Adult Ceramics — Fall Semester

Learn to handbuild and to throw clay on the potters wheel! Classes are open to all levels, whether you are new to pottery or have ceramic experience. Our small classes offer individual attention and plenty of studio space.

Starting the week of September 9th:
8 week session: Monday, Wednesday or Thursday evenings 6:30-9:00 pm

Register here.

Included with enrollment, we offer open studio sessions on weeknights and weekend afternoons, during which you can work on your own.

Our teacher, Rachael Scharf, has been working in ceramics for over 10 years. She shows her work at art fairs around New York City. Check out her website here.


For more information please contact or call Susan at 212.766.1104 x277.

Closeup on MY Teaching Artist

Today, we’d like to highlight an awesome teaching artist who is beginning an awesome year-long adventure. (Special thanks to guest bloggers Khadijah and Faith for writing this article!)

Last week, we sat down with Manhattan Youth Filmmaking teaching artist Alex Gaylon to speak with him about his project with Filmmakers Without Borders. At home in the States, he runs a small production company, Karmalize Productions. “I produce short documentaries and live events.” Aside from his work with Manhattan Youth, he also teaches for TriBeCa Film Institute.


This week he arrived in Palampur, India to lead a filmmaking intensive program. “Filmmakers Without Borders was started by a friend of mine, another teaching artist, about two years ago.” He will spend a year teaching film to middle school students and creating original projects in three different phases. “The first phase is making weekly films that give you an an intro to the area. That way, you are interacting while you’re also developing these short 1–to-2 minute pieces. In the second phase, you’re doing 2 short films, where there is total creative control and the kids help you out with that stuff by watching rough cuts. The third phase is a feature film.”

The Filmmakers Without Borders application process was a long and grueling one. “They want to make sure that the person that’s applying is right for this. They offer to fly you there, they feed you, they house you, they take care of you and all that stuff. There were two essays and a personal video that I had to do. It was really difficult for me being on that side of the camera. I have so much footage of me just staring a camera, just terrified.”

Alex said that he had wanted to apply to the program as soon as he heard about it. “There was no way I could pass up this opportunity. I know that it will change my life, and it’s the right time for me right now,, where I can kind of cut loose and do this thing for a year and get the most out of it.”

He’s very excited to see what his students in India want to make films about. “I know a lot of American kids love horror films, and they all want to make horror films. That seems just a common trope. I don’t know what the common trope for Indian children in Palampur is. Especially since Palampur is more of a village area and it’s not very urban so I don’t know what kind of media they watch or have access to at all. So just that first day of ‘What’s your name?’ and ‘What’s your favorite movie?’ is going to be fascinating to me. While I’m expecting some things to be very similar and surprise me, some things might be totally different, and I have to figure out ways to work with that. But I’m really just trying to keep my expectations low because I have no clue whats going to happen. I can imagine anything but I have to be as prepared as I can be.”

To prepare himself, he’s been “talking to people who are in India now or who travel to India a lot who are in that particular area where I’ll be. Just talking to them and seeing what they offer me in terms of little pieces of advice from water to health and to fun.”

With traveling to new uncharted territory, there come some hardships. “I’m going to miss my girlfriend and I’m going to miss my grandma. It might not even be the people I miss the most, because I don’t know what I’m going to miss in terms of food and things that I’ll start craving. Once I get there, I’ll know that I can not get a burger for a year. That’s another way I’m preparing right now is filling up on anything I don’t think I’ll be able to get like, a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables. Because of the water there, I can’t be eating a lot of that stuff.”

Alex’s “downtime” largely will be taken up by working on his films.  “It’s really fun and just getting out in the area and seeing who’s interesting and seeing what’s interesting and then having the ability to follow the story and not have to worry about rent. But even being in New York, it’s like, ‘Oh, I have to do this job so I can pay rent.’ Or ‘I have to edit this thing because I’m a week late with that.’ But now I can really just follow the interesting things and not have the same worries that I have here. It’s a completely different culture to the point that it makes you look at your own culture in a totally new way. So I’m really looking forward to that.”

But that excitement comes with a touch of fear. “As far as stuff i’m afraid of, I’m gonna get caught in the rain, I’m going to be alone, I’m gonna cry. It’s gonna happen. But I’m kinda looking forward to that, too,, because it’s like well, how am I gonna handle these situations? I don’t know.”

We had a great time discussing his adventure to India, and we wish him all the best as he starts his year without borders..

