For more than a decade, Abrakadoodle—a national mobile art-education program that has earned praise from Nickelodeon and other kid-centric organizations—continues to host children's art classes, camps, and parties that help young ones along their learning paths. Bringing art education wherever it’s needed, Abrakadoodle’s team of instructors transforms local spaces, such as community centers, into informative classrooms where students aged 20 months–12 years learn to expand their creativity and imagination. Each age-appropriate class focuses not only on teaching a range of techniques such as painting, foil embossing, and mosaics but is also is designed to help kids build confidence and sharpen academic skills. With those goals in mind, the program determines each child's progress not by what the child creates but rather by what they've learned, which the team calls Process Art.
When not actively inspiring youngsters during art classes, Abrakadoodle’s team offers camps that engage young minds with educational field trips and musical games. The program’s art parties also offer an artistic way to celebrate birthdays, kindergarten graduations, and baby's first time saying the alphabet in pig Latin.
Inside the kitchen of Marcello’s, teardrop chandeliers cast their warm gaze over copper cookware and a dining table that wraps around the stove. Here, Chef Marcello sheds light on the techniques of preparing Italian cuisine during cooking classes and private parties. In such events, up to 12 guests can sip wine while he picks recipes secretly stored in his chef’s hat and demonstrates how to assemble artful dishes, which may include risotto with chicken and spinach or pasta with fresh tomato mozzarella and basil. Although the private dining experience is the easiest way to witness Chef Marcello’s passion for sharing the cuisine of his native Italy, guests can also enjoy his dynamic entrees without front-row seats at the chef’s table. In the restaurant’s dining room, floor-to-ceiling murals depict the Tuscan countryside and ferns adorn honey-colored walls as diners anticipate hearty meals. Atop crisp white tablecloths, servers present platters of housemade pastas and veal prepared seven ways. The knowledgeable staff is also happy to recommend pairings from the vast Italian wine list.
At Westwood Gallery, owners Mike and Lore Fitzsimmons celebrate their love for beautiful artwork with museum-quality preservation and framing of paintings and pictures. Everyone on staff boasts a background in art, allowing them to match a painting's style and period with the perfect frame and also consider the decor back at the customer's house. They can create original oil paintings from photographs, restore weathered paintings and photos, and brighten up bathroom vanities and bedroom walls with custom-framed mirrors. As longtime residents of Westwood, the owners promote the local creative community by hosting gallery parties, setting up photography exhibits, and challenging passersby to define "art" in one sentence or less.
The son of an Irish father and a Mexican mother, Jose O'Brien got his first taste of fusion cuisine as a child in New Mexico. While his grandmothers colluded on Mexican-Irish holiday meals, Jose acted as translator, taste-tester, and pint-sized UN Secretary General. The cuisine born in that kitchen lives on today in a restaurant named after Jose and located far from its regions of origin.
As one might expect, the menu features both traditional cuisine such as the casa burrito with shredded chicken, pico de gallo, and guacamole; and slightly more unusual combinations such as the Irlandes burrito, with ground beef, Irish bacon, bangers, mash, and cheddar cheese. It's also punctuated by a huge burger section, brimming with items like the Tijuana Philly, drowning in mushrooms, jalapeños, cheese, and barbecue sauce; or Jose's burger, a house favorite that comes with bacon, avocado, green chili, and the coup de grace, a fried egg. Those with a taste for unaltered Emerald Isle cuisine can get their fill as well: Jose O'Briens makes a mean shepherd's pie and a quite personable bangers and mash.
Wellness is a way of life. That's why Ripcurl's lavish facility offers everything from weight training and cardio machines to yoga and Pilates classes that shape the physique. An on-staff nutritionist can set up a structured diet conducive to individual goals. Clients may also retreat to a cozy room for a private acupuncture session, or a therapeutic massage with hot stones and soothing aromatherapy.
The motto at Greenhouse Golf is "Golf 4 to 84," a reference to the 80-year age range that the indoor facility is designed to appeal to. Though it may seem like a bold business model, it's not hard to imagine multiple generations gathering in the sparkling new facility to enjoy multiple forms of golf. Golfers of all ages can perfect their swings in 10 golf simulators, each showcasing more than 50 digital courses, half of which are hole-by-hole recreations of famous links from across the world. Little clubbers can acquaint themselves with the art of putting and Bavarian yodeling in the alpine-themed, indoor miniature-golf course with rocky outcrops and faux fir trees.
The center maintains its broad appeal while still offering individual services: experienced instructors offer private lessons as well as clinics tailored to all age and ability levels. Greenhouse Golf's loft—a separate section with a kitchenette, seating for up to 120 people, and three 9'x17' screens that can access the Internet—boasts all of the amenities needed for a successful corporate meeting or a party honoring a recently retired golf cart.