Actor Jamie Hector has made a career playing bad guys: drug lord Marlo Stanfield on The Wire, criminal Benjamin “Knox” Washington in Heroes, and villain Lincoln DeNeuf in Max Payne. The real-life Jamie, however, has a much different agenda. As one of the three founders of Moving Mountains, he draws New York’s inner-city youth off the streets and into the theater in order to steer them away from negative influences, such as bullying, gangs, violence, and substance abuse. He and his team of industry mentors cultivate an ensemble of young performers, musicians, and writers who create original plays and short films that delve deep into their age group’s social issues while spreading strong positive messages. In Moving Mountains’ film studio, mentors train budding directors, photographers, and technicians to create and promote short films and promotional artwork with the aid of industry-standard equipment. The mentors and their most senior students also tackle social problems at the source by traveling to city schools to educate audiences on topics including bullying, sexting, and how to make good choices in education and personal relationships.
NVP Paintball houses healthy competition within 15,000 square feet of indoor arena space. The turf-covered playing field obstructs easy shots with giant inflatable obstacles that shoot up toward 40-foot ceilings. Trained refs monitor all the action, including walk-on play, private parties, and high-noon duels. Elsewhere in the facility, a pro shop vends paintball necessities, and a game room overlooking the field offers additional entertainment.
Players at NVP Paintball wreak colorful havoc across two speedball courses during weekly skirmishes. A massive indoor arena houses the action during winter months, keeping harsh elements and battle-tested yetis away from combatants as they unload paintballs on nearby frenemies. Padded Turf XL flooring simulates the experience of playing on grass, and an upper-level viewing area gives onlookers an overhead view of every match. On the outdoor field, players duck behind strategically placed inflatable covers stationed on blue astroturf. Between matches, players can retire to the pro shop to peruse new equipment or grease their ammo hoppers with nacho cheese from the snack bar.
Operation Milsim Paintball equips sharpshooters for four hours of weekend walk-on play on its 10 acres of outdoor fields. Pretend-mercenaries of all skill levels arm themselves with premium markers, air tanks, masks, and hot air balloon exit strategies before charging onto three fields dubbed TacTown, Bush, and OAS. There, players evade pigment-projectiles as they dodge behind stacks of tires, plywood structures, and abandoned cars, while referees maintain clean, safe games in adherence to Operation Milsim's rules and regulations. Visitors can restock their paintball palettes for an additional cost ($40 for 500 rounds) and check out the company's FAQs before arrival to enhance their experiences.
Soldiers dart across Combat Zone Paintball Park’s grassy outdoor field, fighting for a single, noble purpose: to splatter their opponents with brightly colored paint. To prepare for play, participants can rent gear from an onsite shop, which doles out paintball guns, masks, and CO2 canisters, or bring their own paintballs produced by their malfunctioning bouncy-ball factory.