It’s a common sight, even among the pros: a golf ball soars cleanly off the face of a mid-iron, seemingly on track to hit the green and trickle up close to the hole for an easy birdie putt. However, instead of bouncing forward when it lands, the pitch of the green’s front lip causes it to roll backwards onto the fairway. This feature of the green is called a false front, named for the way it tricks golfers into thinking it’s a safe landing zone, when in fact it returns golf balls back toward the player like an industrial-grade pop-a-shot.
Players at Rondout Golf Club, situated deep in the Catskill Mountains, should be wary of this course feature when they line up their approaches at the each of the 18 undulating greens. A strategic play is to aim several yards ahead of the nearest fringe, and then feign surprise while opponents’ shots are sucked back into the fairway or nearest black hole. Off the greens, the course showcases a stunning layout of frequent elevation changes, mature tree-lines, and intersecting waterways.
After challenging rounds on the picturesque course, players can retreat to Ivan’s Restaurant to enjoy drinks, burgers, sandwiches, and salads while gazing out at the Shawangunk Ridge and the Mohonk Mountain House tower.
Course at a Glance:
The licensed, FAA-certified instructors at United Aviation Academy employ a fleet of helicopters and airplanes that serve as airborne classrooms for students enrolled in instructional programs that range from introductory flights to full commercial-pilot certifications. Since the academy does not reside at a busy airport, students never have to wait for runway clearance before taking off and enjoying the magnificent views of the Hudson Valley from on high. On the ground, the academy grants its pilot's license candidates access to instruction, conference rooms, and offices for quiet study and uninterrupted experiments with paper airplane folding. The outfit's Redbird FMX flight simulator also allows for highly realistic earthbound practice within a fully enclosed cockpit, complete with more than 200 degrees of wraparound visuals and a wealth of training scenarios.
Despite their determinedly of-the-moment sound, Redfoo and Sky Blu are carrying on a long pop lineage: the former is Motown founder Berry Gordy's son, the latter his grandson. As red-hot electropop duo LMFAO, the uncle-nephew pairing electrifies dance floors with manic odes to party life. The 2012 Sorry for Party Rocking tour explodes with fan favorites such as "Party Rock Anthem" and newer hits such as "Sexy and I Know It," which has a bouncy swagger that dominated the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 28 weeks. Meanwhile, the band parades in neon animal prints amid backup dancers, bobbing beneath giant robot heads, tossing inflatables into the crowd, and creating a spectacle Metro Weekly calls "enormously entertaining."
Massachusetts and New York metalheads get a sprawling double dose of tough and untamed hard rock as the Eat Your Heart Out Festival 2012 takes two states by storm in one marathon weekend. Touted as one of the “spring festivals worth attending” by Alternative Press, Eat Your Heart Out touts a buoyant lineup of international thrashers, with headlining performances from metallurgists Attack Attack! each night. The first day of the festival takes place at the three-stage live venue of Tuxedo Junction in Danbury, Massachusetts, where 14 hardcore metal and screamo acts such as Chunk! No, Captain Chunk!, Our Last Night, and That’s Outrageous blaze through merciless sets that shake eardrums for milk money.
Deep in a lush corner of the Catskill Mountains, there’s a silence that’s almost palpable. After your ears adjust to the lack of city life, you can hear the sounds of nature creeping in: rustling leaves, chirping birds, and the slow breathing of retreat-goers guiding their limbs into therapeutic poses as a yoga instructor looks on. This is a common scene at Sivananda Ashram Yoga Ranch, an Ayurvedic escape founded in 1974 on 77 acres of countryside. Surrounded by organic vegetable patches, flower gardens, and trees full of homegrown yoga mats, visitors find it easy to immerse themselves into the healing studies of the ranch’s multiday programs.
As the sun peeks over the mountains and each day begins, practitioners gather at the Krishna temple to chant, meditate, and listen to a lecture. What follows—depending on the retreat—is a combination of yoga classes, guest lectures and workshops, and meditation sessions. Some retreats are weekend getaways for yoga civilians, and others focus on yoga-teacher training, permaculture, and Native American spirituality. Throughout all programs, hiking opportunities abound.
Visitors stay in dorm- or private apartment-style accommodations, and join fellow guests at 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. for vegetarian meals based on yogic and Ayurvedic nutrition. Ingredients are organic, as local and seasonal as possible, and free from chemical preservatives and underripe twinkies. To soothe their minds and muscles after a day of strenuous work, visitors can also take in a view of the mountains from inside the ranch’s wood-burning banya-style sauna.
More than thirty years ago, Patricia and Jack Baldwin plunged the stakes of their first vineyard into the fertile soil of their newly purchased parcel of land. By 1985, the couple was hard at work building the foundation for what was becoming a successful microwinery and began to create a many different varietals, from their velvety chardonnay to their tart black-raspberry wine. Today, the vineyard produces more than 15 wines, including its beloved strawberry wine, which has won Best Fruit Wine at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition several times. Baldwin Vineyards also sponsors a Strawberry, Chocolate & Wine Festival, which showcases the pairing of its wines with desserts during tastings, tutorials, and big-budget reenactments.