Since its 1965 founding in Venice Beach, California, Gold's Gym has dotted the globe with more than 600 locations where professional athletes and exercise newbies gather under the umbrella of personal strength. Nearly 3.5 million Gold's members chart and aim for their fitness peaks, perspiring beneath the gaze of certified personal trainers or pedaling beside peers at cycling sessions. In a diverse lineup of group classes, patrons strengthen cores with Pilates, finger-paint pictures of ninjas in martial arts, and amp up heart rates along to the pulsating soundtracks of Les Mills routines. Many Gold's Gym locations stockpile futuristic amenities, such as cardio machines with individual iPod docks and televisions that help keep patrons motivated.
With players engaged in games on several fields, safety is of utmost importance to the staff at Capital Combat Zone. At least two referees keeps an eye on the action on the playing field, ensuring no one breaks the rules or engages in unsafe conduct, such as trying to eat the paintballs. These fields offer plenty of nooks and crannies for players to hide in, such as empty spools, castle-shaped turrets, and abandoned bunkers. Click here for hours of operation.
Forget the foil. Turn in your épée. At Beaches Sabre Club, the saber is king. The most dynamic of fencing's three categories, saber is quick and aggressive: competitors can score points by striking each other with the edge of the blade or in a slashing motion, and everything above the waist—including the head—is fair game. This approach lends itself to lightning-fast attacks that land across the upper body. Knowing this, the instructors at Beaches emphasize safety during every meeting, whether they’re welcoming beginners to the club's introductory classes or honing seasoned skills during private lessons. They also supply the necessary protective gear so students don't have to mummify themselves in bubble wrap before every visit.
Surviving in the wilderness can be challenging—especially during the zombie apocalypse. But some of Wilderness Survival's courses prepare students for just this situation, incorporating practical lessons into a simulated battle between zombies and humans, complete with optional paintball warfare. Other courses focus purely on the practical aspects of survival, such as building a shelter, finding wild edible plants, purifying water, and learning how to roundhouse kick the wings off pesky mosquitoes.
Robilee McIntyre's sculptures, masks, and crafts have been stylistically compared to Tim Burton and Dr. Seuss. The slanted roofs and oblong proportions of her miniature houses recall the domiciles of Whoville, while her playfully macabre faces would fit in alongside the colorful characters of Beetlejuice and Corpse Bride. Dark, yet whimsical designs such as these have garnered two studio spaces and the accolades of clients who call McIntyre "a fantastic artist and a wonderful communicator." Her miscellany of life experiences both bitter and sweet, including losing both of her parents, have shaped her artistic outlook. She named one of her studios after her father's two college nicknames and surrounds her porcelain houses with flowers in honor of her flora-adoring mother. "I seem to think in 3-D," she muses, "and these sculptures are a rewarding way for me to conquer the limitations that illustrating on a flat page holds for me." Not content to just create her own magnum opuses, Robilee educates burgeoning artists with loving instruction that invites them to answer the insistent beeper pages of their own creativity.
Chef Chad Konopasek and Sous Chef Daishawn Wade share a taste for the flavors of New England. Each of the seasonally inspired dishes at Potters Restaurant at Sterup Square is filled with northeastern charm, whether it’s the organic Berleberg cheese from Berle Farm in Hoosick, the fresh Vermont vegetables, or the handmade Bennington pottery upon which they’re served. The restaurant’s menus reflect the changing of the year, spotlighting parmesan-crusted salmon and double-battered fried chicken with homemade gravy in the summer, and hearty stews and Vermont mac 'n' cheese in the winter. While an outdoor patio shelters patrons beneath umbrellas and mood-setting firefly orchestras whenever seasonally appropriate, Potters Restaurant's interior treats guests to carpeted flooring and a toasty stone fireplace year-round.