Something New Florist specializes in floral arrangements, decorative housewares, and wedding registries. For almost 20 years, the prettifying purveyors have been bringing fresh new colors to homes and special events with colorful compositions, such as the simple-pleasures basket, a multichromatic creation blooming out of a whitewashed wicker basket ($39.99), and the cube with yellow blooms, an arrangement of bright-yellow alstroemeria, carnations, and chrysanthemums in a square glass vase ($36.50).
The Flaming Ice Cube might as well be a good vibes factory. Part cafe, gift shop, and yarn shop, visitors can stop in for a veggie burger, knitting lesson, or soy candle. At the cafe, chefs craft homemade vegan plates from a menu that includes a BBQ chick'n sandwich and brown rice bowls layered with asian vegetables, marinated organic tempeh, and the cafe's signature plum sauce. Meanwhile, instructors get needles moving at knitting classes, during which participants learn knitting basics or more advanced techniques for creating hats, scarves, and impractical bikinis.
By filling their shelves with publisher overstocks and remainders, Bradley's Book Outlet's shops across Pennsylvania and Ohio are able to price new releases and current bestsellers at bargain prices. Whether it's discounting the most banned books in the United States, hosting author discussions and book signings, or going to the movies to read the book version out loud in the theater, the retailers are constantly proving their devotion to the act of reading. They're more than a brick, mortar, paper, and ink store, too?their online wholesale division offers massive discounts with an emphasis on pop fiction, African American literature, and history.
Playthings Etc. displays a huge selection of more than 3,000 toys, games, and hobby items inside a futuristic store shaped like a life-size stealth bomber. Playful staffers aboard the ship demonstrate pogo sticks ($40+), rockets, and unicycles as customers explore shelf after shelf of games and goodies. The Dance Charades game ($19.99) by Milliwik challenges players to turn their clues into dance moves set to music. Kids take down arch nemeses with the ZX Crossbow ($29.99) by Zing Toys, with suction-cupped arrows that can carry love notes to the exterior of an upstairs bedroom window. Perplexus Puzzles ($19.99–$29.99) by PlaSmart prepare children for the real-life challenge of finding a spot in a parking garage by maneuvering a small metal ball through a 3-D maze. The store also carries an assortment of frisbee golf disks ($7–$20).
Every framer certified by the Professional Picture Framers Association must prove his or her knowledge of preservation, math, mechanics, and mounting. Fewer than 4,000 people worldwide hold this certification, and one of them is on staff at Rossier?s Art Gallery. Clients can bring their own artwork, family portraits, or sports memorabilia to be framed or find a suitable setting for a piece from the gallery, which houses paintings and prints by local and internationally recognized artists. Pieces feature a range of subjects, from landscapes, florals, and wildlife to sports and vistas of Pittsburgh?s sweeping savannahs. The staff also curates an extensive collection of household decor, such as wire sculptures, glass art, and paperweights.
Though they've been open for only three years, Backstage Guitars has already amassed an impressive collection of equipment and instruments from renowned brands such as Zildjian, Ludwig, Fulltone, and Remo at their two locations. An amiable and skilled staff can educate visitors on the stash of harmonic accoutrements on the store floor or lead them through private lessons in drums, guitar, and guitar-related instruments such as the ukulele or a field-hockey stick wrapped in spaghetti. Backstage's Rock Band Academy helps musicians to develop an even deeper appreciation of their chosen instrument, creating a band for similarly inclined students and culminating in a live set at Hard Rock Cafe.