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Plan For Fall With Our Can’t-Miss Culture Picks And Cool Kids’ Classes SEPTEMBER


September 2010 Established 1986



Designing A Dream Nursery


Betsey Johnson with her daughter, Lulu, and granddaughter, Ella, in the Eloise Suite at The Plaza Hotel.


Betsey Johnson On Family, Fashion And Having The Most Fun Of Her Life

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CLASSES KIDS LOVE Whether you’re looking for the perfect Mommy & Me class or an afterschool program for your tween, we’ve put together a guide to the city’s most inspired offerings

September 2010


volume 23, issue 13


THOUGHT A film fanatic mom holds her breath for her three-year-old daughter’s inaugural trip to the movies


16 30

EDITOR’S NOTE Speaking of champagne…

HEALTH & WELLNESS Dasha Wellness debuts a holistic fitness program just for kids; plus, the mommy-blogger chef behind shares inspired ideas for deliciously simple school lunches




THE GRAM WITH THE GLAM An afternoon at The Plaza Hotel’s Eloise Suite with Betsey Johnson, her daughter Lulu and her two young granddaughters means tea, tulle and tons of fun

70 78



SWEET DREAMS An NYC baby planner brings an expectant couple’s dream nursery to life







A SPECIAL PLACE Beloved children’s enrichment facility Gymtime Rhythm & Glues’ recent expansion means more room, more classes and more fun


ADULTS ONLY “O” Magazine writer, memoirist and funnywoman Lisa Kogan on the trials, tribulations and joys of single parenting in NYC

WELCOME TO THE FAMILY News from New York Family, including upcoming events, contests and giveaways, and other noteworthy happenings

A GOOD IDEA A whimsical new hair salon for kids on the Upper East Side, Carousel Cuts is a playful and relaxing haven for kids and moms alike


BUZZWORTHY The game of Battleship gets an upgrade; a great city resource for car seat safety; a new play-along DVD allows kids to explore the city without leaving the apartment, and more great ideas for September

TEN IDEAS Our monthly round-up of family-friendly fun in the city

IT’S MY PARTY Birthday fun with Mini Chef, Broadway Babies and Discovery Programs

106 OH, THE PLACES YOU’LL GO! An NYC family’s adventure in Rome; plus, kid-friendly ski resorts near and far

CULTURE CALENDAR The 25 magical, must-see cultural events to share with your kids this season; plus, an interview with the animation director of the new show “The Cat In The Hat” starring Martin Short


Experts weigh in on how to make a smooth transition back to work after baby

From organizing to goal-setting to homework help, expert advice on helping your child succeed this school year


TREATS Fall footwear and school essentials to start the year off right



This month’s dream building redefines spacious luxury on the Upper West Side; plus, this month’s three featured dream homes

THE COVER: Betsey Johnson with her daughter, Lulu, and granddaughter, Ella, in the Eloise Suite at the Plaza Hotel. Betsey and Lulu’s clothes by Betsey Johnson; Ella’s clothes by Ralph Lauren. Photographed by Thaddeus Harden (


New York Family | September 2010




What’s your EQ?

Are you an energy champ, an energy guzzler or an energy snoozer? To find out, take the Con Edison Energy Quotient Quiz at or at

The Smart Grid will help all New Yorkers become energy champs because it will:

Chargers for cell phones, MP3 players and PDAs use energy:

A. allow us to charge electric cars

A. only when charging

B. incorporate wind and solar energy sources

B. even when the devices are not connected to the chargers

C. turn your appliances on and off when you’re away from home

C. even when they’re not plugged into the wall

D. all of the above

answer: D

answer : B

What should you do if you smell gas?

How much more efficient are compact fluorescent bulbs than regular incandescent bulbs?

A. leave the area immediately, then call Con Edison at 1-800-75-CONED B. do not use electrical devices, including flashlights C. all of the above

A. they last twice as long and use half as much energy B. they last five times as long and use 60% less energy

answer : C

answer: C

©2010 Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc. Ad: Arnell

C. they last ten times as long and use 75% less energy





©2010 RockCenter Orthodontics. Photography:

Callie CaN see her future, but she CaN’t see mom’s braCes Debbie, a former TV commercial producer turned community board activist and education advocate, enjoys skiing, entertaining friends, and reading. Callie, a delightful fifth grader, flies the trapeze, runs track, and collects snow globe souvenirs on family excursions. As much as mom understands all the health benefits of straight teeth*, Debbie admittedly would not likely have worn traditional braces as an adult. Wearing Invisalign expertly directed by Dr. Joseph T. Hung at RockCenter Orthodontics for the past year, Debbie swears nobody can tell until she mentions it. Callie can’t wait for her braces and has been wearing her retainer to optimize her upcoming Invisalign Teen treatment.

*Harvard Medical School Special Health Report. “Your Oral Health and Overall Health.” Dental Health for Adults (2009): 6-11.

Trained at Harvard University School of Dental Medicine with a specialty in bone healing, Dr. Hung has become one of the most trusted and respected orthodontists in New York. Dr. Hung is an Invisalign Elite Provider and has been recognized as a top Invisalign provider every year since 2003. Call RockCenter Orthodontics today at 212-265-3577 for a lifetime of healthy, happy, and beautiful smiles for the whole family.

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Kick off the school year with us! 1186 Madison Ave. @ 87th Street New York, NY 10028 | 212-289-0028 10-6 Mon-Sat, and 11-5 Sun |

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New York Family | September 2010

CFO/COO Joanne Harras jharras FOUNDING PUBLISHER Barbara Witt MARKETING DIRECTOR Tom Kelly tkelly @ EVENTS MANAGER Stephanie Musso smusso @ 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. © 2008 Manhattan Media, LLC | 79 Madison Avenue, 16th Floor, New York, NY 10016 | t: 212.268.8600 | f: 212.268.0577

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 s are ye n + ig 5 2 es d om kids’ shoe principles fr kids’ ap ‘n’ Land g Le tin r fit u O — r. ile footwea and versat their feet. mfortable, protecting secure, co ile h w s le ty e after time. es tim lif , d ily ze p gi ap ener and land h ap le em Watch th



Plan For Fall With Our Can’t-Miss Culture Picks And Cool Kids’ Classes


September 2010 Established 1986


Speaking of Champagne... There have been two people featured on the cover of New York Family who have popped open a bottle of champagne after their photo shoot to celebrate our adventure together. The first was Geralyn Lucas, the Lifetime TV exec and breast cancer survivor who wrote the memoir, “Why I Wore Lipstick To My Mastectomy.” The other person, also a breast cancer survivor, was Betsey Johnson, the famed designer featured this month with her daughter, Lulu. There’s nothing like facing death to enhance one’s appreciation of life—and when you read our interview with Betsey I’m sure you’ll agree that this is a person who knows how to live. For all her outward flamboyance, Betsy comes off as a grounded mix of honest, creative, ambitious, fun, and caring, someone who gets as much joy from playing dress-up with her grandchildren as

she does playing it for keeps on the runway. Betsey and Lulu are our first mother-daughter cover interview. We need to do more of these! Lulu is every bit as dynamic and interesting as her mom, and reading their respective thoughts on life and work is a big treat. I wasn’t at the shoot myself, but the next round of champagne is on me. I wish I had a fitting segue that begins “Speaking of champagne…” but I don’t. What I have is a September issue chock-full of stories to help families gear up for fall and winter, including an overview of how a parent can most effectively contribute to their child’s school readiness and success, and a big juicy culture guide to promising family-minded museum shows, live performances, events and attractions. There is also a select but extensive list of cool classes for children from infant to tween, and an annotated list of

Designing A Dream Nursery

family-friendly ski resorts for those who like Betsey Johnson to plan ahead. On Family, Fashion And I encourage Having The Most Fun Of Her Life our readers who are expectant and new parents to spend some time with our Dream Nursery feature. Jennifer Link of Sweet Pea Baby Planners guided a Manhattan couple through the registry process, and we then sent up a gorgeous model nursery based on their choices, and also called in the artist/muralist Sam Simon to top it off with one of his amazing creations. Check it out: their choices may inform your own. Now if only Betsey Johnson and Sam Simon would make over my apartment.


Betsey Johnson with her daughter, Lulu, and granddaughter, Ella, in the Eloise Suite at The Plaza Hotel.

Have A Happy September,



o f R o c k ‘ n ’ R o l l B a b i e s , B ro a d w a y B a b i e s & S u p e r s t a r s

Babies & Preschoolers


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New York Family | September 2010

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Welcome to the Family UPCOMING EVENTS

Start With MARTE We are pleased to sponsor what is sure to be a wonderful event this month: the New York Family Fun Day at Family MARTE on September 25 at PS 163. This will be the first Upper West Side event for MARTE—Manhattan’s new artisan flea market series supporting local public schools— and will feature MARTE’S core combo of artisan and green markets, complimented with a special family day mix of live entertainment, family-minded vendors, kids activities, face painters, and giveaways. Family MARTE is the first in a series of themed markets and will be followed by other shows, including Craft MARTE, Sports MARTE, Volunteer MARTE and Health MARTE. New York Family Fun Day at Family MARTE; PS 163; 97th Street between Columbus Ave and Amsterdam Ave, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.;

AN IMPORTANT CAUSE Roar For A Cure September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, so we’d like to highlight a local organization that we’ve had the honor of working with over the past few months: The Max Cure Foundation, founded by David Plotkin after his son, Max, was diagnosed with a rare form of lymphoma. The foundation benefits pediatric cancer causes at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and elsewhere. We encourage you to visit them online at, where you can read Max’s story, get info on upcoming events and make a donation.







September happens to be National Baby Safety Month, and to help spread the word, we’re offering two great giveaways designed to keep your little one safe and sound, whether playing at home or traveling the city:

Childproof In Style It’s the latest in child safety gates: Munchkin has combined a sleek, aestheticallypleasing look with innovative design and versatility. d “Th The D eco,” The result, called “The Deco,” is a safety gate that blends in with your furniture, opens in either direction, can be used anywhere in your home and even comes with a pressuremounting option. To win one, write to us at newyorkfamily@, putting “Safety Gate” in the subject line. Deadline is Monday, September 20 at noon.

Car Seat Confidante

Follow Us On Twitter: New York Family is now on Twitter! Check in throughout the day for great family events, special giveaways, news items, and more tips on family life in the city. Go to

Today’s Specials We’re thrilled that you’re holding this magazine in your hands, but we hope you’ll also visit us on the web at to get the complete NYF experience. In fact, we humbly suggest you consider making our “Today’s Specials” section a daily destination, as we regularly update it with “specials” that are of interest to city parents—it’s a rotating menu of fascinating articles, parenting tips, family events, neighborhood news, vacation ideas and more!


New York Family | September 2010

Expectant and new parents in the city are often full of questions about car seat safety, wondering everything from “How do I properly install my car seat?” to “What type of car seat is best for riding in taxis?” Luckily, Alisa Baer and Emily Levine, the team behind the car seat consultation service The Car Seat Lady, are answering their call (see page 22 for more info on their services). They’re offering one city family a free consultation—to win, write to us at newyorkfamily@, putting “Car Seat” in the subject line. Deadline is Monday, September 20 at noon.

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QFA S H I O N F O R FUTURE MOMS Moms-to-be will rejoice in fashion journalist Amy Tara


Koch’s new book “Bump It Up,” a witty trimester-bytrimester guide to carrying your baby in comfort and style..


Declared “the ultimate preggo style bible” by designer


er and expert tips for moms-to-be, from what cuts best flatter

Shake up family game night with the

pregnant bodies to how to enhance your natural glow. Thee

new U-Build Battleship game from

osbook is also filled with sketches and advice from Koch’s ros-

Hasbro, a modern twist on the age-

n ter of fashionable friends like Donna Karan, Simon Doonan

old guessing game. Instead of using a

and Tim Gunn. For more info:

Kate Spade, “Bump It Up” is filled with chic illustrations

pre-made fleet, the U-Build Battleship


allows kids to build and customize their

Car seats are an integral part of keeping kids safe while traveling, yet only 1 out

own; they can choose to follow the manual to recreate the original pieces or channel their inner engineer and design the battleships, aircraft carriers and submarines of their dreams. Then, fire

of 100 car seats are installed and used properly. This realization prompted Alisa Baer (a certified car safety instructor and now an NYC pediatrician) to start the New York-based consultation service The Car Seat Lady, together with childhood friend Emily Levine (a new mom and certified car safety technician). The company offers one-on-one car seat installation lessons, free phone consultations

away! Recom-

and house calls, while its website provides a plethora of information about

mended for

car seat models and smart safety tips for travel in taxis and airplanes. For

ages 7 and up.

more info:

For more info:

QB E S T I N B L O G is the most popular and prominent nexus (both online and in-person) of women who blog. But as a source of information, inspiration and community, it’s



becoming as relevant to people who enjoy reading blogs as it is to the bloggers themselves. Get to know the site and it’s almost inevitable that you’ll discover writers that you love. A good place to start is its central blog on the home page; recent discussions span everything from

the secrets of running an online business to the best backpacks for back-toschool. Plus, check out the winners from the 2010 BlogHer Voices of the Year Contest.


QC I T I Z E N S O F T H E WO R L D Kids ages 2 and up can discover the sights and sounds of the city without ever leaving home with the “Look Out World, Here I Come,

New York” play-along DVD and book. Created with the help of child development experts, the DVD (which also has editions for cities like London, Sydney, Zurich and Shanghai) inspires a sense of adventure in even the smallest explorer. With the help of Otto, an adventurer, Blink, a fuzzy brown bear and Casey, their trusty suitcase, kids can hail a taxi, pack a picnic for Central Park, climb to the top of the Empire State Building and greet Lady Liberty! For kids ages 2 to 6. For more info:


New York Family | September 2010


SUN, SEP 26: Wave Hill takes flight as we celebrate birds of prey. This day-long event features live raptor shows, bird walks, discovery tables and more. Learn all about the hawks, eagles, ospreys and falcons that fly over Wave Hill! Presented in partnership with NYC Audubon. And make sure to join us SUN, SEP 19 for a FAMILY CONCERT by The Sinfonietta of Riverdale, ages 4 and up welcome. Discovery walks, yoga, family art and more at

Wave Hill A public garden & cultural center W. 249th St. & Independence Ave. Bronx, NY • 718.549.3200

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Getting here is easy! Purchase a Metro-North Getaway package and receive discounts on round-trip rail fare and admission to Wave Hill. Free shuttle; go to for schedule.

Target Free Days

Target sponsors free Tuesday and Saturday morning admission to Wave Hill, providing public access to the arts in our community.

8/19/10 5:35 PM

New York Family Partner Profile

World Class Learning Academy New York, Opening In Fall 2011, Strives To Inspire A Lifelong Dedication To Learning from Age 3 n exciting new option in education is on the horizon for city families, as the World Class Learning Group (WCL Group) opens its first New York school next fall for children ages 3-11. Located on Second Avenue and 2nd Street in the East Village, World Class Learning Academy, New York (World Class Learning Academy) is the latest addition to WCL Group’s array of U.S. schools, including the British Schools of Boston, Charlotte, Houston, Chicago and Washington, D.C. WCL schools follow the International Primary Curriculum (IPC), with the United Kingdom Early Years Learning Goals as a base. Used in


New York Family | September 2010

Preparing Your Child For

The Future

more than 1000 schools and 63 countries worldwide, the IPC has garnered attention and accolades worldwide for its challenging and theme-based educational concept, proven to accelerate students’ abilities years ahead of their peers. Most excitingly, World Class Learning Academy will be the first New York City school to utilize this innovative method. The youngest children to attend World Class Learning Academy will be in a program called the Early Years (equivalent to nursery), designed for children ages 3-5. Full and half day programs will be offered. Elizabeth Jurgensen, Director of Learning, emphasizes that “the goal of this program is to lead children to be independent and motivated learners.” The IPC is introduced to children during the Early Years program. With daily opportunities for the children to discover, create and express their ideas, World Class Learning Academy hopes to foster a lasting zeal for learning in these young students. The IPC is a topic-based approach that allows the children to connect ideas across various disciplines. For example, with the topic of weather, children can learn science principles as well as math when discussing temperature, social studies while considering different types of clothing people might wear in different climates, and literacy skills and spelling when the children write a postcard from a hot or cold country. This approach not only broadens the scope of what

New York Family Partner Profile

dren can learn, but also encourages a centralized learning experience, allowing children to make profound connections between classes and subjects. The UK Early Years Learning Goals comprise six key areas: communication, language and literacy; mathematics; knowledge and understanding of the world; physical development; creative development (music and the arts); and, personal, social and emotional development. “In addition to these goals, World Class Learning Academy aims to develop the skills of healthy living, independence and interdependence,” Jurgensen says. “Children are capable of so much more than adults think. When given the space and tools, they can learn so much through exploration and communication.” Of course, it takes a talented instructor to be able to guide children through this innovative learning process, which is why World Class Learning Academy has devoted great time and energy in selecting the members of its teaching staff, all of whom have several years of experience at WCL schools around the US. “Our teachers are all fully qualified and highly experienced,” says Head of School John Taylor, a Durham, England native with over 17 years of experience in education. “It’s not about teachers directing the students; the goal is to lead children to be independent and motivated learners.” Sharon Cox—a Hampshire, England native who has spent the last eight years teaching at the British School of Chicago—is one of the teachers who will teach in the Early Years program. “Three-year-olds come in at very different levels—some know their sounds, some are ready to start reading, some are not,” Cox says. “So wherever they are, that’s where we begin, so we’re not repeating any information, there is always something new.” What’s more, Early Years teachers are also particularly attuned to the different styles in which children process information at this young age. “We tailor every lesson to all the ways children

learn,” says Cox. “For example, I might be conducting a lesson and say to the class, ‘If you want to watch me do it, please sit here. If you want to hear me do it, please sit here. If you’d like to do it with me, please sit here.’” “We believe children all have different learning styles,” agrees Jurgensen. “Our primary philosophy is learning through play, and within that, there are child-initiated activities as well as more structured activities set out by the teacher. The idea is for the child to be inspired by what the teacher presents and take it from there,” says Jurgensen.

