In 1927, Jack Cohen began selling eyeglasses from a pushcart in New York City with a novel goal: to match each wearer with a pair that fit their style as well as their prescription. Today, specialists carry on his philosophy with prescription specs from American and European labels such as Prada, Valentino, and Coach. After a visitor sits down for a fitting, a trained style professional handpicks the eyeglasses or sunglasses that best complement their face shape, eye color, and tattoo of four eyeballs. Frames come in a variety of colors and materials, and each can be customized with polarized and optical-quality lenses to ward off glare and UV rays. Meanwhile, a team of eye doctors reside onsite to assess the pupils during eye exams.
Red mats cover the floors at Vitale's Karate Academy, softening falls and protecting joints as students spar with each other or attack invisible foes. Seasoned instructors impart their knowledge of martial arts to kids, which can foster a lifelong practice that builds discipline and encourages positive attitudes while keeping them active. Adults who study martial arts also grow in discipline and confidence as they lose weight and gain self-defense skills. Similarly, cardio-kickboxing classes combine martial arts, boxing, and aerobics to burn calories and tone muscles. When they aren't teaching classes, instructors facilitate karate-themed birthday parties that add educational drills and games to the festivities.
The yoga instructors at The Family Yoga Center Inc. help practitioners of all ages and skills center their minds and relax their bodies. Directed by Jennifer Orobello, who specializes in alignment-based yoga, classes involve mastering one pose at a time. First, students achieve the pose, and then they hold it in order to foster deeper mind-body connections and increase strength and flexibility. Confident that yoga is accessible to everyone, the instructors encourage using yoga wedges, blocks, or walls in order to help with holding poses.
Situated on a flat-water river whose mouth opens into Great South Bay, Carman's River Canoe & Kayak has something for all levels of paddlers. In addition to providing equipment, the staff rents out single and double kayaks, as well as multiperson canoes, and suggests routes that can include the Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge or––for those with a bit more experience––trips out to Fire Island.
Classic blue-and-red mats span from wall to mirror-covered wall inside Wards ATA Martial Arts. That room is where kids and adults alike convene while wearing crisp white uniforms cinched at the waist with colorful belts. Students learn martial-arts techniques, including tae kwon do and karate.