Since Jim and Mike Amore opened Jet Cleaners in 1956, the place has become a rite of passage not only for Mike Amore Jr., who worked there as a teen and now represents the third generation of his family's business, but for New Haven residents. The company's Facebook page fondly catalogs photos of staff through the decades, occasionally noting the growth of their careers and families, or marking their passing. The good feelings are mutual, as the community voted Jet Cleaners Elm City's Best Dry Cleaner and Tailor in 2011. Voting with their dollars, the Yale Repertory Theater and Yale Medical School entrust Amore and his team with their costumes and lab coats, a practice begun after hearing the school's dean relied on them to starch his upper lip. A light touch with these delicate materials extends to refreshing heirloom quilts and wedding gowns, as well as tailoring suits. Free weekly pickup and delivery services save trips to the cleaner's modernist building on State Street, which is instantly recognizable not only for its austere design but also for the garden flourishing within its glass walls.
The coaches at Wilton Fencing Academy call upon decades of instructing experience as well as years of contending in national championships and collegiate competitions. During fencing classes, coaches aim to teach students the coordination, speed, agility, and self-assurance that is not only essential to competition, but also to everyday life. Students practice powerful driving moves and crafty defenses inside the academy's world-class facilities, which feature electronic scoring systems, wall projections, and regulation competition strips. In a separate viewing area, parents can admire their children's progress and unwavering concentration behind large windows. The academy is also home to the Performing Arts Center of Wilton, which helps students discover stage-navigating skills such as ballet, acting, and how to dodge shepherd's crooks.
If not for its bright yellow color and the mural of a cornfield painted across its doors, Go Green Dry Cleaning’s 1969 Volkswagen could almost be mistaken for the Scooby-Doo gang’s Mystery Machine. But instead of fighting ghost-impersonating criminals with their wits, the owners of this van fight clothing stains and biohazards with environmentally friendly dry-cleaning techniques. Akin to liquid sand, their GreenEarth silicone solution forgoes harsh chemicals, irritants, and odors to clean clothes in a manner that is safe for both customers and the earth. The shop’s technicians restore all sorts of fabrics—including wool, silk, and Sasquatch fur—bequeathing each with a soft, static-free touch before packaging them in biodegradable plastic. The team then hops into the van, which runs on E85 ethanol, to deliver the freshly laundered clothes directly to doorsteps. Aside from using gentle solutions to clean up sweaters and pants, Go Green Dry Cleaning supports the earth by contributing to organizations across Long Island, including Go Green Festival and the Soular Soundz concert series.
The professional dirt extractors at North Shore Clothes Cleanic find grime, stains, and soiling to be as revolting as squid-flavored jello and will take every step to get them out of garments. Bring in a bag of commonly washable clothing and North Shore will color-sort it, pretreat it for stains, and machine-wash it—loads are $12 for the first 15 pounds (the minimum drop-off amount) and 80¢ for each additional pound. Large specialty items are priced separately, such as $8 for blankets and $14.25 for down comforters. Men's business shirts can be laundered and hung with or without starch for $1.20, and women's blouses can be laundered and pressed for $3.
Eco Green Cleaners drivers zip throughout Armonk, Pleasantville, and Bronxville, picking up and dropping off clothes of all kinds. Each garment is meticulously dry cleaned with nontoxic and biodegradable solvents—or with hydrocarbon dry-cleaning techniques—and processed with energy-efficient machines for a minimal impact on the environment. Clean clothes are returned in biodegradable or reusable bags, and the cleaners recycle their hangers to reduce waste. In addition to its dry-cleaning and shirt-laundry services, Eco Green also cleans leather, suede, and rugs, preserves wedding dresses, and alters clothes to accommodate weight changes or tail growth.