As a Marine, Mu’ammar Salamae found the strength to hike 25 miles at high elevations weighed down with 80 pounds of gear and swim for six hours from shoreline to island and back with only a 5-minute break in the middle. He wanted everyone to have similar adventures and feel the same sense of accomplishment, so he started Urban LA Boot Camp to share the training techniques that transformed him.
Mu’ammar’s all-outdoor group exercise program runs the gamut from ballet-barre exercise to muay thai kickboxing. On the weekends, he leads endurance runs and hikes, in which participants learn what it’s like to carry heavy gear or an injured sasquatch long distances. He and his instructors also provide one-on-one personal-training sessions and self-defense-focused courses.
Allen and Richard Wattenberg took over the reins at Ross Cutlery in 1964. By that time, the shop was already 34 years old and predominantly dealt with knife-sharpening services. While the brothers and their staff have continued the shop's legacy of fixing up dull knife blades and haircutting tools, they've steadily populated their shelves with professional-grade haircutting tools, sporting knives, collectible swords, and kitchen-cutlery sets from Henckels, Trident, and Forschner. Their 2,300-square-foot shop rests on the ground floor of the Bradbury Building, which is an architectural landmark and the proud father of a rambunctious little parking garage.
After first discovering photography in Manhattan, Xenia Berg globe trots to where the work takes her, currently residing in Germany. Her work and travels occasionally take her back to LA, to collaborate with her friend and active commercial photographer Bryan Alano. Bryan takes time away from clients such as Citibank, Roxy, and Lifestyle Magazine to share insights into lifestyle and wedding photography. Students benefit from Xenia and Bryan's wealth of commercial experience, learning how to navigate lighting instruments, digitally touch-up documents, and reward well-behaved models with caviar-flavored dog biscuits.
The Roy and Edna Disney/CalArts Theater, which the Huffington Post calls “the gold standard of the avant garde in LA,” introduces members to emerging local and international artists with gallery exhibitions and innovative performances in art, music, dance, film, and multimedia. In time for the debut of the 2012 schedule, individual members enjoy a 20% discount on up to two tickets to each of REDCAT’s theatrical productions, which include Lars Jan’s genre-defying Abacus, with high-tech effects and compelling performances that explore media’s persuasive power. With 24 hours’ notice, members can trade in tickets for another date, increasing their chances of catching chats with filmmakers such as William E. Jones, comedy sets by jokesters such as Sandra Bernhard, or recollections of '70s New York by former Yankees shortstop Lou Reed.
Photographer Stuart Townsley uses a trained eye and high-tech equipment to capture memories into frameworthy prints and digital art, using 10 of LA's most attractive landmarks as backdrops. The famed local sites where he sets up camp—such as the roaring Pacific Ocean under Santa Monica Pier or the 1930s architecture and picturesque fountain of Union Station—elegantly complement subjects' smiling visages. His shutter snaps hundreds of times during each photo shoot, immortalizing the faces, poses, and secret handshakes of families and well-behaved pets. Well-versed in state-of-the-art retouching gear, Stuart unfurls his astutely edited creations onto glossy prints, canvases, and online albums.
Stuart's advice on what to wear and bring to shoots, garnered through 12 years of professional experience, conveniently resides online to aid in the selection of appropriate outfits for every mother, father, child, or hamster.