Meet NYC’s Only Asian Female Firefighter

Originally published on 7/19 in GOOD Magazine:

Photo by Kate Perotti/The Chief-Leader

In a city that’s often praised for its robust diversity, only a tiny fraction of all New York City firefighters are women. Currently, they represent only 52 out of over 10,500 total (that’s less than 0.5%).

Thankfully the United Women Firefighters (UWF), are on a mission to fight more than just fires—they want to upend the lonely level of women employed by the New York City Fire Department (FDNY). Known for having the first female firefighter in the nation, the city’s progress since the first woman joined in 1818 has been remarkably stunted. In the 200 years that followed, candidates have faced protests, abuse, and discrimination both in the firehouse and out.

Since NYPD and EMS personnel continue to outpace the gender balance of FDNY, both in leadership and entry-level positions, UWF has offered training and support for women of all ages, races, and orientations. UWF head Sarinya Srisakul has been involved in the group since 2003, serving as president for the past three and a half years. She’s the city’s first—and only—female Asian-American firefighter, on a mission to increase the women in her midst.

In the midst of responding to calls, training, and fighting for equal representation, Srisakul found the time to talk with GOOD.

Tell us a little about why FDNY’s hiring rates of women are so low.

Historically, the first group of women [firefighters] got tortured. I mean, they had the men’s wives picketing outside the firehouses, women got assaulted. It was a really hostile work environment, they were in the paper every day. So for a long time, we didn’t hire any women. I mean, who would want to walk into an environment like that? Until the commissioner we have now, no other leadership in the FDNY has ever committed themselves to fixing this problem.

So what made you want to enter that environment, what’s kept you there?

To be honest, being a trailblazer was attractive to me. And that really drove me a lot when I was a candidate–to push to make this achievement. I knew it was going to be hard. I think the job attracts people who want to make a difference in the world

What kind of legacy do you want to leave with UWS?

A lot of what we’re pushing to do is just to create fairness and equality for women. And we really do feel that the more women join our ranks, the better we all will get treated as a group. Right now there are so few of us, and some women may feel isolated or uncomfortable because they’re the only one in their firehouse or in their whole area. I was the only one south of 100th St for five years.

What do you think doesn’t get discussed enough with the public?

Women firefighters come in all shapes and sizes, so we have firefighters who are five feet tall and up to over six feet tall. We have skinny women, fat women, all in between. We come in all races and ethnicities. We have a transgender woman, we have women all across the LGBT spectrum. So we’re a very diverse group. With the proper training and support, anyone who is committed to doing this can.

What’s it like when responding to a call?

Those [gender] issues aren’t around, because when you have your gear on, we all look the same. And in a fire, it’s pitch black. So there’s no issues on the fire floor.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

For upcoming initiatives, information on their community/candidate trainings (2016’s a recruitment year), and legislation worth supporting, follow UWF on Twitter.

Meet NYC’s Only Asian Female Firefighter

Be body positive without going cash negative: Free summer workouts you can do today

We don't have a muscle beach in NYC, but any beach can be a muscle beach with these workout tips.

Maybe your New Year’s resolution didn’t work out as planned. Maybe the mild winter didn’t mean you exercised more. And maybe last year’s swimsuit is looking like one of those strings people wrap around ham before roasting it.

If running to catch the G is no longer cutting it and you’ve exhausted the city’s free gym trials, never fear; we’ve put together a guide to quintessential workouts for the busy brokester that’ll help quickly you get your beach body (whatever that means for you; we’re body positive here, and also free-stuff positive!) with still plenty of time to enjoy the summer. And if our all-day workout is just too rigorous for you, scroll on down to the bottom for suggested free activities to get in shape.

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AM Ab workout

Direct your morning commute rage away from the mariachi band and harness it for an early workout. Practice one-legged balance when standing on the train (make sure there’s a stranger nearby you can crash into if you fall), or do some simple reps of leg lifts and abdominal circles if you score an early morning seat.

