Owner Nancy Nagle stocks a colorful rainbow of knitting supplies in her bright and eccentric gallery, which has become a go-to outlet for the local knitting community. To meet the demand, she constantly stuffs her shelves with new styles of material, ranging from traditional yarns to luxury fibers—banana, recycled silk, and Wookiee fur—to carry-along yarns with sequins, flags, and lash. Nagle’s passion for fiber arts has introduced her to a community of artists who dye and spin some of her more than 20 brands of yarn. She uses the shop as a gallery to display the work of these local artists—including Philadelphia native John Stango—as well as share her own bold collection of woven work such as hats, shawls, and sweaters.
City Paper's A.D. Amorosi describes the two-floor Nangellini as a "doubly colorful" space as "bright and open as a bay window in Sag Harbor." Amorosi admires the gallery's art collection, and between the vibrant space's "faux-tin ceiling" and "matronly rugs," Nancy leads open and privately scheduled classes on knitting, crochet, and lace work. Classes cover all the basic techniques required for newcomers to begin creating their own woven pieces, such as scarves and felt toupees.
Museums typically showcase art in carefully curated rooms. At Mattress Factory, however, the room itself is the art. Since 1977, the museum's two buildings have housed a permanent collection of contemporary installation art—room-sized works that engulf the entire space. In Yayoi Kusama's Infinity Dots Mirrored Room, mirrored ceilings and walls infinitely reflect a trio of fluorescent dots painted on a white formica floor. In Greer Lankton's It's all about ME, Not You, astroturf lines a floor covered in artful arrangements of grotesque dolls that form shrines to artists such as Patti Smith and Candy Darling.
To further immerse guests, Mattress Factory's exhibitions are paired with educational programs that range from lectures to hands-on art projects. Along with stimulating the public, the museum stimulates the growth of artists through its residency program, which invites participants to create installations while living near the museum, a much more practical alternative to hiding a secret cot in the coatroom.
The licensed massage therapists at Light Hands Therapeutic Massage East focus on medical massages to help prevent injury and foster the muscular foundation for healthier, more pliable backs. The staff's gliding effleurage and smooth strokes supplement traditional medical treatments to flush the bloodstream and muscles of toxins, tension, and miniaturized submarines manned by overly ambitious research scientists. Therapists analyze clients' everyday habits for signs of trending problems and then proceed to address individual areas of tension to boost spirits and overall range of motion.
Brimming with jewelry and accessories made by the hands of local crafters, Shabby2Chic outfits wardrobes with a constantly shape-shifting collection of stylish hats, scarves, belts, and more. Draw attention away from misguided facial tattoos with a handmade necklace-and-earring combination ($22) or pay homage to spring with a vibrantly hued floral-themed broach ($14). A round, silvery ring wraps ring fingers in a constant embrace without skin harming materials such as nickel or lead ($8) and an energetically spangled purse shelters billfolds, makeup cases, and scale models of dresser drawers ($20). Shabby2Chic Boutique also carries a consistently rotating selection of consignment items to fill in gaping wardrobe holes.
At Plow Farms, families stroll through a sea of 6-foot–8-foot douglas firs in search of the perfect Christmas tree. Board a sleigh-bell-bedecked hayride that bobs and weaves along paths like a scarecrow playing basketball before reaching a field of potential present shelters. Customers may use a proffered saw to separate tree from earth, or cry "timber" from a safe distance by giving the job to onsite workers. Upon returning to Plow Farms' hub, speedy slicers can refuel with a complimentary bag of popcorn and purchase hot chocolate before perusing trinkets such as holiday-themed penguin statues ($17) and sterling-silver earrings ($22) in the farm's old-barn-bound gift shop. Santa is available for pictures on the weekends, providing an open-air venue for claustrophobic wish lists.
A parade of fixtures from brands such as Kohler, Moen, and Grohe tempts kitchen and bath savants at The Somerville Showroom. An Aqueous single-hole bathroom faucet shoots a steady flow of water into waiting basins ($111.07), and a Kohler Cachet elongated toilet seat snaps off easily to be cleaned or used as an emergency Frisbee ($59.30). Alternately, a polished chrome Kohler Flipside showerhead caresses soul cases with four different flavors of spray—a traditional shower, a dense and drenching spa mist, a pulsating water massage, and a circular-patterned spray ($95.30). Homeowners can also bring along detailed plans of a bathroom or kitchen remodel, and knowledgeable staff members can advise which faucet finishes will complement countertops or pink-and-red Hello Kitty color schemes.