Good luck Alex!

Volleyball Pros at Pier 25

Volleyball Pros at Pier 25

The Manhattan Youth Friday Night Beach Volleyball League ended its 2015 season with a huge bang last Friday night. Our players were treated to a special once-in-a-lifetime clinic run byOlympic Gold Medalist, Dain Blanton (2000, Sydney), U.S. National Team sand volleyball coach Chris Jackson, AVP professional sand volleyball player, Traci Weamer and Division one beach volleyball head coach Shawn Taylor. Together they engaged in a high energy, interactive and informative training with some of the finest coaches in the country, along with Manhattan Youth’s regular sand volleyball coaches Olivia Johnson, Barbara Gedeon and Chris Shortgen. Some of our players were also seen on the courts during the AVP New York City Open held at Pier 25 and 26 this past weekend including!

And Tribeca Trib wrote a lovely article about the event! Read it here. Thanks, Trib!

Free Middle School Summer Program

Our free Middle School Summer Program is getting some love from the local press. Click here for the full story in the BPC Broadsheet.

They write that, “Children participate in a wide variety of programs, from sports and arts and science to film making and theater. Parents and middle school students can choose a different activity for every week in July.” We can’t wait to start these programs and share the summer with youth from all over New York City.

Click here for more info and to register for the program!

And here are the movies we made during our Spring Break Filmaking Intensive, which were shown during the Tribeca Film Festival.

Secret Self

Tapioca pudding with caramelized peaches

Those clear and fun bubbles that you eat when you drink bubble tea are called tapioca pearls. They are the starch from the cassava root and are a staple food in South America and Africa. They are also the main ingredients in this delicious pudding. I chose to pair this pudding with juicy caramelized peaches because they will go well with the pudding and their season is just beginning. Peaches are a stone fruit like apricots and plums.  They are member of the rose family and are related to almonds. Georgia is the peach state, but California grows the most in the U.S. The United States provides one quarter of the world peach supply.

Recipe by Isabelle Lapin

Preparation:  30 minutes
Cooking:  15-20 minutes
8 adult portions

2 cups coconut milk
4 cups milk
½ cup tapioca
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 Tbsp. sugar
8 ripe peaches
2 oz. honey
1 oz. sugar
2 oz. butter
¼ cup orange juice
Chopped pumping seeds for decoration (or chopped pistachios if you are not allergic)

Put milk, sugar and tapioca in a pot. Cook it on low heat while mixing constantly until the tapioca pearls are translucent. Turn the fire off and let it cool. It will thicken while cooling. Add the vanilla and mix.
Caramelized peaches:
Cut the peaches in quarters.  Mix them with sugar and juice and set aside. Melt the butter and honey on high heat until light caramelized.  Drain the peaches from the marinade but keep it to make a sauce. Add the quarters of peaches to the caramel.  Coat the peaches well.  Boil the juice for one minute and pour it over the peaches.
Put a tablespoon of peach on the bottom of dessert cups then cover with some pudding. Decorate the top with some more peaches and sauce. Sprinkle with chopped pumping seeds.

Tips and info:
You can use other seasonal fruits, use only milk or almond or soy milk if you have allergies. You spice the caramel with star anis or any other spice you like. The decoration is also up to your taste and can go from pistachios to whipped cream.
The name Tapioca is derived from the word tipi’óka, the name for this starch in the Tupi language of South America.  Tapioca is gluten-free, and almost completely protein-free.  Tapioca comes from the root of the cassava. It is the starch of the cassava root.  After rice and wheat, the most important human carbohydrate source is cassava, also named manioc and yucca, it is a staple food in South America and Africa.  It’s the main ingredient in tapioca pudding and in bubble teas.
Peaches have been growing since prehistoric times were first cultivated in China.  The Chinese believe the peach is a symbol of long life and immortality.  The peach spread from China to Persia and then Europe.  The Romans believed the peach originated from Persia and named it the Persian apple.  The first peach tree was planted in Florida in the early 1500’s.  Peaches are now growing in Georgia, South Carolina, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Washington, Michigan, and New Jersey. They are a stone fruit like plums and apricots.  They are a member of the rose family and are related to almonds. Georgia is known as the peach state, but California grows the most peaches in the U.S.  The United States provides one quarter of the world peach supply.