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Lunchtime lunges

Why walk like a normal person when you can look like a complete weirdo? Lunge across the office, to the printer, on your lunchbreak. For that extra smack of crazy, add in some arm circles with each lunge. Your biceps, triceps, and thighs will thank you.

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Evening exercises

It’s hard to find time to squeeze in workouts between outdoor summer flicks and day trips to the beach. Still instead of sending your laundry off to be washed for you, head on over to Sunshine Laundromat for pinball and some light lifting.

Apart from lugging the (let’s face it) overstuffed Santa sack of stink to your laundromat, you can use your laundry bag instead of an exercise ball! Knock out side squats, tricep dips, shoulder curls and even plank pose for a full-body workout before moving clothes from the washer to the dryer. Then bring your newly washed clothing home on your sweat-soaked back.

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Nighttime Cardio

Necessity is the mother of all weight loss. Whether you got off at the wrong subway stop, took a wrong turn in a new neighborhood, or relied too heavily on Google maps on your now dead phone, getting lost is a great excuse to work on your interval training. You’ll find you’ve never run so fast than in an unfamiliar neighborhood after last call. When you finally do make it home, keep the momentum going by doing stair runs until you collapse.

BUT IF “EXERCISE” ISN’T YOUR THING…

True, this daily workout routine is rigorous. For those of you who can’t commit, there are plenty of other options to get in shape for free, without making a workout feel like work.

Volunteering is a great way to get outside and get fit. Give back to your city and look good doing it. You can even get paid to teach kiddos to bike.

Plus, North Brooklyn Boat Club is one of many organizations that offers free kayaking on weekends. Just get there early to secure your spot.

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And If all else fails, you can even join the alliance of New York Jedi to be as ripped as that dancing red sith.

Don’t let yourself become Jabba the Hut. Do the Brokelyn workout and pinch pennies between your rippling muscles instead. Summer’s calling.

 

Originally Posted on 6/22 in Brokelyn Magazine.

Be body positive without going cash negative: Free summer workouts you can do today

Finding Brooklyn’s Best Fried Pickle Chips: A Texan’s Odyssey

After six years in the Lone Star State, I knew that in moving from “Little Austin”  to the Big Apple, there would be some things I’d miss. But I was unprepared to learn that the city that has everything seemed to be missing something important: the perfect fried pickle chips.

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A staple of just about every cheap restaurant or dive bar in Texas, fried pickle chips are best enjoyed on a blisteringly hot summer day with a pitcher or two of beer. Serious fried pickle chips are not only served with ranch dressing, but are soaked in it before being battered, for that extra hint of heart attack.

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It was only when my girlfriend, a Texas native, moved up to Brooklyn did we find ourselves on the prowl for a taste of home. And after over a dozen disappointments, I was beginning to lose hope. While places like MooBurger and Dumont Burger have rave reviews, I’m sad to report that the fried pickles on their menus have fallen victim to gentrification. Why try to make fried pickles more refined with aïoli or fancy breading when the charm of fried pickle chips is in their stalwart and signature flavor combination?

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Perhaps worse still were the deceptive and mouth-watering food porn platings from The Whiskey Brooklyn and Smashburger. Both restaurants’ orders walked the walk—the portions were Texas-sized, and they came with a heaping ramekin of what I thought was ranch. (Note: When you’re expecting ranch and it turns out to be sour cream, the result is not good.) But both restaurants’ wonderful ambiance and great service couldn’t make up for the fact that the pickle chips were downright mushy. The too-thick pickles slid out of the too-thin breading and hot pickle juice squirted out with a vengeance.

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And while the chalkboard-painted bathroom, sports broadcasts, and rustic fireplace of Two Doors Tavernwere all pretty great, the fried pickles there didn’t have that signature crunch, and were almost too big to eat without a fork and knife.

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At this point, our search was getting desperate. I was beginning to think there was one thing that Brooklyn just didn’t have. Would I have to go back to Texas for this delicacy? Or worse still, resort to a chain restaurant to satisfy this craving?

