The Central Queens Y prides itself on providing a safe place for adults and families to work out and enrich themselves. The center boasts not only athletic facilities such as the full-court gymnasium and the muscle-making “Body Shop,” but also rentable gathering spaces, an activity room for older adults, and an impressive Jewish Heritage Library. The five-story, 35,000-square-foot complex also hosts fitness classes for young and old, and organizes a variety of cultural activities such as theater outings, museum trips, and classical music concerts. Elsewhere in the building, athletes can practice their strokes in the 84-degree indoor pool, or train for a job testing hamster wheels on one of the many treadmills and ellipticals.
Brooklyn Sports Club's mission isn't just about getting people fit—it's also about getting them to have a good time. The club emphasizes the communal aspect of working out with plenty of group activities and family-friendly programs for all ages. Children as young as six months can participate in swim classes in the competition-size lap pool, and there are several martial-arts programs for older kids.
Adult members can take advantage of any of BSC's facilities, including a boxing studio and a group fitness studio that hosts everything from Zumba to Hatha yoga. There's plenty of space for solo workouts on the fitness floor, including a 14,000-square-foot section with weights and a 5,000-square-foot area with computerized ellipticals and stair climbers. Here, certified personal trainers teach clients how to lift effectively and properly unwrap a protein bar. To help members further enjoy their time at the gym, there's a massage spa and a sun deck that occasionally hosts live music.
When defining American cuisine, many people think of classic diner food, such as burgers and fries. But the chefs at Edison Place have a broader outlook: They incorporate the flavors and recipes from nations across Europe that have influenced American eats, creating New American dishes straight out of the figurative melting pot. They bread and fry pork cutlets to create the mushroom-slathered jägerschnitzel, and stir braised beef with onions, carrots, and paprika into bowls of hearty goulash soup. Crab cakes mingle with horseradish dill vinaigrette, and the crispy mushroom tart is a flaky puff pastry topped with a blend of fontina, ricotta, and parmesan cheeses along with caramelized onions, speck ham, and truffle oil. The menu's pan-European flavors pair with local beers, such as Brooklyn lager, and imported brews such as Leffe Blonde.
After five years managing a retail store, Ana realized she wanted to sell something else entirely: food. So she enrolled in culinary school, where she first honed the skills she now displays at Simplicity Wine Bar & Cafe. Her tapas range from spicy veggie empanadas served with pineapple-mango aioli to cayenne-spiced chocolate cupcakes. With numerous organic varietals to boot, a frequently updated selection of wine by the glass and bottle complements Ana's cuisine and confections.
When eyes aren't glued to Ana's artfully plated dishes, they're probably busy taking in Simplicity's nightly entertainment. The lineup includes plenty of café staples, such as poetry nights, open mics, and Sunday afternoon concerts by award-winning guitarist Jorge Arévalo Mateus. On weekends, live DJs convert the bar into a dancehall by spinning classic reggae and hip-hop tunes.
LiloVeve—a composite of the words "live" and "love"—is part gallery, part wedding-band boutique, and part jewelry-making school. First came the gallery. Caroline Glemann founded it to showcase a range of art that includes paintings, photos, and a permanent jewelry collection. Jewelry-making students take classes and workshops to pick up skills in metalwork, wax carving, and gold alloying. They can even learn about design from an industry perspective, or prep for the SAT's recently added fashion section. Handmade rings adorn betrothed digits after LiloVeve craftspeople lovingly solder, saw, and pierce each sparkling circle.
Though it only opened last year, Heights Bar & Lounge has already become a go-to destination for residents of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhood. The welcoming, laidback vibe beckons visitors to linger over top-shelf cocktails and finger food as they take in the big game, croon pop hits or obscure polka tunes during karaoke on Thursdays, or boogie to R&B and club classics on Fridays.