And because the teaching staff at World Class Learning Academy is attuned to working with children of all different learning styles and educational backgrounds, they look forward to welcoming a diverse group of children, says Taylor. “At this young age, children have so many different interests; there are so many things they want to explore. We want them to enjoy coming to school, and we’ll do our best to make it a place of enjoyment, learning and fun.” In a newly refurbished, state-ofthe-art school building in the East Village, children and parents will find a stimulating learning environment with indoor and outdoor facilities designed to foster learning and play. The nursery is on the first level, with an indoor gymnasium with bikes and climbing structures, and modern class-

rooms with interactive whiteboards and materials to foster 21st-century learning. The rooftop playground is another unique and modern space for the children to enjoy. What’s more, parents can be assured that students at the World Class Learning Academy will be well-cared for, and that each student will receive the attention and support that he or she requires; small classes will facilitate individualized learning, and the entire staff is CPR- and First Aid-certified. Both full days and half-days are available to cater to different children’s needs and capabilities. The administration is also eager to take learning outside the classroom and into what they consider to be one of their greatest resources—the city. As the arts are an area of great focus in WCL Group schools, the administration intends to use the city’s cultural landscape to foster creative study with frequent trips to museums, theaters and concert halls. “Creativity is so important,” says Jurgensen. “We want creativity to flow through every subject area that the children learn. These early years are the stage for future learning, and we provide an environment where the curriculum is accessible to the children, and they can grow into curious, independent learners with skills to last a lifetime.” Why should parents consider World Class Learning Academy for their children’s early education? “We have a pedigree and a history of success,” says Taylor. “We are a school that does not gamble with children’s education, and we know what we can deliver. If parents in the city are looking for this type of specialized education for their children, I believe they would do well to put their trust in us.” To learn more about the World Class Learning Academy, New York, visit September 2010 | New York Family






By and

September 4-6


The Bronx Zoo hosts a weekend of family fun in honor of PBS Kids’ new animated series, “The Cat In The Hat Knows A Lot About That,” which will teach children about natural science, featuring the voice of Martin Short. The weekend celebration will feature story time readings, screenings of the premiere episodes and a scavenger hunt in Astor Court. Kids will be given a handout outlining the day’s events upon entering the zoo; events take place from 11 a.m.- 4 p.m. throughout the weekend. 2300

Southern Boulevard, Bronx, 718-220-5155; September 12

A LITTLE BIT COUNTRY [All ages] Country fun comes to Manhattan with “Summer on the Hudson: 8th Annual West Side Country Fair.” Bring your family to celebrate the seasons with music, carnival rides and games,

a petting zoo, greenmarket and square dancing! Families can also learn about the environment at the “Green Acre” environmental corner with interactive activities. 1p.m.-6 p.m. Riverside

Park South between 68th and 72nd and the Hudson, 212-408-0219; September 16 - 26

LITTLE ITALY’S BIG FEAST [All ages] Head down to Little Italy for the “83rd Annual Feast of San Gennaro,” the longest-running religious outdoor festival in the U.S. This 11-day celebration of faith is known for its amazing parades and processions, arcade games, free live music and delicious food! On opening day (9/16) families can see the famous cannolieating competition, and catch the festival’s grand procession on Saturday (9/25), complete with colorful parade floats and marching bands. Little Italy, Opening Day begins at 2 p.m. at

Grand and Mott streets, 212-768-9320;




8th -9th September 19

PARK ROCK [All ages] Families can catch the final show of Carroll Park’s free concert series, which combines three of kids’ favorite things—music, crafts and delicious treats! On the 19th, kid-favorite singer Audra Rox will perform her new song, “Being Green,” as well as hits from her albums, “I Can Do It By Myself” and “Too Much Fun.” Concert starts at 4 p.m., shine only. Crafts and food for purchase from 3:30 p.m.-5:30 p.m. Carroll

Park at President Street and Smith Street in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn; September 19

SWEET HARMONIES [All Ages] At the “Harmony On The Hudson” festival at Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park, kids can enjoy lawn games, face painting and arts and crafts—like creating their own musical instruments from recycled materials—and choose from an array of delicious snacks. Families will also love watching performances from the 16-piece Harlem Renaissance Orchestra and Bash The Trash (a group that performs with unique instruments made from recycled materials) and the energetic jump roping team the Double Dutch Divas. 1 p.m.-6 p.m.; free. Robert F. Wagner, Jr. Park.

Battery Park, Lower Manhattan, bpcparks. org. September 20

HIGHFLYING FUN [All ages] Families can fly the friendly skies at the fifth annual “Fashion District Kite Flight” on the roof parking lot of the Port Authority! Enjoy kite flying, kite making, free music, food, games and crafts, plus performances from stilt-walkers, jugglers and more. Kids can also learn kiteflying techniques from experts and watch fantastic demonstrations. 1 p.m.- 4 p.m. Eighth

Avenue at 40th Street rooftop parking lot, Port Authority Bus Terminal, 7th Floor; kites. September 25

GREEN DAY [Ages 3 and up] The whole family can play games and learn ways to go green at “Long Island Naturally,” the annual environmental fair hosted by Starflower Experiences, a not-for-profit educational orga-


New York Family

| September 2010

husking competitions, taste delicious fair food or dance to the sounds of Irish and German bands. The fair also offers hayrides, a petting zoo, carnival rides and more. From 11a.m.- 6 p.m. $7 for adults, $4 for children 12 and under. Queens

Farm Museum, Queens,718-347-3276;


Manor Farm, 210 Manor Road, Huntington, LI;

demonstrations and crafts, as well as educational exhibits and interactive booths from various environmental organizations and neighborhood groups. The festival takes place from11a.m.- 3 p.m. Alley Pond Park Nature Center & Trails,



nization. Kids can decorate cloth napkins, play games, paint pumpkins and enjoy live music, all for free! Environmental demonstrations will also take place throughout the day. 10 a.m.- 4 p.m.


Alley Pond Park, Queens;

September 25

September 25 & 26

October 3




[Ages 5 and up]

[All ages]

[all ages]

Get back to nature and celebrate National Estuaries Day at the annual Little Neck Bay Festival at Alley Pond in Queens. Sponsored by the Alley Pond Environmental Center, the event will include free canoe rides, games, hands-on

The Queens Farm Museum hosts the 28th annual Queens County Fair, where kids can try their luck in the amazing Maize Maze (an interactive cornfield adventure) and make their own scarecrows, participate in pie-eating and corn-

Your family can rock out to children’s music superstars and Nick Jr. favorite, The Laurie Berkner Band, for a great cause. Join them for a “Birthday Party” Concert-kids are invited to wear fun birthday hats and can even design their own birthday cake! Best of all, the concert will benefit Soles4Souls, a charity that provides shoes to those in need. Families can also bring along their own gently-used shoes to donate to the cause. Rock at 11a.m. or 3p.m. Tickets $25, $35 via Ticketmaster. Town Hall, 123 W. 43 Street;


Sign up for New York Family’s popular weekly e-newsletter with tips on activities, shopping, and parenting at For more great listings,

see, the online cityguide for parents.

September 2010 | New York Family




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FAMILY Health & Wellness

Kids Will Look Forward To Lunchtime With These Fresh, Simple Recipes

LUNCHES TO LOVE Catherine Wheeler, founder of, with her children.

s kids head back to school, it helps to have a few inspired lunch and snack ideas to incorporate into the weekday rotation. Here, California-based mom and home cook Catherine Wheeler, who offers up nutritious, kidfriendly recipes on her website,, shares a few of her favorite lunchbox staples:


4. Add the pureed beans, cheese, carrot, salt, garlic and onion powder to cooked bulgur and mix thoroughly. 5. Form into patties. 6. Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat and cook the burgers for 3 minutes on each side. 7. Serve with bread, lettuce, tomato, ketchup, mustard, mayonnaise, and pickles. * Patties can be made ahead and frozen on a baking sheet for one hour and placed in a large zipper bag or individually wrapped and frozen. Defrost to cook.



(Makes 4 Burgers or 8 Mini Burgers)

(Serves 4)

1/2 cup bulgur wheat 1 cup water 1 15 oz can pinto beans, rinsed and drained 1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated 1/2 cup carrots, grated 1/2 tsp salt 1/2 tsp garlic powder 1/2 tsp onion powder 1 tbsp oil

1 pint cherry tomatoes 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tsp fresh thyme, chopped or Âź tsp dried thyme 1 clove garlic, minced 1/2 tsp salt 1/3 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved 8 oz farfalle (bowtie) pasta (about 1/2 a bag or box) 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1. Place the bulgur wheat and water in a pot. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cover for 13 minutes. 2. After the bulgur has cooked, place in a bowl and let cool. 3. Place 1 can of rinsed and drained pinto beans in a food processor and puree.

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. 2. Toss the ďŹ rst 5 ingredients together on a sheet tray to coat the tomatoes. 3. Bake for 25 minutes or until tomatoes start to burst. 4. While the tomatoes are baking, cook the pasta in salted water according to the package directions. 5. Combine the tomatoes, pasta, olives and cheese and toss to combine.


4 tbsp whipped cream cheese 2 whole wheat or multi grain tortillas 4-6 slices smoked salmon 1. Spread cream cheese evenly on tortillas. 2. Place smoked salmon in a layer covering


New York Family | September 2010

the cream cheese. 3. Roll tortillas into a cylinder. 4. Cut into rolls.

RASPBERR-WEE SAUCE (Makes 1 1/2 cups)

1 bag frozen raspberries (about 12 oz) 1/4 cup water 1 tbsp cornstarch 2 tbsp honey or Agave nectar 1. Add one bag of raspberries and 2 tbsp of honey (or agave) to a pot, stirring to combine and smashing raspberries with the back of a spoon. 2. Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. 3. Whisk 1 tbsp of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water in a separate bowl. 4. Add the cornstarch mixture to the raspberries and stir until the sauce thickens (about 2 minutes). 5. Cool and serve over plain Greek yogurt.


SMART SNACKING Catherine Wheeler of recommends these fruit and veggie combos for tossing in lunchboxes or snacking at home: Strawberries & Mango Chunks Steamed Okra Blood Orange Slices & Apricots Steamed Broccoli, Carrots and Rice Crackers Cucumbers and Cherry Tomatoes Pomegranate Seeds Edamame White Nectarines & Plums Blueberries & Papaya

Fall Semester Begins September 15th Come to MAGIC’s Fall Open House Saturday, September 11th, 11 am-2:30 pm Fun and games for the whole family and two special shows: Mad Science Up, Up and Away ---- at 11:30 am Moey’s Music Party ---- at 1:00 pm Meet our dedicated teachers, tour our facility and don’t forget to enter to win a Free 17-week class this fall.

Register before September 11th or at the Fall Open House and Save $50 per class registration Call us today at 212.737.2989 or visit us at

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FAMILY Health & Wellness


Photo by Daniel S. Burnstein


Shannon and Dr. Darren Pollack with their children, Summer, 2, and Cooper, 5.

4 modules: Game Sense (an eight-week program that focuses on different target games that use nets and striking); Fitness (also eight weeks, focuses on performance skills like speed, agility and balance); Movement and Flow (a six-week program that includes activities like Pilates, dance and yoga); and Sports Focus (a four-to-six week session designed to improve established skills in a specific sport like baseball, soccer or golf). B Y B E ATA C H E R E PA K H I N A To maintain the individualized approach, classes are kept small, with only three children per two coaches, or five children per two asha Wellness, a lifestyle and wellness coaches if the session is outdoors. Sessions take place after school 2-3 center on East 57th Street, is a soothtimes a week. ing sanctuary for city adults to unwind, In addition to instilling a commitment to healthy living, de-stress and improve physical fitness. Dasha Wellness is also passionate about giving back to others. Upon Created by husband and wife team completion of a module, kids can choose from 10 charitable causes, Shannon and Dr. Darren Pollack, Dasha Wellness to which $15 from the amount they paid will be donated on their offers a wide variety of services, from acupuncbehalf. This initiative stays true to Dasha Wellness’ mission of enture and massage therapy to Pilates and personal hancing well-being from the inside out. “It’s not just about improving children’s skills but improving their attitude,” Pollack says. “What training, making it a one-stop-shop for mental they learn from us here they’ll be able to take forward.” and physical well-being, a definite asset to any busy city parent. D a s h a We l l n e s s , T h e G a l l e r i a , 1 1 5 E a s t 5 7 t h S t r e e t , 2 1 2 Now, however, Dasha Wellness has become 7550, an even more valued resource for parents, as it has recently debuted Generation D, a unique wellness and fitness program custom designed for kids ages 5 to 14. Shannon and Dr. Darren Pollack, founders of Dasha Wellness, The main goals of Generation D, which share their tips for living healthfully as a family: was created by a team of experienced coaches, recreational therapists and trainers, are to boost Prepare meals at home whenever possible. Instead of white self-esteem, give children an opportunity to try bread and pastas, use whole grain options, and replace unhealthy different activities, sports and exercises, and give drinks and side dishes—like sugary juices and French fries—with them fitness techniques they can take with them healthier options, like water and fruit. into adulthood, says Shannon Pollack. Once a week, take your children to the grocery store and let The process begins with a one-on-one conthem choose their own healthy snacks. versation with a member of the Dasha Wellness Be consistent about bedtime. team. “Parents bring in [their] child and we work with them the same way we would work with Pick a new sport to learn along with your child. Remind your an adult, but scaled down to a child level—we child that it’s not about winning, but about completing the chalfind their strengths and weaknesses and build lenge in front of you. a customized program around them,” Pollack Be a good role model—eat your vegetables and get regular says. “We look to see what the child likes to do, exercise so your children will see that it’s important. In the same because we know if they like it they’ll work on it way, if you want your kids to turn off the TV and video games, set even harder.” a good example by turning off your Blackberry or iPhone. The Generation D program is divided into

A Popular Health Sanctuary For Adults, Dasha Wellness Now Offers A Holistic Fitness Program For Children




New York Family | September 2010




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Starting OUT


Returning To Work After Maternity Leave? Here’s How To Set Yourself Up For A Smooth Transition

Back After H Baby eading back to work after maternity leave is one of the most difficult transitions in the life of a new mom. After all, in addition to the stresses of a full-time job, there’s the added adjustment that comes with having to leave your little one with a caregiver. For advice on making the transition from home to work as smooth as possible, we spoke to experts Mary Quigley, NYU professor and co-author of “Going Back to Work: A Survival Guide for Comeback Moms”; Ellen Galinsky, founder of the Family and Work Institute and author of “Mind in the Making: The Seven Essential Life Skills Every Child Needs” and Laura Deutsch, founder of babybites, a social and educational community for moms in the city.


New York Family | September 2010

FEELING GUILTY IS NORMAL New mothers often feel like the only person who can take care of their child is them, which makes heading back to work a constant battle with their conscience. Experts maintain that the feeling is normal. “You’re going to have to realize that guilt is just standard operating procedure,” says Quigley. “You have to understand that leaving is normal,” says Galinsky. “Worrying about leaving is normal. There’s

very little that you can do to make it go away.” Both experts suggest that the best way to overcome that guilty feeling is by finding childcare that makes you feel safe, secure and comfortable. On the other hand, says Deutsch, moms she talks to often struggle with the fear that their baby will grow to “love the nanny more than them.” While this fear is common, it’s largely unfounded. “Nobody takes the place of the mommy,” Deutsch says.

ALLOW TIME TO TRANSITION INTO YOUR CHILDCARE ROUTINE Your baby will need time to acclimate to his or her nanny or daycare, and you need time to grow comfortable with the new routine as well. If you’re hiring a nanny, Deutsch recommends starting your search eight weeks before going back to work, and having a one- to two-week trial period. “You want to know your nanny,” Deutsch


4:19:16 PM

says. “You want her to be someone you trust and love by the time you have to leave your child with her.” Quigley advises moms to “try and establish a routine so [your child] knows what’s going to happen.” Plan to have your nanny arrive at a specified time, or drop your child off at daycare at the same time every day. Start building the routine before you have to head back to work. “Leave for a very short time at first, and then a longer time and then a longer time,” says Galinsky, who also recommends leaving “transitional objects”—familiar things that may smell like you—to help your child adjust. Finally, make sure that you and your caregiver discuss how the first day will go so there are no surprises.

MAKE A PLAN THAT WORKS FOR YOU If you know you’ll be returning to work after maternity leave, “do as much advanced planning as you can,” says Quigley. Discuss your maternity leave with your boss months in advance so that expectations are clear. Galinsky points out that because of the Family and Medical Leave Act, “there’s the allowance for what’s called ‘intermittent leave,’ and that’s designed to help you get some flexibility in easing back.” You can create flexibility by returning to work early and spreading out your leave, or by not vacationing during the months before the baby is born and using that time later as an extension to your leave. Most importantly, establish a routine that enables you to focus on work while at the office and focus on family at home. “Research says that kids don’t resent parents for working, they resent them for bringing work home with them,” Deutsch says. “When you come home, be ready to play and engage with [your baby] when you walk in the door.” Finally, don’t feel like you have to have everything figured out from the beginning—instead, Galinsky says, “Take it a day at a time.”

