RP Picks for May - 5 Cool Places to Learn in NYC

Obviously we're obsessed with learning new skills at Renaissance Person (that's kind of our thing) - Colby is on a comedy/storytelling kick and, aside from my full-time obsessions with big data and cooking, this warm weather has me desperately wanting to do anything outside.

There are tons of amazing places in the city to learn all sorts of skills, so I wanted to highlight some of our favorites to get you started:

Brooklyn Brainery has two locations (...in Brooklyn) and it's my number one place to check for cool classes. Since last summer, I've folded dumplings; identified leaves; learned the history of the Gowanus Canal; and made flower crowns. I scour their newsletters like other people read celebrity gossip and I cannot recommend it enough. I'll be at the May 6th class on Kombucha and I already have more classes in mind!

Course Horse is more like a search engine of places that teach and their listings include the Brooklyn Brainery. You can basically find annnnnything that you're looking for and it's pretty incredible. Last year I took a knife skills class and a glass blowing overview, learned how to work my sewing machine, and for my birthday last August, I learned how to make Crack Pie and Birthday Truffles at Momofuku Milk Bar.

The Path - Thanks to The Path, I FINALLY learned to meditate. It has legitimately changed my life for the better and has raised my coping skill game by about 200%. Scheduling and pricing can be found through the link. It's a little expensive, but I honestly think it's totally worth it. I found The Path through ClassPass, just in case you're already a member.

OutdoorFest - our friend Sarah Knapp (check out her profile here on the blog at the beginning of May!) runs a really cool program which has monthly happy hours (called Mappy Hours) where they talk about or teach something topical to appreciating the outdoors. The last Mappy Hour that I attended cost $5 and we learned how to navigate NYC without any tools and this week they're teaching slack-lining. The really amazing stuff happens from June 10-19th though when OutdoorFest holds 9 days of outdoor events. Last year I learned how to start a fire and this year I can't wait to go fishing, join the oyster restoration group, and take the Wilderness Survival Skills class in my beloved Prospect Park. You can see the whole incredible schedule here: http://www.eventbrite.com/o/outdoorfest-7689011941

Bike New York - OK, so I haven't been here yet, but these free classes are supposedly going to get me back on two wheels in no time. The last time I rode a bike that went anywhere was probably in Martha's Vineyard in 1996 with the Molloy family when they made me wear a hilariously large helmet. (Hi Molloy family! I hope you're all doing well!) It's been weighing on me that maybe I'm just not Brooklyn enough and it's time to add an alternative method of transportation, so I will be attending one of these in the next month, then debating endlessly about the merits of purchasing a bike vs. a Citibike membership. Thoughts? Want to come with me? Write us in the comments section!