The Boston Martial Arts Academy keeps participants engaged by combining classroom instruction with hand-to-hand, foot-to-foot, and face-to-mat demonstration classes and classroom lectures. Try out karate to get the Cobra Kais to leave you alone, or aikido to toss your opponent as easily as a used Kleenex. For more kosher kombat, learn Krav Maga like a member of the Israeli Defense Forces. Otherwise, spike your kicks with punches in tae kwon do, out-Keanu Keanu in kung fu, or learn how to pin another man to the ground and make him submit to you in Brazilian jiujitsu. You can also sample less-fighty disciplines such as capoeira and tai chi. Each participant must choose at least six classes to receive his or her certification at closing ceremonies.
Through its Social Enterprises program, Project Place operates three small businesses dedicated to providing clients with paid work experience. Participants in Clear Corners…Bright Hopes (CCBH) work in janitorial and maintenance crews throughout the Boston area for a four- to six-month period. Last year, 85 percent of CCBH graduates obtained stable employment within six months of completing the program.
While living the life of a peripatetic juggling duo in 1970s Europe, Paul Binder and Michael Christensen had a dream: a non-profit circus that would combine community outreach with shows by the world’s best performers. Today a rotating cast of acrobats, clowns, and daredevils tour with a menagerie of exotic animals. Led by animal trainer Jenny Vidbel. The circus's ponies, Arabian horses, and dogs perform sprightly routines, learned under humane training regimens based on positive reinforcement. Shows take place under the big top, custom designed so that every seat is within 50 feet of the ring. The tent is also engineered to keep showgoers comfortable with a raisable cupola that allows warm air to escape as guests relax on comfy cushions that keep incubating eggs from cracking in back pockets.
At the age of 16, Matthew "Matty" Hughes became the youngest-ever licensed captain in the port of Boston. Funneling his passion into a career, he founded Boston Harbor Cruises in 1926 to lead tours up the Charles River. What began as a two-man, one-boat operation has grown tremendously throughout its more than 90-year history, now encompassing a 21-boat fleet and more than 250 employees who transport more than 2 million passengers.
The Boston Harbor Cruises's staff handles all things nautical, from whale watching and speedboat tours to wedding receptions and celebrations for special occasions. Because dolphins are hard to saddle and refuse to obey verbal commands, Boston Harbor Cruises also navigates the waters with ferries and harbor cruises that explore the historic and romantic sights of Boston.
Though the leadership has changed, Matty's grandchildren Rick and Chris Nolan still perpetuate the traditions of Boston Harbor Cruises, furthering one man's obsession with the harbor and inspiring future generations to create their own memories on its calm waters.
South Boston Candlepin challenges bowlers to take aim at pintsize pins during rounds of a New England–born variation on the traditional lane-based game. On the alley’s hardwood lanes, bowlers roll 2.5-pound candlepin bowling balls that lack the holes and molten centers of their 10-pin counterparts. Developed in 1880 by a Massachusetts bowling-alley owner, candlepin bowling tasks participants with dispersing crowds of pins that are thinner than standard 10-pin targets and weigh just a little more than the balls that hunt them. While honing curves and picking up spares, bowlers compete in 10-frame games until someone usurps victory or starts cooing to the tiny balls like they're infants.
Jazz has had many homes over the years. Born in the South, moving to New Orleans and Chicago, and a world traveler in its old age, the musical form brings to mind myriad influences. Darryl’s Corner Bar & Kitchen is inspired by the storied musical form, from its lively cuisine to its song-filled atmosphere. Live jazz musicians coax classic strains and improvised notes from their instruments Tuesday through Sunday, drawing from every chapter of the genre’s varied history. Chefs riff on the bluesy style with a delectable menu of Southern eats, from crispy cheese grits with shrimp to fried chicken atop buttermilk waffles. The club’s vibrant lights and exposed-brick walls call to mind some of the most renowned jazz bars to be found in New Orleans or Chicago. To enhance this antique-nightclub atmosphere, bartenders whip up a lineup of craft cocktails while referring to their patrons as “hot chick” or “cool Felis catus.”
The success of Zumba, the Latin-inspired dance-fitness program, begged for spinoff workouts. Today eight Zumba variations exist, seven of which are taught by the licensed instructors at The Z Spot. The troupe teaches original Zumba, as well as Zumba Toning, Zumba in the Circuit, Zumba Gold for seniors, Zumbatomic for youngsters, Zumba Sentao for centaurs, and, at an offsite facility, Aqua Zumba. Each workout engages exercisers with a mix of energetic rhythms, continuous motion, and support from other exercisers in the group.