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.
New York City Photo Safari coordinates year-round educational excursions that blend hands-on photography lessons with tours of NYC's most famous locales. Owner Diem "Zim" Pham—who works as a travel photographer, a position that often requires the skills to create compelling images in less-than-ideal conditions—and Zim’s team of instructors are all professional photographers currently working in the industry. Safari sizes stay cozy at no more than eight people, allowing for a wealth of personalized feedback and troubleshooting advice for each apprentice. The Metropolitan Museum of Art safari employs the lauded museum halls as a setting for lessons in the use of light and how to overcome difficult lighting challenges, whereas the avant-garde High Line Elevated Park course instructs eyes in the art of composition. Aspiring politicos can embark on the City Hall safari, which fills memory cards with crisp shots of neo-classic architecture and caped superheroes flying to and from the mayor’s office.
With its winding sidewalks, New York City is very walkable⎯a characteristic native New Yorker and Manhattan Walking Tour founder Garry Zafrani celebrates with a slate of informative expeditions. Zafrani and his knowledgeable staff of tour guides lead various jaunts throughout the famed metropolis, sharing historical facts about Central Park, downtown, Times Square, and the High Line along the way. They also sate visitors’ taste buds with food tours, treating palates to global flavors during the International Food Lovers tour and pairing architecture sightings and focaccia during a tour of Greenwich Village.
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.