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lifestyle for the new York mom

Solid as a Rock The Waiting Game

Celeb Mom Secret Weapon: Trainer Tracy Anderson

Home Sweet Home

Take a Peek Inside Writer Jill Kargman’s

Fabulous Digs

Surviving the Admissions Waiting List

Lazy Days of Summer
Managing Your Child’s Free Time

Bethenny Frankel
One Smart, Funny Hot Mama-To-Be!

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For children ages 2.6 - 5.6 years, both separated and non-separated. Outdoor activities include water play and playground. Indoor activities include gymnastics and sports in our state of the art gym, cooking, music, art and library. Our teachers are regular members of York Avenue Preschool and Gymtime Rhythm and Glues and maintain the same high standards that we expect throughout the school year. Have a fun filled summer with Summer Breeze Day Camp at York Avenue Preschool!

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NY Observer Playground • Wed 5/5 • 7.875x9.75

Letter From the Editor


now starring
thru j u l y 2 5 !


Corbin Bleu

pril’s rain showers did indeed bring May flowers ... and this season promises to bring New York moms so much to feel happy about. Like Mother’s Day, a relaxing Memorial Day weekend with the family and the anticipation of a fabulous summer to come. In this issue of Observer Playground, we’re excited to present you with an early taste of what this fun season has in store. I loved sitting down with our cover mom Bethenny Frankel, who proves that it is indeed possible for a pregnant woman to look simply spectacular. Over cups of healthy kombucha tea, we talked about everything! She dished the dirt on the last season of Real Housewives of New York City, her recent marriage to hubby Jason Hoppy and the baby they’re expecting next month. Bethenny doesn’t know whether she’s having a boy or a girl, but my hunch—call it a woman’s intuition—is that it’ll be a gorgeous baby girl! I can’t wait to see her new spinoff, which premieres on Bravo later this year. This issue includes a profile of Rosie Pope, whose fabulous maternity goodies have helped loads of stylish future moms look glamorous. There’s also an interview with celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson, who’s whipped into shape powerhouses like Madonna and Gwyneth Paltrow. Plus, we take a look inside the beautiful apartment of author and mom Jill Kargman. Pick up her latest page turner, Arm Candy. And, you absolutely must pick up a copy of The Happiness Project by Gretchen Ruben. Find out about more of our picks for summer reading on page 30. We loved putting together this sunny and sumptuous issue of Observer Playground—we hope it’s as much fun to read as it was to work on! Have a wonderful summer. See you as the kids head back to school in September.

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Canopic Coffinette of Tutankhamun © 2010

Over 15 Craft & Candy Themed Parties


18 shoppIng lysst 20 on the Blog 22 party 26 FItness 28 hot to tot 30 Books 34 Beauty 38 desIgn 40 real estate 80 MoM’s MInute

47 Bethenny Frankel, MoM-to-Be

Real Housewives of New York-er Bethenny Frankel on her cast mates, her push present and becoming a new mom.
54 InsIder dIgs

Take a peak around writer Jill Kargman’s beautiful New York City home.
58 playground FashIonIstas!

In this issue’s fashion spread, cuties romp, playground-style.
62 parentIng

How much is enough when it comes to free time for your kids?
68 travel

Seven family-friendly day trips from New York City.
t racy to l e r


playground june 2010

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Publisher Jared Kushner President, Observer Media GrOuP Christopher Barnes seniOr vice President sales stephen GoldBerG executive vice President Barry lewis editOr, the new yOrk Observer Kyle pope the new yOrk Observer 915 broadway, 9th Floor new york, ny 10010 212.755.2400

To become a charter subscriber of Observer PLAYGROUND, and receive a full year of the quintessential parenting magazine for over 70% off the cover price, please call 800-542-0420, x2331, and get five issues for just $9.95. It’s the only parenting magazine you need!”
Cover photographed by Tracy Toler; styled by Anna Katsanis. Bethenny wears AlexAnder BerArdi dress, $1,050, available by special order only,; Giuseppe ZAnotti desiGn Clear swarovski Crystal embellished peep-toe pump, $1,195, available in stores by special order,; Alexis BittAr lucite small secret garden hinge bangle in pale olive, $425,; Kenneth JAy lAne gold crystal snake hoop clip earring, $200, 877-953.5264.
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Shopping Lysst
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Whether you’re hinting to your hubby what you’d love for Mother’s day or just shopping for yourself, plenty of indulgent new goodies are out there to crave.

