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Where To Live Now: Buildings, Neighborhoods And Home Trends MARCH


March 2011 Established 1986

Spotlight On



Katie Brown in her workshop with daughters Prentiss and Meredith.


Domestic Bliss Lifestyle Guru KATIE BROWN On The Joys Of Making A Home And Being A Mom


Royal Caribbean International

Known to pack every conceivable family need and desire into its amazing cruises. • From ice-skating to rock climbing in the middle of the ocean, a world of adventures and interactive activities for all family members. • Onboard spa, wine bar and private balconies to spend romantic moments • Shore excursions take you to the most exciting on-foot destinations in the world


Boothbay Harbor, ME Hilton Head, SC • Lake Fo Affiliates: Orang

Adventures by Disney

Offering the magic of Disney in a whole new form… • Disney Adventure guides are included in every tour, giving you and your family a chance to learn about the historic and cultural facts of the destination by way of this storyteller, concierge and guide personnel. • Junior Adventurers will not only see some of the world’s most famous places, they’ll step into the pages of history, meet legendary figures and live timeless stories through unique activities designed for them. • Disney Adventures boast a highly environmental approach to exploring your destination of choice, offering trip-planning details that make your trip entirely climate friendly, provided by Sustainable Travel International services

Club Med

Exceeding your expectations. Club Med is everything you expect from an all-inclusive, and so much more. And now you can enjoy the unsurpassed luxury, privacy and exclusive services of our 5 Trident spaces in Cancun Yucatan, Mexico and Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. Club Med vacation packages include: • Accommodations with a variety of categories to personalize your stay • Expert lessons and top-of-the-line sports equipment • Gourmet dining options throughout the day and premium alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks • Award-winning Children’s Clubs for ages 4 and up

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Savvy travelers have been turning to Valerie Wilson Travel 475 Park Avenue South for nearly three decades because we believe like New York, New York 10016-6901 fingerprints no two travelers are alike . . . 800-776-1116 • 212-532-3400

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Travel Fest

Special Invitation: Family Fun Day & Travelfest Expo

Family travel guru Kimberly Wilson Wetty has been contributing her expert destination tips to Family Life pages for several months. Now we’re teaming up with Family Life to throw an amazing Family Party & Travelfest Expo, featuring three of the most family-friendly travel excursions in the world in conjunction with Valerie Wilson Travel: with this well-regarded travel management consulting firm, which will be on hand to help inspire you with ideas about family travel for spring, summer or anytime.

Sunday April 10, 2011 9:30am to 12:30pm The Sports Club/LA 330 East 61st Street (between First and Second Avenue) RSVP at

Warmly Congratulates

lisa lippman on a stellar 2010 Most Cooperatives and Condominiums Sold West Side Broker of the Year Largest New Development Deal of the Year West Side Listing Broker of the Year

lisa lippman, Senior Vice President and Director, has over 13 years of experience selling real estate. Lisa specializes in the sale of high end cooperatives, condominiums and townhomes throughout Manhattan. As is clear from her record, even in tough times, Lisa excels at both selling and finding homes for her clients.

535 West End Avenue

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Prior to becoming a real estate broker, Lisa spent several years as a lawyer practicing litigation at two prestigious law firms. She graduated from The University of Pennsylvania in 1986 and earned her law degree from Cardozo in 1990. Lisa’s legal background affords her a keen understanding of the negotiation process as well as the complexities needed to complete the deal.

31 East 79th Street

245 W 99th Street

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

Located on the 16th floor of the famed elegant 535 West End Avenue, this true six bedroom, six and one-half bathroom home is one of only two apartments in the building with private outdoor space. The special space boasts approximately 6,637 square feet of internal space in addition to an approximately 1,814 square foot wrap terrace with fabulous light and air all around. $19,900,000. WEB# 1175789. The complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from Sponsor. File No. CD 07-0536.

The most fabulous penthouse to appear on the market for years! Approximately 4,700 square feet of gracious and bright living space with a private approximately 1,700 square foot terrace rooftop accessed from the apartment! The living space is over 70’ long, with partial river views, gas fireplace and over 10’ ceilings. 235 West 71st Street is a prewar condo with gym. $9,980,000. WEB# 902430. Complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from the sponsor. File no. CD# 06-0232.

This home offers a wonderful blend of grand entertaining space and living space, with the dramatic 40’ living and dining room and library for formality, the inviting eat in kitchen/ den for informal socializing and the separate bedroom wing with five well sized bedrooms. $9,900,000. WEB# 1161219. The complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from Sponsor. File No. CD 07-0536.

This spectacular maisonette boasts over 3,600 square feet of interior living space over two floors, an approximately 1,200 square foot garden, and five bedrooms/four and one-half baths. Full service prewar condominium with gym and storage $5,495,000. WEB# 1117800. Complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from the sponsor. File no. CD# 06-0232.

Grand and spacious apartment in the famed Apple Bank Building. Soaring 11 foot ceilings and huge windows adorn this approximate 3,000 square foot apartment. The enormous living room/dining room is as ideal for entertaining as it is for home life. The custom chef ’s kitchen has a large eat-in area, 36 inch Sub-Zero, 6 burner Viking stove as well as copious counter and storage space. Three large bedrooms each have a bath en suite and a powder room services guests. Central A/C, a laundry room and a large office/den complete this condominium. $5,799,000. WEB# 1180994

Triple mint, tranquil and bright... the ultimate prewar condo home! Brand new on the market and just renovated, this fabulous apartment has a great layout. A windowed chef ’s kitchen with high end appliances opens to the living room and dining room. Three very spacious bedrooms and a smaller bedroom/office are serviced by three full bathrooms, done in gorgeous natural stone. The master bath is adorned with double vanity, deep soaking tub and large shower and huge walk-in/office. $2,700,000. WEB# 1195729. Complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from the sponsor. File no. CD00-0065.

For a complete view of all of Lisa’s listings, please visit:

We are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.

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Great Camp Values...

• $25 Gift Card For every Camp purchase over $500 *Cloz Uniforms & Products and other exclusions apply. $500 must be spent in one day. Gift card valid after April 10, 2011.

• First-time Campers: Get a Free $50 Camp Goodie Bag With Your $750 Camp purchase

Must show proof that you are a first time camper.

• Free Camp Gift + Free name taping on Your Camp purchase over $200

*Cloz Uniforms & Products and other exclusions apply.Valid Feb 20 - April 10, 2011

• Hottest Camp Fashions + essentials,

including Footwear We have everything you need from all

your favorite brands including authentic, camp tested, Cloz essentials!

• personal Service at Your Favorite Store these offers are valid thru april 10

We’re always here to serve you in our friendly environment, with a camp professional that knows your kids, and where you and your kids love to shop!

• Cloz Camp Uniforms + Gear!

Cannot combine with other offers. Excludes Cloz Uniforms & Products.

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Call for an appointment 7 Days a Week manhattan 212.734.9292 1534 2nd Avenue @ 80th Street

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The finest Manhattan rentals in the neighborhood of your choice. Near the Best NYC Public Schools • Unparalleled Service • Fitness Center • Children’s Playroom & Swimming Pool • 24-Hour Doorman • Magnificent Lobbies • Landscaped Gardens • Exciting City Views • Spacious Layouts • Building-Wide Water Filtration Systems • On-Site Parking Garage UPPER EAST SIDE

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One 1.5 hour session per week for ten weeks. Offered April through June. REGISTRATION FOR SUMMER CAMP BEGINS MAY 1 We are now on:

Learn Spanish in a Multicultural Environment 211 East 49th Street • New York , NY 10017 Tel.: 212 308 7720 • Fax: 212 308 7721

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ASPHALT GREEN SUMMER DAY CAMP June 29 – August 19, 2011

FUN FITNESS AND FRIENDSHIP! Pee Wee Camp | Ages 4-6 Junior Camp | Ages 6-8 Senior Camp | Ages 8-13

Sports • Swimming • Arts & Crafts • Music • Day Trips • Senior Camp Overnight Trips • Bus Service Available

Register online at ASPHALTGREEN.ORG/CAMP 555 East 90th Street • 212.369.8890 ext. 2084

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March 2011

SWEET AND SIMPLE Whether at work or at home, domestic diva and mom of two Katie Brown prefers life comfortable and casual—with a side of Midwestern enthusiasm


REAL ESTATE AND HOME DESIGN GUIDE REight NYC families share what they love about their neighborhoods (page 54) RThe latest family-friendly buildings on the market combine suburban amenities with the charm of the city (page 58) RExperts talk about the latest trends in family real estate and city living (page 68) RTips for designing a shared kids’ room (page 70)


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two impassioned NYC moms, the national Down syndrome education and awareness center GiGi’s Playhouse is coming to New York City (page 72) RAn excerpt from a new memoir recounting a year in the life of a mother and son, both living with attention deficit disorder (page 74) RFrom recognizing early signs of developmental delays to deciding between public and private institutions, author and educator Laurie Dubos offers advice for navigating the landscape of special needs education in New York City (page 76) RWhat to expect at this year’s Young Child Expo (page 78); plus, a list of resources for city parents of children with special needs (79)


News from New York Family, including our brand new baby blog, contests and giveaways and great events for families this month


From swimmers to softball players, young athletes tell us what they love about their favorite warm-weather sports



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Raising small kids in New York City was not supposed to be part of the plan for this mom—but it may have been the best move of her life




With their classic designs and clean lines, this spring’s children’s fashions celebrate simplicity


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Embrace your mistakes


Complimenting its affordable photography services with a quirky mix of crafting, scrapbooking and birthday parties, Portrait Bug is an underthe-radar gem for families




Armed with research-based methods, NYC’s Dream Team is helping little ones—and their weary parents—get a good night’s rest


Kids learn a lot from your job, and especially from the way you handle it


A former J.P. Morgan wealth manager’s tell-all guide for women on investing and financial empowerment


Birthday fun with New York Kids Club, American Girl Place, Dashing Divas and Iggy’s Karaoke


Whether you’re looking for fun in the sun or a final trip down the snowy slopes, a few inspired destinations for spring family travel; plus, all about our April family travel expo



From teaching nutrition to making fitness fun, how camp encourages healthy habits


Bilingual Buds—Manhattan’s only Mandarin immersion preschool—is fostering the next generation of global citizens


Inspired eco-friendly placemats; an interactive library app that lets kids read and learn on the go; a website that simplifies family dining; and more great ideas for March

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Our monthly round-up of family fun in the city


February’s best exhibits and performances for families

THE COVER: Television host and cooking and home design guru Katie Brown with daughters Prentiss, 6, and Meredith, 2. Prentiss and Meredith wear Ralph Lauren Childrenswear; Katie wears her own clothes. Hair and makeup by Richard Cooley. Photographed by Michael Jurick ( Shot on location at Katie Brown Workshop in Red Hook, Brooklyn.


New York Family | March 2011

Free Demonstration Classes! EDITOR AND CO-PUBLISHER Eric Messinger emessinger @ ART DIRECTOR Mitchell Hoffman mhoffman @ DEPUTY EDITOR Katie Main kmain STYLE DIRECTOR Joy Sherwood jsherwood @ DEPUTY ART DIRECTOR Jessica Balaschak jbalaschak@ PRODUCTION MANAGER Mark Stinson mstinson @ DEPUTY PRODUCTION MANAGER Heather Mulcahey hmulcahey @ PHOTO EDITOR Andrew Schwartz aschwartz@ SENIOR EDITOR Darcy Newell CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS Daniel S. Burnstein, Suzanne Cohen, Heidi Green, Thaddeus Harden, Michael Jurick Jennifer Lee, Josh Lehrer, Sarah Merians CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Janet Allon, Leah Black, Cristina Dimen, Tiffanie Green, Alessandra Hickson, Rachael Horowitz, Angela Johnson, Davita Louie, Brianna McClane, Celene McDermott, Molly O’Meara Sheehan, Chandni Rathod, Jessica Shyba, Ivy Tan GROUP PUBLISHER Alex Schweitzer 212-284-9735, aschweitzer @ PUBLISHER John Hurley 212-268-3086, jhurley @ ASSOCIATE PUBLISHER Mary Ann Oklesson maoklesson @ SENIOR ACCOUNT MANAGER Gina Waldman gwaldman @


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ASSISTANT to the PUBLISHER Marissa Broxmeyer mbroxmeyer @ CIRCULATION Joe Bendik jbendik@ ADVERTISING COORDINATOR Jennie Valenti jvalenti @ BUSINESS MANAGER Shawn Scott ACCOUNTS MANAGER Kathy Pollyea kpollyea @ Manhattan Media PRESIDENT/CEO Tom Allon tallon @



Harry’s Shoes For Kids 2315 Broadway (between 83rd and 84th St.), New York, NY

WEB PRODUCTION DIRECTOR Lesley Seigel lseigel @ EVENTS MANAGER Stephanie Musso smusso @

Tip Top Kids 149 W 72nd St., New York, NY Orva Shoes 155 E 86th St., New York, NY Paragon Sports 867 Broadway (at 18th St.), New York, NY Lester’s of New York 1534 2nd Ave. (at 80th St.), New York, NY LET’S GET OUTSIDE

New York Family is a division of Manhattan Media, publishers of AVENUE magazine, Our Town, West Side Spirit, New York Press, Mitzvah Magazine, The Capitol, City Hall, City Arts, Chelsea Clinton News, The Westsider and The Blackboard Awards. © 2011 Manhattan Media, LLC | 79 Madison Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10016 | t: 212.268.8600 | f: 212.268.0577


New York Family | March 2011

ng oor kids usi rmance fo r active outd er fo p r lt ea u w ad ot g We build fo ars designin designs are om 25+ ye oe fr s sh le s’ p d ci prin Land ki kids’ ur Leap ‘n’ ile—fitting footwear. O and versat , le et. fe ab r rt ei fo th m protecting secure, co after time. tyles while e es tim lif , d ily ze p gi ener nd hap leap and la Watch them


Where To Live Now: Buildings, Neighborhoods And Home Trends


NOTE March 2011 Established 1986

Embrace Your Mistakes


’m a little smitten with our cover subject this month. Perhaps it’s because she didn’t seem to mind when I ungraciously passed on the buffet her team had set up at our cover shoot in her workshop in Red Hook so I could instead make a pilgrimage to Defonte’s Sandwich Shop—home to the greatest roast beef hero in history. “I’m a foodie, I can respect that,” she smiled. “How is it?” Perhaps it’s because she wasn’t at all defensive when, after meeting her for all of two minutes, I ungraciously wondered how she could abandon Brooklyn for Burbville, Connecticut, after so many good years here. Instead, she laid out a dilemma any true spouse or partner could relate to: she really didn’t want to go—she loves it here— but her husband works in the middle of Connecticut and the commute back to Brooklyn was pulverizing him. It


New York Family | March 2011

I’m going to recommend, BILINGUAL in addition to had become too much. the interview These common moments with Katie, don’t really add up to all that the stories on much I guess, but my sense is GiGi’s Playthey are typical of time spent house (page with Katie Brown whether in Lifestyle Guru KATIE BROWN On The 73), bilingual Joys Of Making A Home And Being A Mom person or as one of her loyal education viewers or readers. Katie en(page 38), sleep saviors (page 30), dechants everyone because she’s discernsign tips for a shared kids room (page ing and enthusiastic, a fun soul with 70), and spring fashions (page 26). lots of good ideas to share about food, I’d also like to offer an appreciahome living, gardening and as you’ll tive embrace to our art director, Mitch see in our interview, about motherHoffman, with whom I’ve worked from hood. I hope you enjoy her company our first issue five years ago to this as much as I did, and I thank her for one—his last, as he departs for a new going on this adventure with us. life as an IT guy. Our readers were well One of Katie’s mantras is embrace served by Mitch’s creativity and comyour mistakes, which she commonly mitment to excellence, and I am one of applies to crafty and design-y projects many who loved working with him. but to daily living as well. I’m all for it, but sometimes (and I’m sure she’d A Happy March To All, agree) it’s okay to embrace what you ERIC MESSINGER think you got right, and in this issue Spotlight On


Katie Brown in her workshop with daughters Prentiss and Meredith.

Domestic Bliss

Inspiring Learning, Exceeding Expectations.

At World Class Learning Academy, emphasis on learning and celebration of student success is the foundation of our highly personalized, rigorous curriculum. With a truly diverse community and educators who have international expertise on five different continents, each student’s international experience is significant and authentic. As a result of the high standards we set and the methods we use, our children perform well beyond expectations for their age, learning to read and discovering foreign languages by the age of 3. Visit us today to learn more. 44 East 2nd Street • New York, New York 10003 • 212.600.2010 •

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Welcome to the Family Prizes




A Feast of Family Travel! No one knows how to throw a better party for families than the travel companies, resorts, and cruises who cater to them, which is why we’re really excited to be the media sponsor for a fun, free Family Party & Travel Fest featuring Disney Adventures, Club Med, Royal Caribbean International and Valerie Wilson Travel on Sunday, April 10th at The Sports Club/LA. See page 80 for more details, or visit newyorkfamily. com to register for the event.

Family travel expert Kimberly Wilson Wetty.

Camp Fair Fun Whether you’re looking for the right sleepaway camp, local day camp, or specialty camp for your child, our camp fairs, co-sponsored by the American Camp Association, offer parents and children (from ages 3 to 17) the opportunity to meet over 60 camps and camp directors! The camp fairs are a great way to prepare for summer and find the right match for your child. This month, we will be hosting four camp fairs around the city; on March 5th on the Upper East Side; on March 6th on the Upper West Side; on March 12th in Downtown Manhattan; and on March 13th in Park Slope. Visit for more information and to register for these free events; plus, registering ensures that you will be entered in our grand prize raffle—a family vacation!




Meet Our Latest Addition You know how you become pregnant and everything changes? And then you have a child and everything changes again? And then your child becomes a toddler, and lo and behold, everything changes one more time? To join you on this incredible journey of joys and challenges, we’re introducing a very special blog for new and expectant parents called Born and Bred! Edited by Leah Black, our former executive editor who is now raising a little boy of her own, the blog will offer a daily dose of news, tips, resources, shopping finds and musings on everything baby and toddler. Leah will be joined by an incredible group of parenting experts and parent bloggers—and we’re likely to have great giveaways for new parents almost every week. You can sign on to follow Born and Bred at

New York Family is now on Facebook! Check in throughout the day for great family events, special giveaways, news items, and more tips on family life in the city.


New York Family | March 2011

Win Tickets To The Hit Family Musical ‘Freckleface Strawberry’ Inspired by the children’s book written by actress and New York City mom Julianne Moore, “Freckleface Strawberry: The Musical,” tells the heart-warming tale of a young, freckle-covered girl who goes to great lengths to cover her freckles and feel like everyone else. With big messages about loving yourself and embracing what makes you unique, it’s a wonderful performance to share with kids of all ages. We’re giving away two family four packs to see the show to two reader families. To win, write to us at newyorkfamily@manhattanmedia. com, putting “Freckleface Strawberry” in the subject line. Please include your contact information. Deadline: Monday, March 25.

Win A Super Scooter With spring (and snow-free sidewalks) just around the corner, kids will love to scoot around town with the new Shox Scooter from Shred Sled. Featuring innovative shock absorbent technology, an adjustable height bar and a back wheel break, the scooter is made of lightweight aluminum, making it easy to tote around town—and fold up when your child is done for the day. We’re giving away one scooter to one lucky reader family. To win, write to us at newyorkfamily@, putting “Shox Scooter” in the subject line. Please include your contact information. Deadline is Monday, March 25.

