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JOIN US AS THE NATION’S BEST BIRTHDAY EXPERIENCES COME TOGETHER FOR THE VERY FIRST TIME AT THE ULTIMATE PARTY FOR PARENTS AND KIDS! From finding great birthday venues and ideas, to discovering this year’s hottest gifts, attendees will receive an exclusive look at all the incredible ways you can celebrate with your child.


iNFO OFFSPRiiNG is a monthly magazine that celebrates the beauty and wonder of parenting by highlighting the everyday moments that comprise family life. By showcasing local photographers, artists, designers, writers, children, and parents we aim to highlight the splendor that is childhood and inspire creativity and a sense of stillness in this fast-paced, often complicated world.  OFFSPRiiNG is independently published, distributed, and printed in New York City.





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2013 The Mamas Network LLC. OFFSPRiiNG Issue No. 1 August 2013 may not be reproduced without prior permission from The Mamas Network LLC

TA B L E O F CONTENTS Letter from the Editor - 9 Good News - 10 PIDGIN - 12 The art and craft of a Brooklyn doll. Back to School. Simplified - 18 Simple back to school fashion and school supplies. Work Space 30 Why it is important to have a space of your own. Personalize - 32 Personalized items and what they mean to children and parents. The Worst Lunch Ever - 34 An interview about the worst lunch. Do Things - 36 See, taste, listen, and watch these cool things. Notable After School Programs - 39

EDITOR DEAR READER, The last days of summer are a curious time when you find yourself simultaneously panicked and sluggish.. The heat steaming off of the sidewalk will dissipate and that you will soon take shelter inside instead of sitting on your stoop enjoying a summer night. The days begin to shorten, and the kids go back to school, carrying their 500-pound backpacks. Your workday becomes longer, once again extended with the inclusion of lunch making,, school commutes, and evening homework. The back to school time can seem like an insurmountable peak when coming out of these lazy summer days but this year I encourage you to simplify the process. This year, take a few minutes to extend the lazy days of summer, slow down and watch the transition that your children are making into the next school year with joy and expectation. Relax and know that not all things need to be ready on that very first day of school. The world will continue to turn and the sun will still shine if you are missing a number 2 pencil. Wake up a few minutes early on the days leading up to school and make yourself a cup of tea. Take that time to reflect on how far you and your children have come and how far you still have yet to go. Appreciate the time with them in the evening while they scream, fight and make a mess. Know that this is all a part of growing up and that you are in the privileged position to watch it happen. Enjoy the simple things. And know that among the seemingly endless shopping trips, lunch bags, teachers notes, and piles of homework, your children are learning new things, and forging friendships may last a lifetime. What a wonderful thing it is to be back in school!

Leni Calas

Editor-In-Chief Offspriing Magazine



GOOD NEWS B u g a b o o L au n c h e s an Awesome New Design Collaboration

North, South, East, and West parts of America that display beautiful stripes, shapes and colors that will sure to be this season’s urban eyecatcher that parents won’t want to miss out on.

W o r l d ' s L a r g e st M es s ag e i n a B ot t l e

For a retailer near you, please visit

House of Mushrooms i s m a d e i n N YC

Innovators in their own right, Bugaboo, is now collaborating with Pendleton Woolen Mills to incorporate Native American heritage inspired designs that consists of one of a kind stroller accessories and blankets. Pendleton is recognized worldwide as a symbol of American heritage, authenticity and craftsmanship. With six generations of family ownership, the company celebrates 150 years of weaving fabric in the Pacific Northwest. Pendleton owns and operates two of America’s remaining woolen mills, constantly updating them with state-of-the-art looms and eco-friendly technology. The Bugaboo + Pendleton boldcolored collection consists of a variety of stroller accessory sets each complete with a luxurious 100% pure virgin wool blanket. All stroller accessories have a pattern that represents a story from the

Thanks to a small group of dedicated builders, one can now ”grow” a home. A mushroom house was built and filled with mushroom insulation which then grew in place inside it’s walls. This project was a radical test of the product Ecovative Mushroom® Insulation. Ecovative uses mycelium (mushroom ”roots”) to bond together agricultural byproducts like corn stalks, into a material that can replace plastic foam. This project is an exciting, radical and innovative approach to building a home of your own. Visit for more information.

