The Empire State Building wouldn't begin construction for more than two decades, horses and buggies roamed the streets, and Central Park was still entirely black and white. But in that year, Marcello Raffetto opened a pasta shop that remains a staple of the Greenwich Village community to this day.
Raffetto's started small. Its pasta makers crafted ravioli and dry egg noodles until 1916, when the purchase of a roller machine and a cutting machine allowed them to create more and more varieties. The two machines continue to operate more than a century later. At the controls, customers find the fourth generation of the Raffetto family running the store. The crew seems to work magic with dough and fillings. They stuff lobster into ravioli made from tomato dough, turn spinach dough into thin linguine, and cut long sheets of lasagna. In total, more than 50 kinds of pasta emerge from the open preparation area, not to mention the family's signature potato gnocchi.
Yet for all of these choices, a trip to Raffetto's isn't overwhelming. The friendly staff happily helps patrons pick out the perfect pasta before recommending one of their 10 homemade suaces. Or maybe they'll suggest no sauce at all, telling customers that some pasta goes best with just a bit of butter.
Juicy tidbits of chocolate-dunked fruit arrive on the doorsteps of family and friends, done up in colorful bouquets and candy boxes by the skilled fruit arrangers at Edible Arrangements' more than 1,100 franchises worldwide. The company's in-house chocolatiers drizzle albion strawberries, daisy pineapples, and tomatoes getting in touch with their fruit roots in a trio of chocolate flavors. Once properly chocolated, the workers organize the preservative-free sweets into lush arrangements that resemble flowers in bloom. Customers can choose to plop their bouquets in a variety of vessels, including vases, mugs, and sports- or holiday-themed containers that add a personal touch to the edible gifts. Alternatively, customers can opt to adorn gifts with the cheery, red lids of candy boxes, nestling 12 chocolate-dipped morsels inside to build anticipation and determine if loved ones have x-ray vision as they guess whether fruit will come dusted in shredded coconut or drizzled in white chocolate.:
Shoots of green leaves punctuate the white walls in the dim, quiet room. The greenery works in concert with a grouping of healing crystals and a glowing trio of candles to fill the serene space with an earthy energy. This marriage of relaxation and nature is the basis upon which GoGreen Organic Spa was founded, evidenced in the staff’s eschewal of chemical-filled products for the eco-friendly, organic Éminence skincare line used in all of their treatments. GoGreen’s crew of aestheticians bustles about the spa lavishing natural services upon patrons’ weary bodies, soothing cheeks from the pinches of passing grandmas with a Peace Facial or incorporating organic champagne and apricot oil in a Divine Massage therapy treatment for two.
Dancing patrons regularly tap toes against the elegant environs of El Habanero Mexican Cocina, where chefs construct authentic Mexican dishes with a finesse that has earned a loyal following. Like Candy Land's reigning monarch, burritos, enchiladas, seafood, and steaks dress up in flavorful accessories, including jalapeño coleslaw, guajillo, and mole poblano. Behind a full bar, the chefs' cocktail-crafting brethren swirl fresh fruit juices with top-quality tequilas and vodkas to concoct margaritas, mojitos, and martinis.
A crimson booth spans the length of El Habanero Mexican Cocina's interior, cushioning diners amid exposed-brick walls and flat-screen TVs. Occasionally, a live DJ spins a spirited soundtrack to get diners dancing or crocheting atop sleek hardwood floor.
At Golden Angel Spa Center, multilingual staffers use advanced equipment and natural ingredients as they strive to create smoother, more youthful skin and loosen muscles with several massage modalities. Technicians harness intense pulsed light to diminish fine lines, broken capillaries, and other signs of aging during photo facials, and employ a sub-zero IPL system to swiftly eviscerate unwanted fuzz during laser hair-removal sessions or games of laser freeze tag. Amino-nutrients and ingredients from northern Europe are combined with Egyptian pressure-adjustment methods during body wraps that aim to refine skin texture and contour silhouettes, and massage pros aim to enhance functionality of the immune system and reduce stress using relaxing or therapeutic strokes.
A part of the Big Apple Art Gallery family, Bob's Frame Shop boasts a fully ensured, skilled staff that custom frames items of all dimensions right in the studio. Their services range from basic framing—which comes in a choice of 8,000 different styles—to specialty shadow boxes, which immortalize 3-D memorabilia such as a graduation cap or a treasured sports jersey belonging to the hockey-obsessed family dog. The experts outline pictures with cotton, linen, and silk mats, which are sliced with a computerized mat cutter for shapes and letters contoured to precise specifications. Delivery to the surrounding neighborhood is available, and the accommodating establishment welcomes customers seven days a week.