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established 1986





Talking Food Fatherhood With Comedian





2-8 page 10


In the Kitchen with HILL COUNTRY BBQ



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Market Table:

David Standridge Presenting Sponsors

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Judges (L-R): Dan Rattiner, Marc Murphy, Alex Guarnaschelli, Bruce Bronster, David Burke and Pat LaFrieda

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62 | Travel The best family-friendly festivals and fairs in the Northeast—from country fairs to music fests

32 | If You Give A Dad A Doughnut… Raising five kids in the city can’t be easy, but nobody makes fatherhood funnier than comedian Jim Gaffigan


38 | A Guide To City Private Schools Our guide to NYC’s top private schools

8 | Editor’s Note Proof of fatherhood

49 | Summer Dreamin’ It’s fun, fun, fun (in and around the city)—‘til the kiddos go back to school! Plus, our best picks for family life in the Hamptons (page 56)

10 | Events & Offers A scholarship for grades 2-8, and info about our e-newsletters and Pinterest boards

FAMILY FUN GUIDE 12 | 20 Great Events For Summer Summer in the Square, the New York Botanical Garden’s Big Backyard BBQ & Musical Festival, Broadway in Bryant Park, and more!

HOME & AWAY 60 | Quality Time The local dad behind Hill Country Hospitality brings a taste of Texas to NYC—plus, a yummy summer recipe

20 | Scoop A guide to stylish motherhood, a cookie dough delivery service, a new smartphone app for parents, and more 22 | Activity of the Month Make a splash with great local swimming programs 26 | A Special Place With its signature instruction style, the Language Workshop for Children has had city kids loving language learning since 1973 28 | A Good Idea How dad-of-two Greg Pembroke turned his toddlers’ tears into a hit blog


New York Family | June/July 2014

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pg.38 64 | The Last Word Confessions of a hipster dad Cover Photo by Ali Smith Photography Location: Little Missionary’s Day Nursery

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FATHERHOOD Following this issue’s cover shoot with Jim Gaffigan, our associate editor Mia Weber tweeted out an informal behind-the-scenes photo she took on her iPhone of him pointing a toy bubble gun at two of his adorable children, showering them with an explosion of iridescent bubbles. This was our modest attempt at giving our Twitter followers a taste of things to come in this issue. But then Gaffigan, who has over 2 million Twitter followers, decided to play along, re-tweeting the photo with a brief, but brilliant, comment of his own. “Proof I’m still street,” he deadpanned—and with that set off the biggest re-tweeting frenzy New York Family has ever had. I like this idea of Gaffigan having fun by asserting his street cred. On the face of it, it’s laughably and wonderfully preposterous! And yet, if we narrow its meaning to refer simply to his life of a New York City dad, Gaffigan gets full props. He didn’t just survive the urban crunch of raising multiple kids in a relatively small apartment, he kind of embraced it. And as he discusses in our cover interview (page 32), he may


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spend a lot of time exploring the humor in parenting for a living, but as a hands-on family guy deeply connected to his children and spouse, he knows from where he jokes. With Father’s Day as our inspiration, June is always the month in which we tilt our coverage toward the dad experience, and while Gaffigan is our big Taking a snack break with Jim fish, I’m also proud to steer Gaffigan and his kiddos. you to our interview with Greg Pembroke, creator of the popular blog Reasons My Son Is Crying (page 28), and to a first-person essay by a local dad who, after pursuing lots of crazy adventures in his 20s and 30s, has been deeply surprised by how much he enjoys being a dad and spending much of his free time with his son (page 64). Not surprisingly, the issue’s other big theme is, in a word, summer. We contribute to the fun with a terrific smorgasbord of ideas and activities—beaches, camping, water parks, nature stops, biking, festivals, and food—in a variety of stories. Now it’s time to enjoy it all.

Photo by Ali Smith Photography

editor’s note

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events & offers BIG SCHOLARSHIP FOR PASSIONATE LEARNERS (GRADES 2-8)! The School Choice Group—the global education consulting firm headquartered in White Plains— in partnership with The Parents of Accelerated Learners (PAL) Workshops, NYC, has announced the second annual Michael Perelstein Memorial Scholarship Fund: the Discover Your Passion Competition for New York City-based students from grades 2-8. The scholarship is awarded to children who show exceptional promise and passion for their unique individual interests and passions—including academics, sports, music, the arts, community service, entrepreneurship, technology, and more. The Discover Your Passion Competition will award one grand prize winner $5,000 toward his or her pursuit; three second place winners will receive $3,500; and three third place winners will receive $1,500—a total of $20,000. Finalists will be selected from each of two age categories: grades 2-5 and grades 6-8. The scholarship winners will be announced and awarded their prizes in October. For complete information about the scholarship, and to apply, visit Deadline to enter is September 8, 2014. Applications must be submitted to the Discover Your Passion Advisory Committee for review. Visit for more info!

PIN DROP Looking to get the inside scoop on what inspires our team? Just click on over to our Pinterest page! All summer long we’ll be pinning the best of the best from our website—as well as inspiring visuals from all of our favorite bloggers and brands. Check in daily and join the pinning party as we serve up fresh content on our bevy of themed boards—we have everything from exclusive seasonal must-haves (curated by our savvy shopping bloggers) to recipes, crafts, and décor we’re swooning over right now! Visit to get started!

Sign Up For Our E-Newsletters The best way to follow New York Family on a steady basis is by signing up for our free weekly e-newsletters at newyorkfamily. com/newsletter-sign-up. Covering parent needs from bump to tween, our newsletters include: Weekly Scoop on Wednesdays For parents with children from toddlers to tweens, the Weekly Scoop is a trove of our best ideas and resources for raising kids and enjoying family life in the city, including tips on classes, parties, shopping, education, family fun, hot topics, and parental musings—not to mention weekly giveaways. Weekend Planner on Thursdays For parents with children of all ages, our Weekend Planner offers a brief but incredibly handy tip sheet of our favorite family events and activities around town over the weekend. New York Family Baby on Fridays For new and expectant parents (with children up to toddler age), our Baby newsletter offers a lively mix of preand post-natal resources, parenting tips, news, shopping, and personal essays.


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family fun




Evi Abeler




Courtesy of the Madison Square Park Conservancy

Great Events for Summer Clockwise from top left: Arthur Ashe Kids Day, Hudson River Park’s Riverflicks, the Rubin Museum of Art, Mad. Sq. Kids

By Emily Murphy




JUNE 1-AUGUST 3 [Ages 2-8] Every Sunday, the Brooklyn Bridge Park is hosting Pier Kids, an interactive series with a little something for everyone. From learning math through stepdancing to turning the park into an outdoor Brooklyn Children’s Museum, this great family programming will not disappoint! In addition to each week’s themed activities, arts and crafts and an outdoor pop-up reading room will accompany each session. Free; 11am to 1pm on Sundays. 334 Furman Street, Brooklyn; 718-222-9939,

JUNE 10-AUGUST 7 [Ages 0-12] Get your dance on at Madison Square Park’s epic lineup of outdoor children’s concerts! The Mad. Sq. Kids performances are free, and will feature groovy musicians like Joanie Leeds and the Nightlights, Elena Moon Park and Friends, the Okee Dokee Brothers, and the Dirty Sock Funtime Band, come rain or shine! Free; 10:30am on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Between Madison Avenue and 23rd Street; 212325-2101, madisonsquarepark. org/kids

JUNE 12- AUGUST 7 [All ages] If you’re looking for a day of unforgettable fun, Summer in the Square is a can’t-miss event every Thursday in Union Square. Wake up at 7am to enjoy Atamananda Yoga and Reebok CrossFit, followed by Yoga StoryTime with Karma Kids Yoga. Fun children’s activities round out the late morning, while a slew of live jazz shows carry your family through lunch. Need more exercise? End the day with a dance class or performance from the Peridance Capezio Center! Free; 7am to 5pm on Thursdays. 14th Street and Broadway; 212460-1200, continued on page 14


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family fun


Photo by Bryant Park Corporation

continued from page 12

“The Little Mermaid” at Galli Theater

Broadway in Bryant Park

COMING OF AGE JUNE 13-22 [Ages 8 and up] The New Victory Theater is back with another fantastic performance! “The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk” shadows Martin, a new kid in school who feels left out until he meets oddball Simon McGurk. This heartwarming, humorous story explores social pressures, new friendships, and coming of age, all presented by the talented Catherine Wheels Theater Company from Scotland. $25; Various show times between 12pm and 7pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. 209 West 42nd Street; 646223-3010,

BBQ TIME JUNE 14 & 15 [All ages] Who can think of summer without a great barbecue party coming to mind? The New York Botanical Garden is hosting the Big Backyard BBQ & Musical Festival, a weekend of family concerts, great food, and craft beer (for mom and dad). As part of the garden’s Edible Academy, which educates kids on gardening and healthy living, the event features mini-golf and games, a “Three Billy Goats Gruff” concert, cooking demonstrations for families, and much more! Children $15, Adults $30; 11am to 5pm. 2900 Southern Boulevard, Bronx; 718-817-8700,


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Summer in the Square



JUNE 15 [All ages] For the best of Father’s Day events, check out the Children’s Museum of Manhattan’s offerings. On this special day, tots can participate in workshops to decorate ties with funky LED lights and original riddles in honor of Dad. Older kids can meet and mingle with author Steve Metzger, who will outline his experience as a working parent and help kids create picture books. Chef Preston Clark and his son will also make an appearance to share simple and creative family recipes. Free with museum admission; 11am to 3:30pm. 212 West 83rd Street; 212-721-1223,

JUNE 20 [All ages] The Swedish Midsummer Festival at Wagner Park is a unique way of celebrating the summer solstice. The festivities include learning folk dancing from Barnklubben Elsa Rix and the Swedish Folkdancers of New York, making midsummer wreaths, and enjoying children’s games and Swedish treats. Don’t miss live music from Paul Dahlin and fiddlers from the American Swedish Institute of Minneapolis! Free; 5-8pm. Wagner Park off Battery Place; 212-267-9700,

ONE FISH, TWO FISH JUNE 28 [All ages] Little marine biologists get the chance to embark on some aquatic adventures

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Summer is a great time for kids to explore the wonders of science. SciTech Kids sparks a child’s innate curiosity and creativity about science through rich, hands-on captivating experiences. Whether an Explorer (ages 3-5) Adventurer (ages 6-8) or Investigator (ages 9-12) SciTech Kids inspires kids to think like scientists. Mornings are spent in Central Park and afternoons are filled with a range of science and non-science activities.

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Photo by Sarah Perlin

family fun

Fringe JR 2013

SWEET MADELINE! JULY 4-OCTOBER 13 [Ages 4 and up] For 75 years, Madeline, that spunky French schoolgirl with plenty of attitude, has been an inspiration for children everywhere. In honor of creator Ludwig Bemelmans and that remarkable anniversary, the New-York Historical Society is hosting the “Madeline in New York” exhibition, a collection of drawings from all six of the Madeline books and some of Bemelman’s other notable work. Free with museum admission; museum hours. 170 Central Park West; 212-873-3400,

PART OF YOUR WORLD JULY 5-27 [Ages 4-8] Dive into a performance full of creatures, magic, and the ocean at Galli Theater’s production of “The Little Mermaid.” A unique twist on the beloved fairytale, the show follows a young mermaid who falls in love with a prince and wants to be made human. What price will she pay the Sea Witch for a pair of legs? Don’t miss a special after-show workshop every Saturday!

The Defibulators will perform at the NYBG’s BBQ.

Children $15, Adults $20; 2pm on Saturdays and Sundays. 347 West 36th Street; 212-7310668,

CONCERT WITH THE STARS JULY 9 [All ages] An annual tradition, Prospect Park is hosting a lovely summer evening with the New York Philharmonic. Spread out a blanket and enjoy the free concert under the stars at Long Meadow Ballfields, complete with delicious concessions, a state-of-the-art speaker system, and an exciting fireworks display to end an unforgettable night. Free; 8-10pm. Prospect Park’s Long Meadow Ballfields, Brooklyn; 718-965-8951,

OFF BROADWAY! JULY 10-AUGUST 14 [All ages] Theater lovers at any age will love the Broadway in Bryant Park series, a mix of the most popular shows, songs, and performances both on- and off-Broadway. In the past, the lineup has included family favorites like “The Lion King,” “Stomp,” and the “Gazillion Bubbles Show.” Please note that not all performances will be appropriate for all ages. Free; 12:30-1:30pm. West 42nd Street between Fifth and Sixth Avenues; 212-768-4242,

REELIN’ ON THE RIVER JULY 11-AUGUST 22 [All ages] For a change of pace, spend movie night in the fresh air with Hudson River

©AMNH/R. Mickens

at Central Park’s Family Fishing and Water Celebration! Ooh and aah over microscopic organisms living in the Harlem Meer, try your hand at fishing, or go on a guided water walk. Other highlights include environment-themed live jams from Billy B. and the tale of New York City’s water supply from Arm of the Sea Theater and their puppets! Free; 12-3pm. Charles A. Dana Discovery Center; 212-3106600,

“Spiders Alive!” at the AMNH

Park’s Riverflicks: Family Fridays. This film series features titles that kiddos will love, like “Despicable Me 2,” “Ghostbusters,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs,” and the “Wizard of Oz.” All movies are rated PG, and the popcorn is free (along with the show)! Free; 8:30pm on Fridays. Pier 46 in Greenwich Village; 212757-0981,

SWEET SOUNDS JULY 12 [Ages 5 and up] Explore Himalayan sounds at the Rubin Museum of Art during a special Family Art Lab, an educational workshop that will teach youngsters the joys of traditional music. From listening to a monk chanting in the Tibetan Shrine Room to examining ceremonial musical instruments, kids will love this unique experience. After learning, guests will get the chance to make their own instruments from recycled, natural, and found materials. continued on page 18