Marissa Alperin Gold Sweet Pea Necklace, $700, Marissa Alperin Studio. There’s something just plain perfect about a little gold pendant. And this pendant is just right for Aurelie Bidermann multi-strand charm bracelet, $1,060, Bergdorf Goodman. If your memories of summer include colorful strands of friendship bracelets tied around your wrists, consider this to be the grown-up version. late spring and summer: a tiny gold pea pod filled with emerald peas. And if your family’s still in the market for a great Mother’s Day gift, it would be best presented by your own little sweet peas. Morimoto Love Knots, $17,000, Mikimoto. Flowers and perfume are nice, but when it comes to the perfect Mother’s Day Gift—let’s be honest girls—it really doesn’t get better than keepsake jewelry. And these stunning earrings are as good as keepsakes get.

Coach Hamptons Washed Canvas Tote, $298, the Coach Men’s Bleecker Street Store. Dior Limited Edition Gold Sunglasses, $1,295, Dior Boutique. It wouldn’t be summer without a great pair of shades, and these bold sparklers from Dior—finished with a logo signature in 18-karat gold—might just be the ultimate pair. You’ll want to live in these. Do you spend every summer hunting for the perfect roomy tote bag to shlep everything to the country, down to the beach and around town? Look no further than this stylish, spacious tote. It is bound to fit the bill.

Voyage d’Hermes, $90, Hermes. Let’s face it: Hermes is essentially the gold standard of elegance, class and quiet luxury. Here’s something to tide you over as you’re saving up for that Birkin: a new fragrance that’s light and woodsy. Plus, it comes in a predictably gorgeous bottle. And it smells as good on your guy as it does on you.


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On the Blogs
w h o ’ s s ay i n g w h at a n d w h e r e

where did our moms go to get the scoop on schools or to vent about crazy mothers-in-law and flaky husbands? Lucky for us, there are a plethora of online communities that cater to whatever needs you may have in the mom department. —Lia Miller
If you’re looking to lose yourself for a little while and find a friend in parenting, visit Writer, advertising exec and two-time mom Liz details it all, from the knock-knock jokes to the sleepless nights. She doles out advice, stumbles through many mom-situations (she’s just like us!) and also manages to give us the roundup on hot-button topics like breast-feeding in public. All without ruffling any feathers to boot. motherloadshow.
Amy Wilson’s blog,, is more popular than ever today. The actress and new author is like an updated Erma Bombeck. Wilson writes on the guilt that mother’s feel at not being perfect, “the mothers (and fathers) you swore you’d never be.” She says she’s been “the snack bringer, the barney fan, the public bathroom freak out-er, the ice-cream-forbreakfast server,” and more. Though a lot of space recently has been devoted to her book, When Did I Get Like This?, Wilson still manages to have new entries on topics like the recent study on obesity and toddlers or whether antibiotics make kids extra cranky (complete with a link to Wanda Pratnicka, exorcist!). The site is easy to use and has lots of action and no “deleter” to police it. It was started last year in response to Urban Baby’s corporate redesign. After 10 p.m. on weekends, it gets rowdy. A random selection of recent posts include the following headlines: “SEXLESS MARRIAGE” (this poster found a whole group of women in similar situations); “Do you think 2 glasses of wine a day, 5x a week (10 glasses total per week) is heavy drinking for a woman/”; “going on a long flight with 1yo daughter, can i give her benadryl? she never sleeps on planes.” And because it’s anonymous, it’s a good place to come if you want tough love. There are lots of heated and silly battles over Obama, status and who’s in the right—working moms or the stay-athomes, but also jokes. The question “Are denim bermuda shorts bad?” was answered with one word, the awesome portmanteau, “Jorts.” Just in time for summer!
The bloggers at have great advice on how to get involved if you want to keep sex education in the curriculum at your public school, bullying and the challenge of spring break boredom. We love this thoughtful site, written by a group of New York City mothers. In March, one contributor (a vegan) made hay of the breast-milk cheese (!) the chef at Klee in Chelsea was serving diners. The milk came from his lactating wife. “My breast milk was for my kids, not for the paying public,” she wrote. “Call me oldfashioned. I am keeping my bodily secretions to myself.” Commenters both agreed (“Just the thought of this gives me the creeps. YUCK”) or decried our hypocrisy (“You have trouble with human consuming human milk but you wouldn’t think twice about drinking milk made for cattle?? These reactions are weirder than the thought itself!”). They are still serving it, if you’re curious.
The site has much stricter policies than its rival,, on what is acceptable chatter or what gets deleted. Rumors have it that Urban Baby lost its edge when CNet bought it in 2008. This site keeps things pretty clean and focuses on questions like “assuming you have nice legs, at what age should you give up shorts? i don’t mean bermuda shorts or hot pants but regular in-between shorts.” Answers: “Here’s to grannies in shorts!!”; “50”; “never wear shorts, unless really short+then only to bed. they are not flattering on anyone (over 21).” Best thing about Urban Baby? It has a great section on what’s going on locally on weekends.