But if there’s one thing that New Yorkers and Texans have in common, it’s that we aren’t quitters. And so, with renewed vigor (and antacids), my girlfriend and I tried Pies n Thighs. Surely, this southern-fried, comfort food spot would mark the end of a six-month long search. But my inner Mary Hume rang clear. Almost perfect. But not quite. The breading was the same as is used for their fried chicken. And although the portion of pickles is small, it allows you to indulge in their incredible entrees without feeling too stuffed for dessert. Still though, my search continued.

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The runner up to Brooklyn’s best fried pickles, Jimmy’s Diner, is a small but mighty contender. Jimmy’s Williamsburg location has just five tables and a bartop, with a killer happy hour from 4-10. And the owner Salvatore’s southern roots show in his homemade sweet pickles. I’d normally be the first to scoff at using sweet pickles over dill (the nerve), but somehow Jimmy’s slightly spicy cornmeal breading and sweet pickle crunch work together perfectly. And while a recurring theme at every restaurant has been that the chips weren’t crispy enough, Jimmy’s got around this by removing the pulpy gooey center entirely for a kind of fried pickle ring. While I can’t say that Jimmy’s fried pickles are what I had in mind, their uniqueness and flavor are a worthy excuse to check out the place.

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It was with a bit of desperation that I tried my seventeenth restaurant’s order of fried pickles. And while, at first, the fried pickle chips at Wilma Jean (Cobble Hill) looked too thick, too dark, and just not right to this now skeptical eye, my first bite of the first perfect fried pickle chip in years was well worth the wait. The satisfying crunch reminded me why these are in fact called “chips”—the fried cornmeal breading and dilly but dry pickles crackled in the buttermilk dressing, and the paper-lined yellow basket soaked up the grease in satisfying puddles. I’m still in awe of how the chips could be so thick, but so crunchy and textured. Although it barely took a few minutes to devour this appetizer, every pickle chip was worthy of the same meticulous enjoyment with which they were made.

The restaurant is known for its southern favorites and comfort food classics, and perfectly honors chef and owner Rob Newton’s grandmother, Wilma Jean. Brooklyn natives, southern transplants, and anyone with taste buds will find something to love on the menu. And I personally will remain grateful that eating fried pickles can once again be an occasion, and will no longer be an odyssey.

All photos by Max Branigan

 

Originally posted on 6/7 in Brooklyn Magazine.

Finding Brooklyn’s Best Fried Pickle Chips: A Texan’s Odyssey

DUMBO on a Dime: A Brokester’s Guide to Hosting Tourists for a Day in Brooklyn

How to show out-of-towners a good time (for cheap) in Dumbo
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Yeah, okay, okay, it's really pretty. dumbonyc / Flickr

The start of summer comes with an influx of pests: mosquitos, pantsplainers, street harassers… and of course tourists, some of whom happen to be your friends and family. As quaint as it can be to show them around and do a few touristy things, it can also be exhausting. There’s no doubt you’ll feel a financial strain within minutes of your first meal out, and a mental strain as try you explain to your beloved out-of-towners that he Rainbow Bagel isn’t worth the hype. But the next time your regularly-scheduled programming is interrupted by someone’s first trip to New York City, and Brooklyn at that, you won’t need to flounder for options, because you can simply take them on our Broketown Tours (TM) journey through DUMBO.

First an underutilized waterfront, then a refuge for artists, Dumbo has shifted from an area with one of the highest rents in the city over the course of just a few decades. So bring it back to its roots and still take in everything it has to offer without being an overcharged dumbo! We’ve put together a roundup of neighborhoods spots and sights that cater to tourists and locals alike in both their hype factors and their price points. Pace yourself and split food, and you can probably do most everything on this list for $20. After all, your tourist friends may only be here for a few days, but you live here, and you’ve still got a ways to go before you can afford your next vacation.

SIGHTS

A visit to Dumbo wouldn’t be complete without visiting Brooklyn Bridge Park. From either the High St. (A/C) or York St. (F) stops, you can walk the park in its entirety, including stops at all the traditional attractions. As you stroll under the bridges or picnic at the tables set up by Jane’s Carousel ($2, free for ages 3 and under), kick back and enjoy the recently expanded Green Necklace making its way around the borough.