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family fun

The Children’s Museum of Manhattan

OIL AND WATER JULY 12 & AUGUST 2 [Ages 5-13] The Museum of Chinese in America is hosting special family programming in honor of their latest exhibit “Oil & Water: Reinterpreting Ink.” The children-friendly Ink Experiments workshops will explore materials used in the museum pieces and provide art supplies for kids to create their own beautiful work. $10 per person; 11am to 12:30pm on the first Saturday of every month. 215 Centre Street; 212-619-4785,

KIDS ON THE BLOCK JULY 19 [All ages] Arts and crafts projects, live performances, and interactive tours are all part of the annual New Museum Block Party. Hosted at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, the themed family festivities are based on different exhibitions at the museum and include constructing sea creature trading cards, kinetic sculptures, and American landscape postcards. Free; 12-5pm. Chrystie Street between Delancey and Broome Street; 212-219-1222,


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JULY 26-JANUARY 4 [All ages] Did you know that spiders evolved more than 300 million years ago? For the bravest of little learners, the American Museum of Natural History is opening an exhibit all about arachnids. “Spiders Alive!” will investigate the anatomy, behavior, defense mechanisms, venom, silk, habitat, and more from the eightlegged critters, who are among the most versatile creatures in the world! Children $16, Adults $22; Every hour on the half hour from 10:30am to 4:30pm. Central Park West at 79th Street; 212769-5100,

AUGUST 8-24 [Ages 5-12] FringeNYC, the largest multi-arts festival in North America, has special kid-friendly productions in the form of FringeJR. “Peter Pan and the Stardust Dances,” “Sarazad and the Monster King,” and “The Young Olympians and The Most Amazingly Awesome Adventure Ever,” have made for some fabulous theater in past years! $10 per ticket; various times. 344 East 14th Street; 212-2794488,

HAPPENINGS IN HARLEM JULY 27 [All ages] In conjunction with Harlem Week, summer-long programming celebrating the unique history and culture of the neighborhood, “A Great Day in Harlem” holds many treats for families. A few highlights include “A Concert Under the Stars” in the U.S. Grant National Memorial Park, “A Gospel Caravan,” and the “International Cultural Showcase.” This is a free event; 1-8:30pm. West 122nd Street and Riverside Drive; 877-427-5364,


$16 for first adult/child pair, $16 for each additional child; 2pm. 150 West 17th Street; 212620-5000,

“The Ballad of Pondlife McGurk”

HAVE A BALL! AUGUST 23 [All ages] Tennis fans and otherwise will have a blast at the Arthur Ashe Kids Day in Flushing Meadows, Corona Park! With free family activities like face painting, 10 and under tennis, hair beading and braiding, and energetic appearances from beloved Nickelodeon characters (Spongebob and Patrick, Dora and Diego), the day will be nonstop fun. Don’t miss the special stadium show at 1pm! Grounds activities are free, stadium shows from $10; 9:30am to 4pm. USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center; 718-7606200,

For more event picks for families, check out our Family Calendar at

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KEEPING PARENTS IN THE KNOW DOUGH DELIVERY Chloe Doughy Love to make homemade cookies, but don’t have the time to make dough from scratch? A Chloe Doughy membership has you covered. The newly-minted take on a bakery whips up a different cookie dough flavor every month, delivering small batches to residents of Manhattan and parts of Brooklyn (tutorials on how to bake each treat are available online!). Chloe Doughy also offers kids’ baking classes and birthday party options, both of which can be customized to accommodate any group size, age range, or dietary preference! The private sessions can be held at any of the company’s partner kitchens throughout NYC, or at a location of your choosing.

BOOK The Glow: An Inspiring Guide to Stylish Motherhood Following the success of their website—which offers Pinterest-worthy peeks into the homes of inspiring mamas in a variety of creative fields—Violet Gaynor (senior fashion editor at and an NYC mom) and Kelly Stuart (photo director at Hearst Digital Media) have produced an ethereal tome in the spirit of inspiration and sharing mom-to-fabulousmom advice. Featuring 150 photos and interviews with moms like Jemima Kirke, Selma Blair, and Rebecca Taylor, The Glow not only sheds light on topics like home decor, cooking, fitness, beauty, and marriage, but is also a dreamy visual treat. &

DAIRY- & GLUTEN-FREE ICE CREAM DF Mavens There’s no need to let dietary restrictions limit your little one’s summer fun. Popular for their scrumptious take on dairy- and gluten-free ice cream (made locally in Queens, by the way!), DF Mavens (a FAL FOODS USA brand) is expanding its reach by opening a store in the East Village, on St. Mark’s Place and 2nd Avenue, in June. The store will offer DF Mavens’ signature ice cream (made from three main bases—soy, coconut, and almond) in mouth-watering flavors like Del Lago Chocolate, Mint Almond Cookie, and Madagascar Vanilla Bean. Plus, the store will also offer a line of homemade and dairy-free desserts, juices, and coffee.

SPECIAL OCCASION Marie Chantal’s Wedding Collection It's wedding season! And while picking out a fancy outfit for yourself can be a fun splurge, it can really turn into something quite the opposite when finding something dressy, yet age-appropriate, for the kiddos. Luckily, Marie Chantal—Princess Marie Chantal of Greece’s luxe kids’ line—has put together a children’s wedding collection full of dresses and suits perfect for flower girls, ring bearers, or any affair’s youngest guests. The fabrics are light and soft in both hue and texture (think silk, chiffon, and airy cotton). Each look is fun, wearable, and offers a hint of sophistication just right for any summer fête.

APP Baby Bundle Think that the phrase “there’s an app for that” couldn’t possibly apply to the complex task of monitoring your new baby’s health and growth? Think again! The Baby Bundle app for the iPad and iPhone— developed by British brothers Nick and Anthony von Christierson in partnership with renowned NYC pediatrician Dr. Jennifer Trachtenberg—simplifies the baby game for new parents. The app serves as a growth- and daily activity- tracker with dual parent functionality, a health reference, a baby care manual, a vaccination and health checkup organizer, a photo journal, and a baby monitor.



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WATER WORKS Make A Splash This Summer With The City’s Best Swimming Programs & Lessons For Kids By Iman Saad Though it may be hard to remember after the long, chilly winter that NYC had this year, summer in the city can get pretty hot! And what’s the best way to beat the heat? By diving into awesome local swim programs. Not only is swimming a quintessential part of any child’s summer experience, but it’s also a great skill to have in the long-term. Whether you’re looking for a parent-baby program for the smallest of tots, or you need lessons for an older child or tween—the pools of New York have the perfect fit for your family.

programs from babies to teens. The program is perfect for beginners and for older children searching for competitive swim team and diving lessons.

The 14th Street Y has a variety of aquatic programs for children of all ages. From their Baby Beluga’s program for newborns to the Aqua Jet Swim Team to their private swim lessons, there is something for everyone to enjoy.

Imagine Swimming has a great deal of swim lessons for your babies up until kids ages 6 and up. Locations are spread throughout Manhattan and Brooklyn where classes meet once a week.

The 92nd Street Y has swim instruction for all ages! They offer the Polliwogs program (for 6-18 months), the Minnows program (for 18-36 months), the Guppies program (for 3-5 years), and Nursery School Swim (for 3.5-5 years). Additionally, 92Y offers aquatics classes for older kids of all levels, as well as private swim instruction and the Flying Dolphins Swim Team, for kids ages 6-12. Aqua Skills has customized swim lessons for children over the age of 4 with small and large classes. There are year round classes for kids and teens from beginners to more advanced swim teams. There are even Mommy and Daddy swim lessons for parents and babies.

The Dwight School Swimming Lesson Program offers classes for kids ages 6 months to 12 years and adult classes. From toddler classes to a competitive swim team, there is something for every member of the family.

The Swim Academy at New York Sports Club is sure to have your child water-safe in time for summer. Their experienced instructors work one-on-one with students to ensure they become safe and confident swimmers. NYSC offers programs for tots (including their Water Babies class for ages 6-18 months, all the way up to Advanced Beginner Swim for ages 6-8. Enroll your little ones in NYU Swim Camp for the summer so they can learn to swim and have a lot of fun doing so. There are two pool sessions held each day and kids will be taught swimming at their appropriate level. Other activities include basketball and soccer when the kids aren’t in the pool!

Asphalt Green has a variety of sports and fitness programs for the whole family, including swim

continued on page 24


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at SUNY Purchase College weekly sessions

Boys & Girls

Since 1980

Ages 4 - 16

daily swimming

Tennis • Soccer • Lacrosse • Softball • Baseball • Magic Field Hockey • Volleyball • Basketball • Football Multi-Sports • Cheerleading • Academic • Diving Swim • Circus Arts • Rising Stars • Horseback Riding DOOR TO DOOR TRANSPORTATION AVAILABLE

With 25 acres, a lake, 6 pools, 7 tennis courts, 7,000’ sq ft. dining hall, 1,000’ sq ft. performing arts center, courts, fields and cabins for sports and fine arts, Deer Mountain offers a setting both well-appointed and beautifully transformative. Smart, authentic leadership and experienced staff create an environment where kids ages 3 to 15 feel comfortable to be who they are. Expert instructors create engaging, high quality programs so kids develop real skills. Parents choose Deer Mountain because of our experience; kids love us because of theirs. 845.354.2727


Hamptons Lessons Available


NEW Wainscott Location Queens Location 5 Manhattan Locations




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SWIMMING SAFELY There’s no time like summer to splash around, whether your child is ready to swim endless laps or just dip their toes into the pool. But water safety is important in the midst of all the fun, especially considering that drowning is the leading cause of accidental death among children under 5. We caught up with the Safer3 Water Safety Foundation for tips on how parents can ensure the safest fun on the water this summer. 1. Safer Water: Learn to identify the risks associated with activities in, on, and around the water and how to reduce those risks. Four-sided isolation fencing around every pool could prevent 50–90 percent of childhood drownings and near-drownings. 2. Safer People: Reduce risks by providing constant adult supervision, learning water safety and swimming skills, and wearing a Coast Guard-approved life jacket. Assign a water watcher. Constant supervision is a must. No cell phones, put the book down, and forget about all of the other things you have to do. Give children 100 percent of your attention when they are near or around water. Parents should practice touch supervision when toddlers are swimming. 3. Safer Response: Become trained with emergency response techniques and have an emergency action plan and a phone nearby at all times. All parents should learn CPR. Seventy percent of Americans may feel helpless to act during a cardiac emergency, because they don’t know how to administer CPR or their training has lapsed. To learn more water safety tips and drowning prevention education, visit

Physique Swim School has a variety of classes for kids of all ages! From beginner classes to competitive swimming to parent-child bonding lessons, there is something for the whole family that is sure to fill your summer with good memories. The Royal Swim Team is a competitive swim club for kids ages 5-18 and older. The mission of the team is to provide a safe, competitive program that is perfect for the whole family and swimmers of every age. Now’s the perfect time to dive in at SwimJim and start perfecting those swimming skills. SwimJim’s Learn to Swim Beginner program, SwimKids, offers beginners the chance to enjoy the water, gain confidence, and learn valuable skills. It is never too early or too late to learn to swim.

Swim Swim Swim I Say has swimming lessons from 6 months all the way to adulthood. Everything from beginner classes to competitive lessons are available to the whole family. Take Me To the Water offers a series of baby classes for parents to bond with their newborns and toddlers starting at 6 months. Children will be able to start beginner courses and learn how to swim in a familyfriendly environment with experienced teachers. The YMCAs (city-wide) offer swim lessons for all ages, as well as family swim, competitive swim teams, and adaptive swim programs for kids with special needs. The Y’s programs include Parent-Child Swim Lessons for tots ages 6-36 months (with their caregivers) all the way up to Swim Lessons for Teens for ages 12-17.

Asphalt Green (left) and the Dwight School Swimming Lessons.



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QUA RTERS DON’T MAKE YOUR WASHING M A CHINE WORK. ELECTRICITY DOES. It’s easy to forget how important electricity is to our daily lives. But rest assured, Con Edison never does. Of course, all that reliability doesn’t come cheap. So we offer more than 100 money-saving tips on our website. Like washing your clothes with cold water and not over-drying them. We even have energy calculators, so you can estimate how much those changes can save you. After all, doing the laundry shouldn’t clean out your wallet. For more tips, visit and follow us on Facebook or Twitter.




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Charlie Katz / Timothy Cozzi

Fonts & Images Every person Approvals should know how to swim.

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Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black Youth classes ages 4-17, Adult classes at Manhattan Chelsea and Brooklyn Prospect Heights Locations. Students are grouped into level-specific classes in order to hone their skills. Beginner sessions for novices, intermediate and advanced sessions, even a swim team for those who develop a passion for the sport or the desire to earn a cool nickname like “Bottlenose.”

1-888-831-0688 Brooklyn Prospect Height

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Manhattan Lower East Side

Manhattan Mid-Town East

Manhattan Upper East Side

Manhattan Chelsea

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special place

With Its Signature Instruction Style, The Long-Standing Language Workshop For Children Has Had City Kids Loving Language Learning Since 1973 By Emily Murphy “Bzzz,” the French teacher buzzes. “Bzzz,” she sounds again, reaching her hand into a brown cloth bag. Toddlers of various ages are wiggling in their plastic seats. One little girl reaches her hand out as the teacher shows her students a stuffed bee. “L’abeille!” the teacher exclaims in at a singsong pitch. “L’abeille!” The teacher hands the stuffed animal to the little girl as she smiles and claps. “Oui, Nora! Bravo!” The activities at this particular French for Tots class are one example of how the Language Workshop for Children (LWFC) excites its young students as it educates them. Founded in 1973 by François Thibaut, the school—with locations on the Upper East Side, in Manhasset, and in New Jersey—is an innovative resource for babies to learn French, Spanish, Italian, and Chinese, especially thanks to its use of the ground-breaking Thibaut Technique. “When I started 40 years ago, I had to do a lot of research,” Thibaut, who came up with his very own methods of language instruction, says. “So I tested groups where [the students] seemed to do nearly the exact same thing using the exact same material. And then I realized that six months later, when they were tested, one group could remember about 80 percent of what they had learned, and the other group less than 40 percent of what they had learned.” So Thibaut asked himself: “What makes one child remember while the other forgets?” The answer lies in the subtleties. He demonstrates. After digging through a bin of stuffed animals, Thibaut emerges with a puppet on his right hand.


