It's always flattering when your dessert is the party's favorite. Carousel Cakes—and its bite-size offshoot, Cupcakes by Carousel—knows this feeling well. The bakeries' creative confections have received commendations from every corner of the media, from Time Out New York and InStyle to The View and, perhaps most notably, Oprah, who featured their red-velvet cake in O Magazine and named their blue-velvet cake one of Oprah's Favorite Things in 2012. "Gayle fell hard for this blue velvet cake with cream cheese icing and sugar snowflakes," the media icon gushed. "Just add coffee, milk, or a flute of champagne." The treats also sweeten meals at more than 1000 restaurants, including Zabar's and the American Museum of Natural History in New York and Aldo & Gianni Ristorante and Sear Restaurant in Closter, New Jersey.
As a sister company to the family bakery that Martin Lefkowitz opened in 1965, Cupcakes by Carousel specializes in handheld versions of the treats that won all this acclaim. Besides a mini adaptation of the famous red-velvet cake, the staff creates confections such as the Curious George—a vanilla cake filled with banana custard and topped with peanut butter buttercream frosting and chocolate ganache—and its version of Hostess’s Pink Snowball. All the shop's cakes and pies are certified kosher, and staff can even fill up glasses with swirls of their famous frostings and toppings for clients who like their cupcakes sans cake. Cupcakes by Carousel also lends its hand in local communities. Recently, the Englewood shop raised money for girls' education in developing nations through the nonprofit organization She's The First.
Deb Williams and Chuck Secallus bonded right from the start over their shared passion for healthy living; they met at an Ashtanga yoga class, and they soon dreamed up the plans for Asana House Juice Bar, which combines their love of yoga with their love of raw food nutrition. Through this endeavor, they share their passions with the community by teaching Ashtanga yoga classes and mixing fresh vegetables and fruits into nutrient-rich juices and smoothies. Asana House recently split its establishment to allow the yoga and juice-bar aspects of the business to grow with more space for equipment and experimentation. At the café's new location, liquid gold pools on the ceiling, illuminating the beauty of the decor and the meals Chuck intricately constructs. He draws from diverse ingredients, including a patch of wheatgrass growing behind the counter and a cache of fresh beets, coconuts, and avocados. In addition to liquid fare, Chuck constantly experiments with new lunch combinations, adding kale and sautéed spinach to quesadillas and topping raw-vegetable soups with mint to make meals that are both visually and internally pleasing. Patrons can nibble or sip their meals at one of the small tables or at the bar while listening to upbeat music or watching yoga gurus demonstrate poses in lieu of Simon’s commands on a nearby TV. An attached boutique sells yoga mats and accessories, along with Garden of Life and E3 Live vitamins, both of which Chuck and Deb include in their regular diets.
For more than 30 years, the chiropractors at Davis Chiropractic Wellness Center have used their advanced training and several adjustment techniques to bring patients' health into balance. Doctor of Chiropractic Alfred Davis Jr. completed 400 hours of postdoctoral training in the treatment of sports injuries, and is a diplomat of both the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians and the American Academy of Pain Management. He is certified to perform manipulation under anesthesia, and has worked on the medical staff of two area hospitals. Doctor of Chiropractic Katherine Raymondi specializes in physiotherapy and is fluent in Spanish, which helps her to educate more people via the center's community outreach program.
Supported by their dedicated staff, the chiropractors align spines with various techniques, such as the Activator method, which realigns vertebrae with a mallet, and the computerized ProAdjuster method, which analyzes spinal waveforms to make ultra-precise adjustments. The technology was actually used by NASA to test the integrity of ceramic cooling tiles on spaceships as well as by civil engineers to test metal fatigue in aircraft, making it especially perfect for adjusting the spines of cyborg patients.
Yoga Desha's founder, Rebecca Bergstrom, is no stranger to struggle, and has long turned to yoga whenever she finds herself in need of physical and spiritual uplifting. Her interest in the mind-body connection began when she was just a teen and fueled her studies in human biology and psychology at Stanford University, as well as her time spent dancing at the Martha Graham School. Her search for spiritual healing took an entirely new direction, however, when she suddenly lost her young husband while expecting their first child. Finding her prenatal yoga practice to play an integral part in healing her emotional ails, she soon decided to become a yoga teacher herself and dedicate her life to helping people from all walks of life heal from their own mental, physical, or spiritual traumas.
She has since earned the 500-hour teaching certification from the Yoga Alliance??the highest possible certification from the program??and compiled a team of instructors that leads classes seven days a week. Classes range from pre- or postnatal yoga and beginner's Vinyasa to sessions that emphasize alignment and focus.
Bodily alignment can help create order in the mind and heart as well, according to Omni Kitts Ferrara, the professional dancer who owns Yoga Montclair and sister studio Yoga Morristown. At the Yoga Alliance approved 200 RYS and 500 RYS studios, she and her team of Yoga Alliance–certified teachers shepherd students toward the peace and goodness that lie within using flowing movements and moments of meditation. They welcome students of all experience levels and walks of life, inviting them to stay "as long as the conversation intrigues [them]." To cultivate physical and metaphysical strength, classes pair inspirational words with poses as playful as a puppy fetching a red clown nose. Instructors begin each session with a mind-centering exercise before launching into stretches, balances, and breath work that melt stress and bolster flexibility. Basic and Gentle routines teem with beginner-friendly poses and alignment guidance, and Level I/II classes ready students for intermediate-level backbends, headstands, and handstands.
With its conspicuously Italian name, Trattoria Rustica is not putting on airs, but rather paying homage to its authentic roots. Born in Calabria, Italy, owner and head chef Pat Turano naturally gravitates to the fresh ingredients and homespun cooking that breathe life into the cuisine of his native country. Drawing from his family background and a culinary career that spans 25 years, Pat whips up antipasti such as homemade, ricotta-stuffed meatballs and grilled calamari, as well as entrees that include rigatoni with vodka sauce and salmon served over cannelli beans and spinach. After conquering their entrees, diners can savor forkfuls of cannolli and tiramisu as their meal draws to an end. Trattoria Rustica's snug interior evokes Old World gentility with walls forged from a blend of vintage, exposed bricks and sandstone-hued stucco painted with murals of rustic Italy. Pendant lights and understated chandeliers envelope the eatery in a soft glow as guests nestle in dark wood chairs and fold the corners of white tablecloths into origami replicas of their meals.