HAVE A BACK-UP PLAN “Things fall apart and that’s inevitable,” says Galinsky. There will be unforeseen circumstances—the nanny is sick, you have to work late—that require a back-up plan. “That’s when you may have a mother, mother-in-law, a sister or a friend who doesn’t want to be relied on for [regular] care, but is willing to say, ‘If you have a crisis, I will be there,’” says Quigley.

ACCEPT HELP “Your whole life has changed—you’re getting up at night and you’re working when you’re exhausted,” says Quigley. “Take any and all the help you can get.” Let your partner wake up with the baby, let a family member help you with laundry, allow friends to cook for you. If you need an hour alone to relax, take it. Talk to someone you trust about how you are adjusting. “You need someone you can turn to when you’re going crazy, who will listen and help you figure out what to do,” says Galinsky. Deutsch recommends joining a support group for working moms. “You want to be around other people who are going through what you are going through,” she says. “You need to take care of yourself.” G


New York Family | September 2010

Thinking About Returning To Work After Being A Stay-At-Home Mom?


owadays more and more women are looking to re-enter the workforce after taking time off to stay home with their kids. These moms face a host of challenges, from explaining gaps in their resume to brushing up on advances in their industry to negotiating for salaries comparable to what they earned before. Here, experts share their tips for stay-at-home moms looking to return to work: Engage In “Smart Volunteering.” Balance your time at home with volunteer work outside of the home. Pamela Weinberg and Barri Waltcher, founders of Mind Your Own Business Moms (, an organization (m dedicated to helping moms explore de their career possibilities, say that th when volunteering, moms should wh “be sure to focus on activities or “b participate in organizations that p would further your professional w interests and career aspirations.” in This will allow you to update your T rresume with relevant experience and examples of functional skill a development. Stay Current Technologically. Falling behind on technology will become a competitive barrier for your return to the workforce, particularly when it comes to social media tools like Facebook and LinkedIn. Use these tools to stay connected and expand your network. Use the Internet to find the latest updates on your target industry—familiarizing yourself with sites like Crain’s New York Business can come in handy when networking or interviewing. Stay Connected. Stephanie Levey and Lisa Morse, founders of MomsWorkNY (momsworkny.blogspot. com), an organization focused on helping moms transition back to work, encourage women to network—no matter where they are. “Every meeting is an opportunity to network, from people in your field of employment to playground interactions,” they say. Attend lectures and industry events, and join organizations for other women with similar career goals. Weinberg and Waltcher suggest printing up business cards and bringing them with you to networking events. Set Realistic Expectations. You might have to take a step back to go forward in your career. Take small steps and think long-term, accepting that the first step may not be that “perfect” position. Keep an open mind and maintain a “can-do” attitude. More Resources For Moms. Check out the books “Going Back to Work: A Survival Guide for Comeback Moms” by Mary W. Quigley and Loretta E. Kaufman, and “Womenomics: Write Your Own Rules For Success” by Claire Shipman and Katty Kay. Organizations like Mind Your Own Business Moms ( and MomsWorkNY ( offer local resources, advice and support. —Lanchi Venator


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f you’re exhausted from the seemingly endless array of “momoirs” written by women who seem to have it all together all the time, you’ll rejoice in the refreshing new book of memoirs from Lisa Kogan, the writer-at-large for “O, The Oprah Magazine”, entitled “Someone Will Be With You Shortly: Notes From A Perfectly Imperfect Life.” In her book, Kogan—a 49-year-old single mother who lives in New York City with 7-year-old daughter Julia—admits that she does not have it all together, and instead finds the humor and joy in the trials and tribulations of imperfect, though nevertheless wonderful, motherhood. Here, Kogan chats with us about the nature of the book, motherhood in the city, and how exactly she’ll deal with her daughter’s upcoming adolescence.

How did the book come about? It’s a collection of things that I’ve worked on for years at “O Magazine”. I wanted to do it for a long time, and one day I had lunch with an old friend who said, “You’ve got to learn to get in the way of chance.” And I thought, here I am with a platform, my Sirius radio show [“The O Magazine Show”] and column [“Lisa Kogan Tells All” at “O


New York Family | September 2010

© Michael Edwards

In Her New Book, “O Magazine’s” Writer-At-Large Lisa Kogan Takes On The Trials Of Single Parenting With The Wit, Poignancy And Resilience You’d Expect From An NYC Mom

Misadventures in Motherhood Magazine”]; why am I not taking advantage of it? Some of it was that there are only X number of hours in the day. Some of it was probably fear. I like to fly under the radar, but you’ve got to fly in the way of chance, so I decided to just sit down and do it.

always something to do with your kid. But things move fast here, things are tough here, and it’s very aggressive. And Manhattan comes with its own set of challenges; you aren’t really a parent until you can say the wheel has come off your stroller in the middle of rush hour on Lexington Avenue.

Your book is about living your life, not the perfect life. What’s being a single mother in New York really like? Nature isn’t stupid.

How do you balance work and family? What are the biggest challenges? Some days

Two people getting together to make a third person and take care of them is a pretty good plan. I find that the dirty little secret of being a single parent is that you don’t have to answer to anybody—you don’t have to explain why you put her in those clothes or why she can’t have an ice cream cone 26 minutes before dinner. And New York City is a double-edged sword. There are so many amazing things going on; there’s

I do it better than others. I think one of the keys for me was to say early on, “I can’t always be the good mother.” So there are going to be days when I have to be the good-enough mother. My rule is no matter what is going on through the day, I have to stop when I come home. When I come home, I’m all Julia’s. I’m not checking my email at work, I’m not on a cell phone, I don’t answer my house phone, I don’t

Blackberry. When I come through the front door work stops, and my life with my daughter takes priority.

I also give myself permission to screw up once in a while. I talk about that in the book. We love our hardest and try our damndest, and at the end of the day we make our kids wear their coat over their Halloween costume and all hell breaks loose. You’re not going to get it right 100 percent of the time. I’m happy to shoot

A lot of parents forget to take care of themselves. In your book, at one point you mention that you’re “dying for a make-over.� How do you make time for yourself? It’s really hard. It’s actually a big challenge for me. Maybe I don’t do it quite enough. I remind myself that I’m modeling behavior. So if I’m eating a slice of pizza over the kitchen sink, I ask myself what’s the message I’m sending my daughter. So when I can’t take care of myself for myself, I remind myself I’ve got to take care of myself because there’s a 7-year-old depending on me and watching me. That keeps me on the straight and narrow most of the time.

for a B+.

How do you feel about sharing so much of your life with your readers in the book and in your column? I find that the more you give, the more you get back. I cut to the chase pretty quickly. I don’t have time for a lot of small talk; I want to know what’s going on and what people are doing. The best way to do that is to let

them know what’s going on with me. There are corners that are private. But I have to force myself to say, “Ok look, you’ve got one long black chin hair and you’ve named her Audrey. Just say it. People will get it.� And what you get is people stopping you on the street and saying, “I’ve got one named Lucille!� That’s how you build a community.

What do you hope mothers can take away from your book? I hope they have a good laugh. I hope they relate. And I hope they know that at the end of the day we’re all in this together.

What do you hope your daughter’s reaction will be when she’s old enough to read the book? It’s funny because right now Julia just assumes that everyone is in a book or in a magazine. I hope she looks at it the same way she looks at old photo albums. I hope she goes, “Oh, yeah, I remember that.� Just as it says in my acknowledgement page, “I’m her witness, she’s my mutineer.� I hope she knows how madly in love with her I am. G









WWW+)$3TRONGCOM Š 2010 KIDStrong Enterprises, LLC. All rights reserved.

September 2010 | New York Family


Fall for Fitness at 92nd Street Y We’ve got classes, lessons and leagues for kids of all ages.

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Enroll today! Register at or call 212.415.5500. 92nd Street Y, Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street An agency of UJA-Federation

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Gymtime Rhythm & Glues Has Long Been A Beloved Children’s Activity Center On The Upper East Side. But With Its Bold Expansion, It Becomes A City-wide Destination As Well. or the past 20 years, the Upper East Side has played host to Gymtime Rhythm & Glues, a revered children’s enrichment facility that offers everything from tumbling to early childhood education to cooking classes. Residing on the ground level of a corner apartment building at York Avenue and 80th Street, Gymtime’s facility could almost go unnoticed— that is, until you hear the gleeful cries of children playing, practicing and learning. And after passing through Gymtime’s outdoor plaza (which includes a play space and an enclosed stroller park) and through its brightly colored lobby—and catching glimpses of its 20,000-square foot facility’s


Michael and Bonni Branciforte at Gymtime.


New York Family | September 2010

A rendering of Gymtime’s new space, expected to be completed in early September.

Raising The


gymnasiums, classrooms and kitchen—Gymtime’s size, scope and charm become evident. What’s more, if you happened to have visited Gymtime in the past few months, you might have also felt the excitement in the air, due to Gymtime’s soonto-be completed expansion, which will increase available programming and the facility’s size to 25,000 square feet. For many city families, the news that Gymtime Rhythm & Glues was expanding to include the entire floor above its current location is a much anticipated addition to a favorite resource. For these parents, the addition simply means that their kids can now enjoy more of a great thing. After all, the new floor will afford Gymtime 5,000 new square feet of space and more than 18 feet in height, and will feature a new state-of-the art gymnastics gym and a power spring floor and rock climbing wall to compliment strength training. The new level will also featuring floor-to-ceiling windows facing 80th Street, while a grand staircase connects the two floors. But what parents may not realize is that Gymtime’s new space will allow it to reestablish a component of the facility’s past identity, when owners and

co-founders Michael and Bonni Branciforte co-owned Brooklyn Gymnastics Center, a competitive gymnastics program in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. “We opened in 1978,” Bonni says. “We were very big on gymnastics—recreational, educational and teams. We had national teams and Olympian coaches in Brooklyn,” she says. With a talented roster of coaches and Michael and Bonni at the helm, Brooklyn Gymnastics Center enjoyed great success. Many of the gymnasts who trained there in the ‘80s and ‘90s went on to compete in national and international competitions. At the same time, the Brooklyn Gymnastics Center included a preschool and implemented the specialized Tiny Tot Fitness program for children ages 6 to 18 months. However, when the time came for Gymtime to relocate to Manhattan in 1990, finding a space that allowed them

to continue this level of competitive training (namely, a space that met the necessary height requirements) proved difficult, and the Brancifortes decided to instead focus on early education and fitness. Gymtime Rhythm & Glue, a fullservice “mommy and me” preschool and activity center for children, was born, opening in conjunction with the York Avenue Preschool. “We opened our first preschool in Brooklyn, so we knew from experience what a great incentive it is to have a preschool with a gym as its backyard,” Michael says. After 20 years at its current address, Gymtime has worked to improve its offerings for kids and families, offering combo-classes (combining gymnastics with cooking, art and music), the popular Summer Breeze Daycamp, Tae Kwon Do, birthday parties, and more. Then, in the winter of 2009, Michael and Bonni learned that the bank that had resided above them for over 30 years was going out of business. “The recession was bad for banks, but good for Gymtime,” Bonni says, as the vacated floors allowed Gymtime new space that it—and its clientele of children—desperately wanted. “[With this new space] we’ll be able to take our past experience and start that building process as we did in Brooklyn,” Bonni says. “We will be able to continue with our early childhood gymnastics education, and we’ll be able to nurture, teach, and grow these children and hope that they’ll eventually join our team system.” However, aspiring competitive gymnasts aren’t the only ones who will flip over Gymtime’s new space. “We will still have our gym on the existing level which is being outfitted specifically for our 6 month to 18 month set,” Bonni says. “Equipment, environment, lighting—it’s a very specialized environment that we are creating for that age group.” The new space will also allow Gymtime to offer its popular classes much more frequently; the Tiny Tot program, which previously could only be offered 2-3 times a week can now be offered 5 days a week. Similarly, Gymtime’s martial arts program, led by instructor Andrew Parra of Pa Son Martial Arts, will now enjoy an increase in space and frequency. Finally, parents will be pleased to know that Gymtime’s new space will continue its dedication to creating facilities that are environmentally friendly, energy efficient and free of harmful cleaning chemicals and allergens. “We take on one component at a time and keep adding on; if everyone does their part, it makes a difference,” Bonni says. Why should families be excited about Gymtime’s new space? That’s simple, says Bonni. “We’ll be able to give them the best of what we are, part of which they haven’t seen yet.” G

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hile it may not be up there with a visit to the dentist, taking your children to get their hair cut is often an unpleasant experience. Between screaming kids, multi-tasking moms and overwhelmed stylists, haircuts for kids usually means mayhem, tears and unhappy campers of all ages. But it doesn’t have to, especially now that Carousel Cuts—an Upper East Side hair salon created by Countess Nathalie von Bismarck—has opened its doors. Though it has served New York families for less than a year, Carousel Cuts has already become a haven for fun-loving (and perhaps haircut-fearing) kids and busy parents. The Countess—who splits her time between the city and husband Count Carl-Eduard von Bismarck’s native Germany with children Alexei, 4 and Grace, 2—began dreaming up Carousel Cuts after a particularly disappointing experience with son Alexei at another hair salon. The cut was mediocre and the space wasn’t accommodating for parents, she says. She began to fantasize about a quality hair salon that would double as an inviting play space, and, for parents, a place to unwind and be pampered themselves. “Time is of the essence for women and mothers everywhere, and especially in New York City,” von Bismarck says. “So women are running against time and thinking, when can I squeeze in something for myself?” Though a hair salon at its core, Carousel Cuts



New York Family | September 2010

Countess Nathalie von Bismarck and family at Carousel Cuts.

A CUT ABOVE provides kids plenty of fun activities. When they arrive, children can pick a steed from the line of carousel horses (or for kids ages 3 and under, a bunny) which will serve as their seat. The horses are equipped with a special harness designed for children to ensure that the riders are safe and secure; kids are then offered a Shirley Temple and a small cone of popcorn. And if that isn’t enough to keep them happy and occupied, every seat is equipped with a television screen, playing family favorites like “Toy Story” and “Bee Movie.” When the cut is complete, the horse (or bunny) becomes activated for a wild ride. Afterwards, kids can get their photo taken in the photo booth and leave one snapshot for the Carousel Cuts Hall of Fame. And because von Bismarck has always had the wants and needs of parents in mind, she made sure to provide equal amenities for moms, who can indulge in a hair cut, a facial, massage, manicure or pedicure, or shop from a chic selection of clothes for both moms and babies. While parents unwind, kids can relax in a playroom that is filled with stuffed animals, toys and games. The salon’s interior—designed by the Countess herself with architect Matthew Miller and graphic designer Danny Miller—is a perfect combina-

tion of whimsy for kids and elegance for adults. Patrons are greeted by bright purple, green and white walls, hand-carved carousel horses and softly playing carnival music. On the second level is the Carousel Bistro, where kids can order finger-food-favorites like chicken nuggets and French fries while parents enjoy salads, pastries and fresh-squeezed juices. “It’s not just about taking care of them, it’s about teaching them while they’re here,” von Bismarck says, which is why Carousel Cuts frequently hosts story times and kids’ classes in cooking, music and art. Von Bismarck, who has a Masters of Fine Arts degree from Parsons School of Design, also occasionally teaches a painting class. “With a full-time staff of 12 enthusiastic and seasoned employees, all the treats a child could ask for and reasonable prices, it’s easy to see why Carousel Cuts has become so popular. “It’s an enchanted and happy place,” von Bismarck says, and the only problem she sees now is hardly a problem at all. “Once the children are here, they don’t want to leave!” G Carous e l Cuts, 1664 Third Av e n u e b e t w e e n 9 3 r d a n d 94th Streets, 212-360-6800,

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Her Wild and Whimsical Fashions Made Her Famous, But Behind Betsey Johnson’s Party Girl Persona Is A Devoted Mother and Grandmother


By Erika Thormahlen

Gram Glam With The

n Betsey Johnson’s world, more is always more. Her iconic style—a clashing mix of prints that vary from stripes with cabbage roses to her signature pairing of hot pink and lime green—define an original punkesque joie de vivre that has transcended trends for over 40 years. For Betsey, everything’s better with tulle…and grandchildren. We sat down with the always-youthful 68-yearold in her newest visual confection, the Eloise Suite at the Plaza Hotel, joined by her daughter and confidante Lulu, and cute-as-buttons granddaughters, Layla (4) and Ella (2). With champagne flowing and “The Little Mermaid” playing on low, the conversation bubbled over with Betsey’s biggest passions: family, fashion and grand times.

Photography by Thaddeus Harden 62

New York Family | September 2010

So, what kind of grandma is Betsey Johnson? Betsey: I’m a fun, generous grandma. It always skips a generation. It’s not like being the mommy. With grandkids, the grandmother is the pushover. Lulu: But you always were the pushover, even as a mother! Betsey: I still am the pushover! Lulu: At 8 o’clock I’m trying to get the kids to bed and Betsey will come home with cookies from Dean & Deluca. There’s a constant influx of goodies and gifts—which she has every right to do. Layla is 4 years old and Ella is 2. At this age, who is more like her grandmother? Lulu: I think people think that Layla is a lot like my mom because she puts on leopard leggings and likes spandex, but Ella is really the one who loves being center stage.