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SPEAK EASY Young students enjoying parachute time at a French for Tots class.

“Suppose you present this to the children,” he says. “And you say: ‘The cat.’” His voice is even and void of his natural, affable personality. “They are going to, especially if they are very young, get bored.” He strides to the door, and puts his puppet hand behind his back. “If you surprise them…if you come from behind the door,” Thibaut offers, as he shifts his demeanor. He mimes looking at children sitting on the floor as his voice takes on a pleasant, animated lilt. “Ohh, what do I have? What is it? What do I have?” Thibaut searches the room left and right, the stuffed animal still hidden behind his back, showcasing his effortless way of interacting with young language learners. “Meow! Ohh, is it a cat?” This element of surprise is one of the ways Thibaut has learned to engage children educationally—and it’s an essential piece in his patented Thibaut Technique. He often stresses that the link between emotion and memory is the key to a child learning material instead of forgetting it. “The more children are engaged, the more likely they are to retain a language,” Thibaut says. “You engage children in different ways depending on the age. With these little ones, you can engage them with your voice, with the gestures, with the way you look at them.” Thibaut often uses his classic wax analogy to explain how immersing toddlers in this technique is effective. He explains that a baby’s brain is like warm, malleable wax. It is easily imprinted. The younger a child begins to learn a language, the more information she will retain. As kids become older however, the wax begins to cool down and become stiff, and after a certain amount of time, the Thibaut Technique will no longer be effective. “Now, people are well aware that the younger the child, the easier it is to learn a language,” he says. “However, most people do not understand the difference between teaching adults and teaching children.”

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While the toddlers enrolled at the LWFC could naturally pick up on the structure of a language just by becoming familiar with it, adults could only learn grammar if they were taught specifically how to use it. “The difference is that adults, you have to teach them the rules, and they apply the rules in order to build sentences,” Thibaut says. “With young kids, you don’t have to explain anything. You give them a certain number of facts, and they will find, by themselves, the rules.” However, according to Thibaut, having unrealistic expectations for a kid is one of the worst things parents can do during the learning process.

In addition to their signature language classes, the LWFC will also start to offer Kids MusicRound classes in their Manhattan location in September. “Children are like computers without printers.” Thibaut says. “They absorb a lot of things, but they [won’t] be able to express that [until] much, much later. So some parents, don’t really understand this [and] put a lot of pressure on their child.” One of the most prominent of the LWFC’s programs is Languages for Tots, a 45-minute class for students ages 6 months to 3 years. These sessions incorporate the Thibaut Technique for mixed ages, while also providing material for every type of learner. As Thibaut likes to point out, they have “the movers,” “the lookers,” and “the listeners,” so time is spent with

Photo by Andrew Schwartz

LWFC founder, François Thibaut

both active play (think fun with parachutes and plenty of movement) and seated portions (brief vocabulary lessons with flash cards or stuffed animals). The LWFC also provides a Family Preschool, a 90-minute class that follows a similar structure to Languages for Tots but incorporates snack time, arts and crafts, and games for ages 20 months to 3 years; afterschool or weekend classes for ages 3-8; and a regular preschool, which meets once or twice a week for ages 2.10 to under 4, and follows American standards for preschools in the target language. Thibaut says that only about 10 percent of his students have parents who speak the target language at home, and the other 90 percent have virtually no outside exposure. For this reason, in all divisions, children also take home a CD with the classroom songs and a storybook to help reinforce what they learn at the school. Some students also receive a copy of “Professor Toto,” an award-winning animation created by Thibaut that is offered in French, Spanish, Italian, German, Chinese, and English for children ages 2-8. In addition to their signature language classes, the LWFC will also start to offer Kids MusicRound classes in their Manhattan location in September (the center currently offers these classes, which are for ages 0-4, in their Manhassett location). Like LWFC, Kids MusicRound is a similarly innovative program that focuses on teaching music to babies. “I wanted to offer music classes a long time ago because of my belief that music is important for children,” Thibaut says. “However, I am not a musician. And because I’m not a musician, I looked into it. I was looking for the best possible program to offer music classes to babies and young children.” After much thorough searching, the LFCW hired Alicia Aubin, a talented trombonist, to head the music programs. “They’re getting a very full education. We’re not just doing ‘Old McDonald,’ you know,” Aubin says. “We’re really touching on a lot of different elements of music that they wouldn’t necessarily hear even on the radio.” In the long run, LWFC plans to offer a wider selection of these Kids MusicRound classes to more ages, and may eventually incorporate specific instrument sessions, like guitar lessons, into the programming. Aubin describes the classes as very interactive, teaching tots beat comprehension, pitch, and melody, and says that so far the responses from parents in Manhassett have been very positive. “I had always thought that music was sort of a universal language,” she says. “It can touch every single person, no matter what you actually speak.”


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good idea THE

FUNNIEST SAD FACES IN THE WORLD How Dad-Of-Two Greg Pembroke Turned His Toddlers’ Tears Into The Hit Blog “Reasons My Son Is Crying” By Jodi Silberstein It’s been a whirlwind year for Greg Pembroke, a Rochester-based father of two young sons and founder of the viral blog-turned-hit-selling-book, Reasons My Kid Is Crying (the blog is “Reasons My Son Is Crying”). The book is currently being sold in multiple countries around the world, with plans to expand this summer. We caught up with Pembroke—who formerly worked in advertising full-time before going parttime to care for his kiddos—to chat about just how this whole adventure came about. He shared some of the great discoveries he’s made about parents and kids from all over the world (it turns out that there is just about no country on earth immune from toddlers crying for no reason) and gave us some insight into his hilarious world and his journey from upstate stay-athome dad to international internet phenom. So take us through from the start—what sparked your blog? It started off as just posting pictures to a Facebook album on my own personal Facebook page [in April of 2013]. The first picture I ever posted was a picture of my son crying because I broke his cheese in half… Then over the course of the next three days, I posted another ten pictures and my friends just thought it was great. They wanted to share it with their friends [but] they couldn’t do that because my Facebook is so private, so one of my friends kept suggesting that I start a Tumblr blog. I didn’t know much about Tumblr but I checked it out and it was pretty easy…I started with maybe ten or 15 pictures.

At what point did your blog start to go viral? Within the first week it just spread around the world. I started it on Tuesday and the following Sunday it went to number one on Reddit, and then that Monday it was just on every website. People were sharing it so quickly that Facebook banned all links to it… It was being shared so quickly that it truly looked like a virus that was spreading too fast, so they just shut it down. Meanwhile, TV shows tracked us down… “The Today Show” called my wife’s cell… We were on “Good Morning America” and that was fun, but millions and millions of people watch that show so then it was just crazy. How did your book deal come about? Right [after “Good Morning America”] is when publishers and literary agents started reaching out to me. I had literally started this website like a week prior. It was only supposed to be a fun little thing for family and friends… As soon as it went that far spread, people started submitting their own pictures too. I didn’t know what to do with them because I was just posting pictures of my kid… We decided that we would start taking submissions and I worked with a publisher to make it into a book… We had publishing deals in Germany, England, and North America… I think we have a total of seven publishers now, and meanwhile I’m a part-time stay-at-home dad. continued on page 30


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What have been your wife’s reactions through this whole experience? We’re both just sort of amazed and in disbelief because who would’ve ever thought that this would ever happen to anybody… When it first started spreading, we thought it was a little strange… It’s weird to have that many eyeballs on you when you’re not used to having any. We’re pretty private people. It went from being something that was very private just with my friends to being around the world. How have you dealt with the backlash that can come with having a viral blog? When it first went viral I could see 100 or 200 happy comments and all I would look for is that one mean, miserable person who wanted to write something mean… So that part was actually a little tough because you wanted to engage with the people and [say]: “No, it’s not terrible…” I think all the nice letters I got from people around the world definitely helped… One of the first letters I ever got was this lady who wrote to me and said: “My son and daughter are in college. I miss them so much. Seeing your website reminds me of those days, and it really makes it easier to live apart from them now.” It’s really nice to have that sort of impact on someone else. What’s your favorite “reason” for a child crying? I can’t be objective. My favorite page in the new book—on the left page it’s my 2-year-old and on the right page it’s my 4-year-old—my 2-year-old wanted to wear his yellow shoes and my 4-year-old wanted him to wear his brown shoes. They were just arguing over what shoes the 2-year-old should wear. I think that’s my favorite page because my 2-year-old is just

openly wailing and then my 4-year-old is just pouting. As far as submissions, one of the most popular is a picture a lady in Scotland sent. They were at a golf tournament and Bill Murray was there. They tried to get a picture of her and her son and Bill Murray. Her son just started crying immediately and then Bill Murray pretended to cry. So it’s a picture of Bill Murray pretending to cry with a crying kid. Have you seen Conan O’Brien’s spoof of your blog— “Reasons My Talk Show Host Is Crying”? That was insane. That was one of the first days where I was like: “This is crazy!” Someone shared with me a picture of Conan crying, so I wrote to my friend [and said]: “If Conan really did this, this is the coolest thing ever.” [My friend] actually knows another Ithaca alum that worked on the “Conan” show. He sent a message to her and she wrote back with a link to Conan’s Tumblr [and said]: “Oh, it’s real.” What have you learned throughout the journey of going viral and publishing a book? It has taught me just the universal nature of parenting. I got a picture sent to me from Kansas and right next to it in my inbox was a picture from Japan and the photos were composed almost identical. The kid from Kansas was crying because his mom wouldn’t let him scald himself with hot coffee and the kid from Japan, his mom wouldn’t let him scald himself with hot tea... We’re all going through the same exact thing. Every single person on the planet, when they’re having kids, is literally living the same life no matter where you are. There’ve been people who’ve visited the website from every country except North Korea. It just shows how universal it is. Greg Pembroke with his family.



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With An Accomplished New Head Of School, An Innovative STEM Curriculum, And Expansion Into Pre-K, The Alexander Robertson School Looks To The Future, While Continuing To Provide A Warm And Inclusive Learning Environment By Emanuelle Block


alking through the cheery corridors of the Alexander Robertson School (ARS), with its artsplashed walls and archways and colorfully-tiled floors, one can’t help but feel the joy of a school where learning is celebrated and students and staff are engaged and energized. But is the feeling a matter of visitor’s luck or the true essence of the school? Sally Wheeler Maier, speaking from her experience as a parent and co-president of the PTA, describes a school that is, in fact, so nurturing it feels “like family.” “What makes Alexander Robertson stand out is its incredibly warm, child-friendly environment,” Maier, whose son is in grade 3, says. Other virtues? “I love its combination of creative and traditional aspects. I love how much learning goes on there. And most importantly of all, my son feels the same way. He once said to me: ‘I like going to school, mom. It’s comfy.’ And I thought: ‘How great is that!’” Located on the Upper West Side, near Central Park, ARS is the very model of a small, nurturing private school (Pre-K through grade 5) where all the teachers and administrators know all the students, and parents, too, are an important part of the school community. Not surprisingly for an institution that is still thriving after 225 years, the traditions that are most important to it have to do with personal values and communitymindedness. All ARS students participate in “Everyday Ethics,” with its emphasis on qualities like gratitude, compassion, generosity, courage, and respect. ARS was one of the first elementary schools in Manhattan to open with co-education, and its original inclusionary vision continues to this day, reflected by a group of committed families that is as diverse as any school community in the city—public or private. “Its diversity is one of the qualities that make it such a wonderful place,” says ARS’s new Head of School Irwin Shlachter. “Everyone in the school—including parents—is part of the overall fiber of its community.” A well-regarded and accomplished educator, Shlachter comes to ARS after spending over two decades overseeing the growth of two other private schools in the city, first the Rodeph

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Young learners at ARS.

Sholom School, and later Claremont Preparatory School (now known as Léman Manhattan Preparatory School). At ARS, Shlachter has already moved to address growing interest in the school by creating ARS’s first Pre-K program and by adding another Kindergarten class—both of which have space available for this fall. The school also has some very big news on the academic front. Beginning in September, ARS will be the first school in New York State selected by the Smithsonian Science Education Center to teach its Science and Technology Concepts curriculum, a highly-effective STEM-based approach to learning that will be introduced at every grade, including Pre-K and Kindergarten. “Interweaving scientific ideas into the general curriculum has proven to be the best way to teach science,” Shlachter says. “Plus, it introduces an analytical way of thinking that improves how children learn in all subjects.” As Shlachter suggests, academic and artistic enrichment is as much a part of the school as its commitment to good ethics. This fall they’re also going to be introducing a well-regarded writing workshop for kids developed by Teachers College at Columbia University. Mandarin instruction will be a first as well. A highlight of the week and long-standing ARS tradition is the Friday morning assembly, in which each class presents to the entire school community what they’ve studied that week. On a recent Friday, one group presented a project that asked them to research their family’s ethnic roots, by interviewing family members and creating figures dressed in traditional clothing. In keeping with the school’s ethos of inclusion and diversity, the presentation celebrated a number of nationalities and cultures. The projects and costumes were then prominently displayed on school walls—becoming a visual homage to the individuals at the heart of this very special school. “I like to think that we’re a haven of learning within this big city,” says Tina Jackson, ARS’s Academic Dean. That’s for sure. Parents interested in learning more about ARS, including its new nursery school and expanding Kindergarten, should visit, or contact the admissions office at 212663-2844 or

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IF YOU GIVE A DAD A DOUGHNUT... Raising Five Kids In The City Can’t Be Easy, But No One Makes Fatherhood Funnier Than Comedian Jim Gaffigan By Mia Weber • Photos by Ali Smith Photography


o state the obvious, Jim Gaffigan is a wildly popular comedian. He has over 2 million followers on Twitter, has released four standup comedy specials (his most recent is “Obsessed” on Comedy Central), is a Grammy nominee and a New York Times best-selling author, and has traveled the world making people laugh…but that doesn’t mean he’s immune from feeling under the weather every now and then. “I feel like I’m dying—you know? There’s a difference between being sick and feeling like you’re dying,” Gaffigan deadpans to me at our earlyMay photo shoot at Little Missionary’s Day Nursery on the Lower East Side, after admitting he’d been fighting a mysterious combo of allergies and a “flu-thing” for the past few weeks (on top of helping his wife plan a Harry Potter-themed combo birthday party for their two daughters). “And I feel like I’m dying. Right now. This is my last interview. I’m dead.” I assured him I didn’t take the responsibility of his “last” interview lightly—and fortunately for fans awaiting future stops on his current 50-city “White Bread” standup tour, his ominous prediction proved to be a false alarm.


