By Alexis Soloski
By Molly Grogan
By R. C. Baker
By Christian Viveros-Fauné
By Alexis Soloski
By Alexis Soloski
By Lilly Lampe
The Learning Annex(371-0280) offers "Intro to the Mac," which will familiarize you in three hours. Cost: $95/ $85 for members.
Gain Microsoft Word training at the Career Center(684-5151). Learn how to create and edit documents, place headers and footers, and adjust styles with the "Word Processing Package." Call for prices.
Manhattan Computer Resources(685-5833) covers the Internet in a four-hour course (Jan. 22; Feb. 5, 12, or 19). Learn how to explore the Web, use search engines, and write e-mail. Cost: $149. —Rouven Gueissaz
Valentine's Day approacheth, and they say the way to a person's heart is via the stomach. Instead of enriching the swollen coffers of Victoria's Secret, go for the oral stimulus of baked goods; the New School's "Valentine Cookie Workshop" will give a helping hand (Feb. 4 and 7, $80; 229-5600; www.nsu.newschool.edu).
Lemon tartlets and fudgy brownies rank among the treats you can concoct in "Wheat-Free Vegan Baking" at the Natural Gourmet School (March 29, $70; 645-5170; www.naturalgourmetschool.com). To continue in a vegan vein, build dishes like green beans with roasted garlic mayo in "Savory Sauces" (Feb. 27 and Mar. 6, $160).
The photo of a smiling teacher embracing a five-foot-long whisk at www.cookingbythebook.com should be added to www.howfreshisthisguy.com. Stephen Schmidt's course, "Basics of Baking" at Cooking by the Book (Feb. 5 & 12, $185; 966-9799), features eight normal-size confections, including New York blackout cake and a tomato-cheese galette. —J. Yeh
The historic 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center (415-5550) houses classes, performances, workshops, and rehearsal space for children to "mature" dancers. Sign up before Jan. 28 for ballet, jazz, tap, bodywork, or social dance. Class cards range from $50 to $900.
The Point Community Development Cooperation runs the El Grito Dance Studio (718-542-4139, ext. 41) in the South Bronx. Take modern classes with Arthur Aviles, breakin' with Rocafella & Kwikstep, ballet, tap, or martial arts classes (donation suggested). Then treat yourself to some soul food at Pat's Kitchen.
Dance Space Center(625-8369), at 451 Broadway, dedicates itself to the development of sound dancers. With a $10 12-month membership, classes cost $12. It offers professional workshops, performances in the Evolving Arts Theater, most dance forms, yoga, and 12-week kid's classes. —MiRi Park
Take my wife, please! When you finally hit the big time, you and a loved one can laugh about how you offered them as down payment on the $375 cost of the "Stand-Up Comedy Workshop" at NYU's School of Continuing and Professional Studies(998-7171; scps.nyu.edu). Led by D.F. Sweedler on Monday evenings, the sessions require students to produce material and perform for the class. With 10 sessions from Feb. 5 to Apr. 23, the tuition's probably a good deal—might as well throw in a favorite in-law as well to cover extra fees for registration (through Jan. 25). OK, that's enough info—I'm dying up here.
The Bard and co. knew comes a time when real action's called for. Playhouse pugnacity gets an update with Contemporary Stage Violence, one of many classes offered during HB Studios' spring term (120 Bank Street, 675-2370; semester starts Jan. 30). Monday night and Tuesday afternoon sections are available for this reasonably priced ($152) course in "the art of safe and effective stage combat as a seamless integration with acting"; check out a first class gratis.
Trolling through the reading materials available on NYC street corners, you might consider attending a thespian colloquy many acting schools wouldn't have the candor to host: "Acting for Non-Actors" at the Seminar Center(655-0077; email@example.com) on Jan. 24 and Mar. 20. Taught by soap star Marilyn Raphael, it will teach "techniques you can utilize in real-life circumstances" and help "develop skills of persuasion." Props for honesty—the sages were always chary of actors. —E. McMurtrie
No gift is as intimate as underwear, and it's even more so when you've made it with your own sweaty hands. At Sew Fast Sew Easy(Feb. 5, $55; 582-5889), learn to sew boxer shorts just in time for Valentine's Day. For yourself, consider a chic baguette handbag (two sessions, $99).
