By Alexis Soloski
By Molly Grogan
By R. C. Baker
By Christian Viveros-Fauné
By Alexis Soloski
By Alexis Soloski
By Lilly Lampe
Perhaps you misunderstoodI didn't make up my book, I just made it myself. Cooper Union's "Artists' Books" (212-353-4195, cooper.edu) instructs in the complementary crafts of collage, rubber-stamping, calligraphy, drawing, and "incorporation of three-dimensional objects." Taught by book designer Esther Smith, the class is suitable for beginners and for more experienced artists. Book it: Kate's Paperie deserves to get served. The course runs for nine Thursdays, beginning June 8.
"Is modernism really dead?" asks the catalog. "Does postmodern architecture really exist?" I have no idea, but assuming Rem Koolhaas's Prada boutique isn't a mirage, hologram, or collective fantasy, just imagine posing these questions to your most inquisitive out-of-town guests. MOMA's Jennifer Gray and Nader Vossoughian, both academics engaged in contemporary architecture, lead "Modern Architecture/Postmodern Architecture: What's the Difference?" (212-708-9400, moma.org)a comparative, magical mystery tour of significant structures around the city. The class runs for eight Mondays beginning June 5. Carla Blumenkranz
The culinary equivalent of surreptitiously checking out the self-help books, the New School's "American Comfort Food" (212-229-5690, generalstudies.newschool.edu), on April 23, will teach you to make perennial favorites like meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, and chocolate cake. The food you make will fill you with a "warm and fuzzy nostalgia," even when you're alone in the apartment eating straight out of the fridge.
Running a pharmacy out of your apartment sounds like a good way to make a lot of money fast or blow your face off. Attending "The Healing Kitchen" at Natural Gourmet Cookery School (212-645-5170, naturalgourmetschool.com) will have more beneficial effects. Learn about the curative properties of everyday herbs and produce from the local greenmarket, on May 20.
Want to learn about Bill Clinton's preferred late-night snacks? Forget the Starr Report; enroll in Dessert University at the Institute of Culinary Education (212-847-0700, iceculinary.com) with chef Roland Mesnier. In his 25 years as a White House pastry chef, Mesnier prepared sweets for the last five presidents. Ask him some questions, but keep it lightit's a dessert class, not a press briefing, on May 23. Kosiya Shalita
Your battement may look pretty, but can it break bricks? Come put some snap in your tendus and some chi in your dantian in Thad Wong's Shaolin kung-fu class (917-628-6436). You'll leave sweaty, exhausted, and totally excited to be learning this ancient martial art. Wong teaches three beginners' classes a week and your first set of three is only $20.
Fine-tune your skills and increase your strength in Ezra Caldwell's partnering class at the new Dance New Amsterdam (212-625-8369, dnadance.org). Caldwell's modern-dance perspective allows for specific but nontraditional techniques, finding middle ground between traditional ballet partnering and contact improvisation. Come alone or bring a friendeither way you'll learn neat party tricks or impress others with your newfound strength.
Lotus Music & Dance (212-627-1076, lotus-arts.com) has a diverse schedule of traditional classes, including flamenco, butoh, belly dance, and Korean for both adults and children. Check out the workshops and all-level classes, where the feisty mingle with the shy. Laura Buckholz
What do Billy Crystal and Whoopi Goldberg have in common besides Oscar hosting and failing to appear in a decent comedy in recent memory? They made a mint with their one-person shows. In "Flying Solo," at NYU (212-998-7200, scps.nyu.edu) on May 25, you'll work on finding your voice as you develop material for your own solo flight.
Usually live improv turns out to be more like Drew Carey than Larry David. The people at Tragic Improv (tragicimprov.com) must feel the same way: "Unlike most improv, we won't focus on witty exchanges of dialogue. Instead, we'll focus on establishing emotional relationships, complex character development . . ." This class is intended for actors as well as improvisers and concludes with a show. Begins May 9.
Recently I met a guy in a bar who was trying to make a living as a Conan O'Brien look-alike. He also hoped to one day appear on Letterman's Stupid Human Tricks. As he demonstrated his act (it was stupid, I'll give him that), I realized how difficult comedy really is and that I shouldn't stay out so late on weeknights. Offering three-week and five-day workshops, the American Comedy Institute (212-279-6980, comedyinstitute.com) could be my chance, on May 1. K.S.
With warmer weather right around the corner, those arms of yours will soon be more visible. And what better way to showcase your wrists than by adorning them with your own designs? The 92nd Street Y's "Beaded Bangles" (212-415-5500, 92y.org), on April 30, will teach you how to construct three different types of bracelets from wire and beads.
To do before summer: Eat better and get a swimsuit. With Knit New York's "Bikini Brunch" (212-387-0707, knitnewyork.com), on April 22, you can accomplish both in only one Saturday. At their East Village location enjoy fruit, granola, yogurt, and juice while learning how to knit a one-of-a-kind two-piece.
The purse dates back to the Babylonian era, but it continues evolving today at Sew Fast Sew Easy (212-268-4321, sewfastseweasy.com). Their Leather Clutch Bag class offers simple needle know-how with a hip aesthetic. In only two sessions (starting April 20), you'll learn how to work with leather, add snazzy snaps and ribbons, and apply interfacing. Jessie Pascoe