As we speak, the world’s largest message-in-a-bottle is in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean in the form of a Norwegian Solo Soda bottle. The bottle, which is registered as a boat, was constructed by the owner of Swedish Car Manufacturer Koeningsegg, baptized by explorer Jarle Andhøy and is tweeting 360’ photos live on twitter via @solosoftdrink.


”We are turning back time, letting nature decide where the bottle will end up” says explorer Jarle Andhøy. He believes the 26 feet-2.5 ton wonder might follow the path of Thor Heyerdahl’s RA-expedition and end up in Barbados. Follow the high-tech phenomena’s crossing of the Atlantic on and guess where the bottle ends up.

Coney Island Baby is a team of artists, designers, writers, and scholars striving to provide families with a cultural experience through educational clothing. The design feature original artwork inspired by timeless wisdom. Visit to see their collection.

This FREE service provides parents and students access to teachers available to help with homework. Hours are Monday – Thursday from 4pm to 7pm. Call 1-888-9862345 (toll free).



Back to School Clothes N E W YO R K CI T Y S C H O O L 826 NYC that Give Back C A L E N DA R A P P 826 NYC is a non-profit organizaSustainable Kids, a company founded by mother and business woman Maia Andersen, is dedicated to making the world a better place by raising the consciousness level in kids. Plus, their products are entirely made in the U.S. and they use only certified organic cottons, recycled yarns and hemp blends. Their ”Gift That Gives Twice” program allows you (and your kids) to directly make a difference and help kids in Haiti, a country still struggling to rebuild. When you order from Sustainable Kids, be sure to add their gift box. That box is postage paid, and comes with an instruction card. Once you receive it, you can fill it with supplies kids in Haiti need, like toothbrushes, band aids, flip flops, and more. Donations are distributed through Open Door Haiti, an organization that is locally run and provides education, medical care, and daily meals to over 300 children. For more information, visit


NuNuNu Baby blends urban design, cool fabrics and and urban feel to baby clothing. Visit www. to view their collection.

tion that provides drop-in tutoring, field trips, after-school workshops, in-schools tutoring and assistance for English language learners for students ages 6 to 18. 826 NYC is located at Brooklyn Superhero Supply Company Store which sells superhero equipment by day (372 Fifth Avenue) and tutoring services after school. For more information on services, classes and time, visit 826

B r o o k ly n L i b r a r i e s after school program

September 9th starts the new school year. And with it comes school closings, holidays, and other important dates that can sometimes catch us by surprise. Thanks to an app created by NYC public school teacher John Tran, things get much easier. The 'NYC School Calendar' app is designed to help parents, teachers, and students keep track of the important school dates. The app is available on the iTunes App store.

Located throughout various Brooklyn libraries, the After-School Homework Helpers program helps students in grades 1 through 8 with their homework, projects and assignments. Homework Helpers come from diverse backgrounds— from retired teachers, to high school students and all receive training to be able to assist kids in a wide-range of subjects that include English, math, science and social studies. Visit www.brooklynpubliclibrary. org for more information.

Brooklyn-based artist Joshua David McKenney is redefining the art of hand-made dolls by drawing upon old world ideas of the craft and blending it with the modern concept of individual style

Written by Maria Smilios

Photographs by Joshua David McKenney.



Brooklyn-based artist Joshua David McKenney is redefining the art of hand-made fashion dolls by drawing upon craft traditions of the past and blending and reinterpreting them with a contemporary emphasis on individual style. The result is Pidgin, a striking 22-inch doll, described by the artist as ”a style icon devoid of labels.”

process that over 3 years would shift the direction of McKenney’s life and give birth to Pidgin.

A hazy mid-afternoon light comes through two large windows, filling a small living room with a glow that enhances the sense of artistry of the place, an artistry that appears contradictory to the appearance of Joshua David McKenney, a handsome boyish-looking artist who lives there. Standing to the side of one window and explaining how he came to buy his 1970s art nouveau shower curtain, McKenney—tall and muscular—looks more like a professional baseball player than an artist who spends his time painting dolls with tiny porcelain finger nails. But looks are deceiving, and it is the seeming contradiction between appearance and reality that informs the core of McKenney’s art, high-end doll-making.

