At Raleighwood Cinema Grill, mid- and second-run movies flicker across a full-size screen with HD Digital Projection, brought to life with enhanced Dolby Digital surround sound. Yet what sets the theater apart is the experience off the screen. Instead of stacking seats into rows or demanding patrons stack into human pyramids to cram as many bodies in as possible, Raleighwood cultivates a relaxed atmosphere. Patrons lounge on cushioned, swiveling chairs at cabaret-style tables with a beer or glass of wine while servers lay out a menu of burgers, pizzas, and appetizers. Comedies, dramas, and family films enhance the flavor of dishes and the calendar of special events and food specials.
Though a perfect row looks like one smooth motion, it is actually built from four component movements—you start with dropping the oars into the water during the catch, and then move the oars toward the stern during recovery. Such precision of form is vital in team rowing, where a single asynchronous stroke could cost the shell its momentum and, ultimately, a win for its team. Thus, Triangle Rowing Club strives for synchronicity amongst its students, building within them the balance, endurance, and hand webbing needed to propel teams of two, four, or eight to victory. The club often competes in regional regattas, traveling to nearby states to demonstrate their teamwork.
After capturing the first-ever regular-season title for the North American Soccer League in 2011, the Carolina RailHawks retake the pitch with an April 14th home opener to continue their reign under WakeMed Soccer Park's bright lights. Returning players include captain Kupono Low, the first RailHawk ever to score a goal and one of the NASL's current top 11 players. Before the game, more than 50 food and craft-beer vendors from throughout the Triangle will set up outside the stadium to hand out free tastings of their culinary offerings while keeping them away from Appalachian bears disguised in hikers' half-mauled hats.
The clucks of more than 250 chickens harmonize with the braying of goats and the snorts of pigs, composing a pastoral symphony that resounds across 30 acres of lush, sustainable farmland. Lofty woods outline the acreage as the leaves of pumpkins, squash, and flowers dapple the pastures. Brier Creek Family Farm's resident staff patrols these scenic grounds, carefully tending to the ever-changing flocks of livestock that have included sheep, rabbits, cattle, and ducks.
The team bestows its passion for agriculture upon budding farmhands during camps, teaching pupils to intermingle with the animals, till an organic garden, and communicate through subtle pitchfork motions. The farmers further enlighten visitors at an onsite store brimming with eggs, seeds, crafts, and antiques.
Laced with elements of yoga, Pilates, and gymnastics, the women-only classes at Aradia Fitness sculpt lean, toned physiques. And though physical fitness is a cornerstone of the studio, it's not the only one. Classes such as Striptease and Lap Dance foster a certain amount of unrestrained confidence that, as Aradia puts it, “teach[es] women to unapologetically love their body and themselves.” At 17 locations across the country, Aradia's staff of certified instructors, including world-record holder Amanda, lead women of all shapes, sizes, and experiences through sessions ranging from pole-dancing classes that teach aerial lifts and holds to Sexy Fit classes that forgo the pole for yoga fusion, boot camp, and lap dancing. No matter the class, the environment at Aradia is always light hearted, nurturing, and more supportive than a stainless-steel hammock.
It's not every 5K run in which participants look like they've been tie-dyed by the end of it. But most runs are not this much fun either. As runners put one foot in front of the other during Color My Run, volunteers cover them with colorful dust, adding extra joy and a bit of silliness to an event where your finishing time isn't everything. That sense of joy also extends to the charitable recipient of each event as well, which is often a children's hospital.