Betsey: Ella is showbiz me. Layla is the real me. She’s very selective and private. We both need our own time and space. Betsey, what are your favorite things to do with your granddaughters? Betsey: I take Layla out to dinner a lot for chicken nuggets. We walk Lucy [her Maltese] around the block. I often go down in the morning and have coffee with the family… and more chicken nuggets. Lulu: Yes, Layla is now reliving my childhood, which was basically going out to dinner with Betsey every night. Betsey: I took Lulu everywhere. She was born while I was freelancing and had nine jobs. I would pull her out of school: “Ok, I’ve gotta work in India. Come on, I’ve gotta work in Hong Kong. Come on, I’ve gotta be on the runway, on the runway, on the runway.” September 2010 | New York Family




etsey Johnson recently turned her iconic design energy toward creating a suite at The Plaza Hotel for a very special city kid— six-year-old Eloise, heroine of the beloved book series for children and famous occupant of The Plaza’s “tippy top floor.” Never was there a more perfect match between a literary character and her real-life interior designer: fearless and feminine like Eloise, Johnson outfitted the 18th floor two-room suite in a bold palette of pink and black, incorporating a pink signature Plaza chandelier, zebra-print carpet, a king-sized bed with a pink headboard sparkling with “trinkles”—even Eloise’s name displayed in neon lights! And the magic isn’t just on the 18th floor: downstairs, guests are invited to shop and play to their hearts’ content at the four-room, playhouseinspired Eloise shop, or pop into The Plaza’s famous Palm Court for an Eloise Tea! For more information, visit

Lulu, it sounds like your childhood was fairly unconventional. Were there any traditional aspects, like PB&J sandwiches? Lulu: Any kind of normal childhood upbringing was really with my grandparents. I spent a lot of time with them in Connecticut in the summer, and whenever my mom had to travel and I couldn’t go. I did like that kind of balance. With Betsey I did not have any real rules or structure. Never got grounded. Never had to be in bed by a certain time. But you did start working for Betsey’s flagship SoHo boutique while you were still in high school, and later in the showroom in PR and merchandising. Betsey, was it important for you to have your daughter join the company at such an early age? Betsey: There’s nothing like having family in business because they’re deathly honest and protective. Lulu would say, “This is right and this is wrong.” Chantal Bacon, my business partner, and I would say, “We’re old!” But luckily Lulu was the pure, true-blue customer. Lulu: Because of the comfort level we have, I could be like, “That is the most disgusting thing I’ve ever seen,” or “Oh, my god, I love it, all my girlfriends want to wear it.” Lulu, you officially left the company eight years ago. How come? Lulu: Deep down, I always wanted to get married, have a family, have kids and be a mom. But, I feel like I’m still at the company. I consider myself an unpaid consultant! It’s funny: Now my mom and I are living in the same building, and we’re very close. We are best friends, and I am the only one she feels she can talk to about everything. Betsey, is it safe to say you leaned on Lulu during your battle with breast cancer? Tell us about that day in 1999 when you were diagnosed. Betsey: I found out the hour before my company Christmas party. Lulu kept my secret for six months before I told the fashion industry. I thought my business would be over because they thought I was going to die of cancer. Ten


New York Family | September 2010

years ago it did still have a stigma. Now, it’s not like that. I wouldn’t act the same. If I got it now, I would talk about it. How did you discover the lump? Betsey: I had B-cup implants for 10 years. I don’t know why I had implants and I also didn’t keep track of having them—now girls change them at the drop of a hat! I discovered it because I woke up in the morning and there was no left boob! Lulu: No, you had a massage! You got up from the massage and one of your implants had burst because of the lump. That’s what was on the cover of the NY Post when the word came out: “Johnson Saved By Implant!” Betsey: The worst picture of me ever! So I had both of them taken out. Since the success of your recovery after radiation and a lumpectomy, how have you turned your voice in the fashion industry toward breast cancer awareness? Betsey: Every one of our licensing companies does breast cancer products. The products this year are a tote, hat, gloves and charm bracelet. And the donation money is split between the National Breast Cancer Coalition Fund and the Iris Cantor Women’s Health Center of Cornell. After all this time, what about your work is most challenging to you? Betsey: I didn’t learn how to build a team and learn how to delegate. It has always been easier and more fun for me to go full speed ahead on my own, but now it’s overwhelming. Being a grandma now and seeing the kiddos and the family is the only other thing of importance to come along. I never really had anything but my business and Lulu that worked out for me. As sexy and flirtatious as your designs are, there is always an element of childlike exuberance. Where does that come from? Betsey: It comes from secretly being 23!

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Were there many fashion face-offs as motherdaughter, or did you always share a similar sense of style? Betsey: As a child Lulu wouldn’t walk on the same side of the street with me sometimes. I was embarrassing. Lulu: Basically, I always would tone everything down. Take away half the bows, half the ruffles. I was more of a minimalist. My mom was the creator, but I was better at merchandising, editing and styling. She would come up with the ideas and I would put the pieces of the puzzle together.

Speaking of the Chelsea Hotel, Betsey, you have always been a fixture of Manhattan’s fashion and music scene. Are you still in love with New York City as much as you were in the ‘60’s? Betsey: For me, it’s the only place in the world I could imagine living. That, and in any backyard with my grandkids and the family. I was in Tribeca and SoHo in ‘65 with the big rats when it was all lofts. That kind of thing is just not interesting to me anymore, whereas uptown is really interesting to me.

Wow, you’ve become an uptown girl? Has a love of fashion carried on to Layla and Ella? Betsey: Yeah, and Lulu was always an uptown girl. Lulu: I’m not going to name any names, but Layla’s faLulu: I loved moving uptown; it was like discovering a vorite children’s wear lines resemble what Betsey does. Layla whole new world. only wants to wear stretchy, black, cotton, lycra, leopard, shiny, silvery, pink glitter, flowers! I was raised in rock n’ So, Betsey, what are your favorite above-14th roll clothing, so of course I want my Street-pleasures these children to wear a little white collar days? "Being a grandma is with puff sleeves. But I’m letting Betsey: The big uptown the only other thing them be who they are. experience for me is to eat of importance to come out—La Grenouille is my faBetsey, does this mean we vorite. To me, my biggest sucalong. I never really can expect you to design a line cess is that I can give myself had anything but my of children’s clothes soon? business and Lulu that the luxury I need to balance Betsey: I did! Many times! The out my work. Because I grew worked out for me." day Lulu was born, I opened a clothup very middle class, I love ing line—Betsey Johnson Kids. It’s just hard because it’s a being able to take myself to anywhere I want in the world. whole new sales force, a whole new manufacturing setup, a whole new showroom; it’s a whole new, whole new! It’s With all that recreational dining, we have to ask: at hard. Oh, I’d love to do everything… At 68 years old, how do you stay in such great shape? Betsey: I do nothing! Nothing! Does “everything” mean interior design as well? Lulu: No, let’s be real. I hate when thin people in interYour boutiques have always had such a signature views are like, “Oh, I don’t do a thing.” In the morning she look. Did distilling the story of Eloise come easily for eats yogurt with blueberries. Then every night she eats fish you when they asked you to design a room for her at with vegetables and bread with olive oil. the Plaza Hotel? Betsey: And champagne and wine! Betsey: Designing a room is like doing clothes: You’ve got a room with a dress like you have a girl with a dress. So, Betsey is not an exerciser? Color is an emotion, and I know the power of paint—for Lulu: I think being in a room and having someone $10 you go buy pink paint and you’re happier, it’s proven by tell her what to do and how fast to go is against her grain. prisoners! I love stripes and flowers together so it was my But she has dance in her blood. She was either going to two favorite iconic prints. become a dancer or a designer. She does the cartwheel at the end of her fashion shows! For me, Soul Cycle’s Stacey It’s tough to imagine that a family like yours, with Griffith has changed my life! I lost 20 pounds, my last a flair for the eccentric and girly, wasn’t raised on baby weight, in like two to three months. I have begged my Eloise. mother to come since January and she is finally coming Betsey: I didn’t know Eloise growing up because I lived tomorrow morning. in a small, wonderful little town in the farmland of ConBetsey: And I hate bicycles! But I’m doing it for Lulu. necticut, so there was no Eloise book. But I love it now, and Lulu loves it and the kids love it. The Plaza has always been How did the cartwheels start? And will they ever a favorite—I love the old glamour. stop? Lulu: Before Betsey had any connection to the Plaza Betsey: After a show about 10-12 years ago, when I went and the Eloise suite, my mother brought Layla there for out to the runway to take a bow I was so excited I just threw tea and shopping. I was just thinking that if I had an Eloa cartwheel. Thereafter I promised myself I would always do ise book as a child it would have been Eloise hanging out a cartwheel to know that I am still alive and healthy. If I’m at the Chelsea Hotel! on the runway, I’m doin’ a cartwheel! P


New York Family | September 2010

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New York Family | September 2010

Planning A



An NYC Baby Planner Maps Out The Nursery And Other Essentials for An Expectant City Couple. Get Out Your Note Pad. While the timing varies for each expectant parent, there comes a point in a pregnancy to start preparing your home for the arrival of your child. Parents-to-be glean everything they can about car seats, blankets, baby toys and other essentials—and it’s the job of a baby planner to help them make good, informed choices without getting overwhelmed. We have been so impressed with the expertise of Jennifer Link of Sweet Pea Baby Planners (see bio on page 74) that we invited her to curate our first model nursery. Working with a city couple expecting a baby girl in August, Jennifer helped them select everything from breast pumps to bath toys. The final list includes items for the nursery, kitchen and bath, along with other essentials like a stroller and changing station. As you go through this list of nursery highlights, please keep in mind that neither Jennifer nor New York Family is recommending these products as the absolute best of their kind. But we are recommending them as very good products whose selection also reflects the preferences and budget of the couple. For other expectant or new parents, it’s a handy list to refer to as you figure out your own preferences.

September 2010 | New York Family



SOCIETY SATCHEL DIAPER BAG by Petunia Picklebottom “Diaper bags are one of those things that you could spend hours shopping for—and hours carrying! Having a few is a great idea, but make sure you have one that’s all about you. This model proves that diaper bags can be both functional and fabulous.” (

TEETHING RATTLE, WRIST RATTLE, AND BLANKIE by Apple Park “These toys are so cute and soft, they speak for themselves!” ( SLEEPING GOWN, ONESIE, AND BIB by Magnificent Baby “Tiny magnets make the best buttons; these clothes make getting dressed and undressed simple.” ( BABY HAT AND MITTENS by Satsuma “Made from bamboo materials and super soft for delicate skin, these are wonderful for the first trip home from the hospital.” (

NURSING COVER by Moboleez “This out-of-the-box nursing cover is a must-have; it’s a floppy hat to rest on baby’s head that gives moms some privacy too.” (

SWADDLE DREAM BLANKETS AND DRIBBLE BURPY BIB by Aden & Anais “These muslin blankets are breathable, perfect for swaddling and become softer with every use.” (

NURSING PADS by Bamboobies “Very soft nursing pads (one for daytime use and a thicker one for nighttime) made from bamboo, hence the clever name.” (

THE CUDDLE-UP BLANKET by Ambajam “This is the softest blanket ever and comes in great, ‘not so baby-ish’ colors.” (


New York Family | September 2010

LUXO CRIB by Bloom Baby “This crib caught my attention the moment I saw it! It’s stylish and made from low-VOC materials, plus it can convert to a toddler bed later on.” (

LUNA LULLABY PILLOW by Bosom Baby “This pillow has the perfect shape—it fits with any chair and helps the baby rest comfortably while eating.” (


Dept. of Health licensed daycare for children 6 weeks - 5 years of age. YEAR ROUND SERVICES OFFERED AT WEE CARE CHILD CARE: t n a f n I New • Music & Toddler Sbuitere • Dance and Movement Open Octo 2010 • Yoga • Art • Sports • Field Trips Celebrating our 15th 50% OFF after the sixth anniversary! month of enrollment. Openings available in all age groups Please call for additional information or a tour of our facility

(212) 472-4481 |

451 East 83rd Street | New York, NY 10028 | Hours: 8am-6pm, M-F

BLANKET by Giggle “Also from Giggle’s Basics line, a great blanket for tummy time or other snuggling.” (


LUXO DRESSER/CHANGING TABLE by Bloom Baby “This dresser’s deep drawers are great for storing all sorts of little-person clothing, and the changing table on top is removable and easily storable when no longer needed.” ( CRIB MATTRESS by Bloom Baby “Organic is the only way to go!” ( SWEET MUSIC MAKERS AND CUDDLE TOY by Cloud B “All three models are fantastic—the Sleep Sheep goes anywhere and can help drown out city noise, the Dolphin keeps pleasant tunes floating through the air, and the Cuddle Cub calms little ones with subtle shivers.” ( COMFORTER AND PILLOW by Dwell Studio “When this client looked at the Dwell Studio patterns she was instantly drawn to the owls. We have the comforter and the pillow shown here, and while you wouldn’t use those until the little one is older, it’s a great pattern choice for the nursery; plus, it served as the inspiration for the mural!” ( HALO SLEEP SACK by Giggle “This sleep sack is perfect for keeping the baby warm when you’re no longer swaddling.” ( TEMPERATURE MONITOR by Grobaby “Want to make sure the nursery is staying the right temp? This GroEgg takes out the guesswork.” (


New York Family | August 2010

SUNSCREEN, CALMING LOTION, BUG SPRAY AND BABY OIL by Badger Balm “Always check safety ratings on products like sunscreens and lotions with the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s recommendations. However, you can’t go wrong with Badger Balm’s fantastic products.” ( TEMPORAL ARTERIAL THERMOMETER by Exergen “You don’t need to wake the little one to take a temperature with this handy thermometer; a simple swipe on the forehead gives an accurate temp.” ( BATH TOYS AND BUG POD by Boon “These bath toys come in crazy shapes and colors—definitely not your run-of-the-mill rubber duckies. The toys don’t get moldy, and the Bug Pod lets you scoop the toys, rinse them and hang them to dry.” ( BOTTLES, SIPPY CUP, TEETHERS AND BUZZ B NAIL TRIMMER by ZoLi “This line of products is made by a mom who knows what she’s doing. The teethers are genius, the Buzz B makes nail-trimming much more pleasant and everything is super chic.” (

POD BOUNCER by Combi “This bouncer is really light and easy to move from room to room, so it’s a great way to keep the baby involved in whatever you’re doing. Plus, the vibration is soothing for babies.” ( INFANT BATHTUB by Puj “Most people are drawn to the Puj for its unique design, but the fact that it’s easy to clean is what keeps me coming back. It’s also great for city apartments; it fits in most sinks and stores flat. Genius!” (

A Word About Our Model Apartment To photograph our model nursery, we took up temporary residence at 2280 Frederick Douglass Boulevard (2280 FDB), a new luxury condominium building near 123rd Street in Harlem. Within its architecturally unique façade, the building is filled with luxury amenities that simplify family life (like top-of-the-line kitchen appliances and super-capacity washers and dryers) plus plenty of places for kids to play, like the massive outdoor recreation space and rooftop terrace. For more information, visit

Twinkle Party

Morningside Montessori School 251 West 100th Street

Accepting applications for Fall 2010 / 2011 •Ages 2 - 5 • Toddler 3-day and 5-day • Morning and afternoon programs available

For information call (212) 316-1555

Ballet Birthday Parties & Playdates Ages 3-12

RIVER PARK NURSERY SCHOOL Living, Learning. Today & for Tomorrow. Teaching West Side kids for over 40 years 1/2 day & full-day program for ages 2.8-5 years • Large class room space •Truly diverse student body •Large outdoor play space •Active parent cooperative •All teachers have a minimum of 25 years teaching experience and a Masters in Early childhood Education

Our Program:

•emphasizes cooperative socialization •teaches love and respect for all people •balances academic and creative experiences •challenges young minds through investigative and open-ended activities

711 Amsterdam Ave. (corner of 94th Street) (212) 663-1205

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OM TO GO TRAVEL PACK by OmAroma “A great travel pack to throw in your hospital bag or to keep in the diaper bag.” ( BUTTERFLY 2 BABY CARRIER by Beco “This cool carrier works for a newborn all the way up to when the child is 45 lbs.” (

KITCHEN FREESTYLE BREAST PUMP by Medela “A great portable pump that is also handsfree. Done and done.” (

THIRSTY TOTE THERMAL SLEEVE by BuiltNY “Take a chilled or warm bottle with you and keep it just the right temp with this handy thermal sleeve. Or bring two on an outing and use one for a beverage for yourself!” (

PACIFIER by NUK “Sometimes going with a classic is a great choice; if babies are picky about pacifiers or bottles, I find they will almost always take a Nuk.” (

OTHER ESSENTIALS THE 30/30 PRIMO VIAGGIO CAR SEAT by Peg Perego “This car seat fits in the Uppa stroller (see right) with an adapter and quickly snaps into the base in the car.” ( MAMAROO MOTORIZED CHAIR by 4Moms “A wonderful soother for baby when mom’s hands are full.” (


New York Family | September 2010

Nursery The Baby Planner After a career as a business development executive in media and music, Jennifer Link was inspired by her own experiences as a mother-to-be to become a baby planner. She prides herself on helping “[her] clients enjoy the process while making sure they are prepared.” Her services include advising expectant parents on everything registry and gear-related, including nursery stocking and organization, childbirth classes and complete parent preparation, in addition to helping new parents after the baby has arrived. For more about Jennifer, visit jlink, or email her at jennifer@

The Photographer A portrait specialist with a subspecialty in product shots, Thaddeus Harden has a gift for bringing out the essence of people and products alike. He has shot many New York Family cover subjects, from Wynton Marsalis to Christie Brinkley. For more about Thaddeus visit, or email him at

DRYING RACK by Boon “This grass drying rack is the perfect place to rest utensils, bottles, sippy cups and more. It’s something that you don’t mind looking at everyday, either.” ( PRIMA PAPPA HIGH CHAIR by Peg Perego “There are lots of great high chairs out there with amazing functionality, but the Prima Pappa incorporates just about all of them. The tray tips, the seat reclines and the height of the seat is adjustable. Oh, and it folds for storage, too.” (

Behind The

The Muralist lii

CHANGING STATION by Dipe N Go “A super handy way to store everything you need for a quick change in the car or stroller. Restock it periodically and keep it on hand.” ( DIAPER WALLET by My Royal Heiney “The diaper wallet is great for a quick errand or if you’re running into the bathroom to change and don’t want to take the whole bag with you.” ( VISTA 2010 STROLLER by Uppababy “In a stroller city, this is always one of my favorites. It’s easy to maneuver and really versatile, plus, the storage compartment underneath holds tons.” (

Marked by their fanciful artistry and dreamy fun, the murals and paintings of Sam Simon are a big hit with parents and kids alike. Simon says his number one goal is “to bring a space to a higher level of beauty, function and design.” In this case he included a chipmunk because “Let’s face it, chipmunks, with their black and white Mohawk stripes, are the little punk rockers of the squirrel posse.” For more about Sam and his work, visit, or email him at

The Stylist New York Family’s Style and Shopping Director, Joy Sherwood, oversees the styling of our cover shoots and feature stories, as well as the Joy of Shopping blog at Before joining the New York Family team, her career highlights include being a general manager at Hirshleifer’s and a buyer for Chanel and Hermes.

