In the acoustically-treated practice studios that fill their brand-new facility, Music Time Academy’s instructors arm students as young as five years with the rent-to-own flutes, trumpets, or violins they need to tangle with any musical challenge that might cross their paths. The school’s curriculum is not limited to juvenile jongleurs, with students of virtually any age brushing up on their banjo, mandolin, piano, bass, or vocal abilities during lessons calibrated to the tastes of each pupil.
This modularity is made possible through the diverse roster of instructors, whose ranks include classical ensemble guitarists, rock 'n' roll ukulele players, effortlessly controlled jazz trumpeters, and a stray punk-druid mandolin player from Brighton, England. These eager teachers are equipped to foster virtually any sort of musical interest, whether students wish to show off in regularly scheduled recitals, find a friendly place to hone their skills, or compose a national anthem for their Dungeons and Dragons setting.
A family of four poses amid crisp fall leaves, late sunlight casting a warm glow across their smiling cheeks. A newlywed couple beams at each other under a canopy of palm trees. Staff members of a new salon hold a giant pair of scissors, poised to cut the ribbon and the hair of their first giant customer during their opening ceremony. ultra-spective's photographers can capture groups and individuals in nearly any context, and they take a distinctive approach to each—so much so that the studio boasts six different divisions, for family portraits, high-school seniors, art portraiture, weddings, boudoir shoots, and business photography. An all-female team with expertise in lighting and airbrushing directs the boudoir shoots, where they guide subjects in poses designed to make them look svelte and beautiful. For family shoots, they'll gladly venture to a selection of reliably picturesque parks where split-rail fences lean, redwoods loom, and sycamores dapple golden fields with shade. The studio itself has plenty of personality, with chandeliers and black walls lined with hot pink sequins.
Greenbee Electric Vehicles Technology has dealers up and down the California coast who can point to a way around the colossal carbon skid marks left by gas-guzzling vehicles: zero-emission electric motorcycles designed for inner-city commutes and quiet enough to sneak up on housecats. Two Greenbee models, the Metro and Metro 2, feed on electricity from a standard 110-volt outlet, instead of depending on fossil fuels for their energy. But the petite motorcycles don't sacrifice speed, still zooming along at up to 60 miles per hour without smogging up city skylines. They're equipped with a backseat and a pair of fold-out foot pegs, too, in case drivers need a gunner to man the rear confetti cannon.
Twice a month, the outside of The Good Brewer transforms into a laboratory of tanks, kegs, tubes, and various brewing supplies. At this workstation, the store's experts lead classes that teach home brewers everything they need to know about making and bottling their own beer to choosing the right hops.
Back inside, the staff supplies the equipment and ingredients needed to put these skills into practical use. Hops, CO2 tanks, and more than 30 recipes help beer-makers brew varieties such as a Livermore IPA. Aside from beer ingredients, they also sell grapes so customers can craft merlots that pair well with the finished products from the Mad Millie cheese-making kits.