FREE highlights of the park include the public art, frequent events (hello, free summer movies), pickup basketball games and the new environmental education center. For a small fee, the piers also have roller skating ($6) and an all-new climbing wall ($9). All the while, there’s a great view of the Brooklyn Bridge.

While an entire day could be spent walking up and down the park, five minutes away you’ll find the Dorje Ling Buddhist Center (98 Gold St.), free to enter, where prayer flags are woven in between barbed wire fencing and Instagramming tourists are far less frequent. A quiet respite from walking under the deafening N/Q, this Tibetan center was established in 1991 and has since offered free access to activities, events, and practices for holidays.

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Indulge your inner (and outer) feminist at A.I.R. via Facebook

SHOPPING AND CULTURE

The best part about shopping with tourists is that you don’t actually have to buy anything to experience it alongside them. And for a neighborhood so small, Dumbo offers a surprising number of one-of-a-kind boutiques and shops, including two incredible independent bookstores. Powerhouse Arena (37 Main St.) hosts book launches, readings, and signings from authors such as Salman Rushdie, David Sedaris, Joyce Carol Oates, and T.C. Boyle. Great for finding a quick souvenir or a break from the heat, plus a wealth of New York-based artists and authors available to browse. Around the corner is P.S. Bookshop, a secondhand and rare bookstore with reading chairs scattered throughout the musty shelves. While your friends fawn over Jonathan Franzen, you can leaf through that gently used copy of A Tree Grows in Brooklyn you’ve been meaning to read, or just buy it for under $10.

On the first Thursday of each month, dozens of galleries participate in Dumbo’s Gallery Walk (free). But if you happen to visit Dumbo one of the other 30 days of the month, you’ll still trip over galleries almost as much as the cobblestones. Bring the folks to Masters PRJ (91 Water St.) for international contemporary art, get abstract at Minus Space (16 Main St..), or check out feminist gallery A.I.R. (155 Plymouth St.). Don’t forget to keep an eye out for Dumbo’s colorful street art along York street and under the bridges!

Craving some action? The Gelsey Kirkland Ballet (29 Jay St.) is a great alternative to the ballet at Lincoln Center, and tickets are way cheaper at $25-$35. Pro tip: if you can charm the staff members, you can even peek in on daytime rehearsals for free.

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Sure, it's a little touristy. But who doesn't love the Shack?

SNACKS AND EATS

You won’t be alone if you just want to brown-bag it in the park or under the bridge. But don’t force a grocery store lunch on your out-of-towners: a first-timer’s visit to New York wouldn’t be complete without trying the food.

Caffeine lovers can head over to Brooklyn Roasting Co. (25 Jay St.) at their historic roasting headquarters for a seriously good cappuccino. If you’d rather save money for your meal while your tourist friends try the coffee, though, you can just watch and smell the beans being roasted, chat up the knowledgeable staff, or walk through the bookshop that shares a door with the roasters.

Food trucks are everywhere in this increasingly commercial area, but for a cheaper option, split a pie at Grimaldi’s (1 Front St.), voted one of Brooklyn’s best coal-oven pizzerias. Pies start at $12. Alternatively, show your insider knowledge by heading to Juliana’s (19 Old Fulton St.), opened by Grimaldi’s founder, and located just next door. Pies start at $16.

If you’d rather do something without table service (splitting the bill has been known to end many a friendship) or those famished from a day of sightseeing, Shake Shack (1 Old Fulton St.) is great for picking up a to-go bag and doing a parkside picnic. Sip on one of their signature Four & Twenty Blackbirds pie-infused concrete shakes while taking the East River ferry ($4) for a cheap and ‘gram-worthy route to Manhattan or Greenpoint. (For anyone not blessed with a Shake Shack in their home state, this really can be a truly religious experience.)

