Barbara Brenseke—a licensed fitness instructor for more than 20 years and a certified Olympic weightlifting sports-performance coach—puts her experience as a competitor in Olympic distance triathlons, marathons, and USTA tennis leagues to use by showing others how to prevent injuries and achieve the sharpest competitive edge possible. Her semiprivate training center constantly maintains a 3:1 client-to-coach ratio, allowing her and her team of impassioned instructors to show clients personalized attention as they prepare them for athletic competitions or guide them toward a lifestyle of health and wellness. Staffers teach students how to perform optimally, using strength and power in athletic disciplines that range from lacrosse to baseball. They can also help clients sculpt their bodies for non-sports-related hobbies, such as golfing, biking, or building life-size model-train sets. Additionally, they can show students how to chisel away excess poundage with individualized weight, cardio, and nutritional programs.
The more than a dozen brick-and-mortar locations that make up Ultimate Champions Taekwondo Association share not only a style of combat, but a teaching philosophy as well. Tracing the lineage of their combative art back to Grandmaster Sang K. Oh, the instructors adhere to his teachings, exemplified by the quote, "The person who can defeat others with flashy techniques but is without love toward his fellow man will in the end defeat himself." Students use the physical empowerment of mastering jumps, kicks, and weapons to arm themselves with discipline, confidence, concentration, self-respect, and courtesy for others.
Outside of the classroom, the organization reaches out to the tri-state community with ample demonstrations of some of their most exciting techniques. Practitioners soar skyward in flying kicks or fill the air with the whirring blows of nunchakus, bos, and kamas. Fists slam through boards, balloons, and bricks to demonstrate the striking power of tae kwon do and the structural flaws in the Three Little Pigs' panic room.
Candy comes in every color at Chocolate Works NYC, where the rainbow of confectionery pairs naturally with the sunny dispositions of those who roam the store’s aisles. Hints of red peek out from chocolate-dipped strawberries, jordan almonds model this season’s pastels, and self-serve bins nearly burst with Jelly Belly jellybeans. Wrapped in shimmering foil or cellophane, kosher truffles and edible replicas of famous paintings momentarily distract eyes from a chocolate fountain, which bubbles into a rich brown pool framed by a marzipan “No Swimming” sign.
Headlined by master chocolatier Joe Whaley and Pretzels by Jill’s Jill Frechtman, an all-star cast of instructors takes the helm during the shop’s signature candy-making classes. Among other delicious, hands-on lessons, teachers demonstrate how to swathe pretzels in Belgian chocolate at an old-fashioned enrobing machine. Kids also learn how to dip, mold, and decorate during one-hour workshops and birthday parties that teem with edible crafts and sugary confetti.
With personal training, sports nutrition, and even sports hypnotism certifications tucked under his weightlifting belt, Tony DiCostanzo brings more to DreamBodies than a booming voice and admirable biceps. The dedicated fitness coach leads boot campers and personal-training clients through calorie-burning workouts, supplemented with diet tips and what he calls "mind-motivational conditioning," which makes eating healthy an automatic response, rather than a chore. Unlike other training programs, Tony’s DreamBodies also offers an online edition, complete with a consultation over the phone, continuous coaching via e-mail, and custom at-home workouts that forge lasting results and show house pets who's boss.
Inside relaxing private rooms bedecked in earth-tone paints, oriental murals, and soft-lighting fixtures, experienced medical professionals administer rejuvenating, technology-driven treatments that bolster outer beauty without surgical intervention. FDA-approved laser systems take time off of aiding boardroom PowerPoint presentations to blanket patients' skin with energy wavelengths that can reduce body hair, dark spots, and acne. Board-certified surgeons utilize lab-created serums to ease the appearance of stress wrinkles and fine lines found on façades. To ensure patients pair up with the proper technological assistant, helpful technicians discuss all treatment options with Laser Plus Spa clientele before administering any procedures.
Louie Demirakos devised Clearwater Charlie's in his late father's name, creating an homage to his unfulfilled vision for—in Charlie’s words—an “eat it and beat it” establishment. The menu is scrawled on chalkboards above the kitchen assembly line, and dishes hit the counter on paper plates, which conveniently fold into paper sailboats to float leftovers home. Though the restaurant gives top billing to seafood, Charlie’s specialty, it also incorporates a slew of American dishes such as barbecue chicken and pork, steak, and burgers with a choice of 22 toppings. The restaurant is also entirely nut-free, ensuring that food-sensitive diners can safely savor any dish that emerges from the bustling kitchen.