In 1997, magician Michael Chaut realized that New York—long the haunt of some of the world's most talented magicians—no longer had a live magic venue. Wasting no time, Chaut assembled a super squad of fellow tricksters and illusionists, together creating the weekly showcase Monday Night Magic. Now firmly installed at the intimate Players Theatre, the shows strip away such over-the-top distractions as pyrotechnics and live animals, who generally give away the tricks post-performance anyway. Their shows instead beguile audiences with up-close sleight-of-hand and mental tricks, and also enter the realm of variety-show-style entertainment with jugglers and sword swallowers. During intermissions, the performing magicians take a chance to stroll through the room, hunkering down at lucky audience members' tables to dazzle them with up-close trickery.
Chefs serve Thai dishes to patrons tucked inside the cozy Amarin Café. The cooking staff flavors fried rice with mouthfuls of veggies and chunks of pineapple or shrimp. They plate crispy duck with mashed potatoes, and drop tender chicken pieces and sliced mushrooms inside a creamy coconut-base soup.
Dr. Oleg Lisitsyn, Dr. Diana Ilyasova, and their staff at Pelham Parkway Vision Center provide eyecare services ranging from contact-lens fittings and routine eye exams to diagnosing and treating eye conditions and diseases. Once exams ensure clients' prescriptions are up to date, they can peruse designer frames from brands such as Fendi, Burberry, and Prada.
After touring the world as a Naval Officer, Gear To Go Outfitters founder Kevin Rosenberg moved to New York City and was amazed at how hard it was to track down rental backpacking gear. An avid hiker and outdoorsman, Kevin saw this opportunity and jumped at it. Today, Gear To Go Outfitters rents out high-quality equipment that ranges from backpacks to camp stoves, and delivers it right to the client’s door in an effort to reduce their trip-planning stress.
A survival and navigation expert, Kevin also leads adventures while sharing bits of knowledge he picked up in the Southwestern desert regions, the forests of Costa Rica, and the Appalachian Trail. Kevin is assisted by a team of experienced guides who lead tours that include rock scrambles through the Hudson Highlands, hikes through the Green Mountains of Vermont, voyages through the mountains of Arizona, or plunges into the caverns of one's own imagination.
In 1987, Laura Eackloff, recent podiatry school graduate, took her first knitting class. In 1998, she sold her podiatry practice and opened Gotta Knit!, a knitting center in which she teaches classes along with her partner, Goldie Axelrod. Both experienced in the medical field, their nurturing natures serve their students well, as they support them in learning to craft garments and accessories from yarn. Each year Goldie and Laura fly to knitwear shows in Italy to keep up with the latest trends in shape, color, and style. Once home, they write patterns on request for on-trend garments that fit the customer's body and knitting ability.
The warmth of rustic Old World cooking meets the elegance of modern metropolitan living at Circolo45. Executive Chef Daniele Sicuranza leads the kitchen as he and his team create upscale renditions of iconic Italian comfort foods. Beginning with handmade pastas and locally sourced produce, the chefs forge home-style florentine meatballs as well as dishes that showcase a more refined approach, such as spaghetti with decadent black summer truffles and a whole, salt-crusted branzino served with sautéed vegetables. Surrounded by a setting that features brown leather banquettes, orange and gray walls, and tables custom-built from distressed wood according to The Village Voice, diners can enjoy their meals with a bottle or glass from the restaurant's six-page wine list, which predominantly features Italian producers, yet still includes selections from California, New York, Oregon, and the wine-spewing geysers of Washington State.