Goodbye Sweata Weatha, Hello Studio Strength!

As sweata weatha gives way to tank top and bathing suit weather, I thought my regular workout routine could use a little spicing up. Actually, I have to admit that the winter doldrums had gotten me into a routine of not being in a routine… So…. I needed a change. I hit up Studio Strength on Franklin Ave in Garden City for just that. 

Studio Strength is a personal training fitness studio led by two very passionate owners/personal trainers- Juan Mayoral and Christine Inguanta. When I first walked in and saw all of the equipment- battling ropes, dog sleds, resistance bands, plus a few other things I had never seen before, my first thought was, “This is not my grandmother’s gym.” I was excited. 
There are no classes here or saunas but there’s a lot of specialized workout equipment and a very positive, friendly atmosphere. Juan and Christine believe in results-driven workouts and fitness programs that are tailored to each individual client. 

I don’t know about you, but I feel that I have a decent amount of knowledge about strength training and working out, but even still- I often wonder if I’m doing exercises properly or if I’m doing them in the right combination with other exercises. Because one thing I do know is that there are ways to maximize your time in the gym and see results quicker. Juan and Christine’s one on one training sessions are 30 mins long and they are full body. A private, full body strength training workout {designed just for me} in only 30 mins while I’m being closely monitored by an experienced trainer?? Sign me up!

As far as ambiance, the studio is bright and clean. There are towels and water but not many other frills and that’s part of the appeal. I find it to be very time efficient which is great for my busy schedule. I’d normally go to the gym, say hi to a few friends, start my workout, wander around looking for certain weights or exercise balls, chat with a couple more people, wait for equipment to become free… you get the drift… basic lollygagging {which may or may not be a real word.} By the time I get out, it’s always over an hour and a good bit of that time is spent wasted. Here, I come in, work out and 30 minutes later I’m getting on with my day.

So, onto the workout. Here are a few of my thoughts and experiences:

– My initial visit consisted of a very detailed consultation with Christine. We discussed medical history, fitness experience, diet and nutrition, fitness goals, etc. We also did a brief fitness test to assess my fitness level so she could develop my workout plan. We then did body measurements and weight. This last part is repeated every 6 weeks so we can monitor progress and {for better or worse} be held accountable. Yikes!

– My plan is two 30 minute sessions per week {they usually do two or three sessions a week- depending on the client}. The exercises, amount of weight and number of reps are all figured out by my trainer for my individual plan. This is what I love about Studio Strength- everything is tailored to my specific needs and fitness goals. I then follow up with cardio on my own time- either using their cardio equipment at the studio or just running/walking outside {now that the snow has cleared. Yay!}

– Juan and Christine are great. They monitor your movements so that you’re getting the best and most efficient workout and they make it clear that all fitness levels have a place here, whether you’re a strength training newbie or a veteran.

– I like that it’s small and private. This means no intimidation factor, no waiting for equipment and no wasted time. 

– The schedule is quite accommodating- Juan and Christine are available 6 days a week {by appointment.}

The BEST part is that Studio Strength is celebrating their FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY this month by offering a discounted package for new clients! In April, you can get the initial consultation and fitness assessment PLUS four 30 minute personal training sessions for $150! This package usually costs $199. To take advantage of the anniversary deal, stop in or call them at 516-385-8188. Check out their website for more information on this studio. 

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Find Your Soul {Cycle}

I once heard someone say that spin class is what hell must be like- dark, hot, sweaty, you’re pedaling but going nowhere… all while someone is screaming at you. That’s not quite the feeling I get when I take a spin class (even though… confession: I hate cardio, as in haaaate!), but I can see why one might feel that way.

Spinning is the one type of cardio I can tolerate and would even say enjoy. I’ve taken lots of spin classes, but I never did a “serious” one at a studio like SoulCycle. Nervously, I decided I would try one. Would I kick butt or get my butt kicked? Would I “find my Soul” as the website promises? 