McKenney reaches over the small pile of dresses on the table, lifts the doll, and, in a voice tinged with modest pride, says, ”This is Pidgin.” The doll appears fragile, and I am reluctant to reach out and hold her, but he reassures me that Pidgin is sturdy and will not break. In the soft light, Pidgin’s face appears luminous. Her eyes, large and almond-shaped, are mysterious, even seductive, compelling me to look more closely at the precise facial details, the fine nose with perfectly proportioned nostrils, the delicate mouth, the shapely eyebrows, and the fine black eyelashes. Surely the work of a master sculptor, McKenney, the artist, who surprisingly has only spent a short time working in resin, the medium from which this captivating doll is made, has not forgone one detail. He explains that to create a doll that he hopes will become a fashion icon, he must insure that every aspect of her likeness be as universally representative of its human counterpart as possible.

Moving from the window to a round wooden table, where a 22-inch resin doll with cascading brown hair sits amid a pile of tiny bronze silk dresses, McKenney shifts our early conversation from the history of the famous Leyendecker image printed on his shower curtain to his personal history of making dolls. Started in childhood but not pursued in earnest until two years ago, McKenney explains that his fascination with dolls began when he was a kid. Raised in Lancaster, PA, he and a friend experimented with puppet-making, and he grew enthralled with the idea that ”he could control something outside himself.” While puppet-making was pursued for some time, McKenney’s artistic talent, especially his visual sense, would inevitably seek out and find other modes of expression. In 1999, McKenney left his hometown to study photography at Parsons School of Design and soon began working as an assistant photographer in the New York City fashion scene. After noted success, he decided to leave the world of high-fashion photography to pursue a full-time career in illustration. Serendipitously, while on a bus traveling from New York to Boston, he drew a picture of ”a girl with hat and bird wing”—just a sketch, really, a whimsical image, the product of a fine imagination, yet, in the end it was more than merely sketch: the drawing would set in motion a creative

”The face,” he continues, ”needed to be something that was easily changeable, something that could be innocent, sinister, glamorous, seductive, playful; it needed to reflect the feeling of the clothes without overpowering them.” The face, however, particularly its structure and proportions, is not drawn entirely from McKenney’s imagination— Pidgin’s face is based on the face of model Kate Moss, something that McKenney discloses openly: ”I love Kate Moss’ face,” he offers.” It can be made up to look many different ways, but it never loses that mystery or appeal or human-ness, and the structure of it is ethnically ambiguous.” Looking at a photograph of Moss’ face, I find that McKenney’s observations are true: Moss’ face is not only universal, it is also chameleon-like, adapting in expression at each turn. Quite simply, she is ordinary and extraordinary at the same time, transcending the style and mood of the clothes she is wearing. Pidgin, like Moss, projects that same duality of being both otherworldly and earthly, because as McKenney believes a doll ”should be a representation of something greater than fashions labels, a representation of something cultural but also individual.” He continues, ”In short, she should be a symbol that embodies an idea of fashion instead of a set style, and for that to happen the doll must be both extraordinary and ordinary.”



To achieve that balance between fantasy and reality, high fashion and street fashion, McKenney relied on his years as a fashion photographer and photographed Pidgin as if she were a living model, posing her in expensive clothes and in venues we have come to associate with high- fashion photography—warehouses, on the waterfront, and of course, in front of grand architecture, including Lincoln Center. Looking at Pidgin’s portfolio. Pidgin is extraordinary and ordinary at the same time, a beautiful contradiction that will change our concept of what a fashion doll is. She is ordinary and extraordinary, certainly an icon devoid of any label. Pidgin was not created with children in mind, but McKenney does have a good point when he says that ”dolls are something that a child puts a lot of love and attention into. To give a child a cheap throw away doll that they are never going to be able to have as an adult is kind of a give a child something to love that they will have forever, will create a special connection between them and that doll.” For more information about Pidgin, please visit her at:


BASIC SUPPLIES BY GRADE GOOD TO HAVE: Old Magazines for Collages A Good Planner Treats for Good Grades An Artists Eraser for BIG mistakes

PRE-K 1 Soft Lunch Box 1 Small Backpack 1 Pencil Case 1 Box of Wipes 1 Pack of Glue Sticks 2 (3) Hole Pocket Folders 1 Pack of Water Based Markers 1 Ream of Colored Copy Paper 1 Wide Ruled Notebook 1 Box of Kleenex 1 Pack of Crayons 1 Pack of Construction Paper 1 Pair of Round Tip Scissors 1 Bottle of Elmer’s Glue

KINDERGARTEN 1 Soft Lunch Box 1 Small Backpack 1 Large Soft Pencil Case 2 boxes of 24 regular crayons 4 Elmer’s glue sticks 2 Elmer’s glue 4 oz. 1 pair of safety scissors 1 marble composition book 2 boxes of #2 pencils 2 erasers 6 folders with pockets




