New York Sports Clubs, part of Town Sports International's network of fitness loci, opens up a number of equipment-stocked facilities across New York to exercisers. Strength-training gear, such as circuit machines, free weights, and medicine balls, molds muscles into chiseled depictions of physical might. Sessions on cardio machines, ranging from treadmills and ellipticals to upright and recumbent stationary bicycles, inspire burnt calories to pack up and move to cooler climates. Each club offers a schedule of group classes that draws from more than 100 fitness styles, including Pilates, yoga, and boxing, ensuring that no member has to jazzercise without a spotter. Each location rewards exercisers for sweating in its vicinity with special features such as babysitting, saunas, and steam rooms.
By the numbers, Westchester Table Tennis Center seems to have it all: 14,000 square feet of space, 19 tables, 100+ parking spots, and a 3.5-block walk to the Pleasantville Metro-North station. That type of convenience means kids and adults can pick up a paddle and enjoy the game with ease. The center offers a number of ways to play, from day passes to leagues and long-term memberships. Players can stop by seven days a week and the center stays open until 11 p.m. every night.
"That camp changed how I felt about basketball and my future. It was the turning point in my life." That's how Michael Jordan summed up his experience at Five-Star Basketball, the premier hoops camp founded by Howard Garfinkel and Will Klein in 1966. In addition to Jordan, the alumni list is studded with stars like LeBron James, Kevin Durant, and coaches such as Chuck Daly. In total, more than 500 NBA players have come to Five-Star to refine their basketball talent.
Today, Five-Star continues its tradition of elite basketball training for future college and professional basketball players. Open to boys and girls aged 10–18, the camp's coaches teach young players the importance of possessing basketball fundamentals, being in shape, and having a strong head on their shoulders. Players have many opportunities to show off their skills, such as demonstrating a finely tuned crossover dribble during Five-Star's highly competitive pickup games or eating the most orange slices at lunchtime.
Family owned since 1968, WestArt Gallery charges toward the half-century mark behind its motto, "You name it, we'll frame it." The business services both retail and wholesale clients at two locations, including one in Yonkers, where all orders are completed on the premises. WestArt clients can also browse the Thornwood show room, stocked with a variety of artwork and custom framing choices. There, steady hands seal special mementos behind glass, such as photographs, diplomas, and apprehended art thieves. When they're not situating frames around keepsakes, the WestArt staff is re-varnishing oil paintings to ensure that pigments remain glossy and vibrant well beyond their expiration date.
At Kids U, upbeat instructors camouflage learning as playtime. They invite youngsters and parents into a kid-size gym that jump starts imagination with vibrant colors and a multitiered PlayQuad. The 17-foot playground spans 2,000 square feet of indoor space, where children explore tunnels and soar in swings. At classes, teachers inject freestyle play with structure while still allowing for creativity. The small, laid-back sessions cover subjects that range from gymnastics to cooking and building with LEGOs, all while interweaving themes such as teamwork and motor skills. The instructors pioneer similar subjects in three-hour day camps, molded around the Summer Olympics. Kids U's parties combine the fun center's two signature styles of recreation—freestyle fun in the PlayQuad and ordered activities—according to chosen themes, which, like concepts kicked around for the White House Correspondents' dinner, include Rock Star and Pajama Party.
A class at Josie?s International School of Dance is like a passport to the pulsating rhythms of the world. You can groove to the sultry beats of Latin music, sway through a traditional belly-dance routine, or slow-dance with a saxophone during a jazz class. Youth and adult classes explore these and other disciplines in depth with teachers who have studied everywhere from the Joffrey Ballet School in New York to private dance schools in Egypt.