Lakeside Fitness Center has all the makings of your typical gym, but it wears the name “center” with conviction. Members will find everything they want and need to workout—cardio and strength-training machines, free weights, group fitness classes, and the like—supplemented by something else: camaraderie. All members can enroll in a motivating and supportive boot-camp program, designed to push weight-loss and fitness goals into overdrive and build on that sense of solidarity.
Youth boot camp classes use a mix of cross training and cardio to tone muscles, and Piloxing combines Pilates with boxing into a fast-moving workout designed to strengthen the core. Relaxed sighs drift from the center's on-site spa, where therapists and aestheticians provide deep-tissue massages and rejuvenating facials tailor-made to fit the needs of men, women, and teens.
Whether you're locking eyes with one of his tiger portraits or attending his pencil-drawing class, one can't help but ask: how does Jerry Winick find the time? His own artwork alone is an exercise in patience, as his pencil drawings can take up to three months to finish. They capture animal faces and Brooklyn streets with striking detail and clarity, so much so that people often believe they're looking at photographs. But, in addition to sketching out these award-winning snapshots, Jerry also runs Pencilworks Studio, a venue for burgeoning artists to mingle and learn.
Here, he leads classes in his chosen medium—pencil—for both children and adults. His personalized instructions help students reproduce a photo on paper, all without tracing or resorting to the Xerox machine they've hidden under their shirt. The studio hosts other workshops as well, helmed by Jerry's daughter Michelle and other professional artists. Depending on their area of expertise, instructors can teach guests how to work with watercolors or experiment with different cartooning techniques. Michelle also arranges birthday painting parties for kids, which supply enough materials for everyone to make an original piece. The staff can even travel to offices and oversee team-building art exercises that yield a collaborative painting.
A nonprofit organization, The Riverdale Art Center's only aim is to weave creativity into the everyday life of its community. To this end, its instructors host A Glass of Art BYOB art classes for adults, and pARTy pizza-and-art classes for kids and teenagers. Additionally, the art center offers studio and gallery space for local artists.
The staff at Sun Tao Studio embrace holistic healing methods to enhance their clients' overall health. Focusing on physiques, the certified yoga instructors lead classes for all levels, including one-on-one sessions that help introduce beginners to basic postures. They also enhance multilevel hot-yoga classes by cranking the thermostat up to 90 degrees, which can help spur detoxification and boost flexibility. Before sessions, students may roam across the hardwood floors and peruse the selection of yoga mats, or gaze out the floor-to-ceiling windows to watch nearby oaks diligently practice tree pose. In addition to yoga, the staff also offers natural healing services including acupuncture sessions and a specialized posture class.
At TapHouse Grille, 24 different craft beers gush from taps as plates of gourmet pub fare emerge from the kitchen. Chefs shower pastas and pizzas in fresh meats and vegetables or whip up entrees that feature freshly caught fish and quality cuts of meat. In addition to imported and domestic brews, the family-friendly establishment pleases adults with martinis and cocktails, and it treats tots to a full kids' menu and an absence of height-restrictive carnival rides.
Brick walls and ceilings and glistening wood floors surround the casual dining room, where flat-screen televisions beam down from the walls. TapHouse Grille also hosts special events throughout the week, including a Sunday brunch buffet with a live jazz band.