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.
At each bowling center, balls hurtle down smooth, polished lanes as LCD screens keep track of scores and shimmering party lights illuminate the faces of determined bowlers. After lacing up some slide-enabling shoes and clearing the gutters of deciduous pins, bowlers set their sights on toppling 10-pin clusters. Carpets bedecked with psychedelic swirls lead to shelves stocked with neon-colored balls, which proffer their pin-busting talents to bowlers of various sizes. Fingers can warm up by mashing buttons in an arcade full of entrancing video games or bench-pressing french fries at the onsite grill and pub.
Before she was the personal makeup artist to Barack Obama during his campaign for the presidency, Jennifer Bradley was a stage and screen actress who struggled with acne-prone skin. To combat it, she started creating her own skincare formulas that were free of mineral oils, fragrances, and fillers. Those formulas soon became her business, Jennifer Bradley Corporation products, which she now wields as a makeup artist to the stars.
In addition to being touted in the pages of People and US Weekly, her makeup and skincare lines have graced the faces of Michelle Obama, Kelly Clarkson and Pamela Anderson. She regularly teaches clients how to become their own makeup masters during Makeup 101 classes, where she shows them how to cover age spots, contour cheekbones, and create a smoky eye that doesn't induce cravings for barbecue.
Still emanating fumes from their drag race to the top of the bluegrass scene, Grammy-nominated group The Grascals inspires infectious toe tapping and hand clapping during impassioned performances. Building on roots that trace back more than two decades, the tightly spun sextet fuses harmonious, twang-packed vocals with the plucks of a banjo, fiddle, and mandolin. Light-hearted, jovial jams peppered among soul-searching ballads and dramatic diary readings work together to weave a wondrous catalog–an effort that has led to collaborations with country legends such as Dolly Parton and Hank Williams Jr. This year, the group continued their blitz on the bluegrass genre with four more award nominations from the International Bluegrass Music Association. Local favorites the Ramblin Jug Stompers lay the groundwork for an evening of two-steps, as they carry on the tradition of American string bands and air-harmonica solos of the 1960s.
The rumble of bowling balls hurtling toward pins echoes throughout Uncle Sam Lanes, culminating every few seconds in pin-toppling crashes and enthusiastic high-fives. The bowling center’s polished lanes reflect the glint of pearlized balls as players lace up nonslip shoes and rack up a litany of spares and strikes.
Between frames, wander over to the well-equipped pro shop, where specialists Clay and Sonny measure feet and fingers for shoes, gloves, and custom-weight balls. The duo stocks a wide selection of preowned gear, and they frequently rejuvenate the alley’s ball-beaten equipment with oil-removing and resurfacing machines. Fizzy libations line the tables in the nearby bar and lounge, where fingers warm up for games by hurling darts, poking the screen of an Internet jukebox, or jabbing at eight balls during games of pool.
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.