A red brick exterior, spacious sidewalk patio, and delectable café menu highlight the charming European appeal of Rue Lafayette, whose beginnings were documented on a recent episode of Renovation Realities on HGTV. Early-morning strollers, comptrollers, and world-weary street mimes can start their morning of artfully aimless ambling with Rue Lafayette's sweet, flaky croissants imported from France. The chocolate croissant ($2.25) matches particularly well with large cups of the café's drip coffee ($2.25) or frothy cappuccino ($3.55). Lunchers, meanwhile, can feast on the quiche ($6.99) and mix it together in their digestive centrifuge with the sinfully tasty croissant bread pudding ($5.99). Since Rue Lafayette's dishes rotate with the stately dance of the seasons, each polite café employee will cheerfully lay out today's recommendations, tomorrow's libations, and yesterday's neutron radiation gyrations. The café's mad scientists have also combined breakfast and lunch into an unholy (yet delicious) monstrosity known as brunch, which gets unleashed from its chains every Saturday and Sunday.
In ancient China, sky lanterns were used as a method of communication on the battlefield. Nowadays, at the lantern festivals celebrated in many countries, the floating objects are regarded as symbolic of letting go of your past self so that a new, better self can emerge in the New Year. Naturally, these beautiful ornamental lights have found their way into many celebrations with their thought-provoking beauty, including wedding ceremonies, gallery openings, and masquerade parties.
Chinese Sky Lanterns offers an expansive collection of handmade, biodegradable, and eco-friendly sky, water, and hanging lanterns. The lanterns don't require any assembly, and are made from flame-retardant papers in a host of vibrant and muted colours to match the look and feel of any celebration.
The shelves at Looking Glass Designs teem with jewelry, bags, apparel, and gifts for children and adults alike. Adorn barren wrists, lonely necks, and empty earlobes with handmade beaded jewelry sets in contemporary and antique styles. Stylish serving items include wine glasses etched with the fleur-de-lis, the national symbol of Rhode Island ($8). Recycled coffee bags come together in Sun Ministries eco-friendly totes, and each tan and gingham-patterned bag helps to send young missionaries into inner-city areas. The shop also stocks scarves ($15–$35), baby gifts and apparel ($10–$50), soy candles ($14), and natural loofah bath scrubbies ($7). For an additional fee, customers can choose to have owner Andrea Heugatter, whose needle skills helped her to win the Riverfront Times 2009 award for Best Personalized Gifts, emblazon gifts with names, personal messages, or grocery lists.
Carlson Galleries illuminates homes with vintage and antique lighting from as far back as the 1830s. Its technicians restore and clean chandeliers, sconces, lanterns, and candelabra lamps. Carlson Galleries also outfits homes with antique furniture, fine art, and decor.
For the technicians of A&A Pest Control, class is always in session. Before donning the company's employee garb, they must pass a rigorous training course that equips them to deal with all manner of insect and rodent issues. The education doesn't end there, though, as the staff constantly researches and tests new methods of pest control, from field-testing new chemicals that reduce ant populations to breeding invisible cats that pounce upon unwelcome mice. Additionally, technicians eschew the one-size-fits-all approach to pest control for more customized service by investigating each building to determine the type of infestation and the best course of action for removal.
For more than 50 years, Flanagan Paint & Supply Company has been equipping customers with quality paints, durable tools, and expert advice fit to suit the needs of homeowners, contractors, and businesses. A variety of paint products and supplies lines Flanagan's aisles, with a gallon of paint costing about $35 and brushes ranging from $10–$16. Coronado Paint specializes in protective and decorative coatings to update interior and exterior surfaces, such as dull living-room walls or "Lincoln for President" garage doors, and Mythic Paint offers nontoxic, low-odor products that roll on without emitting dangerous gases and cancer-causing toxins. In addition to these and other modern lines, Flanagan Paint houses a wealth of vintage inventory no longer in stock at most retailers, perfect for touching up antique items or retro rooms, such as an authentic 1920s basement speakeasy whitewashed with bathtub gin.