playground june 2010

The Lizards and Snakes Are Back!
ing Featur n 6 0 ha more t ards live liz es! & snak

Lizards & snakes: Alive!
Now Open

Open daily • Central Park West at 79th Street, New York City • 212-769-5100 •
Lizards & Snakes: Alive! is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (, in collaboration with the Fernbank Museum of Natural History, Atlanta, and the San Diego Natural History Museum, with appreciation to Clyde Peeling’s Reptiland.

Veteran party planner Marla Mase (partypoopers. com) recently transformed a client’s backyard into Alice in Wonderland, with a huge tent and a black-and-white floor and dozens of different-size teacups. Then the Queen Of Hearts invited all the children on an adventure. “There were very cool drag queen centerpieces. Everything was totally over the top,” says Mase. Many of the children receiving these over-the-top parties are still in diapers. One couple has big blow-out parties for their two kids, now ages 4 and 6, every year, says Mase. They held one recently with a 1960s theme, with tiny go-go dancers, peace signs and lit-up furniture. “There was a huge candy bar, a huge video screen and really wild entertainment.” Among the performers was a “bubble boy” who came out, blew himself into a bubble and bounced around inside of it. Among older children, Arabian nights themes are becoming more popular; at one such party recently, the ballroom at the Hilton was transformed. “There were ponies inside, and a tiger cub. Alicia Keys sang happy birthday. I would imagine that was half a million dollars, for about 60 kids,” Mase says. Magic is another hot theme. Fantasma Magic has its own theater, with amazing props and magic shows where kids become the official magicians’ assistants. Live birds and rabbits are produced and petted by all. The birthday boy or girl can also be hyponotized—in a fun way! Guests get awesome goody bags, including magic tricks. The two-hour parties cost $1,250 for up to 10 kids ( A Citibabes party can run the gamut. Homes, parks and restaurants are transformed into petting zoos, or parties for pirates or princesses. It even hosts puppy parties, with real puppies. Circus-themed parties have carnival games, popcorn machines, cotton candy makers, photo booths and bouncy castles (from $875 for 15 kids; FAO Schwartz, the legendary toy store on Fifth Avenue, has an array of offerings on a sugar Couture. variety of themes. FAO Schwartz rents out its store several nights a week for parties; the base cost is $25,000. The store’s special party room in the store, for up to 10 adults and 40 kids,
playground JUNE 2010

Birthday Bash
Julie earle-levine explores The Wonderful World of a-lisT Kids’ parTies


IDS’ birthday parties are getting bigger and more extravagant. Whether its renting FAO Schwartz for the night or having a slumber party at the Plaza Hotel, celebrity and well-to-do kids are celebrating, and celebrating big, with incredible invites, to-die-for cakes and festive decorations.

Eloise at the plaza.

Ballet Academy East
Ballet Pre-Ballet Mother & Child Tap Drama Modern Pilates Yoga

has a Toy Soldier as the official party host ( And there will soon be Eloise at the Plaza birthday parties for ages 3 and up. A basic package for eight kids is $500, with extra kids $50 each for up to 18 children; the package includes invitations and thankyou notes, party bags, a birthday book and a cupcake tower. Plus, the hotel is getting a Betsey Johnson– designed suite that is ideal for parties ( Entertainment aside, some parents are splurging thousands of dollars on stunning cakes. For a cake that really steals the show, Penny Stankiewicz, the owner of Sugar Couture in Brooklyn ( can create a “cake story” on any theme you like, from racing cars to soccer. The former filmmaker turned her

BAE Student Company SPRING PERFORMANCE May 21st thru 23rd Featuring "Cinderella's Ball"
Photo: Rosalie O'Connor
Summer Classes and Full-Day Summerdance Program begin June 28th. Call or Email for brochure and information. 1651 Third Avenue, New York, NY 10128 212-410-9140

