CityPickle, the urban home for pickleball, opened its first pickleball club in Long Island City on September 15. The new 10,100 sq foot facility with 21-foot-high ceilings features four courts, a restaurant, bar, and retail shop, is waiting for you to come play.
On September 2, The Knockturnal was invited to attend the US Open as a guest of Dobel Tequila (the Open’s first ever Tequila Partner).
‘The IHG Athletic Club’ launches the latest pop-up event by IHG Hotels & Resorts leading up to the 2023 US Open.
Brother’s Bond Bourbon and SiriusXM Celebrate Tennis Channel’s 20th Anniversary Upon US Open Tournament
If anyone is going to get me to drink bourbon, it’s my favorite onscreen brothers Ian Somerhalder and Paul Wesley.
Wednesday morning, The Knockturnal headed over to Park Terrace Hotel in New York City to celebrate their annual “Toast to Tennis” US Open kickoff event. Not only did we spend our morning with top-seeded tennis sensations Belinda Bencic (Tokyo 2020 Gold Medalist from Switzerland) and Alex de Minaur (Sydney, Australia), we were accompanied by adorable fur babies.
Woof Wellness NYC instructed a very unique and enjoyable 1 hour puppy-yoga class with local rescue dogs. As a yoga enthusiast and a dog lover, I was intrigued by the concept of combining these two wonderful things, and the experience far exceeded my expectations. We started off with beginner friendly yoga poses and throughout the class we were greeted with playful interactions with the puppies who were eager to show their love. On a much deeper spectrum, puppy yoga can also be very therapeutic. Studies have shown that it improves mood and reduces anxiety in both humans and dogs. Interactions with puppies trigger the release of oxytocin, the ‘love hormone,’ this results in a feeling of contentment and emotional wellness.
If you find yourself in the New York City area looking for a new and unforgettable experience head over to Woof Wellness NYC. I wholeheartedly advise trying puppy yoga if you’re seeking for a very uplifting and joyful yoga session. It’s a great way to relax, make new puppy friends, and re-energize your body and mind. The founder of Woof Wellness, Sophia Hessler, had a goal to support the rescue community and save puppies’ lives. In doing so all of the Woof Wellness dogs are available for adoption at each event and every ticket purchase is a donation to local rescue shelters. To book a session, head over to their website https://woofwellnessnyc.com/ and find an upcoming class!
In the heart of New York City, IHG Hotels & Resorts kicked off the 2023 US Open with a bang at the Kimpton Hotel Eventi. As the official hotel partner of the 2023 US Open, IHG Hotels & Resorts pulled out all the stops to create an unforgettable evening. Mark Ronson, the seven-time GRAMMY winner, performed live at the exclusive event.
The Grand Slam Social wasn’t just about tennis; it was a sensory experience. Interactive photo booths and installations encouraged guests to create lasting memories. The night lived up to its hashtag, #ExperienceIHG, offering an immersive and unforgettable journey. Hotel Eventi exuded ambiance with its industrial glam aesthetic. Racquet-themed decor and lush greenery transformed the venue into a tennis oasis, a visual reminder of the upcoming tournament’s spirit. A strategically placed ping pong table and captivating photo displays added to the overall allure.
One of the evening’s standout features was the refresh station, a lush, green oasis with a doorbell that summoned a beautifully crafted drinking mug filled with a surprise drink. The novel concept resonated with attendees, enhancing the experience by seamlessly blending luxury with innovation.
As the night progressed, Hip-Hop luminary Common set the scene for Mark Ronson’s live performance. The dance floor came alive as Mark began his set. From Uptown Funk to his Barbie soundtrack single Dance the Night Away and 80’s classics like Tom’s Dinner, he made sure to play to every playlist type in that room, understanding the crowd’s pulse. He created a vibrant atmosphere blending different eras and genres that mirrored the prestige of the US Open. Under the spell of Mark, the night is etched in memory.
The 2023 US Open Tennis Championships will run from Aug. 28 through Sept. 10 at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Flushing, New York.
805 Beer just released an incredible film amidst the hype of the worlds largest surfing competition.
WWE Summerslam held its press conference after the show and we were able to go there to attend it.
The 90s-style icon makes a comeback! With a performance by Jadakiss and DJ Funk Flex and creative directive launch by former NFL Giants star, Carl Banks.