On a hot day, the Brooklyn Ice Cream Factory (Pier 11, Fulton Landing) is irresistible. Cones are around $5. But if the lineup is long or you’d rather indulge for cheaper, you can always take shelter in the air-conditioned and less expensive Jacques Torres Chocolate (66 Water St.), where chocolates run about $1.80 per piece.

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Good job, champ. Now go get Dumbo drunk.

SUDS ON SPECIAL

You made it! You got through a whole day of sights, nosh and cultural experiences in Dumbo with tourists in tow, and you didn’t break the bank (we hope). Here at Brokelyn, we believe that deserves a drink. A cheap drink, of course. So here’s a list of great happy hours to enjoy with friends or family after a day well-spent:

Before heading home for the day, take advantage of these great happy hour specials:

From 2-7pm, 68 Jay Street Bar has $2 Yuengling bottles, $3 drafts and $4 glasses of wine.

From 4-7pm, Superfine (126 Front St.) features $3.50 well drinks, $3 draft beers, and free pool tables.

From 4-7pm, Olympia Wine Bar (54 Jay St.) touts $5 glasses of wine, plus a $12 cheese plate.

The quintessential “Brooklyn” experience? Following Rebecca on Twitter: @viewfromthest

 

Originally published on 5/16 in Brokelyn.

DUMBO on a Dime: A Brokester’s Guide to Hosting Tourists for a Day in Brooklyn

Through the Looking Glass: Behind Greenpoint’s Insta-Famous Window

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Hello from the other siiiiiiide. Photo by Rebecca Stevens.

You may have seen @greenpointglass’ recent takeover of Greenpointers’ Instagram account, or passed by the white house on the corner of Norman and Lorimer inviting passersby to take selfies in front of its mirrored windows. Those behind the iconic Greenpoint attraction recently invited Greenpointers in for an exclusive interview.

Just over two years ago, Molly and Rob moved from their apartment in Hell’s Kitchen to Greenpoint, into a ground-level apartment on the corner of Norman and Lorimer. “I never knew about Greenpoint until I moved here, or how great it was. The guy across the street has been here for decades. He can tell you everything, where all the bodies are buried, what this place was like. That’s what I love about this ‘hood. Nobody knows about it but us.” Molly observed.

The two-way mirror on the corner advertises free selfies for@greenpointglass, and has become a Greenpoint landmark. “[the landlord] works in construction, and when he bought the place, there were just these two tiny windows with bars in them. When he knocked the wall out, he installed the mirrored glass for privacy,” Molly said as we secretly ogled passers-by. “It’s always good people watching, especially when you get the late brunch crowds, or Halloween, when everyone’s hammered.”

Of their choice to rent the apartment, Molly said, “we didn’t even realize at the time that this was a 2-way mirror. And we didn’t really comprehend what this was or what it could be or how unique it was. But after sitting here the first weekend, we just realized, ‘holy shit, this is awesome.’ When we moved in, I got my partner this Polaroid book and a camera, and we started taking pictures of random things that we noticed – people picking their nose, or crying, or fixing their hair.

The Polaroid and album Molly and Rob created when they first moved to Greenpoint. Also pictured: costumed rescue cat. Photo by Rebecca Stevens.
The Polaroid camera and album Molly and Rob created when they first moved to Greenpoint (& bonus rescue cat). Photo by Rebecca Stevens.

When Molly and Rob showed their photo collection to friends, they realized that the intimate, funny, sad, and bizarre moments they were capturing were too good not to share on a larger scale. So, in early May of 2014,@greenpointglass posted its first picture on Instagram.

Now, Molly and Rob spend a few hours on weekend mornings drinking coffee and people-watching. “We see the good and bad of people…Most of it’s good.” In a city where it’s easy to forget that you’re not alone, Molly and Rob share the unique perspectives their window offers—of late-night stoners, YMCA members, local celebrities—each a special moment in time captured by a picture.

