Sandoony USA takes the concept of the American melting pot seriously; it’s blended the bathhouse traditions of Eastern Europe into a devoted relaxation center that pairs three types of saunas with just as many pools. After a stint sweating out toxins in one of two dry Russian saunas, guests jump into the cold plunge pool to refresh their bodies and shock their pores closed without showing them the phone bill from NASA’s calls to Neptune. The hot, thick air of the Finnish sauna and Turkish steam room warm up chilled bones before the lap pool gets muscles moving again. A final soak amid the massaging jets of the jacuzzi erases any lingering stress. After drying off amid the pool deck’s tables and hanging TVs, an opulent dining room or poolside café awaits with plates such as feta-cheese-and-tomato salads or beef tongue with horseradish.
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.
Since 1952, this nonsectarian Jewish community center has entertained, strengthened, and educated community members with enriching programs and recreational services. Around 780 people a day lift weights, splash in the pool, or attend book readings. Children and teens absorb knowledge about scholastics, cooking, crafts, and drama during after-school programs and summer camps, while adults talk literature in book clubs, stretch out during yoga sessions, or unwind by meditating in a room filled with stacks of already-completed taxes. Seniors, meanwhile, can play a round of billiards or backgammon in a social club, learn basic computer skills, or take free, arthritis-friendly aerobics classes. The dedicated staff make a point of welcoming all community members by speaking Russian, Hebrew, Chinese, Spanish, and Upper East Side.
Even in the dead of winter you might hear the phrase, "meet me at the pool!" McCarren pool has been keeping families cool during Brooklyn summers since way back in 1936, but for the first time in its 77-year history it will welcome visitors year-round. This holiday season, the recently rehabilitated pool deck will become the McCarren Rink, a transformation that has the press abuzz, including The New York Times. The rink will also include gourmet eats provided by Hanson Bros.–which was featured in a recent article on Grub Street– and an on-site skate shop, and is scheduled to remain open through January or longer, depending on public demand and weather predictions from local groundhogs.