A man lies tangled in a shower curtain, lifeless, with blood spattered everywhere; "kill your boyfriend" was the theme of this shoot, conducted by photographer Nikki Riley for one of her clients who'd recently parted ways with her latest beau. Nikki's willingness to transcend boundaries, paired with her creative flair, has sent her to New York City and Atlanta to shoot risqué and editorial-style fashion spreads and helped her earn a nomination for PHL17's Philly's Hot List of Best Photographers 2011. Raised as a "John Lennon kid" by a photographer mother, her inherited desire to snap shots came to fruition soon after graduating college, when she traded her 9–5 desk job for a career in photography. Nikon D700 in tow, Nikki spends her days at the 1,700-square-foot studio she co-owns, The Hive 215, which features high ceilings, loft windows, vintage furnishings, and a beauty bar where specialists prep clients' hair and makeup.
Though Nikki's fashion and portrait shoots favor bold colors and clean, magazine-quality finishes, her intimate boudoir shoots explore both high and low angles and toy with exposure—in every sense of the word. Taken from the most flattering angles for each body type, shots of lingerie-clad legs and torsos sway from high-contrast black and white to elegantly washed-out color frames lit softly from behind like an angel auditioning for the cover of Maxim. Nikki caters these shoots to the desires and comfort level of each client, letting imaginations run wild with coy pinup poses or showcasing epidermises for keepsake shots of clients in any state of undress.
Flush with the success of their first restaurant, The Couch Tomato Cafe, business partners and college buddies Craig Mosmen and Michael Cassano have expanded their plant-themed empire with The Couch Tomato Bistro. Situated in the Manayunk district among an array of boutiques, salons, and nightclubs, the comfortable yet formal dining space surrounds diners with loft seating, cut-stone walls, hardwood floors, and modern lighting fixtures.
The Bistro’s dinner menu is filled with thin-crust, New York style gourmet pizza creations topped in San Marzano sauces and Grande mozzarella cheese. Produce is ordered and prepared daily and used to cover pizzas, fill salads served with homemade dressings and rolls, and add splashes of color to otherwise lackluster chef uniforms. Gourmet small plates encourage sharing, while an intentionally limited menu of specialty pizzas, salads, wraps, paninis, and homemade soups allows The Couch Tomato Bistro’s cooks to maintain a high level of quality.
In 2012, a group of well-connected Philly nightlife entrepreneurs transformed an old Spaghetti Warehouse restaurant in the Spring Garden neighborhood into Union Transfer, and it quickly became one of the most popular music venues in the city. Several nights a week, this mid-size, 1,000-capacity club books generally indie and small-label national touring bands: the garagey Heartless Bastards, retro-soul purveyors Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings and the synthy electronic-music trio Chvrches are the types of bands that grace Union Transfer’s stage. Shows are general admission with limited seating available in the upstairs balcony. Most concertgoers stand in the main floor area in front of the stage. During all-ages shows, concertgoers need a wristband to access one of the three bars.
Named a top 25 alternative gym by Greatist.com, RowZone's unique blend of rowing exercises and full-body toning techniques to help students of all ages and abilities stave off the boredom and plateaus of other fitness regimens. During RZ Core workouts, instructors provide helpful pointers and encouragement to students as they shape up with body-toning ergometers.
Each structured session presents a total-body workout that incorporates rowing, resistance training, and fitness techniques that solidify cores and improve flexibility. Additionally, free-weight curls, crunches, lunges, and other rowing exercises work to provide an effective strength-endurance workout.
Using his training in microbiology and cell biology from Yale University, the president and CEO of Dos Funny Frogs Cleaning Service developed Sapos, an all-natural product line that cleans and disinfects without harsh chemicals. His professional staff use Sapos products for each of their specialized home-, office-, and carpet-cleaning treatments, ensuring they banish dirt and germs without harming family members or the environment. The licensed, bonded, and insured crewmembers arrive in uniform to help customers distinguish them from disoriented Christmas carolers, and clients can track the arrival of their technicians with the online Frog Tracker.
Squeaky Clean's insured technicians not only sweep and dust abodes, but also tackle such unexpected tasks as removing snow and painting homes inside and out. Like a shark driving a truck with bum brakes, housecleaning crews never stop moving, vacuuming drapes, organizing garages, and cleaning ovens with environmentally friendly supplies. The detail-oriented team wipes corners and crevices, but takes care to respect areas designated as "off-limits" or "filled with grizzly bears." Technicians can also blast away grime from home exteriors with power washers and clean and repair gutters.