My friend, who is a spinning addict, somehow convinced me to try the Saturday 7:15AM class in Roslyn. Class sign-ups begin on Mondays at noon. I signed up online four days before the class and narrowly escaped being wait-listed. Nothing attracts a crowd like a crowd, right? Warning: registration here is the kind of thing where people set alarms on their phones and stop doing whatever they are doing to sign up ASAP, or else they are shut out. So if you see someone swerving (guardrail to guardrail) on the LIE on Monday, they may be a Soul-Cycler pulling over to sign up for a class. 

Once there, we were surrounded by the way-too-put-together-for-7:00am crowd: cycling junkies. Check in was fast and the space was clean and new. They lend spin shoes the way you would borrow shoes in a bowling alley, except these are slightly cooler.

For newbies, they provide a great service of sending an employee over to your bike to set it up for you, and in my case, help click the shoes into place since I never used spin shoes before. There’s no time wasted- classes seem to run like clockwork here. Actually, the theme seems to be: get in, spin, get out. Our instructor was very professional and enthusiastic. He introduced himself and got us riding immediately. And ride we did.

Class takes place in a large room, which was a bit on the warm side, temperature-wise. They squeeze in about 50 bikes so it’s tight quarters. SoulCycle puts their own spin (womp… womp…) on spinning. There are hand weights under each seat which we used for a little upper body toning during class. The music was awesome (although super loud) and the ride kept changing which is great for those of us who get easily bored with cardio. 

The room was dark for the most part, except for a couple of candles in the front. There are a few spotlights used occasionally throughout the class for effect. Darkness is good for us newbies who may or may not have trouble getting their shoes unlocked from the pedals when it’s time to dismount.  I loved that the bikes and shoes are cleaned by the staff after each use, so the gross factor is kept to a minimum.

There are no locker rooms, just two bathrooms and a wall of lockers, so this isn’t the answer if you like a pre-commute-jump-on-the-train type of workout. You’ll be tempted to add some pieces to your workout wardrobe here. There is a lot of SoulCycle merchandise for sale- so you can get your Soul on and let everyone know you did. That’s kind of the point, isn’t it? 

I recommend giving SoulCycle a shot. It may not be for everyone but there’s no commitment. The first class is only $20 and it’s $35 per class thereafter, plus a $3 shoe rental fee. There is a little bit of a Starbucks factor here with the premium price- but for some people, it’s worth it. Spin on!

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Sunday Fundraiser at GC Bowl

Come out on Sunday and support your neighbors by attending the DeCrescito Foundation Fundraiser. 

Chris DeCrescito was a Franklin Square resident who was killed by a drunk driver in 2013. He left behind a wife with multiple sclerosis and three children, who are now ages 14,11 and 10. 

The DeCrescito family are members of St. Anne’s parish and they established this foundation to give money quickly and directly to families whose loved ones were killed by drunk drivers.  

The event takes place on Sunday, March 15th at the Garden City Bowl from 2:30-6:30pm. $20 per blue ticket and $60 per pink ticket. Call 516-491-1683 or email to order tickets. 

Ringing in the {Chinese} New Year

In case you hadn’t heard, this year’s Chinese New Year started on February 19th and this is the Year of the Goat. I never celebrated Chinese New Year before but Orchid’s annual celebration intrigued me and I decided to make my rez. Turns out- this was the place to be!

There were two seatings: 6pm and 8pm. Food selections were already made for us with a set menu. I was happy with the menu- one dish with a variety of apps on it per person plus 3 entrees (a chicken, a beef and a fish) for the table to share family style, followed by dessert (chocolate cake or ice cream- not sure if those desserts make it into the authentic Chinese cuisine category but hey, I’m not complaining). Service was attentive as well- despite the busy night. 

The evening’s highlight was, of course, the traditional Chinese entertainment. We were treated to a show of traditional Chinese dances, four elaborate (and large) lions/dragons doing their own dance routine and Chinese music. Of course, the most fun may have been putting the traditional Chinese red envelopes with money (tips) inside the lion’s mouth as it came to your table. It was here that I basically got my head swallowed by one (all part of the fun).

