Georgia O’Keeffe, Edward Hopper, and Stuart Davis were fascinated with New York’s urban landscape and let Gotham scenes spill across their canvases—with good reason: The city gives way to light splinters and endless shadow play, a playground for sketchers and painters. Subjects for the New School‘s “Drawing and Painting New York on Site” (800-319-4321; nsu.newschool.edu) include the Brooklyn Botanical Museum, the Hudson River Park, and the celebrated skyline itself.
Forget going to IKEA over summer break: Instead, put on a mask and gloves, fuse metals, and operate power tools, and furnish your apartment yourself at the New School (800-319-4321; nsu.newschool.edu) in “Welding: Sculpture and Furniture Fabrication.” A work of decorative sculpture is the principal project of this hardcore class—Calder would be proud.
Maybe you’re colorblind, or can’t draw a straight line—or looking to supplement your painting career and help yourself actually make a decent living. NYU (212-998-7171; nyu.edu) offers two intensive programs that will help you get a leg up: “Arts Administration” in June and “Appraisal Studies in Fine and Decorative Arts” in July. You’ll learn the basics in these fields and receive either a certificate or undergraduate credit (your choice). No need to dine on ice cream and ramen forever! [danielle winterton]
Would a pinot noir or a pinot grigio taste better with that piece of salmon? What’s the difference between Korbel and Dom Perignon? Why does cheese go so well with wine? Why do you have to spit the wine after you taste it? Have all your wine questions answered and more at the New York City Wine Class‘s “Introduction to Wine” (212-647-1875; nycwineclass.com).
Beef. It’s still for dinner. If your steak keeps coming out dry or you just can’t find that one good sauce to serve with it, why not check out the Institute of Culinary Education‘s “The American Steakhouse” (212-847-0700; iceculinary.com)? Learn what makes your favorite steakhouse a cut above the rest.
You know that feeling after you make a cake that’s just missing something? Scott Woolley’s Academy of Cake Art (212-362-5374; cakesbydesign.cc) classes teach all about cake decoration, cake sculpture, and how to craft those lovely little flowers out of gum paste so that your cake can put even Betty Crocker to shame. [zack wagman]
“You have never seen dance like this before,” reads the sign on the door to Elizabeth Streb’s new Action Invention Lab (718-384-6491), and you really haven’t. Her Pop Action technique takes physical dance to a new level. The class, located in oh-so-trendy Williamsburg, is a mere $12 and will blow your mind—and body—away.
Searching for the perfect ballet class? Igal Perry’s is it. His daily morning session at Peridance Center (212-505-0885) combines comfort and technique—oui, c’est possible. Best of all, he will know your name by the end of barre. Catch him Monday through Friday at 10 a.m., for $13 a class.
Think you know your body? You don’t. Well, not until you’ve taken Jennifer Nugent’s modern workshop you don’t. Her class reveals physical insight into weight and space through the exploration of supported movement that is so sensual you can almost taste it. Take her class and fall in love at Dance Space Center ( 212-625-8369), April 28 through May 18. Cost: $235. [sarah donnelly]
Add the Stanislavsky approach to your repertoire by attending the NYU School of Continuing and Professional Studies‘ “Scene Study Workshop” (212-998-7200; scps.nyu.edu). Whether you’re an aspiring performer or just want to break through your shy shell, this class will help you learn to develop a realistic acting style. Runs May 20 through August 5. Cost: $550.
Illustrating that contemporary performance can take place on the Broadway stage or a nearby street corner, Columbia’s School of Continuing Education‘s (212-854-9699; columbia.edu) course entitled “The New York Theatre Event” requires out-of-class attendance at selected events. Sessions run from late May to early July and early July to mid August.
To be or not to be your own playwright? You’ll be able to answer that quandary after taking the New School‘s (800-319-4321; nsu.newschool.edu) introductory course in story, character, conflict, scene construction, and plotting. Students are expected to finish 20 pages of script during the six-week evening class. Cost: $485. [tedra meyer]
It’s Saturday night. Late. You’re about to embark on a rollicking night on the town. You slip into your slacks and slide on your shoes. And then you trip. And fall. Because you never had the time to get your pants hemmed. It’s too late for the tailor now, and you couldn’t possibly walk if your heels were any higher, and the last time you rolled up your pant legs you were escaping a flood. Learn to sew them yourself. With the Fashion Institute of Technology‘s “Ladies Tailoring I” (212-217-7999; fitnyc.edu). Problem solved.