It’s almost a foreign concept nowadays: a company offering free bonuses beyond the scope of a purchase. Ford decided to go completely against the grain in a very pro-consumer move: giving every purchaser of a new Ford Bronco SUV the opportunity to take one from their private fleet into the wilderness, and learn the ins, outs, and nitty gritty about their new machine in an adventurous crash-course (with no crashes, hopefully!) before they begin going wild with their own vehicle. This exciting prospect was already available in three locations: New Hampshire, Utah, and Texas, and the opening of their Las Vegas location would mark the fourth.
This new ranch is different in one fundamental aspect, however; it is the only one specifically built for the new Ford Bronco Raptor trim level, which is the bigger, badder, and even more Bronco brother. In an incredible fairytale moment, I was given the amazing opportunity to fly out to Vegas and experience the Bronco Raptor first-hand, in its natural habitat.
After flying out to Las Vegas, I was given the first opportunity to interact with individuals from Ford. In a dinner arranged within my hotel itself, I got the chance to speak to individuals who were spearheading the program and others who were alongside me, invited to experience the program, over food and drinks. I spoke to Dawn McKenzie, Ford Truck Communications Manager, as she outlined what was in store for us the next day. “You guys are absolutely going to love it,” she gushed. “I can’t wait until you try out the training course. The jumps and drift areas are absolutely bonkers…”
“Jumps?!” I gasped. The scope of this course had been completely unknown to me, and I, probably the only invitee there that had never driven an off-road vehicle, started making peace with the fact that this would be absolutely beyond anything I had ever done before.
Entering the Park
The morning of the event itself, I woke up at 5:30 AM to make my 6:30 AM hotel checkout on time. The group was already waiting in the lobby, looking red-eyed but talking excitedly. We boarded three shuttles that would transport us to the Mt. Potosi region, where Ford had set up its camp. After a 45 minute scenic drive through deserts and mountains, we arrived at the ranch. A large wooden gate loomed out from over the hill, donning the word “BRONCO”, in a very Jurassic Park-esque moment.
Our shuttle passed through, and began a steep climb to the top of a hill that had a small modern cabin nestled between two rocky cliffs. An actual Bronco was situated in the front, positioned above several rocks with its suspension stretched to make it seem endlessly frozen in an action shot, and the cabin itself had more Bronco and Raptor logos. It was all very well built, with a modern-rustic style to the cabin that looked like it had all of the modern facilities, but also simultaneously that we were a step further away from the rest of the world (in a desolate theme park for trucks). It was all very invigorating.
I entered the cabin, and was treated to the check-in/waiver process, a nice breakfast, and other small gifts and goodies. Before I could tackle breakfast (I was absolutely starving at this point), I received my helmet and got assigned a locker. The helmet would be used for the more intense lap runs, in which head protection would be absolutely vital. After I stuffed all my things into the locker, I picked up my complimentary thermos water bottle and Bronco stickers, and sat down for a nice breakfast burrito and coffee. Meanwhile, we got a quick rundown of the program, the vehicle, and the wonderful employees that made this all possible.
Outside, we received an overview of the Bronco, and how the Raptor variant compares to the base model. Essentially, every aspect of the Bronco was finely tuned to make any off-road terrain seem much more conquerable.
Ford started with a “go-anywhere” mindset with the vehicle, which meant they specifically developed it to take any obstacle head-on, should the driver desire it so. The suspension, front and rear bumpers, and chassis of the vehicle are all formulated to be extremely forgiving; able to take a hit anywhere while protecting its passengers. Enormous springs ensure a stabilized ride on any type of ground, and the ability to disconnect the front stabilizer bar meant even extremely large obstacles could be driven over. There is also a focus on the ride customization, with two main selectors: first, the G.O.A.T. mode selector, which stands for Goes Over Any Type of Terrain, allows the user to select what kind of terrain they would be driving over, with options including off-road, baja, sport, and rock crawl.
There are also Hero switches, which allow more minute-by-minute control for specific aspects of the car, such as the ability to lock the front or rear differential when necessary. All of these options, along with the Raptor’s four-seat capacity, means that a family can choose any destination, and head straight there, as the crow flies.