Š2011 California Closet Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Franchises independently owned and operated. Offer valid through December 31, 2011 at participating locations only. See showroom for details.




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Custom storage solutions for every area of your home. Schedule a complimentary consultation today. Upper East Side Manhattan Tribeca Manhattan (646) 486-3905 |






If you’re looking for an easy activity to pack for your kids for your next dinner out—or you’d just like to keep them occupied at the kitchen table—let your little ones channel their inner Da Vinci with the cool placemats from 9SpotMonk, a great, eco-friendly company that offers everything from elegant stationary to colorful coasters to inspired gift wrapping. The placemats come in four unique styles (space travel, sushi, dress up and the ABC’s) and are made of 100 % recycled materials. Your kids will have so much fun coloring, you may even get to order dessert! Each set comes with 24 placemats and three non-toxic crayons for $14. For more information, visit


Whether you’re on the way to school, on public transportation or at your computer at home, any time can be story time with MeeGenius, a colorful reading application that works with the iPhone, iPad and online. Created by parents and friends Wanda Yeah Hoh and David Park, MeeGenius provides families with a virtual library of new and classic children’s stories enhanced with cool, interactive features. Kids can name the characters, turn pages, listen to a narrator and follow along with highlighted words, making story time more enjoyable no matter where they are. For more information, visit


Finding a restaurant that suits your family’s needs—and your children’s taste buds—can be a daunting task, which is why we love, a wonderful website that provides children’s menus from hundreds of New York City restaurants. Created by Carla Sullivan, an NYC mother of two and contributor to our family food blog Yummy Delicious, allows parents to find restaurants by price point, cuisine or neighborhood, and even has a search function to find eateries near popular NYC destinations like the High Line and Lincoln Center. Finally, also offers other useful information like whether an eatery offers changing tables, booster seats or a stroller-friendly entrance.





Today’s kids may not know of a time before e-mail, but they can still enjoy mailing cards and letters the old-fashioned way with the Let’s Play Mail Mailbox Play Set. The adorable set, which is suitable for children ages 3 and up, lets kids create their own notes with the reusable wool and Velcro materials, and also includes a mailbag, postcards, stamps, address labels and envelopes. There’s even a felt mailbox with a movable flag to let kids know when something special is inside. The set is available for $50 at

Wish there was an easy mathematical solution to all of your marital problems? In their witty and thought-provoking new book, “Spousonomics: Using Economics To Master Love, Marriage And Dirty Dishes,” journalists Paula Szuchman and Jenny Anderson suggest that economics are the key to a happy marriage, and offer strategies to help couples fight less and enjoy their relationships more. The authors, who are both NYC mothers, posit that every marriage is a “business of two” and suggest economicbased strategies like supply and demand, incentives and division of labor to solve common domestic problems. Garnering critical acclaim, “Spousonomics” will make you laugh and just might change how you think about your marriage. For more information, visit

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New York Family | March 2011

For more tips and ideas visit




3 Amanda Caress celebrated her 8th birthday at the American Girl Cafe with a doll hair and ear piercing party. 1. Amanda and her guests take a

break from their fun-filled day to smile for the camera. 2. The birthday girl holds on tight to her pretty doll. 3. Amanda poses with her parents, twin brother Ryan, and her pink polka dotted birthday cake! Photos by Andrew Schwartz





Samantha Pohly celebrated her 10th birthday in style with a spa day of beauty at Dashing Divas followed by karaoke at Iggy’s New York Bar and Grill. 1. Samantha makes a wish on the candles that

bedeck her Glee-themed cake. 2. Mother and daughters show off their rock star sensibilities during karaoke. 3. Friends and music combine for a special birthday celebration. 4. The birthday girl enjoys a fruity drink and getting pampered. Photos by Heidi Green (



Harry and Rose Green celebrated their 2nd birthday with an Elmopalooza-themed bash at New York Kids Club. 1. The twins enjoy some spe-

cial mommy love on their birthday. 2. Harry chows down on his birthday cake. 3. All of Sesame Street makes an appearance on a very special birthday cake. 4. Brother and sister wear their Elmo party hats proudly at the head of the table. Heidi Green Photography (



New York Family | March 2011

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Throw The Best Sports Birthday Party Ever! When planning a birthday party, the most important thing

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to consider is fun. Chelsea Piers offers a variety of exciting activities for kids of all ages. Planning is a breeze with our expert party planners and all-inclusive packages.

The Field House • 212.336.6518 Soccer | Gymnastics | Rock Climbing Ultimate Challenge | Glamour/Dance

Sky Rink • 212.336.6100 • Ice Skating The Golf Club • 212.336.6400 • Golf 300 New York • 212.835.2695 • Bowling

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23rd Street & Hudson River Park ADULT BIRTHDAY PARTIES ALSO AVAILABLE! Please call 212.336.6777 for more information.






New York Family | March 2011

Portrait Bug co-owners Kim Brooks and Bob Goldenberg (who are also father and daughter) pose with Brooks’ daughter Asher at the studio.



By Complimenting Its Affordable Photography Services With A Quirky Mix Of Crafting, Scrapbooking And Birthday Parties, Portrait Bug Is An Under-The-Radar Gem For Families—At Least, For Now! When the time is right to snap some photos, parents can rest assured that they won’t go home with overly posed pictures, as Portrait Bug doesn’t use school-picture-day backdrops, and photographers never ask children to “say cheese.” “We don’t care if your kid is in the pose. We care if they’re giving us an expression that looks like them,” says Brooks. Shortly after the session is complete, parents can view their photos as a slideshow and make their selections. Portrait packages start at $99.99, but the studio also offers deals for family portraits, headshots, social networking and corporate photos. And yet, part of what makes Portrait Bug so special is what happens after the photos have been taken. Knowing that many families take a large number of pictures only to store them on their computers, Brooks wanted to offer her clients a creative way to display their memories, and thus added a scrapbooking component to

the shop. Portrait Bug photographers are all trained in scrapbooking, and a few teach the shop’s adult scrapbooking classes. Collage and card-making classes are available, and parents can sign up for craft-making sessions with a private tutor. Portait Bug also offers in-store birthday parties where kids can dress up for funky photo shoots and partake in themed craft projects; at-home crafting parties; and bridal and baby showers. And even though Portrait Bug is still relatively new to the city, the father-daughter duo is confident that it will be a permanent fixture in the New York community. “We’re really starting to hit our stride, because we give families something they’ll cherish for years to come,” says Brooks. “Good photography is something that stays with you forever.” Portrait Bug, 2466 Broadway, 212-600-4457,

Andrew Schwartz

t’s a Tuesday afternoon on the Upper West Side, and Kimberly Brooks, co-owner of Portrait Bug: Snap n’ Scrap studio, is squealing to a young client, who guffaws with delight as one of the photographers clicks away. Brooks, who founded the portrait studio, scrapbook store and party room in November 2008, has developed a knack for giving kids the giggles—and making them feel comfortable in front of the camera. It all began after the birth of her daughter Asher, now 4. Brooks found herself driving to a mall in Paramus, New Jersey, to find a children’s photography studio within her budget. “I thought, ‘Why is it that everybody in the suburbs has access to affordable pictures, but at city studios I have to pay $300 before I even know what I get?’” says Brooks. And so Portrait Bug, an affordable, boutique photography studio, opened just over two years ago, and has been winning over families ever since. Upon entering the studio, the first thing children will notice is the wooden floor, which is designed to look like a giant puzzle. The brightly colored walls are decorated with photos of grinning patrons and craft projects, and a chandelier hangs from the ceiling, imbuing the space with a cozy vibe. The shop is also a family affair; Brooks co-owns the studio with her father Bob Goldenberg, her mother helps organize birthday parties, her husband wires all the equipment and four-yearold Asher, the store’s mascot, is often on hand to evoke a few extra smiles. One thing that keeps the experience at Portrait Bug affordable and stress-free is that the studio doesn’t charge sitting fees. “Kids are so sensitive to different environments,” says Goldenberg. “If you bring your baby and she isn’t feeling it, just bring her back the next day.”




Dhoni, Jake and Parker all wear spring ensembles from Sierra Julian.


With Their Classic Designs And Clean Lines, This Spring’s Children’s Fashions Celebrate Simplicity

Charming Dhoni models a dress by Milly.



Parker wears a dress by Little London; shoes by Naturino. SweeTarts carrot by Wonka. PHOTOGRAPHY BY


Michael Jurick | Shot on location at the Azure |

New York Family | February 2011


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Dhoni’s sleeveless top and capri pants by Burberry. Jake’s red tee, oxford shirt and shorts by Tooby Doo. Parker’s sleeveless mod dot dress by Tooby Doo.

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like fats in that a little can go a long way, but not everyone can stomach the volatility.




Andrew Schwartz

n her new book, “Does This Make My Assets Look Fat?: A Woman’s Guide To Finding Financial Empowerment And Success,” former J.P. Morgan financial adviser Susan Hirshman compares wealth management to something women tend to be familiar with: dieting. After all, healthy eating and healthy money management share a lot in common; both require planning and discipline, and both produce results when done right. Here, Hirshman talks about the impetus for the book, how to discern between healthy choices and financial “junk food,” and her most crucial piece of advice for first-time investors.

What would you say to someone who feels completely overwhelmed by the thought of investing? I hear you, I get it, you’re not alone! The number one reason people feel overwhelmed about investing is, where are we supposed to learn this? We don’t learn any financial advice in school. But there are resources out there to help you. It’s not going to take you hours to educate yourself and you’re not going to have to do it alone. For savvier investors, my best advice is to understand your goals. Think of it as what are your “must-haves,” your “nice-to-haves” and your “aspirational” goals? Food and shelter are must-haves. Nice-to-haves are any extras, and aspirational goals are your big dreams.

Her Financial Fitness

Why did you decide to write a financial guide for women? What financial issues do women in particular tend to face? Women tend not to be the breadwinners as they have oftentimes been out of the workforce to raise a family, and culturally it hasn’t been the norm for women to be involved in financial planning. Women are also living a lot longer than men; that combined with higher divorce rates means many women are forced to take a look at their financial situations after not doing so for much of their lives.

You compare maintaining a balanced diet to maintaining a balanced financial portfolio. From an investment perspective, what do you consider to be “junk food”? Junk food is anything that sounds too good to be true. For example, anything that promises a consistent 12 percent return, or a tip like a small cap stock that’s going to be the next Apple. Anything that has you placing too much of your assets into something high-risk is never a good choice.


New York Family | March 2011

A Former J.P. Morgan Wealth Manager Writes A Tell-All Guide For Women On Investing And Financial Empowerment What would you consider to be some “healthy” fi nancial choices? In my book I relate each of the basic asset classes to the four basic food groups. Equities are like carbs and protein; they power your body. Cash is like fruits and veggies (but too much cash can be a bad thing as cash doesn’t keep up with inflation). Bonds are like dairy products; they can help build the “bones.” Alternative investments are

Any advice for someone considering hiring a financial adviser? There are three main things to keep in mind. First, if the adviser is always talking about themselves and how they do what they do, that’s a bad sign. If it’s not about you as an individual investor, that’s a sign that they will treat all of their clients the same. Next, make sure to ask them about their process. You want to know how they decide what’s right for you and why. Finally, make sure you feel comfortable with them. Money is a sensitive topic and you need to feel comfortable with this person. A great way to find a financial adviser is to ask someone whose profile looks like yours—they have a similar job, live in a similar home, etc. If you don’t know anyone like that to ask, try your accountant or your lawyer for a referral since you already trust them with your sensitive information.

Do you have one overall piece of advice for first-time investors? Do it sooner rather than later. Too many bad things happen to good women. In the wake of this last financial crisis, I heard a lot of, “if I only knew…” Don’t be a part of the “if only” crowd. b

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n Gina and Brian Waldman’s apartment building, the doorman puts his finger to his lips. “They’re trying to get the baby to sleep,” he whispers. The baby he so quietly refers to is 23-month-old Gavin, the Waldmans’ son, who has earned something of a reputation in the building for being a, well, sensitive sleeper. “He’s very cute, but he doesn’t sleep,” says Brian. “Gavin goes to sleep every single night at 6 p.m. and he wakes up at 3:30 in the morning for the day.” The Waldmans have tried everything, but Gavin still wakes in the middle of the night. But tonight is different. Tonight, sleep trainer Elizabeth Ruebman is here, and already she’s helped the Waldmans feed, bathe and put Gavin to bed without a pacifier. No, she’s not a miracle worker. She’s a member of the Dream Team, a New York-based group of toddler and infant sleep consultants who help parents teach their children how to achieve healthy sleep patterns. From Dr. Sears to SuperNanny, it seems everyone these days has advice for parents on how to get their children to sleep, and methods range from co-sleeping to crying it out. Yet despite the ready availability of books, articles and even television shows on the subject, parents remain as confused about sleep as ever. As one of several groups answering the call for help in NYC, the Dream Team creates individuallytailored sleep training plans that may or may not include feeding adjustments, nap adjustments, check-in calls and wake-up celebrations when the baby sleeps through the night. It never involves cry-it-out. “No one really teaches you how to teach your kids to sleep,” says Gina,


New York Family | March 2011

Sleep Gavin makes an escape.


Armed With Research-Based Methods, NYC’s Dream Team Is Helping Little Ones—And Their Weary Parents—Get A Good Night’s Rest who works part-time as a senior account manager at Manhattan Media. “[Gavin’s older brother, Jared] was such a great sleeper that I was like, what do you mean ‘teach your kids to sleep’? Kids sleep! I never heard of this stuff.” Many new parents feel the same way. “A lot of people roll their eyes at the idea because they’re not a parent who needs a [consultation],” says Conner Herman, co-founder of Dream Team and mother of two. “[But many parents] have a problem and it’s out of control.” That’s where trained consultants

like Ruebman come in. Dream Team consultants stay overnight in parents’ homes and help them through the sleep-learning process for two weeks. “I’m going to leave them a schedule and talk about what they should do tomorrow,” says Ruebman, who arrived an hour before bedtime. “By the time I go, there’s nothing they can’t do by themselves.” Ruebman talks to the Waldmans about REM cycles and how, as we get older, we learn to put ourselves back to sleep rather than rely on our parents to help us do it. It’s all quite technical and science driven, which comforts

Brian, who admits to being a skeptic. After all, it does sound odd—someone coming into your home to help you put your kid to bed. “It’s like having a personal trainer if you wanted to get in shape or train for something,” says Kira Ryan, co-founder and also a mother of two. “Having someone there when you’re in the gym is so much more motivating than having an audio recording or a book next to you.” But the consultants don’t just encourage you; they, along with a team of experts, help you figure out what’s going on with your child. In order to do this, the Dream Team requires a lot of information. In addition to a family interview, the Waldmans filled out logs that included exact times and information about Gavin’s feedings, naps and screaming at night. All children who undergo a Dream Team program require a pediatrician’s sign-off. If there’s a question concerning the child’s health or development, that’s where the Dream Team’s advisory board comes in—a board made up of a pediatrician, a lactation consultant, a behavioral analyst, a psychotherapist, a nurse practitioner and other medical professionals. Consultants will run questions by the appropriate expert to ensure the customized sleep training plan is truly the best plan for the child. “There’s so much bad information out there and people are just too exhausted to sort through it,” says Gavin with mom, Gina Herman. “Regardless of family situation, we are prepared, and if [there] is a surprise we have someone we can fall back on.” As their business has grown, Herman and Ryan have trained more consultants, many of whom are former clients. They’ve also expanded their services; there are phone consultations, the founders are working on a book and starting online sleep intensive workshops. “It’s not going to be overnight. I don’t have fairy dust that I sprinkle on the babies; I just get them on the right schedule,” says Ruebman. “It helps you get in the mindset, ‘We’re about to make a change.’” And the fact that change can happen at any stage is a key part of the Dream Team’s philosophy. “You really can work on sleep at any age,” says Ryan. “It’s never too late to teach your child how to be a better, more independent sleeper.” Their message and methods ring loud and clear to families like the Waldmans. “It’s such a comfort to have someone here,” says Gina. “The minute we hung up the phone after the consultation, I finally knew that hope was in sight.”v For more info, visit

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March 2011 | New York Family

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Kids Learn A Lot From Your Job And Especially The Way You Handle It BY SARAH BENNETT-ASTESANO


ork is boring because all you do is go to meetings; you never do anything fun,” says 6-year-old Chloe, whose mom is the director of publications for a high-tech firm in Manhattan. One child’s opinion may be amusing to a mom who likes her job just fine, thank you. But it raises an interesting question. What are your kids learning about the world of work from your job? It’s a relevant question for most of us. Work is a big part of American family life, since in the vast majority of families, both adults have paying jobs. So what should parents know about the messages kids are getting about work—and how they’re getting them?


New York Family | March 2011

MODELING TO YOUNG CHILDREN Children typically learn about work in two ways: by watching their parents and by being taught about work by the adults around them. Increasingly, the teaching is less about the content of the work, and more about how to balance work and family obligations. Parents of young children can communicate about their jobs with a few simple words (see “Introducing Children to Your Work World”), but they should also know that they’re modeling attitudes about work even when they don’t actively talk about it. “This type of learning rarely means being taught directly from sermons on the value of such things as work,” says George Scarlett, a child development expert at Tufts University who studies how children develop a sense of identity. Scarlett describes kids’ learning at this stage as the result of daily conversations and observing—and absorbing—parents’ attitudes. Parents need to be conscious of their tone when they discuss work, he says, rather than focusing only on what they say about work when intentionally “teaching” their kids. Experts agree that very young children don’t necessarily need to know details of their parents’ work lives in order to learn something valuable about work. “When my daughter asks me about my work, I have always been very vague about the details,” says Amber Jamanka, who works in public health and is the mother of a 6-year-old daughter and a 4-year-old son. “I’m not ready to talk to her about these topics.” Jamanka and her daughter came up with a phrase to use—“mom helps keep people safe”—rather than a job title or a description of the actual tasks. Jamanka explained that she was like a detective, helping to find out what makes people sick or keeps them healthy. “It’s useful for parents to talk about their work at home, and to talk about the good parts as well as the bad parts,” says Ann Crouter, a professor of

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man development and director of the Center for Work and Family Research at Penn State University. “If a parent has had a tiring day, for example, it’s fine to mention that. But I’d try to balance that on other days by mentioning what went well at work.” Not surprisingly, research detailed in the book “Ask the Children,” by work-family expert Ellen Galinsky of the New York-based Families and Work Institute, has shown that negative moods can “spill over” from work to family, and that this colors children’s perspective on work. Experts encourage parents to mention their pride and pleasure in work, even if it’s a few brief words.

IntroducIng chIldren to Your Work World

The Ms. Foundation, sponsors of the annual Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day, offers these tips:

• Take a photograph of your workplace home to your children, so they have a visual image of where you spend your time at work. • Tell them why you work. Sure, most of us work for money, but there’s usually more to it than that. Let your kids know the full array of reasons you do what you do. Even if you are working mainly for the paycheck, you can explain why you are in that situation and what you hope will be different for them when they’re working. • Take advantage of life lessons. Some parents like to use their work stories to teach kids how important it is to be able to get along with a wide variety of people. Emphasize how important it is to not just complain about problems, but to try to fix them. • Pretend to switch roles. A doctor can let her daughter play with her stethoscope; a secretary can help her kids set up an office, complete with a phone, a headset and an old computer. Kids learn through doing, and when you watch them pretend to do what you do, you’ll get a good picture of how they view your work.

