Flywheeler Cofounder Jay Galluzzo
Galluzzo brings his high-energy cycling experience to the City of Brotherly Love.
March 04, 2013
Jay Galluzzo’s Flywheel is so popular, even he has trouble getting a spot in class.
Spinning, cycling, biking—no matter what you call it, the exercise trend is a certifiable hit across the US. In Jay Galluzzo’s world, it is better known as “flywheeling.” And securing a reservation to one of these adrenaline-fueled classes is nearly as competitive as the sport itself.
“You can book your classes for the week starting at 5 pm every Sunday, when the schedule posts,” says Galluzzo, CEO and cofounder of Flywheel Sports. Opened in 2010, the boutique chain boasts locations from tony East Hampton to Chicago’s Gold Coast and even Dubai. “Seventy percent of the classes in the New York region are filled within minutes.”
Philadelphians have been no exception, logging on each week to reserve a spot at Flywheel’s latest studios in Center City and Bryn Mawr. The experience is total sensory overload: roughly 50 custom-engineered bikes line a stadium-style classroom, which thumps with high-energy music curated by Flywheel’s in-house DJ. State-of-the-art performance technology tracks each biker’s stats, which are then displayed in the studio and posted on personal pages on Flywheel’s website.
The Philadelphia locations are a welcome homecoming for Galluzzo, who—along with some of his Flywheel business partners and employees—is a University of Pennsylvania alumnus. He says opening in Philly was “a no-brainer. We know the customers here, and we have an emotional connection to the city.”
More than eight cities joined the Flywheel fold as part of a major company expansion in 2012. Galluzzo comes from a law and finance background that includes a plum position at The Warnaco Group, the parent company for brands like Calvin Klein jeans. After this successful stint, Galluzzo signed on as a partner at venture capitalist firm Tricera Partners. Flywheel was the first company that Tricera invested in, a partnership brought to life with the help of Flywheel creative director and cofounder Ruth Zukerman. Zukerman cofounded SoulCycle in 2006, another boutique indoor-cycling chain based in New York.
“The instructors bring their personalities into the classes, but the foundation is always the same, thanks to Ruth,” says Galluzzo. “Ruth is the East Coast’s pioneer of indoor cycling. She made it what it is today: a very safe, very effective way to ride.”
Where Zukerman has been pedaling professionally for decades, Galluzzo admits that he is a converted biking enthusiast thanks to Flywheel. “I had been working out, running marathons, but never really felt engaged until I started indoor cycling. It allowed me to be competitive without the impact on my joints.” Today Galluzzo cycles three or four times a week at the location next to his office in New York, and usually in the morning or late afternoon. “That’s when there’s a dip in my energy—and the time I’m most likely to find a bike,” he laughs. “I never ride on the weekends anymore…. I can’t get a spot.”
photography by gregg delman
The Daily Grind: Saxbys Coffee's Nick Bayer
Saxbys Coffee founder Nick Bayer is building a better coffee shop one cup at a time.
December 10, 2012
Nick Bayer of Saxbys Coffee seeks to create a community-based “anti-chain chain.”
Nick Bayer’s first cup of coffee was literally life-changing: At a friend’s coffeehouse in Denver in 2005, he ordered his first latte. He left that day not only a converted java drinker, but with a new business idea in mind.
“I was immediately enamored by the social nature of the store,” says Bayer, founder and president of Saxbys Coffee, a gourmet coffee company that maintains its roasting facility in Conshohocken and headquarters in Broomall. “There was such a great community feeling—all ages, all races. I flew back to my then hometown of Atlanta and really studied the industry.”
At the time, Starbucks was dominating the industry with staggering success: The brand’s twin-tailed mermaid logo was appearing up and down sidewalks across the globe. But Bayer sensed an opportunity, one that eschewed a plug-and-play business model for an experience that felt warm, welcoming, and uniquely attuned to its neighborhood.
“We are the anti-chain chain,” he says. With 30 locations, stretching as far as Texas, serving Saxbys’s signature java, frozen yogurt, and smoothies, the company could potentially double in size over the next few years—thanks to new ownership under Radnor’s MVP Capital Partners and a franchise program that hinges on local ownership. The company’s latest outpost will open in January in Haddonfield (Saxbys first location in New Jersey), with a preppy-casual atmosphere. Bayer notes that each store is designed with the help of an area interior designer to best reflect its locale. “We don’t want the shop in Haddonfield to feel like the Saxbys in Rittenhouse... or anywhere else,” he says.
