Town of New Hartford Recreation Center sends skaters of all ages gliding across the frosty floors of its indoor arena during two-hour public skate sessions held throughout the week. Customers can rent skates ($4; not covered by the Groupon) upon arrival or whittle their own pair out of a block of cement before hitting the frozen dance floor to salchow beneath its bright lights. An indoor refrigeration system ensures that the rink can remain open until March 31st, giving visitors one last opportunity to show off their skating skills or favorite flannel poncho.
Don and Donna Maines opened Green Thumb Markets in 1971, where they began cultivating buds alongside their young son, David. Though Don and Donna have retired, visitors can still spot David, his wife, and his four boys working in their greenhouse. They tend geraniums, prune roses, and discuss customers’ gardening concerns and methods for keeping lazy poets from using their roses as similes. Giant hanging baskets dangle from the ceiling, the electrically hued, trumpet-shaped blossoms of petunias spilling forth and tangling with ivy geraniums. On the ground, colorful rows of perennials, annuals, and vegetables thrive alongside a variety of topsoils, compost, and environmentally friendly mulches.
The Maines family also runs an onsite bakery, which they stock with their own homemade ice cream, cookies, and pies.
The do-it-yourself project experts at True Value can advise on the proper implements needed to complete an array of home-improvement jobs. Be prepared to upgrade hardware and assemble furniture with both slotted and Phillips heads thanks to a six-piece screwdriver set ($16.99), each forged from corrosion-resistant steel and heat-treated in a hot tub filled with magma to ensure durability. For carpentry undertakings, Titebond original wood glue ($5.99 for 16 oz.) unites any tree-based surfaces. True Value's team also supplies safety equipment, including mirrored safety glasses ($18.99) that can block the eyes from UV rays and airborne wood shavings when sharpening toothpicks that hang from the mouths of the Mount Rushmore faces. Craftsmen can stash their repair implements in a 19-in. all-purpose toolbox ($41.99).
“I like the fact that I get to know my clients on a more personal level and not just as a name on an invoice," says Richard Miller, founder and patriarch of family-owned Abraham Heating and Cooling, Inc. His daughter, Amanda Miller-Sweener, helps him achieve his ideals of personalized service by handling the office work, conducting an orchestra of telephone rings, and scheduling appointments for humidification, generator, and heating and cooling services. Amanda’s husband and head HVAC technician Justin Sweener visits residences and commercial sites to install units from Thermo Pride, Energy Kinetics, Goodman, and Boyertown Foundry. Dedicated to energy-efficient appliances, the team offers geothermal heat pumps that yield 4–5 kilowatts of heat for every kilowatt of electricity, and employ ground temperature to cool homes and monitor the moods of earthworms.