The Elementary Years: A TimE To TEAch BAlAncE Children between ages 6 and 11 • Know when to leave your work at the office. For some of us, it’s hard start to identify closely with their not to go on and on about our jobs—if only because we spend so much time parents and are open to learning from and effort on them. But our kids need us to focus on them, too. them about the external world, says Scarlett. In fact, the annual Take Our Reprinted with permission from Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day. Daughters and Sons to Work initiative aims to give kids, ages 8 to 12, a look inside their parents’ workplaces. Not hours of the night, with the result that he’s actually around during the boys’ wakonly does it teach kids about what’s ing hours more than many dads. As a research analyst, McKinney knows to be involved in various careers, but about alert to the tradeoffs over the long term, noting that his kids will need parental managing the demands of work. involvement more, not less, as they enter the teen years. “Today, parents teach their children McKinney’s concerns about time with his children are well-founded. Rehow to balance a full plate in life,” says search suggests that when fathers work very long hours (more than 60 hours a LaWanda Abel, Take Our Daughters week) and also feel overloaded, their relationships with their adolescent children and Sons to Work program mansuffer, and that both adolescents and fathers in this situation have more difficulty ager. “Work, family and community seeing one another’s perspectives. achievements equally.” “For both mothers and fathers,” Crouter says, “we have found that high levels Alec McKinney of work pressure are linked to feelings can relate to that. A “For both mothers and fathers,” of being overloaded. And feelings of father of three boys, in turn, are related to higher Crouter says, “we have found that overload, ages 3, 6 and 9, levels of conflict with kids.” McKinney says his high levels of work pressure are But the good news, both Crouter kids probably think linked to feelings of being overand Scarlett say, is that most research he works too much. loaded. And feelings of overload, shows that work itself, and even chilHis sons aren’t sure participation in it—helping a in turn, are related to higher levels dren’s what he does on parent put together the handouts for the computer, but of conflict with kids.” the next day’s presentation, for exthey resent the time ample—doesn’t have a negative effect it takes out of their family lives. on kids. How and what children learn is really based on how parents handle their “Our children know we think it’s obligations. important for us to do work that’s In the end, in order to prepare children for work, parents need to be convaluable,” he says. “But I don’t hide my scious about their relationships with their children and their own work-life balannoyance at having to work during ance. “We depend on their being attached to us, their parents, enough to identify family time.” with us when they are older children,” Scarlett says. “So that if we value work and To minimize the disruptions, lead good, productive and balanced work lives, the process of identification will McKinney finds himself working at all help to prepare them to do the same.” n


New York Family | March 2011

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BILINGUAL AT FIRST GLANCE, the brightly lit preschool classroom looks like any other—blocks for building, markers for coloring, students prattling away. But instead of the English alphabet, these walls are covered in Chinese characters, and students offer up their answers in Mandarin. This is Bilingual Buds, a new Mandarin Chinese immersion nursery school on the Upper West Side. On this cold February day, the students are celebrating Chinese New Year by making dumplings, singing songs and learning traditional dances. This interactive learning is part of founder Sharon Huang’s goal for the school’s 40-plus students to learn more than a language—she wants them to become global citizens. Seven years ago an expectant Huang was searching for languagelearning choices for her twin sons, Ethan and Warren. Huang, a Queens native born to immigrant parents from Taiwan, spent her childhood learning Chinese on the weekends. But when she went abroad for work, she found her language skills lacking. “I didn’t want my own kids to be in the same situation,” she explains. “My dream is for them to be completely


New York Family | March 2011

fluent, to cross borders and to work in Chinese, and ideally Spanish down the road, and for a whole generation of American kids to be able to be bilingual, trilingual.” The very next year, Bilingual Buds held its first class in Huang’s basement in New Jersey. Six years later, the flagship school in Summit, New Jersey provides Spanish and Mandarin immersion to over 100 students. The Manhattan location will celebrate its one-year anniversary in May, and currently offers programs for ages 2 through 10, from Mommy and Me classes to summer camps. “We’ve been able to take a lot of the best practices that we’ve learned over the six years and bring them here,” she says. “Our teachers are able to benefit from all of that learning.” According to Huang, immersion accounts for only about four percent of the language programs in the country, and Chinese accounts for a small portion of that. “We’re so unique,” Huang says, “I could probably count on one hand the number of programs in the entire country that start at this age with immersion in Chinese.” In this preschool class, almost 80 percent of the day’s lessons are taught in Mandarin, which leaves about 30 minutes dedicated to English. The Chinese and English teachers collaborate so the students are introduced to similar subjects in the different languages. What’s more, the emphasis on Chinese hasn’t adversely affected the students’ English skills in the years that the school has been in place. In fact, Huang says their students are usually ahead of their peers in all subjects

Photos by Brianna McClane

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New York Family | March 2011

because of the small class sizes. “[Language is] the medium for which you’re learning about other things—you’re learning science, you’re learning how to count, and all that’s being done in Chinese,” she says. “So you’re learning interesting things, it’s just that you’re learning it through a language.” Language immersion schools are sprinkled throughout New York City, but Bilingual Buds is the only one to offer Mandarin. The students here are a mixture of backgrounds and ethnicities; some have Asian parents, others were adopted from an Asian country and still others have virtually no ties to Asian culture. But these parents have one thing in common: they want their children to be prepared for a world where China’s economy and influence is growing fast. “China is projected to be number one by the time this crop of kids reach college age,” Huang says. “So when this crop of kids is ready to find a job, they’d better speak Mandarin.” Alicia Chin is a Bilingual Buds parent and strong supporter. A mother of two, Chin has enrolled both her children in the school and serves as a communications consultant. Her son, Camden, had been enrolled in language classes in New York and New Jersey when, at age four, he lost interest. “They seemed just so disconnected to his life and he was shutting down,” Chin says. “So when I discovered the school, we just jumped in feet first with all of us and that’s sort of a life decision that’s changed everything.” Although Camden was enrolled mid-school year, Chin says she wasn’t concerned about him not catching on. She says parents often worry about that the teacher will tell their child to get their coat and they won’t understand, but it’s these basic steps and routine practices that help instill the language. “The first day of anything is pretty intimidating, but once that’s in place, they just take off,” she says. Camden’s first day surrounded by the language was accompanied by bonding with his classmates over Legos, a perfect example of why Huang believes that the younger children are, the more open they are to learning and new experiences. Huang calls the time before the age of seven the “critical window of language learning.” She believes if a child learns a language during this period, they learn it as they would a first language. To read a Chinese newspaper with comprehension requires knowledge of about 5,000 characters. Sounds daunting, but walk into a Bilingual Buds classroom and you will see six-year-olds recognizing the characters for the animals of the zodiac calendar—these students are well on their way to making each and every one of those crucial characters second nature.“Learning language as a child in preschool is a very different experience than learning language as an adult in a class,” Huang says. “They’re doing it with teachers who are naturally playing with them. They don’t know that it’s hard because they’re starting it so young.”c Bilingual Buds, 175 Riverside Boulevard at West 68th Street, 212-787-8088,



From Swimmers To Softball Players, Young Athletes Tell Us What They Love About Their Favorite Warm-Weather Sports




pring is in the air, grass is beginning to peek through lingering patches of snow, and many of us are just now venturing outside to play again. But in athletic training facilities across the city, hundreds of kids have been gearing up for their spring sports seasons for weeks now. Here, young athletes participating in soccer, baseball, softball, swimming and track and field tell us what they love about their chosen sport.

When did you become interested in swimming? Lydia: When I was around six. I had to sacrifice other things in order to have more time to swim, but I really loved swimming and I couldn’t give it up! What is your favorite swimming memory? Nadia: When I swam in a meet called the Big Swim at Asphalt Green, I got 1st place in the 25 free, out of all the seven-yearolds who swam. When I got out of the pool, I grabbed the medal as the timer was trying to put it on me and put it on myself! Afterwards I got a trophy, and I was really happy.

What do you love most about swimming? Lydia: I love to get into the water. Even in the winter, when it’s cold, it feels really good. Nadia: I love my friends on the team. I also love swim meets; they’re fun and serious at the same time.

What do you find most challenging about swimming? Lydia: I find it really hard to be patient. It takes a while to get better. I try to fix everything at practice, but sometimes it doesn’t work. Nadia: At swim practice, it’s difficult when I can’t keep up with the group when I’m tired. I get very frustrated and sore. But I’m starting to get used to it.

What advice would you give other kids interested in swimming?


Asphalt Green


New York Family | March 2011

Lydia: Be patient and don’t think you failed when you think you didn’t do well. I try to find out what went wrong and then I try to fix it at practice so the next time, I do better. Nadia: I would say never give up. I’ve had some rough times swimming but I have never given up and I’m so glad I didn’t.

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How long have you been playing softball? What position do you play? I’ve been playing for about six years. I play third base mostly.

How do you celebrate a win? We all jump up and down, run into each other and hug each other and cheer. After that we sit down and discuss the positives of the team.

What advice would you give other kids who want to play softball? I would tell them to not give up even when you mess up, because mistakes are mistakes, you learn to get better at it. And most importantly to always listen to your coaches.

Why do you like playing with Harlem RBI? It’s free and the field is beautiful. The coaches always try their best to help you improve, and they also offer to help you with your school subjects. I love my teammates; they’re always there when I need them. It’s just a very friendly place.


What impact has playing softball had on you? It’s taught me determination and perseverance and it’s given me so much confidence. It’s encouraged me to try to do better at my school work, too, because my coaches are not only strict about repeating plays and all that, but also about school. Without school you can’t go anywhere.

How long have you been competing in track and field? What are your events? I’ve been competing for the past five years. I do hurdles, long jump and sprints.

What do you think about while you’re competing? I really don’t think about anything—I just go.

What advice would you give other kids interested in track and field? I would tell them that it’s a great sport and if you do it for a while, you’ll get the hang of it. There’s many events you can do, so there’s one that you’re bound to be very good at.

How do your coaches help you? Some days they teach me how to go over the hurdles faster, or I do a lot of sprinting. Other days it’ll be working on my long distance. How do you celebrate a win or a great track meet? I just think about I how I just won, or how I have another medal in my hands.

ISIS WELCH,, 12 The Armory Track and Field Center

How did you become interested in playing tennis? I was playing soccer and basketball before, and my parents liked to watch tennis on TV. I started to watch with them, and then I wanted to play. What’s your favorite memory while playing? When I won a USTA tournament at the USTA National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows. It was a four-hour match in 95-degree weather. I was a set down but I came back and won it. What advice would you give other kids who want to play tennis? They have to stay strong and work hard. They also have to be very focused because, you know, there’ll be times when you’ll have to miss things like birthday parties. They should also enjoy the sport and have fun.

OLIVER JEVTOVIC,, 10 Sportime Randall’s Island


New York Family | March 2011

Why do you like playing with Sportime Randall’s Island? I like to see John McEnroe, the former No. 1 professional tennis player in the world. He walks around watching us play and gives us advice. I like meeting the directors and working with coaches because they all help me and give me advice on how to improve my game. Where do you hope to go with your sport? My main goal with tennis is to be the No. 1 professional tennis player in the world. I want to win grand slams. I’m staying focused and it’s going to happen one day.

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AARON SEIBERT,, 8 Super Soccer Stars

Toby Tenenbaum

Where To Play Sports In NYC

Why do you love playing soccer? I love soccer because I love to run around, score goals and do tricks.

What advice would you give other kids who want to play soccer? Don’t stare at the ball when you play because then you won’t see the other players. Also, you have to work hard.

Why do you like playing with Super Soccer Stars? I like playing with Super Soccer Stars because of Coach Alex—he’s my favorite coach. He gives me lots of practice and trains me really hard. He makes me do the cone exercises where you have to run around to get the ball. He also teaches me soccer tricks. Where do you hope to go with soccer? I want to be a professional soccer player for a team. My favorite team is LA Galaxy.

We heard you recently underwent foot surgery. How’s your recovery coming along? I just really want to run around!

Armory Track and Field Center, 216 Fort Washington Avenue, 212-923-1803, Asphalt Green, 555 East 90th Street, 212-369-8890, Big City Volleyball, Multiple Manhattan locations, 212-288-4240, Chelsea Piers, 63 Chelsea Piers, 212-336-6666, dribbl and dribbl jr., Multiple Manhattan locations, 212-717-7651, Fastbreak Kids, Multiple Manhattan locations, 212-724-FAST, Generation D at Dasha Wellness, 115 East 57th Street, 212-755-5500, Harlem RBI, 333 East 100th Street, 212-722-1608, Kick and Play, More than 150 locations throughout the Tri-State area, 212-877-5425, Kids In Sports, Multiple Manhattan locations, 212-744-4900, Lil Sluggers, Multiple locations, 866-321-8221, On Deck, Classes held at St. Jean’s Community Center (76th and 3rd) and the Great Lawn in Central Park, 646-808-4926, Sheridan Fencing Academy, 1556 3rd Avenue, 212-831-0764, Soccer By Coach Fher, Multiple Manhattan locations, 917-650-3008, SocRoc, Various locations, 917-703-0409, SPORTIME at Randall’s Island, 1 Randall’s Island, 212-427-6150, Super Soccer Stars, More than 150 locations throughout the Tri-State area, 212-877-7171, Swim Jim, Locations throughout the city, 212-749-7335,

How long have you been playing baseball? What position do you play? Since I was five years old; I’ve played 12 seasons. I play first base and pitcher. I also play other infield positions. What do you love most about playing baseball? I like how it’s a team sport and I like the coaching and the opportunity to play a lot of positions. I like to hang with the kids on my team and I love to play in tournaments.

What advice do you have for other kids who want to play baseball? Just play as much as possible so you can improve, and don’t worry about the position you play as long as you’re playing and learning the game. Keep practicing.



New York Family | March 2011

What goals do you have for this season? I want to improve hitting and be able to hit to all four parts of the field. I want to learn how to pitch better from the stretch. Last year we didn’t have leading and stealing so now that there is going to be leading, I have to learn how to throw from the stretch. Do you have a favorite baseball player? My favorite baseball player is Robinson Cano [of the New York Yankees].

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5:08 PM

Page 1

Last chance before summer to find the PERFECT Camp!

New York Family and the ACA-NY are hosting their last set of popular camp fairs in March to help parents meet over 40 different camp directors. DAY CAMPS and SLEEP AWAY CAMPS from all over will be represented, great for children ages 3 to 17!

FREE ADMISSION! ALL FAI RS ARE FROM NOON TO 3 PM: Saturday, March 5: Upper East Side St. Jean Baptiste High School 173 East 75th Street

Sunday, March 6: Upper West Side Congregation Rodeph Sholom 7 West 83rd Street

(btwn Lexington and Third Avenues)

(btwn CPW and Columbus Ave)

Saturday, March 12: Downtown Friends Seminary School 222 East 16th Street

Sunday, March 13: Park Slope, Brooklyn Union Temple 17 Eastern Parkway

(btwn 3rd Ave and Rutherford Place)

(btwn Plaza St East and Underhill Avenue )



for a chance to family Broadway theater tickets and to receive a gift bag!

Sweet &

Simple Whether At Work Or At Home, Domestic Diva And Mom Of Two Katie Brown Lives Out Her Trademark Aesthetic: Casual Comfort, Midwestern Enthusiasm And A Whole Lot Of Love By KATIE MAIN


n an industrial-looking stretch of Red Hook’s Van Brunt Street sits Katie Brown’s workshop, its exterior painted bright orange with crisp white trim. Inside are shelves displaying hammered wooden mixing bowls and white ceramic dishware; a gaggle of wooden desks with iMacs; an idea board covered in notes and magazine clippings; and a spacious, rusticlooking test kitchen. This is where Brown—host of PBS’s cooking, crafting and gardening show “Katie Brown Workshop;” author of a handful of books on entertaining; designer of a line of home goods and frequent guest on national shows like “Good Morning America” and “The Today Show”—works her magic. (Well, Brown and her energetic staff, as she’s quick to point out). Brown’s career as domestic diva began almost 15 years ago when, as a struggling actress and proprietor of a funky vintage boutique called GOAT, she was tapped by Lifetime to become “the next Martha Stewart” and was given her own show, “Next Door With Katie Brown.” Since then, Brown has become known across the country for her smart, simple, embrace-your-mistakes approach to making a house a home—as well as for her earnest, “you-can-do-it!” enthusiasm. Today, as a working mom of two, Brown finds the line between work and family life increasingly hard to define. In fact, as we sit down for our interview, Brown’s daughters, Prentiss, 6, and Meredith, 2, are scampering about the workshop, fraternizing with the staff and generally spreading joy and laughter wherever they go. “It’s really hard to separate what I do for work from what I do at home,” Brown admits. But it’s a gray area she can live with. After all, as Brown tells her audience, it’s okay not to know all the answers— but “if you keep it simple, you can’t go wrong.”