1 Soft Lunch Box 1 Small Backpack 1 Large Soft Pencil Case 1 box of 16 crayons 5 composition notebooks 4 folders with 2 bottom pockets 24 #2 pencils pre-sharpened 1 pair safety scissors 2 erasers 1 covered pencil sharpener 2 large glue sticks 1 standard 12 inch ruler 1 box of 12 colored pencils 1 pack of washable markers 1 bottle Elmer's glue

7 composition notebooks 7 folders with 2 bottom pockets 12 #2 pencils pre-sharpened 1 covered pencil sharpener 1 pair safety scissors 1 glue stick 1 standard 12 inch ruler 1 box of 16 crayons 4 pads of yellow post-it notes 1 roll scotch tape 1 bottle Elmer’s glue 1 red medium stick ink pen 1 yellow highlighter 1 supply pouch



6 composition notebooks 6 folders with 2 bottom pockets 12 #2 pencils pre-sharpened 1 eraser 1 covered pencil sharpener 1 pair safety scissors 2 glue sticks 1 standard 12 in ruler 1 box of 16 crayons 1 box of 12 colored pencils 1 pack washable markers 1 roll scotch tape 1 bottle Elmer’s glue (4 oz.) 1 supply pouch

8 marble composition notebooks 8 plastic folders with 2 bottom pockets 12 #2 sharpened pencils 1 covered pencil sharpener 4 packs of post it notes 1 bottle of glue 2 Elmer’s glue sticks 1 yellow highlighter 1 pack of 12 pre-sharpened colored pencils 1 pack washable fine line markers 1 pair safety scissors 1 standard 12 inch ruler with centimeters 1 box of 24 crayons 2 blue erasable pens 2 black erasable pens 2 red erasable pens 1 roll of scotch tape 1 plastic supply box 1 package of wide ruler loose leaf paper

7 composition notebooks 3 folders with 2 bottom pockets 1 box of 24 crayons 12 #2 pencils pre-sharpened 1 pack washable fine line markers 1 standard 12 inch ruler 1 pack of odorless d r y e r a s e m a r ke r s (red,black,blue) 4 pads of yellow post-it notes 6 black medium stick ink pens 1 red medium stick ink pen 1 yellow highlighter 2 packs of wide ruled loose leaf paper 1 plastic supply box 1 scissors 1 pack of 12 colored pencils 3 Red Pens 1 Ruler 1 Pa c k a g e o f Pe n c i l Crayons 2 1” Binders 8 Subject Dividers 1 Scientific Calculator 1 Geometry Set 1 Pocket Dictionary 1 Pencil Sharpener 3 Highlighter Pens








12 #2 Pencils 2 Glue Sticks 1 White Glue 1 Pink Erasers 1 White Eraser 1 pack washable fine line markers 1 Pair Scissors 1 Pencil Case 10 Pocket Folders 2 Package Lined Paper 1 Package Plain Paper 4 Lined Notebooks 5 Blue Pens 2 Red Pens 1 Ruler 1 Pa c k a g e o f Pe n c i l Crayons 2 1” Binders 8 Subject Dividers 1 Scientific Calculator 1 Geometry Set 1 Pocket Dictionary 1 Pencil Sharpener 3 Highlighter Pens

12 #2 Pencils 2 Glue Sticks 1 White Glue 1 Pink Erasers 1 White Eraser 1 pack washable fine line markers 1 Pair Scissors 1 Pencil Case 10 Pocket Folders 2 Packages Lined Paper 1 Package Plain Paper 4 Lined Notebooks 10 Blue Pens 3 Red Pens 1 Ruler 1 Pa c k a g e o f Pe n c i l Crayons 2 1” Binders 8 Subject Dividers 1 Scientific Calculator 1 Geometry Set 1 Pocket Dictionary 1 Pencil Sharpener 3 Highlighter Pens

12 #2 Pencils 2 Glue Sticks 1 White Glue 1 Pink Erasers 1 White Eraser 1 pack washable fine line markers 1 Pair Scissors 1 Pencil Case 10 Pocket Folders 2 Packages of Lined Paper 1 Package of Plain Paper 4 Lined Notebooks 10 Blue Pens 3 Red Pens 1 Ruler 1 Pa c k a g e o f Pe n c i l Crayons 2 1” Binders 8 Subject Dividers 1 Scientific Calculator 1 Geometry Set 1 Pocket Dictionary 1 Thesaurus 1 Pencil Sharpener 3 Highlighter Pens 1 Agenda Book, Student Planner 3 Highlighter Pens