Chec k our N out sem EW es cook ter class ing es!

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Voted Ò Best of New YorkÓ by New York Magazine

Cooking Classes

109 West 27th Street

Birthday Parties

Special Events


Mommy & Me

first kitchen in NYC for kid chefs

cute ‘n’ chic

custom murals original artworks 212.358.3435

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From Organizing To Goal-Setting To Volunteering, A Guide To Helping Your Child Make The Most Of The School Year


ummer vacation is coming to a close and the kids have a closetful of freshly purchased fall clothes, but is your family really ready to head back to school? We talked to several experts to find out what steps parents can take to set their children up for a successful school year. Their advice—which includes everything from creating a quiet study space to establishing a trusting relationship with your child’s teacher—just might make this school year the best yet!

Organize, Organize, Organize Every parent knows that beginning the school year with an organized home is one thing, while keeping it that way is quite another. We spoke with NYC-based personal organizer Maeve Richmond, who offers the following tips for devising and maintaining an organizational system that will carry you through the school year: Don’t look for a solution in a store. “No beautiful box is going to manage your clutter,” Richmond warns. Before shopping for ready-made organizational systems, Richmond suggests families take a close look at their family’s schedule, home life and needs in order to devise a system that works for them. Get the kids involved. Richmond encourages parents to harness what she calls “kid power” by includ-


New York Family | September 2010



ing them in the process and letting them make decisions about how and where things are kept. “Kids love responsibilities, so involve your kids to organize whenever possible,” she says. Create a desk space and a cubby space. Create a desk space where your child can complete homework and store writing, artwork and other assignments he or she brings home. Richmond also suggests including a cubby space in your home where kids can store incoming and outgoing items. In addition to giving kids a sense of their own space, cubbies help to make the connection between home and school feel more seamless. Have a family meeting. Sit down as a family to discuss the new system and come up with a realistic plan for maintaining it. Richmond suggests setting a common goal, such as going on a family vacation, to encourage children (and parents, too) to keep their spaces organized. Set up a functional homework area. Keep the homework space stocked with a few basic items: pencils, pens, paper. Most importantly, Richmond says, make sure the space you create is quiet, with as few distractions as possible. —Ashley Troost

Create A Family Routine Children encounter a host of new experiences and stresses during the school year, so being able to count on a family routine at home—one that is “predictable, reliable and guides your way,” is invaluable, says Michelle Asher Dunn, parent coordinator and specialist in child and adolescent development. Dunn offers these tips for creating a healthy home routine: When creating a routine, take your child’s age into account. In other words, children grow from having a routine created for them to understanding and owning it. “From kindergarten through third grade, the routine has to be based on practical matters that are decided by mom and dad,” Dunn explains. “Between 8-11 years old, the child has internalized the routine and the routine is now based on the child’s own understanding of what they need to do.” Keep your child’s entire day in mind. Remember that children need unstructured time to play, relax and decompress. Sports, music, art classes and other extracurricular activities can be great additions to your child’s weekly schedule, but try not to overload them. Provide guidance for children under 13. “A 10-year-old cannot retain the rhythm of the routine by themselves, therefore the parents have to help them,” Dunn says. She suggests parents have regular conversations with their children to go over their schedule and responsibilities for the week. Display the family schedule on a large whiteboard. Having a visual aid will help children feel more in control over their routine. Dunn suggests parents colorcode the schedule to make it easy for children to read and comprehend. —Ashley Troost

Set Realistic Goals—And Communicate Them To Your Kids Before the first day of school, think strategically about areas in which you’d like to help your child grow—not just academically but behaviorally and socially as well. Here’s what Dunn suggests to parents looking to set manageable goals and help their children achieve them: Set short, concrete goals. “The longer the goal, the bigger the failure rate,” Dunn says, especially with young children. Instead, set weekly goals, such as making their own bed each morning or getting their backpack ready each evening. The goal is never the grade. Telling your child to get all A’s is never a good idea, Dunn says. Instead, ask them to study for 20 minutes or read a book to you. “The goal is not the grade, but how your child gets there,” she says. Help your child be successful from the beginning. From September until Thanksgiving, Dunn maintains, parents should focus on making their kids feel successful by encouraging them to meet short-term goals.

Saying Goodbye Sending your child off to nursery school or kindergarten for the first time? Here are a few ways to ease his separation anxiety—and yours: Do A Little Preschool Prep. Suzie Newman, director of the nursery school at Rodeph Sholom, suggests visiting the school with your child shortly before it starts, and talking about school a week or so beforehand. Your child might want to bring along familiar toy, or perhaps a backpack chosen with Mom or Dad, on their first day. Convey Your Confidence In The Situation. When the teacher suggests it’s time for adults to leave, don’t prolong your goodbye. Instead, your exit should be clean and quick, much like ripping off a Band-Aid, explains Jean Kunhardt, director of Soho Parenting, which offers counseling and support groups for parents. Keep It Together, Mom! While most of the focus is on the child during separation, it’s not uncommon for the process to stir up apprehension in parents, too. Parents whose children are struggling with separation anxiety should consider whether they themselves are doing or feeling anything that might be exacerbating the situation. If you’re trembling inwardly, try not to let it show. “Children can read your gut,” says Jean Mandelbaum, the nursery school director of All Souls School on the Upper East Side. “They know your body language.” Adapted from “The Long Goodbye,” by Elicia Brown, New York Family, September 2007.

When they’ve worked hard to achieve their goals, share their successes with friends and relatives, as a feeling of accomplishment is a huge motivator for children. “Once your child feels successful, it becomes self-fulfilling,” Dunn says. Never offer a child a present for completing their goal. “Bribing your child to do the ordinary is a road to perdition, because money and gifts don’t help a child develop inner self-esteem,” Dunn says. However, she notes, if your child has worked hard to overcome a particularly difficult challenge, such as a learning disability, offer them something special. —Ashley Troost

Get Involved At School Many parents want to be involved at their children’s school—both to improve the school and to stay in the know when it comes to their child’s education—but feel they are too busy to be involved in any meaningful way. But Mary DiPalermo, an Upper West Side mom of three and co-president of the PTA at The Center School, says even the busiest of parents can play an important part in the life of their child’s school. “Help is always welcome,” DiPalermo says. “Every parent has a skill they can bring to the table.” While volunteering in the local Parent Teacher Association (PTA) is the classic avenue for parental involvement, it is also a good place to September 2010 | New York Family


start when looking for other ways to help out, like writing for the school newsletter or maintaining the PTA website. Parents can contact their PTA executive board or school office to find out more about b their school’s needs. Beyond raising funds for a myriad of enrichment opportunities that are outside a school’s basic budget, DiPalermo notes that serving on a PTA provides parents with an opportunity to teach volunteerism by example: “It’s important for kids to see that we are connected to a community.” —Elisabeth Frankel Reed

spend most of their students’ waking hours with them, and they play an important part in shaping your child. “Teachers grow to love your child,” Arcieri says. “We are in the position of raising children—it’s just in a different space. And we care deeply about them.” And, adds Gaynor, when it comes to parental involvement, teachers can use all the help they can get. “I like working with parents,” she says. “It makes my job not just easier, it makes it better. Parents have a wealth of knowledge that I don’t have.” Adapted from “What Parents Can Learn From Teachers,” by Helen Zelon and Laura Zingmond, New York Family, August 2008.

Work With Your Child’s Teacher In order to ensure success throughout the school year, parents need to establish an open, positive relationship with their child’s teacher, and make it a priority to work with their child at home to reinforce the work being done in the classroom. We asked local educators Nancy Arcieri, Lynn Bernstein, Caroline Gaynor, Jon Goldman and David Lebson to share their thoughts on how parents can work with teachers to best support their kids. Remember That You’re A Team. “I believe that a child’s education rests on a tripod of teacher, child, and parent,” says Lebson. “If any one of those legs is missing, it’s going to be a challenge. If two are gone, the kid’s not going to succeed. It’ll be a miracle.” Recognize Your Role. Often parents assume, incorrectly, that helping their child learn is solely the job of the teacher. “A perfect example is summer curricula—parents say, ‘What can you do to make sure that my child reads over the summer?’” says Goldman. “I’m very straightforward; the answer is ‘nothing.’ It is completely up to you.” Use Technology As A Tool. “I have kids for whom technology means Gameboys, Wiis—pacifiers, stuff to keep the kids out of their parents’ hair,” Bernstein says. “Other parents set up the computer for play, research, and games. That’s technology as a tool, not a pacifier.” It’s Okay Not To Make All A’s. “It’s okay to be average at some things,” Goldman says. “Some kids earn predominantly A’s and B’s, and then there’s that one C. The parent comments that this is unacceptable, why hasn’t the teacher noticed that my child is at risk? I say, at risk of what, of being on grade level? Because that’s what a C means.” Arcieri agrees. “Parents need to see reality for what it is and to not focus on the negative,” she says. “When a kid’s report card has eight A’s and then a C+, for a parent to look at the C+ and say, ‘What is going on here?’ is just devastating.” Give Authentic Praise. Praise “needs to be honest, tied to achievement, and not hyperbolic or false,” says Bernstein. Goldman agrees, adding, “When a child shows you a piece of artwork or a story, rather than saying, ‘Oh, that’s beautiful!’ ask him questions: ‘I see you used a lot of green. Tell me why?’ It’s really almost magical.” Appreciate Your Child’s Teacher. After all, teachers

“A child’s education rests on a tripod of teacher, child, and parent.”


New York Family | September 2010

Help Your Children Handle Their Homework Homework is a perennial source of frustration for children and parents alike, but it doesn’t have to be, maintains Jeanne Shay Schumm, Ph.D. and author of “How to Help Your Child With Homework: The Complete Guide to Encouraging Good Study Habits and Ending the Homework Wars.” “I like to think of it as scaffolding, like when you’re building a building,” Schumm says. “You initially start out with a lot of support, but then gradually take the support away so that they can work on their own.” First, decide on some basic homework guidelines, such as where and when homework is done. Make sure whatever location you choose is as quiet and distraction-free as possible. While there is no concrete rule concerning how much homework is appropriate, Schumm says that generally, a student should receive about 10 minutes of homework for each grade level. In other words, parents can expect a first grader to get about 10 minutes, a second grader about 20 minutes, a third grader to get about 30 minutes and so forth. When it comes time to hit the books, ask your child what assignments he can do independently and what he will need your help with. Provide guidance and encouragement, but not the answers. Remember that homework aims to teach children to become responsible for their own learning while reinforcing concepts already learned in the classroom. If you find that your child requires more support than you can give, talk to your child’s teacher about what can be done. “It’s important for parents to work with teachers so that whatever they’re doing in the school is consistent with what [the parent is] doing at home,” Schumm says. b —Tanisia Morris












Cathedral School

since 1949

“is the best kept secret on the Upper East Side of Manhattan”

Grades Nursery-Eighth


small classes student-teacher ratio 10/1

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placement in the city’s best high schools


is an independent school for grades K-8 devoted to excellence and equity. Columbia affiliated families and families living in Public School Districts 3 or 5 are invited to fill out inquiry/ lottery forms available from September 1 – October 31, 2010, at and at The School, 556 West 110th Street. To find out more, visit our website or contact the Admissions Office at 212-851-4216 or NewYorkReadingEggs:Layout 1


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September 16 at 6:15 pm September 23 at 6:15 pm october 7 at 6:15 pm Call for tours Financial Aid is available 319 East 74th Street, New York, NY 10021 212-249-2840 Fax 212-249-2847


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PMS 469 c

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Offering Classes for kids 12 months-12 years Mondays-Saturdays September through December NOW RING OFFE S IN: SE CLAS


Please call the office or look online at for the Fall 2010 Schedule and to request times and locations.

Birthday Parties, Summer Camp

Call Today 212-744-4900 KidsInSports_0910.indd 1

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COOL Classes For Kids

Whether You’re Looking For A Mommy & Me Class Or An Afterschool Program For Your Tween, We’ve Put Together A Guide To The City’s Most Inspired Offerings


ooking for the perfect extracurricular activity for your child? You probably know by now that the options are virtually inexhaustible—not to mention overwhelming. That’s why we decided to put together a list of what we consider to be the coolest kids’ classes around, whether traditional or out-of-the-box (Action Hero Dance, anyone?).

GET FIT Generation D, a brand-new individualized fitness program at Dasha Wellness, helps improve kids’ athletic skills, like hand-eye coordination, agility and balance, while instilling a lasting dedication to healthy eating, fitness and mental and physical health. Programs are customized according to the child’s strengths, weaknesses, interests and goals; kids can choose from everything from Pilates and yoga to golf, soccer and baseball. (

STRETCH IT OUT Yogi Beans’ Mommy & Me class for moms and toddlers ages 2-4 incorporates games and poses that actively engage both parent and child. Animated breathing exercises, partner poses, and other interactive activities help to develop toddlers’ physical coordination and verbal communication skills. No previous yoga experience required. (

Kidville dents also learn to appreciate the diverse musical styles found in traditional flamenco and classic Spanish music. (

CULTURED KIDS ArtKids cultural tours for kids enable students to visit a different city museum, art gallery or auction house weekly and participate in hands-on learning projects related to the exhibition. Kids can also roam the galleries of the Met with special ArtKids iPod tours that can be downloaded from the ArtKids website. (

PLAY AND LEARN AT POPPYSEED Poppyseed Pre-Nursery’s classes for toddlers and two’s meet two to three times a week, providing enrichment through music, art and play. Participation by a parent or caregiver, and frequency of contact add to each child’s sense of security and self-confidence.

PICK UP A SECOND LANGUAGE—AT PRESCHOOL Parents who want to give their preschooler a bilingual education will want to consider the preschool programs offered by The Language Workshop for Children. Available in French, Spanish, Chinese, and Italian, the preschools immerse children 2 to 4 years old in a new language and build early childhood




New York Family | September 2010

At Hola! A Playgroup In Spanish, kids can learn basic flamenco rhythms through clapping “palmas,” “braceo” (arm movement), “marcaje” (body coordination) and “taconeo” (footwork) for beginners. Stu-

The Craft Studio

HAVE AN ANIMAL ENCOUNTER Go on an animal adventure with the Art Farm in the City—kids will jump with the frogs, hop with the bunnies and learn about a new animal every week. Beginning with music and dancing and incorporating crafts, structured play and story time, this class culminates with a highly-anticipated visit from the “Animal of the Week.” (

Karma Kids Yoga


skills. Teachers develop pre-reading, pre-math, and socialization abilities through LWFC materials, LWFC methods, stories, music, play, puzzles and more. (

FOLLOW THE YELLOW BRICK ROAD Roar like the Cowardly Lion and cackle like Wicked Witch at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s “The Wizard Of Oz” theater class for kids ages 6 and up. Kids will put a unique spin on their favorite characters from “The Wizard of Oz” by creating costume pieces and learning improvisation techniques and actors’ movement exercises. Experienced theater artists and teachers help children explore themes from the story using a mixture of theater, music, movement and art, culminating in a final class performance. (

PREP FOR PRESCHOOL NYC Elite Gymnastics offers preschoolers the opportunity to learn gymnastics, arts and crafts, dance and games designed to advance their motor development and coordination, all with highly qualified early development teachers. Need to run an errand or want to enjoy a relaxing morning? A drop-off option is available! (

TAKE A PRIVATE PIANO LESSON Don’t have time to schlep across the city for a music class? Piano Teacher USA brings the joy and tradition of piano right into students’ homes through a program that combines historical and popular methods and styles specifically tailored to each student. (



Atlantic Acting School

young children. Adult private and group tennis lessons are offered at the same time, and a complimentary nursery is open for siblings. (

At The Early Ear, highly-skilled and educated music teachers and pianists work together to introduce the magical world of music to children. In a warm and friendly atmosphere, kids engage in sing-alongs, movement, musical games and stories and imitate their teacher in making music ensembles with friends. (

Jodi’s Gym

parents and caregivers share the joys of dance and music in a joyful and enriching environment, and all classes are accompanied by pianist. (

GET CRAFTY At The Craft Studio’s “Back to School Workshop: Make Your Own Eco-Friendly Lunch Pail,” kids can use materials like glitter glue, neon fabric markers, ribbon, sequins and gems. No more throw away brown bags—your sandwich will make it to school in style! (