Photography by MICHAEL JURICK


New York Family | March 2011

You grew up a member of a large family in Petoskey, Michigan. Were your parents crafty, cooks, gardeners? My mom was totally crafty. When we turned 11, our gift was that we each got to decorate our own room. That was my first introduction to things like looking at wallpaper books and choosing my favorite colors. I have 32 first cousins and 14 aunts and uncles, and we all grew up in the same town and all of them are great cooks, all of them are great gardeners. You know how some families go sailing together or whatever? We’re that family who likes to talk about food and decorating. It would be like bragging rights: “How many did you cook for last night?” “Try my tomato!” Your big break came almost 15 years ago when Lifetime chose you to host your first show, “Next Door With Katie Brown.” What do you think the television executives saw in you? I think they saw my passion, I think they knew I really loved it. I think there was a youthfulness to my approach that wasn’t happening then. With Martha [Stewart] everything was so perfect, and then there were people doing things with popsicle sticks. But there was nobody in-between for people who didn’t have a ton of money to redecorate or wanted to do a dinner party but weren’t sure how. I was the first generation who grew up with working moms and there was a lot of [knowledge] that needed to be filled in. A lot of the cooking show hosts would say, “Put it in a double boiler,” and I was like, “What if you don’t know what a double boiler is?” So I explained everything. “The Wall Street Journal” once wrote that I did “domesticity for dummies,” and at first I was really insulted, like they were insulting my audience. But then I read on and it wasn’t that they were dumb, it was that I was answering their questions, and providing people with ideas, and telling them they can do it. I was a cheerleader in high school, and I’m like everybody’s biggest fan. One time I remember with Lifetime I had made this cake, it was beautiful, and it came out of the oven—this is on

camera—and I was like, “Looook at this caaaake!” and they said, “Cut, cut! Don’t get so excited when you take the cake out, you’re an expert!” And I was like, “No, that’s when you should fire me, if I’m ever not excited about the cake.” Tell me how you met your husband, TV executive William Corbin. First of all, I didn’t get married until I was 40. I used to do stand-up comedy to entertain the crew in-between takes of my show, and I’d say things like, “I’m so pathetic that I have to tell everyone else how to be a wife cause no one will marry me.” And one day I’m doing this and I hear the executives, who are off in their little booths, announce, “We have a guy for you.” So they set up this meeting, and we’re sitting at this big conference table, and this one foxy guy is sitting about halfway around the table. He got up about halfway through the meeting because he had to go, and he handed me his card and said, “I’ll help you with all the website development March 2011 | New York Family


Katie Brown’s and everything.” And the minute he left, all the executives turned into twelveyear-olds and leaned in and were like, “That’s the guy, that’s the guy, what do you think?” And that was it. Together you and your husband produce your show, “Katie Brown Workshop,” right? Yes. I had always wanted my show on PBS, it’s my favorite network. I grew up being a huge Julia Child fan and watching all the cooking shows on PBS and to me that was just the ultimate. So I convinced my husband, “I want to be on PBS, I want to produce it myself, I don’t want to have any bosses.” So he quit his job and he got Procter & Gamble and Kraft to underwrite my show, and we’re now in our sixth season. Tell me about your children, Prentiss (6) and Meredith (2). What do you love about being their mother? Prentiss has a compassionate creativity about her that I learn a lot from. And Meredith has a feisty stubbornness, an original determination, that I love watching. I love watching Prentiss be a big sister; that was something we almost missed. I didn’t have Prentiss until I was 41, and I adopted my second baby, and that was a tough decision and a struggle. My husband kept saying, “Stop thinking about all that IVF stuff, let’s adopt,” and he was right, because the minute I saw Meredith I was done. Tell me about being an adoptive mom. What impact has the adoption experience had on your family, and on you as a parent? It is a brutal process, but it’s all worth it in the end. You know how with birthing they say you don’t remember the pain? Same with adoption. And there’s something about my bond with Meredith that I think is wrapped up in the fact that I almost didn’t have her. There’s something about that feeling of, Oh my God, how did we luck out to find you? that is just otherworldly and so precious and so great. I feel like I have the family I was meant to have; I think you find who you are supposed to find. That’s part of the reverence that I have towards Meredith and our connection—it’s like, “Well, there you are!”

Home Design Tips For NYC Families ›

Fill a room with light—and not just from the ceiling. Lamps at different levels go a long way toward bringing unique, rewarding perspectives to the places you thought you knew.

I like homes that show the struggle. Whether it’s rough-hewn wooden floorboards or a stray brushstroke on the beams above a painted wall, the unplanned quirks of a home are what allow you to relate to it. Every room should have something reflective in it. It doesn’t have to be a floor-length mirror, just something with a surface that reflects a depth beyond its material.

› Always have something black in the room. This is my Aunt Nan’s advice, and she’s right: keeping just a few black items around, whether as big as a couch or as small as a vase, reliably upgrades a space to classic classiness. For more of Katie Brown’s tips for families (including easy weeknight meal ideas!), visit

up and brings her right back home. And we’re on four acres now, so that’s pretty nice. My husband was commuting back and forth from Connecticut for work, so I like it for him. I took one for the team, let’s put it that way!

Until recently, your family called “You know how with Did becoming a mom influBrooklyn home. Tell me what your birthing they say ence your approach to your life was like there—what were your you don’t remember work? Absolutely. My tagline has favorite things to do as a family? the pain? Same with always been “Keep It Simple,” but The great thing about Brooklyn is it’s so family-oriented. I was able to have a adoption. There’s get yourself two kids, and you rehave to keep it simple—don’t house with a backyard. It was only about something about that ally even give me one hard thing. I have 10 blocks from [my workshop], so I loved feeling of, 'Oh my God, 23- and 24-year-olds who work for it because I could go home for my girls how did we luck out to me and they’ll say, “We found this a lot. We loved the Carousel in Prospect Park, we loved the Brooklyn Children’s find you?' that is just great scampi recipe!” and I’m like, no, no, I’m a working mom Museum, we loved Carroll Park. Some otherworldly and so “No, with two kids, I’m not making that of my favorite restaurants are on Court precious and so great.” recipe. How can we cut four of Street and Smith Street. I loved the view those steps out?” from the top of our brownstone; we could see over Manhattan and we watched fireworks from there. We loved our How would you describe neighborhood because on one side of us was a sort of yuppie couple with a child, the Katie Brown aesthetic? It’s and to the left of us were this couple who have lived there forever—he grew up comfortable, it’s casual, it embraces in that house, they would make us pasta fagioli—so I had two extremes. And because Meredith was adopted and she is a child of color, I thought Brooklyn was mistakes. There’s a reality to it. That’s what people see in our show and in the a perfect place because it’s a colorblind place, and that was right for us. books I write and the stories I tell— not every tape is cut perfectly, not You recently relocated to a new home in Connecticut. What made you decide to move? What do you like about it? I don’t know yet! We are re- every ribbon isn’t frayed. I like things modeling our house; that’s pretty much what we’re focusing on right now. I like the that aren’t perfect because you can see the life and you can see the struggle. b fact that I can walk Prentiss to the end of my driveway and the school bus picks her


New York Family | March 2011

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2/17/11 12:05 PM


Eight NYC Families Share What They Love About Their Neighborhoods


o find out more about some of NYC’s most family-friendly neighborhoods, we decided to call in our greatest resource— our reader families! Here, eight families share what they love about the areas they call home, from wonderful children’s libraries to amazing parks and play spaces to where to get a great glass of wine after a long day.

“I have never appreciated the Upper West Side more than during these past few horrible weeks of winter,” says Stephanie Saletan, who lives on the UWS with husband Jordan and children, Jack, 4 and Harper, 16 months. “Having Central Park three blocks east and Riverside Park two blocks west, a great sledding hill is never more than a short walk away.” 1) Hippo Playground in Riverside Park—it’s the best on hot days. There’s so much shade, and the spouting hippos keep the kids cool. 2)  Columbus Square—we waste Stephanie Saletan’s husband Jordan with children Harper hours shopping at this new comand Jack in Central Park. plex on Columbus Avenue between and the butterflies landing on your arm, it never gets 97th and 100th streets. It has a old! The visit is best topped off with lunch at Shake Whole Foods, Michaels, TJ Maxx Shack across the street. and coming soon…Home Goods! 4)  St. Agnes Library—the first floor of this newly reno3) American Museum of Natural vated library is a kid haven.  There are fun chairs, comHistory—between the dinosaurs, puters and a weekly story hour. the stuffed wooly mammoths


New York Family | March 2011

“Many of our friends outside New York wonder how we raise our boys in a city without a backyard. Our response is that we have some of the most beautiful and action-packed backyards imaginable—Battery Park, Hudson River Park and the New York Harbor!” say Matt and Priyanka Schneider, who live in the southern part of Battery Park City with their sons, Max, 5 and Sam, 2.

Solana Nolfo and husband Steve with sons Max and Jonah at the boys’ 3rd birthday party.

“Tug boats, freight liners and yachts, oh my! We love living so close to Carl Schurz Park—a favorite place for boat watching—and many area playgrounds, not to mention Central Park,” says Solana Nolfo, who lives on the Upper East Side with husband Steve and twin sons Max and Jonah, 3. 1) Art and music classes—there are so many great venues. We especially love Rhinelander Children’s Center; it’s a terrific community resource, and we’ve enjoyed a variety of early childhood classes there. 2) We love to visit The Art Farm in the City—it’s a great place for drop-in play time, and kids can hang out with a variety of critters, including our household favorite: the blue-tongued skink! 3) Bike shops galore—in NYC, your stroller is often your only set of wheels, and the boys love the excitement of getting their stroller wheels checked, pumped and replaced by the friendly folks at the various shops. 4) Crosstown buses—our boys love a leisurely bus ride, and being able to hold the MetroCard! Not only does the crosstown bus take us to the little-boy-coveted subway, but also to our next favorite neighborhood: the Upper West Side!

Matt and Priyanka Schneider and their children Max and Sam at Battery Park.

1) We’re very lucky that PS 276, a new K-8 school, opened last fall in our neighborhood. The building is beautiful and the principal has done an outstanding job of hiring top-notch educators. 2) This neighborhood is all about being outside, and the Battery Park City Parks Conservancy maintains all the parks, gardens, playgrounds and walkways around the neighborhood. It also hosts playgroups, soccer and basketball classes, art classes, family concerts and cultural festivals—often for free. 3) BPC is part of the larger lower Manhattan community, and we love being able to enjoy the history of the Financial District and Seaport.

1) Fort Tryon Park is a lovingly maintained park with views of the Hudson River and the New Jersey Palisades. It offers great sledding on Billings Lawn in wintertime and fabulous sunsets all year long. 2) The Medieval Festival—every fall, Fort Tryon Park is transformed into a Medieval Fair with costumes, jousts and activities for the whole family.

Kevin McCormick

“We loved Hudson Heights the minute we saw it,” says Alice Lee, who lives in this sub-neighborhood of Washington Heights with husband Mike and daughter Emma, 10. “Being up on a cliff overlooking the Palisades, our neighborhood is quiet, with little traffic and many young families. It’s a lovely place to live.”

Alice Lee’s daughter Emma at Fort Tryon Park.

3) Ahn’s Vegetables—Mr. Ahn has a cheerful word for everybody and loves to banter with the kids. Plus, his fruit is the best! March 2011 | New York Family


SPRING REAL ESTATE/HOME DESIGN “The East Village really does feel like a village within the city,” says Samantha Clark, a native of England who calls this neighborhood home with husband Scott and son Finn, 17 months. “We know the local deli owner, visit the same restaurants and see the same families at the playgrounds. It couldn’t be more child-friendly, and there’s so much to do at your doorstep.”

Samantha Clark and son Finn.

“Taking the 7 train home to Bliss Street while still living in NYC? Pretty cool,” says Elyse Orecchio, who lives in this Queens neighborhood with husband Joe and children Theo, 7 and Melody, 2.5. “Sunnyside is a nice mix of urban and suburban, and an eclectic place to raise a family.”

Elyse Orecchio’s daughter Melody at Rainbow Park.

1) There are lots of great playgrounds, but we especially love the new Hester Street playground, which has sprinklers and sand, a great baby area and lots of musical equipment that my son loves. 2) I’m a member of an amazing group called Bowery Babes, which has been my savior as a new mom. We organize weekly playgroups, charity drives, Halloween and Christmas events, summer picnics, parenting lectures and more. 3) Active 17-month-olds need places to run off some steam. We joined ABC Gym Kids, which just opened a location on 10th Street. The children get to run, slide, swing and bounce on an obstacle course, and there’s also bubbles, singing and the famous parachute!

1) We’re a community of moms. By day, we take our kids to Sunnyside Gardens Park, and by night we sip wine at Claret or sing karaoke at Bliss Street Station. Many of us have formed a babysitting co-op, so we even get to— gasp!—date our husbands, for free. 2) We have wonderful, authentic ethnic cuisine. Within blocks we’ve got a real Irish market, Colombian bakeries, Romanian restaurants and Peruvian chicken joints. 3) It’s a treat to have culture right around the corner. My son is in a local production of “Annie” and my daughter and I take ballet at the Sunnyside Arts Cooperative. 4) Perhaps the above sounds posh, but Sunnyside is not. The heart of the ‘hood beats in the form of immigrant families, inexpensive establishments and friendly faces.

“BoCoCa is the perfect walking neighborhood,” says Angela Johnson, who resides in this Brooklyn quarter (made up of the Boerum Hill, Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens neighborhoods) with husband Dean and daughter Hana, 9 months. “We walk the stretch of Atlantic between 4th Avenue and Henry regularly, and we always find a new restaurant or shop to explore.”

Angela Johnson and daughter Hanna at Los Pollitos in Park Slope.


New York Family | March 2011

1) Baby & Me yoga classes at Mala Yoga are a fantastic way to work out the kinks that come with toting a tot around the city. 2) Betty Bakery has a tasty selection of treats—perfect for a play date when you don’t have time to bake. 3) Joya is the place for yummy, inexpensive Thai food. And there’s plenty of noise, so my daughter can have a ball. 4) Acorn Toy Shop carries a beautiful selection of handcrafted toys and games made of 100% natural materials.


1280 Fifth Avenue

The Latest Family-Friendly Buildings On The Market Combine Suburban Amenities With The Charm of the City


The Georgica

By Celene McDermott


New York Family | March 2011

hoever says that living in the city has to mean cramped living quarters and not enough outdoor space probably hasn’t taken a look at all that the latest luxury buildings are offering families lately. These days, even in a tough real estate market, families are making it a priority to stay in the city, and many developers are responding by offering a number of new buildings and townhouses that feature not only plenty of bedrooms and square footage, but all the amenities that rival those that can be found in the suburbs. Looking for outdoor space? Many of these buildings offer landscaped terraces and gardens, backyard areas, pools overlooking the city skyline, and acres of park literally just out the front door. What about proximity to shops, restaurants, fitness centers, museums, theaters and bowling alleys? You won’t even have to walk out the front door in some of these buildings to take advantage of these things. We encourage you to take a look at the new amenity-rich buildings in your favorite neighborhood. Who knows? You may just find a new place to call home.

Upper West Side 235 West 71st Street (235 West 71st Street) This boutique building is small and intimate, yet features an abundance of services, including a full-time doorman, gym, storage room, bike room and live-in super. In addition to sprawling full floor apartments with sixplus bedrooms, enormous eat-in kitchens and two family rooms/libraries, there is a ground floor duplex with an approximate 1,200-square foot garden, and a ninth-floor full floor apartment with a huge landscaped terrace. “This is a unique building with only large apartments and not many apartments—thus providing very high attention to owners’ needs,” says Lisa Lippman, senior vice president and director of Brown Harris Stevens. The Aldyn (60 Riverside Blvd) Located on Riverside Boulevard, The Aldyn offers spacious apartments equally split between one, two, three and four bedroom homes (many of which offer spectacular river views) as well as duplex townhouses that offer their own pools and elevators. The building also offers over 40,000 square-feet of amenities. “The sort of guiding principle of the building is that it is housed around big areas where people can interact,” says Beth Fisher, senior managing director of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. She notes the numerous cafes and lounges, a Kidville-designed playroom under construction, and the spectacular Aldyn Athletic Club and Spa, managed by LA PALESTRA. “When

managing director of New Developments, Citi Habitats, referring to units that go up to three bedrooms and 1,900 square feet. “Each space has fantastic light and presents a connection to one of the parks that surround the building.” Plus, The Ashley sits atop an impressive amenity base: a 40,000-square-foot LA PALESTRA Athletic Club and Spa features a 75-foot indoor pool, a two-lane bowling alley, a two-level rock climbing wall, basketball and squash courts, yoga and Pilates studios and spa treatment rooms. There’s concierge service by Abigail Michaels, and renters receive complimentary move-in service to coordinate relocation, telephone and cable service and more. Linden 78 (230 West 78th Street) This boutique building caters to families looking for spacious apartments right in the heart of the desirable Upper West Side. The 32-unit building offers three, four and five bedroom homes with an ample amount of square footage: 2400 for three bedrooms, 2500 for four bedrooms, and five bedrooms up to 4700 square feet. Additionally, the homes offer gourmet kitchens, open layouts, walk-in closets, bedrooms with their own bathrooms, not to mention expansive windows. “It has a pre-war feeling—that grand-scale living of the Upper West Side—but with all the contemporary and technological finishes that people would want. And what is truly unique is that it’s full-service for just a boutique building,” says Jacqueline Urgo, president of the Marketing Directors. There is a 24-hour attended lobby and on-site building manger, and families can enjoy amenities like a rooftop deck, private outdoor courtyard, fitness center, and even a children’s playroom designed by Citibabes. “What’s also unique is that there is either a full-home floor or there are only two homes on a floor, so it’s very intimate,” Urgo adds.

Upper East Side Azure (333 East 91st Street) This 34-story luxury building features studios up to four-bedroom apartments with expansive windows offering views of the East River and Manhattan. “Azure is at the vanguard of a new way of family living in Manhattan,” says Douglas MacLaury of the Mattone Group, one of the building’s joint developers along with The DeMatteis Organizations. “It’s a property The Ashley that offers so much at such exceptional value.” you first enter, there’s a 38 foot rock climbing wall…there’s Azure also offers combination homes that allow families a full circuit of weight training, a bowling alley with a café to customize their living space. Families will appreciate the next to it, and a basketball court.” For even more recreation, building’s amenities, which include a residents’ lounge, a the neighborhood also offers Hudson River Park and River- fitness center, a private dining room with catering kitchen, and a landscaped roof terrace. There’s also a children’s side Park. playroom, as well as a teen game room equipped with video The Ashley (400 West 63rd Street) games, billiards and foosball. The 209-unit Ashley makes it possible to have the best of both worlds—city living with space to breathe and rental Georgica (305 East 85th Street) apartments that feel like home. “The layouts are unique and Befitting the East Hampton pond it is named after, this the size of the residences is exceptional,” says Clifford Finn, 20-story, 58-unit building is just gorgeous. “Georgica’s

March 2011 | New York Family


SPRING REAL ESTATE/HOME DESIGN the way that the space can be used,” says Cole, and many offer water or park views. The building also offers a great amenity package as well, including a children’s playroom, Bar and Books lounge, as well as a fully equipped fitness center, business and homework center and adjacent parking garage.

20 Pine Street

nished model residences showcase the luxury of space, the flexibility of floor plans and unlimited decorating potential,” notes Rob Kaliner, principal of Ascend Group, developer of Georgica. “These homes highlight the versatility of the building, which suits many preferences and lifestyles.” The glass-skinned building was designed by Cetra/Ruddy in bronze, champagne and white, and the elegant aesthetic extends to the interiors as well. Building amenities include a children’s playroom, landscaped roof deck with playground, a private fitness center and more.

The Visionaire (70 Little West Street) The striking 35-story Visionaire condominium is a LEED Platinum-certified green building featuring natural materials, an advanced fresh air supply system, integrated photo-voltaic solar panels, and sophisticated energy-saving technology. “It uses 67 percent less power on peak demand and 50 percent less water than a typical building of its size,” says Michael Gubbins, vice president and director of residential management at Albanese Development Corporation, the building’s developer. The building boasts a wellequipped fitness center and spa, landscaped roof gardens, a sky-lit indoor lap pool and a children s playroom with a vibrant reef aquarium as well as a social lounge with billiards.

Financial District 20 Pine The Collection (20 Pine Street) This landmarked building was the former home of the Chase Manhattan Bank headquarters. Its prime Financial District location suggests a certain sophistication, and the design and interior furnishes are nothing short of opulent. Imagine Armani/Casa designed interior furnishings, kitchens with cabinetry-concealed appliances and built-in design, and bathrooms complete with rainshowers, Turkish steam baths and soaking tubs. The 409 loft-like homes offer 67 different floor plans to choose from, with oversized windows allowing plenty of light and unobstructed views facing south towards the New York Stock Exchange. But the amenities have been the biggest selling point, according to Deborah DeMaria, sales director of Warburg Marketing Group. Families can enjoy a terrace lounge, a 50-foot swimming pool inside the building, a billiards room, a

Manhattan House (200 East 66th Street) “Between the building’s amenities and its great location, many residents who grew up in the building have chosen Manhattan House as the place to raise families of their own,” says Brian Fallon, partner of O’Connor Capital Partners and president of Manhattan House. This luxury, Gordon Bunshaft-designed and landmarked building is full of inspired amenities, including five-star concierge services, one of Manhattan’s largest private residential gardens and a Roto Studio-designed children’s playroom. Another notable feature is the rooftop Manhattan Club, with panoramic views, expansive terrace, indoor library, and even a spa/yoga studio run by Exhale. The one to five bedroom apartments are just as luxurious, many featuring 1 Rector Park expansive closets, fireplaces and private balconies.