This initiative, to make each coffeehouse feel authentic, is also part of the company’s overall mission of connecting with its community—beyond just being on a first-name basis with your barista. Saxbys recently rolled out a new division focused solely on charity called Thrive by Saxbys, the first phase of which will tie in with a new line of bottled natural spring water that goes by the same name. A portion of the proceeds from every bottle sold will be donated to a local charity like Big Brothers Big Sisters, an organization close to Bayer’s heart, with his eight-plus years as a mentor and current role as a board member. “I think it’s going to be a real game-changer for the communities that we serve,” says Bayer. “Thrive by Saxbys will debut in the form of bottled water, but there are going to be lots of outlets [in the future].”
By year’s end Saxbys will have also rolled out single-serve coffee pods that are Keurig-compatible (and fully recyclable, adds Bayer, along with all the rest of their store-branded paper products), and plans for new franchises in Raleigh, North Carolina—Saxbys farthest location on the East Coast to date—will be underway. But no matter how far this coffee company expands, its roots are firmly planted here.
“Philadelphia has been so welcoming to our brands,” says Bayer. “When I first moved here, I thought it was a quasi-territorial city—people like their own [hometown brands]. But I have lived in a lot of places, and Philly is by far the most loyal city.”
photography by michael persico
Noel Fisher Talks Twilight and More
The actor takes on a huge franchise while starring in a hit Showtime series.
November 16, 2012
Between his part in the latest installment of the multimillion-dollar franchise Twilight and his guest-turned-recurring role on Showtime’s hit series Shameless, Noel Fisher has his hands full. “I love this job, I wouldn’t do anything else,” says the Vancouver-born 28-year-old, seemingly smiling on the other end of the phone.
Although Vladimir, the ancient Romanian vampire that he’ll portray alongside Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattinson, is starkly different from Shameless’ Mickey Milkovich, a sexually confused and violent teen, Fisher plays each of his characters with a raw sensibility. This might be due to the passion he feels for his job, and the excitement he gets from taking on difficult roles. “The most interesting characters to play, as an actor, are the characters that have really difficult things to deal with,” says Fisher, “I guess that’s what acting is, trying to show the struggles in people’s lives and how they act and try to overcome those struggles.”
Here, he discusses Twilight, his passion for sci-fi, and the upcoming season of Shameless.
Congratulations on your role in Twilight! It’s a huge franchise, how does it feel to be part of it?
NOEL FISHER: I’m a big sci-fi junkie. Fantasy, action—I really love all that kind of stuff. Playing a 3,000-year-old vampire who is hell-bent on revenge is pretty perfect for me. I was really happy.
Twilight has catapulted the careers of many actors who are now major stars. How was working with them?
NF: It’s really lovely when you get to actually meet all these people, and they’re just regular people and they have a great sense of humor and they kind of just want to have a good time. They really do a wonderful job of creating a good atmosphere on set. You wake up every morning being [like], ‘awesome, I get to go to work today.’
Your role on Shameless has been turned into a recurring one. What can you tell me about the upcoming season?
NF: I’m really excited for everybody to get to see season three of Shameless. Selfishly, just for myself, I’m really excited that fans get to know a little bit more about Mickey, because he’s kind of been this peripheral character up until now. He’s this strange, closeted, violent person who you don’t really know that much about, besides his reactionary way of dealing with life. And I think it’s going to be really interesting for fans to get more of a glimpse as to why he is the way he is.
NF: You’re not going to be disappointed. There are some really, really crazy plot points that are going to throw you for a loop and spin the whole thing around. I don’t know anything else that has the ability to take you on such a roller coaster of emotions that you’re hysterically laughing in one scene and then in the very next scene you’re sobbing.
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOE DEANGELIS PHOTOGRAPHY
Master Maestro: Yannick Nézet-Séguin
Conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin begins his triumphant tenure with The Philadelphia Orchestra.
October 15, 2012
Renowned virtuoso Nézet-Séguin takes the podium.