TWIRL WITH YOUR TOT Learn to dance with your child at Ballet Academy East, well-known for their Mother & Child program for 2-year-olds. Children and their

JOIN THE CIRCUS Karma Kids’ CircusYoga class blends the consciousness of yoga with the communal celebration of circus through connection, play and communication through circus skills (juggling, devil sticks, and more), group games, acrobatics, flying partner yoga, balance pipe, and creative movement. (

LEARN THROUGH PLAY At Tribeca Learning Center, students are exposed to weekly themes related to the season, holidays and the world around them. Students are exposed to the dramatic and creative arts daily through music, songs, dances, books and art and science projects. Emphasis is put on freedom of choice and learning through play. (


Three Little Birds

The QuickStart Tennis program for 2 to 5-year-olds at SPORTIME Randall’s Island/Manhattan is an exciting format for learning tennis, where kids get to play right away! Utilizing specialized equipment, shorter court dimensions, and modified scoring, QuickStart provides an optimum learning environment for

Parents and children can learn together at The Joffrey Ballet School’s Dance With Me, a program for children as young as two with a parent or caregiver as a dance buddy. Classes help build fine and gross motor skills, develop basic understanding of music and rhythm and create an environment for children to explore movement through creativity and imagination. (

HAVE TWICE THE FUN Two-for-one is much more fun! 74th St. MAGIC’s “Double Time” class combines 45 minutes of “Tumble Time” in the fullyequipped gym with 45 minutes of “Classroom Time,” which focuses on group socialization and handson activities. Classroom Time introduces children to nursery school themes using fun art, cooking and science projects. (

ROCK OUT IN THE BIG APPLE (AND BEYOND!) apple seeds’ popular “songs for seeds” music class has expanded to the Upper West Side, Upper East Side, Brooklyn and New Jersey! Families can drop in for a class at any of these new locations, or at apple seeds in the Chelsea/Flatiron district. (

BE A SCRIBBLE SLEUTH At Scribble Press’ new creative writing class, “The Case of The Missing Miss Terious,” students learn critical thinking and writing skills as they delve into the mystery story. Their imaginations and vocabulary will grow as they embark on their own mystery writing adventure, and they’ll take home their own book at the end of the semester. (

GET SET FOR SCHOOL Gymboree Play & Music’s “School Skills” preschool alternative mixes academics, socialization and phys-

September 2010 | New York Family


ical play, giving children ages 2, 3 and 4 the tools to master abstract thinking and personal and social skills. Leapfrog technology supports language, plus science and discovery, music, art, reading and physical exercise. (

STEP IT UP At the JCC in Manhattan’s “Hip Hop Dance” class, students ages 7-9 learn freestyle hip-hop in highenergy workouts choreographed to today’s popular music. Plus, the JCC’s convenient pick-up service will transport students to class from most public and private schools in the area! (

LEARN TO SWING At Jazz at Lincoln Center’s WeBop classes, parents and kids learn about Jazz ABCs! Classes focus on swing, blues, improvisation and other jazz essentials. Over the course of eight weeks, parents and children ages eight months to five years explore their imagination, creativity and musicality. ( webop)

ACT YOUR AGE The Atlantic Acting School’s afterschool “Performance and Playwriting” class for kids in grades 4-6 introduces kids to the world of acting and playwriting through

fundamental exercises, bringing together the elements of storytelling and performance with a final performance written, directed by and starring the young group. (

WORK IT IN THE WATER Asphalt Green’s “Intro to Swimming” class is a gentle introduction to swimming for any child who is anxious or brand new to the water. Instructors introduce submersions, bubbles, streamlines and proper arm movement while helping to build confidence. (


football passion. The 10-week program will provide an introduction to the game of football in a fun and dynamic environment. Classes consist of skill development and game play. (

MAKE MATH FUN Through tutoring and enrichment programs, Mathnasium helps students in grades Pre-K through 12 build a solid math foundation while developing confidence and a love for math. Students receive both homework guidance and a customized program that fills in skill gaps and builds fluency with numbers. (

BE PART OF SOMETHING BIGGER This fall, Gymtime Rhythm & Glues is unveiling a brand-new space, and families are invited to come feel the energy of their new sunny, expanded facilities. They’ll be offering more classes to enhance the growth and experience of each little gymnast! (

BUMP, SET, SPIKE Big City Volleyball’s Fall Youth Volleyball Classes are designed to help boys and girls between the ages of 10-16 learn the fundamentals of volleyball, with two hours of drills in setting, passing, overhand serving and hitting, all in a fun and friendly environment. (


Asphalt Green

Applause New York City

Everyone’s favorite bands from the 70’s, 80’s, 90’s and today set the backdrop for Applause New York City’s interactive “Rock ‘n’ Roll Babies” class. Each session includes puppet time, educational activities and musical instruments to help increase children’s musical knowledge and creativity, and teach rhythm and dynamics to each little Rock Star! (

The School at Steps’ “Pre-Dance/ Pre-Tap” class for kids ages 4-6 introduces body coordination and rhythmic awareness, opening a path to each student’s creativity and imagination. Pre-Dance/Pre-

92nd Street Y

GET IN MOTION Tap classes are part of the Young Dancer Program that includes Little Steps (ages 2-4) and Isadora Duncan (ages 4-6). (

TRAVEL THE WORLD THROUGH ART Take an art adventure around the world with the 92nd Street Y’s “Art Around The World” class for kids ages 5-7. Children explore styles and techniques from different cultures and time periods, such as South African house creations, Moroccan textiles and Chinese paper lanterns. Each child “travels” from country to country, building an extensive global visual vocabulary. (

Kids will love “Motion Evolution” at Jodi’s Gym, a new fitness program for kids in grades 1-4. Motion Evolution incorporates strength training, cardio fitness, flexibility, nutrition and overall fitness education. The importance of good nutrition and making healthy food choices are also an integral part of the program. (

MOVE TO THE MUSIK Join ABC Do-Re-Me for Kindermusik, a music and movement

PAINT AND PLAY From Da Vinci to Dali and Beethoven to the Beatles, Three Little Birds music classes encourage children to learn through musical play. This fall, students will learn about art and music during “Colors with Cozmo.” Each week, children explore a new color through famous paintings and music inspired by art and color. (


Art Farm in the City


New York Family | September 2010

Whether your child is a Giants fan or a Jets fan, Chelsea Piers’ new flag football class for kids ages 7-10 is a great outlet for his or her

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New Kids On The Block CAROUSEL OF LANGUAGES Offering morning and afternoon classes in Italian, French, Spanish and Mandarin, Carousel of Languages bases its teaching methods on early childhood learning standards. Each class is taught by a native foreign language instructor. Check out their Extended Immersion Program, a 3-hour drop-off class focusing on cultural and music exploration. (

apple seeds


class designed for children from birth to age 7. Each week in class, children play, explore their creativity, socialize, listen and dance to music that will impact them in profound ways. (

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

BE A WATER BABY Swim Jim’s “SwimBaby” class helps babies learn socialization skills, water safety, gross motor skills, peer motivation and self-esteem through happy songs and fun games. The students also begin to explore breath control, balance and buoyancy. Ideal for children 16 months to three years old. (


Joffrey Ballet

STAR IN AN AFTERSCHOOL MUSICAL The “Preschool/Afterschool Musical” class at New York Kids Club introduces the basics of stage performance with costumes, props, musical theater sing-a-longs and choreography. Available for ages 3-5, 5-7 and 8-12. (

BE A KID So many ways to play! Kidville’s “Run, Wiggle, Paint and Giggle” class engages toddlers through stories, ball play, block exploration, art and sensory play, and the finale: wiggling with one of Kidville’s own rockin’ musicians! A predictable, structured routine lets little ones gain confidence about transitions and knowing what happens next, all while having fun and making friends. (

METRO MAMAS Culture-themed social group Metropolitan Moms goes on regular private museum tours, gallery walks, architectural and historical neighborhood walks, artist studio visits, culinary excursions and more—all with their little ones in tow! (

Kids have been learning to measure, sift, mix, knead, zest and more with Cupcake Kids! for years, but now the popular cooking program has a kitchen to call its own. Classes, camps and parties are now held at 109 Cupcake Kids! West 27th Street—the first kitchen studio in Manhattan designed and built exclusively for kids. (

KICK & PLAY A fun-filled movement program for toddlers emphasizing the development of gross motor skills and coordination, Kick & Play’s classes for toddlers ages 12-24 months actively involve parents and caregivers. Designed by the creators of Super Soccer Stars, Kick & Play generates a stimulating, playful environment in which children receive individual attention at a stage in their lives in which physical activity and creative play are central to their development. (

GET ARTSY Citibabes’ “Studio Art” class for kids ages 3-5 provides hands-on opportunities to discover, experiment and gain visual appreciation with a variety of art materials. Each week, different visual reproductions of famous works are presented and students learn to discuss works of art with basic art vocabulary: line, shape, color, form balance and scale. (




Weaving studio Loop of the Loom’s Fiber Arts Kids Class introduces children ages 7-14 to the art of Saori, a type of weaving that emphasizes free expression and results in one-of-a-kind pieces. The class encourages the development of children’s manipulative skills through felting, spinning and sewing. (

At the class “Animation with Joe Vena” at the Children’s Museum of the Arts, kids ages 6-12 can explore the moving image through a variety of 2D and 3D animation techniques. Students experiment with claymation, found-object animation, pixilation, cut-outs, and more. (

TADA! Youth Theater’s classes involve singing, choreography and theater games and always end with a performance. The T.O.T.S. (Theater On Their Scale) class introduces little ones and their caregivers to the joys of theater. (

TAKE TINY STEPS Two-year-olds will love Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater’s Tiny Steps creative movement program, in which instructors lead children and their caregivers through playful dance exercises that help children develop body awareness, control and creativity. (

74th St. MAGIC


New York Family | September 2010

Chelsea Piers

Music, Art & Dance at


92Y SCHOOL OF THE ARTS does more than help children express their creativity. Our classes in studio art, music and dance give children an opportunity to expand their minds, strengthen their bodies and build self-confidence. For over 136 years, our age-appropriate classes taught by an expert faculty of professional artists have provided arts experiences that are fun, challenging and develop skills your children can take from the studio into their classrooms.

New Students Enroll Now and Save 20%!* FALL CLASSES BEGIN SEP 20. Mention code CF at the Box Office or call 212.415.5500. Visit WWW.92Y.ORG/SOA for class information. Lexington Avenue at 92nd Street


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CLIMB THE BROOKLYN BRIDGE Brooklyn Boulders offers kids the opportunity to challenge themselves on the rock climbing wall— and even scale a replica of the Brooklyn Bridge! Kids ages 5-10 will love Brooklyn Boulders’ BKB Kids League, an after-school instructional course for beginners involving stretching, climbing games, roped climbing and slacklining. (


GET RHYTHM Sokol New York’s “Rhythmic Gymnastics” class for kids ages 6-7 combines sport and art to promote grace of movement, muscular flexibility and strength as well as good posture. Participants learn tumbling, dance moves, leaps, turns and traveling steps as well as manipulation of the hand apparatus (hoops, balls and ribbons) and choreographed dances to music. (

SAY IT IN SPANISH Spanish language school Instituto Cervantes offers The Children’s Theater Workshop, which develops social skills and confidence in a fun, creative environment, encouraging each child’s imagination and improving Spanish skills. (newyork.

Kids In Sports’ Creative Athletes program combines the sports training of the classic Kids in Sports program with arts and crafts, story time, socialization skills and more. In the sports portion of Creative Athletes, children learn skills for baseball, basketball, football, soccer and many other sports, while during the classroom section, children interact with different tactile objects, puzzles and complete art projects. (

Gymboree Play & Music

SLAM DUNK Popular basketball program dribbl offers expert training that’s focused on teamwork, fundamentals and sportsmanship. The original dribbl program aims to develop and refine fundamental basketball skills such as shooting, passing, footwork and ball-handling. Children ages 3 through pre-K can participate in the dribbl jr. program, now available at Kidville. (

SUPER SOCCER STARS Super Soccer Stars’ Advanced Skill Development Clinics for kids ages 6-9 include a three-hour intensive and friendly game play. Students develop skills, self-confidence and teamwork in a fun, non-competitive environment. Positive reinforce-

BE A HERO Gymtime Rhythm & Glues ment and low child-to-coach ratios ensure that students improve soccer skills through warm-ups, drills and games. (

“BELLISSIMO!” At Italian language school Collina Italiana, toddlers can learn basic Italian words and phrases through songs, games, dance, film and arts and crafts. Classes are also available for elementary and middleschool kids. (

TELL STORIES THROUGH SONG The Diller-Quaile School of Music’s “Giving Voice To Stories” class for two-year-olds explores visually engaging storybooks through song, movement and play. Percussion instruments, stuffed animals, puppets, and props enhance the story experience, using music to help build vocabulary and teach communication skills. (


The School at Steps

At Eastside Westside Music Together’s “Big Kids Family Music” class, children ages 5-6 and their accompanying adults participate in game songs, folk dances, jam sessions, dramatic play and more. Children develop interests and skills in singing, dancing, improvising, playing instruments and taking dramatic roles, while parents will learn how to support their children as they grow musically. (

Spring like Spiderman and bound like Batman at Discovery Programs’ Action Hero Dance class, designed for pre-school boys with a sense of rhythm who love to move! Students incorporate dynamic movements into high energy and fun routines. (

BUNDLE UP At My Gym’s “Little Bundles” class, babies begin their first visual, audial and spatial exploration while parents are guided through a program designed to carefully introduce music and movement through baby exercises, songs, dances, infant-safe rides, unique swings, and other Parent & Me adventures. Each week, parents participate in a dialogue about their children’s development and leave with informative handouts. ( k


Children’s Museum of Manhattan


New York Family | September 2010

At Wollman Rink’s “Snow Plow Sam” class for first time skaters ages 5-6, kids learn basic balance, proper falling and getting up, beginning forward skating and two foot glides. Students work on forward marching with speed, simple turns, beginning backward skating and stops. (

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THE VENUES MULTI-SERVICE 92nd Street Y, 1395 Lexington Avenue, 212-415-5500, apple seeds, 10 West 25th Street, Art Farm in the City, 419 East 91st Street, 212-410-3117, Asphalt Green, 555 East 90th Street, 212-369-8890, Blue School, 432 Lafayette, Mezzanine, 646-602-7066, Chelsea Piers, 23rd Street & the Hudson River, 212-336-6666, Children’s Museum of Manhattan, 212 West 83rd Street, 212-721-1223, Citibabes, 52 Mercer Street, 3rd Floor, 212-334-5440, Discovery Programs, 251 West 100th Street, 212-749-8717, Gymboree Play & Music, Various locations in Manhattan, 877-496-5327, Gymtime Rhythm & Glues, 1520 York Avenue, 212-861-7732, The JCC in Manhattan, 334 Amsterdam Avenue, 646-505-4444, Kidville, Various locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, 212-772-8435, New York Kids Club, Various locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, 347-706-4700, Poppyseed Pre-Nursery, 424 West End Avenue at 81st Street, 212-877-7614. 74th St. MAGIC, 510 East 74th Street, 212-737-2989,

ART ArtKids, 646-678-4497, Children’s Museum of the Arts, 182 Lafayette Street, 212-274-0986, The Craft Studio, 1657 Third Avenue, 212-831-6626, Loop of the Loom, 227 East 87th Street, 212-722-2686, Metropolitan Moms, 212-206-7272, Scribble Press, 1624 First Avenue, 212-288-2928,

COOKING Cupcake Kids!, 109 West 27th Street, 212-242-2248,

DANCE Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, 405 West 55th Street, 212-405-9000,


New York Family | September 2010

Ballet Academy East, 1651 Third Avenue, 3rd Floor, 212-410-9140, Joffrey Ballet School, 434 Avenue of the Americas, 3rd Floor, 212-2548520, The School at Steps, 2121 Broadway, 4th Floor, 212-874-3678,

EDUCATION AND ENRICHMENT Tribeca Learning Center, 21 Saint Johns Lane, 718-812-1910,

GYMNASTICS Jodi’s Gym, 244 East 84th Street, 212-772-7633, My Gym, 250 East 60th Street, 212-421-9496; and 22 West 66th Street, 212-724-3400; NYC Elite Gymnastics, 421 East 91st Street, 212-289-8737; 100 Avenue of the Americas, 212-334-3628, Sokol New York, 420 East 71st Street, 212-861-8206,

LANGUAGE Carousel of Languages, 385 West End Avenue, 212-508-8524, Collina Italiana, 135 East 96th Street, 212-427-7770, ¡HOLA! A Playgroup in Spanish, Various locations in Manhattan, 917-648-5006, Instituto Cervantes, 211 East 49th Street, 212-308-7720 ext. 3., Language Workshop for Children, Various locations in Manhattan, 212-396-0830,

Super Soccer Stars TADA!, 15 West 28th Street, 3rd Floor, 212-252-1619, Three Little Birds Music, 266 East 78th Street, 212-744-0404,

SPORTS & ADVENTURE Big City Volleyball, Multiple locations in Manhattan, 212-288-4240, Brooklyn Boulders, 575 Degraw St, Brooklyn, 347-834-9066, Generation D at Dasha Wellness, 115 East 57th Street, 212-755-5500, Kick & Play, Various locations throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn, 212-8775425, Kids In Sports, Various locations in Manhattan, 212-744-4900, SPORTIME at Randall’s Island, One Randall’s Island, 212-427-6150, Wollman Skating Rink, Central Park at 59th Street and Sixth Avenue, 212439-6900,



ABC Do-Re-ME!, Multiple locations in Manhattan, 646-434-1419, Applause New York City, Home of Rock-n-Roll Babies, Broadway Babies and Superstars, 184 East 76th Street, 212-717-0703, Atlantic Acting School, 76 Ninth Avenue, 212-691-5919, The Diller-Quaile School of Music, 24 East 95th Street, 212-369-1484, The Early Ear, 48 West 68th Street, 110 West 96th Street, 353 East 78th Street, 212-877-7125, Eastside Westside Music Together, 102 West 75th Street, 212-496-1242, Jazz at Lincoln Center, 33 West 60th Street, 212-258-9800,

Super Soccer Stars, More than 150 locations throughout the Tri-State area, 212-877-7171,

SWIMMING Swim Jim, Pool locations throughout the city, 212-749-7335,

TUTORING Mathnasium, 1597 York Avenue, 212-828-6284, manhattan.

