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Help Yourself

  • Groom Your Own Dog

  • Unleashed Spa

    218 Ave. B, nr. 13th St.; 212-533-9300

    Unleashed’s self-serve stations are the closest urbanites can get to a summer-afternoon-in-the-driveway doggie scrub-down. Your $19.99 buys access to pet shampoos, scrubbers, brushes, towels, a professional dryer, and a ramp-equipped stainless-steel tub. The setup accommodates even the most unwieldy of pets: The largest dog competing at Westminster this year, a 185-pound Newfoundland, came in for a preshow bath.

  • Make Your Own Wine

  • Brooklyn Winery

    213 N. 8th St., nr. Driggs Ave., Williamsburg; 347-763-1506

    Under the guidance of winemaker Connor McCormack, you can try everything from crushing grapes to designing a label. The Brooklyn Winery reserves a limited number of barrels each season—twenty this spring—for individuals or groups of up to ten. You choose the grapes (this spring, they’re from Chile; in the fall, they’ll be from California and New York), de-stem them, add yeast, barrel the mix, then taste-test over eight to twelve months of aging ($5,700 for classes plus 288 bottles).

  • Publish Your Own Book

  • McNally Jackson

    52 Prince St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-274-1160

    Soho’s premier indie bookstore invested in an Espresso Book Machine earlier this year, a big printer that turns your PDF—whether from a flash drive, an e-mail, or a file-sharing program—into a book, at 120 pages a minute. After collating, binding, and trimming, it spits out a neat, perfect-bound paperback ($6 per book plus 2 cents a page; bulk deals available). If you’re the hopeful author, you can sell your book directly to the public in McNally’s new consignment section.

  • Mix Your Own Perfume

  • MCMC Fragrances

    By appointment;

    Anne McClain of MCMC Fragrances has branched out, conducting private perfume tutorials from her Greenpoint studio. Over the three-hour session, the former Le Labo instructor teaches one or two participants how to mix and sniff 75 ingredients—including essential oils and absolutes—and helps them concoct their own fragrances. The $250 fee includes all materials and your 50-milliliter bottle of bespoke scent.

  • Print Your Own Wallpaper

  • Gowanus Print Lab

    54 Second Ave., nr. 7th St., Gowanus; 718-788-3930

    Come out to Gowanus for this two-night class, and you can immediately swathe your walls in your very own designs. The first night offers an introduction to printing in repeat patterns and multiple colors; on the second, you get help putting your own designs on 30-foot rolls of wallpaper. The $250 fee includes all materials and twelve hours of additional open studio time, where you can perfect your technique—or do the rest of your apartment (March 17 and 24, 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.).

From the 2011 Best of New York issue of New York Magazine

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Other Best Of Guides

So what exactly does “best” mean in a city with thousands of pizza joints, hundreds of celebrity masseuses, and museum-worthy concept shops on every corner? Well, in the case of this, our annual “Best of New York” roundup, there’s a heavy emphasis on what’s new or what has somehow remained virtually unheard of (until now, of course).