Class Action Listings 2010

OK, your child may be busier mastering toilet training and hand-eye coordination than, say, string theory, but according to the 92nd Street Y, "there's a scientist in your pre-schooler." Your budding Einstein can get a head start in "Hands-On Science," "experimenting with air, water, soil, plants, and the stuff of everyday life." After that, particle physics should be a cakewalk.

Food & Drink

Most people might consider boot camp to be the punishment one signs up for after too much holiday indulgence. But not the fine gluttons at Murray's Cheese in Greenwich Village. Their three-day "Cheese U Boot Camp" features not a single sit-up, instead teaching students how to differentiate cheese styles, describe cheeses in depth, and pair like a pro. Drop and give me Camembert!

Get soused with new sophistication at Astor Center's "The Cocktail Lab: A Hands-On Workshop." At each session (and, yes, you are encouraged to drink the fermented fruits of your labor), students receive a "quick primer on basic bar techniques, current cocktail trends, and the science behind perfect flavor combinations." Then they use spirits, mixers, fresh fruits, juices, herbs, and spices to create a signature tipple.

According to culinary history, chocolate was first consumed in the form of a thick, cold, unsweetened drink. What a waste! Luckily, sugar has improved the taste of chocolate tremendously, and you can celebrate that sweet progress with a class at Marine Park's JoMart Chocolates. Up to nine students learn to make (and then presumably gorge themselves on) truffles—from scratch.

Mind, Body & Spirit

If downward dog no longer leaves you panting and you've grown bored with crowing over your crow pose, consider revitalizing your practice at Kula Yoga Project's Ultimate Weekend. Classes and lectures include "Ashtanga Yoga With Spice," "Yin Yoga," "Fluid Power," and "Endurance Yoga," which "test your body and mind with long posture holds, difficult sequences, and challenging vinyasa."

Sting once claimed that he and his wife enjoyed eight-hour bouts of tantric sex. If you're unusually patient, and agile, sign up for a couples' tutorial in Tantra for Couples at White Lotus East, which aims to "enlighten you in the mysteries of Tantra and wisdom of Taoism, revealing ancient methods of heightening and prolonging erotic pleasure." After a bath ceremony, instructors, referred to as "goddesses," will demonstrate various techniques with each partner, allowing the other partner to learn and practice them.

Life is often unpredictable, particularly without a personalized star chart. Happily, New York City's chapter of the National Council for Geocosmic Research can coach you in the fine art of astrology. The council offers group introductory and advanced astrology courses, as well as private instruction. For those who don't look to the night sky for clues to their future, the center also provides tutelage in tarot.


In the signal number of Nine, the Oscar-contending movie musical, various divas advise the listener to "Be Italian." While dual citizenship or Roman ancestry can be rather difficult to obtain, Italian language courses are not. Parliamo Italiano, a school on the Upper East Side, has been operating for more than 30 years. It offers language classes at eight levels. Bene!

During the Bush era, many a liberal declared that if Republicans won, they would soon decamp for Canada. If subsequent administrations disappoint, you'll want to be prepared for that new life in Quebec. While still in the States, though, you can pick up the native lingo at The French School. Very small classes (two to six students) emphasize conversation.


The Farmer's Almanac has predicted a frigid winter, with temperatures below average for most of the country. It likely won't be quite so cold in our pleasant mid-Atlantic climes, but why not spend the season curled up beneath a hand-sewn quilt—particularly one you've sewn yourself? City Quilter boasts more than 20 classes in charm quilts, puzzle quilts, patchwork quilts, etc. So why not get down? Down-filled, that is.

If you dream of handmade scarves and mittens, but your theme song might as well be "The Needle and the Damage Done," consider improving your stitching skills with courses at Boerum Hill's Knit-A-Way. In addition to private lessons and project consultations, you can enroll in classes such as "Knitting With Colors," "Crochet Poncho," and "Finishing Techniques."

In New York, you can hire people to deliver your groceries, choose your wardrobe, even de-grime your toenails. But if you miss doing things with your own two hands, enroll in a workshop at Makeville in Gowanus. Classes include instruction in the building of art, lighting, and decorative and functional objects, and the very popular "Getting Started in Furniture Making." Makeville offers kids' classes, too.


The oldest pair of ice skates, discovered in Switzerland, was last laced up some 5,000 years ago. Since that time, the activity has evolved, developing spectacular spins and jumps and a worrying tendency toward flesh-colored mesh fabrics. You can learn some of these techniques at Flushing's World Ice Arena, which runs a strictly bring-your-own-sequins skating school, with instruction for tots, teens, and adults. You'll be lutzing in no time.

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