Tom Paladino, owner of the 95-foot American Princess, steers passengers over the Atlantic Ocean's scenic waters on many noted tours that leave the city's commotion behind, including his seal-and-bird-watching tour that earned a New Yorker mention. Staffed by a team of experienced captains on its luxury boats, American Princess Cruises' excursions encompass a variety of sightseeing, fishing, and partying opportunities. The company's many voyages ferry passengers past scenic areas that include New York Harbor, Jamaica Bay, Long Island Sound, or the Statue Of Liberty as she readies her torch for that night's show at Madison Square Garden. Within these geographic areas, passengers cruise on tours during which it's common to spot whales and dolphins cresting the sea's surface, the Sandy Hook Lighthouse, or take in the area's flame-colored leaves in autumn.
A seasoned watersports enthusiast from Fort Lauderdale, J.M. Kostallas tranfers his wealth of aquatic knowledge to beachgoers along the temperate waters of Long Island. The certified lifeguard and safety instructor leads all inaugural paddleboarding lessons, which emphasize form, balance, and the art of seagull intimidation in a supportive environment with only a few students at a time. Students can put their newfound skills to use in an eco-tour of the surrounding area or give paddleboard yoga a try. Kostal Paddle leads yoga sessions in the open water and at a Jewish Community Center pool.
Since most people never experience the rush of belting beloved tunes in front of thousands of adoring fans, there are places like 5 Bar Karaoke Lounge to provide the next best thing. Spotlights, disco balls, and black lights illuminate amateur chanteuses as they take the stage in private rooms that hold groups of up to 18. A savory selection of small plates and platters such as edamame, seafood rice cakes, and chicken wings keep power-ballad singers fueled for their next heartfelt rendition, while draft beers heighten the feel-good atmosphere and placate friends who’ve lost their voice.
An unassuming building on the Upper East Side hosts a colorful kids' paradise that pairs a pet farm with fun and enriching classes. Chinchillas, hamsters, geckos, and hermit crabs scuttle around their enclosures or out on the floor, where visitors pet them and even learn to care for them in a class for ages 4–7. Other classes unlock inner artists as students paint seascapes and sculpt with clay, or develop culinary chops in a mini-chef class focused on tasty, nutritious foods. Kids can even claim a part-time pet hosted by the farm, such as a bunny or a dove, that brings youngsters the fuzzy joy of companionship while sparing a parent from having to walk their child's hermit crab around the block. Inside, themed rooms enhance imaginative adventures, whether in the music/party room painted with a mural of a lake or in the preschool/play group room that boasts a motif of gigantic sunflowers. Playful stuffed snakes coil around the ceiling beams of the indoor petting zoo, where rocking horses and plastic flowers wrapped around a pillar accent the open- or closed-habitat areas.
Brimming with colorful bolts of fabric, carefully looped skeins of yarn, and rows of sewing provisions, Save A Thon Stores have been supplying New Yorkers with quality crafting necessities since 1973. With fabrics ranging from basic denim to upscale jacquard upholstery cloth from around the world, the shop showcases a range of patterned designs that can be crafted into cozy quilts or a signal to a passing ship that it would have looked better in plaid. Coils of lace ribbons and tubs of colorful beads add a decorative finishing touch to projects, which can be undertaken at home or under the tutelage of the shop's expert crafters during regular sewing classes. The teachers are also experts in the Wilton method of cake decorating and can help students artfully embellish cakes and cupcakes with fondant, tiny decorations, and tiny brides and grooms on a dessert destination wedding.
Although buying pottery pieces in a store is easier than making your own, it isn’t nearly as satisfying. At Supermud Pottery Studio, it’s this impending satisfaction that leads students aged 3 to adult toward creating their own mugs, vases, and bowls during interactive classes and children's summer camp. Pupils learn the basics, such as hand building or wheel throwing, from experienced teachers as they shape blocks of lifeless clay into utilitarian pieces or sculptures with actual heartbeats. Finished artwork may even reside in the studio's gallery, which displays inimitable ceramic works by both renowned artists and Supermud alumni.