So classy

Pub date August 9, 2011

Reward the long-term relationships in your life by taking your game up a notch. Brain fitness? Bar-stocking skills? Bicyclist rights? It’ll all make for more scintillating dinner conversations, so take the pupil plunge. Most of the following classes will charge for your mental charge, but always remember that the Free University of San Francisco ( and the East Bay Free Skool ( have incredible learning opportunities available gratis.


The streets can be a scary place for poor little meat puppets, particularly when one doesn’t know the rules of the road. Lucky for us, the SF Bike Coalition hosts regular crash courses on how not to crash on course. Its biking workshops cover everything from choosing the right bicycle for you, to traffic safety on two wheels, to getting your bike on BART, to your rights as a bicyclist. Did we mention it’s free? More power to the pedal.

Aug. 20, 10 a.m.-2 p.m., free. St. Anne’s Church, 1320 14th Ave., SF.



With one four-to-eight-ounce jar (err on the larger size, trust) you can take your party game up a notch. That’s because Sean Timberlake of Punk Domestics — a local site promoting fermentation and other home cooking processes — will be guiding you through the steps of creating a fantastically flavored liquor at community-food space 18 Reasons. Pluots? Cucumbers? Bananas and brandy? The world is alive and flavorful!

Aug. 23, 7-9 p.m., $40-50. 18 Reasons, 593 Guerrero, SF.



It’s not going to be summer forever, Gidget. Time to jump on a rigid heddle loom, which in addition to being a beach party of a phrase to say out loud is one of the easiest ways to learn how to weave a top-notch scarf for a cold season cover-up. This class requires you to bring some supplies with you, so make sure you check the website (and yarn store A Verb For Keeping Warm’s selection of chill-chasing threads) before heading over.

First class: Aug. 27, 2:30-5:30 p.m. Second class: Sept. 3, 3:30-4:30 p.m., $54-64. A Verb For Keeping Warm, 6328 San Pablo, Oakl. (510) 595-8372,



Those that control the iPhone applications, control the world. Seriously, we don’t care what market you’re in, your boss probably wants you to design an app for your company. On second thought, this class will definitely not improve your dinnertime banter, but if you can make your way through the course (and it does require a wee bit of prior computer knowledge), at least your talent will be popular!

Oct. 8, 10 a.m.-5 p.m., $155. San Francisco State Downtown Campus, 835 Market, SF.



Okay this one for sure your friends will love. T’ai chi sessions included, this class will bestow upon you methodologies for getting physically healthier by getting mentally healthier. Clean out those mental cobwebs and untoward cognitive ruts, why don’tcha. The class is available in multiple locations — at the Mission branch of City College as well as a senior citizen home near Fort Mason.

Various City College of San Francisco class times and locations.



Once upon a time, a nationwide website took it upon itself to teach local communities how to teach themselves things. Recently, the site opened its e-doors to San Francisco, kind of. Classes haven’t started yet, but many potential listings are already up and you can sign up to be a “watcher” — someone who is interested in one of the course descriptions. Many of the courses are under $20, and will be taught by people who’ve got local cred in the topics at hand — which so far include fantasy football strategies, underground dinners, social media skills, and whiskey 101.