OK, Mr. Murakami. Your multi-colored LV’s sure are cute. If you call $6,000 and a never ending waiting list cute!!! I looked at the copies on Canal Street, only to find their screen printing skills aren’t up to par. What’s that you say? I can learn to screen print? I can do it for approximately the price of the zipper on one of your bags? And Louis Vuitton won’t sue me so long as I forget about his initials and plaster mine on bags instead? Sounds like a plan to me. Check out FIT‘s “Experimental Screen Printing” (212-217-7999; fitnyc.edu).
Home for the holidays, adrift in the suburbs, relaxing with old friends, playing board games galore, I took out my needles and soft, soft pink yarn. Stunned silence. Uproarious laughter. “Hey Grandma!” they taunted. “Nice afghan!” These ignorant “friends” surely haven’t visited New York of late. What’s cuter than a chick making her own shawl as she whiles away her time on the W? Their comments on my leg warmers were enough. I’m not sure I’ll tell them that I plan to embark on “Beginner’s Machine Knitting” at FIT (212-217-7999; fitnyc.edu). The better to knit you with, my dear. [jennifer snow]
Fade in. Interior coffee shop. A Village Voice reader is flipping through the Education Supplement, looking for a good screenwriting class. He feels he has good ideas—but he just doesn’t know how to express them. A small smile appears on his face as he reads of the Gotham Writers Workshop‘s screenwriting classes (212-974-8377; writingclasses.com). Success. Fade out.
Looking to join the ranks of Woody Allen and Spike Lee? Aspiring New York City filmmakers, check out the New York Film Academy (212-674-4300; nyfa.com) for classes on all aspects of filmmaking—from directing and acting to cinematography and editing. Have your doubts? Just ask F. Murray Abraham’s son—he went there. So did Steven Spielberg’s son and Pierce Brosnan’s son. What more do you need?
If you were wondering about how The Matrix sequels are going to impact the next presidential election, or what sort of social issues Charlie’s Angels 2 will reflect, look no further than NYU‘s “History Via Hollywood” (May 21-July 9), which studies eight films with topics that “range from political assassinations and wars to atheism and feminism.” (212-998-7200; scps.nyu.edu). [zack wagman]
“Is it cheap or ‘spensive?” I learned to ask at a young age. Before I could read I believed, yet rarely questioned the fact that for some reason almost all gumball machines said “Out of Order” and certain toys were “Not for Sale.” The salespeople must have loved my mom, though she did succeed in fueling in me a lifetime obsession with bargains, signage, and sales. But before I start that business I’ve always dreamed of, I should probably enlist the help of professionals. Hopefully they’ll tell me the truth. Sign me up for the New School‘s “Before You Start That Business” (212-229-5690; nsu.newschool.edu).
I admit: I was one of those kids who studied for my kindergarten entrance exams. I went in knowing all of my colors and animals and relations’ names and ages—and occupations. I apparently did not particularly care for my father’s job, however, and instead of telling the nice lady that my dad was a “financial analyst,” I informed her that “he barbecues.” He’s forgiven me, and he even helps when I have the inevitable 401(k) question or two. But as I am still wont to block out all things numerical, “An Introduction to Investments” at the New School (212-229-5690; nsu.newschool.edu) would certainly be helpful.
A college roommate was fond of chastising my choice of classes with a hand gesture that made her look like she was flying. And because she thought art classes were airy, I retorted with a “banging on the keyboard until my knuckles bled” gesture that best described her devotion to her big fat business school textbooks. Columbia University‘s “Business S3001D” (212-854-9699; ce.columbia.edu) sounds much like a class that would be up her alley, but with the subtitle “Introductory Finance,” perhaps it should be up mine. [jennifer snow]
For some of us, the information revolution has sparked a queasy feeling of information overload, but luckily the Metropolitan College of New York (212-343-1234, metropolitan.edu) offers an MBA in multimedia industry and e-commerce. In three semesters ($8,398 each), students learn how new technologies have reformed access to services and information, as well as how to administer projects involving multimedia and the Internet.
