It took Joel Russ ten days to travel from Germany to Ellis Island by boat in 1907, and that was the easy part. The 22-year-old Russ had arrived in America to help support his older sister's family, which he began doing by selling strings of Polish mushrooms, carrying them on his shoulders until he had saved up enough money for a pushcart. Next, he upgraded to a horse and wagon, and by 1914, he had enough funds to open a store. Dubbed "Russ's Cut Rate Appetizers", the store specialized in selling the cold appetizers known in Yiddish as "forshpayz": among them salt-cured salmon and herring. In 1920, he moved to East Houston Street, where the shop still stands today. During this period, he also became the father of three daughters who began working in the shop after school and on weekends, and in 1933, the store was renamed Russ & Daughters––widely regarded as the first business to ever use "& Daughters" in its name. Nearly 100 years later, the shop is owned and staffed by fourth-generation Russ family members, and has been recognized by The Smithsonian Institute as "a part of New York's cultural heritage". One of the last traditional appetizing stores on the Lower East Side, the business is considered by most to be much more than a beloved grocery: it's a preserver of the culture of the city's Eastern European Jewish Immigrants. Smoked and cured salmon is still sliced by hand, while bagels are rolled by hand and baked in an old-fashioned revolving oven. When ¬New York Magazine asked world-traveling chef Anthony Bourdain to name the best meal he's ever eaten in New York, the Travel Channel host said simply, "bagel, nova, cream cheese at Russ & Daughters. Not just the best, but 'ours'." Beyond the traditional bagel toppers, today's customers find gourmet delights such as cinnamon or chocolate babka, homemade chopped herring salad with granny smith apples, and handmade macaroons dipped in dark chocolate. Russian-style blini's make the perfect vessel for any of Russ & Daughter's high grade, hand-packed caviars, which are still sourced the old-fashioned way: by waiting patiently next to the fish's nests.
The Gowanus Print Lab is a community screen printing studio established in October of 2010 in the Gowanus neighborhood in Brooklyn. Their goal is to create a nurturing artist community by providing exhibition space for emerging artists, affordable access to tools and a workspace, and education through design and screenprinting labs.
In the screenprinting labs, the teachers demonstrate how to make single- and multi-color prints before helping students customize T-shirts, totes, and even shoes with personal designs. Sometime they have group exhibitions and additional art classes. In the nearby Mac computer lab, they help students master complex software ranging from Photoshop to the sound-editing program Pro Tools.
Sometimes, the staff tailors their programs to youths with interactive summer workshops, or caters to a more adult crowd with monotype sessions featuring live models and beer. A week-long DIY wedding workshop even helps betrothed couples create all the paper goods for their big day. For the truly dedicated artist, they offer memberships with unlimited facilities access and private studio and individual equipment rentals.
Choreographing the much-beloved tango scene in Scent of a Woman is a shining point on anyone's resum?. For Paul Pellicoro, it is one of many distinctions awarded to him and his staff of professional dance instructors at DanceSport, the go-to studio for Latin and ballroom dance. Their choreography and performance work has graced the diverse sound and theater stages of The Today Show, A River Runs Through It, and the Harlem Jazz Dance Festival, among many others. Their lessons have benefited Chris Cuomo and Good Morning America anchors Diane Sawyer and Robin Roberts.
Rousing group classes take place across nine air-conditioned studios, each one outfitted with a wood-sprung floor carved from an oak tree wearing a tutu. Whether leading these sessions, helping couples prepare their wedding dance, or contributing to charitable causes such as Gilda's Club, Big Brothers Big Sisters, or Night For Ni?os, DanceSport's sure-footed staff flourishes with skill, patience, and compassion.
Inside the kitchen at Gramma Mora’s, cooks flip sizzling shrimp and assemble four-cheese enchiladas, preparing succulent entrees that earned the restaurant the title of Best Tex-Mex Eatery in Buffalo from the readers of Artvoice in 2011. Seated at tables inset with tile, diners can taste dishes made from century-old recipes passed down through the Mora family. A vibrant mural of a Mayan pyramid in a lush jungle decorates one wall, next to guests consuming pork smothered in green-chili sauce or steak chimichangas. Caramel-glazed flan and lime margaritas provide notes of sweetness for diners who otherwise would have had to carry scoops of ice cream to the table in their pockets.
When she's not wrangling her three kiddos, Rachele Maier shares her talents and experience as a pole dancer. The proud mom began practicing pole in 1991 and immediately embraced its graceful movements and tummy-toning effects. Today, she owns and operates her own pole-dancing fitness studio—Tangent's Pole Aerobics—where she draws from her years of practice and certification in fitness training to lead a variety of instructional and fitness-based classes.
Her oldest daughter's artwork speckles the walls of her spacious studio, where she leads students through pole-dancing tricks, transitions, and techniques on nine 12-foot poles. She also conducts classes in theatrical dance, lap dancing, and floor routines along the studio's hardwood floors. During her private instructional parties, she dims the lights and turns on the strobes, making students feel like they're strutting their stuff in a club or the coolest library of all time.
Most caterers focus on food, but the crew at Tim's Classic Bartending believes the party is really at the bar. Specializing in beverages and alcohol services, the Tim’s staff assist with all stages of the event-planning process with a vast array of services, ranging from dishwashers and TIPS-certified bartenders for hire to cocktail consultations, cocktail hostesses, table wine service, hookah stations, and wine tastings with sommeliers. Tim's organizes many different party packages for events such as weddings, corporate events, private parties, and special occasions.