“It’s incredible to see these special moments: between [fathers and] daughters, friends, couples…This one girl came by in dark black lipstick and intense eye makeup. And she had obviously had a hellish day ‘cause she was crying so hard and stopped as she was walking by. She stopped and just cried and cried and watched the tears stream down her face, watching herself crying, makeup running. And we’re sitting here with, like, cocktails after work… I would have loved to have posted a photo of that, but it seemed mean or too personal.”

Six examples of the hundreds of tagged and posted Greenpoint Glass selfies, including famous cat @fatcatchunkerz.
Six examples of the hundreds of tagged and posted Greenpoint Glass selfies, including famous cat @fatcatchunkerz.

On the brisk Saturday morning when we sat by their window, Molly and I saw everything from quick side-eye glances to full-on brunch-drunk poses. “Even if they don’t stop and do anything, they’ll see it and it’ll make them smile or laugh,” Molly said of the older crowds.

“We’ll see people we recognize out and about on the streets, and we’ve heard people talk about it in bars and restaurants too. And we try not to chuckle too loudly as we’re listening.”

Molly and Rob have always elected to be anonymous, choosing to showcase those in front of the window instead. That being said, it doesn’t prevent them from occasionally posting their own photos, with faces concealed by masks or other disguises.

They’ve done Cutest Pet competitions, Best Kiss contests, and even partnered withCup to give away a free cappuccino to the cutest couple.

I would love to partner with local community groups. We’re big into animal rescue. It’s all on the horizon, but I need help to coordinate it.Social media isn’t really my jam…,” the nearly 2,000-follower account-holder said without irony.

When asked if there was anything she wanted to say to the people on the other side of the glass, Molly offered advice for better pictures and better living: “Goof off more! Show us your titties! People are so serious. Have fun, be creative. Don’t just sit there.”

Follow @greenpointglass on Instagram, or reach out to Greenpointglass@gmail.comfor community partnership inquiries. The @greenpointglass window is located at the corner of Norman and Lorimer.

 

Originally posted on May 3, 2016 on Greenpointers.com

Through the Looking Glass: Behind Greenpoint’s Insta-Famous Window

Know Your Neighbors: Hosh Yoga Studio’s New Teacher Training Scholarships

Originally posted on 2/29/16 on Greenpointers.com

Greenpointers Summer Market 2015 Rooftop Yoga with Hosh Yoga
Greenpointers Summer Market 2015 Rooftop Yoga with Hosh Yoga

While sifting through clothes at beacon’s closet or grabbing a beer and a brat atSpritzenhaus, you may have seen a procession of yoga-pantsed Greenpointers heading in and out of the unassuming grey door on the corner of Nassau and Guernsey.

A closer look at 55 Nassau will lead you to Hosh Yoga, a Greenpoint nonprofit made possible by a team of 60 volunteers and instructors, which provides donation-based classes with a mission of health and wellness as a right to life, not a luxury.

Photo credit © Hosh Yoga Studios.
Hosh’s Mission is to promote health and wellness as a right to life, not a luxury. Photo © Hosh Yoga.

Started in 2009 as a small yoga group in McCarren Park, Hosh’s school programs, senior classes, and studio instruction now reach over 3,000 people every month, with the studio attendees’ donations going toward education, training, and community outreach. “When people come to our studio, they truly practice making a difference for the community…that needs it most and can afford it least,” notes Henry Cross, Executive Director.

“Greenpoint’s diversity of people and cultures make it possible for community organizations like ours to thrive,” Cross continued. With over a dozen different types of classes being offered this week alone, Hosh instructors and volunteers further dedicate time outside of the studio to serving local schools and senior centers. “I would ask everyone [here], ‘how are you an example of the community you wish to live in?’” said Cross.

oshKids provides after school and schoolday yoga, training, and enrichment programs. Photo © Hosh Yoga.
HoshKids provides after school and schoolday yoga, training, and enrichment programs. Photo © Hosh Yoga.

You may have seen or participated in the donation-based yoga on the rooftop during Greenpointer’s summer marketlast year, or in McCarren Park, or in classes at P.S. 34 and the local senior center. Their efforts extend across Brooklyn, for people of all ages, abilities, and incomes.

