Aromas of saffron rice, melting manchego cheese, and oxtail drift into the two-level dining area as chef Ricardo Cardona prepares Dominican fusion fare in the kitchen. Cardona helms six restaurants, including Hudson River Cafe, Sofrito, 809, Sazon, and Manolito's, and Mama Juana in New York and Florida, in addition to hosting Que Comemos Hoy, a cooking show for the Dominican Republic. His Nuevo Latin cooking style has drawn celebrities to his restaurants including Chief Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor, Marc Anthony, Jennifer Lopez, the New York Yankees, and Oscar de la Renta. At Gabbana, Cardona develops his own interpretation of Dominican fare, crafting dishes such as the calamari with creole tomato sauce and lemon garlic aioli, or the Chilean sea bass with a papaya ginger glaze, and noting that "anybody can cook rice and beans—what I try to do is I try to invent something that's never been done before."
In the dining room, metallic pendant lamps cast a warm glow over hardwood floors, exposed brick walls, and a wooden stair case leading up to the second-floor dining area, where leather booths sit under timber ceilings. Stationed behind the smooth stone counter top of the fully stocked bar, which houses an extensive selection of rums and wines from Latin America and Spain, bartenders mix craft cocktails while DJs spin tunes to match the satisfied samba of chomping teeth.
"Tough, but doable." That's how ACE- and AFAA-certified trainer Tara Faye described her teaching style to GoRecess Playground in July 2012, nearly two months after becoming the sole owner of PNT Fitness. There, she and her staff lead high intensity and high energy classes such as Insane Kickbox Camp, Sweat Shop, and A Vicious Cycle, which uses Schwinn stationary bikes. For more communal workouts, they also host a monthly Workout & Wine class that allows exercisers to hang out with their classmates and bench-press barrels of wine after class, a feature that got the class a shout out as one of CBS New York's 6 Best Fitness Classes for a New Year's Resolution. And although PNT Fitness' group classes have received most of the press, the studio also offers personal training that includes nutrition counseling, toning, and agility training as part of a personalized training program.
Heavy bags the size of tree trunks hang from the ceiling of Urban Jungle’s indoor workout room. Along with the pull-up bars that stretch across the space like steely vines, they do the gym’s name justice and make for an effective—if sometimes grueling—workout. Brick walls and a spray-painted logo also contribute to the gym’s urban aesthetic, though students hardly have time to reflect on the decor as they advance through a series of pushups, dips, and pull-ups. The team of trainers designs each fitness program with functional muscle movements in mind, and each of their three-week boot-camp challenges draws on up to 1,000 of those dynamic motions to make every aspect of urban life easier, from sprinting after cabs to lifting them over traffic jams.
Trainers also prepare bodies for self-defense with martial-arts classes that extract the practical fitness elements from weapon- or hand-based fighting disciplines. Three different methods of the Atienza Family System—a Filipino martial art—teach students how to deal with multiple attackers, and cardio-kickboxing classes draw on the principles of muay thai kickboxing to strike fear into calories.
Reflecting the diverse scope and scale of science itself, the exhibits at the New York Hall of Science range from massive NASA rockets to holographic depictions of the infinitesimal atom. Originally built for the 1964 World's Fair to showcase technological advancements, the center has since transformed into an interactive museum that, since 1986, has seen more than 7 million visitors. Today, more than 450 interactive exhibits invite visitors of all ages to explore the world by watching living microbes thrive and evolve in a miniscule zoo, discovering the powerful mathematics hidden in everyday objects, and testing their understanding of physics and Plutonian trash talk on a mini-golf course inspired by the cosmos.
K2 Boxing Club's professional and IBF-rated trainers condition their students for healthy lifestyles and help them develop skills for bouts in the squared circle. They help hone fitness or sparring skills during one-on-one training sessions and group fitness classes, including their boot-camp sessions that merge interval and strength training. During fight-based fitness, guests can either jog while arguing with each other about Plato or participate in MMA classes that dive into the grappling strategies used by UFC fighters. The onsite boxing ring hosts sparring matches, during which any student can improve his or her skills against a real opponent rather than shadow boxers or borrowed art-museum sculptures. But it's not just about the physical skills students learn—the club's friendly family atmosphere aims to shoo away the intimidation factor from classes.
Colorful lights, live music, and the smell of churrasco beckon passersby into Andres Carne De Tres, where chefs recreate the bold flavors of South America. Appetizers, such as empanadas dunked in a housemade sauce and guacamole made tableside, kick off meals before the real treat: platefuls of pork loin, skirt steak, chicken, ribs and fresh seafood—all cooked Colombian style. Patrons can order their own individual helpings from the menu—which includes items such as paella and chicken-and-mushroom crepes—or share a Tejarrilla Andres platter packed with enough Colombian chorizo and smoked pork ribs for two people or one pet bear. As the night rolls on, the dance floor tempts guests out of their seats with neon lights and live music crooned from a nearby stage.