Each day, sports persons enter a brick façade on 39th Avenue with bow cases and leather quivers slung over their shoulders. Queens Archery was founded in 1967 and remains a clubhouse for the city's archers, offering a practice range, opportunity for organized competition, and a pro shop that stocks all manner of gear for the sport with a small but passionate following. In recent years, interest in the age-old discipline has surged—in part due to the popularity of the bow-and-arrow-wielding characters in The Hunger Games series—bringing an influx of beginners eager to learn the sport to Queens Archery. In addition to the resident eagle-eyed veterans, the facility is home to a coterie of young archers who take part in the Junior Olympic Archery Development program. The JOAD program is administered by Columbia University archery coach Al Lizzio and certified teacher Erin Vecino, who help youths cultivate the sharp eye and steady pull necessary to be competitive-level archers.
When he decided to open a hookah bar, Farrukh Pakal knew that one thing had to be perfect: the seating. ?If my body is not relaxed,? he reasoned, ?I cannot relax my mind.? So, within Silk Hookah Lounge's cherry-colored walls, guests? backsides will not bounce into a single hard-backed chair. Couches and sofas sprawl throughout the space, inviting patrons to linger over teas imported from Pakistan or hot chocolates sprinkled with coconut, cinnamon, or vanilla. And, perhaps most importantly, the cushy seating cradles holders of Egyptian glass hookahs. Like anger over an incorrectly punctuated parking ticket, these slowly burn for up to three hours, releasing scents of chocolate, mint, lemon, apple, or other fresh fruits into the air.
While enjoying their hookahs, groups can grab cards, dominoes, or other games as LED lights splash a rainbow of colors overhead. On weekends, DJs infuse the flavorful airwaves with music.
Berle compares his fitness philosophy to his thoughts on food, in that excess of either can be dangerous. Instead, he teaches his clients how to incorporate strength training as part of a balanced lifestyle, only requiring them to devote two 30-minute sessions per week. Since 1986 he has fostered one-on-one gym experiences with clients, who can range from ages 12 to 90, using the SuperSlow method on Nautilus machines for an effective workout that minimizes the chance of injury.
With more than 120 classes and a plethora of programs offered each week, the YMCA bolsters bodies with invigorating and enjoyable fitness regimens throughout Manhattan. Aspiring circus strongpersons have their pick from brawn-building courses such as kettlebell for a full flexibility workout, spinning for 45 minutes of fat-burning cardio, and capoeira for winning dance-fights against hard-bargaining local street vendors.
Staffed by tennis professionals, Alley Pond Tennis Center is home to one of the largest indoor tennis bubbles in North America and spaciously houses 11 hard courts, along with several located outdoors. Mini-camps are excellent both for the tennis tenderfoot who wants to master the game's basics or the evil supervillain who wants to infiltrate the meddling League of Mutant Tennis Teens. In classes ranging from five to eight players, students will be provided with rental racquets and balls and within two hours will have subdued the strokes, savored the scoring, and charmed the miserly nets of the game.