Silk Lounge mixes nature and culture with its sleek yet cozy ambience, spacious patio, carefully crafted libations, and nightly entertainment. Guests seeking solace may retreat to a private booth to puff on a fine cigar ($8+), and revelers seeking a pleasant campfire vibe without rubbing two guitars together until they burst into flames can enjoy company at the patio's fire pit. Meanwhile, more than 20 varieties of single-malt scotch rest on hand to warm bellies, including an Auchentoshan old enough to drink itself (premium drinks are $12). A range of unique Chinese and Japanese wines can greet the tongue ($9 per glass), and a cool beer ($5) crisply complements an appetizer of chicken wings or calamari ($12+).
Luxy 101 puts a glamorous spin on the traditional sports bar. There isn't just one TV––instead, games unfold on 15 high-definition monitors. Likewise, a patron can order one beer, or order 101 different beers thanks to the vast beer selection that lends the bar its name. Mixologist-crafted cocktails complement the brews, delighting palates with liquors ranging from dragonfruit vodka to Bacardi, and mixers spanning pineapple juice to ice cream.
The food is a similar mix of classic American and upscale fare. A burger and fries, for example, means fries made with duck fat and a fresh burger topped with extras such as avocado and blue cheese, or aged gouda and an egg. The pizza is similarly revamped, from the crust––an artisanal flatbread––to the toppings including fig, prosciutto, and arugula.
Bowling is the great social equalizer—a common ground where grizzled undercover clowns, blue-collar English lords, LARPer librarians, big and tall lingerie models, hordes of hive-minded hipsters, and the other two social demographics that comprise America can unite in common cause and topple a gaggle of stuck-up, inanimate wooden pins. Brunswick has been a household name in this egalitarian pastime almost since the beginning, with a company history that dates back to the 19th century, providing classic American good times to all manner of patrons across the country. And with today's Groupon tying the room together, you'll get to play two games (up to a $10.98 value) in its hallowed halls wearing a pair of freshly disinfected bowling shoes (up to a $4.79 value).
Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
The bride stood under the photographer’s lights, resplendent in her wedding gown, as her family looked on from a distance. As she and her photographer, M. Chen, prepared for the shoot, she was handed a package—a prewedding gift from her soon-to-be husband. When she lifted the lid, she immediately burst into tears. Inside laid a photo of a great dane puppy—the dog she’d always wanted, which her husband planned to give her on their wedding day. As she ran to hug her mother, Mr. Chen ran after, shooting image after image, capturing the exact moment she fell into her mother’s arms. These quick reflexes have been honed through his nearly 30 years as a sports photographer and professional fly swatter, and he draws on photojournalistic techniques to compose a traditional portrait or snap once-in-a-lifetime, candid moments.
Regardless of specific approaches, he consistently draws from the landscape style of Ansel Adams and the dramatic lighting techniques of Monte Zucker. His work as a photojournalist and private portrait photographer has earned him more than 300 publications in the glossy pages of New York Daily News, Popular Photography, ESPN Magazine, and Professional Photographers of America magazine. When not snapping on-location engagement shoots, family portraits, or boudoir sessions, he passes on his technique through traveling photography seminars, hands-on workshops, and by gently tapping the heads of his students. Though formerly designed only for professional-level photographers, these classes instill confidence and camera basics in beginners. As he frequently finds new class examples and takes feedback from his students, Mr. Chen frequently fine-tunes the curriculum after each seminar.
Every day since 1989, the bar staff at Group Therapy Pub has accomplished their one main goal: to bring together neighbors in new, fun ways. When guests stroll up to the pub's long bar, they can order a beer from one of the 15 taps or a drink from the wide variety of liquors available. They can then grab a seat and talk with regulars while watching the day's game on the TV or meander over to participate in one of the pub's activities. A pool table sits next to the bar's dart boards, where monthly tournaments and International Dart leagues are held. On weekend evenings, karaoke singers take over the area to belt out renditions of their favorite songs or finally trick their friends into listening to their opinion on the last season of Battlestar Galactica. Though the staff has been consistently cultivating this amiable atmosphere since 1989, they haven't foregone updates. Recently, new chairs, tables, and wood flooring were installed.