12 #2 Pencils 2 Glue Sticks 1 White Glue 1 Pink Eraser 1 White Eraser 1 Pair Scissors 1 Pencil Case 10 Pocket Folders 2 Package Lined Paper 1 Package of Plain Paper 10 Blue Pens 3 Red Pens 1 Ruler 2 1” Binders 8 Subject Dividers 1 Geometry Set 1 Pencil Sharpener 3 Highlighter Pens 1 Agenda Book, Student Planner 1 Stapler 1 Staple Remover




OPPOSITE PAGE Jacket: Hatley Kids Shoes: Bensimon Socks: Le Big

THIS PAGE Pencil Case: Blue Q

THIS PAGE: from left: Decomposition Book: Michael Roger, Hello Hello IPhone 5 Slim Case: Rifle Paper Company, Snack Bags: Paper Source, Crayon Sticks: Color Appeal, Bicycle Pencil Toppers:, Mini Post-it's. Reusable Lunch Bag: Fluf, Paperblock Canvas Case: Papersource, Scissors, Stay Sharp Graphite Pencils , Orange Bendy Straw, Yummy Yummy Scented Markers: Paper Source, Yellow Masking Tape. OPPOSITE PAGE: Shirt: E For Effort, Pants: Chloe Kids



OPPOSITE PAGE Shirt: Stella McCartney Kids, Pants: Benetton, Shoes: Chooze Dance

THIS PAGE Taco Pencil Case: DCI


THIS PAGE: Robotic Gaming System: Sphero, Craft Scrubbie: Inkssentials, Crayons: Stockmar, Watercolor Pencils: Kimberly, Neon Blue: Sharpie, Pastels: Playcolor Instant, Windpower Sketch: Strathmore, Kneaded Rubber Erasers: General’s, EZ Squeezie, Titanium Scissors: Westcott, Play Dough: Eco Kids OPPOSITE PAGE: Dress: Milly Minis, Jacket: Moncler Mayotte



OPPOSITE PAGE Dress: Burberry Kids, Shoes: Birkenstock

THIS PAGE Pencil Case: M.N. Davis & Son


”Wherever you write is supposed to be a little bit of a refuge, a place where you can get away from the world. The more closed in you are, the more you’re forced back on your own imagination.” -Stephen King Looking at the workspace of professional writers, you immediately notice one common thread: the desk. Whether it is cluttered or minimalist, wood or steel, big or small, modern or antique, in a corner or in the middle of the room, the desk is the center of the creators world, the place where she comes to sit and work until the thoughts emerge on the page in harmony. But it’s not just professional writers that need a place to think and create; in this fast-paced frenetic world, children also need a space that they can call their own, a place where they can escape into their imagination and become lost in writing, painting, reading, or building.


CREDITS FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Hairpin Teak Desk - Land of Nod Little Modern Tablel - P’kolino ALSEDA Stool - IKEA

. . . per son al ize


Why do we personalize? Children put their names on clothing; teenagers customize their shoes; people tattoo themselves; and yet we are all alike in some common form. So why do we do it? Is it a form of ”identity claiming” in a world overflowing with mass production? Is it an instinct that resides deep in our nature, one that compels us to create something unique? Maybe it is simply a very common and unremarkable need to make one thing into another thing that makes much more sense to us. To personalize something is to leave our mark, where the mere act of alteration creates a connection to oneself. Whether it is a small drawing on a notepad or a mural on the garage door, it is all a form of customizing the ordinary into something extraordinary. Historically, the marriage of creativity and necessity would spawn a need to personalize. In the middle ages, knights would have their armor engraved by skilled artisans to distinguish themselves on the battlefield. Monograms would depict wealth, as well as claim ownership to towels and letterhead, to the kerchief gliding gently towards the cobblestones at a gentleman's feet. Even the first Ford Model-T's were customized by farmers, who were able to ratchet together early versions of pick-up trucks. Personalization has become a commercial endeavor in recent years, giving rise to a seemingly endless throng of websites hoping to entice you by allowing you to choose how you prefer your t-shirts, your chocolate, even your nailpolish. Yet, these mass-produced options can still leave us feeling like everyone else. And so, we eventually turn away, taking on the task of creating, or recreating, our possessions into something definitively, and expressly, our own. Remarkably, it is primarily children who seem to live for making something their own. As they discover themselves, modify their surroundings, and change their belongings, they are, in fact, enlisting the help of their environment to define not just who they are, but where they are in this great big world. It gives them a sense of ownership. It gives them a place. And it defines their character. You will often hear a younger child say ”this is mine” as they scribble their name on the kitchen cabinet. This raw and unrefined creative energy combined with a strong desire to be an individual is essential to their spirit. So the next time your child draws on their favorite toy or writes their name on an expensive item, try a different approach rather than chastising them. Instead, maybe ask them why they did it. Their answer might just surprise you.


