The Very Best of New York: Learn

Best Free Advice, Best Way to Act Out, Best Business Bonanza…

Best Free Advice
Business Classes at the NYPL New York Public Library’s Science, Industry and Business Library, 188 Madison Ave (at 34th St), Much more than Microsoft Office refresher courses, SIBL offers free classes in resume polishing, personal branding, blogging, entrepreneurship and marketing for creative people. As a bonus, the seminars are taught by executives from leading companies.

Best Guide to Improving Your Life

Yaromil Fong-Olivares home. Who needs Dr. Phil when Coach Yaro is right here in NYC? The woman-focused creativity coach and certified personal trainer can help you define your personal and professional goals, evaluate your strategies for achieving them and offer feedback to keep your momentum going.

Best Free Museum Night
Target Fridays at MoMA 4-8pm every Friday, 11 W 53rd St, The Bullseye sponsors NYC’s best museum value deal. If you can stand the crowds and the long line to get in, you’ll save $25 and have access to every special exhibit and permanent collection on view (and the people-watching is fantastic!).

Best Art Exhibit This Season

Hide/Seek: Difference and Desire in American Portraiture Through Feb 12 at the Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, It garnered a firestorm of censorial protest at the National Portrait Gallery earlier this year. Now the first major museum exhibit to explore how gender and sexual identity have shaped American portraiture lands at the Brooklyn Museum.

Best Art Institute

Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art Brooklyn Museum, 200 Eastern Pkwy, Brooklyn, The forward-thinking Brooklyn Museum strikes again, this time for its dedication to collecting and exhibiting iconic examples of feminist expression. Judy Chicago’s monumental The Dinner Party is on permanent display.  Don’t miss it.

Best Way to Act Out

Classes at the Peoples Improv Theater 123 E 24th St, Do people tell you, “Hey, you’re quite a comedian”? Then go for it! The PIT offers improv workshops to help you hone your hilarity and finally take the stage by the horns. Check the website for schedules—and don’t forget us when you hit the big time.

Best Sense of Herstory

The Lesbian Herstory Archives 484 14th St (between Eighth Ave and Prospect Park West), Brooklyn,  Brows-ing through world’s largest collection of materials about lesbian culture will make you proud  to be on the pink team. Part library, part museum and part community resource, the ever- expanding collection will enchant you for hours.

Best Art Scene

PS1 22-25 Jackson Ave (at 46th Ave), Queens, No longer MoMA’s red-haired cousin, this institution is exhibition-centric rather than collection driven. In addition to organizing landmark shows of cutting-edge work like the Greater New York series, the summer dance party Warm Up has been luring hipsters to Queens for more than a decade.

Best Wordsmiths

Scrabblers Meets at the LGBT Community Center, 208 W 13th St, 212-362-5889 (no website). Are you a Scrabble-holic? Head over to The Center to put your skills to work. At twice-monthly meetups you’ll encounter out-of-work English majors and doyennes of the dictionary, so go ready for some steep competition (that’s 17 points right there!).

Best Museum Facelift

New-York Historical Society 170 Central Park West, After a multimillion dollar revamp, New York’s oldest museum (established in 1804!) has redesigned its central gallery to display artworks, artifacts and interactive displays about our city for the 21st century.

Best Business Bonanza

The Original GLBT Expo As we all know, not all businesses are gay-friendly. The Original GLBT Expo, an annual event at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center, vets all vendors to discover which companies want our business. Let’s support those who support us (and grab freebies in the process!).

Best Place to Jam Out

Anarchy in a Jar Local Brooklyn jamstress Laena McCarthy learned canning secrets from her mother and added her own flavors to her preserves by traveling the world in search of new recipes. Now she’s back in Brooklyn, selling her artisan jams by the dozen and sharing her tricks! Check out her website for class times.

Best School to Apprendre French

French Institute: Alliance Française 22 E 60th St, Comment dit-on lesbian en française? Find out by taking up a class at fi:af. “Fluent in French” is an impressive addition to your online dating profile, and this is where you learn from the best.

Best Place to DIY

3rd Ward 195 Morgan Ave, Brooklyn, 3rd Ward Creative Workshop Space is a great reason to make the trek to Bushwick. The collaborative classroom offers practical lessons in trade skills from wood working to glass blowing to graphic design, and art classes in ceramics, watercolors or writing.

Best Green Thumbs

Farm School NYC 1155 Avenue of the Americas, 3rd Fl, The Farm School offers hands-on classes on how to make or join your own local farming community with social justice as the ultimate goal. The seasonal courses include Food Justice, Botany, Crop Planning, Small Farm Design and other skills.

Best Way to Fly
New York Trapeze School W 30th St between 10th and 11th Aves and two outdoor locations, “She floats through the air with the greatest of ease, the daring young dyke on the flying trapeze…” Hey, that could be you! Take a two-hour class at Trapeze School New York’s year round indoor facility or hold out until May and visit the outdoor West Side Highway or Governors Island facilities. Hold on tight!

Best Place to Co-Work
Greenpoint Coworking 240 North Henry St, New York

Best Place to Go on a Cold Day
Scandinavia House 58 Park Ave, When the temps drop outside, warm up at this cool cultural institution dedicated to all things Scandinavian (it’s a synonym for awesome). Check out art expos, films, concerts and lectures, or bask in mid-century design.

Best Gallery Walk
Gay and Lesbian Gallery Tour Every month, former gay studies professor and New York Blade art critic Rafael Risemberg leads art buffs through Chelsea’s most provocative LGBT gallery shows, and even brings gay and lesbian artists in to discuss their work.

Best Bet for Improving America’s Relations with the Middle East
Galleries for the Art of the Arab Lands, Turkey, Iran, Central Asia and Later South Asia Metropolitan Museum of Art, 1000 Fifth Ave, The brand new and expanded space at the Met houses one of the world’s finest collections of Islamic art. Could the splendor of royal glass, filigree, ceramics, carpets and illuminated manuscripts be the key to thawing frosty foreign policy?

What Do You Think?