Ann Kamhi Toran credits Pilates practice with saving her dancing career. After a major back injury threatened her ability to continue performing, Ann devoted herself to Pilates, and the exercises helped rehabilitate her body so effectively that she was eventually promoted to soloist after recovering. Although she stopped professionally dancing more than 20 years ago, Ann still practices Pilates daily.
Ann’s husband, Dr. Errol Toran, also is a believer in the rejuvenating capabilities of Pilates, and he suggested it to his chiropractic patients, incorporating the exercises into their physical rehabilitation. Together, Ann and Dr. Toran decided to create a studio that shared these benefits with the general public, introducing the time-honored exercise techniques that improve posture and build lean, toned muscles.
The studio boasts four locations throughout the New York area, each featuring an arsenal of traditional Pilates equipment. The signature apparatus, the Reformer, generates gentle resistance with a system of springs, pulleys, and miniature black holes. Students push and pull against this resistance while performing sequences of relatively simple movements that require unwavering mental focus to maintain the ideal technique and alignment. By emphasizing controlled, quality movements over flailing your body against a boulder, Pilates exercises can evenly tone muscles across the entire body, with a particular emphasis on the core muscle groups.
Ann and Dr. Toran encourage their instructors to take initiative when leading classes and tailor the pacing or sequence to accommodate students, but each studio does host sessions for particular skill levels. Introductory and Level 1 classes work to develop form and technique, whereas the more advanced sessions begin to include modified exercises or long-division flashcards to ensure a more challenging workout.
The PGA professionals who founded the Garden State Golf Academy understand that even naturally talented players can have trouble fine-tuning their skills without proper training and practice. Their faculty's belief in quality training forms the foundation of every lesson, where teachers help players of all ages and skill levels learn or improve their games through individual or group instruction. They also back their years of knowledge with advanced teaching technologies, including golf simulators that recreate realistic 18-hole rounds of golf complete with changing wind conditions and muffled shouts of "play through." Cameras catch every minute detail of a player’s swing with vivid clarity at 1,000 frames per second, helping instructors point out subtle shifts of the hips and other issues that can impact the shot’s trajectory.
Oak Ale House is an eatery divided in half—one side is a sports bar, and the other is an old-fashioned Italian restaurant. Paintings of Italy hang in the latter section, where families crowd long tables piled high with plates of pasta, pizza, and burgers. The menu unfolds to reveal a mélange of American-Italian staples such as penne in a creamy vodka sauce, and rib-eye steaks that sizzle out the national anthem as they’re cooked. Back in the kitchen, ovens bake thick and thin pizzas to a bubbly golden brown, and grills heat up eight types of hamburgers to sate hamburgervores.
Beyond the guarded border dividing the two establishments lies a sports bar, where frothy brews pour from kegs and live music beckons toes to start tapping. The bar also houses seven flat-screen TVs, billiards, darts, and karaoke on select nights.
ReBar celebrates one of the grandest trinities in the American tradition: burgers, beer, and live music. Starting with 10-ounce Angus beef patties, cooks customize burgers to diners' specifications, or whip up one of their own from a succinct list of specialty burgers. Of course, a dish doesn't have to be a slab of beef between bread to make their menu. Cooks also branch out with Southern-style pulled pork and eight-ounce ribeyes, and roasted pork sandwiches with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. To wash it all down, they turn things over to bartenders, who pour drafts of everything from a selection of 20 craft brews such as Brooklyn Lager and Magic Hat #9 to good ol' Pabst Blue Ribbon. Although ReBar's patio is open for both lunch and dinner, evening meals are often punctuated by musical performances from local bands who enhance the bar's all-American eats with the sounds of wailing electric guitars and rhythms synced to the hoofbeats of Paul Revere's ride.