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Best of the Cities 2010

Yes, that ballpark rocks. And, getting there on the Northstar line is pretty cool. That kestrel is awful funny. And did you try the Vincent burger at the park? Those are just four reasons to celebrate the new stadium and the Twin Cities. Read on to discover 100 more reasons to love the place you live.

Best of the Cities 2010
Photo by Thomas Strand

(page 7 of 7)

Pet Groomer

Bubbles & Couture Organic Spaw

Gladys Tay and Frank Foo turn out the best-tressed pooches in town, paws down. It’s one thing to wield clippers and a fur comb, but quite another thing to style with care the way they do. The husband-and-wife team run a super-clean shop—they use safe, organic grooming products, and they treat your furbaby with the gentlest, most holistic care. And bonus: Fido won’t be kenneled after the cut. • 883 Smith Ave. S., West St. Paul, 651-457-1815, bubblesncouture.com



Framing is one of those things best left to professionals. So if you’re going to hire a professional to frame your priceless art (anything from kindergarten refrigerator art all the way on up), call Mitrebox. It’s not just a magic knack they have for finding the right framing style—these ladies are interior designers. They understand space and how art should look amongst your other belongings, and they are comfortable with traditional, eclectic, and modern framing styles. Plus, they have a shop dog, wonderful gift items, and sometimes, cupcakes from Miel y Leche. • 213 Washington Ave. N., Mpls., 612-676-0696, mitreboxframing.com


Lomilomi from Nell Rueckl at Spot Spa

Lomilomi is an ancient Hawaiian technique of massage that requires a little more oil and a little less modesty than the hard-working Swedish massage. So if you’re going to do it, you might as well see the best. That’s Nell Rueckl, one of the few locals who has trained with lomi masters and has the technique down, well, pat. Lie back and imagine those ocean waves pummeling you. It’s really her hands, elbows, and feet, but it’s as restorative and relaxing as an ocean swim. Walk out feeling about six inches taller from the repetitive head-to-foot strokes. The bliss will follow you for at least a week. Splurge on the two-hour version and really let Nell work the aloha. • Spot Spa, 401 Hennepin Ave. NE, Mpls., 612-331-4182; 1600 W. Lake St., Mpls., 612-823-7768, spotspas.com

Threading/Waxing/ Hair Removal

Blink for Beauty

You know you’ve got a good aesthetician when everyone knows them by first name. And you may have been hearing a lot about Christina and Brook at the glam Blink for Beauty in the North Loop. Christina’s threading skills make for virtually painless hair removal, and Brooke waxes off with gentle Shoba Azulene wax. Facials and makeup applications are luxe and low-pressure. The best part? The products they use are all approved by the Campaign for Safe Cosmetics. • 700 Washington Ave. N., #215, Mpls., 612-385-7000, blinkforbeauty.com

Salon Splurge

Brazilian Blowout

When it comes to hair, we almost always want what we don’t have. But we all want sleek, silky, perfectly blown-out locks that look as though we just left the salon. Enter the Brazilian Blowout, a keratin treatment that involves washing hair with a specific shampoo and then, well, a blowout and a flatiron session. Hair is strong, healthy, glossy—and most importantly, frizz-free for at least a few weeks. This treatment may be offered now at your favorite salon, but if not, hit up the Twin Cities pioneer, Spalon Montage. • spalon.com

Spa Splurge


You can always get a massage, but if you want something a little more, say, meditative, Shirodhara at Solimar spa is just the thing. Traditionally used in Ayurvedic medicine for times of change or challenge, the experience can leave you feeling focused and calm, and many report vivid dreams that evening. Lie back and enjoy an Abhyanga massage, then relax in silence as warm oil is dripped onto your third eye through a beautiful funnel. Then, the rapture: a head and face massage with the oil and Ayurvedic herbs. Tension—it’s gone…. • 1121 Town Center Dr., Suite 105, Eagan, 651-686-6686, solimarspa.com

Pilates Instruction

Vitality Pilates

Yoga and Adventure Owners Alaya and Chad Sexton really do care about your health and wellness. Alaya, a certified Stott Pilates instructor, and Chad, an RKC Kettlebells instructor, have built a beautiful boutique gym, with a welcoming vibe but challenging workout. Choose from a variety of classes or semi-private or private lessons. Heft kettlebells in Mears Park. Complement a workout with chiropractic care, Thai massage, or Reiki. Or embark on one of their adventure-travel trips. Oh, and if you walk or bike to the gym, you’ll get a discount on your class fee. • 145 E. 10th St., St. Paul, 651-225-4151, vitalitystpaul.com

Floral Design

Wisteria Design Studio

Russell Toscano, owner and artistic director of Wisteria Design Studio in International Market Square, might just as well sign his floral creations: his arrangements are that distinctive. Wisteria has won an array of “best florist” awards from bridal magazines, both local and national, and its lush and lovely work invariably manages to be simultaneously funky and elegant, dramatic and artistic. • 275 Market St., Suite 50, Mpls., 612-332-0633, wisteriadesign.com

Container Design

Tangletown Gardens

Even if you don’t know his name, you’ve seen showstopping container gardens designed by Scott Endres, owner of Tangletown Gardens. You’ve probably even commented on the dramatic combinations of tropical Elephant Ears, wild colors, and even edible plants displayed outside local retailers and homes. That’s because Endres has a well-known flair for planters—colorful, bold, theatrical, and always eye-catching. • Tangletown Gardens, 5353 Nicollet Ave. S., Mpls., 612-822-4769, tangletowngardens.com



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