Timeout New York

Make the most of your city

How to: Be a homebody

In these bitterly cold months, don't venture outside except when absolutely necessary: After all, there are professionals who actually still make house calls.

Jiu Jitsu founder Peter Tay

Jiu Jitsu founder Peter Tay Photo: Beth Levendis


If the point of a spa is to offer a respite, where you can get away from it all and truly relax, then New York spas have one inherent disadvantage—they’re in New York. “You enter from a busy street, and as soon as you’ve had your treatment, you’re in it again,” says Julie Monarch, who offers private in-home massage therapy. “Stress levels come right back up.” At home, she points out, you can maintain a soothing atmosphere for as long as you like, without having to face the outside world. Monarch brings everything with her—massage table, candles, oils, linens—and works her trance-inducing magic right in your living room. The best part? It’s cheaper than most spas. 718-916-9878, monarchmassage.com. $80 for one hour.


Call her old-fashioned, but physician’s associate Naomi Friedman hates waiting rooms. As an alternative, her company, Sick Day Medical House Calls, provides in-home medical treatment for minor illnesses, with guaranteed same-day service. “The quality of care is high, since patients get an extended amount of time with the practitioner,” says Friedman, whose doctors and associates spend about 40 minutes one-on-one with patients. Surprisingly, many insurance companies even cover the cost of the visit. 212-327-1900, sickdayhousecalls.com. $250 per visit, Manhattan only.


Gotham Jiu Jitsu founder Peter Tay doesn’t kid around when it comes to protection. “Any tool, trick or move considered 'dirty’ in combat sports is encouraged in my classes for true personal self-defense,” he says. Tay teaches group sessions as well, but stresses that a student can learn more, and learn it faster, in private lessons. Not to mention that agoraphobes won’t have to fear getting mugged on the way to class. 646-284-1461, gothamjiujitsu.com. 60-minute session $100 for men, $75 for women.

Spa parties

If a birthday dinner at Per Se seems too tired, consider letting Sparty turn your home into a fully functioning spa, complete with a staff, cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. When your living room’s filled with robe-clad friends drinking, chatting and getting pampered, you’ll feel just like Socrates—or at least like Paris Hilton, whom the company boasts as a client. 646-736-1777, spa-party.com. Rates vary by party.

Personal training

Nathaniel Oliver’s company, Type-A Training (“Fitness for overachievers,” reads the website), specializes in 45-minute sessions that require no equipment, just a bit of open floor space. Classes are quick and intense; stay-at-home moms love them, as do business executives who need a maximum-efficiency workout. Most attractively, you’ll avoid crowds, gawking and gross locker room showers. 917-867-0606, typeatraining.com. Private session $140 for 45 minutes, two people $75 per person, three people $60 per person. Manhattan only.


Many independent yoga instructors, like Jason Brown, offer in-home instruction. Brown, who specializes in vinyasa, customizes sessions to individual clients’ needs with the ultimate aim of teaching them to practice on their own. 917-446-8871, yogijbrown.com. $80 for a 60 to 90-minute session.


Multitasking Barefoot Tiger brings yoga instruction, nutrition advice, personal training and massage to your door. “Oftentimes, one person fulfills several needs—say, a trainer who is also a nutrition coach or a yoga teacher who doubles as a massage therapist,” says founder Kendra Coppey. 212-722-0791, barefoottiger.com. Yoga from $95, massage from $100, nutrition programs $300--$450 per month.

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