Stepping into Duane Park is like stepping back in time. Inside the turn-of-the-century dining room, chandeliers from a Louisiana plantation sprinkle light on the scene below, where visitors sip on handcrafted cocktails and clean their invisible monocles. On stage, a roster of featured entertainers ranging from crooners to sultry sirens belts out ballads from the past seven decades?including tunes from the American songbook and current hits.
Of course, no show is complete without Duane Park's scantily clad burlesque performers, who sashay throughout the room to a chorus of "oohs" and "ahhs" from the crowd. Amidst the entertainment, visitors can dive into the venue's elegant cuisine, too, which ranges from grilled filet of branzino to southern ribs.
Within the multihued walls of Kidville’s indoor playland, tykes expand their minds, network with members of their peer group, and deplete their vast energy reserves. Babies, toddlers, and kids 6 or younger delve into classes developed by Kidville’s early-childhood-development gurus. Burgeoning Beethovens can swivel their hips, flex their sing-along muscles, and edit their massive music manuscripts during one of Kidville’s music and dance classes, or enlist in one of the art classes to create a piece that captures their inner rage toward broccoli. Fun and fit gym classes let tots run, roll, and hover through gauntlets of plush blocks and spongy play mats. Clasping hands and scampering legs can also roam freely through Kidville’s sprightly indoor playspace, though all munchkins must be supervised by a parent, guardian, or trustworthy primate.
Like most good ideas, Gymboree Play and Music didn't begin in a business meeting?it began out of necessity. In 1976, Joan Barnes, a California mom, found herself frustrated with the lack of spaces where she could take her kids for safe and age-appropriate play time. Knowing that other parents were undoubtedly feeling the same frustration, she took matters into her own hands and founded Gymboree Play and Music. She consulted experts to design a curriculum of activities to foster the development of children?s cognitive, physical, and social skills through structured play. She hired a nationally renowned playground designer Jay Beckwith to design the proprietary play equipment at her centers. And her staff began conducting entertaining classes covering subjects ranging from music to sports to impart valuable lessons of imagination and physical activity to developing minds. As their children learned and socialized, parents also found benefit in meeting and befriending other moms and dads in their local area. More than 30 years later, her vision has proved to be a success: more than 712 child-centered franchises now spread over 42 countries, bringing confidence and creativity to thousands of youngsters in several continents and to one in the center of the earth.
In tandem with Real Pilates experienced instructors, published Pilates book author Alycea Ungaro helps students hone strength and flexibility during mat- and machine-based classes. Some of Alycea's clients include established celebrities such as Madonna, Uma Thurman, and Robocop, but her experience as a licensed physical therapist and certified prenatal specialist allow her to coach students of all abilities and fitness levels. Rows of specialized Pilates equipment line the mirrored walls of Real Pilates's airy practice space, where instructors lead various exercise routines to sculpt long, lean physiques that eschew the need for performance-enhancing spinach pills.
At Modern Martial Arts NYC, a team of instructors leads classes in kickboxing and krav maga, helping students of all ages and skill levels increase strength and burn calories. The intensive sessions teach students the formal aspects of each style and utilize strength training with cardio intervals to sculpt muscles and melt away inches. With an emphasis on individualized attention, classes focus on fitness, kickboxing techniques, and self-defense to help pupils fight off the cheeseburgers that try to invade their mouths.
Yoga and Pilates in Tribeca?formerly 'Do Yoga Do Pilates'?was founded in 2008 by Elisa Chen, who strived to create an eco-friendly space where students could further their mental and physical prowess. Though Chen has since left the studio, the same team of certified instructors helps each patron reach his or her fitness goals by offering a robust repertoire of yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and under-the-table bribes. The studio?s more than 30 weekly classes are designed at an open level, so that students of all skill levels and ability can keep up amid the studio's soothing lemongrass-hued walls and burnished hardwood floors.
The studio shares its space with Hip + Fit Kickboxing, run by a Brooklyn-born black belt and indie rapper. She helps students build muscle tone and lose weight with weekly bootcamp classes that blend cardio fitness moves with martial arts technique. Classes take place at one of two locations: Tribeca or the Upper West Side.