In 1997, Chef Hok Chin moved to New York City from Hong Kong, where he’d been in training with some of the city’s finest chefs since age 14. Though his culinary talents were already formidable, the ambitious young chef faced a hurdle he couldn’t simply spatula himself over: the English language. Undaunted, he headed back to work the humblest kitchen positions and scrabbled his way back to the top at establishments such as Tavern on the Green, The Mark Hotel, and most recently, La Caravelle. In 2010, the multinational gourmet teamed up with nightlife impresario Brian Rosenberg, and the duo’s new venture, Sugar Dining Den and Social Club, drove Joanne Starkey of the New York Times to rave, “The food is delicious—much better than it has to be—and the service is excellent.”
Something between a nightclub and a fine-dining establishment, Sugar immediately immerses its guests in a world of bright lights, pulsing beats, and an arrestingly modern architectural scheme that sets a decorative forest of tree branches beneath a looming vaulted ceiling. After a dinner of gourmet fusion cuisine, such as Pacific Rim skirt steak with green chili potatoes and hand-cut sweet potato fries with maple-chipotle barbecue sauce, the eating area transforms into a dance floor soundtracked by some of today’s most popular DJs. The cocktail list keeps the party rolling late into the night with charmingly titled offerings such as the Black and White Cookie and the Swedish Fish.
Staffed by experienced golfing professionals and computers who’ve sworn allegiance to the three laws of golfing robotics, GolfTEC’s motion sensors and high-speed cameras monitor swings and break down each individual’s form on a high-definition video display. Sensors chirp with approval whenever they detect the perfect stroke or an especially witty golfing joke. GolfTEC’s certified personal coaches will point out flaws and strengths while providing golfers with tips on how to permanently improve their game from tee to green.
Cultural Arts Playhouse has been fostering the development of up-and-coming actors for more than 15 years. At its Musical Theatre and Acting Academy, students from 1st–12th grade hone their on-stage skills by taking classes on singing, acting, and improvisation under the tutelage of an experienced teacher. Kids get to show off these skills in full theatrical productions, with main-stage shows opening up auditions to the entire community so people can see their neighbors' acting chops and dusted-off fake skulls. Cultural Arts Playhouse alumni have found success in New York and throughout the country, appearing in HBO's The Sopranos, and such Broadway productions as Les Miserables and Aladdin.
Whether just entering the world of dance or already a seasoned performer, students are in good hands when they step into one of American Theater Dance Workshop's studios. The faculty boasts professional dancers and choreographers with backgrounds on Broadway and in well-known ballet companies. Some have even starred in films, as is the case for instructor Leslie Browne, who garnered an Academy Award nomination for her role in 1978's The Turning Point. There's one other professional artist you'll find in most classes: a pianist, who plays live music during the lessons. Aside from ballet, the studio teaches other dance disciplines, including musical theater, tap, and modern.
Unlike fashion trends, one-hit-wonders, and tattoos that say “I voted for Nixon,” flat stomachs and well-defined muscles never go out of style. Fueled by Joseph Pilates's core-focused philosophy and signature workout regimen, the certified instructors at A Body in Balance Pilates Studio strive to keep abs and limbs toned, leading group classes, private sessions within a mirrored studio stocked with row after row of reformer machines and other equipment, and preparing new instructors for BASI Pilates certification. When not helping beginner- and advanced-level students increase their muscle definition and balance, the staff spends its time and money donating to national and local organizations such as Three Square, Positively Kids, Woman’s Club of Summerlin and local schools.
The sultry air in Hot Yoga 4 You Carle Place's studio sinks deep into muscles, wrapping around limbs and permeating joints, warming bodies in preparation for 60 minutes of spectacularly challenging yoga. Students of all fitness levels either learn or perfect the 26 poses and two breathing exercises as an instructor guides each standing or seated motion with demonstration, verbal cues, and physical adjustments. While the intense heat may cause new students to feel a little lightheaded and long for the return of January during their first class, over time, practicing in elevated temperatures helps safely loosen muscles for balances, twists, and binds while expelling harmful toxins from the body through sweating.