On Xtreme Action Sports' 13,000-square-foot indoor field, every surface in sight is splattered with colorful reminders of paintball impacts. The maze of wood walls draws players into close-range confrontations, forcing them to dive for cover beneath open windows and tactically placed barriers. Whether using paintballs, airsoft pellets, or laser tag markers, teams fan out into the facility in search of opposing players or first aid kids that inexplicably hover and spin in the air. Between competitions, players can return to the pro shop to peruse markers, safety gear, and travel accessories.
Luke Adams's childhood talent for drawing spurred him toward an education in glasswork at the Massachusetts College of Art, where he honed his technique under artists from all over the country. Today, Luke molds his molten medium into colorful, one-of-a-kind starfish suncatchers, jewelry, and paperweights. Through jewelry-making and glassblowing classes, his studio spreads a passion for glass-oriented artistry, teaching students to shear and assemble artful shards, molding them into versatile, translucent building blocks similar to the kind used to by Gustave Eiffel to construct an ice-cube model of his infamous tower.
For Annissa Essaibi George, sewing has not just been a lifelong passion, but also a means of getting what she wants. At age 6, her mother taught her to sew so that she could make her Barbie a new outfit. In college, she and her roommate stitched together scrunchies, selling them to fund take-out and nights out. She even designed her own wedding dress. Today, sewing is the fuel behind her business, through which she furnishes sewers and knitters with the supplies to craft their projects and the skills they need to clothe every statue in the park. Annissa's pink-walled shop houses patterns, fabrics, knitting kits, and cubbies overflowing with polychromatic spools of yarn. Classes run on a five-day schedule and cover such stitching styles as knitting, crocheting, and pattern sewing for crafters of all levels.
Light streams in through the studio windows, bouncing off the painted brick walls and illuminating the yogis—each like a cat arching its back in a sunbeam—stretching on the hardwood floor. At Shiva Shakti Yoga Center, instructors tailor each 60- to 90-minute yoga class to accommodate students of all experience levels. Drawing on such methods as hatha, Vinyasa, and Anusara, the dynamic, fluid sessions help strengthen muscles and center minds. The studio also hosts occasional workshops with guest teachers to keep bodies limber through varied regimens.