Battery Park City


New York Family | March 2011

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1 Rector Park (333 Rector Place) Walk out the front door of this building and you’ll literally be standing in Rector Park. “It feels like somebody’s front lawn,” says Tricia Hayes Cole, executive managing director of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. In this downtown neighborhood, she points out, it’s an urban environment, but surrounded by 36 acres of open space, 13 parks, basketball courts, and the esplanade along the riverfront. This, coupled with the size of the homes at 1 Rector Park, makes it easy to see why families would want to live here. The building offers up to four bedrooms in seven or eight different layouts and a broad array of sizes, up to approximately 2600-square-feet. “There is flexibility in


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SPRING REAL ESTATE/HOME DESIGN lounge area with two flat-screen TV’s, a winter lounge, golf simulation room, spa and fitness center with full locker room and private showers. Residents can also take advantage of concierge service, in-house valet, bike room and storage, as well as the convenience of private subway access. Liberty Plaza (10 Liberty Street) This rental offers 287 apartments with up to three bedrooms. Designed to facilitate comfortable living, each apartment features high ceilings, excellent natural lighting and plenty of space. Amenities include a 24-hour doorman, fitness center with saunas, a 50-foot lap pool with sun terrace, a roof deck, lounge with a kitchen, a laundry facility and a children s playroom. Located in the increasingly family-friendly Financial District, Liberty Plaza is situated on a block surrounded by Wall Street, Broadway and the East River.

way it was designed, the layouts are relatively big: over 1500-squarefeet,” says Edward Azria, sales manager of Rose Associates, the building’s marketing and leasing agent. The interiors feature open kitchens with stone counters and covered cabinetry, open living spaces with teak flooring, and bathrooms with separate showers, deep soaking tubs and adjustable louvered doors. As for amenities, families can enjoy a penthouse sky lounge, complete with catering kitchen, private dining room and terrace, a landscaped roof deck, and a fully-equipped indoor fitness center; outdoor basketball and handball courts; glass-enclosed lap pool; terraced hot tub; sauna and steam rooms. “It’s not a standard New York By Gehry design in almost all its aspects,” Azria says. “It’s a bit new and a bit out of the ordinary and it makes a big difference.”

Kips Bay

New York By Gehry (8 Spruce Street) Situated right on City Hall Park, and right on the Waterside Plaza (10-40 Waterside Plaza) border of both the Financial District and Tribeca is A group of four residential towers nestled against the the 76-story New York by Gehry. The tallest residential East River at 25th Street, this special waterside community building in the western hemisphere offers great views of boasts spacious two and three bedroom luxury rentals as the island of Manhattan and the outer boroughs. “This well as furnished units. “Families love the fact that Waterbuilding has over 200 unique apartments,” says Cliff Finn, side Plaza is ready-made for children; the plaza is secure managing director for New Development Marketing. “The and spacious, making it a safe area for children to play. In façade has a movement to it, so that each apartment is difaddition, families can enjoy concerts, movies, and holiday ferent in the way the façade moves.” Families have plenty celebrations,” says Peter Davis, managing director of Waof two-and three-bedrooms to choose from. The ameterside Plaza. Residents of the Plaza also have access to its nity space takes up three floors of the building, totaling amenities, including a playroom, outdoor playground, and 22,000-square feet. There’s a children’s room for younger Creative Dream parties, a facility that hosts themed birthkids as well as a “Tween Den” outfitted with plasma TV’s, day parties for kids. The Waterside Swim & Health Club movies and Xbox; a 50-foot swimming pool; a screening and onsite-parking garage is also available for an additionroom; catering kitchen; private dinging room and a salon. al fee. A concierge desk helps families plan everything from There’s also a gaming room with golf simulators, billiards vacations to music lessons. and ping pong tables. And soon kids won’t even Waterside Plaza have to leave the building to go to school; an expansion of the PS 234 school will be housed on the lowest floor. William Beaver House (15 William Street) This 47-story condominium tower located just a block below Wall Street offers a truly unique architectural design by Tsao & McKown. The building’s exterior features glazed yellow brick that cascades light down into lower Manhattan. Of the 320 condominium units, 209 units are now on the market as high-end rentals, offering studios, one, two and three bedrooms. “Because of its condominium status and the


New York Family | March 2011

the building. A cutting-edge fitness center, private dining room, and 24-hour attended lobby complete the amenities.

The View

East Village Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village For families looking for a downtown luxury rental that’s close to Gramercy Park, the Flatiron District and Union Square, Stuyvesant Town and Peter Cooper Village offer a great sense of community. Set in an 80-acre park complete with a host of athletic facilities, playgrounds, walking and jogging paths, the buildings also serve as the site of outdoor concerts, movies, holiday celebrations and social events. The buildings at Stuyvesant Town offer one, two, three and five bedroom apartments for rent, featuring windowed-chef kitchens with separate dining areas, ample closet space and custom bathrooms. Its sister property, Peter Cooper Village, offers one to two bedroom rentals with city or park views, large windows and expansive dining areas, and the option of choosing modern or classic appointments. A host of amenities and services are available at both properties, including a seasonal greenmarket, concierge service by Abigail Michaels, 24-hour security, a children’s playroom, state-of-the-art fitness center, screening room and study, as well as on-site parking and an onsite Zipcar rental service.

Midtown West

Emerald Green (320 West 38th Street) Consisting of two 24-story towers and 568 apartments with spacious layouts and impressive city views, Emerald Green is a luxury rental building that lives up to its name. The building is designed to qualify for LEED certification, and features recycled-content construction materials, water-efficient plumbing, and a parking garage outfitted with electric car charging stations. “Enhancing the quality of life for not only our residents, but also future generations, is a top priority,” says Gary Jacob, executive vice president of Glenwood, the building’s developer. There is no shortage of onsite activities, including a state-of-the-art fitness center, yoga room and swimming pool, a circular stone whirlpool spa, a children s playroom with hand-painted murals, and a screening room with theater-style seating.

Harlem 5th On the Park (1485 Fifth Avenue) Families can find plenty to love about 5th On The Park, a high-rise located on Upper Fifth Avenue. The building contains a children’s playroom, community room, two common outdoor terraces (including one equipped with grills), a 24-hour attended lobby, an underground parking garage, fitness center and a 55-foot indoor heated lap pool. “For most of our buyers with families, the indoor heated swimming pool and kids playroom will be big factors,” said Stephen G. Kliegerman, Executive Director of Sales. “They also like the fact that they can get the space of an actual home while having all the amenities that you can only get in a luxury condominium.” The building’s 160 units boast top-of-the-line appliances, including full-size washers and dryers, and afford residents some stellar views of the city. 1280 Fifth Avenue (1280 Fifth Avenue) At the intersection of art, nature, and residential living, this Robert A.M. Stern-designed, 116-unit condominium faces Central Park, and houses the city’s newest museum construction, the Museum of African Art. With close proximity to many private schools, the Fifth Avenue bus line, and an express subway stop, the location is a major

The Dillon (425 West 53rd Street) This luxury condo and townhouse building offers four distinct residence types: flats, duplexes, penthouse 515 East 72nd Street duplexes and three-story townhouses. About 40 percent of The Dillon’s spaces are larger apartments with three or more bedrooms. The three to five bedroom penthouse duplexes feature private rooftop gardens, while the individual triplex townhouses each have a street entry, parking space and a private backyard. For families, The Dillon boasts a children’s playroom and a bike storage room; plus, “a lounge with a catering kitchen that opens to a Garden Plaza, which can be used for birthday parties and other family events,” says Elaine Diratz, managing director at Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group, which oversees the marketing and sales of

March 2011 | New York Family


SPRING REAL ESTATE/HOME DESIGN its developer, TF Cornerstone, called it The View. The building is literally situated in Gantry Plaza State Park, which means “children can go to a play area without even crossing the street,” as Scott Walsh, The View’s director of sales and market research, puts it. Inside, amenities abound with spacious apartments ranging to up to three bedrooms, featuring kitchens with Subzero refrigerators, spa chic bathrooms, and a sophisticated cooling and heating system. Plus, residents have access to fitness centers, an indoor rooftop swimming pool, party room, and fullyattended garage in an adjacent building.

Brooklyn Emerald Green

draw for families. But what sets 1280 Fifth Avenue apart is its design, amenities, and green features. (Notably, over 20 percent of its building materials are made from recycled items.) “The sponsor of 1280 did not ask Stern to stick within the same traditional vocabulary, “ says Nancy Packes, president of Brown Harris Stevens, Project Marketing, referring to the playful aspects of 1280’s design. In addition to large apartments, the building offers a garage, heated pool, children’s room, and a teen game room. What’s more? “We have a beautiful lounge, private dining room and catering kitchen; and next to it is a card and game area. It’s like having another home,” says Packes. The Langston (68 Bradhurst Avenue) Apartments really feel like home at this luxury condominium building, set between 145th and 146th Streets in Harlem. The 10-story building features two bedrooms as well as three bedroom duplex apartments. The last remaining penthouse, a three bedroom, two bath, 1327-squarefoot duplex on the 9th and 10th floors, has an open feel, featuring a double height 18’ living room, double panel windows with skyline views, private outdoor space and southern and eastern light. “It’s almost European in its feel. It’s a very simple, contemporary, understated type of design,” says Sidney Whelan of Halstead Property. Available for $749,000, the penthouse is also one of the lowest priced, three-bedroom luxury homes currently on sale in Manhattan. The building’s amenities include a fitness center, 24-hour attended lobby and concierge, on-site parking garage, plus a landscaped terrace with an outdoor children’s playground and bike storage. The Langston is located across the street from Jackie Robinson Park and close to The Harlem School of the Arts, Dance Theatre of Harlem and Riverbank State Park, and midtown is only two stops away on the D. “It’s a fabulous value for anyone with children,” says Whelan.

Love Lane Mews (9 College Place, Love Lane) This new low-rise building on one of the most charming streets in historic Brooklyn Heights offers thirty-eight loft condominiums offering up to 2800 square feet. Each unit is outfitted differently: some offer views on a high floor, others offer a duplex on a low floor, while others have outdoor space, gas burning fireplaces, exposed brick walls and high ceilings. “They feel very much like a home when you walk into them,” says Laurie Zucker of Manhattan Skyline, the building’s developer. And with white oak floors, oversized chef ’s kitchens, giant walk-in closets and double panel thermal windows, they offer plenty of space and light. What’s also unique is the amount of amenities for a boutique building. “What’s unusual for us is that we have a 24-hoor doorman and resident super, and fully-equipped fitness center. Every apartment has a washer and dryer and a larger laundry room in the building,” says Zucker. Each apartment also comes with its own parking space in an attended garage, and Abigail Michaels concierge service. In addition to the thirty-eight units, there are also two townhouses available across the street. One Brooklyn Bridge Park, (360 Furman Street) This 14-story, 438-unit building, housing everything from spacious loft apartments to townhouses to penthouses, overlooks the East River and is situated within Brooklyn Bridge Park. “Lovely Brooklyn Heights is already well known for being a great family neighborhood,” says Highlyann Krasnow, executive vice president at The Developers Group. Love Lane Mews

Long Island City The View ( 4630 Center Boulevard) With every apartment in this new LIC condo designed to maximize outside light and the spectacular vista of Manhattan across the East River, it’s no surprise that


New York Family | March 2011







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Linden 78

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230 West 78th Street; 212-724-0220

5th On The Park

Love Lane Mews 9 College Place, Love Lane 718-855-3333 Manhattan House

1485 5th Avenue at 120th Street; 212-348-5353

20 Pine The Collection 212-920-2020

235 West 71st Street 235 West 71st Street 212-588-5606

1280 Fifth Avenue 212-996-1280

Amenities include a large children’s playroom, a music room and art room, and a shuttle service that transports residents to the subway at Borough Hall or even to Trader Joe’s. There also are 550 parking spaces available for sale or lease. Toren (50 Myrtle Ave at Flatbush Ave) Located just minutes from Fort Greene Park, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, and every major subway line, Toren is a sleek new condominium building that offers a number of family-style amenities in a neighborhood that is both family and commuter-friendly. For families looking for more spacious two or three bedroom apartments, the 38-story Toren offers penthouses between 1200 and 1967-square-feet. The three bedroom duplexes are “like townhomes in the sky,” says Joseph Ferrara, partner at BFC Partners. He says the building was designed so that the bedrooms face views of Brooklyn, Manhattan and the Verrazano Bridge. Other amenities include a multi-level outdoor terrace, an indoor pool where children can sign up for swimming lessons, a yoga studio and gym with state-of-the-art equipment, and both indoor and outdoor movies for kids. Ferrara says the building is also striving for gold LEED certification.

New Jersey

The Mercury Lofts at the Beacon 4 Beacon Way, Jersey City 201-716-3000

New York By Gehry

60 Riverside Blvd 212-579-6006

8 Spruce Street (between William and Park Roe) 212-877-2220

The Ashley

One Brooklyn Bridge Park

The Aldyn

The Dillon

200 East 66th Street 877-394-6492

400 West 63rd Street 888-554-0133

360 Furman Street, Brooklyn 718-330-0030


Peter Cooper Village

333 East 91st Street 212-828-4848

888-234-3235 332 First Avenue

Crystal Point

Stuyvesant Town

2 2nd Street, Jersey City, NJ 201-433-7778

252 First Avenue 888-459-6271

The Dillon


425 West 53rd Street 212-586-5300

150 Myrtle Ave (at Flatbush Ave) 718-222-Toren (8673)

Emerald Green

The View

320 West 38th Street 212-695-3838

Georgica 305 East 85th Street 212-988-8511

The Langston 68 Bradhurst Avenue 212-381-2346 Liberty Plaza 10 Liberty Street 212-430-5900

4630 Center Boulevard Long Island City 877-LIC-7778

The Visionaire 70 Little West Street 212-425-2550

Waterside Plaza 10-40 Waterside Plaza 212-340-4201 William Beaver House 15 William Street 888-556-1955

The Mercury Lofts at The Beacon (4 Beacon Way, Jersey City)

This historic, 17-story art deco building offers spectacular views of the Manhattan skyline and surrounding cityscape. The building’s half- and full-floor lofts feature 13-foot ceilings, gourmet kitchens and 2,994- to 6,665-square feet of space. “The size of the residences in the Mercury is particularly appealing,” says George Filopoulos, developer of The Beacon and president of Metrovest Equities, Inc. “What was originally designed for 104 families will now be home to only 25.” What makes this building especially family-friendly is Be Kids at The Beacon, a 66,000-square foot children’s destination that will include an early childhood education center, gymnastics and sports camps, a restaurant and much more. Crystal Point (2 2nd Street, Jersey City) The 42-story Crystal Point, which opened last year, was built using multiple facade planes to ensure that the major-


New York Family | March 2011

ity of the 269 residences offered stunning water views. “This is the last available waterfront site available in Jersey City; the views will be protected forever,” says Adrienne Albert, CEO of Marketing Directors Inc. The one, two and three bedroom homes offer sprawling living spaces and kitchens featuring Italian Pedini wood, glass cabinetry and sparkling quartzite counters. Each residence comes complete with a washer and dryer, SMART home technology capabilities, concierge service and on-site valet parking. And there are many familyfriendly features as well. There’s an indoor/outdoor children’s center, an outdoor pool and hot tub, and two large BBQ areas. Parents will love the Crystal Spa, with its thermal bath, sauna, steam and treatment rooms, or they can take advantage of a yoga/aerobics room, state-of-the-art fitness center, game room with billiard and poker tables, separate screening room and lounge with catering kitchen. And for an easy commute to Manhattan, Crystal Point is just steps away from PATH trains at both Exchange Place and Newport.

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BASICS “GOING BACK TO BASICS. Families want the basic amenities: doorman, washer and dryer, gym and children’s room. They need storage rooms and bins, they want good closet space. Pet-friendly buildings are a plus. They want buildings without many stairs at the entrance. It used to be that real estate was all about location, location, location, but now I see that people are willing to compromise on location if the building has everything else I mentioned. Low monthly costs are also very important, as families encounter higher expenses as the kids grow.” —Jacky Teplitzky, Executive Vice President, Prudential Douglas Elliman

“NEW DEVELOPMENTS ARE TRYING again. Many New York City new developments froze when the recession hit due to problems with financing. This year, developers are ready to try again, bringing some projects that have stalled for several years back to the market. Whether buyers will take the bait remains to be seen.” —Sara Polsky, Editor, Curbed NY

From A Resurgence Of New Developments To A Demand For Open Kitchens, Experts Talk About The Latest Trends In Family Real Estate And City Living “MORE AND MORE FAMILIES are choosing to stay in the city. With the economic crisis, we were seeing families looking to move out of the city, to get more bang for their buck in terms of space and good schools. Smaller, starter apartments were more easily sold as many saw the housing bubble burst as an opportunity to enter the market. However, in the last several quarters, we have seen more and more family-sized (two-bedrooms or larger) apartments being sold.” —Sofia Song, Vice President of Research,

“CONDO AND CO-OP SALES VOLUME in New York City was down versus the same period a year earlier, but the median sales price was up. This reflects the increased demand for larger and combined units at the high end of the market. We have also seen an increase in first-time home buyers due to discounted sales prices and low mortgage rates. Recently, we have seen a greater sense of urgency to move forward from buyers concerned with rising interest rates.” —Peter Grabel, Private Mortgage Banker, Luxury Mortgage Corp

“BUYERS ARE LOOKING FOR open kitchens or are renovating to create an open kitchen. People are looking to expand their entertaining areas and opening their kitchen to the dining area, allowing the host to entertain while cooking. Cooking has also become a part of the entertaining experience.” —Deanna Kory, Senior Vice President, The Corcoran Group


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By Cristina Dimen

Smart Design Won’t Solve Sibling Rivalry—But It Can Help


iving in New York City has many perks—in lieu of a grassy backyard, families who call the Big Apple home live amidst museums, restaurants, miles of public greenways and numerous playgrounds. With the allure of nearby amenities, including top-ranked public and private schools, it’s not surprising that despite the heavy costs of renting or homeownership, “the percentage of families who choose to remain in the city has increased by 30 percent within the last 10 years,” according to Jennifer Lee, vice president and associate broker at Charles Rutenberg Realty. Lee sees most families opting for two-bedroom units, meaning city kids typically share a room, especially if they’re the same gender. But when designing a shared bedroom, how can parents recognize each child’s individual personality and interests while respecting their privacy? Kirsten Rondal Clausen, an interior architect, designer and mom of three, offers the following strategies. Create a Sense of Personal Ownership. Even a small area on a bookshelf, or their own area of the closet—plus baskets or containers for each child’s belongings—can create a sense of personal ownership. Allow children to display artwork or pictures on their own magnetic boards coated with lead-free magnetic paint primer and topped with a color of their choice. Save Floor Space. Bunk beds, Murphy beds and built-in bookcases save floor space. Create a peaceful and uncluttered space by keeping furniture pieces to a minimum. Keep Rooms Changeable. To avoid the task and expense of repeatedly redecorating the room as your children grow, Clausen cautions against painting walls with gender-specific or kid-themed cars, flowers or princess motifs. She recommends livening things up with colorful bean bags, or painting one wall with contrasting colors, stripes or varying-sized dots. Let the children define their room by choosing the colors or pattern of their bedding, area rugs and chairs. Use Furniture To Create Privacy. Create a sanctuary without altering the room’s original architecture with folding screens, bookcases or retractable hanging dividers made of half-transparent fabric. Prevent And, When Necessary, Mediate Conflict. Sooner or later, even the best bunkmates will have differences. Kevin R. Kulic, Ph.D., a licensed New York psychologist and father of three, suggests teaching kids to respect other people’s belongings at an early age. He recommends establishing hands-off “safe zones” in the form of small treasure boxes wherein kids can tuck away their most pre-


