By Alexis Soloski
By Molly Grogan
By R. C. Baker
By Christian Viveros-Fauné
By Alexis Soloski
By Alexis Soloski
By Lilly Lampe
Forget Atkins. At the Bronx Zoo's "Zootrition" (800-937-5131, bronxzoo.com) staff members will teach you how they tailor diets for even the pickiest members of the animal kingdom. The class is on April 18 and costs $30. Participants under 16 not admitted.
Do you ever worry that animals in captivity aren't happy? Put your mind at ease at "Behavioral Enrichment" at the New York Aquarium (718-265-3448, nyaquarium.com). Senior trainer Martha Hiatt will teach you how she uses a variety of techniques and tools to enrich the lives of the animals. The class is on June 19 and costs $25.
Learn various methods for successfully preserving your own flowers at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden's "Preserving Flowers and Foliage" (718-623-7220, bbg.org). You'll also get to exercise your inner, non-incarcerated Martha Stewart with in-class projects including making pressed-flower note paper and a wall hanging. The class is on April 18, and costs $77. [Jennifer Holmes]
"So You Got a Digital Camera: Now What?" Yeah, now what? This aptly named NYU (212-998-7171, scps.nyu.edu) class will help you decode the difference between your JPEGs, TIFFs, and RAW files; school you on the finer points of buffering, burst mode, and white balancing; and demystify the magic behind transferring those images from that tiny little memory card onto your hard drive.
"Blocked"? Work through your artistic obstacles in this advanced International Center of Photography class (212-857-0001, icp.org) designed to support and exhume the opportunities that lie in your dormant portfolio or desk drawer. Art therapy for the photographer and photography student, if you will.
My dream assignment: to be forced to shoot one roll of film a day for 30 days. A sublime diary, I thinkwith nary a word. ICP's "A Roll a Daythe Photojournal" allows for a reflection possible only through the close examination and consultation of seeing your day played out in tiny contact-sheet rectangles. It gives a whole new meaning to page-a-day calendars too. [Jennifer Snow]
RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY
Catherine Ingram gives a four-day workshop based on her book Passionate Presence (212-334-5212, sufibooks.com). These conversations take place in the tradition of parables, and Q&As that "effortlessly lead to present awareness." Sit, talk, and be here now, er, um . . . be there thenlet your "such-ness" and "is-ness" get down to bid-ness! Cost: $10.
Leonard Cohen, a folk-pop legend born of the Jewish faith, is now a Buddhist. Like the archetypal trickster, he spins slippery yet wise yarns about God, love, the spirit, the willand women! True troubadours have always cloaked their love songs as songs for God. Makor's two-hour class "Leonard Cohen: Love the Stranger as Yourself" (212-601-1000, 92y.org), beginning April 29, explores his work for four sessions. Cost: $60
A rare visit from one of the biggest names in qigong and Taoist health: Master Chia is famous not only for his refinement of the ancient Taoist arts, but also for his understanding of modern medicine. The Joyous Life Energy Center (212-352-9910, healingtaonyc.com) offers two seminars. "Tao Basics," focuses on healing; "Fusion of the Five Elements I & II" deals with specific energy work promoting compassion. [David Shawn Bosler]
Kick it old-school-style: Crunch's dodgeball class (crunch.com) is sure not only to resurrect the fear of being picked last, but to prove that recess just may be the solution to all of the workday's little evils. Those without a gym membership, or those just looking for a refresher crash course of sorts, can join in the fun at the Dodgeball Tournament of Champions II(April 17, Martin Luther King High School, dodgeballchampions.com).
Ah, archery. A surprisingly gentle sport. A sport notably devoid of sweat. A sport I learned to love in summer camp, while avoiding dodgeball's evil stare! Big Apple Archery Lanes and Queens Archery Supplies (718-461-1756, archery-nyc.com) offers a free lesson for first-timers with the $16 rental program (all the equipment you need for an hour of shooting time); probably a good idea before graduating into the popular Open Shooting option.
The view at your yoga class got you down? Sun salutations as they were meant to be: on the sundecks of the piers along the Hudsonat the Sports Center at Chelsea Piers (chelseapiers.com). "Sunset Soul 2 Soul Partner Yoga" sounds divinely romantic, and "Sunset Mega Spin" gives new meaning to "rolling on the river." "Quicksand," an aerobic/anaerobic interval-training class, allows you to get sand between your toes on the indoor volleyball courtthe perfect excuse for a pedicure. [Jennifer Snow]
Every time I buy a new box of crayons, the primary colors are worn down to broken stubs within weeks, while Spring Green and Burnt Sienna stand tall and neglected. Learn to make the whole 64 work for you in the medium of your choice with Cooper Union's "Color in Action: From Chartreuse to Sienna and Back Again" (212-353-4195, cooper.edu/ce), which focuses on how color can "excite us or deceive us." (You can trust Aquamarine, but watch out for Blue-Green, that lying bastard.)
I doubt if even the ritziest summer camps include "Chinese Brush Painting" in their arts-and-crafts instruction. This course at the New York Botanical Garden (718-817-8747, nybg.org/edu) offers beginners and pros an opportunity to learn the finer points of this oriental illustration technique, using bamboo brushes to execute rice-paper representations of the Garden's many flowers, butterflies, and birds. Your work will be harder to create but easier to love than any macaroni necklace.