Class Action Listings

Languages

Fewer than one million speakers chatter in Estonian, a Finno-Ugric language that's produced some lovely folk songs, lyric poetry, and national epics. If you'd like to join the proud few who read, write, and speak this tongue, you can register for adult language courses offered every Thursday at the New York Estonian House in Murray Hill. Established in 1929, the organization serves as the hub for Estonian activity in New York. estonianhousenewyork.com

Many have argued that the situation in the Gaza Strip would improve if better communication between Arab and non-Arab factions were possible. Perhaps we civilians can content ourselves with an Arabic class offered by Cactus Language Courses at its two Manhattan locations. These decidedly unprickly lessons run for 10 weeks and pair a native-speaker instructor with no more than 12 students. Course materials are included in the price. cactuslanguagecourses.com

Crafts

Ancient Egypt can credit itself with the invention of the calendar, the pyramids, hieroglyphs, and apparently the pastime of quilting. New Yorkers wanting to blanket themselves in bedcovers of their own making can learn the techniques at Purl Patchwork in Soho, which offers classes in Machine Piecing and Quilting, Quilting by Hand, Applique, and Embroidery. purlsoho.com

If you want more bling for your buck, forsake Madison Avenue for the Flatiron District. Beads of Paradise, an importer of beads and baubles from Southeast Asia, Indonesia, China, the Middle East, and Mexico, offers Sunday classes where you'll learn about stringing bracelets and necklaces, earring techniques, even pearl knotting—and leave with relevant tools and at least one piece of jewelry. beadsofparadisenyc.com

Sport

If you long to get into the swing of things, the Parks Department offers tennis lessons in all five boroughs. In the winter, visit the Prospect Park Indoor Tennis Center, which offers lessons on both hard and clay courts. Prospect Park also sponsors a program teaching tennis to adults with children with physical and cognitive challenges. Smashing! prospectpark.org/tennis

Pirate legend has it that 18th-century brigands (in Canarsie of all places!) may have dumped assorted doubloons in Jamaica Bay. If you plan to seek their ill-gotten gains, get your booty over to scuba lessons at Pan Aqua Diving (in high and dry midtown). It offers certification and classes in open-water diving, rescue diving, emergency first response, and technical training. panaqua.com

Nature

Imagine marinara with basil from your own garden or tabbouleh salad with homegrown mint. If you long for a kitchen garden but lack access to a plot of earth, you might consider Leda Meredith's two-hour Indoor Herb Garden class at the New York Botanical Garden. She'll teach students which herbs enjoy an interior life and how to make them grow. Sage advice. nybg.org

What a waste! In 1994 the Queens Botanical Garden established a compost project to induct us into the mysteries of "creating the ideal conditions for the rapid decomposition of organic materials, such as leaves, vegetable, and fruit peel," and using it to fertilize home gardens. QBG offers classes, workshops, certificate programs, and even a helpline for composters with rubbish queries. queensbotanical.org

There's a sucker born every minute, and many of them are currently on display at the New York Aquarium's octopus exhibit. Those who wish to know more about the aquarium (the oldest continually operating one in the country) and its sodden inhabitants can attend a behind-the-scenes seminar, getting uncomfortably close to sharks, squid, sea lions, and assorted marine life. nyaquarium.com

Photography

The term "snapshot" first appeared in 1860, courtesy of photographer and scientist Sir John Herschel, but it took another century or so for the snapshot to receive consideration as an art form. Now the ability to point and click is nearly enough to set you on the road to art stardom. But if you're the kind to stop and ask for direction, you might consider a Hunter College continuing education class in Seriously Fun Photography. Students will "learn-by-doing, exploring professional techniques while creating a portfolio project (on any topic of your choice) to show your advanced skills." ce.hunter.cuny.edu

New York has a proud history of photographs used as a mechanism for social change, from the shocking slum images of Jacob Riis to much more recent depictions of neglected populations. The International Center for Photography in midtown helps to continue this tradition, offering several documentary and photojournalism classes such as The Photographer as Artist and Social Documentarian, Photographing the Social landscape, and Street Photography: The Poetic Witness. icp.org

Miscellaneous

There was a time when walking through the Bronx wasn't a recommended way to pass an afternoon. But according to realtors and sundry others, the Boogie Down—home to the country's poorest congressional district (represent!)—is enjoying something of a renaissance. To learn more about the borough and its history, Viator hosts a walking tour of sites including the Grand Concourse, Yankee Stadium, Little Italy, and the homes of luminaries such as Edgar Allen Poe and JFK. viator.com/tours/New-York-City/Bronx-Walking-Tour/d687-3453TG2

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