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Holidays  2014
Happy Holidays!
What could be more New York than the Holidays? Stressful travel, hordes of tourists, awkward family gatherings, and guilt-ridden over-consumption. It's like a month-long Woody Allen movie. But nothing has the power to melt our jaded urban hearts faster than the wonder of children, reunions with loved ones, and you know, booze. New York is, after all, a city of dreams and dreamers. We here at RG wish everyone a lovely Holiday season.

Happy Kwanzakkahmas!!!

John Norman
Director of Scary Balloon Masks
Ripley-Grier Studios
In The Spotlight:
Cathy Lloyd - 50+ Fitness and More!  

Cathy Lloyd has been part of the Ripley-Grier family of teachers since we were called New York Spaces and our office Holiday Party could fit at one restaurant table. You'll find her teaching Pilates-based fitness classes at our 72nd street location on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. I had the distinct pleasure of sharing a few moments with her back in November to find out more about her approach to her specialty, "50+ Fitness".
It's immediately obvious that Cathy serves as a great advertisement for her own program. Tall and graceful, she projects the core strength of the fitness pro and Pilates enthusiast that she is (she also oversees the Fitness Instructor program at Hunter College). So what is the difference in the approach to fitness for those over 50? "Proper warm-up and cool down" she replies, "a 65 year old can do anything a 25 year old can do with proper warm-up and cool down." For most folks over 50, of course, fitness isn't usually about running marathons or climbing mountains (although 50 ain't what it used to be) and most students are interested in simply improving their day to day health. Cathy points out that maintaining a healthy muscle structure is vital to protecting parts of our body that we have less control over - bones for instance. "If you are fit, you may fall and get hurt, but you won't break". Cathy is now talking with Patricia Ripley and other teachers at 72nd Street Studios to put together a full course of 50+ Fitness classes at that location. Check back here for more information in the new year! Interested students can reach Cathy via email or by phone at 212-799-2358
Feng Shui, Fitness, and Me- Patricia Ripley 

feng shui color chart

Well,  I guess the Summer is really over. Boo Hoo!  (I try to stretch it til November)

 Winter is a very difficult season for me as cold weather and early sunsets keep me from going in the ocean even with my wetsuit.  Out in Long Beach,  Feng Shui ( general translation "Wind & Water") really is apparent in the winter.  A stiff wind off the water or coming from the North or West can send chills to all who live and work out here. We are on a narrow barrier island that runs east/west with Reynolds Channel to the north and the Atlantic to the south.  Like a big sand bar, the island is only a few blocks wide, one of the reasons Sandy caused such a disaster when the ocean met the channel that night.  Happy to say in this past year there has been a lot of building and old and new busineses opening. Most folks who wanted to stay have and are rebuilding or building new homes.   We have a new boardwalk, beach entrances and lots of new, safer homes.  We're building a new, safer house for our son Shayne, Heather and the grandkids.  A big project!

  Fitness levels can drop during the cold weather.  So you need to find activities to keep fit.  Since we are going skiing for the first time in a few years this winter and we need to be in shape,  Butch and I joined our local New York Sports Club.  They have a heated pool; we can do low impact water workouts and even pool classes.  They offer yoga and many varieties of classes from spinning to Zumba. We are going to do ski specific workouts as well.

 My diet plan has slowed but I managed to lose another pound.  So now i've lost a total of 7 lbs. in three months.  The holidays are a difficult time of year to lose weight, so my goal is to maintain my weight until January and then begin again.  Don't be too hard on yourself if you eat too much,  but know your limitations.  Try not to commit to too many events and parties, they can add up, and increase stress during this busy time of year.   We stop driving into the city the week before Thanksgiving to avoid traffic jams and no extra unplanned activities,  no matter how tempting.

  Next year will be the year of the Ram in the Chinese Zodiac and I will give you the Ram predictions in January and a brief snyopsis of what this year will bring according the the Chinese Almanac.

Til Then:

Wishing everyone a fun, tasty and happy Holiday Season with family and friends and a peaceful, healthy and prosperous New Year!!     



In Memoriam - Gary Hickman
By Butch Grier
My 92-year-old yoga master of 26 years has always said to me "the only thing that you take with you .....are your memories"

He was 11, I was 14. He was tall and handsome and very confident, I was not. He took me under his wings and befriended me, taught me how to play the guitar: Sleepwalk, Wipe Out, Louie-Louie, House of the rising Sun, we even had a band, "The Equations". He sang and played lead, I played rhythm. We jammed in his basement on North Victor street, played community centers and birthday parties. We were just two kids who thought we knew everything....I liked that.
He had a really cool big brother who worked at F and S auto parts. He could blow smoke rings from his cigar all the way across the store, and he loved cars just like us. He owned this really neat 38 Chevy ... my big sister married his big brother... I liked that....

