These days, most people are content to document parties by using their cellphones to snap blurry, dimly lit, and unremarkable photographs; Virginia Photo Booths and More owner Michael Massino is not. He knows there’s something special that happens when you and a friend or ten pile into a photo booth and jostle playfully while hastily deciding what goofy face to make before the shutter clicks. To elevate mundane party photographs to treasured keepsakes, Michael and the team at Virginia Photo Booths and More offer nostalgic portable photo booths and photo packages. Their booth of choice is the Model 12 booth⎯dubbed "best on the market" by America's Photobooth Association and "most likely to make a British Foot Guard smile" by pranksters everywhere. This model combines the vintage feel of a real photo booth with technology fit for the modern world. Its 15-megapixel camera slings images printed via dye sublimation, delivering crisp prints of any pose. Hosts can choose from four different color palettes, made-to-order messaging options, and customized backgrounds to match an event's décor. Afterwards, they can share frames on email, Twitter, and Facebook, through a personal webpage with all event photos or by plastering them on the town's welcome sign. Additional services such as props, professionally designed booth wraps, and background music can also be added for finishing touches.
A Guild Commended Framer, Frame Nation employs certified framers who match existing frames and create special projects from scratch. Behind the shop's brick storefront, staffers help customers to make selections from more than 2,000 frame samples, including acrylic, steel-welded, and wood options. Combined with glass, museum-quality practices, and a tiny flux capacitor, these protective casings preserve everything from diplomas to wedding photos.
To find inspiration for their own creations, visitors need only view the artwork lining the walls. Frame Nation regularly displays the handiwork of local artists; one ever-present exhibit includes a collection of frames and three-dimensional collages crafted from recycled materials.
If you walk into Havana 59 for dinner on a Thursday night, you might wonder if you wandered into the wrong place due to the festive music and abundance of dancing. But Salsa Thursdays are just one of the ways that the restaurant taps into the Havana of the 1950s, a time when Cuba was recognized as the "Paris of the Caribbean."
Inside, crumbling plaster walls, palm trees, and the aroma of cigars go a long way in transporting guests back to that lavish era. Of course, the food plays a key role, too. Chefs incorporate fresh imported seafood, natural beef, and local vegetables to a variety of authentic dishes, including a Taste of Habana platter loaded with ropa vieja, beef picadillo, and slow-roasted pork. Havana 59's bartenders also use fresh juices and mixes to craft cocktails, which include a range of flavors of mojitos.
The culinary artists at Café Gutenberg paint a tasty menu of New American cuisine, complimented by imported and domestic wines and beers. Overcome a flavor drought with an appetizer of hand-cut Vermont cheddar frites served with succulent Vermont cheddar gravy ($5.75). Or warm up the palate with braised pork or tofu sliders ($6.75), which are easier to hit than beef curveballs. While deliberating whether to order the grilled bratwurst ($12) or the flat iron steak ($14), sip a tasty Belgian beer, such as the Duvel Strong Golden Ale ($9), or a refreshing domestic brew, such as the Roxy Rolles Amber Ale ($4) from the Green Mountain State. Early-state-of-mind diners can eggstatically feast on quiche ($7.95), a highlight of the all-day brunch menu.
Though photographer Jennie Wood sharpened her skills shooting wedding and boudoir photography, today she turns her lens on her native city while leading Richmond Photo Tours. Each all-ages photography tour visits some of Richmond's most interesting historic buildings, landmarks, and supervillain hideouts. These outings aren't just for sightseeing, though: they also delve into basic photographic techniques, such as controlling aperture, using depth of field, and composing a shot.
Landry's, Inc. operates more than 40 restaurant brands with only two main goals: good food and good memories. Thankfully, each of their venues has a signature element that's hard to forget, whether the Oceanaire's fresh seafood?flown in daily?or Rainforest Cafe's animatronic wildlife that's almost as realistic as the Amazon's wind-up monkeys. Steak and seafood spots feature prominently on the list of Landry's locations, including Morton's The Steakhouse, Vic & Anthony's Steakhouse, and McCormick & Schmick's Seafood & Steaks. But there are standouts in other genres, too, such as the Italian trattoria known as Grotto.