Dr. Henry Viscardi Jr. was born with shortened limbs. Not one to let his challenges define him, though, he worked to achieve his doctorate and went on to serve as the disability adviser to eight US presidents, from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Jimmy Carter. Believing in children's ability to achieve greatness despite any obstacle, he founded The Viscardi Center in 1952. For the last half-century, the center has worked to educate and empower people with disabilities by providing education from prekindergarten to high school, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, and career counseling through a network of organizations.
A member of this network, the Henry Viscardi School was founded in 1962 and today teaches 180 children who have severe physical disabilities such as muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy. These students learn in small groups of up to nine and study all of the state-mandated subjects, including science and math. The school maintains a host of medical supports, including communication devices, and the help of nurses and social workers, to ensure the children's safety, and it offers extended educational training in the form of postgraduate skills and summer instruction.
Surrounded by the urban tumult of New York City, Nicky's Beer Garden prides itself on its uncharacteristically down-home, southern charm. As owner Nick Ligotino told the Bronx Times in 2011, "I wanted to come up with something that’s never been seen here in the Bronx." His kitchen delivers this distinctive touch by smoking pork onsite, blending sweet sauces in-house, and coating pieces of fried chicken with a secret blend of herbs and spices. The restaurant also boasts a selection of beers from domestic and international breweries to accompany the Americana-tinged menu of hearty comfort foods.
Small tables line the dining room's gleaming wooden floors, but the restaurant's outdoor beer garden encourages guests to enjoy their evening alfresco. Picnic tables fill the stone-tiled yard surrounded by a wooden fence, shady trees, and a mural painted with barbecue sauce.
Every summer, Angler Fishing Fleet's Captain Ken welcomes youngsters aboard his fishing boat for a weeklong fishing camp. He schools campers in fishing techniques, conservation, and boat safety in a demonstration of the company’s initiatives to empower budding fishermen in exploring local waters. In addition to camps, staff captains host frequent lectures that cover subjects such as anchoring techniques, bait, and which fish are the likeliest to grant wishes.
On private charters, the crew seeks schools with onboard sonar equipment and supplies passengers with fishing gear and bait. The Angler II ferries up to 39 passengers on fishing trips in the western Long Island Sound. It is a 50-foot Coast Guard–inspected vessel. The sleek Angler III, another 50-foot Coast Guard–inspected vessel, also escorts passengers through the sound, but it can hold up to 49 passengers and includes a cozy cabin with a galley that serves snacks and beverages. Plus, it offers both indoor and outdoor seating. The smallest member of the fleet, the Angler Express, is designed to hold up to six passengers on private charters. All three vessels in the fleet are equipped with state-of-the-art safety and fish-finding equipment.
Atlantic Outfitters facilitates maritime excursions with its stable of paddle-propelled vessels. From the fiberglass-ensconced safety of two sleek kayaks, or from the commanding view afforded by two standup paddleboards, seafaring friends can spend two hours exploring the watery expanses, tributaries, and wooded shorelines of the pristine Manhasset Bay. During the journey, paddlers can picnic on the open water, use their feet as anchors in the shallows along sandy beaches, or reenact favorite scenes from a documentary about waterfowl. Numerous kayak launch sites along the coast provide easy access to the bay.
Piece of My Art coaxes internal artists out for a night of lady-only drinking and revelry, furnishing painting instruments and a choice from its stockpile of hundreds of pieces of pottery. Ladies saunter into classes armed with BYOB beverages and snacks, where they will share conversation and painting tips with up to 50 women. Add a chromatic splash to holiday gifts, such as a soap dish ($15), spoon rest ($15), or a Geometrix-divided candy dish ($15), or personalize ceramic table wear and household décor, adding pithy sayings to platters ($30–$40), or bedecking a large vase ($45) with surgeon-general's warnings concerning the health effects of flies landing in a venus fly trap. After pieces are fired in a kiln, guests can take their products home to use as precariously fragile frisbees.
Since 2004, the first-aid- and CPR-trained crew at Port Sailing School has ferried passengers over Manhasset Bay for sailing lessons, charters, camps, and certification courses aboard the school's fleet. The outfit's nine noble vessels include such seafaring specimens as the J 24 keelboat, the two-cabin Beneteau 36, and the Sonar 23, designated as the fleet’s primary lesson boat for its roomy cockpit and no-mutinies record. Aboard the Sonar 23, students learn sailing skills and marine laws through instructional courses that range from private introductory sailing lessons to state safety certifications. Based on the course topic, lessons may focus on such boating aspects as docking, mooring pickup, anchoring, or advanced racing techniques, each dictated by the desires of the student and the daily attitude of the sea.:m]]