When I returned from Vietnam, when I needed a friend the most, he was there for me. We shared a nice apartment on 4th and Mingo with two other guys. We chased women, dropped acid, partied until dawn, ate ice cream till we got sick and then smoke a joint and fall on the floor laughing and giggling like little schoolgirls. We had no cares in the world... I liked that.....

We both had that same hunger for life, so we set off on our own journeys, he to Seattle, and me to New York City. A few years later, we found each other again. He was traveling to New York and I was waiting tables at a restaurant there. It was just like we had never been apart, we spent hours and hours catching up, laughing and laughing and laughing until our guts hurt... I liked that.......

At that point we realize just how much we loved one another and how important it was to stay connected, and we did..... And I liked that......

One year we traveled to Mexico with his teenage sons Tony and Philip. I rented a van and we went up in the back roads to learn to drive a stick shift, of course they had been driving quarter midgets long before that, but to share that with him....Memories ....Puerto Vallarta ...Chico's Paradise... The BEST margaritas in the world, horseback riding, the beaches of Mismaloya ... Memories... Meeting Dr. Jay and sitting on Oprah's private I liked....that.......

Oh how we loved to play golf together. Malibu country club, Sherwood Oaks country club, Lost  Canyon in Simi Valley, and my favorite Lakeside Country Club, where we would rub elbows with stars like Sylvester Stallone, Joe Pesci, and Jack Nicholson. The day that I will remember forever at Lakeside. He had  a drive that was perfect, and I shouted  "you're the man"! And he turned to me and said, "no I'm just the guy who knows the man." And he had that look, that look of unconditional love. That made me feel real good about myself. That was him. He was THE MASTER of making people feel good........ And I liked that........

A couple years ago we were in LA and he treated my teenage daughter to a Lakers game, her favorite team. Boy she had a great time. The next night he treated me to the best night that we two have ever spent together. He took me to the Rainbow Bar and Grill, and right from the beginning everyone greeted him like he was a movie star .......I should've known...we sat near the entrance and everyone that walked by said hello to him by name. We even got our first selfie together with Ron Jeremy!!!!!!!  We celebrated life together that night like no other night, in our lives. On the way back to the hotel we talked and talked about all the wonderful, wonderful years that we have been so close. We laughed and we laughed so hard that he ran off the road. We lived! so .....I liked that.......

Last Thanksgiving we flew to Las Vegas to spend the holidays with him and his wonderful family and friends. Just like the previous 24 years. Colorado, California, Mexico, Las Vegas,  It did not matter, we were there, we were family There he was in the kitchen doing what he loved to do more than anything else in the world: cooking for his friends and family. He would crack a joke and then came that laugh... that laugh... that I came to so love. He said Grace and then we all sit down and enjoyed each others company. That night we all played dominoes and poker. Later after most had retired he, his big brother and I stayed up reliving 51 years of being friends and family... Memories... We laughed and we laughed and we laughed ..................until we cried...........I did not like that........... Gary... That is his name... Hollywood bro......My BEST FRIEND!!!

Oh how I miss you...........Because you see......I'm just the guy, that knew "THE MAN"

We have lots of great RG goodies for sale at our 520 location, including hoodies, t-shirts, totes, and more. This Hoiliday Season we are also selling our first-ever RG ornaments! All proceeds go to the Make a Wish Foundation. It's like two gifts in one! Also, each purchase enters you in a special RG gift basket raffle. Woot!
Give the gift of TIME and SPACE! Ripley-Grier gift Certificates are available at all locations this Holiday season, in many denominations. Give the performer in your life something unique! 

This year I went to the Thanksgiving Day Parade in Manhattan with my friend Raylene and her family from California.  We spent the night at the studios Wednesday night so we could get up early the next day to get good spots for the viewing the parade. We were right in the front by 40th Street and 6th Avenue!!  We got there at 6:30 am and saw the whole parade. I had never seen the big balloons before in person, they were amazing!!  And there were so many interesting floats. I had made  a two sided poster for two of the bands that performed, The Vamps, and Before You Exit.  When The Vamps passed by on their float, they saw the sign, and they gave me a thumbs up and waved. When Before You Exit passed by on their float, they stopped right in front of where I was standing, with the poster, and took pictures with it. They were really happy to see the poster that I made for them. I also got Nick Jonas, Meghan Trainor, and American Authors to wave at me!!  All in all, it was worth getting up at 5:30am to see the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade.

Have a wonderful holiday!!!!


Holiday Party Madness!
Scenes from our 2014 Holiday Party

We know what you're thinking whenever you come to RG and see us all rocking some serious customer service skillz. You think, "I bet these folks know how to PARTY." And you'd be right...