Programs for Children and Adults - all ages and levels

How and Where the Celebs Party
Madonna and Lourdes get Babycakes—delicious vegan cupcakes free of flour, eggs and dairy. Madge’s favorite: vanilla cupcake with lemon frosting. They cost $44 per dozen ( Suri Cruise gets super parties. For her second birthday, mom Katie Holmes reportedly spent $100,000 on a butterfly theme party, with a special $5,000 butterflydecorated cake, personalized cakes for each guest and a dinner for adults. Gwyneth Paltrow threw a swank princess party in London for Apple’s fourth birthday, but a more low-key Mexican fiesta for Moses’ birthday in New York. He got a superherothemed third birthday party in a backyard in L.A., decorated with dog, cow, pig and zebra balloons. Melania Trump celebrated Barron’s fourth birthday at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, where they ate pizza and Katie Holmes chicken nuggets. and Suri.


SpringTime Samplers
Bilingual Buds announces “Springtime Samplers”– hands-on, project-based, Mandarin immersion classes for kids ages 2-8.
sign up for one or multiple classes

cooking, experimenting, fine arts, and more!

$35 per class

April 27-May 19
(Tues and Weds)

For a list of classes, and to register online, visit

175 Riverside Blvd (at 68th Street)
playground june 2010


Top Five Photo tips
With a background in film and many years spent as a teacher, photographer Heidi Green certainly has a leg up when it comes to photographing N.Y.C. kids’ parties. We asked Heidi to give us her top five tips for capturing the kiddos in action.

If you’re not hiring a professional, you might want to designate one responsible guest to be “photographer for the day” to make sure everything is documented. Then you can relax, enjoy the party and be present with your guests. Focus on the birthday child and make sure to include shots of them with all important friends and relatives (remember both sets of grandparents!). include shots oF the décor; the cake from various angles, balloons, place settings and party favors. These are important aspects that shouldn’t be overlooked, as they add flavor to the album. get down low to capture the kids at their level as they play and interact. This kid’s-eye view gives the photos a sense of reality from their perspective. have Fun with your kids. And that is an order! For more information, please visit:
(left to right) Michelle Marie and Jon Heinemann threw a spooktakular birthday party for their son, Hudson, at doubles in the Sherry-netherland; donny deutsch and amanda lederman celebrated daughter daisy’s birthday at Eli’s Vinegar Factory.

attention to cakes in 2004, and has created them for such clients as Hugh Jackman and Donna Karan. Kids can choose among 500 flavors (red velvet is very popular) and 38 fillings, including buttercream. Prices are $9 to $13 a serving, with a minimum order $400. So whom are these parties really for? “[With] some clients you really feel it is for both the kids and the adults to have fun,” party planner Marla Mase says. “Then there are some parents who are doing it for show. First birthdays can be really elaborate, then sometimes when kids get older, they tone it down.” Or in the case of some Manhattan parents, ramp it up by hiring the penthouse suite at a five-star hotel for a sweet 16 party where the girls have their makeup and hair done, then head out to dinner and a show. But parents can take a more low-key approach. We’re not talking $100,000 to $500,000 for a party. Try out, for instance, the Pirate Parties at South Street Seaport, where kid swashbucklers can commandeer the Seaport’s famed tall ship and learn how to be real pirates by hunting for treasure (212-748-8774). —Julie Earle-Levine

Summer Soirees
Explorers’ Party 17th Annual Family Benefit
WhEn: Wednewsday, May 19, 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. Who: Wildlife Conservation Society WhErE: Central Park Zoo, Fifth Avenue at 64th Street; Co-ChAirmEn: Paige Hardy, Kelly Mallon. ContACt: Michelle Kahn,, 212-310-6668.
WEB sitE:, 718-741-1639. WEB sitE:

The Annual Playground Party at Heckscher Playground is the main fund-raiser for the Playground Partners. Children of all ages enjoy face painting, music and magic. Funds are raised through contributions, underwriting and ticket sales. CmEE Under the sea
WhEn: Saturday, July 24, 10:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. Who: The Children’s Museum of the East End . WhErE: At CMEE, 376 Bridgehampton

The Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) Explorers’ Party is an annual family benefit that celebrates education, wildlife and the joy of learning. This event inspires future generations to understand and conserve the world we live in. The Explorers’ Party raises critical funds for WCS’s Education Programs throughout the world and at our five local parks— Bronx Zoo, Central Park Zoo, Prospect Park Zoo, Queens Zoo and the New York Aquarium. Festively geared toward parents and their children, the Explorers’ Party welcomes more than 250 families each year to the Central Park Zoo. Guests can enjoy live entertainment, a sea lion feeding, a scavenger hunt and hands-on educational activities that introduce kids to the thrill of science exploration. Annual Playground Party in heckscher Playground: Picnic in Your Playground!
WhEn: Wednesday, May 26, 3:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m. Who: Central Park Conservancy Playground Partners WhErE: Heckscher Playground in Central Park ChAirmAn: Kamie Lightburn. ContACt: Hannah Parker, hparker@

Sag Harbor Turnpike, Bridgehampton, N.Y.
Co-ChAirmEn: Natalie Barth, Dana Golding

Scharf, Lauren Goody, Pam Henes, Beth Kojima, Erica Martini, Zibby Right, Amy Tarr.
ContACt: Steve Long,, (631) 537-

8250. WEB sitE:

Premiering in 2009, the Children’s Museum of the East End’s fund-raiser, “CMEE donna Karan Under the Sea,” became a big hit of the hosts Super Hamptons summer season. With more Saturday. than 700 people attending last year’s inaugural Family Fair, CMEE Under the Sea raised $165,000 to benefit the museum. This year, families can enjoy a day of fun, including music, magic and theater performances in the outdoor amphitheater; art activities; face painters; bouncy castles; a petting zoo; and more. CMEE Under the

playground june 2010


Posh Parties

Why should you pay for someones outrageous overhead?


divalysscious Moms hosted a divamoms night out of cooking with Food networks alex guarnaschelli at the devonshire House.

divalysscious Moms hosts a moms’ night out of pampering for Hot Moms Handbook nyC book launch at the paul labrecque Salon.

Haute Mamas & Mamas-to-Be unite at dKny to celebrate the birth of amy Tara Koch's BuMp IT up: Transform your pregnancy Into the ultimate Style Statement.

la Mer kicks of its 2010 World oceans Campaign with a family-friendly screening of disneynature’s oceans.

divalysscious Moms and Michael Bolla hosted “a love, life and after Event.”

Sea helps fund a diverse array of programming at the Children’s Museum of the East End. Super Saturday 12
When: Saturday, July 31. Who: Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. Where: Nova’s Ark Project Water Mill, New York. Co-Chairmen: Patti & Harvey Cohen, Faith & Jeffrey

einstein’s Wild West Family Day Carnival
When: Sunday, Aug. 8, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. Who: National Women’s Division of the Albert Einstein College

of Medicine.
Where: The Ross School (lower campus), 739 Butter Lane,

When a great Haircut and Haircolor is what you really want!
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Bridgehampton, N.Y.
Co-Chairmen: Christie Brinkley serves as event co-chair with

Lauren Anmuth, Mindy Feinberg, Tasha Genatt, Jackie Harris Hochberg, Erica Karsch, Bari Katz, Roxanne Palin. PreSenting SPonSor: Marquis Jet. ContaCt: 718-430-2818; Patricia.

Kogan; Hosted by: Donna Karan, Ariel Foxman, InStyle, along with Kelly Ripa; Sponsors: Donna Karan, InStyle, QVC. ContaCt: Katie Dillon 212-268-1002, Web Site: or
Web Site:

Super Saturday is a fun-filled, family-oriented, daylong fundraiser to benefit OCRF, complete with a one-of-a-kind designer garage sale, kids’ carnival and activities, a raffle and gourmet treats. The most anticipated element of Super Saturday is the fashion garage sale, which includes merchandise from more than 200 of the most prominent designers including Donna Karan, Theory, Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein, Michael Kors, Catherine Malandrino, Diane von Furstenberg, Polo Ralph Lauren, Lacoste and Salvatore Ferragamo. Attended by all ages, Super Saturday 2009 raised nearly $3.4 million for OCRF.

This Western-themed carnival features games, rides and exciting contests, such as a scavenger hunt, freeze dancing, hula-hooping, potato sack races, parent-child tug-of-war, watermelon eating and a water balloon toss. Ongoing activities include a silent auction, arts and crafts, family photos, a giant slide, pony rides, an obstacle course, carnival booths, cupcake decorating, face painting, balloon artists and much more! Proceeds and contributions will fund cutting-edge research studies at the Albert Einstein Cancer Center. Last year’s Family Day event was attended by more than 1,200 children and adults, raising more than $350,000.
Christie Brinkley hosts Einsteins Wild West.

