V. TO TREAT WITH EXCESSIVE KINDNESS OR CARE; TO INDULGE
They're the spas, services, and indulgence that saved your sanity this year.
Lorelei Ashe MacDonald Gravity Defying Fitness
What if you did run away to the circus? The pixie trapeze artist Lorelei Ashe MacDonald could show you the ropes. She'll help you fly through the air (while tightening your glutes) at her Gravity Defying Fitness program. Read more
It’s All Up in the Air
Gravity Defying Fitness
Weights add bulk. Running gives you saggy cheeks. It’s a vicious cycle, all that vicious cycling. But it’s the strenuous attitude that’s weighing you down.
Until you try Gravity Defying Fitness, an aerial-based training program Lorelei Ashe MacDonald developed around tricks she learned in the circus (check out the video of her vaudeville trapeze act).
The petite yet powerful high-flyer aims to help you build strength, carve abs, and tone arms through exercises on chin-up bars, suspended rings, ropes, and tumbling mats.
MacDonald loves a deadline (eight weeks till summer!) and packs her custom hour-long sessions with tests of agility, coordination, and flexibility. You’ll look like a dork doing your first roly-poly (don’t ask; just do), but the payoff is big (and you can view it from behind).
She’ll be a permanent fixture as soon as The Plaza gets its act together. In the meantime, book her at Hype Gym or your gym.
Enough options to cater to your theory of relativity.
Gravity Defying Fitness (646-334-3036 or gravitydefyingfitness.com).
Pasquale Ferrante, Leonardo Manetti, Marco Santini Ion Salon
It could be the location (a hidden eco-oasis in Soho) or the finished product (hair professionally snipped and coiffed). But we have a feeling it's the Italian owners (charming and relaxed) who have left a lasting impression of Ion Hair Salon within our well-styled heads. Read more
Ion Hair Salon
We should all be so lucky as to meet an Italian stallion.
It’s all very possible at Ion, an unexpectedly super-cool SoHo hair salon that quietly opened a few months back.
A long hallway leads to a three-story loft that’s airy and light. Recycled plywood chairs, organic hair products, and wind-powered energy offsets are all part of the owners’ commitment to la vita verde. Serene environs plus Italian hospitality will keep you coming back.
But the real treat is the talent: Leonardo Manetti, Marco Santini, and Pasquale Ferrante are as skilled as they are charming (and that’s saying a lot). A few snips took a tired haircut to a playful do. What else needs to be said? The hetero threesome really knows how to make a girl look (and feel) sexy.
We’re not horsing around.
Ion, 41 Wooster Street, between Broome and Grand Streets (212-343-9060).
Marlon Aitcheson and Camella Ehlke Breathe Inn
Sometimes the only way to relax is to escape. Fort Greene couple Marlon and Camella Aitcheson welcome you with open arms to their modern Zen den in the Catskills, where the mood is tranquil, the meals are vegan, and the yoga studio beckons your child pose. Read more
Get Out of Town
Weekend in the Catskills
All you want is a B&B experience free of doilies, curfews, awkward socializing, and egg-and-cheese casseroles.
Zip two hours north to the Catskills for that plus more at Breathe Inn (1739 Route 214, Lanesville; 845-688-7516), a modern country house run by a relaxed Fort Greene couple (555 Soul founder; private chef for hip-hop moguls) who created a refuge for their NYC pals.
Nothing much goes on in Lanesville, and that’s the point. Nineteen woodland acres supply hushed sounds of summer. Seven bedrooms, bamboo yoga studio, basketball court, sauna, pool, hammocks, and gardens make for an ideal summer retreat, as do holistic weekend workshops.
Scrambled tofu with spices and fresh juices await at the Danish breakfast table, as do toddler Kaleo and Luna the dog. Spacious communal rooms are part Morocco and part midcentury modern. John Robshaw bedding, Malin+Goetz products, and graffiti art (from friends like Banksy) show city roots.
A ten-minute cruise takes you to Hunter Mountain; it’s 25 to Woodstock, where the Tibetan Buddhist monastery is the must-see (the Dalai Lama visits when he’s in New York). Pick up a loaf of organic French sourdough bread and the local paper at Bread Alone (22 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock; 845-679-2108). Drive another twenty minutes to the Old Town Stockade Farmers Market (Wall Street, at John Street, Kingston; 845-338-3468) for a handful of ranunculus, potted herbs, and Hudson Valley cheese.
Have dinner at Peekamoose, an eclectic restaurant and romper room filled with funky tree trunk chandeliers, swing chairs, and farm-fresh dishes like local beet tartare with caper berries, Hudson Valley shad roe with fava beans and smoked bacon, and slow-braised short ribs with salsify. Move over to the tap room for fondue and beer before bed (8373 Route 28, Big Indian; 845-254-6500).
You’re sleeping in tomorrow.