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Grooming by JSterling for MUD. Location: Little Missionary’s Day Nursery.


June/July 2014 | New York Family


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hose familiar with Gaffigan’s comedy will recognize his seemingly-dramatic diagnosis as part-and-parcel of his signature brand gallows humor. Of course, the 47-year-old funny-man is also the father of five kids—10-year-old Marre, 8-yearold Jack, 5-year-old Katie, 2-year-old Michael, and 1-year-old Patrick—and in his debut book, Dad Is Fat (a New York Times bestseller released last spring), he makes no secret of his belief that toddlers breed “incurable” germs that inevitably effect the entire family (for those keeping score: that’s a family of seven who, until recently, was living in a 2-bedroom walkup on the Bowery). But germs aside, Gaffigan also makes no secret of the fact that he loves the adventure that is fatherhood—especially since he’s blessed with a notably amusing brood (that’s his daughter Katie and son Michael snacking on doughnuts with their dad as they pitched in at our cover shoot). So the fact that he and his wife and collaborator, Jeannie Gaffigan (who executive produces his specials and serves as his writing partner), are currently working on a sitcom project about a New York dad-of-five who happens to be a comedian, is hardly a shock. [Editor’s note: many details were still under wraps at press time.] Since first garnering nation-wide laughs with his now-legendary Hot Pockets bit in the early aughts, the Indiana-bred Georgetown alum has made the shift from food-funnies to family ones and back again (look for his second book, Food: A Love Story, on shelves in October), while still keeping his comedy from drifting into oneshtick “dad comic” territory. And if “Obsessed”—with its reminder that “not liking doughnuts is wrong”—is any indication, we have a feeling that Gaffigan, in all his grouchy glory, is perfectly primed to have the last laugh (both on stage and at home). Congratulations on your latest special, “Obsessed.” Did you have any favorite moments? There is this sense of accomplishment with the completing of a special—but the individual jokes are what make it exciting. The newest joke is always the exciting thing. When I was doing the doughnut jokes, I was thinking: “This is something that is going to resonate, because it’s a guilty pleasure that we all indulge in.” We liked the jokes about “kale propaganda.” The irony about all the kale jokes is that obviously I’m very sincere in my point of view, but there is a part of me that [knows] obviously there are delicious versions of kale—I just think, generally, ugh, you know? Some of that was inspired by that kale that’s freeze-dried. It’s called “Vampire Killer.” They dry-freeze it and they cover it in spices—and we’re all supposed to eat kale, so I was eating it. And I’m eating it like: “This is what we have to do to kale to make it appetizing!” Speaking of appetizing, you’re working on your next book, Food: A Love Story. How’s the writing process going? It’s such a huge commitment. I think that [with] Dad Is Fat, Jeannie— my wife—and I, worked on it off-and-on for a couple years. We compiled notes over the span of our five children. But the Food one is every single food item in existence, and finding my point of view on it, and then finding jokes that I’ve done over the span of my specials and turning those into essays. The premise is just my point of view on food. I’m not a foodie, I’m just kind of this gluttonous kind of every-man.


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So, you’re collaborating with your wife on this book too? Do the two of you enjoy working together? Oh yeah, oh yeah. That’s invaluable. I mean, we do everything together. Like with the essays in the books— her involvement is enormous because turning some of my drips and drabs of a madman into an essay is really her forte… We collaborate on just about everything, so it’s kind of the only way we know. And there are definitely, you know, disagreements, but it’s kinda fun!

You and your wife are both from large families. How do you use your own childhood experiences to inform how you parent? I’m the youngest of six kids… I was the youngest kid in every environment so I had no experience with babies or kids or anything, I was pretty ignorant. But Jeannie, being the oldest [of nine], had a lot more experience with babies and little kids. I’m still ignorant. I have no idea what I’m doing.

You’re also working on an as-of-yet-untitled sitcom project—about an NYC dad of five, who’s also a comedian—right now. Yeah, we shot a pilot. And we shot it a second time around. The first time, we actually shot here at Little Mish. So, we shot this pilot, which Jeannie and I worked on with Peter Tollan, who did “Rescue Me.”

What do you enjoy about raising kids in NYC? I love New York City. I love the energy and the diversity that my children are exposed to, and I wanted that for them. I want them to not be thrown when they see someone covered in tattoos or two men holding hands. I wanted them to have the environment of what I didn’t have growing up…you can kind of be yourself and you can be different in New York… I don’t have to worry—at least at this point—about [my kids] worrying that there’s just one way to be a little boy or one way to be a little girl. They see thousands of kids being all different types at the playground.

Do you see yourself writing more books, or turning more towards TV? It sounds kind of corny but, the creative fulfillment is really the thing that I’m pursuing. Whether it’s writing a book—though we’re in the middle of writing a book, so right now I feel like I’m never going to write a book again. But I love acting and I love standup. I will always do standup—it’s about what’s fun. You’ve been very open about using your family as inspiration for your work. How do you determine what moments will make it into your act and books? I think Twitter has a big influence over it. Like, I’ll think: “This will be a funny tweet”—say, Katie would say something at breakfast that’s funny, or another one of my kids will do something funny—then I’ll just post it on Twitter. Then it might lead to a larger idea. Something I wanted to do with Dad Is Fat, as a comedian, [was that] I didn’t want to just be the “dad comedian.” So the book was a great outlet for a lot of these ideas. I wanted my standup to be something where you could be 26 or you could be 60 and it was something that—whether you did have kids or you didn’t—it would be relatable. Because when I started doing standup I would see comedians who would talk about their wives and their kids and their husbands, and I would be like: “I can’t even get a date, I don’t know what you’re talking about.” Have there been any aspects of fatherhood that have been very amusing that you didn’t expect would be so? There are so many aspects of parenthood that you just hear as a cliché when you don’t have kids, like: “Ohhh they’re the light of your life and all this stuff…” Or: “Ohhh you cherish all these moments…” but they line up. So, I guess one [example] is that my kids are super-funny and super-entertaining. There’s times when you want to discipline them, but you have to stop yourself from laughing. The title Dad Is Fat is from my now-8-year-old son and the first sentence that he wrote on a dry-erase board. I was terrified of my dad, but [my son] just went: “You’re fat!”


June/July 2014 | New York Family


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What are some of your family’s favorite things to do in the city? I would say Central Park Zoo is so easy. I mean, it’s so easy. Even if you have [a lot of kids]—well, I don’t know if I’ve done it with five kids, but I know I’ve done it with four…and one’s a baby that you have to change its diaper every two hours—it’s just so easy. The kids just love animals! [Also] scootering is pretty important… the scootering thing, even for like a 2-year-old, it gives them independence. There’s definitely anxiety, but I mean, you don’t want to walk with a 2-year-old, you just don’t. They can crawl quicker than they can walk! But New York’s different every season, right? I love going to Halloween in Brooklyn, I love going to the Radio City Christmas Spectacular… Though some of it— with five—it’s just chaos, but it’s a great chaos. And what’s it like fitting seven people in an NYC apartment? We moved [recently from a 2-bedroom walkup]… so yeah, it’s like three times the size of our last apartment, but it’s still New York City so it’s not huge… But there are so many kids, it’s like, there’s not a room I can sit in, in my apartment, where there’s not yelling. There’s very close proximity to screams. In your book you mentioned a bus that you sometimes travel in when you go on the road for work. Do you travel as a family a lot? We try to, twice a year, go on these bus tours. Because, otherwise, if I’m just leaving and coming back—I don’t want to just be this guy who came in for a day or two and then left. So we made a conscious effort to do these bus tours so we can all be together. Do the kids travel well? Are there any fun trips planned for the summer? They love the bus! And they love going on trips… Some of it might be the hotels. They share a hotel room—all the kids in one room—but it’s bigger than their room otherwise. And they get to see a lot. Some it might be like, Erie, Pennsylvania, but other times we’ll go to a farm in Oklahoma, so it’s fun… We’re definitely going to do some kind of family trip—you have to, you know? Well, you don’t have to, but I feel like I’m raising a bunch of energetic dogs—you have to get them in a field! Tell us about your parenting style. I keep bringing up to my kids that I was a little boy, or I was a little kid, or I was the youngest of a big family—I try to communicate an identification, like I’m not just this authority. There’s what you want to be and there’s what you are. I’m probably considered strict, but I’m also someone who’s pretty silly, I guess. In your book, you’ve mentioned that you’ve received criticism saying that you’re “anti-family”—how do you react and respond to commentary like that? You’re going to get criticism for anything—if you want a stupid opinion, just go to the internet, right? But I always thought that [piece of criticism] was funny.


New York Family | June/July 2014


You’d think the criticism would be: “Stop talking about your kids!” But, it’s: “Oh, he must hate being a dad!” Which is kind of weird, but, I also think—and I talk about it in the book—if you’re complaining about your kids, it means you’re spending time with your kids. If you’re complaining about Saturday morning birthday parties, it means you’re going to Saturday morning birthday parties. And, parenting is such an enormous task that you have to have a sense of humor about it. Have your kids seen your standup act? Yeah, they’ve seen it. I’m lucky, in that I’m considered a clean comic—but there wasn’t some elaborate scheme, that’s just how my comedy comes out—so yeah, they’ve all seen it. And they’ve introduced me here and there…so they have some exposure to it. But there are definitely some of my kids who have no idea what I do—granted they’re 1. Do you anticipate the reactions they might have when they’re older and read your book? You know, it’s interesting. My 10-year-old came to a show two summers ago, when she was 8, and she was like: “You’re kinda complaining about being a dad.” And I was like: “I’m not complaining!” I mean, I guess I am…but I’m not worried. The way we wrote that book was that Jeannie and I really did want to chronicle this time in our lives, so that’s some of it. I like to think that if [my kids] were reading it they’d be like: “Wow, they really were doing all this stuff!”…I wish I had that record of what my parents were doing back then.

Jim Gaffigan Supports Little Mish! Our cover shoot location, Little Missionary’s Day Nursery—or “Little Mish”—is an authentic piece of Lower East Side history and a veritable institution of early childhood education for ages 2-4. Plus, the school is special to our cover-dad Jim Gaffigan—he shot the initial pilot for his as-of-yet-untitled sitcom project here, and several of his children have attended the school. Back in May, Gaffigan also lent his comedic talents to the school’s 10th annual Sara Curry Awards Ceremony to aid Little Mish’s fundraising campaign to expand the daycare to the upper floors of the school’s building. Currently, Little Mish hopes to raise $200,000 by September to upgrade their building. Check out their website’s donation page and their Indiegogo campaign to contribute! & igg. me/at/littlemish

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ASK THE ADMISSIONS EXPERT Beginning Your Private School Search By Roselyn Drake, Heather Gatto & Cecily Lynett Whether it’s time to think about applying to private school for the first time, or whether a current school just isn’t working for your child, the following steps will help. Step 1: What Matters To You & What’s The Right Fit For Your Child? Consider The Following: Class Size: Private school class sizes are generally small with favorable teacher student ratios. Types Of Schools: Private schools offer a range of choices including traditional, progressive, single gender, and religious affiliations. Facilities: Private schools provide quality indoor and outdoor space, topnotch resources, and a wide range of extracurricular activities. Age: Unlike the NYC public school Kindergarten application deadline of December 31, private schools have a September 1 deadline. Thus, the typical age of children in a particular grade in private school is slightly older than that of children in NYC public school. Location: A neighborhood school versus a school that may require transportation. Step 2: The Admissions Process: Start Early: We recommend starting 1.5 years prior to your child’s start date. If you’re looking for placement for September 2015 the process should already be underway. Apply To A Sufficient Number & A Range Of Schools: The admissions process can be competitive and there are no guarantees of admission. Because of this, it’s important to target a range of 8-10 schools. Tours: Attend school tours in the spring when possible. Applications: Complete the application in the fall of the year before your child starts a new school (most schools make their applications available on their websites in August). Interviews: Schedule school visits including child and parent interviews. Know what you want to get across to the admissions committee and be able to offer anecdotes to illustrate your points. Put your best foot forward but be genuine. It’s not helpful to boast in ways that the admissions committee may find unrealistic or inappropriate. Step 3: Decision Making: As a result of all your hard work, your child may be offered several choices—and you need to consider your priorities and your child’s unique character and learning style before making the final decision. Or there may be waitlists to navigate. Or perhaps the results aren’t what you had hoped to get. Keep in mind that children are generally accepted at schools where they will be happy and successful. Also, contrary to conventional wisdom, applying after the admissions cycle is complete is not impossible. There are many considerations from the time you embark on the admission process until you see your child enrolled in the right school for him or her. So, stay organized, prepared, and most importantly, do not panic!

If you have any other Ask the Admissions Expert questions or have questions regarding school placement in New York City, please contact us at


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When You’re Ready To Do Your Homework, There Are Many Good Schools To Discover Edited by Emanuelle Block If there’s a “secret” to applying to private school, it’s chiefly this: do your research with the goal of identifying the schools that you think would truly be the best fit for your child and family. There are lots of good private schools out there. Your job will be to identify the qualities in a school that are most important to you—and what local schools have them. This story is a chunk of an NYC schools directory that we’ve created for parents. You’ll find the full version on our website, under the education tab. Our descriptions are streamlined to give parents an overview of a school. The next step is to visit their websites. Good Luck!


