Professional photographer Mary Yan-Berges considers herself very lucky to have a job that she enjoys so much. For more than 10 years, she has snapped artful portraits of families, weddings, and alien spacecraft throughout New York City. Thanks to her skills as an expert retoucher, her images help clients remember the best times of their lives in the best light possible.
Michael Shimunoff’s career as a tailor began at an age when most kids are just getting their braces off. At 13, Michael began apprenticing in his native city of Samarkand, Uzbekistan. He immigrated to New York City four years later. It was here that Michael attended the Fashion Institute of Technology, worked in various factories and stores, and amassed the skills necessary to produce high-end custom clothing, some of which has been featured in fashion shows. Since founding La Moda Custom Tailors in 1999, Michael, with the help of his staff of expert tailors, has altered, cleaned, and repaired thousands of garments, from suits and uniforms to wedding dresses and handbags.
Originally called the Austin, this vintage 1930s theater has seen several ups and downs in its history, from years as a second-run double-feature house to a red-tinted stint that got it shut down by the city. In its current incarnation, the Kew Gardens Cinemas flaunts restored art-deco flair alongside modern projectors and molar-rocking surround sound. Stadium seating and a fully stocked concession stand further complement current flicks by granting every set of eyes a great view and every set of dental braces something to hold during scary scenes. Swing by the theater with a friend to snack on your own small popcorns (a $5 value each) and sip sodas (a $3.50 value each) while enjoying a vintage movie-viewing experience that beats watching Betamax tapes on your Great Uncle Vinnie's 1978 Zenith.
Despite what this eatery’s moniker may suggest, the cooks at Baker’s Dozen Bagels serve up a diverse menu. In addition to smearing dough rounds with nine flavors of cream cheese, they stack them high with Boar’s Head cold cuts to create an array of sandwiches. Their breakfast menu reads like a ‘best of’ list of American classics, jumpstarting guests’ days with cheesy breakfast wraps and Greek omelets loaded with tomatoes and feta. Even their baked goods expand beyond circular treats with muffins, croissants, and fruit-filled turnovers.
Though the staff at Oradek's Coffee House make an excellent espresso and serve up delicious desserts and Belgian chocolates, their signature dish easily outstrips the rest for one simple reason: it combines all three. Staff blend together shots of their house espresso with a scoop of ice cream to create their signature shake, the shottie. To this energizing dessert they can add mix-ins of the customer's choice, including chunks of Heath bars or the interweaving flavors of dark chocolate, peanut butter, and banana.
Just because their signature dish is a shake doesn't mean the house baristas don't know the secrets of brewing the proverbial perfect cup of coffee. They grind and brew a rotating selection of single-origin coffees using French-press, pour-over, or cold-brewing techniques, allowing them to control the drink's strength and taste. The nearby chefs complement the house beverages with cafe dishes from a range of cuisines They offer spicy sushi rolls alongside flaky chocolate croissants—uniting Japanese and French influences, like cutting a baguette with a samurai sword.
Bartenders at Austin's Steak and Ale House pair an extensive, international beer selection from far-away locales including Sweden, Belgium, and the Czech Republic with a menu of elegant pub-style comfort fare. Each of the 20 brews on tap boasts individual temperature and pressure controls, helping ensure that sippers experience maximum flavor and can construct sturdy sculptures from the foam heads. In the kitchen, chefs dish up classic pub fare peppered with creative ingredients, such as Black Angus burgers bedecked with garlic-cumin chili, fried egg, and pineapple, as well as entrees that showcase high-quality cuts of beef and fresh seafood. Outdoor seating areas deposit diners in a foliage-filled garden or on a patio covered by umbrellas. Inside, numerous paintings perch atop exposed-brick and dark wood-paneled walls, and dangling lights and flat-screen TVs illuminate the restaurant's dining room, full bar, and unnecessary collection of night-vision goggles.