Set to ignite Philadelphia’s cultural landscape this fall with even more excitement, the Philadelphia Orchestra welcomes international musical wunderkind Yannick Nézet-Séguin. The Montreal native is a 37-year-old spitfire whose intensity and charisma have made him one of the world’s most respected music directors. Becoming only the eighth music director in the Philadelphia Orchestra’s illustrious 112-year history, he is ready to take the city by storm and usher in a new era for the iconic institution.
“I feel a sense of responsibility, of understanding that I’ve been entrusted with bringing the legacy of this remarkable orchestra into the future,” says Nézet- Séguin, whose ongoing roles include music director of the Rotterdam Philharmonic, artistic director and principal conductor of Montreal’s Orchestre Métropolitain, and principal guest conductor at the London Philharmonic.
“I want every Philadelphian to feel that the Philadelphia Orchestra is his or her own orchestra,” says the lively maestro. “I feel a unity of purpose here. Everyone together has a belief in the music and what it can achieve here.” To envelop more Philadelphians into the orchestra’s melodic fold, he has set his sights on making it more accessible, hoping that initiatives like the Young Friends of the Orchestra and his Post-Concert Conversations can strengthen connections with his audience.
With an unrelenting and obvious reverence for the genre, Nézet-Séguin has planned a music lover’s dream. “We will continue my focus on the great requiems—our first subscription concerts are The Verdi Requiem, really one of the monumental works of choral music,” says Nézet-Séguin. “And then in the spring we have Bach’s The Passion According to St. Matthew, which has not been performed by the orchestra for almost 30 years.” He has also lined up some impressive artists, such as prodigious pianist Lang Lang and Grammy-winning violinists Joshua Bell and Hilary Hahn, just to name a few. His fresh perspective on talent and his youthful exuberance toward myriad composers and compositions are sure to breathe new life into this cultural grande dame of Philadelphia.
And with his face plastered on billboards across the city—“I’m happy that people recognize me, and I hope that they understand that I represent the entire orchestra”— he has definitely taken to his new home. “I keep discovering new things about this city, and I am very intrigued to keep finding out more. Philadelphia’s big enough to have everything one looks for in a city, but small enough to have an intimate feeling of warmth and humanity,” he says. “And I love that it is steeped in American history and culture, yet with the flavor of some of the best European cities.”
photography by Jessica Griffin
Nicole Lapin Deciphers Finance For All
Former CNBC anchor is taking the mystery out of money and focusing on nothing but gold.
August 27, 2012
Lapin’s recessionista.com offers words of financial wisdom.
The name of Nicole Lapin’s newly minted multimedia production company, Nothing But Gold, might seem like an obvious nod to the young entrepreneur’s finance-focused endeavors. “It’s a quote from my favorite book, Tolstoy’s Anna Karenina,” says Lapin, who splits time between New York and Bryn Mawr these days since she began dating local Internet magnate and 76ers co-owner Michael Rubin. “People think it’s some sort of commentary on the state of the economy. But it’s about how Anna saw threads of gold in the sand that were little bits of happiness. So she wanted to see nothing but gold and experience joy.”
If Lapin’s career was viewed through this Tolstoy lens, then the energetic financial expert has certainly seen her share of gold amid the grains. Her meteoric rise in broadcasting began at just 21 years old at CNN, where she was the youngest anchor ever to sit in front of the camera. An anchor position at CNBC followed, until last fall, when Lapin launched Nothing But Gold, a means to create accessible financial content across platforms. In addition to Lapin’s regular TV appearances on Entertainment Tonight and Talk Philly, as well as financial segments on national shows like Today and Morning Joe, Nothing But Gold also produces recessionista.com, a girl’s guide to money sprinkled with humor and lifestyle topics (Lapin is editor-in-chief), and the subscription-based service decodingwallst.com, which she calls “a Rosetta Stone for finance.”