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ALEXANDER ROBERTSON SCHOOL West Side Grades K-5 3 West 95th Street Philosophy: Individualized Religious Affiliation: Second Presbyterian Noteworthy: “We offer the Smithsonian Science Education Center’s ‘Science and Technology’ curriculum which connects through all subject areas. It allows the children to be engaged in layers of joyful discovery. As educators, we delight to see how their confidence grows while they build the necessary skills to carry out experiments and express their findings, as this is vital to a deep understanding of how all things work. Also, located just steps from Central Park at West 95th Street, we take every advantage of being surrounded by some of the world’s most important cultural institutions and opportunities for play that the park affords.” AVENUES Grades K-12 259 10th Avenue Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: None


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Noteworthy: “Avenues is an international school with 20 or more campuses to open worldwide. All Avenues schools make up a highly-integrated learning community connected and supported by a common vision, a shared curriculum, collective professional development of its faculty, and modern technology.” BANK STREET SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN West Side Grades Nursery-8 610 West 112th Street (Main Campus) 132 Claremont Avenue (North Campus) Philosophy: Bank Street Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Bank Street is a school within a college. The two main programmatic divisions are the School for Children, which educates children nursery through grade 8, and the Graduate School, which prepares adults to teach and work in education. The combination of the two in the same setting creates amazing and wonderful synergies between children and the experts who prepare teachers to teach them. We are focused on all aspects of children’s development. Our excellent progressive curriculum is dynamic, age-appropriate, responsive to children’s needs and relevant to their lives. A hallmark of our mission is that we work hard to deliberately create a community that is broadly inclusive and reflects the diversity of our multicultural society.” BASIS INDEPENDENT BROOKLYN Brooklyn Grades K-12 556 Columbia Street Philosophy: College prep Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Two BASIS schools were ranked within the top five high schools in the country in 2014 U.S. News & World Report rankings. When the College Board recently alerted a BASIS student that he was one of 11 in the world to achieve a perfect score on the AP calculus BC exam, our only surprise was that he took it as a 15-year-old freshman.” BREARLEY SCHOOL East Side Grades K-12 610 East 83rd Street Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Drawing from all five boroughs of New York City and beyond, Brearley is the center of extraordinary intellectual energy and exuberance. Under the close guidance of devoted faculty, girls develop the habits of mind and the courage and character to determine who they will be and what they will accomplish.”

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BROWNING SCHOOL East Side Grades K-12 52 East 62nd Street Philosophy: Traditional Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “The Browning School is a member of Interschool, a consortium of eight private NYC schools: Brearley, Browning, Chapin, Collegiate, Dalton, Nightingale-Bamford, Spence, and Trinity. Interschool offers opportunities for academic sharing, extracurricular participation in the arts, and social activities for boys and girls.” BUCKLEY SCHOOL East Side Grades Nursery-9 113 East 73rd Street Philosophy: Traditional Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “One of [our] curriculum components is Project CHARLIE, which focuses on self-awareness, relationships, decision-making and chemical use in society. Project CHARLIE is taught from Beginners through Class IV. In Classes V–IX, a series of annual workshops is presented by a representative of Freedom from Chemical Dependency.” CALHOUN SCHOOL West Side Grades Nursery-12 433 West End Avenue Philosophy: Progressive Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Site-based, experiential learning is an essential part of Calhoun’s curriculum. Students make overnight trips to Black Rock Forest (NY) for environmental studies; Upper Schoolers travel to the Badlands National Park (SD) for interdisciplinary explorations in paleontology, art and Native American culture; seniors engage in a five-week internship program before graduation. In 2014, 8th graders traveled to Peru and China as part of their Spanish and Mandarin studies. The Dwight School

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CATHEDRAL SCHOOL OF ST. JOHN THE DIVINE Grades K-8 West Side 1047 Amsterdam Avenue Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: Episcopal Noteworthy: “Cathedral empowers students to become responsible citizens in a diverse world. Our exploration of race and racism, gender identity, and all aspects of personal and group identity helps us to know ourselves, recognize stereotypes, and develop the courage to challenge bias and discrimination.” CHAPIN SCHOOL East Side Grades K-12 100 East End Avenue Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Faculty regularly collaborate to design and implement lesson plans and teaching strategies for courses. Through the cluster system, different faculty members teach various sections of a single course, and they meet to develop a similar syllabus, discuss successful assignments and propose new approaches. This method results in classroom-tested, innovative teaching, which challenges students to expand their intellects and understand the value of shared ideas.” CHURCHILL SCHOOL AND CENTER Grades K-12 Gramercy Park 301 East 29th Street Philosophy: Accommodating Religious Affiliation: None

Noteworthy: “Student learning is supported by the use of smartboards in every classroom, a 1:1 laptop program in the high school, 1:1 iPad program in grades 7-8, laptop and iPad carts in the elementary and middle schools, computer labs, a variety of digital cameras, and an array of software. Individual accounts for all students and faculty allow them to access their personal files on any computer in the building.” COLLEGIATE SCHOOL West Side Grades K-12 260 West 78th Street Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “The center of what we do, daily, is the classroom. From Kindergarten to grade 12, the curiosity, energy, and passion of our boys radiates throughout the school. We expect our students to take their academic responsibilities seriously but to possess sufficient humility so that they can laugh and not take themselves too seriously.” COLUMBIA GRAMMAR AND West Side PREPARATORY SCHOOL Grades Pre-K-12 5 West 93rd Street Philosophy: Creative Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “We use chess tradition and culture to encourage good sportsmanship, politeness, and inspire gracefulness in victory as well as defeat. Chess playing develops students’ patience, focus, and ability to concentrate for longer periods of time.”

BASIS Independent


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A connected community where students love to learn and learn to lead At Rodeph Sholom School, where community matters as much as curriculum, students learn to care and to compete, to speak up for themselves and to look out for others. Come see how this warm, vibrant and diverse Reform Jewish day school could be right for your child and your family. Schedule a tour today!

RODEPH SHOLOM SCHOOL Office of Admissions 646.438.8600 / 10 West 84th Street, New York, NY 10024

Now accepting applications for fall 2015 in nursery school through 7th Grade. Financial aid available.


io n is Sq NO ua W re L O oc PE a N! tio


Upper West Side 506 Amsterdam Avenue

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Union Square 46 E 11th Street

Upper East Side 1597 York Avenue

212-828-MATH (6284)

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Rodeph Sholom School

DALTON SCHOOL East Side Grades K-12 108 East 89th Street Philosophy: Progressive Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “A progressive school guided by the Dalton Plan, we are an intentionally diverse community committed to a tradition of life-long learning and educational innovation. Major principles that inform the daily learning environment: valuing all dimensions of each child; cultivating values of respect, integrity, compassion and justice; developing intellectual independence and risk-taking; valuing all disciplines, including arts, sciences, humanities and physical development in an interdisciplinary curriculum.” DWIGHT SCHOOL West Side Grades K-12 291 Central Park West Philosophy: Personalized learning Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Dwight received a Blackboard Award in recognition of its innovative community partnership that launched the new Dwight School Athletic Center, a 40,000-square-ft facility featuring a sixlane, 25-yard indoor swimming pool; rooftop tennis courts; and regulation-size high school gym in East Harlem. It’s the new home of the proud Dwight Lions championship teams.” DWIGHT-ENGLEWOOD SCHOOL New Jersey Grades Pre-K-12 315 East Palisade Avenue, Englewood, NJ Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “One of the school’s important tenets is to build partnerships through buddy programs between each of the three divisions, giving older students valuable hands-on mentoring experience and younger students exposure to older role models. The school also promotes team-building between 9th and 12th grade student leaders through their participation in an annual start-of-school overnight trip.”


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Photos by Ann Billingsley © 2014 Rodeph Sholom School

CONVENT OF THE SACRED HEART East Side Grades Pre-K-12 1 East 91st Street Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: Catholic Noteworthy: “Environmentalism is inherent in the school’s mission, and the administration leads by example, making decisions that demonstrate respect for the planet. All students are engaged in environmental education, and the school has joined with more than 100 other schools in New York State to be a part of the Green Schools Alliance, developing action plans for environmental sustainability and community-wide initiatives.”

ETHICAL CULTURAL-FIELDSTON SCHOOL Grades Pre-K-12 West Side and Bronx 33 Central Park West & 3901 Fieldston Road, Bronx Philosophy: Progressive Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Ethics class is an integrated part of classroom life, and the ethics teacher works closely with classroom teachers to make ethical thinking and discussions a part of children’s daily routines and everyday life.” FRIENDS SEMINARY Gramercy Park Grades K-12 222 East 16th Street Philosophy: Child-centered Religious Affiliation: Quaker Noteworthy: “Open to all students in grades 7-12, the Chapman Academic Center, funded in part by a gift from the Class of 2008, supports the Friends academic program in a variety of ways: faculty ‘coaches’ assist students with assignments, either by appointment or on an informal ‘drop-in’ basis; peer tutors work with students in the Center under the supervision of the staff; and students choose to study by themselves in the quiet rooms dedicated to this purpose.” HEWITT SCHOOL East Side Grades K-12 45 East 75th Street Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Service learning is an integral part of Hewitt’s academic curriculum. Community service is incorporated into school days and throughout the calendar year. The entire school participates in several events during the year, including charity walk/runs and Project Cicero.”

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Alexander Robertson School

LITTLE RED SCHOOLHOUSE & ELISABETH IRWIN HIGH SCHOOL Greenwich Village Grades Pre K-12 272 6th Avenue (Lower & Middle School) & 40 Charlton Street (High School) Philosophy: Progressive Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: Walk into LREI, and… You see 6th graders on the playground testing Medieval catapults they designed. At the High School, you hear students debating a bill that just passed through Congress… Our students aren’t cramming facts and forgetting them by fourth period. They’re engaging with each other and the world, making connections they’ll remember years down the road.” MANDELL SCHOOL West Side Grades Nursery-8 795 Columbus Avenue Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Each year, Kids Grow New York is the Mandell School’s Kindergarten class community service initiative. Kids Grow New York focuses on how Mandell students and children at other schools around New York City can influence their communities and the world by caring for trees, planting and caring for the “green” parts of our neighborhood.”

HORACE MANN SCHOOL Bronx Grades Nursery-12 231 West 246th Street Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “In 1965, Horace Mann established the John Dorr Nature Laboratory in Washington, Connecticut with a gift of 83 acres. The Laboratory now encompasses 275 acres of fields, streams, and ponds in which students can explore nature and engage in outdoor pursuits. Dorr’s resident fourperson faculty instructs students in environmental science, conservation, and outdoor living.” LEMAN MANHATTAN PREPARATORY SCHOOL Grades Pre-K-12 Financial District 41 Broad Street & 1 Morris Street Philosophy: Traditional Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Personal learning plans challenge and excite students to reach full potential. State-of-the-art facilities, including two competition-size swimming pools. In consortium with sister schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America, and throughout the U.S. The international boarding program offers opportunity for global experience.”


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MANHATTAN COUNTRY SCHOOL East Side Grades Pre-K-8 7 East 96th Street Philosophy: Progressive Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “The MCS Farm is a unique learning lab. Seventeen week-long trips begin when students are eight, and continue through grade 8. The immersion experience at the Farm teaches the value of mental and physical work, knowledge about natural systems of food, water, and energy. Sustainability and interdependence become a way of life. An introduction to environmental, social, and cultural changes in the Catskills prepares MCS students to be more mindful and informed in the world.” MARYMOUNT SCHOOL East Side Grades Nursery-12 1026 5th Avenue & 2 East 82nd Street & 116 East 97th Street Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: Catholic Noteworthy: “School participates in Online School for Girls, an all-girls educational experience by connecting girls worldwide through relevant and engaging coursework in a dynamic online learning community. OSG is guided by current research

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Your Child’s Journey Begins at Ross School N OW A P P LY R FO 2 01 4 P E S T ION S ADMIS

It all begins here. Prepare your child with a global education at Ross Lower School. Students follow an innovative curriculum drawing on a rich, integrated tapestry of arts, history, science, and language, developing an enhanced sense of self and place in the world. Our beautiful campus in Bridgehampton, NY, offers a safe, idyllic setting for students in pre-nursery to grade 6. The journey continues with a transition to Ross Upper School, serving students in grades 7–12 on their path to global citizenship.

