The bold red and black hues of CKO-Edgewater's fitness facility inspire intensity in exercisers pummel hanging heavy bags with kicks and punches. In each class, students burn calories and tone physiques under the tutelage of an enthusiastic instructor and their sidekick, an actual side kick. Or, students can work with staff one-on-one in 30-, 45-, or 60-minute personal training sessions that can incorporate weight training as well as kickboxing techniques.
Over the past 140 years, boating around The Lake in Central Park has transformed from a popular pastime to an enduring tradition. In 1872, a small Victorian-style structure was built to meet the need for housing the boats. Replaced in 1924 by a rustic wooden structure that remains largely mysterious to historians, by the 1950s, the boathouse was in dire need of repair. It was then that investment banker and philanthropist Carl M. Loeb and his wife contributed a sizeable donation to help create The Loeb Boathouse. The structure, officially opened in March of 1954, still stands and today it houses the famous New York landmark, Lakeside Restaurant, immortalized in When Harry Met Sally. The Boathouse, of course, still rents out rowboats during the warmer months, and has also recently begun offering bicycles for cruising about Central Park.
If you duck into Samad's Gourmet for a loaf of fresh Mediterranean bread, you might hear footsteps on the ceiling or the strains of soft music rumbling from above. Upstairs, the Heights Bar & Grill is in full swing, as Columbia students and locals chatter animatedly and bartenders dart about, blending frozen margaritas and mixing mojitos. Their faces are illuminated by strings of colorful lights and cooled in the summer by a breeze that drifts in through tall windows. The mood is equally lively on the third-floor roof deck, where guests clink pint-size drinks over overstuffed burritos and mountains of meaty nachos. Others recline on sofas, listening to the hum of the streets or of Broadway below. During winter months, the deck is covered with a retractable roof, shielding patrons from snow and wind.
Though its name implies a worn out, old hole-in-the-wall-style bar, Dive 75 defies expectations. Here, warm lighting casts over a gleaming wooden bar that supports elbows as guests dig into expansive upscale menu and sip single-malt scotches and choose from a lengthy list of bourbons, tequilas, and wines. The chefs whip up more than just bar peanuts and popcorn, instead fashioning plates brimming with seafood, a range of vegetarian burgers and sandwiches, and a bountiful array of breakfast meals. They further dazzle taste buds with options such as Quebecois poutine and buffalo-met hot dogs, all cooked in trans-fat-free oil, which patrons sample amid views of the expansive built-in aquarium.
Named after the iconic Central Park monument, Cleopatra’s Needle has earned a reputation of its own with a daily schedule of open mics, jam sessions, and jazz performances. As one might expect, the club’s menu references Egypt and other Mediterranean locales, though its cocktail list is classic New York—martinis, wines, and frozen drinks are all well represented. While the performers are taking a break to warm up their vocal cords or massage the grand piano’s tense strings, guests can watch local sports on the big screen.