Diane Garetano's school—whose curriculum covers piano as well as other instruments—was an immediate success in the first year. She was renting space to accommodate her ever-expanding student body and the pianos that kept sprouting extra keys. Today, The Piano Studio for Kids imparts instrument skills at two locations. The school also has evolved in terms of technique, with instructors now incorporating even more methods built on fun, structure, and positive reinforcement. Once a year, students may elect to show off the fruits of these labors, with admission free of charge at a recital culminating in certificates, gift bags, and applause.
It’s not enough for Haute1’s staff to outfit their shoppers with creative statement accessories in the form of neon earrings, spiked headbands, or the whimsical gold-chain ribbed necklace that runs the length of the torso. The bauble curators amp up the fun by inviting shoppers to fill out wish lists online. Once a month, the digital boutique bestows items from the lists upon randomly selected members and their earlobes through their Facebook accounts.
Doggie Chop N.Y.C.'s philosophy for feeding dogs is simple: canines are carnivores. Their bodies are naturally inclined to digest meat, and so feeding them raw, unadulterated cuts—the type that they would consume in the wild or during a butcher-shop heist—will lead to healthier pups. The cuisine is a far cry from the overprocessed ingredients that compose most dog chow. Crafted in consultation with two veterinarians, Doggie Chop's menu consists of hand-cut USDA-certified meat raised on a 100% vegetarian diet without the use of hormones or antibiotics. The meats, which include chicken, lamb, turkey, and beef, all sourced from a meat-packing district in Manhattan. Each morsel moves from the butcher to customers' doorsteps in six days, packed frozen in vacuum-sealed bags.
A specialty consignment boutique catering to style-conscious infants, kids, juniors, and ladies, Kiss It Goodbuy offers nearly-new brand-name apparel, jewelry, and a variety of accessories. Pockets become increasingly stylish when filled with a wallet made from recycled magazine pictures of Justin Bieber ($14), and kids' clothes from Abercrombie & Fitch, Ed Hardy, and Limited Too ($5–$20) make sure young bodies are safely clothed against the elements. Trendy costume jewelry ($8–$20) adds sparkle to a wrist, color to an ear, or twinkle to the eyes of a specially bred lap giraffe, effectively accessorizing an accessory. Designer jeans and dresses ($15–$24) come freshly laundered and preassembled, and numerous handbags ($25–$75, $175–$450 for higher-end brands) provide a multitude of different carrying options, from an orange-and-pink Vera Bradley ($24.50) to a multi-hearted Dooney & Bourke ($45). Because today's Groupon is good for sale items, shoppers can buy one deal and then use it to buy another deal—an act of double savings that instantly turns all of your clothes into money.
The two-wheeler wizards of Bike Discounters stock bicycles for all types of terrain from top manufacturers such as Schwinn, Redline, and Giant. They keep steeds streetwise with general cycle maintenance—including tire installations, gear adjustments, and wheel truing—as well as tune-ups and a shrine of Say No to Potholes bumper stickers. The shop also carries an extensive array of accessories, from Thule car carriers to Louis Garneau helmets and CamelBak hydration systems.
Working behind his traditional, glass-front sushi bar, Chef Sho makes believers out of discriminating palates by forging an alluring Japanese menu of delicately fried delights and richly flavored fish straight from the sea. Warm, exotic appetizers such as broiled squid fire gustatory starting pistols before diners delve into heartier entrees from the kitchen, including beef marinated in teriyaki sauce, pork sautéed in ginger sauce, and vegetable tempura.
Ranked first of 177 Zagat rated sushi restaurants, Takara Japanese Restaurant’s sushi bar showcases Sho’s knack for marrying unique flavors, as tasted in the Love lobster roll, whose spicy mayo adds a tangy zest to sweet crustacean flavors. Rather than swallowing a television remote, diners can mute growling stomachs with the Oz roll’s blend of tuna and buttery avocado sliced with laser-like precision. Takara Japanese Restaurant offers catering for private and holiday events, please contact for more information.