New York Family | March 2011

cious things, knowing no one will touch them. Train children to put things back where they got them, and encourage them to own up when they break something. When it comes to mediating disagreements, Dr. Kulic recommends teaching children to resolve some problems on their own. “Parents should intervene when issues are sensitive in nature, or when things get violent,” he notes. “Kids can’t feel unsafe in their own home.” Ultimately, learning to live together in close quarters can be a valuable experience for kids. After all, whether siblings room together as youngsters, later with college roommates, newbie renters or eventually with their own families, sharing rooms is a part of life. Where To Shop For Children’s Home Décor In NYC ABC Carpet and Home, 888 and 881 Broadway, 212-473-3000, Albee Baby, 715 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-6628902, Baby Depot, 707 6th Avenue, 212-229-1300, Babies R Us, 24-30 Union Square East, 212-7989905, Bellini Baby and Teen Furniture, 1305 Second Avenue, 212-517-9233, Buy Buy Baby, 270 Seventh Avenue, 917-344-1555, Company Kids, ducduc, 524 Broadway, Suite 206, 212-226-1868,  Dwell Studio, located inside ABC Carpet and Home, 888 Broadway, 212-472-3000, dwellstudio. com Ethan Allen, 1010 3rd Avenue, (212) 888-2384, giggle, 120 Wooster Street, 212-334-5817; 1033 Lexington Avenue, 212-249-4249; 352 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-362-8680; Gracious Home, 1992 Broadway, 212-2317800; 1217 Third Avenue, 212-517-6300; Home Depot, 40 West 23rd Street, 212-9299571; 980 3rd Avenue, 212-888-1512, homedepot. com IKEA, One Beard Street, Brooklyn, 718-246-4532, Kids Supply Co Jr. Homestore, 1343 Madison Avenue, 212-426-1200, Maclaren, 150 Wooster Street, 212-677-2700, Planet Kids, 247 East 86th Street, 212-4262040; 191 Amsterdam Avenue, 212-362-3931; 2688 Broadway, 212-864-8705; Pottery Barn Kids, 1311 2nd Avenue, 212-8794746; 1451 Second Avenue 212-879-2513, Pottery Barn Teen, 1451 Second Avenue (at 76th Street), 212-879-2513, Restoration Hardware, 935 Broadway, 212-2609479, Schneider’s, 41 West 25th Street, 212-228-3540, Yoya Mart, 15 Gansevoort Street, 212-242-5511,

WOW! ENJOY this fabulous country-club lifestyle, beyond expectations, in fully-manned 24-hour/gated property in beautiful Coconut Creek, Florida. Join this resort-style property and enjoy its amenities galore! Namely, golf, swimming/heated pool, theatre, tennis, community bus/off-site trips for shopping etc., library, clubhouse, sauna, Jacuzzi, fully equipped gym/fitness center and more, or JUST RELAX in this tastefully furnished unit with brand new state of the art kitchen, new granite countertops, granite back-splash, new cabinets, new sink/faucet/disposal, all brand new stainless steel appliances with 5-year warranty – refrigerator, stove/oven, dishwasher, microwave (above stove) – brand new, never-used furnishings in living room with newly purchased leather sofas and chair, matching new lamps and table, brand new china and dining room furniture, complete new bedroom, new unused luxury carpet in living room and bedrooms, absolutely brand new king-size luxury TempurPedic ($7,500 cost) adjustable bed for great comfort and support. This bright, spacious, newly painted unit has master bath/shower with double sinks, master walk-in closet, second bedroom and bathroom with shower, large glass-enclosed screened balcony (can be used for an extra room), just steps from and directly overlooking beautiful swimming pool. AND THERE IS MORE! Maintenance is paid up 1 more year which covers water, cable, exterior, etc., Pride Service Contract covers central air, heating, plumbing and paid up through Nov. 2012, electronic emergency alert system, private parking. To top this all off, a real beauty – your own JAGUAR XJ8, LIKE NEW, mileage 19,000. LOCATION! LOCATION! LOCATION! Live here, and you are only 2.5 miles from Florida Turnpike, 3 miles from I-95, add only another 3 miles east and you enjoy some of Florida’s beautiful beaches. Immaculate unit! Mint condition! Move-in condition! Seeing is believing! Call now to view this incredible, resort style property and car! Complete packaged deal is $275,000, negotiable, for the serious buyer with proof of funds. Great for snowbirds or permanent residence. Contact Michael at 917-742-0044 or e-mail:


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or many parents of a child with Down syndrome, the diagnosis can be an isolating and overwhelming experience. “My first reaction was, ‘How am I going to take care of my child? How am I going to protect her?’” says Tracy Nixon, whose daughter Laura, now 7, was diagnosed with Down syndrome at birth in 2003. Because Nixon and her husband had decided not to do prenatal testing, the diagnosis came as a surprise, and they found themselves scrambling to learn about Down syndrome and the resources available to them. “I probably didn’t sleep at all the first six months—I spent the entire time scouring the internet,” says Nixon, who is a graduate of Columbia Business School and a former executive at Goldman Sachs. In September of 2004, Nixon met Debbie Morris, a fellow New Yorker whose daughter Sophia, only a year younger than Laura, also had Down syndrome. “When Sophia was born, it was definitely a shock to my husband and me,” says Morris, who is a senior vice president at Chartis Insurance. “But luckily I was connected with Tracy the third day after Sophia was born, and she was a tremendous help.” Beyond their supportive friendship, Nixon and Morris became interested in fostering a more cohesive community for all local families with children with Down syndrome. In their experience, the informal network of social service agencies, schools, and websites for families with children Families enjoy a play session at the flagship GiGi’s Playhouse in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. with Down syndrome—or any other special need for that matter—can For Families With Children With Down Syndrome, be helpful but patchy and porous. And parents who don’t have either the finanThere Is Nothing Quite Like GiGi’s Playhouse—An cial resources or the time to properly Oasis of Support And Resources, And A Bridge To A navigate it can lose out on identifying services for their child and connectWider Community. Now In Seven Cities, The Next vital ing with other families facing similar Stop For This Remarkable Institution Is New York. challenges. That’s why Nixon and Morris are spearheading the effort to bring a remarkable institution called GiGi’s PlayBY DARCY NEWELL house to New York City. A Down syndrome awareness and


Playhouse OF

Their Own


New York Family | March 2011

Andrew Schwartz

currently in the process of finding a location, looking for about 1500 to 2000 square feet of ground floor, storefront space easily accessible by public transit. “Basically, the most expensive real estate in New York City,” Nixon says with a laugh. “But the whole point of GiGi’s is to celebrate this diagnosis and be a visible part of the community, and we can’t do that from the eighth floor of an office building.” Like at all GiGi’s Playhouses, the New York center will offer programming for children and parents, ranging from pre-natal diagnosis support to classes to help children crawl and walk, to mixers and movie nights for tweens and teens. All of the programming will be free, with the exception of the math and literacy tutoring programs, for which there will be a nominal fee to cover materials. “This is a real resource—anyone can come here and participate,” says Nixon. “GiGi’s doesn’t turn away anyone. If someone with autism walks in, cerebral palsy—if someone is disabled in any way, it’s fine,” Morris agrees. “It’s not only awareness, it’s From left, Debbie Morris and daughter Sophia and Tracy Nixon acceptance.” and daughter Laura at Nixon’s home. For Nixon and Morris, one of GiGi’s greatest attributes education center, GiGi’s started in 2003 in the Chicago sub- is that it offers a palpable sense of community to children urb of Hoffman Estates and is now in seven cities around who otherwise might not have it. the country. Its founder, Nancy Gianni, was inspired by her “In the early years, most children don’t distinguish daughter, GiGi. themselves from another child, but they do when they get to “I promised I would make the world a more acceptmiddle school,” says Nixon. “So when children with Down ing place for her,” Gianni writes on the GiGi’s Playhouse syndrome start to lose some of the closeness they have with website []. “I remember my first support their typically developing peers, if they have a strong comgroup meeting—we were in the corner of munity of their own, there’s not this sense a sterile room at the hospital. I just kept of loss. Instead, they can say, ‘I’ve got all One of GiGi’s thinking, ‘Why isn’t there a place for us?’ friends who are just like me.’” greatest attributes theseAnd That is what propelled me to create a place another wonderful outcome, is that it offers a where families could come for resources according to parents from a variety of palpable sense and networking, where kids with Down GiGi’s Playhouses, is that the educational syndrome could be the leaders, and where programs give children a tremendous of community we could celebrate our diagnosis.” academic boost. “Kids with Down synto children In May of 2009, Nixon and Morris flew drome are visual learners who respond who otherwise to visit GiGi’s Playhouse’s flagship location well to repetition, so the more exposure might not have in Hoffman Estates, Illinois. The first thing they have to the subject matter, the better it, helping them that struck them was its exterior, which off they are,” says Nixon. “So the intancultivate longshowcased beautiful professional photos of gible support helps with children’s conchildren with Down syndrome. The inside term friendships. fidence, and the tangible support helps was equally colorful and welcoming, with them in school.” fairytale inspired-murals and children’s While GiGi’s Playhouse New York is artwork adorning the walls, and books, toys, games and already generating a lot of buzz among city families, the orother interactive projects spread throughout the space. The ganization is still in great need of contributions of all kinds, playhouse also featured a cozy living room area for the parfrom play volunteers to administrative support to financial ents, which overlooked the children’s play space. donations, as well as physical items like toys, office materials “They had a terrific format,” remembers Nixon. “The and play equipment. “We need all skills; no one [who wants kids were playing and there were volunteers facilitating play, to help] will be turned away.” and the parents were bonding and exchanging resources,” she “We have already had tons of support in terms of how says. “We were all together just celebrating our children.” people want to contribute, it’s really a community effort and “It was just full of joy, light and happiness,” agrees Morit will take the community to build it,” says Morris. “I keep ris. “As soon as we got there, I thought, ‘We have to bring saying, GiGi’s is going to rock New York, and I believe it.” this to New York.’” For more information about GiGi’s Playhouse, visit gigisAs the president and vice president respectively of GiGi’s Playhouse New York City, Nixon and Morris are

March 2011 | New York Family



Driven to

A New Memoir Recounts A Crucial Year In The Life Of A Mother And Son—Both Living With Attention Deficit Disorder


Editor’s Note: When Katherine Ellison, award-winning investigative journalist and mom of two, was told that both she and her eldest son (nicknamed “Buzz”) suffered from attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, she embarked on a year-long effort to “make our home more peaceful, help my son make the best of his particular brain, and maybe even Be the Change I Wish To See In Buzz.” Ellison’s last-ditch effort resulted in a year’s worth of observations and experiments, successes and failures, confusion and insight—as well as a memoir, “Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention.” Below is an excerpt from the book.


September fog hangs over the Golden Gate Bridge as I speed southward in our dented brown Prius. One son sits beside me, the other in the back. Damn, damn, damn, I’m late again! I swerve in time to avoid missing the exit to Highway 280, and gun the car toward Silicon Valley. The boys are out of school for yet another “staff development day,” and I’m planning to drop them off with my parents while I have coffee with a friend and then meet with a venture capitalist who wants my help to write a speech. But I’ve left home so late I’ll barely have time to give my folks a quick hello at the drop-off—sure to evoke their rolled eyes and weary headshakes. Yikes! I nearly hit the car in front of me as my head

turns to referee another potentially fratricidal fight. We argue a lot in my family. Except for Jack, my even-keeled spouse, we’re moody, high-maintenance types. Which goes double for my eldest son, Buzz, who just turned twelve and each day fulfills my mother’s old, cheerful curse. “One day,” she’d say when I was growing up, “you’ll have a child just like you.” A noodge, she meant, with a chronically urgent agenda, never able to take no for an answer. My mother was right about that, and more. Three years ago, Buzz—the alias I’ve chosen for my son, for the electric-jolt way he usually affects me— was diagnosed with attention deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), with a side order of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). The first diagnosis signifies a problem of distraction and poor self-control. The second means that he is frequently a pain in the neck. The point is, I have a certifiable problem child, while I’m also certifiably part of the problem. Call it diagnosis envy disorder, but Buzz’s new status inspired me to check in with Dr. Y, the psychiatrist I first began seeing in my twenties, to ask if he thought I might share my son’s disabling distraction. He said he did, indeed. This alphabet-soupy new lens on our life helps explain our chronic chaos, but so far has done little to reduce it.

The point is, I have a certifiable problem child, while I’m also certifiably part of the problem.


New York Family | March 2011

And, boom! My mind is off to the races. I should never, ever have given him Coke that first time—when was that again? And of course, I drink Diet Pepsi in front of him… What a bad mom! But what if he needs it? I certainly need it. Could he be trying to muster his focus? Or is he just pushing my buttons— again? Oh, man, I’m never going to make it in time, no matter if we stop or not. Fantastic: late for the first meeting with a new client. I can’t do anything right. And why on earth am I meeting my friend Pete today, when I should be using the time to squirrel myself away somewhere and finish the proposal for that book on plastic pollution that I promised my agent I’d deliver last month? Buzz is still roaring: “I waaaaaant CAWFEE!” I love Buzz and Max with a passion that continues to surprise me. They’ve helped me become a better person than I ever could have been without them. What I want most of all right now is to model healthy behavior for their sake. “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” I yell. “Mom,” Max pipes from the backseat, “I don’t think the fish oil is working.” b Nick Rozsa

Not that I haven’t tried. Most recently, I’ve encouraged everyone in my family, including even-keeled Jack, to take fish oil supplements. Research suggests they’re good for general brain health and mood. Suddenly, Buzz squirms in his seat, tugs on the visor of his Dodgers cap, and announces: “I want coffee.” “Oh, Buzz,” I say immediately. “You know that’s not good for you.” “I NEED coffee.” He never drinks coffee. Okay, I’ve let him have it maybe once or twice. But what was the final word on whether it stunts your growth? Katherine Ellison “Either coffee or a Coke,” he growls. Buzz is sitting up in front to minimize the risk of bodily harm to his nine-year-old brother, Max. Sometimes this works, but sometimes he gets upset and throws things or jerks back his seat to ram Max’s knees. Will now be one of those times? My heart is expanding, and not in a good way. It seems to be pressing against my lungs. “Neither one is good for you, and we can’t stop now, as you know,” I say automatically, switching lanes to overtake a slower car. My voice is wonderfully calm. Hurray for me! “We’re on the freeway,” I add. “COFFEE!” Buzz roars.

Excerpted from “Buzz: A Year of Paying Attention,” by Katherine Ellison. Copyright 2010; published by Voice.

Parenting 911 Presents

The Parenting Survival Series: Teens, Tweens, and Toddlers

March 10, 2011, 7 pm: Unravel the Mystery – Understanding Teens

April 14, 2011, 7 pm: Pop Culture Families – Examining the Function and Dysfunction

May 24, 2011, 7 pm: Cracking the Baby Code – Understanding Infant and Toddler Language and Attachment

All lectures are held at Roosevelt Hospital Conference Center, 2nd Floor, 1000 10th Avenue between 58th & 59th Streets. Pre-registration is recommended. Please call (212) 523-7342. NY Family 6.925x4.7-PRESS.indd 1


1/19/11 6:23:54 PM March 2011 | New York Family

Special needS guide

Finding a

SPecial School

From Recognizing Early Signs Of Developmental Delays To Deciding Between Public And Private Institutions, Author And Educator Laurie Dubos Offers Advice For Navigating The Landscape of Special Needs Education In New York City By Rachael hoRowitz


or New york city parents, navigating a school system that serves more than a million children can be complicated and overwhelming. For parents of a child with special needs, the process is even more daunting, with a host of different options to consider, acronyms to become familiar with (like cSe, committee on Special education; iePS, individualized education Plans and NPS, nonpublic schools, to name a few) and many decisions to make along the way. to help parents better understand the special education landscape in the city, we spoke with laurie Dubos, co-author of “a Parent’s Guide to Special education in New york city and the Metropolitan area.” Dubos, who has worked in the field of special education for over 30 years, shares how a child’s interest in play can indicate developmental delays, what parents should consider first and what kinds of schools may be the best fit for their child.


New York Family | March 2011

What are some early signs that a child might have a learning disability or developmental delay? Depending upon the child and the disability, it can manifest itself from birth. You have some children who you automatically know are going to need special services, such as a child with Down syndrome or a child who has cerebral palsy. Signs that a child has autism, however, may not manifest themselves before the child is two years old. The first indication is often the lack of language. If a child is not speaking by the age of two, or he’s not using simple sentences, that’s a clear delay for most children. There are other criteria such as eye contact, hand slapping or twirling that are associated with autism. But with children who might be on the autism spectrum who are very mild, you might not catch them until later. Along with language, you have play skills. A red flag would be if a

child needs an adult to help them play, or a child with no interest in playing with other kids. Language and play often go together. Children can’t play if they don’t have the language of their peers.

