Class Action Listings


Theater & Performing Arts
Since 1984, Primary Stages has produced more than 100 new plays. As this apparently represents an insufficient accomplishment, they’ve opened the Marvin and Anne Einhorn School of Performing Arts, designed to produce new playwrights, directors, and actors, on East 59th Street. Upcoming courses for the histrionically inclined include “Voiceover Technique” and “Building Your Book: The Contemporary Monologue.”

Annoying one’s neighbors is one of the great delights of urban living, and African drumming seems like a particularly apt way to accomplish it. If you’re looking for a way to make the downstairs tenants wish they’d never signed that lease, roll up to Gowanus’s Keur Djembe African Drum Shop. For $20 per two-hour class, the Senegalese owner, Ibrahima Diokhane, will instruct you in the finer points of hitting the goat skins. Private instruction is also available.

Seneca once quipped, “We live not according to reason, but according to fashion.” As that remains the case even two millennia on, you might as well make the effort to become more fashionable. The Fashion Institute of Technology can assist, with master classes in its department of continuing education. Newer fashionistas can register for “Beginning Fashion Drawing Studio,” “Fashion Drawing Studio,” or “Fashion Design Portfolio”; seasoned couturiers can attempt “Fashion Design Studio.”

Though sewing has never struck us as particularly hilarious, Chelsea’s City Quilter promises to have you in stitches. Many of its 50 classes each term focus, as the name suggests, on quilting, but students are also encouraged to use the Bernina Aurora sewing machines to craft clothing and handbags. The coming months boast such classes as “Basic Sewing: Lounge Pants,” “Color, Line, and Texture,” and an “Open Sewing Forum.”

Last year, Battery Park City got a lot more literate when Poets House and its 50,000-volume library relocated there. When not sponsoring public programs, such as readings, symposia, lectures, and conversations, the organization also holds seminars and workshops. Late-fall offerings include “Structural Excavations With Lisa Jarnot,” “Poems, Prayers & Possession With Gabrielle Calvocoressi,” and a master class with National Book Critics Circle Award winner Edward Hirsch.

Writing a novel is a marvelously impressive feat, though rather less so if the result sits moldering on your hard drive. Happily, 92nd Street Y offers a four-session course in “How to Get Published” starting November 16. By the end of the course, ink-stained wretches and carpal-tunnel casualties alike will emerge with packages all ready to be sent to agents and editors. Now, if someone would only offer a class on coping with rejection letters.

Art & Architecture
The Museum of Modern Art boasts a very impressive collection: some 150,000 pieces of painting, drawing, and sculpture; 22,000 films; 4 million film stills. You can get much better acquainted with several of these works—or learn to craft your own—by signing up for MOMA’s art history and studio offerings. Upcoming opportunities include “The Gesture and the Painter’s Ethos,” “Modern Art, 1915–1945,” and “Contemporary Painting: The Nineties and Noughties.” Online courses are also available.

Perhaps you’ve walked by the Parsons campus and felt a pang of envy as you’ve eyed the students, so slender, so insouciant, so imaginative. Now you can join their ranks, by registering for an art class in late fall. You might learn “Acrylic Painting Basics” or “Mixed Media: A Contemporary Fusion.” If you’d rather not get your hands dirty, consider “Gallery Management.”

Film & Video
Some auteurs spend years developing their first film. You can make yours in just two weeks. In January, the New York City College of Technology in Downtown Brooklyn will offer “Make a Film Class: Production.” In just 14 days, “skilled workers, electricians, carpenters, hair stylists,” or the like interested in crossing over to TV or film work can learn pre-production, production design, and storyboarding, culminating in a two-day film shoot. Brooklyn Young Filmmakers leads the course.

If you think the coming revolutions should be televised, New York University’s School of Continuing and Professional Studies offers several late-fall courses in documentary film. Students can learn the basics of “Digital Video Production,” then progress on toward “Editing Documentary Footage” and “Documentary Distribution and Marketing.” The highly motivated can enroll in all three at once.

For Children & Teens
Teenagers are nature’s great critics: They can find something to censure in every word, gesture, and mannerism you employ. Instead, encourage them to put their faculties of judgment to better use, in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s classes for teens in art appreciation and criticism. Fall offerings for ages 11 to 18 include “Art Explore–Fabulous Furniture,” “Art Explore–Mosaics,” and “A Conversation With Conservators.”

Many scholars suggest that China’s economy will soon outpace the U.S.’s. If you’d like your child to remain competitive in this new world order, send them to Planet Han on the Upper West Side, which offers fun and friendly Mandarin classes especially for kids. And Mandarin is, as Planet Han reminds you, already “the most widely spoken language in the world.”

Food & Drink
According to the ancient Greek play The Bacchae, wine is the world’s best antidepressant: “There is no other medicine for misery,” Euripides claims. If you’d like to know a little more about this wonder drug, consider signing up for oenological instruction at New York City Wine Class in Midtown, which offers an introductory course, education in various varietals, and for the particularly thirsty (and hungry) “16 wines, 8 Cheeses, 1 Night.”

You are what you eat. Unfortunately, that means Gothamites are some unholy amalgam of bagels, pizza, and takeout Chinese, with just a soupçon of Tasti D-Lite. If you’re looking for some self-improvement, you might enroll in the monthly culinary tutorial at Cooking With Class on the Upper East Side. November and December classes include “Thanksgiving Dinner Menu” and “Holiday Entertaining Cocktail Buffet.” In January, you can atone with “Healthy Soups & Lean Cuisine.”