There’s no business like show business, they say, the key word being business. The one-of-a-kind MBA program in media management at the Metropolitan College of New York (212-343-1234, metropolitan.edu) has been featured on CNN and Crain’s New York Business for its unique approach to synthesizing industry and entertainment. The one-year, three-semester ($8,398 per semester) program accents managerially oriented academics and prepares its grads to market their own work and earn a living in the showbiz of their choice. [danielle winterton]
Whether it’s wartime or not, the global community depends on education, so the Asia Society (212-288-6400; asiasociety.org/events) offers a series of lectures and seminars that range from international security panels to economics discussions. Give your worldview a workout. Classes aren’t cheap, but neither is mutually assured destruction.
Nations trade food, oil, automobiles, and other material. But how often do you consider the thought trade? NYU (212-790-1319; nyu.edu) offers an “International Intellectual Property” course for $610. The group examines the Paris Convention, the Madrid Protocol, the Berne Convention, the Trade Related Intellectual Property Standards, and other treaty-ish things.
NATO is a buzzword worth billions, so why not fine-tune your familiarity with the organization? Check out the “The Riddle of NATO: Does It Have Any Role?” on April 24 at the World Policy Institute (212-229-5808, ext. 101, worldpolicy.org). Free lectures like this one extend through the spring. [daniel king]
Want to brush up on your Latin? Columbia University’s School of Continuing Education (212-854-9666; columbia.edu) offers serious, non-credit courses at various levels for popular Romance languages, as well as German, Czech, Russian, and Tibetan. Registration is in April and May for classes beginning in late May and early July, respectively. Cost: $1,200.
For those of you who’ve already taken three years of fill-in-the-blank in high school, but want to hone the old pronuncia before traveling this fall, NYU’s Center for Foreign Languages and Translation (212-998-7030; nyu.edu) offers refresher courses in various languages. It also has beginner, accelerated, and three-week intensive classes in numerous tongues. Not sure what level you should register for? You can take a placement test online (scps.nyu.edu/placement.tests).
For those looking to polish their conversational English, Language Studies International of New York (212-965-9940; lsi-america.com) offers ESL courses for students, tourists, and business professionals from all over the world. Group classes of 20 to 30 hours per week are available, as are one-on-one lessons tailored to the individual’s needs. Courses last from two weeks to a year, with entry dates every Monday, and are held at the Metropolitan College of New York.
Parlez-vous Français? Non? Well, here’s your chance. The French Institute-Alliance Française (212-355-6100; fiaf.org) has multilevel courses beginning in late March and mid May. Cost ranges from $150 to $600, depending on length and intensity. [tedra meyer]
Wish you could sing with the wild abandon of a child, but too embarrassed to face even other students? The Lucy Moses School (212-501-3362; elainekaufmancenter.org/moses) is a community arts school specializing in individual and group instruction. The school offers personal attention and nurturing to make the arts a positive experience for everyone. In addition to voice lessons, it offers classes in instruments, music theory, jazz, and chamber music.
If joining the drum circle at Prospect Park is one of your summer goals, check out the Drummers Collective (212-741-0091; thecoll.com) for affordable classes first. Don’t limit yourself to the conga; maybe the djembe, doundoun, songba, or kenkeni match your groove.
The Third Street Music School Settlement (212-777-3240; thirdstreetmusicschool.org) is an East Village haven for children and adult music lovers alike. Private voice and instrument lessons as well as informal workshops and recitals are offered for all skill levels. Classes run five weeks beginning June 30. Cost: $150 to $250. [tedra meyer]
Droopy trees got you down? Errant branches make you duck in shame? Caught pruning the plants on the median again? Certified Citizen Pruners to the rescue! The Brooklyn Botanic Garden and Trees New York (718-623-7220; bbg.org) will license your licentiousness and leave you free to believe that the young street trees throughout the city are actually part of your own private arboretum with their “Citizen Pruner Certification” class.
For those of you who prefer your nature at a distance, it’s in fact possible to cloister yourself indoors to ponder the meaning of the great outdoors. If modern science is largely concerned with the combining of atomic particles and the splicing of DNA molecules, the New School‘s “Nature With a Human Face: The Philosophy of Natural Science” (212-229-5690; newschool.edu) will allow students to explore and question all that which leads us to such microscopic points.
Whose planning in the 1850s turned a swamp into the largest parcel of open land on this fair island? Whose work affords us the ability to escape the asphalt’s call and enter a real jungle of sorts whenever we desire? What allows for the growth and change inherent in such a public space? Who built the lakes and waterfalls and paths and trails and theaters and carousel and, well, splendor, of Central Park? Check out NYU‘s “A Jewel of a Park” (888-998-7204; scps.nyu.edu) and find out. [jennifer snow]
How do you photograph a subject you can’t see? Infrared film produces dreamlike images beyond the scope of visible light range, so you’ll need to hone your intuitive skills for ICP‘s “Infrared Photography: Imaging the Invisible” (212-857-0001; icp.org). You’ll get your photos critiqued, study an overview of infrared as an art form, and take field trips to learn exposure techniques. The ethereal adventure begins in August.
