Todd Rockweit draws upon scientific studies, advice from organic farmers, and an endless willingness to test and improve his own natural gardening solutions. Hunched over a microscope to peer into fresh batches of compost, he works towards that sense of connection one gets when pressing bare feet down into grass or biting into fruit grown by hand. Rockweit also sticks to a faith in organic technique so secure that in situations in which it seems synthetic products are the best solution, he will call in another company.
During visits to home yards and gardens, the Backyard Organics team works to identify weed infestations, nutrient deficiencies, and rabbits and deer destroying shrubs to look cool in National Geographic. The crew then brings to bear a range of corn-gluten meal, deer-deterrent sprays, and compost blends customized according to the season and plant cover. Soil tests reveal chemical imbalances, and services such as aeration and overseeding restore lawns to lushness after attempts to break the longest-croquet-game world record.
There aren't a lot of theater stages that can claim to have hosted presidential speeches—and fewer yet for which that president was William Howard Taft. Opened in 1883, the Grand Opera House has seen performances by the likes of Mark Twain, Harry Houdini, and John Philip Sousa, among other culture-makers of distant generations. Across a century and a quarter, the magnificent auditorium has played the parts of a vaudeville venue and a movie theater, and it wasn't until the mid-'80s that the stage resumed its duties as an opera house. After a sweeping referendum, the city acquired and restored the building, and in 1986 it reopened with a new staging of The Bohemian Girl—the same work that had first lifted its curtains more than a 100 years earlier. Today, 660 can enjoy the opera house's historic magnificence: an enormous, staggered chandelier, cherubic murals across the ceiling and flanking the balcony, and an unmatched ambiance of crimson and gold grandeur.
A recent graduate of the International Academy of Design & Technology, Sheryl?the owner and head photographer at Sheryl Ann Photography?continues to pursue her lifelong passion for photography. Her photographs show a flair for capturing subjects in fun, elegant poses that reveal their personality. Clients can pose for portraits in her professional studio or at area destinations of their own choosing.
The Hairport Salon’s stylist and owner, Maria, first splashed onto the hairstyling scene by winning first place in a men’s haircutting competition in Minneapolis. Twenty years later, she continues to snip locks at an award-worthy level, drawing on advanced training from the Aveda Institute and the Presage Company as she adds dimension to manes with precision cuts, expert coloring, and extensions. Her skills even attracted the notice of the Style Network, which invited her to assist on a 2009 promotional tour that provided complimentary makeovers and milk-mustache removal to patrons across the Dairy State.
At Maria’s side, stylist and nail technician Miranda helps people achieve their desired looks by giving them a new ’do or painting pretty designs on nails. She’s also passionate about educating her clients on It Works toning and firming body wraps. Joining them is skilled aesthetician Leah, who pampers skin with facials and body scrubs or employs wax to liberate bodies from unwanted hair.
Don’t let the shepherd's pie, fish 'n' chips, and draft beers fool you. Though Tilted Kilt Pub & Eatery snatches up the best cultural fragments of Scotland, England, and the Emerald Isle, the eatery started in Las Vegas. Restaurateur Mark DiMartino sought to combine the communal, rousing feel of pubs in the British Isles with the campy fun of American sports bars, pairing hearty food and traditional trappings with televisions and waitresses clad in mini kilts and alluring plaid halter-tops modeled after William Wallace’s eveningwear.
Since its founding, Tilted Kilt locations have popped up in 25 states and two Canadian provinces, serving all manner of hybrid dishes such as the Scottish cheese steak, the Sloppy Jane made with sliced turkey or shaved rib eye, and the Tilted Guilt, an ice-cream sundae perched atop a cookie.