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You could see a movie. You could overspend at a trendy restaurant. You could take in a Broadway show. But if you're looking for a fresh approach to courtship—and one that, happily, involves alcohol—you could try the "Couple's Date Night Painting Class Party" at Art Studio NY on the Upper West Side. Couples will learn such techniques as "color mixing, brushwork, composition, texture," etc. If inspiration palls, complimentary wine might help.

The first marathoner ran 26.2 miles to deliver news of a battle, and promptly died. Happily, the New York Studio School of Drawing, Painting, and Sculpture has a slightly less rigorous program in mind. This fall, they'll offer three two-week, all-day marathons: two in drawing (one on location at the High Line) and one in sculpture. Open to both beginning and advanced students, the programs require "vigor," "intensity," and "stamina."


The World Wide Web has been with us for more than 20 years. While it's easier to use than ever, creating good-looking, functional sites can still be a sticky proposition. If the web still has you feeling more fly than spider, you can up your game with instruction in website development at Netcom Learning in the Flatiron District. The comprehensive 16-session course begins with HTML and moves on to more advanced languages. By its close, "participants will qualify for entry-level web developer positions."


With the advent of new products and technologies—Kindles, scanners, personal computers, digital libraries—the future of paper looks less than bright. But this has not dimmed the enthusiasm of the founders of the Dieu Donné Papermill in midtown. In September, they'll offer "Introduction to Contemporary Papermaking." This three-hour workshop, for which all materials are provided, "includes a lecture, demonstration, viewing of works from the archive at Dieu Donné, and hands-on experimentation." After all, sheet happens.

Quilting may seem a cozy and rather dowdy practice, but the earliest known quilted garment adorned a pharaoh in 3400 B.C. And do you really want to argue style with a pharaoh? If you'd like a head start on keeping warm and snug when fall arrives, consider the classes at City Quilter in Chelsea. Upcoming offerings include "Hand Quilting," "Indigo Dyeing Workshop," "Machine Embroidery," and "Yipes! Stripes!"


Shopping is one of New York's premier sports, and sometimes a contact one. Newcomers quickly learn to eschew retail, favoring sales, sample sales, consignment, and the discount warren that is Century 21. So perhaps it's time to profit from those skills. The Sterling Style Academy in Murray Hill offers "Three-Day Personal Styling and Shopping Certification." The first day focuses on color analysis, the second on fashion styling, and the third on personal styling. How to manage all those in-store credit cards? Extra credit.

When it comes to fashion, "sportswear" is rarely the sort of thing you'd want to throw on for a bike ride or jog. But the Fashion Institute of Technology has several courses geared toward outdoor activities. You can learn how to best exploit spandex, rubber soles, and the finest in wicking with such classes as "Ergonomics for Athletics" and "Athletic Footwear Sketching." And if you want to try out those designs, FIT offers yoga, tennis, and aerobics, too.


A lot can happen in a single day, some of it eminently filmable. You could be born; you could die. You could find love or lose it. You could learn to make your very own documentary. The Gotham Writers' Workshop offers a seven-hour class on the Upper East Side titled "Documentary Film: One-Day Intensive." Topics include "how to conceive ideas, structure stories, conduct research and interviews, write narration, and adapt your plans to the footage you get."

The word "camera" appeared in English long before someone invented one. (Originally an architectural term, it referred to any vaulted chamber.) But cameras have come a long way, and in September, the Modern School of Film offers a four-week intensive workshop showing you how best to use the digital video variety. In this class, capped at 10 students, participants will learn screenwriting, editing, and filmmaking craft, producing three film projects along the way.

Food and Drink

Perhaps you thought tea an innocent beverage, less caffeinated than coffee, less sugary than soda, less fun than alcohol. Think again. Sanctuary T in Soho will host several sessions of "Mixology: Create Tea-Infused Cocktails," offering recipes for Earl Grey martinis, green tea margaritas, and more. If the $60 price tag seems a trifle steep to learn about a drink made mostly from water, keep in mind that each student will receive five cocktails, one appetizer, and, unsurprisingly, unlimited tea.

"Tell me what you eat, and I will tell you who you are," said the epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin. If you don't like the resulting self-portrait, consider improving your diet and culinary skills with classes at the Flatiron District's Natural Gourmet Institute, which devotes itself to healthy food. More advanced topics cover "Detox," "Food and Mood," and "Raw Radiance," but consider starting slowly with a series of basics: "How to Begin," "Knife Skills," and "Mostly Vegetarian Cooking Techniques."

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