Deemed "one of the city's leading cultural centers" by New York magazine, the 92nd Street Y has sparked nonprofit projects and engaging performances since its founding in 1874. Centers for art, creative writing, and educational outreach flex the muscles of the mind while the May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport molds physiques on multiple floors of advanced workout arenas. Visitors might ease into a jazz or dance series at the Theresa L. Kaufmann Concert Hall, whose seating accommodates 915 people or 450 musicians on take-your-bassoon-to-work day, or watch a concert and other 92nd Y events from the personal monitors perched on the gym's cardio machines. Eight programming centers, including The School of the Arts, and the May Center for Health, Fitness & Sport interweave lectures, exercise and academic classes for adults and children, film screenings, and long-distance learning into a pursuit of shared wellness. During lectures, such special guests as Bill Gates, Woody Allen, and Bill Clinton have taken the stage to talk about their careers or debut new tap dancing routines.
Warm in winter, cool in summer, and filled with amazing acts in every season, the Big Apple Circus's pair of Italian-made big tops contains the best of several generations' worth of circus traditions. A look at any show's cast finds a complex network of venerable European circus families passing the arts of juggling and trapeze artistry down through the years, while the tents' motors and seating make for a comfortably modern spectator experience.
You might never guess that the troupe started small in 1974, when American circus artists Paul Binder and Michael Christensen joined forces as a juggling act on the streets of Europe. They moved from streetlights to spotlights in a hurry, appearing on the stage of the Nouveau Cirque de Paris, before returning to the U.S. and creating their own not-for-profit circus in 1976 and raising their first tent in New York's Battery Park.
When Ray went to college, he followed in his father's footsteps and studied for a career that would have kept him at a desk all day. But Ray has always been active, and he realized he needed to find a career that would allow him to interact with people. Initially, he trained in physical therapy—but when he discovered athletic training, he knew he'd found his true calling. For more than 13 years, he's dedicated himself to helping people achieve their fitness goals. Now, as the fitness-programming director at Seek Fitness, Ray is passionate about helping members get results with an effective training system. But even as he and his trainers encourage clients to push themselves, they still aim to make classes fun and a little crazy.
Seek Fitness focuses on three types of classes. During Zumba, trainers pump up Latin music, '80s and '90s throwbacks, and current dance hits, then throw themselves into easy-to-follow choreography that gets everyone sweating together as they party away calories. The trainers change up boot-camp routines for each class; on any given day, students might be swinging kettlebells or using TRX suspension bands. Energy-packed Fusion classes are designed to keep students moving for a full 50 minutes, whether they're taking jabs at focus mitts, pummeling punching bags and piñatas, or going through kickboxing combinations. At the end of class, trainers want everyone to be tired and sweaty but liberated from stress and proud of their workout.
Despite spending most of their 125-plus-year history as a minor-league organization, the Bisons began play as a major-league club from 1879–85. All told, nearly 3,000 players and managers have donned the Bisons uniform, including 20 who have been immortalized in the National Baseball Hall of Fame. Currently, the Bisons compete every summer for an International League title, as well as the Thruway Cup—a regional- and bragging rights–based trophy chased by the Bisons, the Rochester Red Wings, and the Syracuse Chiefs. The Bisons have done half of their competing since 1988 at Coca-Cola Field, which boasts the largest video board in the minors and an infield kept moist by hoses that spray water and not soda as the field’s name would suggest.
Led by head coach Jesse Myers, who made several significant player acquisitions before the season, the Rochester Rhinos look to ramp up their scoring prowess for 2012. A member of the USL Pro league, the team incites cheers from loyal fans and whimpers from jostled gophers when playing on its home pitch at Sahlen's Stadium.
One of New York’s first all-girl, flat-track roller-derby leagues, Suburbia Roller Derby fells female athletes for sport during fast-moving bouts. Adrenaline-pumping roller-derby games run as two-minute races, or jams, between two opposing teams and one swiftly roller-skating rabbit. Skating in laps, each team’s point-scoring jammer tries to bust through three oncoming blockers tailed by a pivot player to maintain the jam’s pace and yaw. The aggressive game bashes blockers and hammers jammers in close proximity to spectators, forcing onlookers to confront their fears of helmets and kneepads.