Since their 501©(3) was registered almost seven years ago, Hosh has continued to grow in their outreach. Their new teacher training, partially funded with the support of CouncilmanAntonio Reynoso, provides 10 tuition-free placements for those aged 18-22, plus ten $1200 placements for those over 22. This training provides yoga education and certification under the tutelage of a world-class facility, for a steeply lowered cost.

Of the new program, Cross noted, “for Hosh, it’s all about actualizing our mission and vision by taking a hard look at the financial realities of people…Feeling healthy and happy is all good talk, but if people don’t have the financial means for self-work and living a fit life, then how effective are we?”

Inside Hosh's studio. Photo © Hosh Yoga.
Inside Hosh’s studio. Photo © Hosh Yoga.

Cross and his peers at Hosh hope to democratize yoga teacher training in addition to yoga classes, and impress on the yoga community that even education is a luxury for many. Applicants 18 and up can apply for Hosh’s 200 hour yoga teacher training, find a schedule of upcoming classes, or learn more about Hosh’s mission at hoshyoga.org.

Know Your Neighbors: Hosh Yoga Studio’s New Teacher Training Scholarships

Five Winter Workouts You Might Actually Do

Originally published on 2/24/16 on Greenpointers.com

©©©©©©
Check out Greenpoint’s weirdest (and coolest) winter workouts. Photo credit, clockwise from the top left: © Greenpoint Grappling Club, Rebecca Stevens, Williamsburg Touch Rugby, Streb, BrooklynPaper, and HollywoodStunts.

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re like me, your New Year’s resolution (if you made one at all) is already abandoned, and training for a half-marathon has been replaced with a snowy sprint to the bodega.

Never fear, my fellow hibernating, chubby, and cocooned Greenpointers! Below is a list of 5 fitness programs bizarre enough to get you out of the apartment and maybe even in shape before winter’s over, without even having to get on the subway:

GREENPOINT:

  • Greenpoint Grappling Club: If the latest action movie’s got you ready to become a ji-jitsu master, join this relaxed environment to get technical training while also getting to play on those fun plastic mats from elementary school.
    Where: Otom Gym, 169 Calyer St. When: Mondays and Wednesdays at 7:30 pm, Fridays at 7 pm Cost: 1st class is free
  • Learn Hollywood Stunts: No word yet on whether or not you can bring your own fake blood or explosives, but Hollywood Stunts offers intensive pro-trainings, stage fighting, and the mind-boggling: trampoline snowboarding lessons (uh, can I sign up twice?).
    Where: Hollywood Stunts NYC, 73 West St. When: Private lessons Cost: $100 per hour
  • Beginner Sword Fighting: Take your Indigo Mantoya costume to the next level with this new class at the YMCA.
    Where: Greenpoint YMCA, 99 Meserole Ave. When: Fridays at 7:30 pm Cost: Get a free day pass or a $56/month membership for access to this and other classes.

WILLAMSBURG:

  • Williamsburg Touch Rugby: Wait, touch rugby? Is that a thing? With over 500 co-ed members, you don’t have to worry about showing up to work with a black eye or dislocated shoulder, and can still get a good sweat on.
    Where: The Pitch, 200 N 14th When: Tuesdays at 9 pm Cost: $180 per player (includes a swanky jersey)
  • Trampoline, Intro to Acrobatics, and Parkour: You can sit in on the company rehearsals before taking one of their many classes, and support the company, the school, the space, and the programs.
    Where: Streb, 51 N 1st When: Mondays and Tuesdays at 7:30 pm Cost: $25/class

BONUS – BUSHWICK:

  • Metal Yoga: Okay, so this one requires a subway ride, but it might just be worth it to experience this vinyasa class. Go through the instructor’s breathing flow until you feel the poses’ “hellish fire creeping into [your body]” and have fun working out to your favorite bands. You can even grab a drink at their bar after class.
    Where: The Cobra Club, 6 Wyckoff Ave (L train to Jefferson St.), When: Sundays at 2 pm Cost: $13
Five Winter Workouts You Might Actually Do