06/23/15 10:26am
Inside Craftsman Ave., where intimate workshops on everything from letter making to woodworking  will begin in July. Photo: Craftsman Ave.,

Inside Craftsman Ave., where intimate workshops on everything from letter making to woodworking will begin in July. Photo: Craftsman Ave.

Just steps from Lowe’s, and right next door to the Global Cooling Inc. HVAC shop on an industrial stretch of 11th St., a new school called Craftsman Ave. blends right in with Gowanus’s repair shops and fabrication studios. The only clues that it caters to a different clientele is the minimal, black and gold sign outside and the fact that it’s actively seeking unskilled laborers.

“There’s no place where you can learn everything from letter making to product design—basically every kind of skill you need to bring a physical product to life,” said Taras Kravtchouk, the founder of this DIY school. The digital and industrial designer discovered a love of physical work when he began restoring vintage motorcycles—two of which are on display inside his shop. He plans to teach this skill, and is inviting other artists and designers to teach similar, three-hour-long workshops on trades like woodworking and jewelry making. Those who are more serious about perfecting a craft can become members and use the professional woodworking, prototyping and welding tools to hone their skills. Ideally, with the right mix of instructors and members, everyone will learn from one another. (more…)

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05/14/15 9:31am
An open workout session at The Muse's brand new home. Photo: EunoiaImages

An open workout session at The Muse’s brand new home. Photo: EunoiaImages

The idea of hopping the next freight train headed out of town to join the circus may seem like a decision one would only make in a black-and-white movie, but it’s actually quite easy to run away and become a trapeze artist in Brooklyn. Last week, I hopped a train, and right off the Wilson L, The Muse—a Bushwick-based circus school and venue that opened its doors last month—welcomed me into their enormous, high-ceilinged new space to learn about their community and try some acrobatic maneuvers myself. (more…)

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02/03/15 9:58am
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The Annoyance Theatre teaches classes and hosts weekend shows. Photo: The Annoyance Theatre

When you think about improv classes the first thing that comes to mind might be nothing at all because the prospect of taking one fills you with such deep and abiding terror that your brain goes completely blank. Or, you might dismiss them out of hand as professional development for your pals who fancy themselves the next Tina and Amy or Abbi and Ilana, but off limits for the rest of us.

Not so.

“Improv is a tool,” says Philip Markle, New York executive director of The Annoyance Theatre in Williamsburg. “It’s not an end game. It’s not a wrong or a right. Our goal at The Annoyance is to make you the most powerful fearless version of yourself onstage.”  That power doesn’t exist for just comedians or actors. It’s for everyone in every business, in every industry, with every type of personality. Whether it’s a way to beat shyness, an alternative to another night at the bar, or even as a form of therapy, these classes evoke more than just laughs.

(more…)

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01/22/15 9:09am

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It’s been three weeks since you made your resolutions, and you’re probably still doing some very good things for yourself in 2015. But how about your career? The way that you work can always use some fine tuning, and General Assembly has a suite of classes that will improve your design, tech, marketing, and entrepreneurialism skills, all free for Brooklyn Based readers for three months, and all available to stream, which is great considering it’s freezing outside.

When you register here before March 31, you’ll get unlimited access to both live and on-demand streaming classes for three months. The online library of tutorials draws upon the workshops and seminars General Assembly offers at their Flatiron office and online, and allows you to pick and choose your coursework and become fluent in new concepts at your own pace. How to pivot your career, create your first content strategy, hire a developer (or become one yourself), a guide to crowdfunding, an introduction to SEO, a social marketing summit from the honchos at Thrillist and Gawker–all of these topics are waiting in the ether, ready to impart some wisdom once you hit play.

The only thing you won’t be able to do, when you say, learn how to make infographics with Larry Buchanan, journalist, designer and coder with the New Yorker, is ask him questions–though you can download the course materials, skip to and rewind the chapters that are important to you, and hear him crack some Portlandia jokes.

Sign up here to learn what you want, when you want. We’ve also teamed up with General Assembly to offer an introductory class on digital advertising Saturday, Feb. 7 from 10am to 1pm, lunch included, for content creators and anyone advertising their business. You will have to leave your couch for this one, though.

01/15/15 2:00pm

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Since we hosted Indie Media Camp last fall, we’ve been cooking up a course that will benefit anyone in the business of creating content, or in business for themselves. It’s called “Introduction to Digital Advertising for Publishers and Businesses”   and we’re producing it in partnership with General Assembly on Saturday, Feb. 7 from 10am to 1pm. The affable John Shankman, former publisher of The Awl network, and founder of Hashtag Labs, which helps indie publishers manage their own ad operations, will be our instructor. (more…)

08/19/14 10:51am
Salute the sunset every Monday evening atop Brooklyn Grange's rooftop farm in the Navy Yard now through Sept. 29. Photo:  Sarah Capua

Salute the sunset every Monday evening atop Brooklyn Grange’s rooftop farm in the Navy Yard now through Sept. 29. Photo: Sarah Capua

One of the benefits of this cool summer is that you can exercise outside without the formidable feeling of melting. If your fitness routine could use an infusion of fresh air, now is the time to take advantage of the seasonal workouts in Brooklyn’s great outdoors. Here are six to get you started.