Upper Echelon work at half the cost!!!
CALL 646-573-4856 to book an appointment

For your event to be considered for inclusion in future issues, please send all relevant information to

playground june 2010

Solid as a Rock
go-To girl for CelebriTy MoMs: TraCy anderson, personal Trainer

ant a butt like Gwyneth’s? Abs like Madonna? Courtney Cox’s lithe arms? Yes! That’s why we went to Tracy Anderson, the pint-size trainer who is famous for transforming all these mom’s bodies into those of sexy, sculpted temptresses. Did we work ourselves into a sweaty mess? I won’t lie. But I wanted to find out exactly what we all want to know: How do we get those bodies? Really, is it possible? Here is the good news: Anderson, who runs a sleek, $900-amonth workout studio in Tribeca (Gwyneth is a partner in the business), says moms can transform their bodies at home, by following her Pilatesstyle exercise regime she is now marketing worldwide, and by being strict about food, of course. When I meet Anderson, who is seriously tiny, I comment that she’s compact. “Don’t call me compact. Compact means bulky, do you know what I mean?” She prefers sculpted, which is more feminine. Anderson, who downsized herself from a size 6 to a zero, means business. She was overweight as a young dance student in New York, where she yo-yo dieted and couldn’t shed pounds. Then she struggled with baby weight at 23, after giving birth to her son, Sam, who is now 11. “I couldn’t find a fitness program that worked for me.” Anderson says she did most of her research when she was pregnant. She studied the bodsarah Jessica parker,
Courtney Cox and gwyneth paltrow.


ies of swimmers and classical dancers and looked to Jane Fonda for her hybrid videos of dance and aerobics. “I wanted to be able to have my body be 20 times better after my pregnancy than it was before.” Her sweet spot is helping get back into shape moms who have just had a baby or those with a 3-year-old or older. She trained Madonna, who has described Anderson as her “savior,” for three years straight, and Madge has had two Caesareans. Christy Turlington, Courtney Cox and Sarah Jessica Parker are devotees. And of course, there’s Gwyneth, who writes glowingly of Anderson in her online newsletter, Goop, and went to Anderson after seeing a friend’s results. Paltrow says Anderson kicked her “formerly sagging ass into shape” and is especially good for the “batwing” problem. “The body changes after pregnancy so much. Even if you look great in clothes, people don’t realize the sagging skin, the belly button, the expanding of the back, the connection of the torso to the butt doesn’t look as good as it used to,” says Anderson. She says her formula gets all of that back, and keeps it. She talks a lot about skin tone and getting rid of cellulite. More on that shortly. Let’s talk about Paltrow’s body. Didn’t Gwynnie have a great body before? “Yeah, she had a great body, but now she has a perfect body. We transformed her butt, her legs,
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everything. She worked very hard.” Anderson’s approach is about targeting what she calls the “accessory muscles” that line large muscle groups like the biceps and quadriceps, to achieve an effect that makes limbs lean and bodies “teeny tiny.” Anderson’s programs consist of a total of 3,000 moves mind over matter that get progressively harder to perform. You never use weights more than 3 pounds. I confess that I’ve watched Anderson’s videos, and they were hard for me to follow. Anderson shoots me a “you-need-to-try-harder” look, but I feel better when In-Home Fitness Specialists she tells me it can be hard for women if they weren’t dancers as children. “When I started with Gwyneth, she Mind Over Matter Health and Fitness was founded to provide busy NYC Moms couldn’t dance at all, but now she’s phenomenal.” Gwa service to integrate fitness into their daily lives. yneth also revealed that the exercise really helped her M.O.M’s mission is to provide certified Pre-natal and Postpartum fitness instructors with the postpartum depression she suffered after her specializing in areas such as Personal Training, Yoga & Pilates. second child. “It really eliminated the toxicity for her.” Whether in your home, office or outdoors, MOM trainers are equipped to turn What is the No. 1 celebrity complaint? Skin tone on any space into your own private gym. the stomach. “It’s so hard. Moms think they’ll never be in a bikini again. Moms that gain a lot of weight lose a connection with their bodies.” Anderson herself gained 60 pounds during her pregnancy. “Come on, ASK ABOUT OUR M.I.L.F. BOOT CAMP CLASSES! let’s be honest: The whole body just goes to pot.” But Anderson was able to transform her body within six weeks after giving birth. When Anderson changes people, she says she gets them to their tiniest, leanest, healthiest point. “They live at that point and 10 pounds above. I don’t believe in dieting for life. I don’t believe in never having that piece of cheesecake, glass of wine or carbs.” If you are at the top of the 10-pound zone, if you’ve been really bad, then maybe you’ll get a little cellulite. And yes, you can get rid of it. “There is a formula to it. It’s getChic. ting rid of the layer of fat that can sit between connecConvenient. tive tissue.” Courtney Cox says of the program: “My Smart. butt has lifted, my arms are sculpted and my skin is e rent gorgeous maternity dresses bought directly tight and actually clings to the muscle again.” from top maternity wear designers such as Christian I ask her if she can she really transform anyone, even cheese-loving, gym-lazy me? “Yes! I have spent 11 Siriano, winner of Project Runway. We have the perfect years working my butt off with a very focused question dress for every event on your social calendar – be it a in mind. Can I take any woman from any genetic backWe rent gorgeous maternity dresses bought directly from top maternity wear designers such as a special dinner out. holiday party, wedding, baby shower, or ground? Can I make them tiny, sexy but strong, lean, Christian Siriano, winner of Project Runway. We have the perfect dress for every event on your available online. Come see our extensive collection, only perfect, cellulite-free? Yes, I can.” social calendar – be it a holiday party, wedding, baby shower, or a special dinner out. Here’s the best bit. If you do work hard and transform your body, you can still indulge. “I have a sweet ChIC. Come see our extensive collection, only available online.ConvenIent. SMaRt. every day, but it might be a coconut cacao smoothie one day, or a full blown gigantic chocolate chip cookie the next.” Her favorite? “Cupcakes with butter cream frosting are my favorite thing on the planet.” Sign us up! —Julie Earle-Levine