Craving a Harry Potter wizard cap? "Hat Design" at Parsons(229-8900; www.parsons.edu) won't help, but does cover the construction of beret, slouch, pillbox, and blocked hats. Don't despair: There's still "Costume Design" and a magical grab bag of sewing classes, you big geek (12-week series, $402, starts Feb. 2).
Go buck-wild for beads with the New School's five workshops on how to handle the little critters (begin Feb. 3; 229-5600; www.nsu.newschool.edu). From the basics to "Fanciful Beaded Flowers" and "Beaded Lampshades," all one's beading needs can be satisfied (or can they?). —J. Yeh
Suffering from night terrors? Enroll in the New York Film Academy's workshops (nyfa.com) and learn how to sublimate your fears through filmmaking. The four-, six-, or eight-week workshops cover directing, writing, cinematography, production, and editing.
Want to enter Hollywood via writing? Writingclasses.com's screenwriting/film analysis workshops will get you started. The online classes re-create the live environment; private instruction, one-day intensive workshops, or the 10-week course will give you the dos and don'ts.
Behind the half-pipe marching kits and Velcro bandoliers of the crested wave of New Media conscription stand the Money People, and this corps's epaulets aren't always cheap: The New York Institute of Finance(390-5000; nyif.com) is geared toward "professionals in the securities and financial services industries" whose companies can foot tuition of sometimes nearly a G for a single daylong seminar. Students in NYIF's recent "Corporate Restructurings and Workouts" might, at least rhetorically, have the jump on the grasshoppers in the upcoming "Management of Credit Risk."
The School of Continuing and Professional Studies at NYU(998-7080; scps.nyu.edu) affirms its commitment to the brave new Net world with certificate programs such as "Web Business Development" and "High-Tech Entrepreneurship." A sort of Rake's Progress for buzzwords is suggested by matching spring-semester e-specie classes with their fees, from "Internet Financing: From Planning the Start-Up to IPO" ($330) to "The Web Economy" ($650) to "Using the Internet for Direct Marketing" ($750) to a dip toward "Introduction to E-Valuation" ($330).
When pink slips turn slushy gray and the buildings department starts looking into its list of suspiciously renovated "work" spaces, dot-refugees could consider the green fields of Queens, where means for starting from scratch are at hand: LaGuardia Community Collegemay still have room in short, affordable ($25-$75) continuing-ed courses like "Basics of Investing" and, for Those-Who-Do-Not-Learn-From-History, "Investing in the Stock Market." For wily folk riding the economic slipstream, there's "Real Estate Salesperson" ($192), the first half of a broker's-license program. —E. McMurtrie
If you like traveling but want to be part of a community, AFS Intercultural Programs(299-9000; afs.org) has a network of offices in over 50 countries and offers intercultural learning opportunities for students and young adults. Students live with a family and attend school for a year or semester; adults work in businesses or volunteer while picking up the language and culture of another country.
Want a different view from your classroom window? Council on International Educational Exchange(800-40-STUDY; ciee.org) has programs for undergrads, young adults, and education professionals looking to explore international issues with academic peers. Programs in Africa, Asia, Australia, Latin America, Europe, and the Middle East provide one- or two-week seminars that focus on global issues.
Established in 1957, Operation Crossroads Africa(870-2106; igc.org/oca) sponsors programs that foster understanding of the African diaspora. These six-week sessions call for involvement with community development programs in over a dozen African countries, focusing on issues such as health and reforestation; $3500 covers travel costs. Tentative dates: Jun. 16-Aug. 12, 2001. Deadline: Feb. 1. —Amber Cortes
A certain VIP needs to touch up his, ah, English elocution for his new job at a major U.S. "firm"—but he's been too busy to register for ESL classes. A conservative sort, he balks at the fancy "cultural immersion modules" and high outlays of most language schools. Our exec—call him "W"—might make the traditional choice of Berlitz Language Center(berlitz.com; 765-1001), where he can sign up anytime for whatever level and duration of instruction he might need, at competitive rates. Nothing subliminal here.
Meanwhile, the runner-up for commander in chief can prep early for 2004 with Susan Berkley's Jan. 24 seminar, "How To Seduce Anyone, Anytime With Your Voice." This three-hour course advocates making your voice "more pleasing and powerful" for romantic (well, business, really) purposes, but perhaps it can modulate the qualities that tend to blow political debates with its "tips for overcoming some of the most common speaking distractions." Call the Learning Annex(371-0280; learningannex.com) for registration info, or pick up a course catalog at one of their 50 million boxes citywide.
