Use this new app to get what YOU want out of NYC

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Make the most of NYC with the Taabs app

Whether you drive into the city, take a train, get dropped off by a parachute, or reside there full-time, you probably have been accosted by any number of eager individuals promoting comedy clubs, gentlemen’s clubs, music venues, even the Empire State Building. Is there no easy and trustworthy way to narrow down the options to find exactly what you’re looking for?

Sites like Yelp! and Foursquare offer a slew of reviews and support the user with thoroughly supplied location-specific information, but the reviews are written by people you likely don’t know, and sometimes they may seem to overlook you, the user, as an individual. UrbanDaddy is also an eminent lifestyle and nightlife website that introduces and familiarizes us with brand new venues as they open, but an editorial can seem limited, as a single author tends to take on a specific tone in presenting a venue—pushing what he or she may judge as the most important aspects of a place.

As we continue through the age of data, knowledge and information become more democratically available. This means you don’t have to waste time comparing reviews from anonymous users to (hopefully) find a place or event that will suit you. Meet TAABS: the iOS application that helps you find a nightlife venue based on preferred criteria you select yourself. In their words, “No more long reviews written by people you don’t know. No more biased and inaccurate information. At TAABS, our goal is to make venue search as quick, easy, and informative as possible.”

TAABS is an up-and-coming application, launching soon, whose primary goal is to not only walk you through finding what nightlife venue best suits your wants and needs, but also to get to know you in the process. Forget following sites and waiting for them to feed you. Dig in! Want to find a place that currently offers a Happy Hour? Need to find a good date spot with dim lighting and a romantic ambiance? Getting a group together for trivia, karaoke, and late night dining? Whatever the case is, whenever the night, it helps to have access to every venue in the city, and to narrow down your options through a user-based

Not convinced? Take a look at the graphic design and interface at www.taabs.com. Should be really cool!

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Singapore Squash Rising

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Singapore Squash Packs a Punch

You can’t find the name of any of Singapore’s squash players on the PSA world rankings, but you can trust the squad has the power to annihilate its competitors after coming out of its last five sets undefeated. The Marigold South East Asia Cup, spanning only three days, serves as a precursor to warm up players as they get ready for the 2015 Southeast Asian Games. The biennial games to be hosted in Singapore this June (the last games in 2013 were hosted in Myanmar) granted squash a long over due presence after an eight-year (three tournaments) hiatus, putting pressure on all teams to defend not only their own worth but the importance of squash as a sport. And that’s good news for Singapore, as President Wu of the Singapore Squash Rackets Association worried of the sport’s “moribund” status.

Vivian Rhamanan, Singapore’s own #1 player led the squad to an incredible 5-0 shutout against Myanmar and Thailand. Against Myanmar, the team conceded a team total of only 14 points. Coming off this victory, Singapore faced Thailand who showed signs of a tough fight, but could not ultimately hold back the momentum Singapore managed to muster. Lead player, Vivian Rhamanan, perhaps inadvertently, rubbed it in the faces of their competitors saying they “pretty much played with the handbrake on” as they intended to save some juice for the more threatening opponents, Indonesia, whom they will play in the cup semi-finals. (Vivian Rhamanan’s last major cup game was in 2012 against Hong Kong at the Asian Team Championships.)

The matches ahead will call into question the rather undoubted integrity of the duo as long-standing rivals Vivian Rhamanan and Marcus Phua come together in efforts to bring home the gold medal; the two have faced each other since they both played in the under-12. Fortunately for Singapore, the two shows no weakness in collaborating having won four tournaments as a doubles team within the last year, and Rhamanan expressed himself the “telepathic” nature of their chemistry that makes them “the team to beat.” For more info, check out this article .

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Partnership with the Professional Squash Association and the Tennis Channel

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Kush Mahan professional squash associationSquash has forever been playing catch-up in terms of recognition as a sport. For years the sport has sought a spot among the plethora of Olympic sports, but has not yet seen the break it deserves. However, they have had slow but steady progress in terms of getting acknowledged on a whole new level. At the end of February, the Professional Squash Association announced that they will be partnering with the US Broadcaster Tennis Channel, a tremendous opportunity for the sport to dramatically increase visibility and traction in the United States.

