In 1997, magician Michael Chaut realized that New York—long the haunt of some of the world's most talented magicians—no longer had a live magic venue. Wasting no time, Chaut assembled a super squad of fellow tricksters and illusionists, together creating the weekly showcase Monday Night Magic. Now firmly installed at the intimate Players Theatre, the shows strip away such over-the-top distractions as pyrotechnics and live animals, who generally give away the tricks post-performance anyway. Their shows instead beguile audiences with up-close sleight-of-hand and mental tricks, and also enter the realm of variety-show-style entertainment with jugglers and sword swallowers. During intermissions, the performing magicians take a chance to stroll through the room, hunkering down at lucky audience members' tables to dazzle them with up-close trickery.
Creative Corner Pottery's shelves brim with stamps, stencils, nontoxic paints, pre-cut glass-fusing projects, and more than 200 different pieces of unpainted pottery, providing patrons with all the tools they need to create inspired crafts in a low-stress environment. After choosing a piece from the wall, visitors can take it to one of the dark wooden worktables and personalize it by either painting a custom design or their own genetic code. The glass-fusing kits include pre-cut shapes or easy-to-use tools, which allow customers to cut their own pieces and design a unique picture frame, bowl, or piece of jewelry. Once finished, the studio's staff will glaze and then fire the crafts in the kiln, typically having the finished works ready for pickup in 7–10 days.
Elizabeth Samudio, owner of Elizabeth Anna’s Old World Garden, cultivates an eco-friendly urban sprawl of thriving flora and fauna situated just minutes from downtown. Wander through rows of edible, unusual, and native plants whose organic designation signals freedom from synthetic fertilizers and herbicides, and whose lushness and vibrancy make them ideal camouflage for secret backyard wrestling leagues. Secure a romantic rendezvous with beguiling rose varietals, or nurture fruit trees and veggie starts into fully stocked, self-replenishing produce aisles. Samudio and her staff of greenthumbs will gladly aid customers with photosynthesizer selection, sharing planting and care tips for aesthetics ranging from asparagus ferns and creeping ivy to topiaries shaped like the mailman.