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Unconventional ways to keep warm this winter

WINTER GUIDE 2013: Looking for some hot stuff 

Unconventional ways to keep warm this winter

It's January. It's cloudy. It's cold, the wind blows, and it's colder. Yuck. Determined not to sink into this year's Rochester winter funk, I've put together a list to share of where you can find some items and activities to get you hot. Some of these come from personal experience, some were the result of suggestions made via social media. Have other ideas? Post them to the comments section of this article at

If you have an interest in creating glass or metal, walk yourself into studio space with temperatures that reach more than 100 degrees. Head over to Studio 34 Creative Arts Center and Gallery (34 Elton St., 737-5858, Studio 34 Owner Marilynne Lipshutz is also an instructor in glass bead making and glass fusing, and she regularly fires up the blowtorches for herself and her students. The full range of available classes includes chainmaille, metals, and jewelry, all taught in an upbeat atmosphere.

In that same thermometer range is the More Fire Glass Studio (80 Rockwood Place, 242-0450, This glassmaking facility allows artists to produce their own works, and the studio artists also present education programs for the public in glassblowing, flame working, bead making, and glass casting.

Rounding out the artisan heat beat is the Rochester Arc & Flame Center (125 Fed Ex Way, 349-7110, At this 5,000-square-foot training facility, you can find classes in welding, glass working, and blacksmithing. Executive Director Michael Krupnicki is also affiliated with Mahany Welding Supply, where he caught the inspiration to expand welding qualification programs to the general public. Looking for an alternative to dinner and a movie? The center offers "date night" packages for blacksmithing and glasswork, featuring music, food, wine, and materials.

If you're looking for a hot setting where you can work up an athletic-style sweat, how about heating up in a yoga studio? According to Joan Nichols, owner of Inspire Yoga (1802 Penfield Road, Penfield, 249-YOGA,, you can heat yourself up through yoga in a "vinyasa" flow routine, where you are building heat through a series of poses. The room is heated to 80 to 90 degrees, while you build strength and flexibility. An added benefit is to sweat out or "detox" your system in the process.

To push your yoga practice into an even hotter range, there is "hot yoga," more specifically known as Bikram yoga, which you can grab at Bikram Yoga Rochester (1 Grove St., Pittsford, 381-YOGA, The hot yoga studio goes to 105 to 110 degrees, with 40 percent to 50 percent humidity. Expect to be doing 26 poses, pausing between each one.

Another hot athletic event is nia, which combines dance, martial arts, and healing arts. Classes are barefoot, and the music has a beat to encourage full body action. Check it out at Nia Rochester (389 Gregory St., 533-9248, Jane Pagano, who leads classes, was the co-founder of the former Feels Great Fitness.

If you're looking only for a hot dance floor and some Latin rhythms, why not salsa over to the Tango Café Dance Studio (also at 389 Gregory St., 271-4930, It's bound to be hot, hot, hot over there with classes in Argentine tango, Cuban-style salsa with partners and in a group circle, and more.

Perhaps you'd like a glass of Spanish wine with your salsa? Put on your dancing shoes and show up at Tapas 177 Lounge (177 St. Paul St., 262-2090, on Thursday and Saturday nights for live salsa dancing.

Or maybe all you need to warm up is some hot and spicy food? Easy pickings are "hot and spicy" anything from your favorite Chinese restaurant. A little more adventuresome is a Chinese "hot pot" set-up, like the one you can make at select Yummy Garden locations (like the one 2411 W. Henrietta Road, 368-9888, The tables are designed for hot pots of stock, into which you dip various sliced and diced ingredients like wontons, dumplings, meat, and vegetables. There's even a dipping bar to create your own sauces, however hot you want.

Being decidedly more timid of palate than some of my friends, I take it on recommendation that for hot Thai food, pull up a chair at The King and I (1455 E. Henrietta Rd, 427-8090, and request "spice level of 3." I'm told this will result in tears streaming down your face. Saks Thai also got enthusiastic comments on my post (7374 Pittsford Palmyra Road, Fairport, 421-9010,

If it's Indian you're after, there's Tandoor of India (376 Jefferson Road, 427-7080, Other comments came in from friends for spicy Korean food at Sodam Korean House (900 Jefferson Road, 475-9810, and for "good-n-spicy Jamaican" at Peppa Pot (133 Gregory St., 473-3663). And several posts went up for El Rincon Mexicano, if you're looking for a drive through the snow out to Sodus (6974 Ridge Road, Sodus, 315-483-4199).

No article on "hot" would be complete without mention of Rochester's own Zweigle's hots. Red or white, these meat products evoke feelings of summer. So if your grill is stashed away in the garage, why not make a winter pilgrimage to Nick Tahou Hots (320 W. Main St., 436-0184, for the famous "Garbage Plate"? Opened in 1918, Nick Tahou's is just a bit younger than Zweigle's, which was founded in 1880. You can also go to the Zweigle's website ( for hots recipes to turn up the heat at home, from Zweigle's white hots with sweet apples and sauerkraut to spicy sausage and bean soup.

In This Guide...

    Winter Guide 2013

    After two tepid years winter has returned to Western New York in a major way. We’ve had some major snowfall, bitter temperatures, and all the attendant snow and ice. Instead of hiding or complaining about the season, make the most of it.

    WINTER GUIDE 2013: Slick moves

    Plenty of area sports take place on the ice
    The contrast between the blustery weather outside and the comforts of central heating indoors can be enough to make one go into hibernation mode. If you stay inside all winter, however, you'll be missing out on a whole bunch of seasonal activities.

    WINTER GUIDE 2013: Cold comforts

    Ten exciting events to help you get through the winter
    Contrary to popular opinion — and yes, probably common sense — Rochesterians don't go into hibernation during the winter months. We're a hearty bunch; blizzards, ice, snow, slush, and wind aren't enough to dissuade us from venturing outdoors when there's a good time to be had.

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