YOGA Karma Kids Yoga, 104 West 14th Street, 646-638-1444, Yogi Beans, Various locations in Manhattan and Brooklyn, 212-787-YOGA,

Come Play Yoga at Karma Kids Yoga! Yoga for Babies Toddlers, Kids, Teens, Families NEW CircusYoga Prenatal Yoga Free Story Time Yoga Yoga Birthday Parties Special Events Teacher Training

We let the dogs out. Bring the zen home with our new CD, Come Play YOga!, Mom’s Choice Awards Winner, available at, Amazon, selected tracks on iTunes and now playing on Pandora. Visit our website to learn about the benefits of yoga for children, our Class Descriptions, Special Events, other locations around NYC and Brooklyn, Children’s Yoga Teacher Training, and Yoga Birthday Party information. KARMA KIDS YOGA 104 West 14th Street, NYC (646)638-1444

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Voted “Best Kids Yoga” by TimeOut NY Kids and New York Magazine.

8/19/10 3:56 PM


“BYOK (Bring Your Own Kid)” Series at 92 Y Tribeca Make musical memories at 92YTribeca’s “Bring Your Own Kid” program, where little ones and parents can rock out together to kid-friendly concerts every Sunday. Whether it’s Brooklyn-based favorites the Deedle Dee Dees (October 10) or hilarious rocker Billy Kelly (October 17), each performance promises a little something for everyone in the audience. 200 Hudson Street;

The World Passport Workshop Series at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum The first Saturday of each month, the Brooklyn Children’s Museum hosts an interactive workshop for kids, where they can learn all about a new or exciting concept that lends itself to great thematic study. On September 4, kids will love learning about boats and designing their own vessel; on October 2, little chefs can learn all about the history of quinoa and cook up a batch of their own, and on November 6, kids can learn all about the magic of the Diwali South Asian holiday! 145 Brooklyn Avenue (at St. Marks Avenue), Brooklyn;

92 Y Tribeca



“Meet The Artist Saturdays” at Lincoln Center’s David Rubenstein Atrium This fall, Lincoln Center hosts the second annual “Meet The Artist Saturdays” series, where kids can get up close and personal with some of their favorite performing artists (like Astrograss) and also with new musical genres, like opera! The kick-off event will take place on September 4 with a special presentation entitled “Echoing Voices: A Musical History of America.” The series will take place the first Saturday of every month and is free; seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. The David Rubenstein Atrium, Broadway between 62nd and 63rd streets;

“Beauty & The Beast” at Puppetworks In true Puppetworks fashion, the classic tale of “Beauty & the Beast” is told with the help of intricately crafted marionettes, and accompanied by music from French composer Jules Massenet. Running from September 4 to December 19, the show is a charming adaptation of Madame Leprince De Beaumont’s 1756 French fairy tale. Recommended for ages 4 and up. 338 Sixth Avenue at 4th Street, Brooklyn;

“The Amazing Maize Maze” at the Queens County Farm Museum

96 9 6


“Painting Brooklyn: Stories of Immigration & Survival” at the Brooklyn Historical Society On September 14, the Brooklyn Historical Society will debut a new exhibition entitled “Painting Brooklyn: Stories of Immigration & Survival,” which will tell the stories of diverse individuals and cultures that have immigrated to Brooklyn through paintings, oral histories, poetry and personal effects. What’s more, the exhibition will host a family workshop on November 14, in which kids will have an opportunity to listen to and tell their own stories, as well as create a multimedia art project as a reflection. The exhibit runs through February 2011. Brooklyn Historical Society; 128 Pierrepont Street, Brooklyn;

“Mixing It Up With Marclay” At The Whitney Museum LR RUSH

The Whitney


Magical, Must-See Museum Exhibits, Cultural Events And Live Performances To Share With Your Kids This Season

Starting September 8, kids can celebrate the beginning of the fall season by getting lost within a three-acre interactive corn maze. Families can navigate the corn stalks and complete the maze by finding clues and solving exciting puzzles. The exhibit closes on November 7, so make sure to experience the adventure while it lasts. 73-50 Little Neck Pkwy, Floral Park, Queens;

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On September 25, families are invited to take part in a multimedia exploration of artist Christian Marclay’s exhibit “Christian

Marclay: Festival.” Kids can take guided tours through the various components of the exhibit, and even contribute to the creative process by adding notes to a giant chalkboard with music lines; professional musicians will then play the notes that the kids come up with! After the exhibit, families can stick around for an afternoon of musical performances. 95 Madison Avenue; whitney,org.

“The Wizard of Oz” at the Children’s Museum of Manhattan Follow the yellow brick road to the Children’s Museum of Manhattan, where your kids can spend the day with Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion and the Tin Man in part of CMOM’s new Wizard of Oz exhibit. From creating a tornado in Dorothy’s bedroom to climbing a mountain to the Wicked Witch’s Castle, there’s plenty of exploring to be done in this exhibit open from September 25 to January 9. 212 West 83rd Street;

“Angelina Ballerina The Musical” at Vital Theatre Company Everyone’s favorite mouse ballerina Angelina and all of her friends make the big jump from the television screen (on the PBS Kids series “Angelina Ballerina: The Next Steps”) to the stage in this musical production. Starting October 2, 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. Recommended for children ages 3 to 12. 2162 Broadway at 76th Street, 4th Floor;

The Kaufman Center

“Boo At The Zoo” At The Bronx Zoo


Throughout the month of October, families can head to the Bronx Zoo for a spooky, animal-themed celebration of everyone’s favorite fall holiday-Halloween! Kids can take in a giant carved pumpkin display (a master carver will take on a 400-pound pumpkin at the beginning of October, and then carve another 150-pound pumpkin every subsequent Saturday!) explore the endangered species “graveyard” to learn more about protecting endangered wildlife, go for a ride on a spooky hayride or haunted safari adventure and trick or treat for some tasty snacks. Events are on weekends and open to kids of all ages. 2300 Southern Boulevard, Bronx;

Peace Lab Family Workshop at The Rubin Museum On Saturday, October 2, the Rubin Museum will celebrate International Day of Non-Violence with its very own (and first-ever!) peace laboratory. Families will be able to take part in sensory experiments (testing the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, feelings, and actions that make us peaceful or angry) as well as listen to live musical performances and participate in peace-themed craft projects. The festivities begin at 11 a.m. 150 W. 17th Street;

The Rubin Museum

The Ultimate Block Party In Central Park On October 3, families are invited to be a part of the Ultimate Block Party (UBP), a free, fun-filled event designed to change attitudes, beliefs and practices about the power of playful learning. Based on a social movement started in NYC and created in response to kids’ diminishing play times, the UBP will debut in New York before expanding nationally and internationally, catering to the needs and identity of each city. At the first ever UBP in Central Park, kids can take part in over 30 interactive and specially-designed activities, such as “The World’s Largest Simon Says,” building and designing, story writing, role playing and more. Naumburg Bandshell, (72nd street and Dead Road), Central Park;

Enter the magical world of Narnia with this musical based on the classic C.S. Lewis adventure. On October 3, families can watch the Pevensie children dodge the white witch and explore a new world. 199 Chambers Street;


“The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center

Tribeca Performing Arts Center September 2010 | New York Family



“The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter” at the American Museum of Natural History A longtime favorite of museum goers of all ages, “The Butterfly Conservatory: Tropical Butterflies Alive in Winter” returns to the American Museum of Natural History on October 16. Families can discover over 500 tropical butterflies from the Americas, Africa, and Asia as they soar around the 60-foot long vivarium, created to simulate their lush native habitat. Central Park West and 79th Street;

American Museum of Natural History


“Circurious” at Symphony Space On October 23, families can witness a magnificent display of talent, athleticism and beauty. “Circurious” features not only standard circus performances, including acrobats, illusionists and singers, but also performances from Broadway recording artists and beauty pageant winners. This is a one-day event, so make sure to purchase tickets in advance. 2537 Broadway;

“Sachiyo Ito & Company: Exquisite Japanese Dance” at the Museum of the City of New York

Carnegie Hall


On Saturday, October 30, the Museum of the City of New York presents a once-in-a-lifetime production from the acclaimed New York City traditional Japanese dance company, Sachiyo Ito & Company. Children and parents alike will marvel at the company’s exquisite movements and wide variety of dancing styles. After the performance, families can peruse the museum’s exhibition “Samurai in New York: The First Japanese Delegation, 1960.” Performance begins at 3 p.m. 1220 Fifth Avenue at 103rd Street;

“Stravinsky’s Firebird” Commissioned by The Little Orchestra Society

Symphony Space

As part of its Happy Concerts For Young People Series, the Little Orchestra Society invites families to the world-premiere of a family-friendly production of the Russian ballet masterpiece, “Stravinksy’s Firebird” on November 6. Dancing bunraku-style puppets and shadow-play in the hands of 10 puppeteers move to the incredible music of Maestro Anagnost and the Orchestra in this spectacular, one-of-a-kind performance. Avery Fisher Hall, Lincoln Center;

“Fall Family Day” at The Guggenheim Museum On Sunday, November 14, families are invited to a day of festivities celebrating the Guggenheim Museum’s architecture and fall exhibitions. Kids will be able to engage in discussions about the art, as well as participate in a scavenger hunt and art-making activities and watch performances and storytelling. Recommended for children ages 4 to 10; no registration required. 1071 Fifth Avenue;

The Sneak Peek: A Musical Revue at TADA! The award-winning TADA! Youth Theater has produced original musicals performed by kids ages 8-18 for over 25 years. While most of the company’s performances are in the New Year, this season families can look forward to Tada’s “Sneak Peek: A Musical Revue” from November 19 to 21. The revue will feature musical numbers from Tada’s upcoming productions, including “Rabbit Sense,” “Odd Day Rain” and “The Little Moon Theater,” and is sure to have kids excited about Tada’s forthcoming spring season. 15 West 28th Street;

Lincoln Center


New York Family | September 2010

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Family Friendly Outdoor Artisan Market Supporting Local Schools

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artisan vendors • live children’s entertainment green market • raffle prizes • fun family giveaways face painting • interactive demonstrations • and more!

M A R T E on 97 th FALL SCHEDULE Sept. 25: Family MARTE Oct. 2: Craft MARTE Oct. 9: Sports MARTE Oct. 16: MARTE Fall Festival

Oct. 23: Volunteer MARTE Oct. 30: Halloween MARTE Nov. 6: Health MARTE | | 212.268.0501


Jazz for Young People’s “What Is Jazz”? at Jazz at Lincoln Center On November 20, your family can learn the true meaning of jazz with legendary trumpeter and composer Wynton Marsalis. Come enjoy the swinging music and teach your children to feel jazz’s true meaning in their souls—scatting is optional! Time Warner Center, Broadway and 60th Street, 5th Floor;

“Momentum” at the New Victory Theater From December 3 to January 2, the New Victory Theater will host Tel Aviv’s multicultural troupe Mayumana, which will perform its high-energy, interactive music show, “Momentum.” The show, which combines elements of music, dance, drumming, acrobatics and more, has already been seen by thousands worldwide. 209 West 42nd Street;

For the 26th year in a row, New York Theatre Ballet presents a magical one-hour production of the classic wintertime tale, “The Nutcracker.” A perfect way to ring in the holiday season, the Once Upon A Ballet series is designed for children, though the beautiful performance will mesmerize parents, too! Performances will be held on December 11, 12, 18 and 19 at 11 a.m., 1 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at Florence Gould Hall, 55 East 59th Street;


“The Nutcracker” at New York Theatre Ballet Jazz at Lincoln Center

“How The Grinch Stole Christmas” at Carnegie Hall Celebrate the holidays with the Whos! On December 11, the New York Pops will perform the beloved story of the Grinch on the Carnegie Hall stage. Bring your family an hour before showtime and enjoy free pre-concert activities. The performance itself features orchestral music, singers, dancers and a chorus, plus a full narration of the story and a projection of illustrations from the original book. 57th Street and Seventh Avenue;

On Sunday, December 12 at 2 p.m., the acclaimed Pushcart Players will present the classic tale of a boy named Peter and his animal friends, each of which are represented with a different instrument! This musical presentation is appropriate for all ages, and is sure to please parents and kids alike. 1109 Fifth Avenue;

New York Theater Ballet


“Peter and the Wolf” at the Jewish Museum

The Skirball Center

“Mummenschanz”at the Skirball Center For The Performing Arts Prepare to be amazed as the revolutionary Swiss performance troupe, “Mummenschanz,” brings its show to the NYU-based cultural center as part of its Big Red Chair Series from December 21 to January 8. This completely non-verbal show brings imagination to the forefront as everyday items become extraordinary, and shadows and lighting are used for a dramatic, and impactful, effect. 566 LaGuardia Place;

Musical Adventures With The Poppy Seed Players At The Kaufman Center


The Kaufman Center hosts the beloved musical troupe the Poppy Seed Players, who, now in their 21st season, perform musical plays for kids about Jewish culture. While many of the performances are after the New Year, families can look forward to Merkin Concert Hall’s annual family Hanukkah revue, “Latkes And Applesauce” on December 5. Featuring work from some of New York’s funniest writers, the show is a joyous and family-friendly holiday celebration. Merkin Concert Hall, 129 West 67th Street (between Broadway and Amsterdam); —Beata Cherepakhina, Alessandra Hickson, Matthew Thaler

New Victory Theater

September 2010 | New York Family



Photos by Carol rosegg

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Culture Guide for Kids

Cat Knows Best The

Dr. Seuss’ Mischievous Feline Turns In His Tricks For A New PBS Show About The Wonder Of Science BY ALLESSANDRA HICKSON


his month, PBS Kids brings Dr. Seuss’s classic character to television with “The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That,” starring funnyman Martin Short as the voice of the Cat. But this time, the Cat isn’t causing trouble with kites and polka-dotted dresses; he’s helping Sally and Nick learn about science. Here, animation director Julie Stalls talks about the Cat’s prankster past and how the show will help inspire budding scientists.

What were some of your challenges in trying to maintain the Cat in the Hat’s mischievous behavior? The Cat was very much a prankster in the original book, and he had Nick and Sally scared out of their wits. Who was this crazy, zany character in their house? So we looked at what it is about the Cat’s character that makes him appealing. He’s silly, he’s fun, he has an outrageous amount of energy and he’s not afraid to try new things—those are fantastic characteristics for a host! So unlike the original book, the Cat doesn’t decide what games Sally and Nick should play? It’s the kids who drive the plot line; it starts with a question or problem they have and the Cat shows up to help. We kept his curiosity and zest for exploring. The Cat always knows where to take them and who to visit, but he doesn’t have a lot of the answers. That’s why it’s called “The Cat in The Hat Knows A Lot About That;” he knows a lot, but he doesn’t know everything, and that’s where the fun and

Plus, This Month’s Highlights In Books, Music And DVDs BOOKS

The Odious Ogre Written by Norton Juster, illustrated by Jules Feiffer The author and illustrator behind the beloved classic “The Phantom Tollbooth” reunite for a new tale about a terrible ogre who frightens everyone but one courageous girl. (Available now; bookstores nationwide) MUSIC

Time To Rock Out The Not-Its This album is an up-tempo, power-pop combination of songs that are “just for fun”


New York Family | September 2010

with w songs about important issues for kids, like lik dealing with bullies. (Available now; w MOVIES M

S Strawberry Shortcake: hortcake: Berrywood Here B ere Wee Co Come me S Strawberry Shortcake ake is back bac ba ackk for for an all-new all-ne all -ne n w adventure! a When Strawberry S and friends endss travel t to Berrywood d to visit their movie star tar friend, Limelight, they ey discover that everything hingg isn’t glitz and glamour. ur. (Available now; —Noelia de la a Cruz, Cruz, ruz uz, Ashley Ashl shley ey Troost Troost Tro st

silliness come in. He brings the kids into the avenue where they can learn and discover for themselves. How do Thing 1 and Thing 2 and the Fish factor into the show? The Fish is fun because he’s known the Cat for years and has the feeling that things are going to go off the rails. He builds the anticipation and provides comic relief. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are physical helpers for the Cat; the Cat gets himself into trouble and calls them and they hop out of the back of the Thinga-ma-jigger and build a fun contraption. They’re non-verbal so they’re very slapstick and physical. You’ve changed the children from Sally and her brother to Sally and her friend and neighbor, Nick – why the change? We wanted to provide a sense of community, so we wanted the kids to be friends. We also wanted to bring some multicultural aspects to the show; so by having Nick be the neighbor and not the brother we’re able to bring in different nationalities of characters, which is very reflective of today’s communities. What does Martin Short bring to the character of the Cat? Martin Short is the perfect Cat in the Hat; he has a natural ability to inject enthusiasm a and fun and delivers his lines in a way that makes you want to go on these th adventures. He also brings a real silliness to the character. The record si sessions are hilarious because he’s als ways adding these ad-libs. Because he’s w a wonderful comedian he knows the perfect comic timing and he’s coined p phrases for the Cat like, “My, you’re p clever!” n c

Š2010 Wildlife Conservation Society



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you’ll go!

