Here you are again. Running or pedaling in place, staring at the grey ceiling of a poorly lit sweat-box, as you push weights guided by a machine. Next to you, your fellow gym-rats (or more aptly, gerbils on wheels) take on similarly mindless tasks. It’s 6am – or 6pm for those ambitious folk and happy-hour nonbelievers – no one talks, the ear buds plug up any opportunity for shared experience.
Okay, maybe this is one man’s depressing dramatization. But nowadays, who isn’t bored of the usual mundane gym regiment? What ever happened to the sense of adventure, the kids-stuff, scaling a playground wall, hanging out the second-story window by your legs? Why has adulthood led you to trade tree-climbing for a stationary aerobic machine? Where’s the excitement!? The danger!? Let’s scrap the stuffy, stand-around-and-lament gym routines. It’s time to elevate your workout game.
Meet Brooklyn Boulders Somerville (BKB), a new indoor climbing and bouldering installation that will turn your excuse for ‘exercise’ on its head. Literally. Sporting an impressive 38,000-square-foot warehouse space, expertly constructed bouldering and climbing walls, and tons of light-giving windows, this place… wait for it… rocks! (Climbing humor is hard…)
According to the Brooklyn Boulders’ website:
Our goal is to provide a new type of curated community space… augmented by art, culture, music and entrepreneurship. Under our roof the lines between work, life, and play are blurred.
This spectacle of metallic, gigantic steel spider-webs and smooth tampered wood walls – pure eye-candy for climbing experts and novices alike – is made possible by Brooklyn Boulders, who opened the original Brooklyn-based facility in 2009. The company’s founders, both Babson alumni, are committed to uphold the same level of dedication displayed previously in NYC.
“Brooklyn and Cambridge/Somerville are two of the most diverse neighborhoods in the world,” says president Lance Pinn. “Brooklyn actually has more students than the Cambridge area, but both have so many intellectuals, artists, and experts that there ends up being a lot of jobs focused around just that: creativity and innovation. We thought Brooklyn Boulders would be great in such a culture.”
The space will cater to all levels of climbers, with both basic instruction and expert advice available. BKB Somerville plans to change out holds and switch up routes every six to eight weeks to keep ascents interesting for frequent attendees. Much like the sister site’s mock Brooklyn Bridge structure, the Somerville location has its own climbable historic landmark, the Prospect Hill Monument.
For those hero-type climbers, a 50-foot climbing wall, unofficially dubbed ‘The Tongue,’ will extend up and across the ceiling, and provide a “View of the Pru” through encircling windows at the top. BKB Somerville will also focus on youth programs and events, such as climbing teams, charitable programs, and summer adventure courses.
If these features don’t have you chalking up your palms in anticipation, BKB has lots more to offer than holds and ropes. With space for temperature-controlled yoga, a dry sauna, weight and cardio rooms, and lots of seating for spectators, management hopes customers “will never want to leave.” The new installation’s “theater-like” construction will be perfect for competitive events. If the Red Sox have another poor season, pretty soon they’ll be putting holds on the Green Monster – relax Fenway Faithful, I'm only kidding.
After ascending your first boulder and screaming in ecstasy or fear (or maybe both), the espresso bar, cafeteria, or guest food-truck vendor has the stuff to put you right again.
Operating under the saying “physicality stimulates innovation and creativity,” BKB will team up with the Cambridge Innovation Center to bring you inspiring workspaces. There will also be pop-up shop spaces throughout the facility to host wares and services.
With spring upon us, the BKB team is working hard to finish construction and nail down permits. Pinn estimates an opening in June at the earliest, but hopefully no later than mid-July.
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