Need-based financial aid is available for September 2014. Email


At Mandell, a love of learning, the development of skills and the pursuit of academic exellence are deeply connected to the love of school and joy of collaborative exploration. By providing a combination of intellectual stimulation and emotional support within a rigourous educational environment, we enable our students to become responsible, active citizens of the world. · Pre School through Grade 8 · Coeducational · State-of-the art facilities · Offers a comprehensive and innovative curriculum with a balance of academics and the arts

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Pre School Locations · Upper West Side 775 Columbus Avenue New York, NY 10025 · Lincoln Square 150 Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10023

· West Village 160 Christopher Street New York, NY 10014 K-8 Location · 795 Columbus Avenue New York, NY 10025

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Improve Up to TWO GRADE LEVELS! One-On-One Tutoring & Intensive Summer Programs Grades Pre-K to 12

NSIVE 3 WEEK INTE GRAMS: SUMMER PROAugust • June, July & • Grades Pre K-12 h, g, Mat • Reading, Writin s ill Sk y & Stud ruction st In y or ns •Multi-Se

Reading comprehension & writing Multi-sensory math Phonics instruction & reading fluency State test preparation Study & organizational skills Orton Gillingham instruction Specialized programs for students with dyslexia, ADD and learning disabilities Home tutoring available in NYC, Brooklyn, Queens, Bronx, Westchester and New Jersey Our Director Dr. Levy personally performs all assessments

EBL Coaching

212-249-0147 Dr. Emily Levy, Director 17 E. 89TH ST. OR AT YOUR HOME

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on how girls learn best, through the academic principles of connection, collaboration, creativity, and application.” PACKER COLLEGIATE SCHOOL Brooklyn Grades Nursery-12 170 Joralemon Street Philosophy: Child-centered Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Since 2007 the Pre and Lower School have been building a relationship with the Ndonyo Wasin Primary School in northern Kenya. Ndonyo Wasin is a residential school which serves children from the nomadic Samburu people, whose way of life is becoming increasingly influenced and changed by modern society. Children in both schools have exchanged letters, videos, photos, drawings, and class-made books as they learn about each other’s lives and cultures.” RIVERDALE COUNTRY SCHOOL Bronx Grades Pre-K-12 5250 Fieldston Road Philosophy: Progressive Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “At the Lower School, some of the ways we hope to achieve our goals are through the Students of Color Society (SOCS) and the Parents of Color (POC), which work to support families of color and to address important topics with the larger community.” RODEPH SHOLOM SCHOOL West Side Grades Nursery-8 10 West 84th Street & 168 West 79th Street Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: Jewish

Noteworthy: “From required public speaking to student council, choir, band, and drama productions, students have a wide assortment of opportunities for leadership, risk-taking, and experimentation. Moreover, students learn how to become valued members of an extended school and congregation community and how to serve that community in a variety of leadership and supporting roles.” ROSS SCHOOL Bridgehampton Pre-Nursery-Post Graduate and East Hampton 739 Butter Lane, Bridgehampton (Lower School: Pre-Nursery-Grade 6) 18 Goodfriend Drive, East Hampton (Upper School: Grade 7-PG) Philosophy: Interdisciplinary, integrated learning Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “The school offers a Post Graduate (PG) year for students following grade 12, and the upper school offers students an option to board. The school is connected to other learning communities, having ties to schools and other organizations in the local community, nationally, and internationally. Through the Ross Institute, the school is part of a university consortium that aims to improve education for children around the world.” SPENCE SCHOOL East Side Grades K-12 22 East 91st Street Philosophy: Inquiry-based Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “The Spence community has access to some of the world’s most influential thinkers and leaders. Throughout the year, students, faculty, parents and alumnae are invited to academic lectures and other special events that help foster an intellectual and vibrant community of all ages.”

World Class Learning Academy

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SPEYER LEGACY SCHOOL West Side Grades K-7 (grade 8 to be added for 2015-2016) 925 9th Avenue Philosophy: Academic gifted Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “The only independent co-ed K-8 school in Manhattan established to meet the needs of advanced (gifted) learners. New school building/ facility opened this year.” SAINT ANN’S SCHOOL Brooklyn Grades Nursery-12 129 Pierrepont Street Philosophy: Progressive Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “We are committed to allowing children to move at their own pace. Whether a child enters Kindergarten already reading Roald Dahl or is just beginning to figure out the names of letters is of no particular concern. We care about meeting individual children wherever they are.” STEPHEN GAYNOR SCHOOL West Side Ungraded, ages 3-14 148 West 90th Street Philosophy: Individualized Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “With more than 50 years of experience and a dedication to continuous improvement, Gaynor has the expertise to help children break down barriers to learning, build self-esteem, and realize academic success. Our expert staff provides an unparalleled level of personal attention in a nurturing environment allowing students to be academically challenged, yet supported every step of the way.” TOWN SCHOOL East Side Grades Nursery-8 540 East 76th Street Philosophy: Academic Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “Educational philosophy believes that the process of learning is as important as the result. Town students develop social awareness through age-appropriate service within the school and the community. Students exercise responsibility and assume leadership roles as they become involved citizens of the world.” TREVOR DAY SCHOOL East Side and West Side Grades Nursery-12 11 East 89th Street & 4 East 90th Street & 1 West 88th Street Philosophy: Progressive Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “The school is currently building a new, state-of-the-art upper school facility, and renovating the lower school facility.”


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TRINITY SCHOOL West Side Grades K-12 139 West 91st Street Philosophy: Traditional Religious Affiliation: Episcopal Noteworthy: “Conversations about and explorations of spirituality, religion, and ethics at Trinity are woven naturally into the fabric of school life. They occur in classrooms, among faculty and students in the hallways, and every week in Chapel.” UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL (UNIS) Grades K-12 East Side 24-50 FDR Drive Philosophy: International Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “[Students] have the opportunity to work and learn with peers from different countries, cultures and backgrounds. UNIS teachers, with their equally diverse origins, understand and respect these differences and respond to the needs of a vibrant international community of learners by designing a curriculum that meets the needs of individual students.” WORLD CLASS LEARNING ACADEMY Age 2 through grade 7 Greenwich Village 44 East 2nd Street Philosophy: Student-centered International Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “The World Class Learning Academy is one of six WCLA schools in the US. It is part of the Nord Anglia Education (NAE) school group: an internationally respected, student-focused learning provider with over 28 schools across the globe. Currently, we offer a two’s (age 2) program through grades 6-7 with plan to continue to grow. All students are taught by British-trained lead teachers.” YORK PREPARATORY SCHOOL Grades 6-12 40 West 68th Street Philosophy: Eclectic Religious Affiliation: None Noteworthy: “York Prep uses a system called ‘tracking,’ which we feel best serves the needs of the individual student. Tracking places students in one of several ability groups available in every subject area. The goal is to ensure that each student is appropriately challenged in a place where they can succeed.”

West Side Stephen Gaynor School

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By Jana Beauchamp

By Jana Beauchamp

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Are you ready to take on the warm weather with a sense of adventure? Your kids certainly are! They’ve been waiting to play outside since winter started (and took forever to end). Here are some creative ways to enjoy the sunshine and great outdoors both in and around NYC. Get Wet & Wild Celebrate the 30th season at Dorney Parks Wildwater Kingdom (Allentown, PA) with a variety (think 35+) water rides and activities. New this year are the Snake Pit, a water slide complex, and Fast Lane and Fast Lane Plus to bypass lines on popular attractions (which is sure to please antsy little ones). Head to Hurricane Harbor at Six Flags Great Adventure (Jackson, NJ) for a water adventure for kids big and small. With a kid-friendly area featuring a wave pool, pirate ships, and serious slides for bigger kids—plus plunge slide thrills for kids of all ages, this park has it all. Sahara Sam’s Indoor and Outdoor Waterpark (West Berlin, NJ) has attractions for guests of all ages, no matter the weather. With innovative rides like an indoor surfing simulator, a water obstacle course, and Splish Splash, for toddler-sized shallow water adventures, they have a unique combination of attractions for the whole family. Sesame Place (Langhorne, PA) offers educational, wet fun for the tiniest thrill seekers. Swim, slide, and splash at the Count’s Splash Castle, a multi-level interactive waterplay attraction. And after tuckering out at the castle relax in Big Bird’s Rambling River. It’s guaranteed fun for the littlest kids and their big grownups alike. Splish Splash (Calverton, NY) was voted one of the best water parks in America by the Travel Channel. Check out each and every of its nearly 100 acres of water fun for the whole family.

For Anglers, River Riders & Seafarers It’s easy to forget that New York City is surrounded by water. You can stay in the city, escape rush hour, and go fish at the 107th Street Pier. Complete with a roof and electric lighting, it’s a well-kept secret for rainy day and night fishing. (Just remember that this is catch-and-release.) Row, row, row your boat at Loeb Boathouse in NYC’s beloved Central Park. Rowboats are available for rent so select your four favorite family members and hop in (they even have life jackets). Another popular favorite there is the Venetian gondola tours for up to six people. No rowing is required and your family is serenaded in song. Head down to Pier 25 in Tribeca to fish, kayak, or sail. Pier 25 is the longest pier in Hudson River Park and is home of the Offshore Sailing School, offering a variety of courses for families. You can also play beach volleyball, mini golf, and refuel at the Sweet Love Snack Bar with a healthy snack. Feel like you have traveled back in time to an old fishing village and happily spend the day fishing in Sheepshead Bay, Brooklyn. Families looking for fun can charter boats for the day and then enjoy the neighborhood seafood restaurants. Van Cortlandt Lake, in the Bronx, a beautiful man-made fishing hole formed in the 1690s, has fantastic fishing but the kids will love seeing the ducks, swans, and other animals. Plus, there are playgrounds, fields to frolic, and great hiking trails. If that’s not enough, there are also riding stables and golf courses if your little ones are not feeling like one with nature. Beach Buffs In under an hour by train or car (sans traffic), escape to the quintessential beach town of Long Beach, NY. Fondly called the Riviera of the East, the kids are sure to enjoy the sun soaking and swimming and

Kids cool off at Sahara Sam’s (below and right).


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parents will enjoy the surfing and people-watching. After a stroll on the newly renovated Boardwalk and a fun day at the beach, take a trip to Jordan’s Lobster Farm for a summer picnic. At the beautiful resort town of Long Branch, NJ, experience the free weekly outdoor concerts and movies under the stars throughout the summertime and enjoy the Seven Presidents Oceanfront Park, with an ocean beach, swimming, fishing, boating, volleyball plus a boardwalk. Looking for a less grandiose beach escape? Take a visit to the small, half-mile-long beach but big bang of Nickerson Beach Park in Lido Beach, NY. Your family can have it all with beaches, campgrounds, Fun Zone, ball fields, beach volleyball courts, cabanas and lockers. After you soak it all in, visit Point Lookout Clam Bar, the kid-friendly beach restaurant offering sail boat views. Robert Moses Beach on Fire Island is clean and serene for sand, surf, and sun. Offering five miles of ocean beaches for swimming, surfing, and more—as well as amenities like chair and umbrella rentals, concessions, and restrooms with showers—this beach is a summertime must. Plus, there is a new playground at Field 5, making it a perfect summer daytrip destination. If all else fails, head to Brighton Beach, one of the highly trafficked beach spots for NYC residents. Situated on the Atlantic Ocean and in close proximity to Coney Island, it will feel like the ultimate staycation. Let’s Go Ride A Bike Located within the Bronx River Reservation, the Bronx River Pathway consists of three paved segments: a one-mile loop in Mount Vernon, a 3.6-mile section in Bronxville to Scarsdale, and a 5-mile section extending from Hartsdale to Valhalla. Heading to Governors Island? You can bring your own bike (as long as it is human-powered) or rent one (Saturdays, Sundays, and Labor Day) from their eclectic collection. Choose from children’s bicycles, Small QuadCycle, large QuadCycle, and Tandem bikes. The Hudson River Greenway is the longest greenway in NYC, running along the West Side from Dyckman Street in the north to Battery Park in the south. It is a scenic ride mostly through Hudson River Park and Riverside Park. And a fun fact for the kids is that it is the most heavily used bikeway in the United States (maybe because most of it is along the Hudson). The paved Rockaway Gateway Greenway bike path is for bicyclists of all skill levels who appreciate an enjoyable jaunt but most notable is the stunning scenery and the chance to see a diverse array of bird, marine, and other wildlife. The kids are sure to love this two-wheel journey. Or take the sea streak water taxi to the Sandy Hook bike path (which was recently extended) to enjoy beautiful flowers, historic segments, and a pictureperfect lighthouse. It spans the whole peninsula, boasting bay and beach views and scenic overlooks all the way to Manhattan and Long Island.


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Making friends at the Art Farm.

Happy Campers Black Bear Campground, in Orange County, is the nearest full-service campground to NYC with expansive campsites. Black Bear has a beautiful, natural setting but with all modern conveniences. It also has numerous activities available to entertain such as mini golf and a children’s playground. Camp Orenda, in the heart of the Adirondacks, offers a genuine rugged camping experience while simultaneously offering modern luxuries (think heated showers, and open-air kitchen with a chef, and private canvas cabins decked in cozy decor). An all-inclusive, guests will enjoy a safe and comfortable wilderness experience in a scenic, mountain setting. The Delaware Water Gap in the Appalachians is close to the city but feels light years away. The vast 70,000acre park will feel like home as you hike, bike, paddle, swim, and picnic while you camp. Enjoy the magnificent mountains and endless outdoor activities that meet a range of family interests. Looking for something even more remote? Inside the Delaware Water Gap, escape to the Dingmans Campground. A large campground within the acreage, it offers basic amenities like clean water and electricity to allow for a rustic stay at any of the 133 sites. Or seek out Mongaup Pond in Livingston Manor, a campground situated on an expansive lake, complete with forested campsites, swimming, picnicking, and boat rentals. According to the experts, the campgrounds become an outdoor classroom for young children and their families. Animal Instincts The widely loved Bronx Zoo is celebrating the 20th anniversary of its most popular family tradition, the Bronx Zoo’s Family Overnight Safari (for families with children 5 and older). It is a unique experience where zoo dreams come true and everyone is wowed by the fun and educational activities that you don’t even mind the sea lion wake up call. You’re sure to create memories to last a lifetime. The Central Park Zoo is hosting a variety of classes and camps so children from tots to teens can explore the zoo and all of its wonders. Programs feature animal encounters, exhibit

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visits, art activities, and more, encouraging discovery and nurturing an enthusiasm for wildlife while having a wildly fun time! The New York Aquarium offering week-long discovery camps with age-based programs to build your child’s love of all things under the sea. Both educational and fun, the camps are run with themes every summer, so there’s always a new study for the budding marine biologists. The Art Farm is taking residence both in the Hamptons and on the Upper East Side this summer. Enjoy summer camps, play groups, classes, animal care lessons, and more. And be sure not to miss the beloved and ever-popular weekend feeding and snuggling sessions. A family farm since 1886 and the top petting zoo on Long Island, White Post Farms is a family friendly day trip sure to please the whole family. If the petting zoo itself is not enough, there is unlimited fun on bouncers included with paid admission to the animal farm. Nature Lovers Visit Alley Pond Park and enjoy weekly workshops with opportunities to pet animals, take nature walks, get educated in animal care classes, and lots more. The Animal Room is a best bet, where you can meet and greet more exotic animal friends like Loke the Prairie Dog, the Blue Tongued Skink, and Bernie the Corn Snake. This year the Brooklyn Botanic Gardens are celebrating the centennial of their Children’s Garden. BBG was the first botanic garden to create a program exclusively for children, from toddlers to teens. Another great garden option is the New York Botanical Gardens, with the Everett Children’s Adventure Garden. The new family favorite, the High Line, offers kids programs to play, create, and learn, and mark your calendar now for a carnival-inspired summer party on June 14. In the meantime, don’t miss the Arty Hours hands-on art projects. Plus, be sure to secure your delicious Melt Bakery ice cream sandwich while there on these hot, summer days! Escape the concrete jungle and head to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge, the only wildlife refuge in the

