Closet and storage specialist Carey is a marvel of organization. At the sight of clutter, she switches on her left brain and begins dividing, categorizing, and filing away clothing, boxes, and other items in a logical order.
During closet-cleaning services, she removes everything from the closet and lays it out in front of clients. Closet owners then thumbs-down any inessential things they want to discard. Carey takes what’s left and files it away, pointing out how much extra space they’ve created. She finishes by bagging discarded items and donating them, mailing clients a donor receipt for tax deductions or for hanging on the wall as a warning to other unwanted stuff.
With more than 25 years of experience, Box Brothers offers a panoply of packing supplies and accouterments along with brand-name and custom shipping services. Box Brothers stocks more than 100 different sizes of boxes, including standard 1.5-cubic-foot book- or record-carton boxes ($1.49 each, $1.29 each in a bundle of 25) and sweater-sheltering wardrobe boxes ($12.99, $11.99 each in a bundle of five). Box Brothers’ cardboard cowboys will help find the right receptacle for hand-woven wares, and they can also make or cut custom-size boxes for oddly shaped items such as spare harpoons and handcrafted kitchen sinks.
In the ‘60s, kitchen24 looked much different. It went by Shelly’s Manne-Hole, a name taken from owner and Hall of Fame jazz drummer Shelly Manne. Revered by many as a founding father of West Coast jazz, Manne welcomed countless iconic jazz musicians and big bands to his club. He relinquished control of the club in 1972 and passed away 12 years later, but his wife remains a faithful patron of kitchen24.
Though it now welcomes ravenous eaters instead of jazz greats, the diner pays homage to Manne through eclectic tunes that play during meals. But its American dishes only vaguely resemble those of years past. Classics such as French toast and burgers may look the same on the outside, but contemporary twists make them even tastier than the originals. The French toast, for instance, comes stuffed with bananas and caramel and wears a coat of coconut and Frosted Flakes; the burgers arrive in toasted brioche buns.
And unlike the greasy spoons of yesteryear, kitchen24 takes health seriously. Its cooks not only use a reverse-osmosis filtration system for the water in coffee, cocktails, and food but also pack the menu with nutritious smoothies, salads, and vegetarian dishes. And they whip up all signature soups, sauces, and baked goods in-house.
In their urban kitchens from San Diego to Seattle, Hipcooks trains budding culinarians to build their own gourmet dishes from scratch. With more regard for cooks' instincts about taste than exacting recipe measurements, the classes are meant to be social learning experiences capped with a shared dinner. And the meals students learn to make are designed with a practical purpose in mind: an attempt to conjure up romance could feature a dinner of mushroom turnovers, pan-seared steak with polenta, and chocolate souffl?, and surprise guests may provoke an emergency menu of honey-pear salad and pistachio-crusted fish. Like a discriminating competitive eater, other courses focus on a specific cuisine. In Una Noche en Espa?a, for example, the chefs produce a wide variety of tapas, while students in Shortcut to Nirvana set the table with spicy curry and vegetarian samosas from the Indian subcontinent.