The rest of us can escape the presidential blarney over a Guinness at Rocky Sullivan's(129 Lexington Ave., 725-3871). Not educational, you say? Au contraire, boyo: The pedagogical premises bring it all back home with "Irish Language and History" classes for the novice (bunrang) and intermediate (meanrang) on Tuesday evenings; registration is held in the back room. E-mail Liammack@nyc.com for details, and, please, best not tell my folks what exactly I meant about "going back to school" later this winter. —E. McMurtrie
A schism in the recording industry concerns music-school training vs. learning the ropes as an apprentice in a "real world" studio; if you're a Pip who'd rather just take Magwich's tuition and keep him at arm's length, you can try the introductory audio engineering course at New School University(www.newschool.edu; 229-5690). About $605 for noncredit enrollment, this 12-session, hands-on evening class teaches acoustics and puts you at the mixing console of a 24-track studio. If the mullet-per-capita ratio is bearable, NSU has a full certificate program in the subject.
Another question about talent: Are poets born or made? "Singing for People Who Think They Can't," at the Singers Forum (singersforum.org; 366-0541), suggests the not-for-profit's in the populist camp, advocating that "everyone can sing" and providing five-class, $135 programs in a "fun, supportive and caring environment"; but a roster of past students with surnames like Minnelli, Kitt, and Leguizamo suggests the one-or-the-other debate's inadequate. The Forum has other offerings, such as cabaret workshop and community service programs.
Leave this hemisphere at Lotus Music and Dance(109 W 27th St.; 627-1076; lotusarts.com). Although the multicultural course selection is primarily terpsichorean, past offerings have included classes in North Indian vocals and beginning and advanced tabla, the latter taught by the renowned Samir Chatterjee. Most sessions are $11 each, $10 with a 10-class card; private classes by appointment. —E. McMurtrie
For a walk on the really wild side, from oak-pine woodland to saltwater wetlands, visit the 2400-acre Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge(631-286-0485). Its many species include deer, muskrats, foxes, weasels, amphibians, raptors, and songbirds. Visitors can walk two hiking trails (1.5 miles and three miles respectively). Parking is available; the entrance road is open seven days a week, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Take Route 27A (Montauk Highway), and turn south onto Smith Road (just east of the Carmans River). Go one-third of a mile; the entrance is on the right.
Brrrr! Enjoy waves in winter while bird-watching on Saturday, Feb. 10, at Jones Beach(described by the Brooklyn Bird Club as "one of the best winter spots for birding in the metropolitan area"). The beach geography affords protection for several species, such as owls, gulls, and winter passerines. Registration for the field trip begins Jan. 30 and ends on Feb. 8. Contact Paul Keim, 718-875-1151. The carpooling fee is $5. Information on meeting time and location will be available near the end of the registration period.
Spend what promises to be a colorful day among 10 acres of gardens and floral exhibits at the Philadelphia Flower Show. On Tuesday, Mar. 6, the New York Botanical Gardenwill sponsor a one-day (7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m.) bus trip to the show, whose theme is "Great Gardeners of the World," featuring 60 of the nation's best. The price, which includes a full luncheon and admission, is $90/$135 for nonmembers. Space is limited, so reserve early. Call the membership department at 718-817-8724. —Wista Jeanne Johnson
Hone your skills in the art of photography for $35 annually with Photo-Seminars.com (800-888-8273; photo-seminars.com). Online courses include "Photojournalism," "Sports and Action," and "Photo Design." Students also have access to seminars, field guides, tips and tricks, and faculty white papers. Sample lessons are available.
If you prefer instruction tailored to your experience level, veteran photographer Len Bernstein(925-1139; www.lenbernstein.com) provides one-on-one, full-day workshops (which include a portfolio review, shooting in the field, and two follow-up assignments) for $400 and two-hour workshops (by telephone and mail with one shooting assignment and critique) for $100. Bernstein promotes the concept of "aesthetic realism," and schedules shoots at sites based on students' needs.
