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In recent years, Rockaway Beach has become a haven for hipster tacos and fashion-forward swimwear. But it is also, apparently, a repository for bitchin' waves, or at least the small rolling ones that are ideal for beginners. If you're eager to hang 10, take the train out to Queens for instruction at the Surf School, which offers one- and two-hour lessons, or for the more dedicated boarder, full-day, half-week, and full-week classes. Surfboard and wetsuit are included.


If you're a Brooklyn resident, you might already know Prospect Park for its meadows, its rambles, its playing fields, its skating rinks, and its boating lake. But did you know it's also a food source? Leda Meredith, author of The Locavore's Bible and an expert in food preservation, will lead a foraging tour of the park on September 15 and teach students how to spot and enjoy local wild edibles. Plus, on October 7, foraging instruction will conclude with dinner at the Farm on Adderley in Ditmas Park.

More than 400 species of birds have been documented in the Empire State. If you're an aspiring twitcher who still has difficulty differentiating your greater scaup from your lesser, the New York City Audubon Society offers various classes and events to help you identify our feathered fellows. Late-summer and early autumn offerings include fall warblers, migration walks, a sunset peek at the Brother islands, and an exploration of the Bronx River by rowboat.


National Geographic hosts photography expeditions to such wild places as Bhutan, Alaska's Inside Passage, Galapagos, Mongolia, and our own New York City. If you'd like to capture our local exoticism via digital snaps, you can register for a staycation photography weekend in October. In addition to participating in intimate sessions on technique, students will frame such sights as Ground Zero, Central Park, and a sunset as seen from Rockefeller>

You can say this for shrubs, roses, and conifers: Barring a strong breeze, they're not inclined to fidget. This makes them excellent subjects for the budding shutterbug, a phenomenon on which the Bronx's New York Botanical Garden capitalizes in its various photography courses. Newbies can start shooting assorted flora in "Digital Camera Basics," while more advanced snappers can explore classes in processing and troubleshooting.


A man's home is his castle. But what to do when you need the moat drained or the arrow slits repaired, and you don't have a throng of serfs around to accomplish it? The New York City College of Technology might have the answer. Its Continuing Studies Center offers home-design and home-repair classes designed to teach you "Everyday Electricity," "Basic Plumbing," and "Plaster and Sheetrock Repair." But what to do about those crumbling crenellations?

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