Bageltown Cafe, opened in February 2013, serves up coffee, tea, and classic deli cuisine. Patrons can order bagels smeared with scallion- or strawberry-infused cream cheeses, or opt for bialys and made-from-scratch baked sweets that are baked fresh each day. Cooks also grill panini sandwiches, prepare whitefish and lox salads, and sell Boar's Head meats and cheeses by the pound.
After 15 years, Unique Salon & Spa's dedicated staffers carry on with a large slate of services under their new collective moniker. A thorough spa menu is divided among categories of "beauty," "body," "soul." The "beauty" menu offers haircuts, color services, and makeup applications, prepping faces and hair for swanky appearances. "Body" services tend to fingers and toes, painting delicate colors over newly buffed nails or removing unwanted body hair with waxes. Meanwhile, "soul" offers up therapeutic massages and facials, refreshing and rejuvenating muscles and skin.
Although A Taste of Home specializes in custom-made cakes—such as its ice cream cakes (starting at $14), strawberry shortcakes ($15), and multifariously flavored cheesecake (plain, various fruits, Oreo, amaretto, and more for $15.50–$19.95)—its selection of delightfully dough-based treats encompasses the entire traditional pantheon of divine delicacies. Load your chocolatank with brownies ($1.50) or feed the cookie monster of your soul with oversized rounds such as black-and-whites, chocolate chip, and linzer tarts ($1.25–$2). Custom orders are welcome, and the value of two Groupons can be combined for a supersized cakefest.
In order to receive the best martial-arts training, the founder of Long Island Asian Studies Center studied in, well, Asia. Tom Collings moved to Japan in 1976 to learn under pupils of Ueshiba, the creator of the aiki budo martial-arts method, and in 2007 he earned a sixth-degree black belt. Now Collings has become an instructor himself, teaching a wide cross-section of new martial-arts disciples, from police officers and veterans to children and people with disabilities. Collings is used to teaching self-defense: he's a 26-year vet of law enforcement as well as a certified New York State police safety instructor. Many of the other instructors have backgrounds in social work and youth psychiatry, too, making them uniquely qualified to hone mental discipline as well as physical skill.
At Long Island Asian Studies Center, Collings and his instructors teach aiki budo, which, unlike other martial arts, is noncompetitive and doesn't require a final exam of wrasslin' a bear with your bare hands. Instead, they focus on components such as multidirectional awareness, weapons training, and breathing exercises, as well as safety and respect for oneself and others. They also teach a mixture of Hatha yoga and yoga-related disciplines. In addition to martial arts, Tom Collings has spent several years in Asia studying meditation and yoga, making five trips to Japan and China. Now, he's one of New York's experts in qi gong, or Chinese yoga, which the Long Island Asian Studies Center also teaches, along with aiki taiso. Their gentle movements and relaxation exercises act as a form of preventative health care and give students the flexibility to shimmy into spandex pants.
Las Bahias Restaurant gives taste buds a master-class on Latin American cuisine. The From the Bay menu plays with Baja Californian coastal traditions for its lobster, shrimp, and seafood dishes, such as Devil Shrimp (sauteed with marinara) and the Bahia dish (shrimp, calamari, clams, and mussels over yellow rice). Moving inland, Las Bahias pays homage to Argentinian asados with an entree menu primarily dedicated to variations on grilled steak and pork chops. Salvadorian pupusas filled with pork and cheese make an appearance, and chicken and corn tamales represent classic Mexican street food. Because Las Bahias casts an improbably wide net, there are plenty of regionally non-specific delights as well, including empanadas, fried plantains, and even hamburgers.