Tasty Tuesdays — Vegetarian Corn Chowder

The word “chowder” was invented long before the pilgrims saw Cape Cod.  Fishermen from various parts of Europe were fishing around Newfoundland since 1497.  They transformed the word “Chaudron”, the pot in which French fishermen made their stews, into the word chowder. Those early chowders were different from our own.  Corn is a summer vegetable grown everywhere but Antarctica. U.S. is the biggest producer with 40% of the world harvest.


Recipe by Isabelle Lapin

Preparation: 30 min
Cooking: 30 to 45 min
Makes 12 adult portions

Corn Chowder 03


8 fresh ears corn
3 Tbsp. butter
1 chopped big onion
2 tsp. fresh thyme
Salt and pepper and sugar
¼ cup all-purpose flour
5 cups non-chicken chicken broth or water
12 oz. yellow potatoes cubed (optional)
1-cup half-and-half
3 Tbsp. chopped fresh basil

Remove the corn kernels from the cob with a knife. You should have 5 to 6 cups.  Then using a peeler scrape the cobs into a kitchen towel. Squeeze the pulp until dry over a bowl (you should have about 2/3 cup juice).  In a big pot melt the butter and sauté the onion with the thyme and 2 teaspoons salt and 1-teaspoon pepper. Cook until the onion begins to brown. Stir the flour and cook for 2 minutes.  Whisking constantly, gradually add water or broth and bring to a boil. Add the kernels and the potatoes and reduce to simmer until the potatoes are soft.  Transfer 2 cups of the chowder to a blender and process until smooth.  Return to the pot, add the half and half and simmer.  Remove from heat and add the corn juice.  Taste and season with salt, pepper and sugar.  Sprinkle each serving with fresh chopped basil.

Tip and info:
Add pieces of vegetarian meat or pieces of smoked turkey on top, right before serving. If you don’t have enough corn juice, add enough water to get 2/3 cup.
Chowder is one of the first European-American Dishes.  According to some historians, the word “chowder” was invented long before the pilgrims saw Cape Cod.  Fishermen from various parts of Europe were fishing around Newfoundland since 1497.  They transformed the word “Chaudron”, the pot in which French fishermen made their stews, into the word chowder. Those early chowders were different from our own.  There was no milk (the nearest cow was thousands of miles away). They were no potatoes; this was several centuries before the potatoes arrived from South America to North America via Europe. The clam and cod soup was thicken with ship’s biscuits and flavored with onions. Now the word chowder is used for a variety of soups, with ingredients ranging from salmon to corn.  Corn Chowder 04
Corn is a traditional summer food.  The Native Americans grew it more than 7,000 years ago in Central America.  Native Americans used the leaves of sweet corn as chewing gum.  Corn is grown everywhere in the world but Antarctica. On average there are about 800 kernels on an ear of corn in 16 rows. It always has an even number of rows. Most countries call corn maize.  This comes from the Spanish word ‘maiz’. It is a cereal crop that is part of the grass family.  An ear or cob of corn is actually part of the flower and an individual kernel is a seed.  Corn is processed and used in many foods. Its by-products are also found in many non-food items such as glue, paint, laundry detergent, soap, aspirin, cosmetics and many more. Corn is also used to feed livestock and poultry. IN the days of early settlers corn was so valuable that it was used as money and traded for other products such as meat and furs.  United States produces 40% of the world harvest and is the biggest producer with more than 200 million tons in 2012.

Tasty Tuesday – Quinoa tabouli with seasonal fruits


Tabouli is a delicious and refreshing Mediterranean salad that is usually made with tomatoes, onions, mint and couscous. I chose to make it sweet with quinoa and seasonal fruits for a light dessert. Quinoa is not a grain, but is actually very close to spinach.  Nasa provides quinoa to its astronauts in space trips due to its exceptional nutritional contents. It is very high in protein so it is very good for vegetarian people. Enjoy!

