Actor Jamie Hector has made a career playing bad guys: drug lord Marlo Stanfield on The Wire, criminal Benjamin “Knox” Washington in Heroes, and villain Lincoln DeNeuf in Max Payne. The real-life Jamie, however, has a much different agenda. As one of the three founders of Moving Mountains, he draws New York’s inner-city youth off the streets and into the theater in order to steer them away from negative influences, such as bullying, gangs, violence, and substance abuse. He and his team of industry mentors cultivate an ensemble of young performers, musicians, and writers who create original plays and short films that delve deep into their age group’s social issues while spreading strong positive messages. In Moving Mountains’ film studio, mentors train budding directors, photographers, and technicians to create and promote short films and promotional artwork with the aid of industry-standard equipment. The mentors and their most senior students also tackle social problems at the source by traveling to city schools to educate audiences on topics including bullying, sexting, and how to make good choices in education and personal relationships.
A colorful creature soars high above Rocky Point's coastline. Its rainbow sail lifts, dips, and turns over sandy beaches and a blue ocean that stretches as far as the eye can see. The gliders in question belong to GMI Paragliding School, which makes its home along Rocky Point, a site insured by the United States Hang Gliding Paragliding Association. The school’s skilled instructor introduces beginners to the basics of paragliding, which include ground control, monitoring the weather, theory, and techniques to avoid attracting amorous vultures. After mastering beginner skills, new flyers can join Long Island Paragliding Club to pursue dreams of someday touching the sky’s ceiling.
Argentina–born soccer enthusiast Gustavo Szulansky opened Super Soccer Stars to provide the boroughs with a program that championed the personal development of youngsters rather than solely a skill-based focus. Since its debut in 2000, it's grown throughout the city, helping countless youngsters learn teamwork, boost confidence, and decrease arguments during home games played on the dining-room table. This rapid growth is due in part to the positive values Gustavo instilled from the first class. His coaches are carefully selected for their ability to cultivate a noncompetitive, sensitive approach to learning the game, and they dole out their knowledge in both classes and camps.
Super Soccer Star's Kick & Play program features family-friendly classes that help tots 12–24 months old develop pre-soccer skills and physical skill sets simultaneously. During classes, a team of talented and enthusiastic instructors and an athletic duo of puppet friends named Mimi and Pepe buoy budding soccer players with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and the merry clickety-clack of cleated tap dances. Designed with the help of early-childhood specialists, each age-specific class helps players build skills at their own pace with positive reinforcement, individual attention, and engaging original music.
During the Big Apple Beatdown, an all-day roller-derby tournament hosted by the New York Shock Exchange, spectators arrive to the rink with chairs under their arms to watch six notable MRDA teams battle for the National Champion title. Bouts begin at 10 a.m. with the Dallas Deception taking on the Magic City Misfits in a storm of skates, helmets, and trampled 10-gallon hats. Other teams battling for supremacy include the St. Louis GateKeepers, Puget Sound Derby Outcasts, and Pioneer Valley Dirty Dozen. A special women’s game will also be held featuring the Long Island Roller Rebels taking on the Jersey Shore Roller Girls. The championship bout commences at 7:30 p.m., and the day ends with a presentation of medals at 9:15 p.m., where one team is deemed the victor. Matches occur on two separate tracks, allowing smooth transitions between bouts and enough time for padded pros to finish a game of Connect the Bruises.
Film fanatics flock to Cinema Arts Centre to get their fix of foreign, independent, and other hard-to-find flicks. Upcoming attractions include Mao's Last Dancer, Australian filmmaker Bruce Beresford’s inspirational story about a young ballet dancer's climb from poverty to international stardom; Get Low, inspired by the true story of Felix “Bush” Breazeale, and starring Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, and Bill Murray; and Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Public Enemy #1, a thrilling two-part snapshot of France’s most famous gangster, as well as a story about 101 freckled puppies dodging a cruel women in a fur coat. Pair your celluloid eyeball feast with some freshly popped organic popcorn doused with all-natural butter and a fountain soda infused with the fizzy essence of imported giggles.
A comprehensive guide to attractions and things to do.