With precursory talks out of the way, we all headed to the fleet of Broncos. Each person would be driving their own, and I selected a flaming orange one because that’s just the kind of person I am. Each vehicle was equipped with a walkie-talkie, and we split up into groups of four vehicles. One of the vehicles in each group was piloted by an employee from the ranch, and they would be leading the pack and communicating to the others through the walkie. After some further safety checks, we hit the road.
Hitting the Trail
My group of four vehicles entered the trail heading straight into the Nevada wilderness. It was a bit jarring at first, since we were driving over rough terrain that contained all manner of rocks, trenches, and boulders, but the vehicles excellent suspensions took on the brunt of the movement. I knew that if I was driving there in my car, my neck would have already snapped. We slowly followed the Bronco in front of us through the land, over hills and into pits, and got a feel for the Bronco’s handling and the way it could take on virtually any obstacle.
There were several times when I thought, “No way I can clear that rock”, but the vehicle took it on like a champ. It truly felt dauntless.
Our leader explained to us the Bronco Buddy system, in which we could keep track of all of the people in our squad and not leave anyone behind. Whenever we reached an intersection, it was our job to wait there until we were sure the vehicle behind us had seen which turn we had made, and in that way, each vehicle would be accounted for. Our lead also had frequent breaks in which he asked for the status of each driver on the walkie, and would only proceed once he got the thumbs up from each driver. It was a very safety-first system, and it really spoke to how well thought-out everything was. We were having fun, but it was not at the expense of our wellbeing.
We finally reached the site of the ORX Training Courses, and got into position. Ford had enlisted the help of several professional off-roaders, from trainers to actual racers that offloaded for a living, to help us first timers get accommodated and ready to take on the courses. The first was a small rocky run that had twisting turns and rough straights. I sat as a passenger first, while my driver explained to me her thought process for each turn and straight she tackled. She first switched the G.O.A.T. mode dial from off-road to baja, and then stepped on the pedal. It was absolutely exhilarating watching not only take the course with speed, but also anticipate each turn, make minute adjustments to steering, braking, and speed, and be able to explain all of it before it even happened.
Seeing her do it with such ease made me more confident in my ability, but it was futile; sitting behind the wheel was absolutely different than watching from the side, and I couldn’t have gone more than a quarter of the speed that she went. My steering slipped several times, and images of my hurtling off the course and over a cliff flashed through my mind, but she helped me keep my composure from the passenger seat, and kept giving clear directions even when I made the wrong turn. It definitely was a great learning experience.
The Man and his Dirt
For the second course, I would be running a course that was wider, more varied in elevation, and had more obstacles. Here I saw the legendary jump that was mentioned earlier, as well as a sand pit and a winding sloped gulch area. Once again, my driver accompaniment drove masterfully, performing the jump with ease, turning the wheel quickly from side to side to prevent the tires from getting stuck in the silt, and drifted the vehicle around the slope, with the back end sliding out, before gaining traction once more and pressing for speed. When it was my turn, I was a little embarrassed with my lack of skill, but my driver laughed it off and said I was doing no worse than any of the other drivers he had witnessed that day.
After the courses and a quick bathroom break, we headed back on the off-road trail, making our way back to the ranch. Our lead driver communicated less on the walkie this time, as we had already gained enough exposure to the trail the first time, and only spoke to us to excitedly point out some wild burros that he spotted roaming the plains.
A Moment of Reflection
Back at the ranch, we received a lunch, and some final words from the team. As I listened, I couldn’t help but put myself in the shoes of someone who would be sitting in my very seat in the future, when the ranch is finally open to the public. The fact that an individual would be here after having just purchased a new Bronco, and would be about to find out exactly what their new vehicle could do, was enthralling. Ford is one of the best auto manufacturers when it comes to community engagement and programs, and the Off-Roadeo is a testament to that. While not serving any immediate monetary benefit, Ford gains the goodwill from their customers, bolsters their name, and creates life-long partnerships that will only benefit them in the long run. Heck, even I want a Bronco now. Someone who has already purchased one will only further solidify their choice in choosing Ford for anything that will touch both road and dirt.
The Bronco Off-Roadeo will be open to the public very soon, and I encourage any new Bronco owner in the area to book this wonderful opportunity very soon.