Learn the Art of Archery at Victory Archers

Photo Credits Dmitriy Mirochnik

Shooting with a bow and arrow is very exciting indeed, but when was the last time you’ve done that? Can’t remember? Not to worry, introducing Victory Archers – the only indoor archery club in Staten Island.

Its story takes us back to 1973 when a group of several people with one common love for hunting created a members-only club in one of Staten Island’s local bars. At that particular point in time, according to the laws of New York State, if you wanted to carry a pistol you had to belong to a club. And so, the club was born. Its members passionately discussed tips and tricks and practiced technique on regular basis. However, as the New York laws with regards to the purchase, possession and carrying of handguns were changing and becoming stricter, the club slowly evolved into a hunting archery club.

Today, the club’s main focus is on the art of archery, consisting of both, members that hunt and others that teach. Walking into the space one can easily be tricked into thinking that this sport is easy, seeing how effortlessly the archers showcase their skills. Don’t be fooled, it takes years of practice before you are skilled enough to hit a target perfectly. “It’s all about hand-eye coordination, steadiness and practice. It’s more of a mental game. You have to release the arrow automatically. Once you start questioning and second guessing yourself, that’s when you mess up” explains Joe Strcich, the treasurer of the Victory Archers.

Interesting fact – archery sport is considered to be an extremely safe sport, it is almost unheard of for a person to injure themselves or others around them. Unless, of course the person is the target or you are someone like Dick Cheney.

The members of the Victory Archers are dedicated to promoting and growing awareness of the sport in our community. Part of the club’s charter calls for community involvement. The members actively expose people to archery through complimentary classes and local competitions. With the club’s help, twice a year, the Parks Department at the Willowbrooks park hold Archers Basics event, where  park rangers and Victory Archers’ instructors teach children and adults the proper way to draw a bow and shoot an arrow. Victory Archers’ members schedule regular social events and travel to many local as well as professional competitions, such as NFAA Mid-Atlantic Indoor Championships, throughout the year.

The recent mass phenomenon, “Hunger Games”, consumed the nation and helped spark the enthusiasm for archery once again. Every teenage girl is fascinated with the leading character, Katniss Everdeen, and her exceptional archery skills. The movie has boosted the sports popularity, and we think it’s definitely a good thing. More girls than ever are taking archery lessons and building up their self-esteem. Getting involved in sports is important for any one looking to improve their health, lifestyle and fitness.

“We love and enjoy what we do” says Joe, so don’t be surprised to see the instructors go overtime with you even when your lesson is over. Archery is truly captivating in every sense.

If you’d like to learn more about the membership or archery classes at Victory Archers Club please visit their site.

Atmosphere Essentials – The Art of Natural Skin

If you haven’t been introduced yet to Atmosphere Essentials, allow me to be the first to do so. This cozy haven for all that smells delicious has become a neighborhood gem. From the moment you walk into this picturesque cottage you are surrounded by a relaxing, delightful atmosphere. The salon is run by a knowledgeable Antonio Sciortino, who provides personal attention and treats you like a good old friend. Though Atmosphere Essentials’ focus is mainly on body and skin care, one can also indulge in custom designed perfumes, candles and baby care products; in addition beauty and hair care services are featured in a modest but comfortable salon.

Antonio is an expert in natural skin products, but not too many know that his journey into beauty world began with his grandmother. In the early 1950’s, in Italy, Antonio’s grandmother began producing soaps, hair shampoos and lotions, using all natural products, to help cope with the tough post-war times. Inspired by the healthy living concept and armed with original family formulas, Antonio decided to reflect back to nature with the Atmosphere Essentials skin care line. The all-organic products in the store are produced in a private on-site laboratory used for research and development.

Here’ a list of products I had the pleasure of testing:

Volcanic (olive oil and processed volcanic rock based) soap exfoliates your skin and leaves you with a little healthy glow.

Mint (olive oil and peppermint tea) soap has a refreshing peppermint smell that enhances your bathing experience.

Grape Seed Exfoliating Shower Gel provides a gentle micro scrub while Grape Seed Body Lotion nourishes the body with natural oils.

The soy candle is one of my favorite products, made with 100% soy wax and essential oils.

And last but not least, the custom designed fragrances. We all like perfumes, but it’s even more fun to create your very own signature scent. Try it and make it personal!

Big thank you to Dmitry M for the photos.

Visit the Greenmarket, it’ll become your favorite weekend activity

Over the weekend I visited the weekly outdoor market, and what a great selection of fresh, local produce they had.  The vibrant colors of fruits and vegetables, the smell of freshly baked goods in the air, and friendly vendors made the experience even more charming.  As I wandered through the market I was instantly inspired by all the fresh ingredients, after all, delicious dishes begin with great ingredients. Some things may get a bit pricey but remember you are paying for the quality. I would definitely recommend visiting the farmers’ market at one of the two locations: Staten island Mall and St. George.

My tips: Get to the market early for best selection, bring cash, and stick to what’s in season. Go for basil this time of year, it is lemony and fresh.

My favorites: Local fresh herb focaccia at Bread Alone and Stawberry Apple Juice from Red Jacket Orchards.


Teavana – Heaven of tea, now in Staten Island Mall


Teavana, part Tea Bar, part Tea Emporium, opened it’s doors to the public inside the Staten Island Mall. I stopped by for a visit and was more than pleased with the variety and the decor of this new gem. The delicious aroma of the store creates a perfect atmosphere for tasting the rich and flavorful tea that grabs your attention from the first sip. The staff is friendly and knowledgeable, they will even teach you how to brew a proper cup of tea while explaining the beneficial qualities of a certain type. It is no wonder that British consider teatime as a fashionable social ritual and a part of a healthy lifestyle. I only wish tea rooms were more popular here, where you could meet for a nice afternoon tea with the girlfriends.

After tasting and smelling just about every tea in the store, I’ve settled on the Jasmine Dragon Pearls green tea, it is – divine. If you are shopping at the mall, I strongly suggest making a stop at Teavana, I’m sure you won’t leave empty-handed. It also makes for a great gift.

For all of you tech savvy tea drinkers, Teavana created a free app for iphones and ipads, it’s pretty neat. Here’s the link :  http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/teavana-perfect-tea-touch/id346612502?mt=8