Chic Maternity Dressing. Without the Investment of Buying.

Chic Maternity Dressing. Without the Investment of Buying.


playground june 2010


Hot to Tot
b y r ac H e l f e l d e r

even if you’ve already bought everything on the camp supply list and turned on the heat in your Hamptons pool, there’s still plenty to get for a stylish, savvy summer. Here are our picks of the hottest necessities and indulgences for you and your brood.

Stylish wheels to accommodate both kids
In: BumbleRide

Double Stroller
out: Cumbersome twin

stroller that’s way too wide for city streets

Weekend treat to reward five weekdays of dietary virtue

Crimson-touched footwear
In: Converse (PRODUCT) RED

In: Minetta’s Tavern Black Label burger

(with chocolate brioche for the kids)
out: Fast-food burger (with happy

love shoes out: Ubiquitous (and uncomfortable) red-soled heels

meals for the kids) Don’t-leave-home-without-it bright summer accessory
In: Sprint’s new red BlackBerry curve out: Colorful exotic skin tote

Summertime skin saver
In: Perricone MD More Than Moisture: sunblock and moisturizer in one easy bottle out: Extra bottles of spf 50 and aloe vera gel

Indulgent Father’s Day gift (that mom will covet)
In: Cowshed’s Bollock’s Massage at Soho House out: A designer leather wallet bought in Soho

Mother-and-tween-daughter bonding experience
In: The Carlton’s hotel’s “13 Things

Recurring weather-related nightmare
In: A rained-out weekend entertaining

to do by 13” package, complete Guilt-free pick-me-up with style
In: L’age de the loose Darjeeling tea out: Single espresso from a fancy Italian coffee bar

with’s Candy Bar visit
out: Inexpensive neighborhood mani-

with extra-bored kids
out: Two consecutive school snow days

pedis, followed by a Pinkberry visit

with extra-bored kids

Mom and Dad’s coordinated timepieces
In: His and hers Bell and

Ross watches
out: A pair of iPhones with

matching covers


playground june 2010

New York Observer ad released111209.pdf



4:41 PM

Breast-feeding moms’ magic postpartum elixir
In: Mamatinis at cocktail hour out: Protein smoothies

at breakfast


Edible treat from a weekend visit to hipsterville
In: Kors d’Oeuvres dips from




the Brooklyn Flea
out: Chocolate-dipped marshmallows from Economy


Candy on Rivington Street Summer’s precautionary parental knapsack addition
In: CleanWell all-natural hand sanitzer out: Kids’ cell phone for the bus ride to day camp


Give her a gift that symbolizes the loves of her life– the Moon & Stars necklace, set with the birthstones of her loved ones.

