Connect the Dots helps nonprofits, shelters, and low-income housing properties reduce their environmental impact by retrofitting their buildings. It supplies conservation materials and tools, implements frameworks and support structures for future action, and tracks water and electricity usage to ensure organizations see the immediate results of their environmental efforts. The financial savings incurred can help these organizations allocate funds to fulfill their missions. Since its inception, Connect the Dots has greened 116 facilities with 36 organizations, saving 8.7 million gallons of water, 843 pounds of waste diverted from landfills, and 158,000 kWh of electricity.
The instructors behind U.S. Training Group use their experience in law enforcement to teach clients how to responsibly protect their homes. The defense experts lead courses—including women's-only classes—that cover skills from cultivating the proper mindset to learning self awareness. Additionally, a FAQ page covers basic information to prepare students for training.
Beneath twin lanterns rests the entrance to a quiet punch house modeled after the classic British punch houses of the Victorian era. These are not punches of fruit or fist, but rather of rum, the chosen inebriant of Hobson's Choice. The bar stocks more than 120 varieties of this sugary spirit, including Old Grog, Myers's, and Neisson Réserve Spéciale, as well as rare and limited-quantity batches. Beneath a line of antique chandeliers dripping with sweet, sweet history, the staff fills glasses with specialty cocktails such as the Planter's Punch, a mixture of Coruba dark Jamaican rum, fresh orange juice, lemon juice, and grenadine. To chase these libations, they also serve food catered by the nearby Asqew Grill.
No matter the time of day, patrons always dine at twilight inside Arabian Nights Restaurant. Painted palm trees arc cross a dark-blue sky in minaret-shaped frames, and exposed rafters high above the dining room evoke the feeling of an outdoor meal along the Mediterranean. The kitchen matches the dining room's traditional touches with a flame-fired oven that bakes fresh pita bread to order and crackling wooden embers that give kabobs their rich, smoky flavors. Guests also share small plates of hot and cold mezza, such as falafel and tabbouleh, as the light from ornate chandeliers casts freeform shadow puppets against linen-covered tables.
Bearing the titles of Master of Photography and Photographic Craftsman from Professional Photographers of America, David and Ally McKay embody the keen vision and aesthetic prowess that separated good photographers from great ones. They share these skills during classes at McKay Photography Academy, where they train eyes, fingers, and imaginations to work in tandem as a snapshooting dream machine. Their classes help aspiring photographers progress from neophytes to seasoned pros; the Beginning Digital Photography course teaches students to harness the intricacies of their instruments, and the Pro Academy offers inside tips on how to successfully snap wedding portraits, pose recent grads, or tease out candid emotions. When not busy instructing the next generation of shutterbugs, David and Ally also devise photo safaris, which send small teams of photographers to capture shots of famed landmarks including San Francisco's Golden Gate Bridge; the Lincoln Memorial of Washington, DC; or Yosemite's 60-foot statue of Yogi Bear.