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Professional Squash Association

This multi-year agreement will have the Tennis Channel as the sole broadcast partner of the Professional Squash Association in the United States, showing roughly 170 hours of professional-level squash play on both network television and the Tennis Channel Plus, which is the digital subscription version of the channel. Prestigious squash events have already been queued up to show on the network in March and the following months, such as the Allam British Open, the Delaware Investments US Open, and, of course, the World Series and World Championship of the Professional Squash Association. And there will be no delay for squash fans who are looking to catch the premiere matches on TV. Events will be broadcasted live, and will be available on-demand as well for those looking to view the action at a later date.

This partnership is exactly what Squash needed to continue the growth it has seen over the past couple of years, now being available for viewing by millions of people in the United States who previously had no real way of connecting with the sport. The CEO of the Professional Squash Association, Alex Gough, sums up the way the squash world is feeling about this milestone, saying, “We are delighted to have reached an agreement with Tennis Channel and feel certain that this is the beginning of a partnership that will be of huge benefit to squash not just in America, but all around the world.” Read more about this exciting partnership here.

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Best Gyms & Health Clubs in NYC

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If you’re a New Yorker, you’re probably already an active human being, especially when it comes to walking.  But sometimes walking just isn’t enough to give us that mind and body-changing feeling of a hard-working, sweat-filled workout (no matter how beautiful the scenery is).  Going to the gym is proven to be good for controlling stress and releasing good endorphins to get you feeling your best.  And besides, when your body is in shape, you’re going to feel a lot less sluggish and a lot more upbeat and ready to take on all the wonderful surprises the city holds.  That being said, here’s a list of some of the best gyms and health clubs to join in the big apple:

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Fitness class at BFX Studio

First up on the list is BFX Studio – made up of a two-floor, 10,000-square-foot radius, and the only gym in NYC that features Fit3D technology to track measurements of your entire body for a physique assessment.  According to an article published in TimeOut New York, “This Chelsea spot offers personal training downstairs and group classes on its ground floor, including BFX Barre and Box & Bell,” (Kim & Stanley, The 20 Best Gyms in NYC).  BFX is located on 555 Sixth Avenue between 15th and 16th and is owned by the people who run New York Sports Club, offering dozens of classes and training sessions. This gym is fully equipped to get you into the best shape possible for your body.

For all you Brooklynites, Brooklyn Bodyburn is next on the list.  And even if you live in Manhattan, it’s worth a trip to Brooklyn to be able to take classes at this gym.  Bodybun offers fifty minute workouts that mix pilates and cardio, and can burn up to 800 calories.  If that doesn’t lure you in, I don’t know what fitness regime can.  According to TimeOut New York:

“If Sebastien Lagree’s trademarked fitness method doesn’t make you feel like lava is coursing through your arteries, we want some of whatever you’re having.  Lagree promises, however, that your spine and joints will not suffer any stress, since every session uses slow movement paired with fast transitions, working everything from strength and endurance to flexibility and cardio,” (Kim & Stanley, The 20 Best Gyms in NYC).

As mentioned before, a trip to Brooklyn is worth it for this kind of workout.  Plus, it’s offered in two locations, Williamsburg and Cobble Hill, for just $18 a class.

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Rooftop pool at Equinox Printing House

Last on this list is the Equinox Printing House, which is not only part of the beautifully designed and professionally-run Equinox Gyms, but goes above and beyond to present to it’s clients a rooftop pool, riverside views, a sun deck, and an incredible variety of workout supplies – from equipment to clothing.  This gym has it all when it comes to space, as it used to be a multi-floor Printing House in the West Village.  The lavish establishment costs $175/month and truly stands as a state-of-the-art health club that offers personal training, boot camp classes, yoga, cycling, and so much more.

To find more of NYC’s best gyms and health clubs, check out TimeOut New York’s article here.  Happy training!

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Squash Sweeping the Nation

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Youth Squash (Photocred: nationalpost.com)

While the sport of squash originated in Europe, over the past centuries it has become highly popular in the northeastern United States.  More recently, it has gained traction on the west coast, and is now shifting its focus to the Midwest.  Those who are involved in the squash world have landed on Cincinnati as a place to begin growing the sport in the region.

