For many, the depths of the world's oceans and lakes are places so unfamiliar they might as well be on another planet. For the team of experienced, thrill-seeking instructors at Adventure Scuba, however, they're just another place to explore. With one of these coaches for each three to four students on a pool dive, the PADI Five-Star IDC center leads any student aged 10 years and older into the underwater world through various classes focused on hands-on instruction. A PADI open-water certification course uses the controlled environment of the center's 90 degree pool to introduce basic equipment use and techniques, giving students the skills necessary to continue their training in local waters or recreate Jacques Cousteau's bachelor party.
In the warmer months, the center also offers a range of specialty dive certifications, such as advanced and rescue diving; it also hosts year-round classroom courses in Enriched Air Diving, CPR and first aid. Though Adventure Scuba provides much of its training equipment to students at no additional cost, its dive shop sells essential diving gear by manufacturers such as Oceanic, Henderson and ScubaPro.
Owner Doug Gatanis and his business partner Zach Rubin both spent years playing soccer as youths, but it wasn’t until the pair met through a local soccer coach they realized their mutual plight: there were no serious soccer retailers operating in New York. That simple motivation has led to Upper 90 Soccer and Sport, the Upper West Side’s premier soccer outfitter and home of all things futbol. The store opened in September 2009 and has quickly expanded to two other locations, with the original Amsterdam Avenue location stocking all manner of soccer footwear, equipment and apparel, including professional team jerseys. Upper 90 even boasts flat screen TVs that constantly show games, and invites their regulars to grab a chair to catch the action themselves.
Considered by many to be one of the top club fitters in the country, New York Golf Center wears the green jacket when it comes to golf retailers in New York City. One of the three branches in Manhattan, this Herald Square shop stocks all the equipment, clothing and accessories you could ever need for hitting the links. Just step through the glass doors under the green-and-white awning and let the helpful staff take charge. New York Golf Center is also the city’s only authorized dealer of Miura clubs, forged one-by-one in Japan with the same ancient steelmaking techniques used in samurai swords. Fittings can be booked ahead of time and clubs tested on the store’s putting green and simulators.
Located inside a doorman apartment building on the Upper East Side, Yorkville Tennis Club hosts matches in climate-controlled luxury. A bubble protects the two full-sized courts year-round, ensuring guests' comfort as they serve and volley atop the same Deco Turf used in the U.S. Open. Locker rooms with showers make it easy to clean up after a match, and a small pro shop with racquet-stringing services helps keep equipment in shape. Pee-wee leagues and youth classes help kids ages 3 to 17 build tennis skills, self confidence, and healthy bodies; for older students, private lessons and adult clinics offer a chance to master specific techniques under expert instruction.
A 2013 Talk of the Town award-winner, Samar Spa makes a fashion statement with a sleek, white interior accented by popping red hues. The futuristic, minimal décor includes a pod-like receptionist station and mirror as well as shampoo bowls managed by robot butlers who will happily wax eloquent on the spa's offerings, from Coppola Keratin Complex Smoothing Therapy to mani-pedis, Guinot facials, and threading. Owner Samar Elsayegh and her team continually pursue further education in the beauty industry to stay abreast of its ever-evolving techniques.
Since 1969, Uncle Sam's Army Navy Outfitters has been importing fatigues and accessories from the military branches of more than 26 countries. Russian gas masks, Canadian desert boots, and WWII-era British army helmets sit alongside an inventory of brand-new outdoor gear, including GPS units, tents, and sleeping ponchos. All these utilitarian collectibles occupy a cavernous 400,000-square-foot warehouse designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, who was a prominent celebrity pacifist.:m]]