The sound engineers at Strongside Studios usher singers, dancers, and musicians of all ages into the spotlight at their professional recording studio. They foster a relaxed recording environment, welcoming groups and solo artists in their soundproof booths to lay down R&B, hip-hop, pop, rock, and country tracks. And they'll even help folks with no recording experience create a Christmas album or record a steamy Valentine's Day song to present to their loved one. Kids get into the mix at birthday parties, during which each party-goer gets to records the song of their choice. To conclude the festivities, they unite the group to harmonize for a recording of Happy Birthday, which all the attendants take home on a CD to play for their parents or to sell boot-leg copies of on the playground.
They also welcome folks to use their space to get fit, as they offer fitness classes including boot-camp and Zumba, whose high-energy dance moves might prep a budding music-video star.
Revelation Photography’s location is always changing. That's because owner and photographer Nicole Mondestin keeps her studio entirely mobile. She hauls portable lighting and backgrounds to all sorts of locations, shooting photo sessions both indoors and outside. Depending on her clients' wishes, she might capture moments at parks or in front of a living-room fireplace. She also photographs weddings. After each shoot, Nicole retouches each and every photo.
Although Rajendra Hariprashad was in the Marines, his most trusted weapon—the one that launched him into private enterprise as a business owner—was not a rifle, but a 1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse. During his four years of service, he taught students behind the wheel of his own compact sports car. When he was discharged and went back to New York, he shelved law-enforcement career ambitions and opened Ena's Driving School.
Today, the school teaches road safety to new and seasoned drivers alike. Along with prelicensing and defensive-driving classes, instructors lead motorcycle, CDL truck, and CDL bus lessons. Rajendra's business savvy and entrepreneurial acumen have won him press in Forbes, Fox Business, USA Today, and other media outlets. He even partnered with truTV's Impractical Jokers to prank students who were behind the wheel for the first time. Afterward, several neighbors and new customers called to inquire about classes and how to fit a spring-rigged banana-cream pie into the glove compartment.
Rajendra's law-enforcement career continues to remain on hold. "I'm lucky," he says about his driving school and other business ventures. "This is fun. I want to be in the open road."
From the passenger seats of two 2012 Toyota Corollas, Access2Drive Driving School's English- and Spanish-speaking instructors dispense valuable advice about every aspect of four-wheeled transportation. During hands-on lessons, students of all ages take the wheel to practice parallel parking and find a parking space that's not in the middle of a monster-truck arena. Students satisfy the state's pre-licensing mandate with five-hour courses that span topics such as driving within the transportation system and developing appropriate habits and skills. Those who enroll in the school's defensive-driving course get 10% off on any insurance purchased in New York for a period of three years.
With its bright yellow walls speckled with Disney decals and bright stickers, Fun Time Pottery invites artists of all ages and skill levels to work in a cheery, creative atmosphere. During open paint sessions, participants choose a piece of pottery from the overflowing shelves that line the room, using stencils and paints to add their own personal touches to plates, mugs, and figurines. Pottery classes let students delve into the intricacies of clay shaping, with instructors teaching their charges how to bring forth new objects from shapeless lumps of clay, and how much paprika to add to play-doh before it’s edible. After finishing their sculpting, pupils learn how to paint and glaze their works, creating unique keepsakes from start to finish.
Creative Study Zone helps middle-school and high-school students develop an arsenal of academic skills. During standardized exam-prep courses, teachers lead lectures and conduct group exercises designed to improve test-taking strategies. Students also complete practice tests created by the College Board and review fundamental concepts in reading, writing, math, and spitball shooting. The center’s afterschool homework program helps students complete daily assignments while also providing motivational support, and private tutoring offers one-on-one instruction in a range of academic subjects.