Lapin’s dialed-down approach to finance focuses on making a younger generation smarter about money and applauding those who are breaking out. “I wanted to follow a new money trail, and it doesn’t necessarily exist in stocks and bonds,” says Lapin. “It happens through creative ways that people are being scrappy.... People are abandoning the American dream for their own dreams.” Lapin is living proof of this road to success: Born and raised in Los Angeles, the Harvard-educated journalist already had three jobs in local news in markets across the country for CBS before she landed what would be a game-changing position at the nationally syndicated morning business show First Business—the one that ultimately helped land her that plumb job at CNN. “I didn’t major in finance,” says Lapin. “I was thrown into it to get the national show experience at First Business, on the floor of the Chicago Mercantile Exchange. Then we all became financial reporters while I was at CNN during the economic crisis.”
This fall will bring more time in front of the cameras for the perfectly coiffed money guru, who hints that she will be on the air in a “much more significant way” while she continues to grow Nothing But Gold. “I want to focus on not just the on-air aspect, but also producing content and being mindful of the brand.” She pauses, then adds with a laugh, “And then, of course, there is the network that I’ll eventually own one day.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY STUART GOLDENBERG
Dr. Charles Leinberry Hangs Ten
When he’s not tending to patients in Philly and abroad, the orthopedic specialist heads to the shore to grab some waves.
February 27, 2012
What’s up, Doc?: Dr. Charles Leinberry surfing in Avalon, New Jersey
Dr. Charles Leinberry knows every bone and muscle in all 10 of his fingers, but he also knows how to hang 10. A renowned hand and wrist surgeon at the Rothman Institute, Leinberry is also a skilled athlete who spends his precious spare moments outdoors—skiing, biking, snowboarding, and, especially, surfing.
The Philadelphia native has always had an interest in athletics. While an orthopedic resident, he planned to pursue a career in sports medicine before ultimately settling on a specialization in hands. Today, as an inductee to the American Orthopaedic Association, he is highly sought by both professional athletes and lay patients for his expertise, and he uses his vacation time to participate in volunteer initiatives around the world. But in between all of this work, he likes to sneak off to Avalon or Ocean City, New Jersey, to catch a few waves. “If you have a surfboard, you are down the shore, and the waves are good, that is all you need,” he says. “You don’t have to buy a lift ticket. You don’t have to pay any fees. Just sitting there, it’s peaceful. You can reflect.”
The doctor learned to surf the same way he learned the Hippocratic Oath at Thomas Jefferson University—from a book. At age 12, he would practice standing on blue-and-yellow rubber rafts and at 13 graduated to his first board, a 10-foot Greg Noll. Leinberry never took lessons. More than 40 years later, he still hits the surf whenever his schedule allows: At least once a month, he grabs his wet suit and heads to the waves, even in winter, when water temperatures can drop to a spine-tingling 39 degrees.
Leinberry’s physical prowess, however, isn’t limited to surfing, nor to his personal downtime. In 1995 he cycled from Santa Fe to Oklahoma City with Team World, a group of disabled cyclists with amputations and paraplegia that biked across the country. “These people were amazingly strong,” Leinberry recalls. “At first you think of it as, Well, this will be an adventure— and then you realize that we are here to help these people accomplish their goals.” Soon after, in 1996, Leinberry raced along with the US Masters Cycling Team in rural Russia while also providing medical services, donating a significant amount of medicine and equipment to underpaid physicians struggling to provide adequate healthcare. He also witnessed troubling medical conditions during a trip to Guatemala with Surgicorps in 2009, during which he treated poverty-stricken children with orthopedic maladies such as cleft palates and webbed digits. “I think [all doctors] should go once, just to test your skills, push your limits, and see what’s out there—to see how lucky we really are in this country,” he says. “That is why I do the work I do, to give back.”
Photography by Ryan Struck
Wedded Ballet Bliss
Love is a many-splendored thing for Julie Diana and Zachary Hench, two of Pennsylvania Ballet’s brightest talents.
December 05, 2011
For two people who spend much of their time on stage, it was only fitting that Julie Diana and Zachary Hench officially began their lives together before hundreds of enamored ballet-goers at the gilded Academy of Music. “We were dancing Cranko’s Romeo and Juliet,” says Hench. “I’d been thinking about proposing for a while, and that ballet came up. It is one of Julie’s favorite Shakespeare plays.” So in a life-imitating-art moment (they were playing the ballet’s star-crossed lovers, naturally), when the curtain came up for them to take their first bows, Hench got down on one knee and proposed. “The audience went wild,” he smiles. Diana, of course, said yes. And now these two principal dancers have gone on to become one of ballet’s most lauded duos, helping solidify Pennsylvania Ballet as one of the world’s premier companies, which will feature the pair throughout December in the much-anticipated performance of George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker. (The Ballet itself is in the process of relocating its headquarters to North Broad Street.)