© 2005 James Roderick

What should parents do if they suspect their child might have a learning disability? I think parents know their children best. It doesn’t hurt to bring your child to your pediatrician or a specialist. Even if it comes out that they don’t have a disability, it helps parents to alleviate those fears. There are too many parents out there who think, “If only I had done something earlier.” When the child is the first born, young parents really don’t know what to expect. They don’t have an understanding of child development. They don’t know what a two-year-old is supposed to be doing or what an 18-month-old is supposed to be doing. Often times a parent will Laurie Dubos say, “Once I had my second child I realized how delayed my first child was.” What’s the next step for parents after a child is diagnosed with a learning disorder or a disability? The next step would be to contact the school district to make a referral for their child to be evaluated, and these evaluations are free. Some parents will go the private school route, but if they’re looking for funding, you have to go through the public school first. What’s most important to look at when considering a public school? You want to see what kinds of programs are available for the child. Most neighborhood schools have a resource room where children spend part of their day with a special educator. I would look for very good scores in terms of students’ achievement, as well as the experience of the teachers and how long they’ve been a part of that community. What happens when there isn’t a public school that meets the needs of a child? Parents can go through due process. There are enough nonpublic schools (NPS) who work closely with the Department of Education when they can’t provide an appropriate education in the community public schools. These private schools are licensed by the state and the Department of Education and can provide tuition and place children in those schools. Is that a difficult process? It becomes contentious if the Department of

tion believes that they have a place to send the child and the parent disagrees. If the DOE feels strongly that they can provide a free, appropriate education for a student and the parents are insistent on a private school, it can be very difficult, and often parents will have to obtain some kind of legal representation. Most of the parents I’ve worked with had children with complicated learning issues. Most of them have gotten in [to the private school] but it takes someone who really can advocate for their child and understands the system. So parents should go through the process before looking into an NPS? The problem if you do that is that there often times won’t be a place for the child at the [private] school. Parents should look into private schools and at the same time start the process of working with the DOE to determine whether they do have a program that is appropriate for their child. If parents really believe their child belongs in a private school setting, I recommend they do that simultaneously, because if they wait until they finish the process with the DOE, there often will not be openings in that school. What should parents consider when choosing a private school? Look at the kind of curriculum they use. Most of the schools are trying to use similar curriculum that other schools are using so that a child doesn’t miss out for their grade and age level. Look to make sure that children at the school have similar learning issues as your child. Also, in the book, we talked about the fact that it’s not just a place for the child, but it’s a place for the family. What’s the most important piece of advice you have for parents who are navigating the special needs arena? Educate yourself. Resources for Children with Special Needs ( is a wonderful agency that offers a lot of workshops and trainings. Go out and visit the schools—public and private—so you’re aware of what’s available for your child. There are also lots of ways to connect with other parents online; try to connect to those who are working with the school system and who are working within the area you’re most interested in. I’d recommend that parents get involved so they don’t feel so isolated. March 2011 | New York Family




arents of both typically developing children and children with special needs are invited to attend the 8th Annual Young Child Expo and Conference, taking place April 7-8 at the Hotel Pennsylvania. Copresented by the Fordham University Graduate School of Education and Los Niños Services, this all-encompassing conference brings together educators, authors, researchers and experts in early childhood development to share their ideas with concerned parents, teachers and other childhood professionals for two days of immersion in the world of early child care. Unlike other conferences, this event offers attendees the opportunity to learn about services, resources and products to help all children reach their full potential, whether typically developing, special needs, gifted, talented or bilingual. “The mission of the conference is bringing together professionals, parents and people interested in special needs in order to help young children learn and grow well, and help them reach their potential,” says Scott Mesh, an early childhood psychologist and executive

director of Los Niños Services, which works to meet the developmental needs of young children through evaluations, parent/child groups, service coordination and training. “Most conferences are professional gatherings of colleagues; this is a practical, hands-on conference.” The expo aims to create a dialogue between doctors and educators working in the field of early child development. This year’s keynote speakers include Dr. Ami Klin, director of the Autism Program at Emory University; Dennis M. Walcott, former deputy mayor for education and community development; Ellen Birnbaum and Nancy Schulman, directors of the 92nd Street Y Nursery School; and Dr. Marc Brackett, deputy director of Yale University’s Health, Emotion, and Behavior Laboratory. The conference will feature 25 sessions, full and half-day workshops and an exhibition hall where parents can gather information on early childhood resources, services and products. For more info, visit —Tiffanie Green and Lanchi Venator

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New York Family | March 2011


Classes For Kids With Special Needs


hese days, more and more of the city’s activity centers and sports programs are offering classes designed for children with special needs. Here are just a few:

Chelsea Piers Long known for their quality educational programs for little ones, the sports complex now offers an enrichment program for children with developmental needs ages 18 months to 5 years. Called “CP Building Blocks,� the program targets language development, cognition, motor development and socialization. Each week children learn a new language concept and practice it through gross and fine motor activities, multisport activities, story time, music and cooking. (

Gymtime Rhythm & Glues Gymtime’s special needs program, called The Julian School, is designed to address the unique needs of preschool-age children with learning disabilities. Classes prepare children ages 3-5 who struggle in a typical classroom setting to transition into a mainstream school environment. Student-teacher ratios are kept low (one instructor and two assistants serve a class of no more than 12 children), and structured circle time activities facilitate concept-building as well as socialization. (

Super Soccer Stars Designed by early childhood, behavioral and soccer specialists, the Super Soccer Stars Special Needs program is geared toward kids with developmental disorders like ADHD, autism and Down syndrome. Classes deliver individual


attention with a 2-to-1 child-to-coach ratio. Birthday parties and private classes of at least four children are also available. Classes are offered in Manhattan, Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx. (

ADHD, autism, PDD, seizures, migraines, brain fog, bed wetting, moodiness and depression can in some cases be improved: • by removing TRIGGER FOODS +/or ADDITIVES from the diet • by prescribing small doses of NUTRIENTS

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Examples of improvements the physician has seen: • Some L.D. children had a 3-year gain in reading comprehension, within the ďŹ rst six months. (Journal article available on request). • Children with breakthrough seizures (despite several anticonvulsants, in the right doses) stopped having breakthrough seizures. • Children with autism or profound PDD had less agitation, and became much more social.


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UPMMGSFF March 2011 | New York Family


you’ll go!

Away We Go! Whether You’re Looking For Fun In The Sun Or A Final Trip Down The Snowy Slopes, A Few Inspired Destinations For Spring Family Travel BY IVY TAN

The San Francisco Carousel.

Loews Miami Beach Hotel South Beach, Florida The recently renovated Loews Miami Beach Hotel in South Beach, Florida is a perfect destination for families looking for fun in the sun, tons of kid-friendly activities and a luxurious setting. Parents will appreciate the convenient beach access, breathtaking views and array of shops and restaurants, while kids enjoy the vast selection of water sports, Pottery Barn’s SoBe Kids Camp (complete with Wii competitions, beach sports, sand castle contests and more) giant oceanfront swimming pools, a vintage-inspired ice cream parlor and lobby aquarium. Recently named one of the top 10 beach resorts for families by Parents Magazine, the resort is also close to other kid-approved attractions like the Children’s Museum and Jungle Island. (

state of New York! The Catskills resort boasts a wealth of activities for kids, like an expansive indoor water park, unlimited horseback riding, bungee jumping, nature hikes, horse drawn hay rides and much more. When the weather warms, the resort also offers plenty of outdoor water sports, like a 125-foot water slide and banana boating and water skiing on a private lake. Parents will also love the all-inclusive meals, cocktail parties and 24-hour coffee, ice cream and hot chocolate stations, and can even destress with a visit to the fully-equipped fitness center, spa and saunas. (

San Francisco California Turn spring break into an adventure by taking a trip to the city of San Francisco, which boasts stunning, bayside views and plenty of fun for parents and kids alike. Must-see destinations in this culturally-rich city include a trip to the Exploratorium (an all-inclusive museum that covers science, art and human perception), a stroll across the magnificent Golden Gate Bridge, a taste of the fresh seafood at the historical Fisherman’s Wharf, a cruise trip to and tour of Alcatraz Island, and a visit to the expansive San Francisco Zoo, which houses 250 species, a children’s zoo, miniature train and carousel. Of course, no trip is complete without a ride on one of the city’s iconic cable cars! (

Rocking Horse Ranch Resort Highland, New York The Rocking Horse Ranch Resort allows families to experience the Wild Wild West—all without leaving the


New York Family | March 2011

Aspen Snowmass Aspen, Colorado If you’d like to escape to a winter wonderland one last time this season,

Aspen Snowmass is a fun-filled destination for skiers and riders of all ages and skill levels. The mountain offers lessons and ski and snowboard school, ice skating, storytelling and s’mores by the campfire, and indoor fun at the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, where kids can explore themed rooms, enjoy movie nights and partake in tons of hands-on activities and projects. Eco-minded families can also enjoy free, interactive nature programs and tours, where kids can learn about the local wildlife and their natural habitats. Parents will also be pleased to know that the mountain offers airfare discounts, reduced hotel rates and great family packages in which kids ski and stay for free! (

Family Fun Day & Travel Fest! Family travel guru Kimberly Wilson Wetty has been contributing her expert destination tips to our pages for several months. Now we’re teaming up with her to throw an amazing and free Family Party & Travel Fest next month, featuring three of the most family-friendly travel excursions in the world in conjunction with Valerie Wilson Travel: the large and well-regarded travel consulting firm, which will be on hand to help inspire you with ideas about family travel for spring and summer. * Adventures by Disney, offering Disney vacation magic in a whole new form. Disney Adventures provides expertly planned and guided vacations in locations like Egypt, China and Costa Rica. Families can experience the destination of their choice in an eco-friendly, environmentally focused setting. * Club Med, with its affordable but luxurious all-inclusive family deals at stunning, newly renovated properties. Families can visit destinations like Cancun Yucatan, Mexico and the Dominican Republic and enjoy amenities like award-winning Children’s Clubs and lessons in outdoor sports and adventure. * Royal Caribbean International, which packs every conceivable family desire and need into its amazing cruises. Kids can partake in activities like ice-skating and rock climbing while parents indulge in the onboard spa, wine bar and fine dining. The event will take place on Sunday, April 10th at The Sports Club/ LA, located at 330 East 61st Street (between 1st and 2nd Avenues), from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Please RSVP at familytravelfest@ or visit for more information.

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Asphalt Green

From Teaching Nutrition To Making Fitness Fun, How Camp Encourages Healthy Habits


New York Family | March 2011


ith childhood obesity affecting one in five children, camps play a vital role in turning back this national trend. Camps are important partners for parents and children who want to make positive changes that keep kids active and eating right all year long.

The CulpriTs Health professionals agree that numerous environmental and social factors are at play when it comes to the eating and exercise behaviors of young people. With the availability of buses and carpools, the era of “walking uphill two miles to school every day” is long gone for most kids. Outside play is also decreasing, as children are spending much more time indoors than children ten or twenty years ago. It’s no surprise to concerned parents that many children spend too much time with inactive technology, devoting as much as three to five hours a day to TV or computerrelated entertainment. Almost everyone is familiar with the Food Guide Pyramid, but not many people are as familiar with the Physical Activity Pyramid. According to the Council for Physical Education for Children, sixty minutes is the minimum amount of physical activity recommended for children. Ideally, children should engage in flexibility games and exercises as well as muscular fitness activities at least three times a week, have active aerobics, active sports and

recreation activities be a part of each day’s activities, and gather many of the sixty minutes of moderate and vigorous activities from outside play, games, walking and other physical exercise. Camps offer an optimal environment to encourage varying levels of physical challenges, teach lifelong active recreational pursuits, and establish opportunities to learn active lifestyle behaviors. A heAlThy ATTiTude AT CAmp Camps and their staffs make sure that camp programs offer opportunities for healthy and active living. If children begin to change some of their food and activity habits at camp, they might be able to transfer some of these behaviors when they return home. • Camps can help children learn to like foods that are good for them by presenting good choices in a fun environment. • Camps can provide older children and young adults as mentors for the children, to support positive, healthy behavior. • Camps can teach children that physical

UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL SUMMER DAY CAMP June 27th to July 29th, 2011 www.UNIS.ORG For children 4 to 14 years old Not every kid wants the same kind of camp, and we want happy campers! That’s why Summer at St. Bart’s offers four options that include swim every day:

Tiny Tot’s at St. Bart’s June 6th-August 19th yearswe want 9am happy to 12:30pm Not every kid wants the same kindAgeof 3-4.5 camp, and campers! That’s why St. Bart’s is offering • Artsthatandinclude Craftsswim • Sports in our gym • Dance and Movement • Rooftop play three options every day: th st St. Bart’s Day Camp June 8 June – August St Bart’s Day• Camp 6th-21August 19th Perfect for 3 1⁄2 to 8 year olds: swimming every day, sports, art or science, dance, plus a whole Age 4.5-7 years 9am to 3pm lot more on our rooftop playground! • Arts and Crafts • Sports in our gym • ndDance and Movement • Rooftop play Island Sports Camp • June 22 – August 21st • Fun with Science • Karate • Drama • Extended day options For 7 – 13 year olds who like something a little more sporty. Start the day with science, art, yoga or drama, then jet off forCamp a day of June softball, soccer, The day19th concludes back at Island Sports 27thand–tennis. August St. Bart’s withAge swimming instruction in our trips indooronce pool.a week/private bus 7-13 years • Special Adventure Camp June 22nd –Island August 21stlessons • Soccer •Field Sports• at Roosevelt • Tennis This camp is great for 8 – 13 year olds who aren’t crazy about sports art, science • Softball • Kickball • Ultimate Frisbee • Relay Races • Touch Footballbut• are andintomore… and a little adventure. This camp offers two (2) educational/recreation trips per week in and outside ofAdventure Manhattan. Also includes some sports, yoga, drama and a weekly art/science showcase. Camp June 20th-August 19th TWO educational/recreational Summer at St. Bart’sAge also7-13 offersyears flexible•scheduling, the Breakfast Club, Lunchtrips/week and After Camp program. To register, schedule a family convenience, more and information, contact Eileen Reddy at • Arts and tour Craftsat your • Sports in our orgymreceive • Dance Movement • Yoga (212) 378-0203, or• visit our •website: Drama • Science Summer at St. Bart’s also flexible scheduling, the Breakfast Club, Lunch and After Camp programs. St.offers Bartholomew’s Church Contact Eileen Reddy at 212-378-0203, or Janette Coleman at Park Avenue at 51st Street • • 212.378.0203

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exercise is fun and can be an activity of choice over television and video games. • Camp environments can become the safest activity-oriented learning center outside the school system by working in tandem with education and nutrition.

physiCal aCtivity at Camp Most camp programs are synonymous with activity from walking to field games, and the best camps challenge themselves every year to offer fresh activities to draw in new campers and excite returning campers.

Food and nutrition at Camp Many camps look for innovative, fun, tasty ways to provide healthy choices and decision-making skills to their campers. The following list includes some “tried-and-true” techniques found at camps.

• Physical fitness fun with contests and games • Active role models at camp • Physical activity that doesn’t require lots of equipment • Activity teams or “walking buddies” programs • Positive feedback on the process of doing your best, emphasizing participation rather than winning or being the best • A wide variety of new and traditional activities, sports, and games • Focus on fun and gaining a healthier lifestyle

• Teach children to alter food preferences by giving them good choices • Offer taste tests, expose children to new foods • Encourage eating breakfast • Reduce “fast food” and junk food for snacks and side dishes (chips, cookies, candy, etc.), provide healthy options at the snack bar or camp store • Educate children about healthy eating and knowing when to stop eating


soCial support If young people see peers and adults they admire, like their coun-

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selors and other campers, engaged in enjoyable active pursuits, they will likely want to model a similar behavior. If your child’s favorite counselor routinely engages in games, swimming, hiking and other enjoyable activities, it’s easy to imagine that your child will follow suit. In the company of new and old friends, these new adventures, as well as the shared, nutritious meals are simply more rewarding. Camps can play a vital role in contributing to lifelong patterns of exercise and excellent nutrition. Camp is a great place to offer good food, great activities, a positive environment, safe and secure location, and most of all, fun. Adapted from the article “Kids and Healthy Lifestyles,” by Viki Kappel Spain; M. Deborah Bialeschki, Ph.D. Originally printed in CAMP Magazine, reprinted by permission of the American Camp Association © 2006 American Camping Association, Inc.

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New York Family | March 2011

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Weekends in March

PAPER BAG PARTY [Ages 3-9] This month, the Paper Bag Players, one of the city’s premier children’s musical theater groups, will present its new production “The Paper Bag Players Whoop-Dee-Doo” at three theaters across the city. The hilarious musical show, which is jam packed with new stories, songs and dancing, paper bag props and costumes and plenty of audience participation, introduces kids to characters like a tiny paper dragon named volcano and a little boy named boom, and is sure to be a treat for parents and kids alike. Performances will take place March 5, 6, and 12 at The Kaye Playhouse at Hunter College at 2 p.m.; on March 13, at the Tribeca Performing Arts Center at 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.; and on March 19, at Symphony Space at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. Tickets range between $15 and $30. 212-353-2332;


MARCH 26th

March 5

SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK [Ages 0-10] On March 5th, the Suzi Shelton Band will take the stage at Park Slope’s Southpaw Bar to benefit the Brooklyn Free Space preschool, a cooperative preschool that has served the Park Slope community for over 30 years. Kids will love Suzi’s whimsical lyrics and the musical stylings of her band; a guitarist, bassist, and drummer are her usual accompaniment, though Suzi’s six-year-old daughter may also make an appearance on back-up vocals. What’s more, the concert’s opening act, the Chicago-based Little Miss Ann Band, will delight audiences with its folk rock songs with big messages—like loving others and being true to yourself. Doors will open at noon, the show will begin at 12:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $12 at the door; children under 2 are free. Food and drinks will be available for purchase. 125 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, 718-230-0236;


March 5

A HIMALAYAN CELEBRATION [All Ages] Families can spend their Saturday ringing in the Himalayan New Year at the Rubin Museum of Art with an afternoon of hands-on activities rooted in Himalayan traditions. Kids can create works of art with a lesson in Tormas (butter sculpture traditionally used in shrine offerings), expand their cooking skills while making momos (Tibetan dumplings) or watch as a master sand-mandala maker creates sacred diagrams out of millions of grains of colorful sand. Kids can also listen to interactive stories and songs that celebrate the holiday and enjoy a cup of tea from the Little Lhasa Tea House. Festivities will take place between 12 p.m. and 5 p.m.; tickets are $10. 150 West 17th Street, 212-620-5000;



March 6

BROADWAY BABES [Ages 4 to 11]


New York Family | March 2011


The Kaufman Center’s Broadway Playhouse series, which is now in its fifth season, introduces children ages 4 to 11 to beloved Broadway musicals. On March 6, mini theater aficionados can get to know the award-winning and legendary Broadway duo of lyricist Tom Jones and composer

March 26

KID ROCK [All Ages]


MARCH 20th

Harvey Schmidt, who together wrote the longestrunning musical in history, “The Fantasticks,” as well as “110 In The Shade” and “I Do, I Do!” At the performance, guests will be treated to a mini-version of “The Fantasticks,” and Mr. Jones will even make a guest appearance. The show will begin at 11 a.m.; tickets are $20. 129 West 67th Street, 212-501-3340;

March 13

ROAMING RANGERS [Ages 8+] Kids can channel their inner sleuth while they enjoy the great outdoors at Prospect Park’s fun-filled and free event “Where in the World is Ranger Robin?” on Sunday, March 13th. At the event, kids will have to work together, use a compass and locate hidden clues in the park to find Ranger Robin—a small doll that has gotten lost in the park and needs help to be found. Kids will love exploring the gorgeous 585-acre park, meeting new friends and rescuing Ranger Robin. The day is free and begins at 1 p.m.; participants can meet at the park’s Picnic House at West Drive and Third Street. 718-965-8951;

March 20

PURIM PARTY [Ages 3 to 10] The Museum of Jewish Heritage invites families to celebrate Purim with a family concert, featur-


ing a performance from the Mama Doni Band, a groovy, high-energy musical foursome that blends hip hop, funk and Jewish traditions. Kids will love a reggae rendition of “Mazel Tov,” a Latin version of “Challah-Day” and Mama Doni favorites like “The Kooky Cookie” and “Hey Man, You’re Acting Like A Human.” Before the concert, kids can partake in a costume parade, decorate groggers and make crowns to wear during the performance. Festivities begin at 3:30 p.m.; tickets are $10 for adults, $7 for children 10 and under. 36 Battery Place; 646-4374200;

