Trainer John Beneduce channels his athletic ability into CrossFit, a high-intensity, functional workout that he customizes for all ages and fitness levels. He and his wife opened CrossFit Bayside to offer an effective alternative to standard gyms.
?The way we do it at CrossFit Bayside is pretty much the total opposite of how a traditional gym would work,? John said. Rather than coming in to use equipment solo, members attend a packed schedule of one-hour sessions, which all begin with a warm-up before everyone spends about 15 minutes mastering new techniques. Once they can safely and effectively do the workout, students get to work, hoisting medicine balls, swinging kettlebells, climbing ropes, and dead-lifting weights. The workouts change each day, and John usually waits about three months before repeating one. As groups cool down, John leads a discussion on a health-related topic, ranging from nutritional information to how to keep a fitness journal without making your diary jealous.
?We really care about our members,? John said. ?My wife and I run it together as a family business.? He added that the members themselves uphold the gym's mission, warmly welcoming new members and throwing themselves fully into each workout. ?There?s no negative energy at my gym,? he said.
At Movie World Cinemas, a recently added caf? draws in early arrivers with pizza, chicken tenders, fries and fresh cappuccinos. Patrons can linger there before heading to one of seven handsome screening chambers with projection capacity for traditional film and 3-D movies. Once inside, guests recline on shiny, new seats styled by Mobiliario Seating. Each throne includes cushy upholstery, a built-in cup holder, and ergonomically engineered lumbar support. Newly installed digital projectors show crystal-clear images while digital surround-sound speakers shake seats with the screeches of onscreen car chases and the weeping of James Bond?s dry cleaner. In the large main lobby, the digital burble of a small arcade stirs air scented heavily by sunshine-hued popcorn. The staff has spent the past few years working on a series of updates and improvements, and the movie palace regularly hosts special events and children?s parties.
Some people work out in the morning, some people work out in the evening, and some people work out in the middle of the night. To accommodate the fitness schedules of all types, Bell Plaza Sports Club offers 24-hour access 7 days a week to its four-story facility that boasts a private sun deck. With all the time in the world at their disposal, exercisers can boost their endurance in the cardio training center, build muscle in the strength and toning areas, and partake in a variety of fitness classes—there are more than 35 available each week. They can also work one-on-one with a certified professional during customized personal training sessions—an ideal setting for progressing toward fitness goals such as bench-pressing their personal trainer.
With chef Frank Lynch at the gustatory helm, Bourbon Street Cafe serves up tasty Cajun meals that have earned it an award for Best Brunch on a Budge from Page Six Magazine. Dishes such as blackened catfish and New Orleans po boys compete for attention with the house-specialty seafood gumbo and jambalaya, in which chicken and shrimp carouse with ground zydeco notes in a creole-sauce-slathered nest of spicy rice and andouille sausage. The large eatery further captures the essence of a New Orleans?style caf? with its colorful wall murals, fringed tabletop lamps, and plates accompanied by Mardi Gras beads, and its multiple flat-screen TVs light up with Sunday football action when the New York Scallywags play the New England Ne?er-do-wells.
The warm, always affable staff oversees a symphony of clinking glasses at Brew House. They maintain a convivial atmosphere that features plenty of brews, bar food, and flat-screen TVs airing sports. With bottles of Corona or Sam Adams, the staff serves housemade empanadas, coconut shrimp, and Brew House fries topped with cheese, bacon, and green onions with a side of gravy. The kitchen team’s grill also turns out sandwiches, wraps, and a Cowboy burger topped with cheddar, bacon, barbecue sauce, and onion rings. Exposed brick walls, rich wood paneling, and gold-patterned hanging lamps welcome patrons to cozy booths, whereas a seat at the bar affords the best look at the TVs and more liquor bottles than Winston Churchill had in his vault.
At Conga’s Bar & Lounge, the weekend begins on Thursday night, when DJs set up their decks for the first of three straight evenings of musical mixology. They lob Latin and Top 40 beats through the venue, caroming subtle bass lines and fervent tempos off the Cuban-themed décor.
All week long Conga’s kitchen slings wings spun in signature sauces, such as cranberry honey mustard, Louisiana ranch, and a Jack Daniel’s zest. Bartenders pour pitchers from 11 beers on tap, and they also dice fruit for sangria and shake exotic cocktails, such as the electric-red or blue fishbowl, named for its globe-like cup and ice cubes shaped like tiny plastic castles.