I will definitely be at Orchid’s fabulous celebration again next year. It was more fun than I expected and my whole table had a blast. I’m thinking that I may have discovered a new way to ring in the new year!

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Weekend Events Guide: February 20th Edition

Just when you thought it couldn’t/wouldn’t get any cooler… welcome to the weekend winter blast! With temps as low as 8 degrees today (feeling like -2), snow expected on Saturday and rain for Sunday, the weather may not be cooperating with your weekend plans. But don’t despair- we have lots of other options for you in and around Garden City!

Friday- The acclaimed dance troupe, Taylor 2, performs at Adelphi University. See some of the world’s greatest choreography, performed by some of the world’s finest dancers. 7:30pm, Dance Theatre. Get tickets here

Friday- With the start of Lent, BK Sweeney’s has got you covered with their weekly fish fest every Friday in Lent. 636 Franklin Ave. 

Saturday- Sleeping Beauty will be showing at BroadHollow Theatre at Elmont at 2pm. Click here for tickets. 

Saturday- Come to Lakeshore Learning to do a different craft every Saturday between 11am and 3pm. 2709 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park. 

Saturday- Trio Solisti returns to Adelphi. If you missed their last performance, don’t miss this one. 8pm, Westermann Stage, Concert Hall. Check out their website and click here to buy tickets. 

Sunday- Don’t miss the film screening of Rossini’s The Barber of Seville at Adelphi’s Concert Hall at 2pm. Running time: 3 hours. Buy tickets here. 516-775-4420

Sunday- Are you caught up on this year’s predicted winners for the 2015 Academy Awards? You have until Sunday night and then it’s showtime! Catch the coverage starting at 7pm.  

If you’d like to have your business or club’s event posted in our weekend guide, please send an email to Thank you for reading and please visit our Facebook page!

Weekend Events Guide: February 13th Edition

It’s Friday the 13th and here are 13 things to do (coincidence?) in and around Garden City this weekend!

Friday- Pump It Up Of Great Neck is hosting a Valentine’s Day Sweetheart Jump. Receive a Valentine’s Day goodie bag, make a Valentine’s craft and enjoy food and drinks.
Cost: $19.95 per child. 225 Community Drive, Great Neck. Check the website here for more details.  6:15 pm – 8:15 pm

Twin Rinks in Eisenhower Park is now open for public skating. Click here for schedule information.

Revel on Franklin Ave. in Garden City is offering a special Valentine’s Day menu this weekend. Click here to see it.

Saturday- Enjoy Afternoon Tea in the Polo Lounge at the Garden City Hotel. Reservations required. Hours: 2:00 pm until 5:00 pm. 516-877-9385.

Saturday- Learn about Herb Gardening for Health at Hicks Nurseries at 1:00 pm. 100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury.

Saturday- See Tango Buenos Aires at the Tilles Center, 8:00 pm. $33-$63 Click here for ticket information.

Saturday- Head to Lakeshore Learning Center between 11:00 am and 3:00 pm for a different craft each weekend. 2709 Hillside Ave., New Hyde Park. 516-616-9360

Saturday- See the play “Morgan’s Journey” at the Long Island Children’s Museum. 11:30am and 2:00 pm. Ages: 3 and up. Cost: $5 with museum admission. Click here for more details.

Saturday- Capo on Covert Ave is offering a four course dinner with wine pairing. Click here for more details.

Sunday- See “The Million Dollar Quartet”- the Tony award-winning Broadway Musical at the Tilles Cener. 7:00 pm. Click here for ticket information. Cost: $53-$83

Sunday- See Adelphi University’s Student Recital at Recital Hall. Enjoy a variety of vocal and instrumental performances. Cost: Free. 4:00 pm. Click here for more information.

Sunday- Garden City’s St. Joseph’s Church will be showing the movie Heaven is For Real at 2pm in the St. Agnes Room. Cost: Free. 130 Fifth St.