A Cincinnati native, Neal Tew, is extremely excited to see the expansion of a sport he knows and loves in his hometown. Tew has been playing squash his entire life, primarily at a high level, and his sons rank among the top youth squash players in the nation.  His love of the sport and want for its growth were what motivated him to open the T Squash Academy in Fairfax, a nonprofit that seeks to teach squash/offer a locale to play the sport in Cincinnati.

“As a person who grew up playing squash, it’s exciting to see the growth in this area. Most of the growth begins at the youth level,” Tew noted. ” When we started, the Midwest was the desert of squash. Now, Cincinnati is one of the strongest cities in the Midwest for squash.”

In an effort to draw attention to the foundation and gain more participation in the sport, “The T,” recently welcomed Kevin Klipstein, the president and CEO of US Squash, to the facility on February 21.  Klipstein has contributed greatly to getting to foundation up and running smoothly by way of grants and support.  Klipstein believes that initiatives like the foundation are the best possible way for squash to take root and spread across the United States. “This is probably the model for growth of squash in the country,” Klipstein said. “Our main task is to foster collaboration locally, regionally, and nationally. As the sport grows, hopefully those connections grow stronger.”

During his time visiting The T, Klipstein was able to watch youth teams play in matches against one another in a tournament-style of play; somewhat like a youth soccer league structure.

The T Squash Academy is a promising start to the development and spread of squash in the midwest. Hopefully other cities will take note and begin building squash hotspots of their own and facilitate interest in the sport, giving squash the recognition it deserves. Read more about this Cincinnati squash hub here.

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StreetSquash Inspires Higher Education

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Daequan Leslie was always going to go to college. Not just because he wanted to, but because his mother firmly established the notion since he was a young boy. Leslie’s mother did not attend college herself, and she was going to do everything in her power to make sure her son got the opportunity she did not.  While Leslie knew he would one day complete a higher education, his path to get there was undefined. The way it ultimately played out was completely beyond what he had ever expected, and it was all thanks to the sport of squash.

Leslie was introduced to the sport of squash, a game that is similar to racquetball, while attending Thurgood Marshall Academy, a public school in Harlem. “Squash? At first I thought it was lacrosse,” Leslie said. Clearly he was in new territory when some of his classmates brought him to the squash courts for the first time, by way of the program StreetSquash.  He was hesitant to try out the sport, but found that he enjoyed the game upon playing for the first time.

His entrance to the sport was through a well-established program. StreetSquash, which was founded in 1999 is among 15 Urban Squash programs across 14 cities in the United States.  The program offers squash as an after school program, but beyond that they offer mentoring to the youths involved in the program as well. Now an alumnus of the program, Leslie was prepared for college when the time came.  He had a mentor behind him to guide him through his high school years and help him keep on track in terms of education, as well as got involved in a constructive extracurricular activity at which he thrived.  Now, almost all of the numerous students who have participated in the StreetSquash program are well-prepared for college when the time comes.  To read more about Daequan Leslie’s story and the StreetSquash program at large, check out this article, and watch the video below!

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BT Sport to be the Official Broadcaster of Squash in the UK

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Three-time World Champion, Nick Matthew, winds up to return a shot.

Squash coverage in the UK will now have a new representative. BT Sport will now be the channel that televises all squash coverage, including the world Championship and all of the tournaments within the world series.  A recent partnership between the Professional Squash Association (PSA) and BT sport is the debut of the broadcasting channel’s takeover of squash broadcasting in Britain.

With BT Sport behind the broadcasting of squash tournaments worldwide, squash fans in the UK will be able to watch their National Squash heroes, women’s World Champion, Laura Massaro, and the three-time men’s World Champion, Nick Matthew, in all of their world tour matches. These world tour matches are to be held in exotic locations across the globe, and to have them televised is a big step forward for British squash, and the world of squash at large. Aside from just world tour matches, there will be other matches aired by BT Sport that are not a part of the world tour matches.

Beyond that, squash fans will be able to see the best moments of their favorite players’ matches, as BT sport intends to air extended tournament highlights, in order to amplify match coverage, provide viewers with a better squash-spectating experience, and to give squash its dues as a legitimate sport at large.

To read more about the BT Sport partnership with the PSA and how they intend to further promote the sport of squash and its players, check out this article. 

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