By Christian Viveros-Fauné
By Miriam Felton-Dansky
By Tom Sellar
By Tom Sellar
By Jessica Dawson
By Tom Sellar
By R. C. Baker
By Tom Sellar
Visit ClimbNYC.com (212-974-2250; ClimbNYC.com) to learn all about "bouldering" on natural rocks in the city such as Rat Rock, Harlem River Cliffs, and the South Cloister Boulders, which definitely require some training and safety education. City Climbers Club offers classes in knots and equipment, techniques, and route setting. Wista Jeanne Johnson
Capture nature's diversity in photos worth framing: Schoolofphotography.com (www.schoolofphotography.com) offers 11 lessons in landscape photography with an online tutor for $29.95. Or get no-cost instruction at Fodors.com (www.fodors.com) in "How to Take Travel Pictures Like a Pro," which includes "Classic Vacation Shots" and "The Natural World."
This one-day Saturday workshop at The New School (212-229-5600) will teach you how to colorize b&w photographs, using oil, acrylic, pencils, and watercolorand your imagination. Cost for the hand-coloring workshop (May 5, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.) is $135. Wista Jeanne Johnson
religion & spirituality
If you are seeking lessons in Jewish mysticism, you need not be a Talmudic sage to qualify: This introductory course on the Kabbalah will teach laymen the intricate workings of the Sefirot, or the Tree of Life, and the Zohar, or Book of Splendor. For $240, you can access this ancient wisdom at the Kabbalah Centre (www.kabbalah.com). "Kabbalah 101," a 10-week course taught by rabbis, is a gateway for more advanced classes at the Centre.
The second most translated book in the world, after the Bible, is the Tao Te Ching. The Tao philosophy is steeped in 3000 years of Chinese cultural and spiritual history. In 5000 characters, Lao-tzu's Tao Te Ching scripture is "concise, but says a lot," according to James Tu, who teaches a foundation class on the Tao on the second and fourth Sunday of every month at Helianthus at 48 MacDougal Street (212-598-0381). Mr. Tu lays down the literal and symbolic translation by "walking through" the three basic Tao texts. The first class is always free; later classes are $10 each. Amber Cortes
Forget the shrink, the gym, the pills, and the subliminal tapes: Heal your home, for avatar's sake. The New York School of Feng Shui (518-448-8600; www.fengshuiseminars.com) has what you need: a summer retreat July 20-29, with classes covering such topics as Feng Shui and ecology, bau-biologie, face reading, and Taoist alchemy. More comprehensive study will be available at the school's International Feng Shui Conference this Julyin Zurich. Pablo Morales
Is judo a sport, an art, a discipline, a social activity, or a form of combat? Join the Oishi Judo Club (212-966-6850; www.oishi-judo.com) and find out for yourself. The Manhattan club, created by the 1969 Japanese national champion, encourages all levels of participation, from recreational to competitive. You can join the club any time during the year.
You wonder which sport will help you get rid of the negative energy and frustrations accumulated over winter. Chelsea Piers (www.chelseapiers.com) may be the solution. There is a great chance that its 10,000 square feet of climbing surfaces, its six-lane, 25-yard swimming pool, its indoor track (longest in the world), and its two fitness studios will solve your dilemma.
Pool tables can be found in many corner bars around the city. But if you don't feel like tracking them down, you can practice via computer. Just like in real life, Virtual Pool (www.interplay.com/games/vrpool.html) allows players to actually "walk" around the table to check out their next shot, take a closer look, back away, look left or right, and then line up the shot. World champion "Machine Gun" Lou Butera is also virtually there to give you tips and improve your game. Ioana Veleanu
Get your motor running. Head out on the highway. Looking for adventurebut whoa, wait, hey: Hold up a sec, cowboy. Wouldn't it be wiser to attend Motorcycle Safety School (718-599-1079) first, before embarking 'pon "wheel" life? In one hands-on, $375 weekend, any tire tyro can be taught and tested for the DMV road test; bikes and helmets are provided. So head to the Yonkers Raceway (fact: MSS is the licensing site closest to the city) for your lesson. Then start crankin' up the hog, like the true nature's child that you know yourself to be. Hans de Krap
The School of Visual Arts is kicking off a new "grassroots movement" called "Make Something": Armies of SVA students will be hitting the streets in three waves of "interactive art projects," sketching random people, guerrilla sculpting in the park, and painting a mural. Contact SVA enlistment at 212-592-2100 or email@example.com. Pablo Morales
Great art doesn't just happen. So make it happen by enrolling in the School of Fine Arts' summer classes (212-996-1908). Discover the studio experience, in which students work mostly from live models but also from still lifes. Additional lectures, seminars, critiques, workshops, and visits to museums and artists' studios are there to help you find inspiration. The school, located in the heart of New York's Museum Mile, offers two four-week summer terms. Registration begins on May 21.
Michelangelo taught there four centuries ago. You guessed well: the Accademia di Belle Arti in Florence. The School of Visual Arts (www.schoolofvisualarts.edu) invites you to join its Summer Art Abroad program and spend three weeks as a student of the venerable institution. And if you're not a Renaissance man or woman, the school's archaeology, painting, and photography programs offer you Greece and Spain.