Sunday- Marc Anthony is performing at Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale at 7:00 pm. Click here for tickets.

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Whiten Up for Valentine’s Day

It’s beginning to look a lot like… Valentine’s Day. If your smile isn’t at it’s best (think Eric Estrada circa Chips), I’ve got good news for you coffee/red wine/soda drinkers out there who may be in need of some whitening!

Did you know that our own GC resident, Dominique Lizzio, DDS, has joined Dr. Cerrato and Dr. Sheehan at their 60 {wow!} year old family dentistry practice in town? For the old timers, I am referring to Dr. Paloni’s practice which was originally on Main St in Hempstead 60 years ago, followed by an office on Franklin Ave. The practice is now at 901 Stewart Ave in a beautiful space. With this being their third office in GC, it definitely seems that this group has staying power. To celebrate her move to the practice, Dr. Lizzio is generously offering a free teeth whitening to one of Inside Garden City’s readers!

Dr. Lizzio brings 17 years of experience to this group that handles just about everything- from root canals and restorations to preventive care and invisalign. Dr. Lizzio is a firm believer in holistic care and in forming patient relationships built on trust. As a GC resident and mom of two, she understands the demand for high quality care.

With three dentists and 2 hygienists, this is a busy office but that doesn’t prevent them from offering friendly and professional service- from the front office staff to the back. They see children as well as adults and Dr. Lizzio in particular specializes in oral sedation- great for high anxiety patients (you know who you are) as well as those who need a lot of care but are short on time. Through oral sedation, Dr. Lizzio can get a lot of work done in just a few visits.

What’s the connection between Valentine’s Day and teeth whitening, you ask? Well, what better way to say Happy Valentine’s Day than with a sparkling white smile? Or, you can gift this fabulous service to your partner- as in… “Happy Valentine’s Day Honey. You should really get your teeth whitened”. Now that’s romantic!

To enter the whitening raffle, simply like the Facebook page of Dr. Lizzio AND like this post on Inside Garden City’s Facebook page. Winner will be announced on Valentine’s Day. Good luck!

You can reach Dr. Lizzio’s FB page by clicking here and Inside Garden City’s FB page by clicking here

Find more information on Dr. Lizzio and her practice here: and here:

Weekend Events Guide: February 6th Edition

Baby it’s COLD outside! But don’t despair- there’s a lot going on in and around Garden City on this chilly weekend!

This is the opening weekend for The SpongeBob Movie: Sponge Out of Water. This 3D adventure opens in theaters nationwide. Click here for the deets and to watch a trailer from the movie. 

Saturday- Head to the Long Island Children’s Museum between 2pm and 4pm to welcome in the Chinese New Year by making a Chinese dragon puppet. Cost: Free with museum admission. 11 Davis Ave., Garden City.

Saturday and Sunday- Hicks Nursery is getting into the Valentine’s Day spirit. Stop by the main greenhouse between 11am and 4pm and your children will have fun planting a small houseplant for Valentine’s Day. Cost: Free. 100 Jericho Tpke., Westbury.

Saturday and Sunday- head to Lakeshore Learning Center between 11am and 3pm for a different craft each time. Click here to see what crafts are being made. 2709 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park. 516-616-9360 

Sunday- Check out The Waldorf School’s Summer Program Open House from 11am-1pm. A few highlights of the summer program (which runs from June 29th to August 7th) include: Pancakes and Pajama Day, Crazy Hat Day and the Talent Show. You will learn more about their summer program and have the chance to meet staff members. Click here for additional information. 

Sunday- Visit Hofstra University’s Open House for Summer Camps for children in grades K-9. Click here for further information on types of camps offered. Camps run from June 29th until August 14th. 12pm-2pm. 900 Fulton Ave., Hempstead. 

Sunday- If you haven’t already, see Aladdin at the BroadHollow Theatre at Elmont at 2pm. Click here for more information. 700 Hempstead Tpke., Elmont. Cost: $10 in advance, $12 at the door. 

