In 2004—on a mission to bolster its community’s wellspring of art, creativity, and education—the nonprofit Bergen Performing Arts Center took over the former John Harms Center, an art deco–style movie and vaudeville palace built in 1926. Today, in the same antique theater where Shakespeare screened his first car-chase movie, the Bergen Performing Arts Center hosts 150 yearly events that bring dance, music, and theatrical productions to an estimated 250,000 annual audience members. Networks like HBO, PBS, and MTV all have filmed international broadcasts on Bergen Performing Arts Center’s stage, which has seen the likes of Tony Bennett, Woody Allen, and the Dixie Chicks.
LA Boxing offers fitness classes in boxing, kickboxing, and mixed martial arts. The proprietary style of the LA Boxing workout is a mixture of genuine fight training, engaging fitness, and stronger-than-earth gravity. Quasi-boxers and martial artists usually burn 800 to more than 1,000 calories during these total-body routines, which combine external inspiration with jukes, jabs, and kicks.
The trainers at Odyssey Athletic Center know that a single approach to physical fitness is as boring as it is limiting. They bear certifications and degrees from a variety of disciplines, earning the recognition of workout guilds ranging from the Aerobic & Fitness Association of America and the World Instructor Training School to the American Council of Exercise. This knowledge of different exercise systems enables them to host 60 classes per week inside their 27,000-square-foot facility. Their scheduled Pilates sessions help students nurture lean muscle without bulk, and Zumba meetings melt away calories with fun dance steps set to a Latin beat. To ensure they stay informed on emerging fitness techniques, staff members attend continuing-education classes and hold weekly question-and-answer sessions with their dumbbells.
Oak Ale House is an eatery divided in half—one side is a sports bar, and the other is an old-fashioned Italian restaurant. Paintings of Italy hang in the latter section, where families crowd long tables piled high with plates of pasta, pizza, and burgers. The menu unfolds to reveal a mélange of American-Italian staples such as penne in a creamy vodka sauce, and rib-eye steaks that sizzle out the national anthem as they’re cooked. Back in the kitchen, ovens bake thick and thin pizzas to a bubbly golden brown, and grills heat up eight types of hamburgers to sate hamburgervores.
Beyond the guarded border dividing the two establishments lies a sports bar, where frothy brews pour from kegs and live music beckons toes to start tapping. The bar also houses seven flat-screen TVs, billiards, darts, and karaoke on select nights.
One can look behind every stationary bike or beneath each treadmill, and never come across a man at American Woman Fitness Center. They will, however, find a swimming pool, rows of cardio machines, and a studio that hosts more than 50 fitness classes. Because the health club only admits women at its two locations, gals can feel more comfortable and confident as they break a sweat on elliptical machines and weight-training equipment.
The all-female staff leads a slew of group fitness classes, including CrossFit, Corebar training, Zumba, and yoga classes, some of which take place in the swimming pool and can result in highly desirable dolphin abs. In addition to classes, they offer personal-training sessions along with weight-loss and nutritional counseling tailored to female physiques. While ladies are working out, they can rest assured that their wee ones are looked after, as the staff also provides childcare services.