1. Brooklyn Bridge Boot Camp
Of all the workouts we’re championing in this post, this one is the most intense. Expect to wake up before the sun to work out areas of your body you might not have even realized were there. The 60-minute outdoor classes also take place in Central Park and Prospect Park and promise a full-body workout for $20 a session. This is an intense exercise option to be sure, but think about it this way: at least you’ll be taking in a beautiful view while you feel the burn.

2. Rooftop Yoga in the Brooklyn Navy Yard
We realize there’s really nothing that can’t be done on a rooftop these days, but of all the bird’s-eye-view activities available, rooftop yoga is one of our favorites. Every Monday, the urban farmers from Brooklyn Grange open up their farm at Brooklyn Navy Yard for an hour-long asana practice with Sarah Schumann of Prospect Heights’ Shambhala Yoga and Dance Center. Classes start at 6:30pm. It’s our personal experience that uplift is a lot easier when you’re already a few stories off the ground, plus watching the sunset while you flow is a great antidote for a case of the Mondays. Classes cost $15 and run through Sept. 29. (more…)

03/10/14 2:00pm
Tue March 18, 2014
Engineer your own accessories at Pioneer Works' 3D ring design workshop on March 18. Photo: Pioneer Works

Engineer your own accessories at Pioneer Works’ 3D ring design workshop on March 18. Photo: Pioneer Works

Head to Pioneer Works on March 18 for the first of three workshops where you’ll learn to design and print your own 3D jewelry using Rhino–the software program not the odd-toed ungulate. Instructor Sergei Tiourine will walk you through the process, from sketching to surface modeling, creation, manipulation, packaging and printing. You don’t have to be a digital designer or a jewelry maker to get in on this innovative experience. The class costs $150, including materials, and you can reserve your spot here.

02/07/14 3:07pm
Sat February 8, 2014
Ti Chang, co-founder of Crave, a San-Fran sex toy startup, is in town to teach a Build-A-Vibe workshop at Babeland Brooklyn tomorrow. Photo: BB

Ti Chang, co-founder of Crave, a San-Fran sex toy startup, is in town to teach a special Build-A-Vibe workshop at Babeland Brooklyn tomorrow. Photo: BB

Celebrate a V-day of a different sort this Saturday at Babeland Brooklyn. The Park Slope pleasure shop is hosting a Build-A-Vibe workshop. It takes about 20 minutes to assemble the discreet device, and the workshop is a special event with the San Francisco-based sex-toy startup, Crave, which co-founders Ti Chang and Michael Topolovac launched two years ago through a crowd-funding campaign. All Crave’s toys are made here in the States, and thoughtfully crafted through what Topolovac calls a “considered design” process–there’s no over-the-top elements or crazy bright colors, as the duo prefers to keep things satisfyingly simple. Today and tomorrow are the first workshops Crave’s conducted in NYC. Each attendee will be building their Duet model vibrator, which is designed with a similar power technology as an iPhone; rechargeable up to 500 times using a USB port; and waterproof up to 100 feet, just incase you were curious. The workshop is usually $149 (the cost of the Duet), but tomorrow’s event is 20% off and expected to sell out, so make sure to RSVP.

01/29/14 3:52pm

bookBe a Better Photographer
Now that smartphones with cameras are ubiquitous, it’s easy to snap shots of everything you do and then crop, apply filters, get rid of red eye and upload them to the web. Everyone’s a photographer now, but you may just want to up your game and really stand out by taking a digital photography class at PhotoManhattan near Union Square, or by learning how to use the awesome power of Photoshop at Dose Projects in Greenpoint.

Make Your Own Jewels
Whether you want to learn to create a cast for metal jewelry by making a wax carving and then casting your piece at Brooklyn Metal Works Wax and Polish class or hammer metal in a cuff or earrings at Jewelry Arts Institute in midtown, designing and making your own jewelry is one way to while away the winter hours.

Rediscover Your Inner Seminar Star
Miss the structure of discussing books in a seminar setting? Head the the 92nd St. YMCA for Arguably, Some of the Best Books of the 20th Century to discuss modern, and modernist, classics with other smartypants types over the course of five sessions.

01/22/14 8:00am
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Study color theory using flowers as your palette.

Learn French
Learning a new language stimulates your brain in interesting ways, makes you a savvier traveler and might even be a good way to meet fellow polyglots.There are tons of language classes in every tongue and level out there, but right now there’s a sale on beginner French at Cactus Language Courses in Brooklyn Heights and on level 4 French at Fluent City New York in Williamsburg.

Go Floral
Other than a vacation somewhere warm or spell in a sauna, the next best thing to beautiful weather is a beautiful bouquet. Learn the art of floral arrangement, and go home with an armful of flowers, at New York School of Floral Design in Chelsea or study color theory using flowers as the palette at New York Botanical Garden‘s midtown location.

Get Cheese-y
Despite the fact that there’s all sorts of amazing European raw milk cheese we can’t get our hands on here, New York is still an excellent town for cheese lovers. Learn more about the very many varieties of Italian cheeses at Cooking Acappella, or go DIY and study cheesemaking 101 at The Homestead at Bedford Cheese Shop Gramercy.