Sunday- See Kelley Nassief, soprano and Adelphi’s distinguised faculty member, in concert on Westermann Stage in Concert Hall. 4pm. Cost: $20 adult, $15 seniors. Click here to buy tickets. 

Sunday- Hofstra University’s Black History Month Concert: African Diaspora: Music and Dance in the Old and New Worlds. Enjoy West African Drumming and Dancing, South African Choral Music, concert music by African, Latin American and African American composers, calypso dances and performances by Hofstra student dancers and musicians plus Hempstead and Uniondale High Schools. There will also be a performance by internationally acclaimed Imani Winds. Click here for more information. John Cranford Adams Playhouse. 5pm. Cost: $12, $10 seniors.

Sunday- Catch the reception for Adelphi’s Underground Railroad Hiding in Place photography exhibit. 2pm-4pm at the Ruth S. Harley University Center Gallery. Click here to learn more about this exhibit. 

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Guest Blogger- Food For Thought

Inside Garden City is delighted to introduce new guest blogger Tia Bonacore. Tia is on the blog today with a piece on one of her favorite local places. 

If you are looking for a way to keep your mood boosted and your health in check after the holiday season, here’s a thought…It’s ‘Food for Thought’ on 7th Street- Garden City’s very own “oasis for health and well being”. The Food for Thought health food store has been serving freshly made juices, salads and other organic foods to the Garden City community for over 36 years, yet it still feels like the hip new place that everyone is buzzing about. 

The staff is both knowledgeable and courteous. They also sell a range of hard to find organic beauty products and essential oils. The owner Anju was pleasant as she answered customers’ questions while working the register herself. I am a fan of their food and exceptional customer service but I also appreciate the fact that all of the items on the menu are listed clearly if they are vegan, soy/dairy free or gluten free. Whatever your dietary concerns are, there are many options to choose from. 

If you’re feeling sluggish from an evening of over indulgence… try the “Super Detox” $6.99 for a 12 oz and your body will thank you. My personal favorite raw juice is called the “Rejuvenator“. It consists of green apples, carrot, ginger, beets and lemon..a wonderful way to keep your skin glowing during the dry winter months. If juicing is not your thing, then try one of their many freshly prepared hot entrees like the quinoa sweet potato patty. It’s delicious and will give you enough fuel to get through your next power yoga class. Now that’s food worth thinking about! 

“Food for Thought” is located at 154 seventh street in Garden City. Check out their website for more info.

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Frequent customers can rack up reward points for discounts.

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“The Rejuvenator” Carrot, Apple, Beet, Ginger & Lemon.

Eat your colors! Grilled Veggies with seasoning. 

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Weekend Events Guide: January 30th

Here’s your guide to some weekend fun! If you’re not watching the game…

Friday, Saturday, Sunday- Hofstra Opera Theater presents Schubert And War: Lysistrata: Die Verschworenen and Selections from Die Winterreise. Fri 7:30, Sat 7:30, Sun 3pm. John Cranford Adams Playhouse. Tickets: $15, seniors $12. Click here for more details. 

Saturday- Head to the Super Chili Bowl at Capo Ristorante from 1-3pm. $10 to taste, $15 for unlimited beer or wine. $5 for Children. Proceeds to benefit the Hance Family Foundation. Come down to show your support, taste (and score) some fabulous chili and have a beer and some fun!


Saturday and Sunday- head to Lakeshore Learning Center between 11am ad 3pm for a different craft each time. Click here to see what crafts are being made. 2709 Hillside Ave, New Hyde Park. 516-616-9360 

Saturday- See Aladdin at the Broadhollow Theatre at Elmont. Show tarts at 2pm. Click here for more information.  

Catch the exhibit “Underground Railroad: Hiding in Place” at Adelphi University before it ends on February 27th. Click here for more information. 

And if you are watching the game, here are a couple of places offering up some good food and fun: 

Garden City Hotel Polo Lounge: Watch the big game in our house with regional beer selection from competing AFC/teams as well as a gourmet buffet of football fare for $35+ per person.

Enjoy the weekend!