Murder mysteries should be anything but silly. That’s the view espoused by Live In Theater Productions, the brainchild of prolific actor and playwright Carlo D'Amore. Eschewing the goofy tone of some other shows, Live In Theater plunges participants into cases that take their immersive details from unsolved, historical murders in New York. Showgoers make their way along the city streets where the real crimes once took place, interrogating actors playing roles ranging from 19th-century Irish slumlords to strung-out 1970s junkies. Each event plays out differently as the amateur sleuths weigh evidence, pursue leads, and finally find some use for their pocket-sized polygraphs, creating a one-of-a-kind adventure that earned a 2012 Drama Desk nomination for Unique Theatrical Experience.
CLOS Wine Bar owner and certified sommelier Mine Ayberk personally chooses every option on the bar's wine list, focusing especially on Old World, single-vineyard wines. As it turns out, Ms. Ayberk's selection has more wines than her bar has seats. With enough space for just under 20 guests, CLOS carries an intimate aura, surrounding visitors with warm tones, handcrafted finishings, and works from local artists. Clambering across the hardwood floors, the CLOS staff doles out specially prepared gourmet plates designed to enhance the wine-drinking experience. But much like its owner, the bar's staff members aren't just shadows in the background: each is a certified sommelier, and each speaks multiple languages. This means guests can enjoy some European pizzazz without having to join a pen-pal program for adults.
Katra steeps revelers in a sleek ambiance inspired by its mantra of “Cocktails. Cuisine. Culture.” Moroccan influences drift from the menu of small dishes—including lamb tagines and merguez sausage—throughout the restaurant, from clutches of delicate tasseled lanterns to banquettes strewn with tiny pillows perfect for five-minute naps between entree and dessert. Cocktails made with Pama pomegranate liqueur and tropical fruits such as lychee and guava flow throughout both levels of the restaurant, from the cozy cabanas upstairs to the lower floor’s DJ booth and couches.
Founded in 1986 as a place for writers and performers to create and develop new work before a live audience, Dixon Place in the Lower East Side steadfastly holds on to its underground spirit, and remains one of New York’s foremost places to watch the creative process in action. Today, the intimate 120-seat theater hosts a diverse program of plays, musicals, dance performances and literary readings by emerging and established artists like Kate Soper, Toni Schlesinger and Marcia Monroe. Dixon Place also hosts similarly experimental art exhibitions in its gallery, alongside film screenings and talks, while musical performances and cabaret take place in the lounge.
Ilana Martin has toured with Barry White, Patti LaBelle, and Stevie Wonder, but she founded Vocal Workout Singing School to do something else: teach. Ilana guides groups, duos, and individuals at this elite and boutique vocal training studio for radio singers. Vocal Workout coaches aim for what Ilana terms a "'me singing' sound". The school's holistic philosophy incorporates awareness of one's mind, body, and spirit, revealing confident tones via a balanced, happy instrument. Forbes and Refinery 29 have each sent their own reporters to work with Ilana, resulting in lighthearted videos that showcase the deft way in which the renowned vocal coach puts nervous pupils at ease.
Thinking of the city rarely calls images of fog-ringed mountains and wolf-filled forests to mind, but Discover Outdoors?formerly known as Outdoor Bound?turns these scenes into reality. Owner, avid outdoorsman, and eight-time marathon runner Kirk Reynolds makes sure of it. He and a staff of experts?each a licensed trail guide and Wilderness First Responder or Wilderness EMT?temper the stress of city living with day trips to nearby natural enclaves and weekend camping excursions. The getaways thrill with activities such as hiking, rock climbing, whitewater rafting, kayaking, and horseback riding.
International trips, meanwhile, quench a thirst for life-defining adventures beyond trips to the grocery store during peak Saturday hours. Among them: hikes up famed Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa, treks to Machu Picchu in Peru, and jaunts through the Canadian Rockies. Some of the journeys even grant travelers the opportunity to fundraise for a worthy cause as they explore.