In its four-decade history, Bananas at Large has provided production equipment and instruments to musical acts including the Grateful Dead, Carlos Santana, and Poison. At both the business' locations, soon-to-be superstars can stock up on their own equipment from well known and specialty brand names. Musicians just learning to tickle guitars till they cry melodies meet with dedicated teachers, many of whom studied music in school or have played professionally for years. In classes, the teachers draw upon their backgrounds in genres from funk to classical to lead 30- to 45-minute classes on instruments including the guitar, keyboard, and drums.
The affable and capable instructors at Baubles and Beads expertly guide students along the path of successful stringmanship in three-hour classes. Students in the Basic Stringing class acquire the introductory skills of bead stringing, learning material selection, design basics, and finishing techniques, and leaving the course with a newly-fashioned bracelet and a firmer understanding of string theory. The Basic Wire Work class imparts the fundamentals of wire wielding with lessons in loop-making techniques such as earring construction, simple loops, and wire-wrapped loops. All necessary materials, including beads, wires, strings, and ornament-ready floss, are included in both classes.
A family business since 1873, Patrick & Co. can match mindful office workers with hard-to-find and eco-friendly items. Tree coddlers can choose a Kraft 1-inch binder, whose covers are fashioned from dye-free recycled material ($3.83). Cubicle conquerors can cocoon their phones in invisible tape to muffle any obnoxious Citizen Kane-inspired ring tones ($13.95/dozen), and brave accountants can fashion impenetrable armor from yellow Post-it notes before taking on the dreaded office copier ($16.74/dozen pads). To support typing-taxed joints, an Innovera mousepad's gel pad conforms to the shape of your wrist ($19.99).
Building on an idea that first fruited in the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France, Mountain View Winery became one of California's first négociant wineries in 1978, its winemakers concocting vintages by curating, blending, and aging a harvest of grapes from rigorously vetted vineyards. Owner Angelo Pera strives to deliver a compelling product by partnering with organic growers and packaging companies and indoctrinates new or interested customers during spirit-sampling symposiums. Throughout tastings, visitors glean each grape's origin, method of production, and propensity for carpet staining.
Light Rain is the art-scanning and digital-printing department of Dostal Studios that offers a variety of reproduction services. Technicians offer flatbed scanning and direct digital capture to archive art and scan film with options such as color correcting, sharpening, and dust spotting. They reproduce images in prints up to 64 inches wide with archival inks on a variety of papers and media, and the techs also offer retouching to remove unwanted details from photos or art pieces.