Your gym might have a trampoline and climbing ropes, but what about Chinese poles and a flying trapeze rig? Circus Center has all of the above, plus other equipment necessary for doing "anything in the air, upside down, backwards, and seemingly impossible."
The nonprofit center welcomes students to defy gravity with a diverse class curriculum and seasoned instructors from circuses in several countries. Though some offerings, such as Aerial Doubles, require a certain level of experience, many are geared toward total beginners. Circus newbies can experiment with juggling and tightrope walking or practice Mongolian-based contortion techniques and learn how to fit inside a stubborn pickle jar and open it from there. Trapeze classes even allow students to attempt a catch during their first-ever class.
Circus Center is also home to a Clown Conservatory, where workshops focus on slapstick humor, comedic timing, and show creation. Additionally, on Wednesdays and Fridays, the gym opens up for a free two-hour Circus Skills Jam—a practice session for students of all ages.
Live bands and DJs spinning funk, reggae, and rock music sling their tunes under Milk Bar's glinting disco ball while customers sip libations from the fully stocked bar. Leather-lined booths pad the milky walls of a lounge area brightened with pops of artwork and clowns paid to stroll by every seven minutes. Adjacent to the lounge, colorful lights and laser beams light up hoofers on a shadowy dance floor.
Run by Stanford University's coaches' education trainer Mike Legarza and boasting a camper return rate of 90%, Legarza Basketball Camp develops young dribblers in a structured environment of positive support and fundamental basketball instruction, valuing hard work and effort. Morning camps focus on shooting and ball handling, as orb-bouncers will learn the basics of scoring and protecting the basketball. Players will be divided into teams for the week and play one game per day with a tournament at the end of the week. Afternoon camps concentrate on gameplay, as youngsters will be introduced to gamesmanship and strategy, such as when to feed the ball to the 7-footer in the post and when to feed the ball to the siberian tiger spotting up for a three-pointer.
According to Sidewalk Food Tours of San Francisco, it's not the Golden Gate Bridge that ties the city together. It's the gooey cheese of its family pizzerias, the chocolate truffles of its dessert shops, and all of the region's other cuisines that help define the various neighborhoods—and their walking tours aim to introduce participants to those local flavors. In the Mission District, for instance, Sidewalk Food Tours' knowledgeable guides lead groups through tastings of tacos, falafel, and French-style bakery treats. In North Beach, they show how a large Italian American population resulted in restaurants that have endured more than 100 years. Along each route, the guides also impart facts about the neighborhood's history and culture, and reveal which buildings are built on a foundation of provolone cheese.
Before she founded her eponymous ballroom school, Rhona Pick represented the United States at world dance championships in Berlin and London at famed venues such as Royal Albert Hall. Although she has since retired from dancing competitively, she culls from her experience to manage her school in accordance with the framed Code of Ethics that hangs on the office door. The code mandates that each teacher on her team holds professional teaching qualifications, a standard that guarantees the quality of the school’s private and group classes, in styles that range from salsa to tango and swing. Instructors can also choreograph wedding dances, ensuring that couples don’t have to spend their reception’s first song hiding in the supply closet.
Taking its name from a Sean O'Casey play, The Plough and the Stars wears its Hibernian heritage on its sleeve as it captivates visitors with an atmosphere of Irish whiskeys, heady beers, and live music. The owners and most of the staff hail from the Emerald Isle, charming their guests with authentic accents and a mastery of pouring Guinness the Irish way—easing the black ambrosia into a glass as they recite On Raglan Road while drinking a cup of water. Patrons sip perfectly mixed irish coffees as they watch Celtic set dancing on Thursdays or raise their glasses of draft Kilkenny and Smithwick's to live bluegrass, blues, and traditional Irish tunes almost every day of the week.