One of the city's great cultural institutions, the 92nd Street Y (415-5500), offers two classes for photo buffs. "Introduction to Photography Without a Dark-room" begins Jan. 25 and Jan. 31 for 10 sessions. The $300 course covers the basics of 35mm photography. Another two-session class, "Photographing the Landscape," will be held on Apr. 22 (9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) at the Henry Kaufman Campgrounds in Rockland County and May 6 (10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.) at the Y ($125 for both sessions). —Wista Jeanne Johnson
religion & spirituality
Find a beacon of peace in a chaos-strewn city of sin. The New York Shambhala Center (675-6544) offers "Being Human: The Practice of Calm Abiding" (Thursdays from Jan. 18; $50/$40 members) and "Introduction to the History of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism" (Thursdays from Feb. 15; $75/$60 members). And the introductory weekly dharma gathering meets on Tuesdays at 7:15 p.m.
Remember that dream you had? The one you could make neither head nor tail of, but seemed so important. . . . For when you have that uncanny feeling that your subconscious is trying to tell you something, the C.G. Jung Foundation(697-6430) offers "Stuff That Dreams Are Made Of," a five-week course led by Melinda Haas. Beginning Apr. 11, and meeting Wednesdays from 7 to 8:40 p.m, this class helps unravel dream symbolism's threads of mystery. Cost: $125/$110 for members.
Explore the connections between Caribbean culture and the religion of Santería at the Caribbean Cultural Center(307-7420). Santería emerged in the Caribbean when Africans masked their gods with Christian saints. In two workshops (Feb. 3 and 7), Marta Moreno-Vega will discuss her book Altar of My Soul, about ancestor worship and the Orisha tradition. Cost: $10/$8 members. —Amber Cortes
Perhaps you've dreamt about the magic world that lies underneath the tranquil ocean? Aqua-Lung School of New York(718-317-1150; www.aqua-trax.com) offers a variety of courses specializing in scuba education. Classes meet at the Children's Aid Society pool at the Milbank Center on 118th St., on Tuesday and Thursday evenings.
Aikido teaches growth and evolution, emphasizing harmony. Aikido of Manhattan(646-336-9371; aikidoofmanhattan.com) is the perfect place to start. Classes are offered six days a week, three or four times a day, and there is no limit—members can stay there all day! All you need is a uniform (sold on the premises).
Close your eyes, take a deep breath, and . . . jump! Voilà! There's another hand waiting for you. Hold on tight—let your body glide through the air—add a little twist. Yes, you're flying—or almost—and it feels great! Chelsea Piers Field House(336-6500; chelseapiers.com) has one-on-one trapeze classes (by appointment) for $72 an hour. —Camila Gamboa
Marcel Duchamp once said that "the only works of art America has given are her plumbing and her bridges." To prove him wrong, register now with the National Academy of Design School of Fine Arts (nationalacademy.org). Since 1825, the school has offered classes in painting, watercolor, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture.
The School of Visual Arts' undergraduate, graduate, and special programs (www.schoolofvisualarts.edu) will take you deeper into the creative process. Embrace one of the many courses offered (advertising, cartooning, graphic design, or art therapy) and make your ideas real.
Reflect on the past and celebrate the future. The M.F.A. program in visual arts at Columbia University(854-2134) gives you the tools to discover your hidden potential. It's a two-year is a matrix of familiar disciplines in tune with the times, including digital media, drawing, new genres, painting, photography, printmaking, sculpture, and video art.—Ioana Veleanu
Ever read an amazing phrase such as "He collected conversations the way one collects stamps or rare bugs" and thought of creating a goose-bump-chill-run down someone's back with your own words? Starting Jan. 29, the New School of Social Research's(229-5611) continuing-ed program offers classes in fiction, nonfiction, poetry, and children's writing.
Gotham Writer's Workshop (212-WRITERS; WritingClasses.com) has a one-day intensive workshop on Feb. 25 that will not only tell you how to write a better story or screenplay, but also help you sell it. If you still think your writing needs improvement, you can take a 10-week private workout.
Argentine writer Ernesto Sabato said all novels were already written—it was just a matter of organizing words in the correct way. You know this to be true but it is hard to organize—perhaps the Writer's Voice of the West Side YMCA(875-4124) can help. Take a course (Jan. 22-Mar. 8) and prove to yourself organization is just a matter of practice. —Camila Gamboa
Check out the other stories in the Winter 2001 Voice Education Supplement.