National Park System. Home to roughly half the bird species in the Northeast as well as a range of native reptiles, amphibians, small mammals, butterflies, and horseshoe crabs, it is a must-see. There are regular presentations on seasonal wildlife, sunset tours, hikes, boat trips, family programs, and an annual lecture series. Queens County Farm is another haven for families who want a fun farm visit without leaving the city. Stroll around the farm, check out the seasonal farm stand, and peruse fields, livestock, vineyard, and farm implements, but the highlight for the kids will be the goat feeding and the hayrides (offered on Saturdays and Sundays). Park-ing Breaks As the temperatures rise, you might dream of cooling down at some magical water oasis. Luckily, there are plenty of neighborhood playgrounds throughout the city have great water features. Complete with award-winning equipment, water features, and sand areas, Chelsea Waterside Play Area has everything you need for an afternoon of fun. Kids will have a blast running through fountains and parents can relax beneath shade umbrellas. Inspired by the nearby Bandshell in Prospect Park, Harmony Playground includes xylophones that kids can play— when they’re not running through water-spraying trumpets or playing in the roomy sandbox. Teardrop Park brings a little piece of the Hudson River Valley to Battery Park City. Featuring an impressive “Ice Wall,” a children’s slide, sandboxes, water play, and more—it’s sure to keep your fam super-cool. Pier 25 Play Area is perfect for kids ages 2-12. Tots have their own place to play, older kids can enjoy the rock wall, and everyone will love the spontaneous buckets that drop water on little ones’ heads. Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 Play Area features a fab Water Lab, which includes a jet field and water channel to keep kids occupied for hours. There’s also a giant sandbox that’s great for tots.

Photo by Joseph DeSciose

Scenes from Camp Orenda (left) and the New York Botanical Garden (right).


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People with Down Syndrome are especially prone to fungal infections

Researchers at The Rockefeller University Hospital are conducting a research study to try to understand the immune system in people with Down syndrome. La Scuola D´Italia is a private unique Italian / English bilingual and bicultural school reflecting the best features of the Italian and American education. Knowledge of the Italian / English language is not a prerequisite for admission to Pre-K through 9th grade. La Scuola D´IItalia is chartered by the Board of Regents of the State of New York and by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Italy. The school is a member of the New York State Association of Independent Schools. In addition to our program, we offer a summer camp, please contact us at our main campus for more information and to register. Tel. 212.369.3290 email:

For the study, researchers are seeking adults and children with Down syndrome who: • Are 3-80 years old

Study Participation includes: • 1 outpatient visit • Blood draw

Compensation is provided For more information please contact our Recruitment Specialist at 1.800.RUCARES or email us at

Engage your child in some activities that don’t involve staring at a screen.

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IN KID HAMPTON Photo by Sarah Merians

Who Has The Best Black & White Cookies? What Can You Do If It’s Raining? Whose Pizza Rules? We Have The Answers To These And Other Essential Questions In Our SPECIAL GUIDE TO FAMILY LIFE IN THE HAMPTONS By Melissa Stoller and Jodi Silberstein (with additional reporting and tips from countless others)

So Who Does Have The Best Black & White Cookie? We’ll go with the Beach Bakery Café in Westhampton Beach (112 Main Street, 631-288-6552). But every trip out East should also include a visit to Briermere Farm in Riverhead for fresh fruit pies, which you can order in advance (4414 Sound Avenue, 631-722-3931). Levain in Wainscott (354 Montauk Highway, 631-5378570) has decadent soft cookies—don’t go there unless you want to get hooked! Tate’s Bake Shop in Southampton (43 North Sea Road, 631-283-9830) and Breadzilla in Wainscott (84 Northwest Road, 631537-0955) are great picks, too. Dreesens at Scoop du Jour in East Hampton (35 Newtown Lane, 631329-4883) is a Saturday morning destination—their doughnuts are baked fresh daily, often causing lines out the door. Sag Harbor Baking Company is where you’ll want to get your extravagant party cakes, but also be sure to pick up a few classic bakery treats like lemon squares and more black & white cookies, of course (51 Division Street, 631-899-4900). Another quaint, classic bakery is Ye Olde Bake Shoppe in Southampton (13 Windmill Lane, 283-6553), which, according to one 13-year-old, has the best brownies ever! And if you have a bit of time on your hands, go to Gingerbread University (3225 Sound Avenue, Riverhead, 727-7309) and decorate your own gingerbread cookies.


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And For Ice Cream I Should Take The Kids To . . . ? You can’t beat Big Olaf in Sag Harbor (8 Wharf Street, 631-725-7505), which is located on the wharf and has outdoor seating. But there are plenty of other great spots: Carvel in Southampton (631-3773892), Bridgehampton (631-537-2436) and Hampton Bays (631-728-8145); Scoop du Jour in East Hampton (35 Newtown Lane, 631-329-4883), Ben & Jerry’s in Westhampton (121 Main Street, 631-288-5753) and Haagen Dazs in Westhampton Beach (103 Main Street, 631-288-1534), which is connected to Sugar Daddy’s toy store! For the best soft-serve, go to Hampton Chutney in Amagansett (6 Main St, 631-267-3131). The Montauk Ice Co. truck is always serving up delicious homemade gourmet ices (Kirk Park, Montauk, 718-354-0616). And while the Fudge Company in Southampton may be best known for their homemade fudge and salt water taffy, they also offer about 30 different flavors of ice cream with a number of toppings available during the summer (67 Main Street, 631-283-8108). But Can You Get A Decent Slice Of Pizza East Of The City? Absolutely! The lines for pizza at Sam’s in East Hampton (36 Newtown Lane, 631-324-5900) tell you that the pizza there is worth waiting for. World Pie in Bridgehampton (2402 Montauk Highway,

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Lazy Days At The Beach Shouldn’t Last All Summer. How ‘Bout Some Camps? The Art Farm in Bridgehampton (739 Butter Lane, 631-537-1634) allows children to immerse themselves in a country experience and see what sort of creativity it brings out of them. Hudson Music Studios (Rock Camp) in Bridgehampton (2685 Montauk Highway, 908-230-6079) is great for beginner musicians or those looking to master the art. Rock Camp gives students lessons in the mornings and then teaches them music production (including Garage Band) in the afternoon. Hamptons Music Sessions in East Hampton (18 James Lane, 631-405-0166) offers classes in music theory, yoga, composition, and more for all kids in grades K-12 with plenty of time for recess, lunch, and snack times. Another great arts-based program is the East Hampton Art and Theatre Camp (Sag Harbor High School, 200 Jermain Avenue, 631-653-4065) taught by professional actors working in NYC. It combines both musical theatre and studio art. New to the Hampton Country Day Camp (191 Buckskill Rd, 631-537-1770) this year is a “coaches in-residence” partnership with Basketball Stars of NY, NOGA Soccer, and East Hampton Indoor Tennis. Southampton Racquet Club & Camp in Southampton (665 Majors Path, 631-488-4700) combines all the fun of camp while giving each camper personalized attention toward improving their tennis skills. At Hampton Sports & Arts in East Hampton (175 Daniels Hole Road, 631-604-1727), campers can choose from a number of electives and concentrations from surfing to fashion design, and off-campus activities are offered as well such as kayaking and horseback riding. Future Stars in Southampton (1370 Majors Path, 631-287-6707) offers seven different all-day sports camps for ages 6-16 and is sure to bring out the competitive spirit in anyone. It’s Raining. Now What? Go bowling! For that, you’ll want to go to the All Star in Riverhead (96 Main Road, 631-998-3565). Or spend the day turning plain white sneakers into a charitable work of art at Studio Art in Watermill (670 Montauk Highway, 973-670-0572) with a new location in Westhampton coming this summer. And if you don’t already know it, the public libraries in the Hamptons are excellent, offering a morning story time at all locations and other awesome kids’ programs.

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I Know All About The Beaches, But What About The Parks? There’s plenty of town parks where the whole family can relax, play sports, or picnic. At Mashashimuet Park in Sag Harbor, kids can take tennis lessons or play basketball. There’s also a co-ed pickup softball game for adults and older kids on Sundays. Families love the expansive playground at Herrick Park in East Hampton (11937 Newtown Lane). In Southampton, go to Agawam Park (631-283-0247)—it’s on the water, its long lawns are perfect for throwing a Frisbee, and it has playground equipment. Or for a more peaceful afternoon, go to Longhouse in East Hampton (133 Hands Creek Road, 631-329-3568). Walk through the gardens, check out the art exhibits, and if you really want to get peaceful, there’s meditation every Saturday morning. If There Is A Bike (Kite, Boogie Board, Or Canoe) Shortage In The House, Who Can Help? For bikes and kites, try Bike N’ Kite in Westhampton (112 Potunk Lane, 631-288- 1210), Sag Harbor Cycle Company (34 Bay Street 631-725-1110), Rotations in Southampton (32 Windmill Lane, 631-283-2890), Bermuda Bikes in East Hampton (36 Gingerbread Lane, 631-324-6688), Twin Forks Bikes in Riverhead (121 East Main Street, 591-3082) and Amagansett Beach and Bicycle (624 Montauk Highway, 631267-6325). For kites, try Kites of the Harbor in Sag Harbor (75 Main Street, 631-725-9063). For surfing and boogie boarding, try Island Surf & Sport in Westhampton Beach (49 Sunset Avenue, 631-2884155) and Espo’s Surf and Sport in East Hampton (57 Main Street,631-267-7873). Puff & Putt in Montauk (659 Montauk Highway, 631-668-4473) rents canoes, rowboats, sail boats, and pedal boats. From Main Beach Surf & Sport in Wainscott (352 Montauk Highway, 631-537-7873), you can launch a kayak into Georgica Pond and paddle around admiring the Georgica mansions.

Photos by Sarah Merians

7999) also boasts a devoted following. For quick, family-friendly pie, try Conca d’Oro in Sag Harbor (103 Main Street, 631-725-3167). John’s Restaurant & Pizzeria in Hampton Bays (125 West Montauk Highway, 631-728-9411) is a great place for pizza before heading to the movies. Paul’s Italian Restaurant in Southampton is also close to a movie theater (21 Hill Street, 631-283-1861). It’s always buzzing in the summer, with pizza on one side and casual American Italian cuisine on the other. And try Pizzetteria Brunetti in Westhampton Beach for more authentic Italian cuisine and possibly the best Neapolitan pizza around (103 Main Street, 631-288-3003).


June/July 2014 | New York Family


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The Kids Are Getting Restless. Any Suggested Road Trips? The Atlantis Marine World Aquarium in Riverhead has sea lion shows, a huge shark tank, the largest live coral reef display in North America, a submarine simulator ride, a penguin pavilion, opportunities to feed the marine life, and much more (431 East Main Street, 631-203-9200). Splish Splash Water Park in Calverton has a kiddie water park. Everyone will love “surf city,” a huge wave pool that sends waves when a bell rings. Also fun is the new show: Parrots of the Caribbean (2549 Splish Splash Drive, 631-7273600). Explore the jungle tree tops and play Pirates on a treasure hunt at Bayville Adventure Park (8 Bayville Avenue, 516-624-5876). Or take the ferry to the North Fork. Once there, a must-do is the beautiful Greenport Carousel (Front Street in Mitchell Park, 477-2200), which even has a brass ring. Catch it and win a free ride! While in Greenport ride on Greenport’s Official Tall Ship, The Mary E, an historic 1906 schooner (Preston’s Dock,Main Street, 860767-8269). Stock up on berries (pick them yourself) at Patty’s Berries and Bunches (410 Sound Ave, 298-4679). Then get a bite to eat at the Lunch Truck (57225 Main Street, Southold) before heading over to Love Lane Sweet Shop in Mattituck for some treats (125 Love Lane, 298-2276). Where Can A Kid Get Some Culture Around Here? The New Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) 376 Bridgehampton Sag Harbor Turnpike, 631-537-8250 The museum nurtures a child’s sense of wonder through workshops, classes, and exhibitions year-

round. This summer there are classes in art, cooking, and other kids’ favorites. Be sure to check out performances by kindie music sensations Tim and the Space Cadets and Suzie Shelton coming in August! Guild Hall in East Hampton 158 Main Street, 631-324-0806 Guild Hall offers Kidfest workshops during the month of August from 4-4:45pm. The Kidfest summer series also includes evening events such as plays and concerts including “Beauty and the Beast” performed by the National Marionette Theater. Westhampton Beach Performing Arts Center 76 Main Street, 631- 288-2350 Previously an old movie-theater, this space was recast as a performing arts center in 1997. The summer season provides week-long camps featuring different plays. (There’s even an A Cappella intensive!) Zoppe An Italian Family Circus will be performing at the Arts Center this summer from July 31 to August 3. The Parrish Art Museum in Southampton 279 Montauk Highway, 631-283-2118 A hub of year-round cultural activities, during the summer between July 3 and August 11 they have five one-week day camp sessions for kids ages 6-11. The camp focuses on visual art in different mediums from pottery to photography and also includes some fun performances by visiting artists. There are also familyfriendly performances and workshops all summer long for ages 4 and up.

