By Alexis Soloski
By Molly Grogan
By R. C. Baker
By Christian Viveros-Faun√©
By Alexis Soloski
By Alexis Soloski
By Lilly Lampe
Dr. Merryl Kafka, curator of education at the New York Aquarium and an Alfred Kinsey for the life aquatic, takes a peek under the sheets of the aquarium's resident hedonists. Evidently, undersea animals have kinkier sex and are more promiscuous than Tom Wolfe's co-eds, and the "Sex in the Sea" program has been designed to give adults (21 and older only) a chance to meet other singles to try out the mating habits of the single seal. The program is on February 12 and costs $34 for non-members.
For the person who has everything, including an absurd amount of photos of indistinguishable buildings, sidewalks, and sunsets: Learn how to translate your random collection into a body of work in "Travel Photography: Making It Work" at the International Center of Photography (212-857-0001, icp.org). You'll also get helpful hints on what to pack on your exotic tripsand how to get respect from the pros when you get back.
Talk shop at Parsons (212-229-5690, parsons.edu). For the digitally inclined, "Photoshop Basics" will show you how to work it on the screen in five easy sessions. Discover what "intuitive interface" means while improving upon important skills like tweaking and manipulation.
Serious photographers and hapless hopefuls come together at the School of Visual Arts (212-592-2000, schoolofvisualarts.edu/ce), which offers a range of photography workshops at all levels. Class presentations will allow you to showcase your fragile art and have it judged by people who know more than you. Janine Armin
RELIGION AND SPIRITUALITY
Have an out-of-body experience without the caffeine jitters or hangover lethargy. Chakrasambara Buddhist Center (212-924-6706, meditationinnewyork.org) offers a variety of classes that promise to seriously refocus your energy and balance those runaway chakras. Achieve the happiness and well-rounded satisfaction of the burly Buddha himself.
If your diet consists of items with 2006 expiration dates and your evening mantra lacks focus, take NYU's "Whole Health I" (212-998-7171, scps.nyu.edu) for cost-effective ways to look young and "tap into your own personal power." Save bank by becoming your own self-help book.
The New York Open Center(212-219-2527, opencenter.org) has an open-door policy to self-help practices from every corner of the world. From Taoist theory to Jewish teachings of the afterlife, you are sure to find the culturally appropriate practice for you. At a not too expensive price, pick a country you like, go forth, and let the ethnic-region-of-choice healing begin. Janine Armin
For i-bankers looking to productively unleash cubicle-induced fury, Church Street Boxing Gym's four-week Introductory Boxing course (212-571-1333, nyboxinggym.com) teaches anyone the basic skills involved in good punching. Blaring hip-hop, shrieky time bells, and the sight of definitive nonbeginners provoke growlings of inspirationas well as deep fear. Cost: $199.
A lovely pastime for unathletic white men, pétanque is best described as a cross between bowling, golf, and stone skipping. The player attempts to toss the boule (ball) as close as possible to the but (another ball, this time smaller). The excitement is breathtaking. Try it out at Bryant Park with La Boule New Yorkaise (212-529-4204, labouleny.com, bryantpark.org/amenities/activities.php); if nothing else, classes are free.
Run mostly by activist women, the Center for Anti-Violence Education (718-788-1775, cae-bklyn.org) holds women/transgender-only classes in karate, tai chi, and general self-defense. Instructors teach "nonviolence" while giving tips on how to take out bratty opponents. Fees are on a sliding scale. Rachel Aviv
"The unexamined life is not worth living," said Socrates. "And besides, who ever got rich and famous by not talking about themselves?" He might be dead, but that doesn't mean his point's invalid. The New School's "Writing to Save Your Life" (212-229-5600, nsu.newschool.edu) will teach you how to turn the unexamined into the amazing, addressing such issues as "developing your style" and "giving yourself permission."
With movie franchises like Spider-Man, X-Men, and the soon-returning Batman heating up movie theaters, you could say that comic books are the new actual books. NYU's "Writing Comics and Graphic Novels" (212-998-7200, scps.nyu.edu) provides comprehensive instruction on creating comics, from both the creative and commercial perspective, for those of you looking to get on the bandwagon or relive fantasies of taking Jean Grey back to your Danger Room.