Sport Whether your image of your skating self inclines more toward Slapshot or Ice Castles, Chelsea Piers offers an array of ice-skating courses for adults and children, with new classes beginning every week. Students can choose among Hockey Prep, Adult Skating Instruction, Black Diamond Clinic, or, for special help with that triple lutz, private lessons.

"He flies through the air with the greatest of ease/This daring young man on the flying trapeze," says the old song. But plenty of women attempt the art of trapeze as well, and on weeknights in Brooklyn they're teaching it to children and adults. The ladies of the performance troupe Lava offer Acrobatics for Adults (including trapeze and tumbling), Acrobatics for Kids, and Handstands for Adults. Sign those liability wavers and swing away.

The website for the World Martial Arts Center advertises that classes in HapKiDo, a Korean martial-arts technique will confer "character development," "good health," "respect," and "kicking and punching." (Thirty-six kinds of kicks and 144 punches can be learned!) Apparently, "HapKiDo is a Korean Martial Art that combines seven major technique areas including: strikes, blocks, holds, throws, weapons, internal techniques, and healing." Weapons? Sign us up.


David Letterman seems quite wide-awake for a man with such a belated bedtime. Perhaps he can credit his alertness to the folks at Joe, The Art of Coffee, who supply java to Letterman's show. Joe also supplies courses for caffeine junkies who would like to learn more about their fix (they can take Coffee 101) or find out how to prepare it at home (How to Make Yourself an Espresso (Big) Shot). If only more drugs were so delicious—and legal.

Now that Trader Joe's has come to our fair isle, many of us restrict our wine drinking to the wonders of their two-buck chuck. But should you aspire to more refined imbibing, Vintage New York, which carries only New York State wines and liqueurs, offers monthly Train Your Taste Buds classes, where eager students learn to distinguish among six wines and accompanying snacks.

Countless scientific studies have touted the benefits of dark chocolate—its consumption may lead to low blood pressure and help control diabetes—but if you've tired of Scharffen-Berger bars and would prefer a prettier medicament, you might consider the French Culinary Institute's course in Chocolate Truffles, Bonbons, and More. Over the course of five evenings, students will receive instruction "to temper, mold, and dip chocolate" and then enjoy the fruits (well, fruit-filled truffles) of their labor.

Hanukkah, that grand festival of lights, would be a dim holiday indeed if latkes were not featured. How shredded potatoes and chicken fat combine into such an unholy pleasure is a great culinary mystery. The Natural Gourmet Institute, typically known for its healthier offerings, will solve that mystery with Latke Mania. Instructor Myra Kornfeld will lead students in the creation of eight different latkes, one for each night of the holiday.

'Twas the night before Christmas and all through the house, many creatures were stirring—and mixing, and sautéing. On Christmas Eve, Miette Culinary Studio will offer an "Italian Classics" Recipes Special Class. Instead of sitting at home filling stockings, students will learn to make bruschetta, gnocchi, pork loin, and more. The nice ones might leave some leftover zabaglione out for St. Nick.


Steve Brill, a self-taught forager and self-proclaimed wild man, combs the city's parks in search of persimmons, wood sorrel, sassafras, and chokecherry. Though famous for his Central Park tours, he guides foraging walks all over New York. Over the winter, the hungry and curious can tramp along with him on one of his Wild Food and Ecology Tours and Talks in locales such as Prospect Park, Inwood Hill Park, Forest Park, Marine Park, and Alley Pond Park.

For those more likely to trip and cut them-selves than to cut a rug, every month the Sandra Cameron Dance Center offers the Basic Six class, which instructs students in the fundamentals of swing, tango, rumba, salsa, foxtrot, and waltz. Instructors are personal and fellow pupils typically friendly, even when you tread on their feet during a particularly expressive twirl.


These days, nearly everyone totes a digital camera, but we're told that analog versions still exist. So this winter the International Center for Photography generously offers a two-weekend workshop in Photography I in Color: Camera and Darkroom for Beginners. Students will learn to operate the strange phenomenon known as the film camera and then inhale those delicious darkroom chemicals while developing their prints. Cameras available for loan.

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