What’s The B est Beach Fo r Kids? Everyone has an opinion about their favorite beach, and usually it’s one that’s pretty close by. But here are a few of our favorites: OCEAN BEACHES: For boogie boarding head to Atlantic Beach in Amagansett, which has a snack bar and restrooms. Main Beach in East Hampton gets rave reviews for its colorful umbrellas and boardwalk. Sagg Main Beach in Sagaponack and J. Scott Cameron Beach in Bridgehampton both have tidal pool areas where kids can skim board, plus snack trucks and restrooms. Coopers Beach in Southampton has a full restaurant and clean restrooms. Mecox Beach gets nods for shell collecting. BAY BEACHES: Long Beach bay beach in Sag Harbor is popular for its great sunsets. It’s also known for its shallow swim areas great for wading and collecting shells. Fresh Pond in Amagansett is very shallow at low tide and knee-deep at hide tide. There is also a bathroom and an ice cream truck. In Hampton Bays, Meschutt Beach is ideal for running after hermit crabs and using mini fishing nets. There is also a small playground.


New York Family | June/July 2014

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Hamptons Family Concierge knows the best services, activities, and events on the East End. Become a member today, and rest assured that your entire family will experience personalized services that they will always treasure. Let us customize your ideal summer today!


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Marc Glosserman— Owner Of Hill Country Hospitality & Local Dad Of Four—Dishes On Bringing BBQ To The Big Apple (Recipes Included!) Edited by Mia Weber How did you get into the food industry, and why did you choose to focus on ribs? I’ve always had a passion for food, restaurants, and hospitality—however, growing up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, the food industry was not an obvious career path for me… My dad is from Lockhart, Texas, which happens to be the official barbecue capital of the state. There is a legendary barbecue joint, Kreuz Market, which was the highlight of any trip to see my grandparents in Lockhart. One day in 2003, I was having a conversation with the owner, who is a close family friend, and the idea to open a Central Texas-style barbecue joint in Manhattan was born. What’s new with Hill Country Hospitality? In January 2014, we opened two new locations—a Hill Country Barbecue Market and Hill Country Chicken— side-by-side in Downtown Brooklyn. It’s pretty crazy to think that we’ve brought Texas barbecue and American roots music to the land of Junior’s and the heart of hip-hop. We’re thrilled to be part of Brooklyn’s restaurant scene and are enjoying serving the vibrant and dynamic community downtown. How can families make the most out of a visit to Hill Country? What other services do you provide? Hill Country Barbecue Market and Hill Country Chicken are both family- and kid-friendly. Hill Country Barbecue Market is a large, boisterous space that features long communal tables, which are great for families that want to spread out and share food. The dining room has several market counters where guests pick out their food and watch as their barbecue is sliced hot and fresh in front of them—kids


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Photo By Jennifer Hughes

A TASTE OF TEXAS IN NYC The Glosserman fam strikes a pose.

especially love the interaction with our pit-masters and counter servers. At Hill Country Chicken, we specialize in fried chicken, fresh cut French fries, and homemade pies. At both restaurants, we do extensive catering and private events—including birthdays, graduations, weddings, and mitzvahs. Tell us about your family! How many kids do you have, and what are they like? My wife, Kristen, and I live in an apartment building off of Madison Square Park with our four kids: Austin (7), Skye (5), Jaclyn (3), and Geena (1). They are the loves of my life—each of them is so different and constantly entertaining. Austin, who was born on opening night of our first Hill Country on West 26th Street, loves watching and playing sports. Skye is our little artist who loves to go off in a quiet place and paint or do crafts for hours. Jaclyn is a bit of a ham who, as of late, has been obsessed with singing and acting out every scene from “Frozen.” And Geena is a happy baby who seems content to take it all in. Do they love coming to the restaurants? They love going to any of the Hill Country restaurants, which they each refer to as “my restaurant” and where most of our staff knows them by their first names. Their favorite dishes are brisket, mac & cheese, cornbread, and “chicken on the bone” (as they refer to fried chicken). Do you have any personal rules about balancing work and family time? It can be a tough balance, but I try hard to shut off work when I can. Kristen and I are sacrosanct about keeping a date night once a week. It’s HEAD FOR THE HILLS important for us to have a regular distracHill Country Barbecue Market & tion away from work Chicken, 345 Adams Street, Brooklyn and family, although at some point, the Hill Country Barbecue Market, 30 West 26th Street conversation will inevitably drift to work Hill Country Chicken, 1123 Broadway and family. It’s a major team effort. I couldn’t do it without her.

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How does being a dad inspire you in your work? I feel like each restaurant is, in some ways, like a child. We care deeply about them, and each restaurant feels like part of our family. So much hard work, thought, and energy go into getting them right because we want them to grow and thrive. Like new babies, new restaurants always require more time and attention, and they all have their distinctive personalities and quirks. Being a dad has certainly taught me how to be more patient and more nurturing.

Classic Hill Country Fried Chicken Ingredients: 4 cups buttermilk 3 tbsp kosher salt 1 tbsp butcher grind black pepper 1 tsp cayenne pepper 1 (3.5 lb) chicken, cut into eight pieces (breast, thigh, drumstick, wing) 3 cups flour 1 tbsp salt and pepper blend or favorite BBQ/spice rub Vegetable or peanut oil for frying

Special Equipment: Paper lunch bags Cast-iron skillet Sheet pan fitted with a rack

In a large non-reactive bowl, combine buttermilk with salt, black pepper, and cayenne pepper. Add chicken; turn to coat. Cover bowl and marinate in refrigerator for 30 minutes. Remove chicken from buttermilk, discarding marinade. Combine flour, salt, and pepper and/or any other spices. Whisk well to make sure the spices are well distributed. Place a cup of flour in a paper bag. Shake the chicken to coat well. Set out on a cookie sheet. Continue with chicken one piece at a time, adding more seasoned flour as necessary. Let the floured pieces of chicken sit for 5-10 minutes to let the coating sink in. Meanwhile, in deep cast-iron skillet or chicken fryer, heat 1-inch oil to 365 degrees Fahrenheit. Add chicken and cook, turning twice, 20 minutes or until chicken is golden brown. Remove pieces as they’re done and place on the sheet pan fitted with a rack. Place chicken on the rack in a preheated 325 degrees Fahrenheit oven and let chicken continue to cook until the juices run clear and it registers 170 degrees Fahrenheit. Let chicken rest for five minutes before eating. This recipe is courtesy of Elizabeth Karmel, executive chef of Hill Country Chicken—for more Glosserman family favorites (including salt & pepper ribs and cherry pie), visit!

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“JAW-DROPPING!” -Time Out NY Kids

“An amazing show for the entire family!” -Macaroni Kids

NOW LIVE in the heart of BROADWAY! 212-239-6200 New World Stages, 340 W 50th St. June/July 2014 | New York Family


6/2/14 12:15 PM




AND AIRS, F F AMILY FUN! We’ve Rounded Up 10 Of The Best Family-Friendly Summer Festivals And Fairs In The Northeast—It’s Roadtrip Time! The Dutchess County Fair

By Jodi Silberstein Head north this summer to check out some of the most awesome fairs and festivals around. From endless lobsters to Ferris wheel rides and skies filled with hot air balloons, there is something for every family to see and do. Bonus: You really don’t have to travel far, making these spots the perfect destinations for a fun, easy weekend getaway. Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival Becket, MA June 14 to August 24 This international dance fest, the longest running one in America, features performers from all over the world, from Harlem to Hong Kong. Take some time after watching performances to head over to Blake’s Barn, which is home to an incredible archive of books and art that is sure to enhance this cultural weekend. Folk Festival Kutztown, PA June 28 to July 6 Kutztown, a small town surrounded by a beautiful sprawling landscape, could not be more opposite from New York City, which is why you should go. Kids will love the pony rides, puppet shows, and petting zoo. And among the many souvenirs available to take home are the traditional treats from the outdoor bake oven!

Boston Harborfest Boston, MA July 2-6 Spend a long 4th of July weekend in Colonial Boston. What started out as just 35 activities over a three-day weekend has turned into 200! There are cruises, food, live music, revolutionary reenactments, and fireworks, of course! Irish Festival Fairfield, CT July 13-15 Though this impressive celebration of Irish culture wouldn’t be complete without a pub tent, it also has a kids tent featuring young Irish dancers and puppeteers. And for the competitive spirits, sign up to play in the Donnelly Cup, a Gaelic football tournament hosted each year by the St. Patrick’s Football Club. Hillsborough Balloon Festival and Fair Hillsborough, NH July 17- 20 Watch the hot air balloon spectacle from the ground or enjoy a ride in one yourself! Smaller fairs will be occurring throughout Hillsborough this weekend as well, so take time to explore all the tents, antique shops, and boutiques that Hillsborough has to offer. (“Firework extravaganza” Saturday night!) Lobster Festival Rockland, Maine July 30 to August 3 Though it is certainly recommended, you don’t need to be a lobster lover to enjoy the Maine Lobster Fest. Professor Paddywhack has plenty of fun up his sleeve continued on page 63

Lobster Festival


New York Family | June/July 2014


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for all ages and the Marine Tent allows for a handson exploration of the creatures living in the Gulf of Maine. MusikFest Bethlehem, PA August 1-10 Yes, this is a music festival, but, no, it’s nothing like Coachella. This fest is inspired by the local German roots and features polka bands and a giant dining area called ”Festplatz.” New to the fest is a 5K color run and a volunteer photography exhibition. Headliners this year include Sheryl Crow, Keith Urban, and Jason Derulo. Craftman’s Fair Newbury, NH August 2-10 Support the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen this summer at the Craftman’s Fair. Go on a walk through the sculpture garden, or spend time exploring the vendors’ tents or pass the day making pottery. There are also workshops designed specifically for kids! Dutchess County Fair Rhinebeck, NY August 19-24 This six-day fair is host to the second largest county fair in New York and features some of the best of what New York State agriculture has to offer. Each day is filled with different events. Take a walk down “memory lane,” check out the wildlife exhibit, and stock up on all the farm fresh food! The Great New York State Fair Syracuse, NY August 21 to September 1 Living in NYC, it’s easy to forget that there is an entire other part of the state, a huge part really, that has nothing to do with large office buildings and tiny living spaces. Get off the island and explore all New York State has to offer. This giant fair features some big-name musical guests this year like Carrie Underwood, Train, and Journey, as well as competitions in categories such as cooking, agriculture, and arts and crafts to name a few. The Great New York State Fair


June/July 2014 | New York Family


5/30/14 2:30 PM

the last word

RIDING THE MATTERHORN Looking Back At His Thrill-Seeking Life, A Hipster Dad Discovers That Fatherhood May Be The Most Fun Adventure Of All By Scott Ambrose Reilly The first 21 years of my adult life were spent seeking adventure. I skipped college, roadtripped all around the country, slept in each of the Continental United States, then hooked up with a rock ‘n roll band and did it all again under much more decadent circumstances, looking for shenanigans wherever shenanigans could be found. I met my wife during this period, but then she graduated college and moved to NYC to be an actress. I followed a year later and found a whole new type of shenanigans available in the 90s in Manhattan. I was managing bands, she was acting in the craziest damn plays you’d ever want to see downtown. My crowd was wild, hers was more eccentric, and both seemed to frequently stay up all night. I don’t think we spent more than a handful of evenings at home in the whole decade. Laurena and I had been together 16 years when she said: “Why go to Disneyland and not ride the Matterhorn?” It was her way of saying that having a kid is the big ride in life, and we should try it. I agreed, even though I hardly comprehended what I was really agreeing to. Our son Dexter was born in 2002, and ever since I find myself doing things I never would have even thought about in the 90s or before. I’m not a sports guy, but I go to baseball and basketball games. I’ve given up red meat; I took a fencing class; I’ve been to more art museums in the last ten years than my whole life prior. I play Risk and Monopoly often and poker rarely. I spend most evenings at home and get up at 6am to pack a vegetarian lunch. I remember when the only time I saw 6am was leaving an allnight poker game or a particularly eventful party. I have two road trips planned for this summer: One to Indianapolis for the Pokémon National Championships and one to Washington, D.C., for the Pokémon World Championships. I do this all because my best friend is a 12-year-old vegetarian Poké-Master who likes basketball, baseball, fencing, art, board games, comic books, and—of course—the Pokémon card game.


New York Family | June/July 2014

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As soon as Dexter entered our lives I found myself wanting to be at home, because it was more fun than anything else I could do—and, actually, easier than I expected. I was getting more sleep than ever because I was in the apartment before midnight. (Who knew if you layed down at 9pm you would fall asleep?) And, trust me on this, compared to managing rock bands, a baby is easy. Having only one child means we can indulge his interests. (Some would say we spoil the boy, but I would say it is me being spoiled by the quality time with him.) Yes, I was surprised when his love of animals inspired him to become vegetarian when he was 8. But “no killing” is his policy, which means no leather baseball gloves and it means visits to the vegan marshmallow factory in Long Island City. He surprises us with facts everyday, and most of the time when I ask where he learned it he says: “NPR.” (As he is a regular listener of “Radio Lab” and “Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me” as he goes to sleep at night.) Luckily for me he also loves superheroes and classic music. He is a fan of Tom Waits and Tom Jones. Elvis is both our favorite. I get to impress him regularly with arcane facts about the Hulk and Metamorpho. Plus, when this clever, stubborn, opinionated, argumentative kid starts to embrace the dark side, taking away comic book privileges is an effective motivation to bring him back to the light. I remember being in the park with Dexter when he was about four and he was playing in the playground and another Dad said to me: “Sometimes I just run out of things to do with him or say to him.” I believe he expected me to say: “I know what you mean,” but I really did not. I love hanging out with Dexter. He used to laugh at my joke about how I was going to finally go to college the same year he did, and we could be dormmates. He quit thinking it was funny when he realized I wasn’t joking. SCOTT AMBROSE REILLY is known in the music business as “Bullethead” but is known at Pokémon tournaments and baseball games as “Dexter’s Dad.”

5/30/14 2:21 PM


My kidney wasn’t working right. So my mom gave me one of hers. – Synique, age 7


Kids see the world differently. When they go to the hospital, they need to be treated differently as well. Synique benefited from NewYork-Presbyterian’s Pediatric Transplant Program, where research has led to ways to reduce the risk of organ rejection. All so kids can keep being kids. Learn more at


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New York Family June 2014  

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

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