Both fell in love with dance at an early age—Diana in New Jersey and Hench in central Pennsylvania—and later discovered their love for each other while performing in Barcelona. “We had mutual friends and heard each others’ names over the years, but we never met face to face until Zak joined San Francisco Ballet,” says Diana. “We were on tour in Spain when my partner for Balanchine’s ‘Symphony in C’ got injured. Zak was asked to step in and learn the part at the last minute, so we spent lots of time together in the studio and started to go for sangria after rehearsals.” Fast forward to today, and the pair have created two little masterpieces of their own: three-year-old daughter Riley and their newborn son, Lukas.
Despite the enchantingly intense characters they embody onstage, these two have a decidedly normal existence once the stage lights dim and the slippers are taken off. “We tend to keep our work at the studio and not to bring it home. But they are intertwined, and therein lies the balance,” admits Hench. Adds Diana: “We challenge each other in rehearsals and are very supportive of one another, but when we come home, it is mostly about life outside the ballet, and our children become the focus.” Unlike Romeo and Juliet, their tragic counterparts, it is this roundness of existence that enables them to choreograph their own happily-ever-after ending.
photography by jauhien sasnou
Questions With: Charlie Saxton
Hung star Charlie Saxton talks about fame and trading Philly for LA.
October 19, 2011
Charlie Saxton plays angst-ridden teenager Damon Drecker on the hit HBO series Hung. And although the show, now in its third season, has propelled the Philadelphia native into TV stardom, Saxton has remained grounded. The 20-year-old recently wrapped the play End Days at LA’s Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and will soon return to the East Coast to spend the holidays with his family. We caught up with Saxton to chat about the upcoming season of Hung, navigating LA and rocking out with the band.
So what can we expect from your character this season?
CHARLIE SAXTON: Damon and his sister start a band. They’ll be writing a new song or jamming in the living room so that’s what he’s focusing most of his time and energy on. They’re also prepping for college this year so there’s the whole frustration of the SATS and the excitement that goes along with getting ready for college.
Did you know how to play any instruments prior to shooting the band scenes?
CS: I’ve played the drums since I was eight years old. At 12 I picked up the bass, and then a couple years after that took up the guitar. I was in a band in high school and we toured around the tri-state area and played local shows. That was a good time.
Did your musical background play a part in the show’s storyline?
CS: When I first started the show they asked if I had any special talents. It’s pretty cool because both Sianoa [Smit-McPhee], who plays my sister, and I both play instruments so [Hung creators] Colette [Burson] and Dmitry [Lipkin] really liked that idea and they said, “Why don’t the kids start a band this year?”
Damon is a typical, insecure teen. Can you relate?
CS: Totally, absolutely. Even if people say that they can’t relate there are some aspects of themselves that they totally see in Damon—even if it’s not being sure of what to wear, what to think, how to act. It’s all part of puberty and growing up. Me personally, there were definitely times where I was like, man, I don’t know who I am or who I want to be. And you kind of realize you have to stop stressing over the same stuff and not worry about what others think of you and just be yourself. There is a famous quote by Dr. Seuss that says, “The people who matter won’t mind and the people that mind won’t matter.”
With the success of Hung, how have you dealt with fame especially as a young actor in Hollywood?
CS: It’s really weird but it’s also very exciting and cool. It just shows that people really like the show and really like what I do on it. As an actor that makes me feel great. It was really weird because I got stopped by TMZ last year when I was walking around the shopping mall, and I thought to myself: Why do they care about me? Why do they care what I’m doing?
Was it difficult adjusting to life in LA given your upbringing in Philadelphia?
CS: It took awhile to adjust because the East Coast and West Coast are such different worlds. I was only 19 when we started shooting, and it went from living at home with my parents, not sure if [the show] was going to get picked up and thinking about going to community college, to moving to Los Angeles to be on a television show. I didn’t have a car the first year I was in LA. I rode my bike everywhere. It was tough to adjust but I definitely settled very nicely.
