For decades, American Bartenders School has helped aspiring spirit spreaders to develop steady hands, sure eyes for measurement, and an encyclopedic drink-formula knowledge. All of the school's classes cover basic mixing, garnishing, layering, and glassware selection in a realistic bar setting, complete with animatronic bar regulars debating whether Woody Allen is currently the president of Azerbaijan. Students gain access to a book of recipes for shooters, including cosmos, lemon drops, and jelly beans; learn how to make frozen specialties and hot toddies; and discover how to cure hangovers and hiccups. For the 12-hour bartending-certification course, graduation sessions are held where the instructors offer helpful tips on how to get hired as a bartender, before returning home with a mixology certificate, professional resumé, and the ability to set up and stock their own home bars, all of which make a classy addition to living rooms, lounges, and butler traps.
Whether you're locking eyes with one of his tiger portraits or attending his pencil-drawing class, one can't help but ask: how does Jerry Winick find the time? His own artwork alone is an exercise in patience, as his pencil drawings can take up to three months to finish. They capture animal faces and Brooklyn streets with striking detail and clarity, so much so that people often believe they're looking at photographs. But, in addition to sketching out these award-winning snapshots, Jerry also runs Pencilworks Studio, a venue for burgeoning artists to mingle and learn.
Here, he leads classes in his chosen medium—pencil—for both children and adults. His personalized instructions help students reproduce a photo on paper, all without tracing or resorting to the Xerox machine they've hidden under their shirt. The studio hosts other workshops as well, helmed by Jerry's daughter Michelle and other professional artists. Depending on their area of expertise, instructors can teach guests how to work with watercolors or experiment with different cartooning techniques. Michelle also arranges birthday painting parties for kids, which supply enough materials for everyone to make an original piece. The staff can even travel to offices and oversee team-building art exercises that yield a collaborative painting.
Daisy Hobbs dreamed up Custom Choreography Company as a way for individuals to showcase their personalities with dances at special events. Because ballroom dancing can be staid and occasionally summons the ghosts of Prohibition-era hoofers, Daisy and her crew design custom dances for groups that can range from big Broadway numbers to modern hip-hop and pop dances. The dances can be performed at a variety of events and can accommodate large groups, so people can share their dance with their friends at weddings, birthdays, and bar or bat mitzvahs.