Recipe by Isabelle Lapin

Preparation: 20 minutes
Cooking: 10 minutes
8 adult portions

 Corn Chowder 02



1 cup (150g.) quinoa
1 ¼ oz. (300ml.) water
1 oz. (30g.) Brown sugar
2 ½ oz. (70g.) raisins or less
1 orange Juice and zest
½ pound strawberries
½ cantaloupe
1-pint blueberries
(Seasonal fruits: 1 kiwi, 1 nectarine, 1 apricot, strawberries)
1Tbsp. sunflower seeds
1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds
3 Tbsp. fresh mint chopped
2 tsp. orange blossom water

Rinse the quinoa.  Cook the quinoa with the water, orange juice, brown sugar, and raisins during at least 15 minutes.  Drain and cool it. Set it aside. Wash the fruits and cut them in medium pieces. Toast the seeds in a pan. Put all the fruits, seeds, orange blossom water, mint. Add the quinoa and mix. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Corn Chowder

Info and tips:
Use any seasonal fruits, change the herb according to your taste, switch the seeds for pistachios and pine nuts.
Quinoa was used 3,000 to 4,000 years ago in Bolivia, Peru and Columbia.  It served as a staple food in the Incan Diet. The United Nations declared quinoa a “super food” with a protein value equal to that of milk. Quinoa looks like a grain but it is actually not a grain! It is very close to greens (like chard), beets, and spinach. It has a natural covering called saponin (a bitter resin that keeps birds away) and does not need to be treated for cultivation. It is why we must rinse it before cooking.  Quinoa contains 15% protein and 70% carbohydrates. It is considered a complete source of protein because it includes all 9 essential amino acids. It is gluten-free and also contains vital minerals, such as magnesium, iron, copper and phosphorus.  Nasa provided quinoa to its astronauts in space trips due to its exceptional nutritional contents.
Tabouli or Taboulé (in French) or originally Tabouleh, is a delicious savory salad made from a variety of ingredients that primarily include lots of parsley, bulgur or couscous, mint, spring onions, and tomatoes. It also includes olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper. A traditionally Arabic salad, it has become very popular worldwide.  Chefs around the world create their own version that can be also sweet for a very summery dessert.  Here I replaced the couscous by quinoa but any other grain can be used.
Cantaloupe derives its name from the town of Cantalupo, Italy, where cantaloupe seeds arrived from Armenia and were planted in the Papal Gardens in the 16th century. It has been growing in the Nile Valley in Egypt since ancient times.  The US cantaloupe is frequently called muskmelon.  However muskmelon is a family of melon that includes the cantaloupe, honeydew, and casaba melon. Cantaloupe is a member of a vine-crop family which includes others melons, squash, cucumbers, pumpkins and gourds. Today, they are produced in California, Arizona, and Texas and are available throughout the year but the peak season is the summer. When choosing a cantaloupe use your nose – pick the cantaloupe that has a sweet smell because it does not ripen after being picked, so it will not sweeten any further.

Final Tritons Swim Meet Wrap Up!

Thanks for a great 2014-2015 Triton Swim Team season and a fantastic final swim meet!

Last week we saw swimmers post 90 Best Times (out of a total 103 swims!), 12 swimmers drop 10 seconds or more off a previous best time, and 4 new team records!

Our “Ten off the Top” swimmers this meet were:deanswim
Aiden C. – 12 second drop – 50 Free
Aiden C. – 18 second drop – 50 Back
Aryan S. – 11 second drop – 50 Free
Charlie K. – 25 second drop – 50 Back
Gabi T. – 17 second drop – 50 Back
Grace P. – 19 second drop – 50 Breast
Jasmin J.-H. – 10 second drop – 100 Free
Lilli T. – 10 second drop – 50 Free
Maia B. – 18 second drop – 50 Back
Maia B. – 18 second drop – 50 Fly
Olivia C. – 14 second drop – 50 Fly
Shozo T. – 22 second drop – 50 Breast
Stella K. – 10 second drop – 50 Free
Zoe J. – 10 second drop – 50 Free

And our new team record holders are:
Jake Henschel – 50 Freestyle
Jake Henschel – 50 Backstroke
Tommy Creighton – 50 Freestyle
Tristan Kunzle – 50 Breast

We will look forward to seeing everyone at practice through June 18th (swimmers will also be receiving their Best Times certificates at practice), and at our End-of-the-Year Party on Friday, June 19th!

Congratulations, everyone! We’re so proud of all of our Tritons swimmers!

Very Best,
Tritons Coaches

Click here for a complete list of times and results: Tritons Team Records Final Spring 2015

This Weekend at the Center — Swimming and Songs

Congratulations to all the participants at this past weekends dance and art show! In case you missed it, Manhattan Youth held a dance show, directed by Susan Kay, at MS289 on Saturday, celebrating amazing artwork! After the show, we invited families and participants to view students’ artwork in the Great Hall of the Downtown Community Center! Thank you to everyone who helped and stopped by.

