Harvestworks (431-1130) is a nonprofit digital-media arts center especially for artists and digital mavericks in all creative fields, including music and mixed media. Faculty members are all practicing artists. Some spring courses still open; summer registration begins May 1. Classes start at $40; one-on-one tutorials available at $240 for four hours.

My Photoshop teacher at the New School's Computer Instruction Center (229-5876) warmed me up to this behemoth program with analogies to Star Wars and human molecules. A comprehensive array of courses, ranging from one to 12 sessions ($200-$650), covers all the major areas, including Web design, programming, e-business, and multimedia.

The various technology-related departments of NYU's career-savvy School of Continuing and Professional Studies (998-7070)--which includes their Center for Advanced Digital Applications (790-1370)--offer specialized courses and facilities designed in consultation with professionals. Areas of emphasis include e-publishing; e-business and commerce; digital media, design, and production; digital animation; and multimedia. Courses start at $625. --Bryan Zimmerman

contact sports

West Village Workout ain't bloody, nor is it weak. Former Golden Glove champ introduces technique and the heavy bag, etc. There's potential to strap on the safety gear and start light coed boxing. $15 per 75-minute session, $200 for 20. 140 Charles Street, 229-1399.

With 50 years of martial arts experience under his belt, Grandmaster David Chih-Young Lin offers a wealth of perspective at Natural Chinese Martial Arts. A wise guy like myself asks, "Can I learn to assault people?" He says: "There's no such thing as offense or defense; in martial arts, you touch me, I can kill you." Free introduction every Monday 6 to 7 p.m. 581 Sixth Avenue, 3rd floor, 929-4969.

New York-Presbyterian Sports Medicine Center (, 366-5100) offers diagnosis and treatment of sports injuries, physical therapy and rehabilitation, plus sports performance enhancement. Located at the Chelsea Piers (Pier 60, 23rd Street). Many insurance plans accepted for physical therapy. --Lou Bardel


Hurrah for sea vegetables! So says the Whole Foods Project (718-832-6628,, a nonprofit providing nutrition support for those with HIV, cancer, or heart disease. Classes on organic vegan, vegetarian, and ethnic cuisines (not to mention sea vegetables) meet every Saturday and cost just $30 (reduced fee for those afflicted with the above diseases).

Serving up intriguing topics like "Whip It Up!" "Bitter Greens, Better Bones," and "Optimal Nutrition for Cats and Dogs" [Eh? --Ed.], the Natural Gourmet Institute (645-5170, specializes in one-night workshops, most $65-$90, with a discount for two people. Best buy: the four-session series on "mostly vegetarian" cooking ($260, $495 for two).

Chow down on cactus-pad salad at the New School's "Cinco de Mayo Feast" (229-5600, For $97 you can conjure up a four-course Mexican meal, then enjoy it with wine afterward. Or treat Mom to brunch on May 14 (yes, Mother's Day) in "Moms and Kids Cook Together" ($50 per person). --J. Yeh


Affiliated with National Dance Week and Earth Day, the Dance Vision 2000 Festival (508-495-3311) brings acclaimed teachers together to celebrate spiritual dance. Instructors include Black Bear, Judy Blackstone, Namita Bodaji, Skip Costa, Geordie Holmes, Steven Malkaus, and Dunya. Three-hour morning and afternoon workshops are offered from April 21 to 23 at the Bridge Studio, at 2726 Broadway. Participants enjoy a complimentary evening festival on the 21st through 23rd (at the School of Healing, 159 W. 25th; $15 for public), plus the concluding celebration. Individual workshops are $50 each; however, dancers of all ages can participate in this event for $225.

In a collective effort to understand the traditions of the African Diaspora, the 8th International African Dance Conference (718-455-7136) presents dance, drum, and lecture workshops, as well as a benefit concert from April 20 to 24 at Baruch College. Beginning and experienced dancers alike can learn about the cultures of Senegal, Ivory Coast, Mali, Liberia, Guinea, Congo, Latin America, and the U.S. A package including all 25 classes and the concert is $265. Individual dance/drum classes are $16. --Robyn Camparo


Michael Howard Studios offers diverse ongoing classes, but check out special summer courses like comedy with Broadway director Gene Saks or voice lessons with the Royal National Theatre's Patsy Rodenburg, who has coached talents as different as Nicole Kidman and Laurence Olivier. Cost range: $120-$475. 152 West 25th Street, 10th floor, 645-1525.

T. Schreiber Studio, established in 1969, was recognized by the mayor's office for its dedication to theater training. Actor Edward Norton has called it home. Ongoing classes are available, plus a full season of plays open to the public. Mary Boyer's two-day intensives ($60-$75) satisfy the time-strapped. 151 West 26th Street, 7th floor, 741-0209.

Robert McCaskill is all business. He offers, he says, "a thorough technique and a kind of coaching that books." Meisner- and Strasberg-compatible method. $50 per hour privately, $140 per month (four classes). Word on the street is that his actors get work. 115 MacDougal Street, 777-6050. --Lou Bardel


Make yourself one of those appalling ponchos that are all the rage at Sew Fast Sew Easy (582-5889, www., where the two-meeting beginners' knitting class runs $90. Or, after you've learned to sew (four sessions, $185), hone your skills at a "stitch and bitch" night. (Trend for fall: muffs.)

Can't find the green-and-orange bustier of your dreams? Bypass Victoria's Secret and head for Parsons (229-8900,, with its extensive range of design, construction, and sketching courses, including lingerie and bridal gown workshops. New semester starts in June (12-week series $410, six-week $192). 1

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