”...this is the Happy Meal of Despair...”

Rodney Sterbenz as told to Fred Upton

The worst lunch ever What grade were you in?

From your kind, loving mother...

I was a senior in High School, actually.

[Laughs] Yeah. It was intolerable.

A senior?

Fast forward to’re in the cafeteria with your friends...

Yeah. And was your mother in the habit of making her 17 year-old son school lunch every day?

I take out the ziploc, you know, pull out the sandwich, and I immediately notice there's nothing on it. Like no mayo or mustard?

No, no, no. When I was little, sure. In Elementary School. But not when I got older. Maybe by 5th Grade, 5th or 6th, it had stopped. I have to say I was kind of hoping for peanut butter and jelly with the crusts cut off. Right? No. Not at seventeen. It had been years. This was out of the blue. Yet, no alarm bells went off... Honestly, I was probably more embarassed by the sentimentality of the gesture. Worried she was going to start crying or something. I think I thought she just did it to be nice. But at that age, you’re absolutely mortified by any display of affection by your parents. At least I was. She’d even put my initials on the front; her little nickname for me. I couldn’t get out of the house fast enough..

Like no anything. No meat. No lettuce. No salami or cheese. It's just two plain pieces of bread. So it's not really a sandwich... More like the illusion of a sandwich. Except I reach in to see what drink she's given me, and I pull out a brick. You hadn't noticed a brick in your lunchbag? No, it was, like, just the corner of a brick. The end. But squared off, so it was perfectly shaped and weighted to feel like a juice box through the bag. Which is kind of genius, if you think about it. If you wanted to do something like that, sure. It's not a bad route.

I guess I'm a little unclear at to which part of our basic food groups are being represented here. Well, I look back inside the bag and the only thing left is.. I see this folded piece of looseleaf. A note. Addressed to ”Mommy's handsome little angel,” in huge letters, right across the top. ”I love you. You’re my big strong boy.” Then by the time I notice the hearts and the words ”smoochie kisses,.” it was too late. Someone ripped the note out of my hands. Were you thinking: mental illness? Were you thinking: this is the Happy Meal of Despair? Were you thinking: ”You know, I AM Mommy's handsome little angel?” [Laughs] No, as thin-skinned as I am, I do have an exceptionally silly sense of humor. Which, coincidentally, I attribute to my mom. And that respect has made this one of the most amazing practical jokes she has ever played on me. I can't imagine even being able to get that bread into a ziploc, I would be laughing so hard. So while it was, in truth, the worst lunch ever, it was also, really, this great big bag of perfection.



DO THINGS The end of summer is a time when the air is thick and the sun seems relentless in it’s fervor. Shade is in short supply and you may long for the cool brisk air of fall. Fear not however, the seasons are about to change and with summer will depart the sounds of summer in the city, the late night music, car alarms, and children playing until all hours of the day and night. Now is a time to enjoy the last remaining summer sounds, tastes, and sights so that we can call upon their memories in the cold dark months of winter.


read: the secret life of bees bY sue monk kidd Set on a Southern Bee farm in the 1960's, The Secret Life of Bees is a wonderful coming-of-age story. The novel is constructed around the hazy memory of the young protagonist, Lily Owens, who one afternoon accidentally shoots her mother. The novel offers a myriad of strong female characters all whom all elemental in helping Lily reconcile her guilt and find closure for her mother’s death. If you are looking for a book that will redefine or broaden the meaning of mother and motherhood, then dive in, because this one will not disappoint.

