In 1976, educator, musician, and kinesiologist Robin Wes longed for a children's gym that prioritized personal growth over competition. Unveiled at a time when physical-education classes pushed students to focus almost exclusively on winning, Robin's program was swiftly adopted and is now used in more than 300 Little Gyms worldwide. Robin still pens original music to accompany lessons, which engage whippersnappers aged 4 months to 12 years with gymnastics, dance, karate, and parent and child activities.
Each of The Little Gym's classes introduces simple movements that sharpen motor skills and set brains whirring, allowing kids to progress at their own pace until they can finally build a computer out of macaroni and glitter. Staff members strive to build a base for lifelong social skills and self-assurance with each exercise, including activities rooted purely in fun, such as summer camps or birthday parties, which helped The Little Gym to earn title of #1 Birthday Chain in Parents Magazine.
Artistic Empowerment Centers Inc is a non-profit performing arts organization inspired by both spiritual and creative forces, staging plays focused on uplifting and introspective stories about the black experience. Their current calendar of shows includes Fabric of 'She', a story about a young woman aspiring to be an entertainer during the Harlem Renaissance, and The 'N' Word, a one-act play in which friends debate the use of racial slurs and is followed by an audience discussion forum.
The gastropub dishes at @ Elm Street Grill meld locally sourced and organic ingredients. Steak and seafood headline the culinary selection, but there's no shortage of burgers and other sandwiches. There are even options from non-American traditions, such as the Indian-Styled Chicken Tikka Masala. Beyond grilling cuisine, as the eatery's name hints, the chefs can smoke salmon, though, since its salmon, the smoke will waft downward toward the floor rather than up to the ceiling.
The clacking of pool balls is the nightly soundtrack at Gate City Billiards Club. Public and private rooms feature 11 Brunswick Gold Crown tables and 3 Diamond tables, which allow for open-play and league games?as well as lessons helmed by experienced instructors. Though pool is the main attraction, the space also welcomes casual play with a ping pong table, dart boards, and foosball tables, and camaraderie around live sports shown on eight flat-screen TVs. An on-site bar serves more than 50 beers and spirits.
At any given time, the Rioja! WineKeeper's handsome wooden casing houses 12 bottles in a temperature-controlled setting. These conditions keep the wines fresh and result in a full-flavored pour. A quick flick of the tap and a crisp white or bold red streams into Riedel crystal, the only glassware used at Rioja! A Wine Bar. Between these sophisticated pouring and storing methods, and the sheer immensity of the full selection—some 800 wines—Rioja!'s dedication to the appreciation of wine is palpable.
Their tapas menu was designed with elegant pairings in mind and—much like playing "spin the bottle" at the UN—highlights flavors from around the world. Prosciutto bruschetta, stuffed dates, and a chorizo and manchego plate show off the kitchen's Mediterranean leanings. South African-style jerky, on the other hand, indicates a willingness to infuse an Old World dining tradition with New World recipes. The bartenders also keep a healthy selection of craft beers from brewers such as Bell's, Duck Rabbit, and Founders.