One of the most environmentally progressive homes in the country is nestled in the heart of Atlanta’s historic Buckhead neighborhood. EcoManor, set to be the first U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED® (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certified residence in the Southeast, was built to inspire a change in urban design by showcasing how the latest green technologies can be incorporated into a traditionally beautiful Tudor house. Constructed by national eco-activists, Laura and Rutherford Seydel, EcoManor will serve as an educational tool for builders, architects, designers, landscapers and homeowners to promote green living, conservation and advanced residential building practices.
Closet Fever: Waxing, Vintage, & DJ’s Under One Roof
Imagine a hair salon and a vintage clothing boutique and DJ all under one roof. At Closet Fever there’s a turntable inside where hip DJ’s spin beats as clients browse through one-of-a kind bracelets, cutting edge dresses, and funky handbags galore. But if you’re looking to get your body manicured, the staff of professional beauty mavens will have you primped and pretty in no time whether it’s waxing or hairstyling. Where else can you get an outfit, complete with studs, and hair extensions all in one stop?
Guilty Pleasures at Momofuku Milk Bar
Momofuku Milk Bar is restaurateur extraordinaire Chef David Chang’s sweet tooth answer to his hugely successful group of savory eateries in the East Village (and now Midtown as well). With the help of Pastry Chef Christina Tosi, the Milk Bar serves up wild delights like Peach Tea Soft Serve, the classic Cereal Milk Soft Serve, Corn Cookies, and Compost Cookies – which unlike the simple but tasty Corn Cookie has a lot of ingredients in it including pretzels, potato chips, coffee, oats, butterscotch, and chocolate chips. You can also get a bizarre variety of yummy and sometimes savory pies, cakes, breads, and buns here. And then there is the Crack Pie, which, as the menu informs, is made up of two components only: toasted oat crust and gooey butter filling. Seems a little vague, no? Though anyone that has tasted this confectionary delight knows that the title of the treat speaks volumes compared to the description. Coffee lovers will also be happy to hear that the only beans in house here – brewing and in the Compost Cookie – are Stumptown coffee beans.
Insider tip: visit the Milk Bar on a weekday if you don’t like to wait for your treats. Otherwise, come on a Friday or a Saturday night and wait in line with all the other Crack Pie addicts. The people watching is good and a couple of celebrities have been known to stop by for their fix too.
Escape to Rome at the Franciscan Monastery
When you think of D.C. architecture, the first thing that comes to mind is usually not a Roman style building. Yet, that’s exactly what you’ll find at the Mount St. Sepulchre Franciscan Monastery .
This DC National Historical Monument is absolutely stunning. Stroll through the gardens and take a moment to enjoy the beautiful landscape. Undergroudn, there’s a replica of Roman catacombs, which is quite an experience in itself. There is also an archive, a library, and bones of Saint Benignus of Armagh, brought from the Italian Roman Catacombs.
The Byzantine style church was designed by the Roman architect Aristide Leonori and built in 1898. Around the church is the Rosary Portico, with 15 chapels commemorating Jesus and Mary. The monastery grounds contain replicas of shrines in the Holy Land, as well as a greenhouse. The Franciscan Monastery is definitely a unique landmark in the middle of the nation’s capital.
Intimate Entertainment at Joe’s Pub
An arm of NYC’s venerable Public Theater, Joe’s Pub is actually a luxurious lounge and cabaret space offering an intimate space to experience some of the best jazz, comedy and up-and-coming musical acts. It’s one of the few places in New York you’ll find major stars without the drama involved in getting in and getting a good spot.
Performers who have hit Joe’s Pub’s stage include Tony award-winning Sutton Foster, Isaac Mizrahi (yes- the designer/comedian for a night), Grammy award winning Adele, international signing star Lara Fabian, and the list goes on and on. Newsweek described this as “one of the country’s best small stages” and every night the quality of performances and quality of service at the lounge seals its commendable reputation.
Funky, Trendy & a Museum? Only at New Museum
Not many buildings sport a rainbow “Hell Yes” on their facade, let alone an art museum. “New Art, New Ideas;” that’s the motto for the aptly named New Museum in the hip Lower East Side. Unlike most contemporary art galleries, the art here is so new that it includes YouTube videos(!) and art that’s a social commentary on current political hot topics like the Iraq War.
Not only is the art inside super hip and new, so is the building, that is like a modern Goliath among the aging downtown buildings. It’s actually the first art museum ever to be constructed from the ground up in downtown Manhattan.
Fitting to its artsy Bowery locale, the crowd here is more likely to be sporting Converses and Aviators than suits and ties. Before leaving, check out the seventh floor Skyroom that has a spectacular panoramic view of Manhattan from the Financial District to the Midtown skyscrapers.
More for Less at Cellar 56
Your taste buds will be enticed at this bastion of flavor. Getting its name from the 56 types of wine it carries, the obvious focus is on the vino. The large selection comes at a reasonable price with $24 per bottle being the average. And if you just want a taste? Most varieties are just $6 a glass and $3 for half a glass.
The restaurant serves tapas-style small plates like fried oysters and macaroni and cheese- all at a very reasonable three to five dollars per plate. There’s quite a variety here for you to taste at Cellar 56, from wine to fine meals.
Michael’s Pre-Theater and Power Lunches
A midtown must, Michael’s is the talk of the town when it comes to power lunches and pre-theater dinner. Financiers, CEOs, suits, and celebs rub elbows while filling up on award-winning wines and expertly executed entrees ranging from lobster to duck and scallops to steak. Contemporary art by the likes of Jasper Johns and Frank Stella deck the walls of the airy Garden Room, not that guests need to notice anything other than the famed food.
Golf to Horseback Riding at Rock Creek Park
Located in the heart of D.C., Rock Creek Park is not your average run-of-the-mill park. There is much more to do than just your usual stroll or picnic: play 18-holes at the Rock Creek Golf Course; swing a racket at the tennis courts; rollerblade or bike; rent a kayak, canoe or even a small sailboat at the boat center.
Want something more unique? Take a horseback riding lesson on the 13 miles of wide, dirt and gravel bridle trails in the northern section of the park.
But for those who just want to relax, this national park is great for that as well. Beautiful trees, fields, wild animals (coyotes!), and the serene sights and sounds of Rock Creek make a perfect setting for a hike on one of the many paths. You can even have a cell phone tour in specific areas. Just call the number and listen to a park ranger give a two-minute narration on various aspects of the park.