On Saturday, March 26th, Justin Roberts and the Not Ready for Naptime Players, who have been heralded by the New York Times as “a rising star in the world of children’s music,” will take the stage at Symphony Space. Roberts, a Chicago native whose vocal style has been compared to greats like James Taylor and Elvis Costello, and the band will charm kids and adults alike with funny lyrics and stories that every child can relate to—like befriending the monster under the bed and dealing with the trauma of school picture day. Performances will take place at 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; tickets range between $13-27. Peter Jay Sharp Theatre, 2537 Broadway, 212-8645400;

March 25-30

PATTERNS OF PERFECTION [All Ages] Craft-minded kids will love exploring the American Folk Art Museum’s new exhibit “Infinite Variety: Three Centuries of Red and White Quilts,” at the Park Avenue Armory. The exhibit, which features 650 quilts hanging from the eight-storyhigh ceiling, is the largest quilt exhibit ever to be presented in New York City, and invites little explorers to go on a self-guided hunt for shapes, patterns and animals. Family-friend materials will be provided as a companion to the exhibit, which is free and open to the public. The exhibition will be on view from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., with the exception of Sunday and Wednesday, when it will close at 5 p.m. Park Avenue Armory, 643 Park Avenue;

MARCH 13th

March 26

JAZZ FANS [Ages 6-12] On March 26th, Jazz at Lincoln Center’s popular Jazz for Young People series will introduce music fans of all ages to jazz of years gone by in the family concert and workshop, “What is the Big Band Era?” Many scholars and jazz fans agree that the big band era was the period in which jazz reached its peak—both in terms of popularity and musical greatness. In the presentation, composer and multi-instrumentalist Ted Nash will led the JALC Orchestra in a sampling of some of the most revered big bands, like Duke Ellington, Count Basie and Benny Goodman. Concerts will be held at 1 p.m. and 3 p.m. at the Rose Theater; Tickets range between $1238. 33 West 60 Street, Floor 11, 212-2589800; To submit an event listing, please email

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March 2011 | New York Family


MUSEUMS AmericAn museum of nAturAl History

The AMNH’s exhaustive collections span human culture, the natural world and the universe. On March 12th, kids can head to the special presentation “Wild Wild World: Predator,” where they can learn about various predators in the wild and get a close-up look at a Golden Eagle, alligator, black throat monitor and a burmese python. Central Park West and 79th Street, 212769-5100,

Brooklyn cHildren’s museum

The first Saturday of each month, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum hosts the World Passport Workshop Series, where kids can learn about an exciting new concept that lends itself to great thematic study. On March 5th and 6th, kids can celebrate the magic of Dr. Seuss at a special celebration of the author’s birthday, by creating Seussical poems, reading their favorite stories and making a Seuss-inspired hat. 145 Brooklyn Avenue (at St. Marks Avenue), Brooklyn, 718-735-4402,

cHildren’s museum of tHe Arts

The Children’s Museum of the Arts strives to extend the benefits of the arts to children and their communities. On Fridays in March, kids can partake in “Stories of the City: A Collaborative Media Lab Workshop,” where they can create puppets, skyscrapers, parks and more to share their own tales of living in the city. 182 Lafayette Street, 212-274-0986;

cHildren’s museum of mAnHAttAn

This museum offers art-based educational exhibits and programs in a variety of subjects, as well as extensive offsite outreach. Throughout the month of March, kids ages 4 and up can explore the incredible Playmobil Fantasy Diorama with CMOM staffers and create their own dioramas with mixed media. 212 West 83rd Street, 212-721-1234;

el museo del BArrio

One of the city’s leading Latino cultural institutions, the museum offers wide-ranging exhibitions that are complemented by film, literary, visual and performing arts series, cultural celebrations, and educational programs. Every third Saturday of each month, families can head to the museum for Super Sabado!, a free day of live music, exhibitions, film screenings and more. 1230 Fifth Avenue, 212-831-7272,

GuGGenHeim museum

AMNH\R. Mickens

The second Sunday of every month, the Guggenheim museum offers family tours of its exhibits and galleries, which incorporate conversation and creative hands-on activities for kids ages 5 to 10. On March 13th, kids will love the workshop “Moving Pictures,” where they can explore how movement and energy are used in works of art. 1071 Fifth Avenue, 212-423-3500;

intrepid seA, Air & spAce museum

Centered on the World War II aircraft carrier Intrepid, the museum features a range of interactive exhibits. On March 1st, the museum will debut a new exhibit “Inspiration and Industry: American Women on the Home Front,” which explores how women contributed to war effort in both World War I and World War II. Pier 86, 12th Avenue and 46th Street, 877-957-SHIP;

JewisH museum

The Jewish Museum features a permanent collection of more than 28,000 objects—paintings, sculpture, photographs, archaeological artifacts, coins, ceremonial objects and more—relating to Jewish heritage and history. On March 20th, families can celebrate Purim with a performance from the Dirty Sock Funtime Band. At the concert, kids can enjoy carnival-like klezmer rock and dance in costume to the fun jam “ClownaHagila.” Fifth Avenue at 92nd Street, 212-423-3337;

tHe metropolitAn museum of Art

The Met’s friendly, interactive programs help children grow an appreciation for the treasures inside this world-renowned museum. On March 12th and 13th, kids can partake in the program “Music at the Museum: How Did They Do That?” where they can explore the craftsmanship and sound of archtop guitars. Fifth Avenue, 212-535-7710,

tHe morGAn liBrAry And museum

The Morgan Library and Museum is one of the world’s greatest collections of literary and musical works from all time periods. This month, kids can check out the Morgan’s exhibit “The Diary: Three Centuries of Private Lives,” which will showcase over 70 diaries from notable figures like Henry David Thoreau and St. Augustine. 225 Madison Avenue, 212-685-0008,


New York Family | March 2011

CloCkwise From top: Children’s Museum of the Arts, American Museum of Natural History, Children’s Museum of the Manhattan

Tonight belongs to...

Broadway’s most haunting love story. or (212) 239-6200 MAJESTIC THEATRE, 247 West 44TH Street

The New York Police Museum

MuseuM of Modern Art

The foremost modern art museum in the world, MoMA aims to make its collections accessible to scholars and young children alike. On Saturday, March 12th, kids will love “Abracadabra: Movies About Magic,” which will feature films like “Snow White and Rose Red” and “Sylvester and the Magic Pebble.” West 53rd Street, 212-708-9400,

MuseuM of the City of new york

Explores the history, present and future of the five boroughs. Throughout the month of March, families can head to the museum’s exhibit “Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment,” which traces the history and evolution of the Apollo Theater and its great impact on American pop culture. 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street, 212-534-1672,

new york hAll of sCienCe

The Hall features the largest collection of hands-on science exhibits in New York City, and holds a variety of family programs every weekend. From March 26th to April 3rd, kids can partake in Nano Days, where they can explore the world of tiny science as part of a nationwide educational project focused on nanoscale science. 47-01 111th Street, Queens, 718-699-0005,

new york PoliCe MuseuM

Dedicated to preserving the history of the New York City Police Department, the New York Police Museum boasts tons of hands-on educational exhibits for kids. On Tuesdays throughout the month of March, families can take advantage of the new Grandparent/ Grandchild program, in which guests can come to the museum for activity play in the Junior Officer Discovery Zone. 100 Old Slip between Walter Street and South Street, 212-480-3100,

new york trAnsit MuseuM

Dedicated to the history of urban transportation, this museum caters to children. On Saturday, March 5th, families can join historian and retired Long Island Rail Road manager Andrew Sparberg for a guided tour of Pennsylvania station. Corner of Boerum Place and Schermerhorn Street, 718-694-1600,

riPley’s Believe it or not!

Kids will be amazed at the eccentricities inside this famous “odditorium,” which features 25 themed galleries displaying everything from a six-legged cow to books made from spider webs. 234 West 42nd Street, 212-3983133,

ruBin MuseuM of Art

Home to an extensive collection of art from the Himalayas and surrounding regions, the Rubin offers programs and events for families throughout the year. On Thursday mornings throughout the month of March, kids ages 2 to 4 can partake in the “Yak Pakers” program, where they can look, touch and explore art together before creating projects inspired by the museum’s exhibits. 150 West 17th Street, 212-620-5000,

whitney MuseuM of AMeriCAn Art

The world-renowned Whitney houses a spectacular collection of 20th century American art. On Saturdays in March (March 5th, 12th and 19th), children ages 4 to 5 can partake in the museum’s popular Whitney Wees program, where they can explore how artists use lines to make paintings, drawings and other artwork. 945 Madison Avenue, 212-570-3600;


New York Family | March 2011

The New Victory Theater presents ptation a d a e g a RTANT rful st O e P w o M I p e T Th PAST ten MOS e E h H t T f o F e of on ELS O

’S NOV al N E R D L I d CH egie Me ILIP Carn C − S 70 YEAR


dA by Davi

March 4 – 13 The Birmingham Stage Company Best for ages 9 to Adult

March 18 – 27 Theatre-Rites and Arthur Pita Best for ages 4 – 8 Art: Tom Slaughter; Photos: Patrick Baldwin; Ian Tilton

Bright foam noodles bend and b o o g i e in this fun and fanciful introduction to dance!



209 W 42nd Street, just west of Broadway 646-223-3010

Recommended for everyone over the age of 4.


The community center’s BYOK (Bring Your Own Kid) Sunday music series invites families to enjoy some of the coolest kid-friendly music around. On March 27th, families can jam to the funky drumming and cool harmonica riffs of Erin Lee and the Up Past Bedtime Band. 200 Hudson Street, 212-601-1000,


This Borough of Manhattan Community College affiliated theater strives to promote cultural and educational activities for the greater metropolitan area. On Sunday, March 19th, sports fans of all ages will love “Runt of the Litter,” a semi-autobiographical one-man play written by and starring former professional football player Bo Eason. 199 Chambers Street, 212-220-1460,


Throughout March, families can experience the newest musical journey from Gustafer Yellowgold—the curious yellow sun creature that has captured the hearts of adults and kids alike—when he takes the stage at the DR2 Theatre. Gustafer’s “Infinity Sock” is a multi-media show that is part pop rock concert, part animated movie that tells the story of Gustafer’s search for the longest sock in the universe. 103 East 15th Street;


The McGraw-Hill Companies CarnegieKids concert series will host performances happening all over the city. On March 19th, kids can jam to a concert by Hot Peas N’ Butter—a band that blends elements of traditional Latin and Afro-Caribbean music with jazz and rock—when they take the stage at the Hostos Center for the Arts & Culture in the Bronx. Carnegie Hall, 154 West 57th Street, 212-247-7800,


Every other Monday, Cobble Hill Cinemas hosts the children’s film series “Big Movies For Little Kids.” On March 14th, parents can introduce their children to a beloved classic with the screening of the pilot episode of “Little House on the Prairie;” on March 28th, science-minded kids will love “To The Moon: Short Films About Space Travel.” 265 Court Street, Brooklyn, 718-596-9113,


Literally Alive is an NYC-based children’s theater company that produces original musicals based on classic children’s literature. This month, families can check out the theater’s ensemble musical production of “The Little Mermaid,” which runs through the end of May. The Player’s Theater, 115 MacDougal Street, 212-866-5170,


Patrick Baldwin

Lincoln Center’s “Meet the Artist Saturdays” series let kids get up close and personal with some of their favorite artists or explore new musical genres. On March 5th, families will enjoy the special dance presentation “Jody Oberfelder Dance Projects.” At the end of the performance, Oberfelder will lead the audience in interactive dance-inspired exercises. The David Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway between 62nd and 63rd streets, 212-875-5456,


Beginning March 5th, families can head to the theater’s imaginative new production of “Goldilocks and the Three Bears,” a musical performance specially designed for pre-school age children and older that feature two actors, a suitcase filled with puppets, three bowls of porridge and much more. 52 White Street, 212-226-4085;


Ellis Gaskell

From March 18th to 27th, families can join the New Victory Theater for the U.S. premiere of “Mischief,” an award-winning production hailing from Great Britain that will mesmerize adults and children alike. Hailed as “a whimsical and hugely inventive encounter with movement, music and mood” by The Scotland Herald, the production is a colorful musical playland featuring foam noodles grooving to an eclectic array of live tunes. 209 West 42nd Street, 646-223-3010; 209 West 42nd Street; 646-223-3010,


The New York Theatre Ballet is the most widely seen chamber ballet company in the United States, and boasts frequent programming made specifically for children. Families can look forward to “Exquisite Little Ballets,” interactive programs led by Antony Tudor and Agnes de Mille, which will take place on April 9th and 10th. 55 East 59th Street, 212-679-0401;


New York Family | March 2011

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center, Cobble Hill Cinemas, New Victory Theater, Literally Alive Children’s Theater

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Visit and click shakespeare programs for Teens.

A tiny paper bag sea monster, a little boy named Boom, the world’s wildest game show, and it’s all new...

East 68th Street between Park and Lexington

2537 Broadway at 95th Street

Saturday, March 5 Sunday, March 6 Saturday, March 12 Shows at 2pm Tickets: $30, $25, $15 Box Office: 212-772-4448

Saturday, March 19 Shows at 11 am and 2 pm Tickets: $30, $25, $15 Box Office: 212-864-5400 199 Chambers Street

Kevin, Ted, Amy, John and Laura are back to bring the show to life!

Partials_0311.indd 4

Sunday, March 13 Shows at 11:30 and 1:30 pm Tickets: $25 Box Office: 212-220-1460

2/17/11 5:35 PM


In true Puppetworks fashion, Lewis Carroll’s classic tale of “Alice in Wonderland” is told with the help of intricately crafted marionettes and accompanied with an original score. “Alice in Wonderland” will run throughout through April 17th. 338 Sixth Avenue at 4th Street, Brooklyn; 718-9653391,

skirball Center for the Performing arts

As part of its Big Red Chair Family Series, this NYU-based cultural center will host an easy-to-follow, one-hour adaptation of “Romeo and Juliet” on March 5th. Created specifically for young audiences, the performance will tell the tale of a tragic love story between the son and daughter of feuding households. 566 LaGuardia Place, 212-352-3101,

Vital theatre ComPany

Everyone’s favorite mouse ballerina Angelina and all of her friends make the big jump from the television screen to the stage in this musical production “Angelina Ballerina.” Angelina and the gang will hip-hop, modern dance, Irish jig and of course, ballet across the stage, and have audience members dancing in their seats. The Union Square Theatre; 100 East 17th Street;

showstoPPers for kids FOR ALL AGES

gazillion bubble show

This high-impact show features light effects, lasers and, of course, millions of bubbles, large and small, to create a dazzling production. For tickets, call 212-239-6200. New World Stages Theatre, 340 West 50th Street,

John tartaglia’s imaginoCean

A live black light puppet show chronicles the undersea adventures of aquatic friends Tank, Bubbles and Dorsel. For tickets, call 212-239-6200 or visit New World Stages Theatre, 340 West 50th Street.

the lion king

Disney’s blockbuster movie on Broadway is a combination of puppetry, actors, and special effects–a truly magical experience. For tickets, call 212-3074747 or visit Minskoff Theatre, 200 West 45th Street.

mary PoPPins

The Supernanny takes to the stage in this hit musical by Disney. For tickets, call 212-307-4747 or visit New Amsterdam Theatre, 214 West 42nd Street.



The Wicked Witch of the West finally commands the spotlight. For tickets, call 212-307-4100 or visit Gershwin Theatre, 222 West 51st Street.

mamma mia!

There’s not much to the simple plot about a woman finding her real father as she prepares to wed, but ABBA’s tunes keep the feet tapping. For tickets, call 212-239-6200 or visit Winter Garden Theatre, 1634 Broadway.


the 39 stePs

A fast-paced, high-energy murder mystery blending elements of Alfred Hitchcock, a spy novel, and even Monty Python. For tickets, call 212-239-6200 or visit Helen Hayes Theatre, 240 West 44th Street.

billy elliot

A funny and heart-warming musical about a boy with a dream and a talent for dance. Based on the film, with a musical score written by Elton John. For tickets, call 212-239-6200, or visit Imperial Theatre, 249 West 45th Street.

the Phantom of the oPera

The longest-running show in Broadway history delivers mystery, love and heartbreak. For tickets, call 212-239-6200 or visit Majestic Theatre, 247 West 44th Street.


New York Family | March 2011


Joy of


continued from page 27

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February 2011 | New York Family





y husband that my children felt safe. and I come Each time I emerged up the from the same steps with one child on my relatively small town back and grasping the tiny in the heart of Silicon hand of another was both Valley. We attended the an enormous relief and same high school with another step forward. By the same set of friends the time we had our first that we made when we family picnic in Central were just learning our Park, I had one of the ABC’s. Nestled at the most poignant moments foot of the Santa Cruz of my life. Sitting on the Mountains, and just a car Great Lawn watching my ride from San Francisco, babies smile and laugh, my hometown is a safe, I knew we could build a pleasant and desirable life for ourselves here—or place, so much so that anywhere. its residents refer to it I created a blog when as “The Bubble.” Most we moved across the people who grow up there country, as a way for my eventually make their way family to stay connected back to raise their kids with us. That’s actually there. turned out to be another Surrounded by family unexpected but incredible and friends, I’m sure my part of this journey. husband and I would have I posted pictures of been content to raise our triumphant moments like children there, too. But taking our first bus ride or a few years ago, when it building our first snowmen. became apparent that my I made sure not to leave out the Raising Small Kids husband’s education would grueling moments—pumping In New York City Was Not take us outside of The Bubble, flat stroller tires in the pouring Supposed To Be Part Of The we were looking forward rain and sitting scared and alone to it. We thought of it as an Big Plan For This Mom And Her in the emergency room. The opportunity to challenge Family—But It May Have Been emails started with readers, and ourselves, a crucial step in the later came from businesses, too. The Best Move Of Her Life development of our lives and Who knew? All of a sudden I had BY JESSICA SHYBA our family. followers, and fans, and most Then we found out at the importantly new friends. I also The shift happened gradually. last minute that we would be moving had a growing business writing about Scrambling to find a preschool, learning who I am—a wide-eyed mom new to to New York City, where my husband to live without cars, navigating online the big city. In the last two years, my would attend NYU Dental School. grocery shopping…my day-to-day kids and I have met everyone from Though I knew it was a possibility, life changed drastically. But by having Elmo to Nick Swisher! I came to New I guess I never seriously considered everything I knew stripped away, I York fearing everything, but I think I’m that we’d actually move all the way to learned a great deal about myself and starting to get it. With a little luck, this Manhattan and raise our little babies my ability to persevere. Our first winter, is a great city to raise children in. My in its famously boisterous and dirty fear now is returning to The Bubble, confines. I began to Google street views I hoarded groceries in the event that we would be stranded in extreme weather. and relearning how to live in suburbia. of apartments in the city, and the fear In the spring, I struggled through the No matter where we end up, home will took root. The buildings and streets always be the four of us. and skies looked gloomy and ominous. public transportation system alone with my two children so that we could It didn’t help that friends openly experience the city. I masked my fear of Jessica Shyba blogs about her doubted that we could successfully strangers and the dark, grimy corners life and ongoing adventures at get through dental school with such a of the subway, feigning confidence so young family in such a crazy place.

Bursting “The Bubble”


New York Family | March 2011

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New York Family March 1, 2011  

New York Family is a monthly family lifestyle magazine focused on the interests, needs, and concerns of New York City parents. The print pub...