Throughout the game, fans cheer and jeer from the lofty chairback or close-to-the-action bench sections of the 17,000-capacity Robert K. Kraft Field while watching Manhattan’s only NCAA Division I football team take on the Yale Bulldogs. After helping the team post four or more wins in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1997–98, six-year Head Coach Norries Wilson has stacked this year’s roster with top-notch student-athletes. Junior quarterback and First-Team All-Ivy selection Sean Brackett puts both his brawn and his education to good use, whispering Sartre quotes into opponents’ ears to make them question the meaning of existence instead of his receivers’ complex routes. Senior defensive back and fellow captain Ross Morand shouts out orders on the other side of the ball, anchoring the defense with his drive-killing plays and apologizing to referees when his fellow Lions accidentally maul the football.
Ann Kamhi Toran credits Pilates practice with saving her dancing career. After a major back injury threatened her ability to continue performing, Ann devoted herself to Pilates, and the exercises helped rehabilitate her body so effectively that she was eventually promoted to soloist after recovering. Although she stopped professionally dancing more than 20 years ago, Ann still practices Pilates daily.
Ann’s husband, Dr. Errol Toran, also is a believer in the rejuvenating capabilities of Pilates, and he suggested it to his chiropractic patients, incorporating the exercises into their physical rehabilitation. Together, Ann and Dr. Toran decided to create a studio that shared these benefits with the general public, introducing the time-honored exercise techniques that improve posture and build lean, toned muscles.
The studio boasts four locations throughout the New York area, each featuring an arsenal of traditional Pilates equipment. The signature apparatus, the Reformer, generates gentle resistance with a system of springs, pulleys, and miniature black holes. Students push and pull against this resistance while performing sequences of relatively simple movements that require unwavering mental focus to maintain the ideal technique and alignment. By emphasizing controlled, quality movements over flailing your body against a boulder, Pilates exercises can evenly tone muscles across the entire body, with a particular emphasis on the core muscle groups.
Ann and Dr. Toran encourage their instructors to take initiative when leading classes and tailor the pacing or sequence to accommodate students, but each studio does host sessions for particular skill levels. Introductory and Level 1 classes work to develop form and technique, whereas the more advanced sessions begin to include modified exercises or long-division flashcards to ensure a more challenging workout.
For more than a decade, Abrakadoodle—a national mobile art-education program that has earned praise from Nickelodeon and other kid-centric organizations—continues to host children's art classes, camps, and parties that help young ones along their learning paths. Bringing art education wherever it’s needed, Abrakadoodle’s team of instructors transforms local spaces, such as community centers, into informative classrooms where students aged 20 months–12 years learn to expand their creativity and imagination. Each age-appropriate class focuses not only on teaching a range of techniques such as painting, foil embossing, and mosaics but is also is designed to help kids build confidence and sharpen academic skills. With those goals in mind, the program determines each child's progress not by what the child creates but rather by what they've learned, which the team calls Process Art.
When not actively inspiring youngsters during art classes, Abrakadoodle’s team offers camps that engage young minds with educational field trips and musical games. The program’s art parties also offer an artistic way to celebrate birthdays, kindergarten graduations, and baby's first time saying the alphabet in pig Latin.
ReBar celebrates one of the grandest trinities in the American tradition: burgers, beer, and live music. Starting with 10-ounce Angus beef patties, cooks customize burgers to diners' specifications, or whip up one of their own from a succinct list of specialty burgers. Of course, a dish doesn't have to be a slab of beef between bread to make their menu. Cooks also branch out with Southern-style pulled pork and eight-ounce ribeyes, and roasted pork sandwiches with broccoli rabe and sharp provolone. To wash it all down, they turn things over to bartenders, who pour drafts of everything from a selection of 20 craft brews such as Brooklyn Lager and Magic Hat #9 to good ol' Pabst Blue Ribbon. Although ReBar's patio is open for both lunch and dinner, evening meals are often punctuated by musical performances from local bands who enhance the bar's all-American eats with the sounds of wailing electric guitars and rhythms synced to the hoofbeats of Paul Revere's ride.
JCM Baseball Academy fosters the game's future stars under the guidance of owner Justin McKay—an assistant coach at Fairleigh Dickinson University who, in 2012, played a major role in leading the team to its best record since 1994. McKay has recruited a staff of fellow Division I–level coaches and players that, together, run numerous programs and camps throughout the year. The JCM's junior- and high-school camps, for instance, focus on the skills and mechanics required to play each position on the field, and also emphasize the importance of remembering to enjoy the game. The camps unfold at FDU's Naimoli Family Baseball Complex, which features state-of-the-art turf to prevent injuries and rival players from planting poison ivy around second base.
In 2004—on a mission to bolster its community’s wellspring of art, creativity, and education—the nonprofit Bergen Performing Arts Center took over the former John Harms Center, an art deco–style movie and vaudeville palace built in 1926. Today, in the same antique theater where Shakespeare screened his first car-chase movie, the Bergen Performing Arts Center hosts 150 yearly events that bring dance, music, and theatrical productions to an estimated 250,000 annual audience members. Networks like HBO, PBS, and MTV all have filmed international broadcasts on Bergen Performing Arts Center’s stage, which has seen the likes of Tony Bennett, Woody Allen, and the Dixie Chicks.