The urban landscape glows electric and lights up the night when the sun goes down, sparkling brighter than the stars and giving the moon a run for its money. In ICP‘s “New York at Night,” (212-857-0001; icp.org) you’ll spend four hot July nights shooting away—just you, your camera, and the ferocious beauty of the nocturnal city skyline.
Bookbinding meets box art: Your photographs are brilliant; how about crafting a work of art worthy of displaying them? The New School‘s “Hand-Made Portfolio Box” class (800-319-4321; nsu.newschool.edu) teaches you how to use basic bookbinding tools to create a simple cloth-bound box and a portioned folding box, plus you’ll pick up the necessary skills to make more elaborate handmade boxes and books. Who cares if you can’t get published? [danielle winterton]
RELIGION & SPIRITUALITY
Judaism and Christianity go way back, and drawing distinctions between them is an ongoing process, so NYU (212-998-7145; nyu.edu) offers a course to relate the religions. The Thursday evening class costs $340 and teaches you theology, stuffs you with scripture, and livens you with liturgy.
Religious herstory is complicated, so why not grab a gender narrative class at the New School (229-5690; nsu.newschool.edu)? The program offers “Women and Islam,” among other $425 courses designed to add nuance to your conceptions of femininity and faith.
Do we live in a godless universe? Where’s the line between blind faith and obedient acceptance? Consider these questions and others during a New School religion course (212-229-5690; nsu.newschool.edu). Thirteen evening sessions cost $425, and range from “Comparative Religions” to “The Symbolism of Evil” and “Culture in the Clinic: Freud’s Theory of Religion and Culture.” [daniel king]
New York City’s waterways have thawed, so it’s time to test your nautical know-how by sailing through the city’s harbor with the Offshore Sailing Club (888-567-2211; offshore-sailing.com). The program offers beginning-level classes at $45 per person on Fridays and Saturdays (great value), starting April 26 and lasting through September. You can set sail from either West 23rd Street or the Liberty Landing Marina.
Whether you’re working, attending school, or both, daytime soccer is not out of the question. The Chelsea Piers Field House (212-336-6500; chelseapiers.com) offers pickup games for all skill levels at eight bucks a game. Bouts begin at noon and continue until 1:30 p.m., Mondays through Thursdays. You’re free to jump in and out.
Gymnasts: Gear up, get down, tone your triceps, and shape your deltoids during weekly classes at Asphalt Green (212-369-8890; asphaltgreen.org). Twelve-session courses begin at $300, and get you on the beams, uneven bars, vaulting horse, and floor. For ages 10 and up. Private lessons are also available. [daniel king]
The very name “New York School of Poets” was supposed to be a joke, but it stuck. Now it refers to poets like John Ashbery, Frank O’Hara, and Kenneth Koch, which begs the question—what is a “New York Poem”? Does such an entity exist? Stylistic adjectives include “free, urban, electric, contemporary, industrial, casual” and “exciting.” Hmmmm. In the New School‘s “Writing and Reading Poems of New York,” (800-319-4321; nsu.newschool.edu), students plumb the so-called New York poems in search of answers, as well as penning their own Gotham poems.
Do you feel tiny standing next to soaring skyscrapers, or inflated and exhilarated as you strut around town? Who are you in relation to your city—what role does it play in creating you, and what do you give back to it? The New School‘s “Writing the City: Urban Memoirs” (800-319-4321; nsu.newschool.edu) aims to find the writer’s body and voice in relation to the gargantuan cityscape.
exquisite corpses cut-ups collage dreamy fragments obsessions vignettes memory . . . Fiction went experimental some time ago, in search of new methods and ideas for composition and content. The New School‘s “Accidental Realities: Writing Experimental Fiction” (800-319-4321; nsu.newschool.edu) continues in the tradition of reading and writing fractured prose. For 13 linear sessions, you’ll deconstruct and reconstruct and deconstruct again, scattering images, exploding sentences, and rearranging narratives. Change is in the air—get in on the postmodern phenomenon before the literati move on to something else. [danielle winterton]