Newburyport Lighting Company's selection of room brighteners represents taste across the generations with its traditional and contemporary lighting designs. An array of floor, table, and desk lamps adds sophistication to any room with features such as hand-forged brass bases and original designs imported from Soho and Milan. Exquisite chandeliers dripping in hand-cut crystals help homeowners make a favorable impression on visiting Disney princesses, and modern low-voltage lighting systems help keep electricity costs down. The company's well-trained staff members stand ready to happily assist patrons in finding a specific lamp or adding glowing ambiance to any particularly challenging areas in their dwelling.
The staff at Greater Boston Running Company—the Northeast operation of the national and online retailer Running Company—hopes customers are not misled by the name. They’ll custom fit everyone for shoes that support their pursuits, whether they be marathoners, CrossFitters, or a nurse who has to stand all day. The process starts with talking to guests about their average workout or day, followed by a meticulous measuring of their feet. Staffers then have guests walk, jog, or run on a treadmill equipped with slow-motion-capture software, which lets guests see things such as how their arches react when striking and lifting from the ground. Armed with this wealth of information, Greater Boston Running Company’s team can narrow the expansive shoe stock down to just a few recommendations.
Beyond an armory of footwear, Greater Boston Running Company stocks athletic apparel and accessories from brands such as New Balance, Garmin, and SmartWool. This gear is matched by a wealth of educational resources, both online and at the store level. Regularly posted web articles cover topics from how the seasons impact nutritional needs to how rubbing your body in bacon attracts wild animals and boosts your desire to run.
At individual locations, each store’s staff works with local running clubs, high-school teams, and charities—making them especially adept at pointing runners toward fellow runners and trainers who will help them reach their goals.
The working cornfield at Marini Farm embraces the festive spirit of autumn by wearing a different mask each Halloween season. The corn maze has featured farm-themed shapes, a giant bald eagle, and a pirate design that was featured in the Wicked Local Ipswich in 2010. The maize maze is designed to be both educational and interactive, with about 20 clue stations strategically placed throughout the labyrinth to help adventurers conquer the nearly 10 miles of paths. The maze is open during the day and remains open Friday and Saturday night for flashlight-lead escapades.
The smaller, less complex Finger Fortune maze delights younger adventurers, as do the apple cannon, jumping pillow, pumpkin patch, hayride wagon, and separate play area. For parents or guests staging a corn coup, the third-generation farm serves up a cornucopia of fresh veggies, bakery treats, and plants for purchase or for hurling at scarecrows creepily staring at them in the distance.
Turning Point Show Stables encompasses 30 acres of verdant rolling hills and trainers dedicated to grooming talented, well-rounded equestrians. New students first learn to tack up their steeds before mounting up and practicing skills in the hunter/jumper style of English riding. They also get an education in grooming, horsemanship, and how to properly reward a horse: with a sugar sculpture created in the steed's likeness. Turning Point also offers boarding and training overseen by head trainer, owner, and manager Sheryl MacLeod, who boasts more than 25 years of experience with horses.
There's a lot to do at the annual Pumpkin Festival—get lost in a corn maze, pick your own pumpkins, see a farm animal display, paint your face, visit a small haunted house, trundle across the farm on a hayride, play autumn-themed games. And along the way, built into the harvest-time fun, are kid-friendly lessons in sustainable agriculture and growing food locally. That's because the fest is sponsored by Chris' Farm Stand, a family-run business that makes its home at Silsby Farm. The stand, which sells its goods at local farmers markets, grew out of owner Chris Stasinos' passion for cultivating corn when he was nine. Now a sustainable farmer, Stasinos treats customers to crisp vegetables, sweet corn, and plump pumpkins that are products of his eco-friendly farming practices.
Founded by brothers Atillio and Aldo Carbone, EZ-Way Cleaners has been taking care of customers and winning awards for more than 60 years. Like volunteer bounty hunters, technicians offer free pick-up and delivery on all items, gently laundering heavy winter coats and silken summer dresses with equal care. After double-checking each garment's cleaning instructions, the staff presses shirts into crisp shape, and uses specialized products and techniques to treat delicate leather, suede, tablecloths, or carpet. Customers are encouraged to bring back their wire hangers both to help protect the environment as well as feed the pet trash compactor kept out back.
DeAngelis Studio of Music and Arts is staffed by working rock, jazz, and classical musicians, and accordingly, they make sure students have a chance to get onstage as soon as possible. In addition to recitals for students of private and group lessons, kids and teenagers can sign up for Rock School and learn to work as a group, run rehearsals, and headbang without a helmet; alternatively, the chorus joins many young voices in harmony. Every weekend, the studio hosts jam sessions for any student capable of playing a song all the way through. The studio has recently added kids dance classes to it schedule such as jazz, tap, ballet, and hip-hop. Adult Zumba and yoga classes are also available.
Even the most laid-back sessions are led by players with tons of experience packed into their instrument cases—each of the school’s teachers boasts either university music training or at least 15 years as a professional performer. Parents are welcome to watch the teaching relationship develop by sitting in on their little ones’ lessons, but they also can relax in one of the waiting room’s comfy chairs while sipping bottled water, flipping through magazines, or getting work done via free WiFi.