Best of the City 2009

Photograph by Ryan Kurtz

Fitness Class

The newest workout at Shine Yoga Center really lets students hoop it up—hula hooping, to be exact. Using an adult-size hoop handcrafted from three-quarter-inch tubing and wrapped in friction tape, you twist and twirl, teaching the hoop to travel up and down the body. This helps you increase coordination, balance, and flexibility, develop core strength, and calm the mind. If it sounds like fun, it is. Lighthearted, sexy, and playful, it’s also a workout, burning up to 600 calories an hour. (513) 533-9642

Junk Removal

Sure, everyone has skeletons in their closets—and usually years of accumulated junk, too. Let 1-800-Got-Junk cure your clutter woes. No job is too big (hot tubs), too small (coffee tables) or too weird (a stuffed polar bear head—true story) for six-year local franchise owners Cliff and Mary Brahm and their crew. Aprés junk removal, the full-service team does a white-glove clean-up job and donates items in good shape to charity. Got junk? Not after these guys are done. 1-800-GOT-JUNK.

Cancer Support Group

It started in 1981 with a simple idea: if you have cancer, you need friends who understand. Since then, the Wellness Community of Greater Cincinnati has grown to two locations and thousands of participants who have taken advantage of its free programs and support groups. Still, says program director Bonnie Crawford, the idea behind this “community” is unchanged. “People need to connect with others who are going through the same thing—to not feel alone.” 


Need to give your shabby old wing chair a little more zing, but don’t want to pay to have it completely reupholstered? Then try one of Teresa Fuller’s custom slipcovers. She works with designers and stores around town (including Fabricworks in Sharonville) to rejuvenate everything from pillows to couches, whisking items away to her home in New Richmond, where she does her magic. Call her, and she’ll come and pick up your pieces, no middleman required. And don’t let the word “slipcover” scare you. We aren’t talking about your grandmother’s plastic couch cover here. “My slipcovers look as close to reupholstered as possible,” Fuller says. “It’s all custom made for your piece of furniture.” Good to know. (513) 553-9795

Dog Trainer

Whether it’s basic obedience (sit, stay, come) or severe behavioral issues (aggression, biting, fighting), Debbe Weissbuch’s Happy Tails “In-Home” Dog Training service can handle it. A member of the International Association of Canine Professionals (IACP)—recommended by the Dog Whisperer himself, Cesar Millan—and a Nationally Certified Pet Dog Trainer, Weissbuch brings change that lasts. She can even train your dog while you’re on vacation, through a Board N Train program. At Weissbuch’s Puppy Parties and her My Smart Puppy class, little pooches work on social skills, critical to becoming better-behaved dogs. “If I could reach everyone when they got a puppy, the entire world would be better, trust me,” she says. 

Chimney Sweep

Some of Cincinnati’s charming old homes have not-so-charming features: sooty, aged chimneys. The 83-year-old Karl Mattes Co. has been mucking out creosote since Santa was a baby, as well as repairing, rebuilding, and relining those hazardous old flues. They’re fearless about taking on multi-story jobs and steep-pitched roofs. But if you suspect your chimney is home to a wayward raccoon or bat colony, call animal control first. The company no longer removes critters, says the family-run firm’s matriarch, Lois Mattes. “Too dangerous.” (513) 561-5967

Serious Cleaning Service

You definitely don’t want to visit Debi Farrar when she’s on the job. Her company, Xtreme Resolutions, specializes in cleaning up horrific scenes—murders, suicides, human decomposition. Plus, they decontaminate former meth labs and muck out houses filled knee-deep with trash and animal waste. And these days, Farrar’s also geared up for bedbug eradication. Xtreme Resolutions uses a dry heat technology to kill bugs without chemicals. Less gross? Yes. Still icky? You bet. But don’t feel humiliated if you have an infestation. “We’ve done houses for nurses, doctors,” Farrar says. “Anybody can get ’em.” 

Custom Eco-Friendly Window Treatments

When it comes to custom window treatments, being green isn’t just trendy, it’s also smart. An eco-makeover by the skilled pros at Barry Farmer Draperies could shrink your energy bill. Choose from their extensive portfolio of LEED-certified products and eco-friendly fabrics from brands like Hunter Douglas and Lafayette Interior Fashions to build a custom solution. They’ve even got motorized shades that lower and rise via sunlight sensors that work with smart-house programs. Unsure where to start on the road to greener windows? Take advantage of the free, no obligation consultation. (513) 489-4222


