As any snickering fifth-grader on a field trip will attest, there's plenty of bare flesh on view at the Metropolitan Museum. Indulge your inner grade-schooler by enrolling in NYU's "Eternal Inspiration: The Nude in Western Art" (212-998-7171,, which covers the major nudie pictures of the Western tradition, starting in ancient Greece and continuing on up through Manet, Picasso, and Velázquez's The Toilet of Venus. (Heh heh. You said "toilet.")

When you moved to the city, you swore you'd take advantage of the trendy galleries, but you still haven't made it to a single show. Whether you're intimidated by the snooty staffers or simply haven't found the time, consider the Parsons course "Art in Chelsea" (212-229-5690, as a starting point. Soon you'll be flitting about with all your culture-soaked friends. [Mollie Wilson]


Are Kavalier and Clay your personal heroes? Do you look up to R. Crumb? Heck, even if you just think Wolverine is cool, you should check out "Writing Comics and Graphic Novels" at NYU (212-998-7171, This four-week class meets Wednesdays starting May 26. Each student is guaranteed to come out at the end with a complete comics script.

"This is not a course for people looking to score free trips or work their way onto the travel junket circuit," warns Mediabistro’s website (212-929-2588, in its description of "Travel-Writing Boot Camp." Too bad—but this class will whip your travel writing into shape, leaving you with a portfolio of at least six publishable articles. The instructor is rumored to be so good that he’s inspired a cult following among former students.

The Gotham Writing Workshop (212-974-8377, says nonfiction writing is a "fast-growing" world, which confuses me—haven't people been writing nonfiction for sort of a while now? Regardless, GWW’s "Nonfiction Writing I" will teach you everything you need to know to produce sparkling prose, master different styles, and hone your voice. The course is taught in three different 10-week workshops beginning April 15, 17, or 20. [Izzy Grinspan]

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