LISTEN: TO A JAZZMOBILE Enjoy free jazz concerts being performed on the streets and in local cultural institutions. » Throughout NYC until August 21st »   One Girl makes ice cream sandwiches with their whoopie pies which are something like cake-y cookies. Then, they are then filled with ricotta gelato (try pumpkin or chocolate). Yum! » 68 Dean Street, Brooklyn, NY 11201 »

r i d e : p r o s p ect pa r k c a r o u s e l fo r f r e e Take an old-fashioned ride back in time, to the golden age of carnival excitement, right in Brooklyn’s landmark Prospect Park. » Thursdays in August (12pm - 6pm)

see: les ballet jazz des montreal This whimsical ballet performance infuses classical ballet with a host of modern styles. Come enjoy a free three-part program featuring works by exceptional choreographers: Benjamin Millepied’s Closer, Wen Wei Wang’s Night Box, and Barak Marshall’s Harry. » Prospect Park Bandshell » Performance at 8pm, August 1st

w atc h : o u r c h i l d r e n (A Perdre la raison)

Based on true events, director Joachim Lafosse tells the tale of the multi-layered dissection of an unorthodox family. Young and full of life, Murielle has a promising future ahead of her when she falls in love with Mounir, and soon weds him. Though as their family begins to grow, so do the tensions between Mounir and his adoptive father Doctor Pinget. And when the wealthy nest her Father-in-Law has provided becomes a prison, Murielle is helpless to extract herself and her children from his oppressive environment. Unable to leave, incapable of stopping the frictions between Mounir and Doctor Pinget from reaching their eventual boiling point, Murielle's desperation only worsens when all sense of reasoning begins to abandon her. (French with English Subtitles) » Opens Friday, August 2nd » Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center 144 W 65th St.
New York, NY 10023


taste: pizza at roberta's in Bushwick Roberta’s Pizza in Bushwick is a haven inside the industrial artists colony of eastern Brooklyn. With a covered patio and garden, wood burning fireplace, and delicious food, you'll find this a welcome respite from city life.

listen: books beneath the bridge Local bookstore ”WORD” reads at Books Beneath the Bridge in Brooklyn. The topic of their outdoor reading is ”5 Borough Blues” with Colson Whitehead (Manhattan) Victor LaValle, (Queens) Kevin Baker (Bronx), Alina Simone (Brooklyn), Shay Youngblood (Staten Island). » Monday, August 5 at 7pm »

watch: pbs' documentary on flea markets

enjoy: dance theater of harlem family street festival

Market.” It’s capitalism mixed with craziness. It’s amazing old stuff, great salespeople, the ancient tradition of the open-air market and the possibility of finding a bargain, uniting shoppers across the nation. » Monday, August 5th at 9PM

Outdoor festival featuring performance showcases, arts & crafts, vendors, food and entertainment. » Saturday, August 10th (12 pm to 7 pm)

see: the avengers on co n e y i s l a n d b e ac h for free

listen: live score to beasts of the southern wild in prospect park

On Mondays during July and August, a giant 40-foot inflatable screen turns the Coney Island beach at W. 10th Street into an outdoor movie theater. Come August 5th, when they will screen The Avengers for all the comic fans in New York City. Capes optional. » Monday August 5th at 7:30 pm

Director and composer Behn Zeitlin teams up with various musical collaborators to recreate his original score to the 2012 film ”Beasts of the Southern Wild” performed live to a new music-less print created for the occasion. Zeitlin’s magical realist fable, set outside New Orleans, became the most celebrated indie film of last year, winning countless awards and four Oscar® nominations including Best Picture. » August 8th at 8PM » for info

l i st e n : m u s i c i n t h e grove for kids Fort Greene Park presents Vered Music, the ultra-cool, hipster-folk music for young kids that includes songs like ”Hands in My Mouth,” ”Bath Time,” and an almost hip-hop version of ”Sunshine” There will be free activities and music for kids. » Wednesday, August 7th from 10-11am

watch: "call the midwife"

read: a tree grows in brooklyn by betty smith

This program from filmmaker Rick Sebak is a celebration of the unusual people and the enticing things that can be found in parking lots, fairgrounds, drive-ins, sidewalks and wherever else someone has posted a sign saying ”Flea

If you have not yet read this American classic about a young girl coming-of-age in early 20th century Williamsburg, then now is the time. Set in the Williamsburg slums, the novel traces Francie Nolan’s formative years as her family struggles with poverty, loss, and broken dreams. Through the Nolan’s daily struggles, we gain a deep understanding of daily life in turn of the century Brooklyn and a deeper understanding of family values, love, and the power of words to inspire and transform.