Mind, Body & Spirit
At Sonic Yoga, you needn’t bring any particular faith or creed, but you should definitely bring a towel or two. This Hell’s Kitchen studio focuses less on devotion and more on motion, with its Flow series designed to build “strength, stamina and focus.” Those who prefer some spirituality with their sweat can sign up for such workshops as “Mandala of Asanas,” “Channeling Prana,” and “From Personal Evolution to Spiritual Globalisation.”

Is improved health just one bouquet garni away? This winter, several classes at the New York Open Center, a Midtown-based organization dedicated to holistic learning, suggest that certain herbs and plants can spice up your life as well as your supper. “Healing Spices: Herbal Medicine in Your Spice Rack” discusses the benefits of ginger, garlic, basil, and lavender. Several of those same foods turn up again in “Herbal Alternatives to Antibiotics,” “Overcome Depression Naturally,” and “Therapeutic Nutrition for Chronic Illnesses and Everyday Ailments.”

Does the World Wide Web make you feel like the fly rather than the spider? Perhaps you should set your sights on a demystifying course in Web design at ACE Computer Training Center, which has been helping students untangle themselves from the Internet since 2002. This basic course introduces learners to the Web and helps them to make a space for themselves using HTML, Flash, Dreamweaver, and Fireworks.

It only takes a few minutes clicking from Grub Street to Serious Eats to the Voice’s own Fork in the Road before you see an image of food so delectable that you’re half-tempted to lick the screen. (Or maybe you’re completely tempted. N.B.: It doesn’t taste very nice.) If you’d like to get in on the explosion in culinary websites, you might enroll in the International Culinary Center’s “Food Blogging” course. Students at the center’s Soho location will create their own blogs and learn how to make them that much more delicious.

Perhaps you’ve sufficiently romanced the usual run of Romance languages. Your heart has beaten faster to French vocab, you’ve fallen in love with Italian irregular verbs, and you’ve thrilled to Spanish prepositions. Then why not cozy up to some Portuguese language lessons? At Brazil Ahead in Midtown, you can take beginning or advanced classes, conversation groups, workshops, and—should you fall head over heels for the language—an immersion course in Rio.

The Greek language has been around for some 3,400 years, and if Greece’s economy doesn’t collapse, it might even last a little longer. And yet, despite having had all those millennia to learn, few of us have actually mastered the tongue. ABC Language Exchange offers instruction in modern Greek, among other tongues, at its Midtown locations, with group classes at the beginner level and private tutorials for more advanced Hellenists.

Diamonds are ostensibly a girl’s best friend, so you might as well devote some time to investigating that very special relationship. For a distinctly sparkly form of couples therapy, you might consider enrolling in Pratt Institute’s jewelry-design intensive. This four-day course, which takes place over two consecutive weekends in November and also covers earrings and bracelets, discusses stringing, knotting, wrapping, crimpling, and various finishes.

Remember back in kindergarten when you could pass whole afternoons amusing yourself with paper, glue, and childproof scissors? If you long for those innocent paste-eating days, enter one of the Little Shop of Crafts’ two Manhattan locations. The Little Shop is a big tent, offering all sorts of classes and workshops in such métiers as beading, plaster, mosaic, watercolors, and stuffed-toy design.

“Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,” opined the poet Thomas Gray. But it’s much nicer when blooms can be shown off in a bouquet. Happily, Red Hook’s celebrated blossom shop Saipua has transformed itself into the Little Flower School, devoted to the art of floral arrangements. Each class lasts some three hours, provides students with a pair of clippers and a take-home arrangement, and concludes with a champagne toast and homemade baked goods. Fall classes include “Fruiting Branches and Berries on the Vine” and “Ranunculus.”

Maybe you think you know all about the birds and the bees. But you likely don’t know as much as the ever-increasing population of urban beekeepers. If you’d like to join their veiled ranks, the Gotham City Honey Co-op offers weekly instruction in beekeeping. Every Sunday at the Central Park Arsenal, students discuss the finer points of hive management, honey gathering, and what to wear with those nifty hats.

If your Flickr page is fizzling and your Picasa sets are hardly works of art, consider enrolling in Hunter College’s “Seriously Fun Photography.” The fall session, which targets intermediate and advanced students, allows you to choose several areas of interest and arranges special class photography sessions. These might include a studio lighting shoot or a museum visit. Students assemble portfolios, and the course concludes in a critique.

Do you know your Cartier-Bresson from your Lorca diCorcia? OK, well, would you like to? Cooper Union offers “Photography Now: A Tour of Contemporary Photography,” a course designed to aid students in identifying picture-taking trends and trendsetters. For those who want to pick up a camera themselves, late-fall offerings include “Digital SLR Camera Workshop,” “The Photographer’s Signature,” and “Word and Image.”

Seems like almost every New Yorker wants to claw her way to the top. You can attempt a literal version of that climb at Brooklyn Boulders, the city’s only fully dedicated rock-climbing gym, with 18,000 square feet of climbing space. Located in Gowanus, the gym features classes in beginning or lead climbing, a slackline series, and private instruction. They also host birthday parties for those who prefer their cake at higher altitudes.

If you agree with Socrates that the unexamined life is not worth living, get ready to live large with the 10-week introductory course at Philosophy Works. The class draws on ancient and contemporary philosophy, encouraging students to “gain access to inner happiness, wisdom and strength.” (Modest course goals.) Weekly classes explore such questions as “What is Beauty?” and “Is there such a thing as Truth?”

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