FROM ORDERING LE HOMARD IN FRENCH TO HANDCRAFTING YOUR OWN LEATHER WALLET, WE’VE RESEARCHED 14 LOCAL CLASSES AND WORKSHOPS THAT WILL MAKE YOU THE MOST DEPENDABLY INTERESTING DUDE IN THE ROOM
BY AMANDA McCOY
THE BROOKLYN KITCHEN
Never suffer from edge envy again, as the Brooklyn Kitchen offers a Knife Skills course ($85) that will have you slicing and dicing with finesse, not fear. Honored as one of the city’s “Best Cooking Classes” by New York Magazine, the class prepares registrants with maintenance basics, proper care, and classic cuts.
BECOME A MASTER
The brainchild of cocktail gurus Parker Bouse and Gregory Lucas, LiquidLab teaches the science behind fine drink crafting, covering everything from the basics of libations to experimental conception. Hubbed in Williamsburg, the workshop amalgamates organic ingredients and state-of-theart equipment for a sweeping experience that will leave pupils with a broader cocktail knowledge and the skills to make a mean Manhattan. Its Mixology 101 class ($80) includes primers on four specialty cocktails with a variety of different spirits—perfect for home enthusiasts, couples, and new students—and concludes by challenging all to a group mixed drink competition. liquidlabnyc.com
FINE TOBACCO NYC
The connoisseurs at Fine Tobacco NYC take the art of cigar smoking seriously, and believe it’s a true calling. They’ll instill in new visitors the fundamentals of selecting, harmonizing cigars with your palate, proper cutting technique, aromas and different tastes, and smoking etiquette. This private course (inquire for pricing) will leave patrons with an appreciation and knowledge of the perfect puff.
KNICKERBOCKER MFG. CO.
Working with tanned hide is an intricate and sophisticated process, and the highly skilled leather gurus at Knickerbocker MFG. Co. keep their workshops small, offering a variety of courses that include designing hand-bound leather journals, leather-encased flasks, and burnished belts. The Hand-Sewn Wallet Workshop covers the basics needed to sew and finish your own money holder in a three- to four-hour course, including techniques necessary to mark and punch, saddle stitch, personalize, and care for your creation. $150.
NYC GUITAR SCHOOL
Remember when you used to play hooky to get out of music lessons as a kid? It’s high time for a little redemption. The New York City Guitar School (locations in Manhattan, Queens, and the Gowanus-Fort Greene nexus) offers flexible lessons for adults, and covers all the classics, from light Beatles melodies to a rocking “Welcome to the Jungle” rendition. The trial lesson is discounted, and runs from $50 to $60 depending on time and location. After that first primer, you can continue with individual lessons at $50-$80 per.
GET A GREEN
NEW YORK BOTANICAL GARDEN
Land is the borough’s ultimate commodity, and if you’re lucky enough to obtain even the slimmest of outdoor spaces, upkeep is a necessity. The NYBG offers courses in everything green, from design to horticulture to basic gardening, giving its pupils the skills to create a yard worthy of envy.
Learning a new language has a reputation for being intimidating and, dare we suggest… boring—conceptions Fluent City aims to shatter. The language and culture classes there combine food, drink, travel, and conversation, with a repertoire of more than 10 languages, from French to Portuguese, Russian to Hebrew. In-depth instruction is available, but a great starting point is the 10-hour primer ($80 per hour)—perfect for a quick refresher before a trip.
CONQUER THE SKIES LONG ISLAND FLYING
Take your skill set to new heights in 2017…literally. The Long Island Flying School is a short train ride from Penn Station to MacArthur Airport in Ronkonkoma, where student pilots will be given their own individualized schedule and program to conquer the skies…and any lingering fear of heights. 40 hours at a minimum is required before you take your licensing exam, and lessons run $150 an hour.
DESIGN WITH HOT GLASS URBANGLASS
Most people have a conversation piece in their home, but what if you’d made it yourself—out of fiery hot molten sand? The classes at UrbanGlass have you covered, with all the techniques of hot glassblowing—from concept stages to finished products—leaving you with a skill very few can boast. There are shorter classes available at $200 and up, but Glass! The Journey Starts Here (February 2 through March 9, $780) is the Cadillac of the group—a six-week course with glass guru Annie Shepherd that consists of demonstrations, drills, and plenty of one-on one attention. urbanglass.org
Building things with your own two hands is one of the ultimate staples of manhood; all you need is wood, simple tools, and just a little guidance. Makeville Studio teaches basic toolcrafts and techniques of woodworking, and will even open up its studio for future use on your own projects. Its Intro to Woodworking course ($495, plus $100 for materials), held regularly and over the course of five sessions, is designed for beginners with little to no experience and covers wood physics, shop safety and etiquette, an introduction to joinery concepts, and hands-on experience with both hand tools and machinery. All tools, materials, and safety equipment are provided.
If savvy money management was a simple skill to crack, most of the borough would be perched in two-story penthouses with Manhattan views. Alas, it’s tricky, but luckily, there are classes that can help. Baruch College offers courses for seasoned finance professionals and novices alike—in the realms of stock market and corporate investing, better banking techniques, the benefits of bonds, and insurance planning.
Bitter and Esters
A good ale can elevate spirits, end (or begin) quarrels, culminate a celebration, and satiate one’s thirst in ways no other beverage can. But while many consume them, few understand or even think about the properties and process that goes into brewing the borough’s favorite drinking buddy. In
Brewshop 101 ($55), participants will develop a deep understanding and knowledge of suds, and be given the skills to develop into proficient home brewers. There will, of course, also be tastings.
Cook For Two
The Brooklyn Kitchen
For a city that boasts more than 24,000 dining establishments—from fine dining to hyper casual takeout—it’s strangely easy to get mired in a culinary slump. So, every well-rounded fella should have a simple wine sauce and risotto recipe up his sleeve, and the talented cuisiniers at the Brooklyn Kitchen can help. Its Cooking BAEsics ($95) class will teach bachelors and significant others alike the art of impressing in the kitchen, producing a five-star meal that includes Steak au Poivre, Winter Tuscan Salad, and Chocolate Souffle.
Made in NY Media Center
The great Mark Twain famously said, “There are only two kinds of speakers in the world: the nervous and the liars.” And while public speaking might be the No. 1 fear of humankind, it’s an exceptional skill to apply in virtually all facets of life. The NY Media Center offers workshops to lay the groundwork, helping students build presentation and leadership dexterity. Breath and Body: Public Speaking for Entrepreneurs ($150 for three classes, from May 3 through the 17th) covers techniques to manage public speaking fears, how to optimize your unique expertise and enthusiasm for an idea when introducing your company, how to craft a message, identify your audience, and hone storytelling.