What do you think is one of the most underrated things about LA?
CS: There are so many great places to watch really good films. I know that’s sort of obvious but you just don’t realize how many awesome places there are until you come here and experience it for yourself. I go to the New Beverly Cinema, and this past summer my girlfriend and I would go the Hollywood Cemetery to see movies there. It’s an awesome experience.
photograph by gettyimages.com
The Enchanting Esperanza Spalding
Grammy-winning artist Esperanza Spalding is bringing her talents to the Philadelphia area.
October 10, 2011
When the winner of the Best New Artist category was announced at this year’s Grammy Awards, some music-industry executives were left reaching for Google. Who was this sumptuously Afro-ed jazz musician named Esperanza Spalding who bested heavy favorites Drake and Justin Bieber? Jazz devotees and supporters of quality music around the globe, however, applauded the selection of the 27-year-old bandleader as a win for creativity and craftsmanship, both of which Spalding has in spades.
An anomaly even in the jazz world, Spalding plays the upright and electric bass, violin, oboe, and clarinet; sings, in three languages; and composes and produces. With her current album, Chamber Music Society, becoming a number-one Billboard jazz recording that also enjoyed a post-Grammy sales boost, she is quick to shrug off her relative anonymity. “If your fans are that adamant and supportive of you, your career is probably going to be just fine,” says Spalding, the first jazz musician to win Best New Artist.
Spalding’s career certainly looks primed to continue its upward trajectory. She is working on her third album, Radio Music Society, due out next year, and touring around the world with saxophonist Joe Lovano. She has performed for the Obamas, both at the White House and at the 2009 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in Oslo, Norway—the only time jazz has usurped the traditional classical music. And she has been hailed as a musical savior ever since her acclaimed 2008 self-titled debut. But Spalding does not subscribe to the stereotypes of a typical jazz purist. In fact, she has her detractors, who criticize her work for its fusion-based sound. Undeterred, her upcoming album features a collaboration with hip-hop artist Q-Tip, formerly of A Tribe Called Quest, a group well known for its own mix of hip-hop and jazz stylings.
“Sometimes when I am working on a piece of music, it is strictly for the joy of creating. I have no end in mind, no fans, no performance space... There are no lyrics yet, no title,” Spalding says. “You feel like you are the conduit for this idea, and you are using your skills to breathe life into it and to keep it evolving. Other times you imagine a goal. You want to have this sound or do this kind of performance for people. Little by little, you piece together all the necessary elements to realize that.”
Spalding will play at the Zoellner Arts Center in Bethlehem on October 11 and at the Merriam Theater on October 14. For tickets, visit zoellnerartscenter.org or kimmelcenter.org
Time Out With Kathryn Hahn
The comedic actress gives us the scoop on filming How Do You Know in Philly.
December 17, 2010
Kathryn Hahn and How Do You Know director James L. Brooks
With a new baby on board and two major 2011 films in the works (Wanderlust, starring Jennifer Anniston and My Idiot Brother, starring Paul Rudd) Kathryn Hahn has plenty on her plate. We caught up with the quick witted comedic actress to talk about her latest role in How Do You Know—filmed right here in Philly.
Tell us about your role in How Do You Know.
I play George’s [Paul Rudd] secretary and main executive assistant who also functions as his confidant. She’s very pregnant, as I was at the time. She has all this last trimester maternal energy and she channels it onto her boss.
Did you enjoy filming Philadelphia?
Philly has such a huge presence [and] such a gorgeous history. You can’t walk anywhere without seeing a plaque. It’s so moving to me.
Did you discover any favorite restaurants or local haunts while you were here?
Every day, on the way to work, my driver would take me to these ridiculously fattening places—iced pound cake from some Italian bakery, amazing burgers near Rittenhouse Square. Thank God I was pregnant because all I did was eat.
I’m sure you have plenty of fond pregnancy memories from Philly.
We walked up and down the steps at the Art Museum to try to jump-start the labor; my husband was singing the Rocky song. [Then] I got home one night and my water broke in our Four Seasons hotel room. My daughter was born at Penn Hospital after a long labor, but it was one of those profound experiences in my life.