What’s it like to be a master of fine bookbinding and conservation? Gabrielle Fox knows. When libraries, museums, or collectors throughout the country have a precious volume that needs repair, Fox is often the person called in to fix it. She also creates original works for those seeking one-of-a-kind or limited-edition books or journals. In 2003, Fox was one of several miniature book artists invited by the Lloyd Library to produce an original work inspired by its collection. The result: a two-and-a-half-inch tall by two-inch-wide, leather-bound, gilt-edged volume based on a 17th century book of alchemy. (513) 304-5758, 

Computer Recycling

Got Digital Baggage? The Cincinnati Computer Cooperative (C³) is a nonprofit organization that, in 2007 alone, recycled 177 tons of computers from the region. Even better, C³ takes newer donated machines and refurbishes them for schools, nonprofits, and families and senior citizens in need. With only one paid staffer (who works part-time), C³ relies on a team of volunteers to do everything from dismantling and reassembling old machines to loading software to driving the forklifts loaded with pallets of old machines to recycling facilities. Now that’s an operating system. (513) 771-3262

Glam Squad

Makeup pros have loved Japanese brand Shu Uemura for years. Their skincare products and cosmetics feature deep sea water and plant extracts. The brushes are handmade using synthetic and natural fibers including goat, badger, pony, or squirrel, and their world-famous patented eyelash curler definitely lives up to the hype. When you’re in need of a quick beauty pick-me-up, treat yourself to a pair of falsies from the Tokyo Lash Bar at Nordstrom—150 fake eyelash options from natural to dramatic. (Peacock feathers or confetti, anyone?) Listen up, fumble-fingers: Counter pros will re-apply your lash purchase gratis, up to 10 wearings. (513) 699-4190 (ext. 1087)

Manual Car Wash

At Johnny’s Car Wash, you can sidestep those newfangled machines and go for the hand wash. For $24.99, Johnny’s car jockeys will scrub your baby, and shampoo and dry your floor mats, too. It’ll look like you did it at home in your driveway. Only, you know, better. (513) 474-6603

Bar/Bat Mitzvah DJ

The perfect bar/bat mitzvah DJ would be a cross between a camp counselor and the Black Eyed Peas, with a touch of Mick Jagger thrown in to keep the alter cockers happy. Next best thing: Todd Schimpf of Onestop Entertainment. Some mitzvahs need games that will help temple kids mix with school friends; some require music that appeals to grannies as well as tweens. Fans say that he knows what to play and when to play it; he’s great at gauging the mood of the room; and, best of all, he can control hopped-up, pre-pubescent partygoers without killing the buzz. (513) 251-8999

Photo Recovery
You’ve just spent a week on vacation, snapping away with your digital camera, but when you go to upload the pics to your computer, your memory card plays coy and acts like there’s nothing there. Don’t panic. Head to Ritz Camera. They’ll give your memory card a good talking to (essentially) and recover what you’ve got. For one friend of ours, they restored images she’d deleted off the card. That’s service. 

Spa Packages

Girls Day In

Grab your closest friends and book a spa party at The Woodhouse Day Spa. You can reserve enough services to fill a whole day or take up as little as an hour. Spa coordinators are on hand to arrange for catered lunches or appetizers and see to your every pampering need. Don’t you need a day off? (513) 891-4772


Whether you’re a new mom with new stretch marks or mom-to-be in need of a facial to address the havoc hormonal fluctuations have wreaked on your skin, Becoming Mom Pregnancy Spa & Imaging Center has dozens of treatments to cure your ailments, including the Pregnant Gets What Pregnant Wants, which includes three spa services as well as a pregnancy portrait sitting at Studio G Photography. (513) 770-6730

Teen Spirit

Your little girl is becoming a woman. Let her and a gaggle of her besties indulge themselves in a Teen Spa Party at Mitchell’s Salon and Day Spa. The package includes an express pedicure, manicure, makeup lesson, and Jane Iredale makeup kit for $100. 

Night Out

Got a hot date, but short on time? Avalon Salon and Aesthetic Day Spa’s Glamour on the Go package is like your very own Fairy Godmother. Start with an abbreviated manicure and pedicure, get a quick shampoo and style, a paraffin treatment for hands or feet, and a makeup application. All you need now to blow him away is a slinky dress and killer heels. (513) 533-1700


Paragon Salon understands that getting married is stressful. Put all your pre-wedding jitters to rest and relax the day before with a European facial, full body massage, practice formal finish, spa pedicure, and manicure. Then, on the Big Day, return for a formal finish to your hair and makeup application. If only picking the caterers was this easy. 

* Please note that the information listed in this section was accurate at the time the issue went to print in 2009 and that addresses, menu items, company status, etc., may have changed. Please contact the companies to confirm details.

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