Each year, the banks of the Saugatuck River transform from a serene New England retreat to a raucous Southern street fair during the annual two-day Blues, Views & BBQ Festival. The syncopated chords of live blues performers waft through the air as visitors nosh on barbecue, jerk chicken, and other down-home favorites supplied by local eateries. Visitors can showcase their own culinary skills by helming grills during barbecue competitions, or highlight their stomachs’ capacity without undergoing embarrassing public x-rays during pie- and rib-eating contests. Carnival-style entertainment rounds out the festivities, ranging from a mechanical bull to inflatables for tots.
Wide, high-arched windows usher sunlight into a dining room anchored by brick columns and a brick fireplace. Behind the dark wood bar, bottles and taps spill craft beers whose names bedeck a chalkboard menu. Under a constellation of speakers suspended from the ceiling, diners chow down on slices of gourmet pizza. John Dough's signature is the fresh clam pizza, a white pie decorated with littleneck clams that the chef shucks to order after fishing them from olive oil seas. Classic margherita, chicken pesto, and sausage and hot oil pizzas also sail out of the restaurant's oven, while custom pies show off a customer's choice of toppings.
Rookies Sports Club performs a full-court press on the senses, sporting a menu with a mouthwatering array of grilled and fried snacks and displaying 10 television screens that allow fans to survey the scores around the league. The whole baseball squad or the Russian Olympic go-kart shot-putters can share an order of 50 Rookies signature wings ($38), swaddled in a choice of eight sauces. The Bronx Bomber steak burger creates a favorable matchup against offensive hunger pains, boasting a lineup of chopped sirloin, caramelized onions, applewood bacon bits, and blue cheese ($15.99). Rookies Sports Club also stocks a frosty collection of craft beers for a postgame celebration/commiseration, from the Belgian Gulden Draak Triple Ale to the coppery Keegan Ales Hurricane Kitty IPA. While nursing a glass of Black Dog Ale, guests can listen to sports commentators pontificating over their choice of game from a set of cordless speakers.
In 2012, the Bluefish became the first team in Atlantic League history to reach 1,000 victories. It was a huge milestone for a franchise that today, stands as one of only two remaining charter teams throughout the entire league. The 'Fish initially brought baseball back to Park City in 1998, and advanced to the league championship series in a losing effort. A year later, though, they returned with their first league title after defeating the Somerset Patriots.
The team's early success established a winning tradition–in fact, the Bluefish didn't suffer their first losing season until their eighth year of existence. Winning hasn't been the only tradition in Bridgeport, however. The Bluefish battle the Long Island Ducks every season for the Ferry Cup, trying to establish regional supremacy on the baseball diamond instead of by firing a barrage of used baseballs across the Long Island Sound.
LA Boxing’s fight-centric gyms ditch the polished look of wood-floored workout studios for gritty, competitive spaces filled with 150-pound punching bags and intense workouts. Like a baker molding gingerbread men, LA Boxing sculpts six-packs with boxing, kickboxing, and mixed-martial-arts classes. Although instructors and students agree that the gym’s atmosphere may enkindle intimidation in first-time attendees, most experience boosted self-confidence after conquering their first class. Private training sessions further stoke courage with workouts that leave patrons with the exhilaration of having survived 12 rounds in the ring or five minutes in a high-school lunchroom.