Whether mowing the front lawn or cleaning up a storm's aftermath, Acme Lawn Service treats every client like a neighbor?after all, the company began not as a slick business venture, but with a few neighborly favors. Technicians from the family-run Acme Rug Cleaners would often lend a helping hand to their elderly clients, shoveling snow or trimming grass once their carpet-cleaning tasks were complete. When more and more customers and talking shrubs began requesting these services, the company created Acme Lawn Service, a full lawn and snow-removal company. Today, the fourth-generation business maintains lawns for homes, businesses, and rental properties, along with providing more intensive services such as seasonal cleanup and tree removal.
At each of the two Discount Laundry locations scattered around Omaha, orderly rows of Maytag and Speed Queen washers and dryers await dirty laundry like a phalanx of soldiers awaiting orders. The large capacity machines work quickly to rid duds of dirt and grime, allowing owners to get in, get out, and get back to their soccer game before the coach notices they're gone.
Though few people need to stick around long, those who stay can take advantage of amenities such as snack machines, cable television, video games, and wireless Internet. The licensed, bonded, and insured staff at each location also offers pickup and drop-off services, with same- and next-day turnaround available.
When Joslyn Art Museum opened in 1931, more than 25,000 people lined up to see the exhibits. It had taken three years of construction and $3 million to create the splendid art-deco building, which was inlaid with more than 38 types of marble imported from around the world. The force behind this enormous effort was philanthropist Sarah Joslyn, who had the building built in honor of her late husband. But instead of standing front and center, Sarah quietly mixed in with the crowd. "I am just one of the public," she said to people who recognized her.
Sarah truly viewed the museum as a gift to the people of Omaha. With the 58,000-square-foot addition of the Walter & Suzanne Scott Pavilion, a sculpture garden, and other enhancements, the museum has grown with time. Visitors today find more than 11,000 works of art inside, with collections and exhibitions that include pieces of ancient Greek pottery, Renaissance and Baroque paintings by Titian and El Greco, and Impressionist works by Camille Pissarro, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, and Claude Monet.
After admiring the peasant portraiture of 19th-century French realist Jules Breton, guests can cartwheel over to a collection of 18th- and 19th-century American artwork, which includes portraits by James Peale and landscape images by Thomas Cole. Pieces from the 20th century from artists such as Grant Wood transition visitors into viewings of more contemporary works or attempts to find a 3-D Magic Eye picture in Jackson Pollock's Galaxy.
Around the clock, the technicians at Brasch Heating and Cooling stand ready and waiting by the phone, eager to head out and help homes breathe easier. The technicians—members of the Heating and Cooling Contractors Association—are more than ready to fix stubborn heat pumps, clean clogged air ducts, and install new appliances from Heil, Bryant, and Goodman. Heating and cooling systems may even experience a boost in energy efficiency after visits, as if forever spurred on by a tiny rowing instructor.
During its annual art auction, Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts fills its underground gallery and first-floor gala space with 444 creative projects from more than 250 local, national, and international artists. On both days, guests can bid live, silently, or telepathically for artwork, which includes everything from stark landscape photos taken by Omaha-based Robert N. Gilmer to bead-adorned Third Eye Dolls from Oakland, California native Flo Oy Wong to frenetic oil paintings from German-born Wolfgang Faller. All funds raised during the auction will go to the Bemis Center, supporting the organization's artist-in-residence, exhibitions and community arts programs.
Hollywood Candy's vibrant emporium of nostalgic treats pleases modern palates with old-school and hard-to-find goodies. Sold by the piece, the pound, and in bulk, the spread of old-fashioned delights includes Abba-Zabba's ($1.69), candy cigarettes ($0.99), and Zagnuts ($1.69) nestled along wooden shelves in old-time pharmacy containers. Skip down memory lane to browse the collection of Pez dispensers ($1.99), many of which are mysteriously shaped like former elementary-school teachers, or sift through the spread of Jelly Belly candies, which include every delicious flavor that no one imagined could become a confection. When minds and imaginary blood-sugar levels are nearing candy overload, the friendly staff of candiologists can help customize the perfect gift or guests can select a premade goody bin. To further evoke every inner child, Hollywood Candy displays an eclectic range of hard-to-find toys including Gyro Wheels ($2.99) and retro lunchboxes ($12.99), complete with authentic napkins and leftover sandwiches from the 1950s.