If Downton Abbey and Mad Men had a baby (pun intended) it would be Call the Midwife. The series , now in it’s second season, is a behind the scenes look at midwives in 1950’s London. Fighting class wars, sexual discrimination, and the inclusion of modern medicine, the midwives deal with the inclusion of gas in the delivery room, breach babies on ships, domestic violence and more tough choices in this lively and beautiful series.


listen: more books! more bridges!

This time, Book Court will host Books Beneath the Bridge at Brooklyn Bridge Park, where Ayana Mathis will read ”The Twelve Tribes of Hattie.” » Monday, August 12 at 7pm »

celebrate: the 8th annual jazz age lawn party Michael Arenella and His Dreamland Orchestra will host the beloved Jazz Age Lawn Party on Governors Island. Now in its eighth year, the event has become the quintessential outdoor celebration of the Jazz Age and its living legacy. » Saturday and Sunday, August 17 + 18 »

read: and the mountains echoed bY khaled hosseini

surface of familial bonds, and exposes the quixotic nature of familial responsibility. And while brothers and cousins and mothers all have their respective roles, so do heartbreak, deceit, betrayel, and sacrifice.

see: free outdoor screening of hitchcock's "vertigo" Retired private eye Scottie Ferguson (Jimmy Stewart) battles acrophobia in one final case, trailing the enchanting Madeleine Elster (Kim Novak). Hailed as one of Alfred Hitchcock’s greatest works, Vertigo weaves a dizzying story of love and obsession through the winding streets of San Francisco. In Technicolor, no less. (On the Harbor View Lawn) » Thursday, August 22 at 6pm »

taste: danish cuisine at aamanns-copenhagen

herbs. Children can try the Marzipan cake with rhubarb and yogurt. » 13 Laight Street, NYC

celebrate: back to school jam at bcm Join the Brooklyn Children’s Museum for a Back to School Jam! Celebrate going back-to-school or starting school for the very first time with an afternoon of fun activities. Children can enjoy crafts, snacks, music, giveaways, and more. This celebration helps young children look forward to a new school year and another important stage of learning. » Friday, August 30th (11am —2pm) »

listen: stories from around the world

On Saturdays all summer long for more than 50 years, New York children have gathered around Hans Christian Andersen’s statue at the Conservatory Pond in Central Park to hear his tales told by a fine ensemble of storytellers. Stories are held at ”The Ugly Duckling”, near 72nd Street & Fifth Avenue in Central Park.

watch: art house kids movies at

”So then. You want a story and I will tell you one.” A simple enough premise. But then the focus of Khaled Hosseini’s new novel expands, not only across the globe, but over decades as we follow the path of a family and their choices in life. With it’s multi-perspective narrative, ”And the Mountains Echoed” digs deep beneath the

Aamanns-Copenhagen specializes in smørrebrød, the traditional Danish dish of select ingredients atop a slice of homemade rye bread.You can top this open sandwich with items like Pork belly rolled with pepper and served with pickled cauliflower, parsley and rye chips, Chicken salad with green asparagus, red onion and spring

The Guerrilla Kids International Distribution Syndicate is a distributor of award winning entertainment specializing in titles that cross over between art house and family audiences. They host the The New York International Children’s Film Festival every March, but you don't have to wait that long to see what all the fuss is about. Online, the films range in age from tots to teens, and are an unusual but much welcomed respite from what you normally see on television. » Watch online at


Notable After-School Programs Asphalt Green

Everyday Athlete

Vital Theatre Company

Bonjour New York

Ezra Guitar

WCS New York Aquarium

Bricks 4 Kidz

Free Spirits Music

WMA Karate Corp.

Brooklyn Academy of Music

Juguemos a Cantar

Wyckoff Farmhouse Museum

Brooklyn Arts Exchange


Y at Windsor Terrace

Brooklyn Boulders

LIU Brooklyn

Young Players Theatre

Brooklyn Guitar School

Making Books Sing

Circus Warehouse

Brooklyn Music Factory

NY Kids Club


Brooklyn Explorers Academy

Prospect Kids Academy

Baked in Brooklyn

Children’s Museum of the Arts

Shine! at Hothead Studios

Brooklyn Public Library

Childs Play

Strut Institute

Carmelo the Science Fellow

City Sculpting

New York Skateboard Academy

Construction Kids

Cumbe: Center for African and Diaspora Dance

Textile Arts Center

Brooklyn Fencing Center


The Living Gallery

Art Lab Esaie Couture Design School

Uproar Art



OFFSPRiiNG Magazine August 2013  

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