In 1976, Curtis Colby befriended a boy named Joey, whose father had died. Curtis spent time mentoring him as a volunteer and discovered Joey's younger brother also was in need of a strong male role model. This connection was the original impetus for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Monmouth & Middlesex Counties, which connects youth with responsible and positive adult mentors through community- and school-based programs to help change their lives for the better. Youth aged 6–14 who have one-on-one relationships with mentors have reported increased self-esteem, an improved ability to express their feelings, and better attitudes toward school.
Since its inception, all the plays that Two River Theater has produced have shared a common thread: capturing the human experience. Bridging the gap between players and audiences, their intimate performances have made them a New Jersey treasure, leading to three Theater of the Year awards from the New Jersey Theater Alliance and The Star Ledger, as well as designation as a Major Impact Organization by the New Jersey State Council of the Arts. Giving them space to play along the way are two theaters: the 350-seat Joan and Robert Rechnitz Theater, where six-play subscription seasons and holiday shows unfold, and the 99-seat black box Marion Huber Theater.
Thinking of the city rarely calls images of fog-ringed mountains and wolf-filled forests to mind, but Discover Outdoors—formerly known as Outdoor Bound—turns these scenes into reality. Owner, avid outdoorsman, and eight-time marathon runner Kirk Reynolds makes sure of it. He and a staff of experts—each a licensed trail guide and Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT—temper the stress of city living with day trips to nearby natural enclaves and weekend camping excursions. The getaways thrill with activities such as hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding.
International trips, meanwhile, quench a thirst for life-defining adventures beyond trips to the grocery store during peak Saturday hours. Among them: hikes up famed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, treks to Machu Picchu in Peru, and jaunts through the Canadian Rockies. Some of the journeys even grant travelers the opportunity to fundraise for a worthy cause as they explore.
Bryan “The Brooklyn Bad Ass” Ortiz of Brooklyn Bad Ass Fitness dons many hats—the headband of a certified personal trainer, the cushioned headgear of a boxing instructor, and the top hat of a fitness-book author. Dedicated to a no-nonsense approach to fitness, Bryan conducts morning and evening weekday boot camps that whip up to 20 students into shape with intense interval training, eschewing monotonous fitness routines such as treadmill running or elephant lifting. To complete lifestyle changes, Bryan outfits guests with meal plans, customizing diets to match energy requirements. Bryan’s Wedding Body boot camp, personal-training sessions, and weight-loss challenges can all be customized to suit guests’ specific fitness goals.
The editorial team behind Brooklyn Magazine keeps its finger on the pulse of one of New York’s largest boroughs, providing residents and visitors with everything from food reviews to cultural commentaries on art and literature. In addition to hashing out the latest city fashions in the style section, Brooklyn Magazine provides a road map for upcoming happenings in the events section, listing concerts, film showings, theatre performances, and more.
For more than 15 years, the stain shirkers and blot extinguishers at Laundry.bz have saved Brooklynites from being avalanched in dirty duds. The company’s lightning-fast service helps clothes-havers overcome the time constraints created by their hectic lifestyles and tedious commutes, ungriming their garments so they don’t have to wear the same barbecue-covered trousers to each week’s rib-slinging competition. Simply hand over your bedraggled accouterments at your doorstep, then wait for Laundry.bz’s talented dirt demolishers to bring them back looking mannequin fresh. Next-day service is the standard ($0.90 a pound), but for folks down to the last set of skivvies, same-day service is also available ($1 a pound). Unlike cleaners who offer extraneous services, such as wedding-dress tie-dying and personal training for pants, the team at Laundry.bz focuses solely on the art, science, and metaphysics of laundry, tackling not only clothes but also blankets ($7 each), comforters ($10 each), and other specialty items.