When In


An NYC Family’s Italian Adventure



y husband and I thought it was time to take our two daughters, ages 7 and 9, to Europe for a family summer vacation. We’d always imagined that their first European experience would be London or Paris because of our own memorable experiences traveling there. But our friends convinced us that Italy, and in particular the city of Rome, would be the friendliest and easiest place to start. And what history there would be to see and experience! Here are some of the best tips and pieces of advice that made our trip such a wonderful family adventure:

Secure A Guide The best piece of advice that we were given was to hire an English-speaking guide—licensed by the gov- Mackin’s daughters, Charlotte (left) and Sophie (right), at The Vatican. ernment of Italy—who could help the girls (and us!) comprehend and appreciate the major sights. Rome is an enormous city, with many of its signs only in Italian. and we were a short walk away from the top of the Spanish Our guide also helped us navigate the museums and sights Steps and the Villa Borghese park. The hotel had lovely, during the least crowded times of the day. We took an early spacious rooms, and a fantastic concierge. The indoor pool morning tour of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, went on a visit is only a few years old and couldn’t have been nicer! to the Colosseum timed to avoid the scorching sun, and stopped into the Catacombs just prior to the noon closing Do Your Homework so they were practically empty. My youngest daughter even Plan ahead and determine which sights you really want got to hold the flashlight and lead us through the Catato see. Rome is such a vast city that it’s impossible to “do it combs herself! Our guide shared anecdotes about art and all” in a single visit. Get your children involved in the planhistory, and took us to some of the more “off the beaten ning process—it will help to get them excited about the trip. path” exhibits, churches and sights. If you don’t want to My husband discovered the website, which hire a guide, I suggest picking up an automated recording at offers a printable “My Italy Discovery Journal.” The journal the sights where they are offered—it’s worth every euro. introduces kids to some of the historic sights through games and puzzles that they can do on the plane—and Stay In A Centrally-Located Hotel— during the leisurely (aka long) evening dinners. Other great resources include Fodor’s “Rome” (we found this travel With A Pool Since there is quite a bit of walking and touring, friends guide to be the most detailed and accurate), and the book advised us to find a hotel with a pool—not the easiest thing “Rome: Past and Present” by R. A. Staccioli, which is the to find in Europe, but well worth the effort. The girls were first original archeological guide to Rome—the girls loved able to relax in the afternoon and escape the June heat. The the colorful overlays depicting ancient monuments. G pool also filled the midday window of time when the major Caroleen Mackin is an Upper East Side mother of destinations were closed for their traditional, leisurely Italt w o . F o r m o r e o f M a c k i n’s i n s i d e r t i p s o n e x p e r i ian lunches. We stayed at the Westin Excelsior, on the Via e n c i n g R o m e w i t h k i d s , v i s i t n e w y o r k f a m i l y. c o m . Veneto. There were many wonderful restaurants nearby,


New York Family | September 2010


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Like Your Winter Vacations White? Here’s A List Of Family-Friendly Ski Resorts BY ALESSANDRA HICKSON

Okemo Mountain Resort


an 18,000-square-foot Children’s Center, Taos Ski Valley caters to the whole family. Taos’ nursery offers services for infants and preschoolers, while its ski school teaches children as young as three the basics of navigating the slopes. The surrounding town and village offer plenty of family-friendly lodging, from inns to full-service resorts. (

Smuggler’s Notch Resort; Smuggler’s Notch, Vermont

Snowmass; Aspen, Colorado

This resort offers three big mountains of skiing and snowboarding, tube sliding and dog sledding, plus amenities for families like babysitting, children’s lessons and two tween-only centers. For indoor play, families will love the FunZone, equipped with a 45-foot obstacle course, a giant double-lane slide, volleyball and mini-golf. (

Northstar-at-Tahoe; Tahoe, California This resort is perfect for adventure-loving families, and it’s a great destination to try new things. For the slopes, families can (temporarily) forgo their skis and try out snowscoots, snowbikes, tubes and the skifox. Kids will also love the resort’s live music, free ice skating and bungee jumping, and indoor activities like jewelry and candle making.(

Okemo Mountain Resort; Ludlow, Vermont Okemo Mountain Resort was created with families’ needs in mind. Kids can choose from skiing, snowshoeing, snowtubing, wagon rides and moonlight snoeshoe tours, or take refuge from the cold at the indoor pool and golf course. Families will also love Saturday movie nights, s’more-making at a local tavern and nightly bonfires. Plus, the resort offers free skiing and riding for children 6 and under. (

Taos Ski Valley; Taos, New Mexico

Boasting a terrain garden and 22-foot snowboard superpipe, Snowmass offers some of the best skiing in the Aspen area. Families can choose from a variety of discount packages, and when it’s time to head inside, parents can visit the nearby village (filled with great shopping and restaurants) while kids explore the Treehouse Kids’ Adventure Center, which features interactive themed rooms and movie nights. (

Squaw Valley; Olympic Valley, California The site of the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, Squaw Valley offers visitors breathtaking views of Lake Tahoe and a dose of US Olympic history. High Camp at Squaw Valley boasts an ice rink perched at the top of the upper mountain, a gentle beginner terrain and the “Ski with a Pro” program for kids. There’s also a climbing wall, cable car rides, snowtubing and snowshoe tours. (

Ski Butternut; Great Barrington, Massachusetts Ski Butternut has amenities for riders of all ages and experience levels; young children learn the basics of skiing and snowboarding in the SKIwee or miniRIDER programs, while older kids enjoy the mountain’s 22 downhill ski trails, 110 skiable acres and 12 lifts. The mountain also offers clubhouses and a children’s center, and families will love the area’s many lodging choices, ranging from quaint inns to motels. (

With skiing and snowboarding lessons for all ages and


New York Family | September 2010

Photo provided by Okemo Mountain Resort

inter may be months away, but now’s the time to start planning your dream ski vacation. To add some inspiration, here are a few of our favorite family-friendly ski resorts:




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Jonesing siing for fresh powder, but don’t have time e ffo for or an n overnight gh ht ex e xcc x make ake a k ke gr g ea att excursion? These nearby ski resorts mak great day tri d trips t ip ps from NYC: UN U NT MOUNTAIN, HUNTER, NY: Nestled in the he h HUNTER heart of the northern Catskills, Hunter Mountain is known for its beautiful views, luxury spa and slopes that accommodate all ability levels. ( GTON, NY: Bo WHITEFACE LAKE PLACID, WILMINGTON, Boasting ular location, this statean Olympic Center and a spectacular o mountains, Gore and of-the-art ski resort features two ing from disc golf to Whiteface, and offers activities ranging yoga. ( Y: This family-operated MOUNT PETER, WARWICK, NY: pressive title: it’s the Hudson Valley resort boasts an impressive k. ( oldest ski resort in the state of New York. ( MOUNTAIN CREEK SKI RESORT, NJ: Located in nor northern New Jersey, this resort features 41 trails, 11 lifts and one of the region’s only all-terrain parks. ( byy CAMPGAW MOUNTAIN, MAHWAH, NJ: This nearby rt offers live family entertainment in the lodge each ach ac ch ch resort nig n night ni iight. ght ht. (( night. S ST STRATT TRA T RAT RATT R AT TT AIIN AIN N STRATTON MOUNTAIN RESORT, STRATTON MOUNTAIN, VT VT: VT T:: S St Stra Stratt t tr tra Stratton offers a winter activity for everyone. Families ca can an n go o tub tubin tubi ub b tubing in the park, snowmobile through the mounttai ainss or ains o spend a day cross-country skiing. ( tains —Matthew Thaler

Ski Big Bear/Woodloch Resort; Lackawaxen, Pennsylvania Ski Big Bear and Woodloch Resort together offer a discounted Family Ski And Stay Package, which includes everything from lift tickets to nightly entertainment. The slopes offer skiing, snowboarding and tubing, but families can also check out The Eagle Institute (to scout for bald eagles), NorthEast Wilderness Experience (for hiking, snowshoeing and climbing) and Triple W Riding Stables (which offer horseback riding on a secluded and spectacular mountain top). (,

Frost Valley YMCA; Claryville, New York

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New York Family | September 2010

At the largest YMCA camping site in the nation (Frost Valley covers 6,000 acres in the Catskill Mountains) families can enjoy cross-country skiing on back-country trails and along glistening streams and small group lessons on weekends. Kids can take a break from the slopes with maple sugaring and equestrian programs, and families can stay in rustic cabins or inns. (

The Pines Lodge, A RockResort at Beaver Creek, Colorado This resort is a winter wonderland for families, boasting a spectacular location and plenty of action-packed fun. Parents will love the resort’s nightly entertainment and award-winning restaurant, as well as the facility’s free internet access and valet parking. Meanwhile, kids will flip for the plentiful outdoor activities (like skiing, snowshoeing, snowmobiling, sleigh rides and even hot air ballooning) and the hot chocolate and cookies that greet them after a day in the snow! ( G

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September 2010 | New York Family



Dream Homes This Month’s Dream Building Combines Contemporary Elegance And Design-Forward Amenities On The Upper West Side 208 WEST 96TH STREET


amilies in search of a modern, design-forward building in a classic New York neighborhood will delight in one of the Upper West Side’s newest luxury residences, 208 West 96th Street. Comprised of nine full-floor, three-bedroom, three-bath homes, this boutique condominium redefines spacious and luxurious living. “All of the rooms are generously sized,” says Simon Shamilzadeh, Vice President of Marketing and Sales for Manor Properties Group. “When you come in, it feels spacious, airy and light.” Each apartment at 208 West 96th Street features key-locked elevator access which opens into a private foyer, off of which is a master suite (complete with a dressing room and private balcony), an airy living room (featuring double-paned floor-to-ceiling windows and a Juliet balcony) and a stateof-the-art kitchen, outfitted with European-

style windows and top-of-the-line amenities such as a SubZero refrigerator, a Viking hood and range, Bosch dishwasher, a wine refrigerator and a central vacuum system (including a special crumb vacuum for the kitchen!). The condo’s three large bathrooms feature Ceasarstone quartz countertops, heated porcelain floors, Double Toto sinks and Axor and Kohler fixtures, and the master bath also boasts a spacious Duravit soaking tub and enclosed glass shower. The lobby at 208 West 96th Street exudes contemporary elegance and features an undulating wall that creates a dynamic and architecturally significant space. Residents will enjoy a Virtual Doorman, valet closets for packages and refrigerated storage for special deliveries. Each home boasts a private storage room and separate bike storage, and the communal rooftop terrace affords panoramic views of Central Park, Upper Manhattan and the Hudson River. Environmentally-conscious families will appreciate the building’s numerous energy-efficient amenities and use of recycled materials. All of the residences’ appliances are Energy Star rated, all windows have Low-E coating for “added efficiency,” and the interiors are decorated with low VOC paint and floor sealer. What’s more, the building features an Otis Gen2 motorless elevator, and the rooftop terrace’s floor features rubber pavers made from recycled materials. And families couldn’t ask for a better location. “It’s accessible to all transit, including the new 96th Street station,” Shamilzadeh says. “You’ve got all your restaurants and shopping right there, you’ve got Central Park, you’ve got anything and everything you could want.” —Ashley Troost

Address: 208 West 96th Street | Prices: Ownership starts at $2,275,000| Developer: Manor Properties Group, LLC Architect: Arctangent Architecture + Design | Marketing And Sales: Frances Lucy, Halstead Property Development Marketing, LLC, 212-381-2374 Website:


New York Family | September 2010


73 Worth Street

61 East 86th Street

100 Riverside Boulevard

Located in the heart of Tribeca, this spacious four-bedroom home features Brazilian cherry hardwood floors, floor-to-ceiling windows, marble bathrooms and three private terraces. The gourmet kitchen comes equipped with a Wolf stove, Bosch dishwasher and Subzero refrigerator. Other features include northern and southern exposures, a washer and dryer, central air conditioning and generous storage space.

This elegantly restored pre-war duplex offers the best in Upper East Side family living, boasting 10’ ceilings, a hallway lined with built-in bookcases, a gracious foyer that opens into a living and dining area, and a kitchen that includes a Bosch dishwasher, Viking stove and Sub Zero refrigerator. Parents will fall in love with the master bedroom and its en suite bath, not to mention the home’s ample closet space, thruwall air conditioning and ADT security system. The building offers a children’s playroom and free laundry for residents, along with storage for bikes and other belongings, a live-in super and a part-time doorman.

Affording spectacular views of the Hudson River, this spacious, light-filled Upper West Side condominium makes the perfect home for a cityloving family. Boasting Brazilian stripped dark cherry wood floors, a stainless-steel kitchen with Subzero refrigerator and two master suites, the home also includes a washer and dryer and plenty of closet and storage space. Amenities abound in this post-war hi-rise building—families enjoy a children’s playroom, gaming room, movie screening room and fitness center, plus a full-time doorman and concierge service.

Asking Price: $1,850,000 | Maint/CC: $2,827 Agent: Sabrina Saltiel, 212-350-2205 6 Rooms, 3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths

Asking Price: $2,199,000 | Maint/CC: $1,304 Agent: Elaine Clayman, 212-906-9353 7.5 Rooms, 3 Bedrooms, 3 Baths

Asking Price: $2,395,000 | Maint/CC: $1,786 Agent: Adrian Noriega, 212-875-4056 Corcoran 6 Rooms, 4 Bedrooms, 2 Baths

These were the prices as of August 22...

September 2010 | New York Family





Big Premiere

A Film Fanatic Mom Holds Her Breath For Her Daughter’s Inaugural Trip To The Movies BY HEATHER CHAET


kay, I confess. I’m a tad limited in the family fun activities I do. I don’t do nature. At the mere mention of a hike, my palms sweat and I immediately think “tick check.” I don’t do the playground unless forced, and never the sandbox. My fear of what may be unearthed with every turn of the shovel actually drove me to tell Tessa, my three-year-old daughter, that I was allergic to sand. What do I do? I do movies. Specifically, I do kids movies. I do anything animated and all things Pixar. I do tween movies in the theater and those made for TV (I’ve seen “Camp Rock” twice). My favorite? Bad teenage dance movies. You can have “A Beautiful Mind.” Take “The Departed.” Forget “No Country for Old Men.” Give me “Step Up,” “You Got Served” and “Stomp the Yard.” I am not ashamed— I long ago embraced the fact that I have the movie tastes of a 12-year-old girl. As a result, I’ve pictured and dreamt about the day my daughter will want to go to the movies with me. I imagine Tessa and me sharing the joys of guessing which trailers will be shown, the little thrill when the lights dim, the amazing feeling of being transported to another world, perhaps another universe. She had seen “Toy Story” and “Toy Story 2” on DVD, so when “Toy Story 3” was released in June, I knew this was it. Planning it took on the importance of deploying a DEFCON one-level military exercise. We prepped her on how it would be dark in the theater, how the screen would be very big and the movie may be loud. We waited a few weeks after its première and went to the first showing on a bright, sunny


New York Family | September 2010

day to reduce the amount of audience distractions. We arrived early to get a choice seat to avoid any screen-blockage by tall-ish parents and planned the pre-movie potty trip. And, of course, snacks were purchased. When Tessa saw the bag of popcorn, her eyes lit up. In that crazed way. Like when her grandma shoots Reddi-Wip directly into her mouth. I should have known. Just as I do movies, Tessa does snacks. If I could have

we walked home. My husband asked what her favorite part about going to the movies was. Answering “popcorn” in my mind for her, I froze when I heard her say, “At the end, when they all held hands.” The realiza-

“Tessa, isn’t this great?” Her reply? “More

tionthey-areall-gonna-die scene...or us right now? Tessa went on, swinging our hands, “They were a family, they wanted to be together. No matter what. Like us.” I gasped. She did get it! Despite the five pounds of popcorn sitting in her stomach, my daughter got it. She understood the magic of going to the movies, how we can learn something about ourselves, our lives, while watching these other worlds. As we crossed the street, she asked if we could go to movies every day. It was a perfect ending. Hollywood couldn’t have written it better. G

popcorn please.” warned myself, I would have. It’s like when you yell, “Don’t open the door!” at the girl in those horror movies; if I were watching the movie version of my life, I would’ve screamed, “Don’t give her the SNACK!” Once she started eating popcorn, she did not stop. The lights went down. I said, “Tessa, isn’t this great?” Her reply? “More popcorn please.” The trailers for “Cats and Dogs 2” came on. Me: “Does that look funny?” Tessa: “Popcorn please!” It was as if she lost the capabillity to do anything but sit there, on the yellow plastic boostermound, 3D glasses perched on her nose, and eat fluffy white nuggets of corn. I shoveled fistful after fistful of popcorn onto her napkin and sighed. The three of us held hands as

When not practicing dance m o v e s f r o m “ S t e p U p 3 D ,” H e a t h e r C h a e t i s a w r i t e r, m o m and TV junkie. She inv ites readers to please follow her on twitter @motherhoodlist and read her musings at

Eloise is back at The Plaza V I S I T E LO I S E AT T H E PL A Z A H OT E L O R O N L I N E AT T H E PL A Z A .COM O R FA I R MO N T.COM/ T H E PL A Z A


I S U I T E I T E A | B I R T H D AY PA R T I E S | E V E N T S

New York Family September 1, 2010  

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