New Jersey Performing Arts Center stands firm as a bastion of live entertainment, opening the doors to its two distinct venues for a wide array of productions. Inside Prudential Hall, 2,700 seats fill the multitiered auditorium where ballets, symphony orchestras, and Broadway shows flourish beneath radiant lights and a domed ceiling. Victoria Theater, meanwhile, beckons visitors to its more intimate 500-seat confines for jazz concerts, contemporary dance performances, and monster-truck rallies.
The instructors at School of Cards aren’t content only to use their card knowledge in the classroom; when they’re not teaching, they’re competing in high-stakes cash games and tournaments, including World Series of Poker events. Although their training grounds resemble a cozy living room complete with a plush, microfiber couch, the school’s professional poker and blackjack tables demonstrate its intent to make students comfortable in the casino environment. Beginning blackjack and poker players can get their start in three-hour introductory classes, learning such fundamentals as game etiquette, card counting, and how to spot edible chips. Intermediate and advanced players move on to more in-depth courses, as well as services such as game and body-language evaluation.
Even though it’s been lauded by CBS New York, Time Out New York Kids, and Nickelodeon Parents Connect, ABC Do-Re-Me! most values praise from its students. At each energetic studio, newborns to 6-year-olds ecstatically bounce along to children’s songs from a live guitarist or to tunes by pop artists such as the Beatles, the Black Eyed Peas, and Madonna, as they build cognitive skills, develop socially, and create dance routines that will wow at baby prom.
With sunlight cascading across their studio’s hardwood floors and crystal chandeliers, Danielle Buccellato and her staff lead more than 75 group classes every week, specializing in Pilates Mat, Xtend Barre, and group Apparatus training. Mixed in among those weekly classes is Renaissance Pilates’ popular four-week beginner program. During this program, students build strength and a full understanding of Pilates principles across eight sessions, so they are prepared to move onto regular classes and more advanced sessions. The studio’s other offerings map out different, but equally effective, routes toward fitness, including Xtend Barre—a toning workout that incorporates a ballet bar, handheld weights, and yoga straps. In addition to a variety of program options, Renaissance Pilates also offers the new Extend Barre Stick classes to help chisel bodies.
Yoga and Pilates in Tribeca—formerly 'Do Yoga Do Pilates'—was founded in 2008 by Elisa Chen, who strived to create an eco-friendly space where students could further their mental and physical prowess. Though Chen has since left the studio, the same team of certified instructors helps each patron reach his or her fitness goals by offering a robust repertoire of yoga, Pilates, Zumba, and under-the-table bribes. The studio’s 35 weekly classes are designed at an open level, so that students of all skill levels and ability can keep up amid the studio's soothing lemongrass-hued walls and burnished hardwood floors.
Leading more than 30 bike tours across the nation, the cycling enthusiasts at Bike and Roll fuel a passion for healthy, eco-friendly transportation via guided tours and self-guided rides atop rental bikes. Their fleet of two-wheelers stakes a claim to Trek bicycles—the same brand that propelled Lance Armstrong to victory—and other recreation, transportation, road, and children's bikes. Riders can pedal behind a guide during the Ride 'Round Manhattan tour, which circles the Statue of Liberty and the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial before cruising along the Harlem River bike path. More adventurous cyclists can board rental cycles on their own and confer with free maps to conduct a jaunt across the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges while drinking in the skyline and making Waldo spottings along the river. Bike and Roll also outfits patrons with other specialty transportation, such as in-line skates, segways, and magic carpets programmed to swing past the tops of only historic buildings.:m]]