Booster Swim Lessons begin next week!
Our popular Booster swim lessons are a great way to jump-start swimming for the Summer! Through these week-long sessions swimmers swim for an hour each day, consisting of a structured swim lesson followed by supervised water exploration, free swim, and pool games led by our instructors. Click here for registration information, or email swim@manhattanyouth.orgSessions are offered throughout June, but space is filling quickly so reserve your child’s spot today!

Join Manhattan Youth in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson!
The nation’s top water safety organizations are coming together to present The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson on Thursday, June 18, 2015. WLSL was created to build awareness about the importance of teaching the life skill of swimming. Manhattan Youth has been involved in The World’s Largest Swimming Lesson for the past 3 years! In 2014, 36,564 swimmers from 22 countries broke the Guinness World Record. On June 18th, pools around the world will host local WLSL lessons at 10 a.m. in an attempt to again break the record. Let’s break it again this year! This event is FREE for DCC Members but registration is required.
Contact for more information, or stop by the Front Desk to sign up.

Songs for Seeds!
Registration is now open for Songs for Seeds summer session.
Songs for Seeds is a rockin’ music program that encourages children newborn to 5 years to sing, dance and play along with a live, three-piece band. Kids rock out with children’s instruments, as well as real drums, guitars, keyboards and instruments from around the world.
To register, contact Lisa at

For more info on events and classes, check out our Spring Schedule!
For pics and updates, follow us on Instagram: @manhattanyouth

Here’s the full weekend schedule:

Tasty Tuesday — Ratatouille or Vegetable Stew

No, Ratatouille is not only the name of Remy’s rat in the Disney movie. It is a summer vegetable stew from the Occitan cuisine, in Provence, a Mediterranean area. It was probably invented in the 18th century. There is no rule as to eat it cold with a slice of baguette during a Sunday picnic or hot as a side dish with roast chicken or fish. The important thing is to let it simmer until all the vegetables melt together, the longer, the better. Enjoy!

Recipe by Isabelle LapinRatatouille2

Preparation: 25 min
Cooking: 55 min
Makes 8 adult portions


12.25oz. (350g.) eggplant cubed 1” pieces
12.25 oz. (350g.) zucchini cubed 1” pieces
12.25 oz. (350g.) peppers (red and green)
12.25 oz. (350g.) onion diced 1” pieces
17.5 oz. (500g.) ripped tomatoes
3 garlic cloves minced
6 Tbsp. olive oil
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper

Peel and cut the tomatoes, the eggplants and the zucchinis. Dice the onions. In a large pot heat 2 Tbsp. of olive oil, fry the onions and the pepper until tender. Add the tomatoes, the minced garlic, the thyme and bay leaf. Season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, sauté the eggplant and zucchini in a pan with olive oil for 15 minutes. Taste the vegetables, they must be very tender. Add the eggplant and zucchini into the pot with the pepper mixture and cook 10 minutes more. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.

Tips and Info:
I advise to simmer the stew as long as possible. The stew will be even better the next day.
The word ratatouille comes from the Occitan ratatolha and the recipe comes from Occitan cuisine. It originated in Provence. In 1778, the word ratatouille designated a rough stew; it is only I the twentieth century that the word takes the meaning we know today.
“The secret of a good ratatouille is to cook the vegetables separately so each will taste truly of itself.” Joël Robuchon (a very famous French chef). But you can simply cook all the vegetables together for a longer time.
Eggplants originate from India. It came to Europe in the 16th century, period in which this decorative plant is considered poisonous. Tomato came from Mexico and was brought to Europe in the 16th century. Its size was one of the cherry tomato we know now. It came to Paris under the Revolution with volunteers from Marseille.
Zucchinis are also from America. They are squashes picked up before they are ripe. They were called zucchinis in 1929.
Sweet peppers also originated from America. They were an integral part of the Indian American diet with corn, beans and squash. If we take off from the ratatouille the Indian eggplant and the American squash, tomato and pepper, onions, garlic and olives are the only vegetables left. Olives were brought to Provence from Asia via Greece in the 6th century. So only garlic and onions are from Europe and this recipe was probably invented only in the 18th century.
Bay leaves or Laurel were use in Ancient Greece and Rome as wreaths to crown their victors. Champions of the Olympic games wore garlands of bay leaves. Our word “baccalaureate” means, “laurel berries” and signifies the successful completion of one’s studies.