The Sylvester family had bartending in its blood. Whether it was Uncle Mickey holding court with 40 years' worth of regulars or Tony Sr. mixing one of his signature Skip and Go Nakeds, they exemplified the easy grace and no-nonsense craftsmanship found in a true barman's barman. That dedication to well-poured drinks carried over to Tony Jr., who has spent the last 35 years training mixologists nationwide through the curriculum of his ABC Bartending Schools. Taught behind fully functional bars, his courses educate students in topics ranging from drink recipes and equipment setup to flair moves and alcohol awareness. His schools also emphasize employment; after graduation, students can take advantage of a nationwide job placement service to land gigs in Miami nightclubs, Las Vegas casinos, or the bar cars of Chicago's El trains.
The artists at Wine and Canvas awaken their students? inner Rembrandts and Van Goghs with classes that pair a featured painting with specialty cocktails and wines. The mobile studio?s monthly calendar includes themed classes in which instructors expound on the nuances of painting Parisian street lamps, Japanese flowers, or Venetian cityscapes. The master painters?many of them local artists?provide step-by-step instructions while students mimic each stroke and periodically dip their brushes into glasses filled with crimson cabernet. Each of the studio?s various drink-friendly venues boasts a specialty libation selected to incite creativity or conversations with fellow painters. When the artistic frenzy concludes, students return home with a finished masterpiece large enough to conceal any wall safe or mirror portal.
With their yellow petals gone to seed, aging dandelions sway in the breeze before wafting away. Elsewhere, cartoon cats perch on a purple fence, mewling out at the sea and the stars that swirl above the moonlit water. Though these sound as if they're scenes from a wistful animated movie, they're the kind of eye-grabbing images that novices can create at Arts-n-Carafes. Inside the relaxing haunt, seasoned artists and people who have never known the joy of tying a wild canvas to the easel get together to paint their own versions of colorful pieces and sip on provided wines. They can also sign up for an off-site private party, painting in the comfort of their own home or company office.
East Highlands Fitness's boutique gym prides itself on having all the amenities of a larger gym?from the advanced equipment to the group classes?while maintaining a small, community feel. The center dishes up everything clients need to burn calories and build muscle, including certified personal trainers, nutrition coaches, and dumbbells. Small group boot-camp and TRX classes, meanwhile, carve out bulging muscles, whereas Zumba classes spin energetic Latin beats to let clients dance towards toned hips, legs, and glutes. At the same time, a kids' room stays open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on weekdays, so parents can get pumping without worrying whether their dog was really the best choice for a babysitter.