Become a Modern-Day Polymath in Hoboken

Jeffrey Somers
Mar 24, 2018 10:35 AM

Every day you’re alive is an opportunity to do something—to build something, scratch a chore off your list, to make the world a better place. Or to learn something, which is often the first step on your way to achieving one of those things. Too many people, once they get out of school, stop learning and trying new things, which is even more of a shame when you live in Hoboken. Not only are we within a few minutes of New York City and all the opportunities there, but there are a surprisingly number of classes –free and not free—that you can take right here in Hoboken. Here’s just a few—if you decided to make the time to do all of them this year, 2018 would be the year you became a polymath.

Cake Boss Classes

Cake Boss Mania has died down somewhat, but there are still folks lining up outside of Carlo’s Bakery on a regular basis—and the celebrated bakery is now offering baking classes right here in Hoboken. For $125 you can learn to make treats just like Buddy does. You don’t need to have a big group, as the classes can be booked on a first-come, first-served basis. Most of the classes are more about decorating a supplied cake instead of actually baking one, but it’s still guaranteed to be fun—and a skill you don’t have right now.

Free Bartending Class

Did you know there’s a bartending school right here in Hoboken? Located at 92 River Street, the Bartending Institute offers a full bartending course wherein you can learn to tend bar, get unlimited practice, and even get assistance finding a job after you graduate. If that’s too much commitment for you, they also offer a 100% free 2-hour class. It’s designed for people who are serious about a possible career in bartending, and covers the basics.

Free Crossfit Class

Need to get in shape? Always wondered what Crossfit is all about? Here’s your chance to find out, as CrossFit Hoboken offers a free class on Wednesdays at 6:30pm and Saturdays at 10am. You’ll get an assessment of your physical fitness, a tour of the facility, and, of course, a good workout while you learn about crossfit. Sure, this is a sales pitch—but it’s a free class nonetheless.

Learn to Sew

Over at M Avery Designs in the Monroe Center, you can learn how to sew—clothes, bags, whatever—as well as the basics of using a sewing machine, design, and other skills. Classes aren’t free, but are pretty reasonably priced, including a 15-hour “sewing boot camp” for people who want to learn how to sew for themselves (though it’s not always offered) for just $300.

Learn to Cook

Hidden away on 14th Street is Hudson Table, which offers cooking classes for adults on a regular basis. The classes are group, but you can sign up as a single or a couple and meet some new folks if you don’t have a big group. Hudson Table offers demonstrations and chef’s table evenings—but what you want is a “hand’s-on” lesson, where a chef walks you through every step of creating an awesome meal. If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to cook like a grown up, this would be a fun way to do it!

Become a Maker

Back on Harrison Street you’ll find the DIY Joint, which offers classes in a variety of woodworking projects, like furniture-making, wood finishing, and joinery. If you’ve ever wanted to have the skills needed to build yourself a bookcase or just know how to handle power tools and use them to shape, join, and transform wood into something beautiful and useful.

Learn to Play Music

It always bears repeating: The Guitar Bar is an amazing place where you can finally learn how to play music. Their lessons are affordable and are customized, so you get to decide the balance between theory and just having fun you want to have, and the teachers are drawn from the ranks of professionals who have worked, toured, and recorded with some of the biggest names in music.

Make 2018 the year that you don’t just learn something new—make it the year you go Full da Vinci.

Jeffrey Somers
Staff Writer
Jeff Somers ( is the author of 9 novels including We Are Not Good People ( and the publisher of The Inner Swine ( Jeff may be reach at . Follow him on Twitter at @jeffreysomers .