“What are you wearing” pedicure color
In: Ginger & Liz Draw Blood out: Bright magenta

How to keep in touch with out-of-town grandparents
In: Facebook and Twitter out: Sunday night phone calls

Evocative smell of the early summer woods
In: Atelier Cologne Bois Blonds

lling Now enro er! for summ

Tutoring a and Enrichment

Cologne Absolue
out: Mosquito repellent

1597 York Avenue (b/t 84th & 85th) • 212-828-MATH (6284)

playground june 2010


S u m m e R R e a d i n g S p ec i a l

Our Favorite Summer Reads
Whether you’re packing your bags for the beach or lounging in the yard, a good book is essential. Here’s our round-up of this summer’s must-reads for moms and moms-to-be. —Rachel Smith

The Hot Mom-to-Be Handbook: look and Feel great from Bump to Baby, by Jessica denay This inspiring handbook encourages moms-to-be to feel confident and empowered throughout their pregnancies and beyond. Filled with great ideas on how to make pregnancy stylish, satisfying and fun, this book is a must-have.

Flying lessons, by gilbert Ford This adorable children’s book, written and illustrated by Gilbert Ford, tells the story of a passenger airplane who befriends a flock of doves as they share the airways. The book’s quirky, retro illustrations and heartfelt story of friendship and acceptance will be appealing to children and adults.

When did I get like This? The Screamer, The Worrier, The dinosaur Chicken nugget Buyer and other Mothers I Swore I’d never Be, by amy Wilson This hilarious memoir about the travails of motherhood is both sweet and sardonic. This book will make every mom feel better about the ups and downs of modern parenting.

nicole richie’s must-have bag, the Simone Camille, available exclusively at ron Herman, $975-$1,475,

Bump It up: Transform your pregnancy Into The ultimate Style Statement, by amy Tara Koch From page one, fashionista Amy Tara Koch’s complete guide to pregnancy style will make any mom-to-be want to swap her sweatpants for designer jeans. This cleverly illustrated how-to makes being stylish while “with bump” seem so easy and fun. Our prediction? Soon everyone will be getting pregnant—just for the clothes!

The Happiness project, or Why I spent a year Trying to Sing in the morning, Clean my Closets, Fight right, read aristotle, and generally Have More Fun, by gretchen rubin This charming account of one woman’s many attempts to find happiness will make you want to embark on your own happiness quest. Let Gretchen Rubin be your guide to age-old questions like “Can money buy happiness?” and “Can you blog your way to personal fulfillment?” Just reading this book will brighten your day. And maybe even more importantly, it’ll make you clean out your closets.

The o2 diet, by Keri glassman Is it possible? You can look and feel great while indulging in raspberries, chocolate, avocados and even coffee? Well, according to Keri Glassman, you can be healthy and look stunning to boot. Glassman’s easy-to-use guide gives you the scoop you need on antioxidant-rich foods that will change your skin, your body and your mood.


playground june 2010

The perfect Mother’s Day gifts for your crafty Mom!

The ultimate guide to crafts by the ultimate teacher. This beautifully designed, comprehensive resource contains 200 projects, templates, and detailed instructions for more than 30 craft techniques, including beading, jewelry making, paper cutting, silkscreening, origami, and much more.

A treasury of essential sewing and fabric crafting techniques, including hand and machine sewing, appliqué, embroidery, quilting, dyeing, and printing, plus step-by-step instructions for 150 inspired projects. Included is a CD with print-athome templates and patterns.

Potter Craft


S u m m e r r e a d i n g S P ec i a L of passage and celebrates turning 40 by becoming the sexiest, funniest, most chic and confident woman that you can be. Ringwald, who lives in Los Angeles, where she shoots the ABC Family TV show The Secret Life of the American Teenager, calls herself a “displaced New Yorker.” The mom of three children (Mathilda, 6, and 9-month-old twins, Adele and Roman) spoke candidly about motherhood, her new book and life after 16. —Wendy Sachs W.S.: How did you handle turning 40, and is it as shocking and depressing as everyone warns? Molly Ringwald: It’s really not awful at all. The leading up to it was more traumatic than actually turning 40 years old. I am doing everything that I want to do in my life right now. I am creating my own destiny and have the confidence that comes with experience. Particularly in my case, having always been associated with youth, turning 40 seemed impossible—not Molly Ringwald! Everyone else could turn 40! But not me! And then I turned 40 and I really never even thought about it again. But it did give me the idea of writing this book. And I wanted to write something that showed 40 as empowering and fun. I love the name of your book, Getting the Pretty Back. After having babies, it can be hard to feel sane, let alone pretty. What do this title and this book mean to you? I use ‘pretty’ in terms of an attitude. I think the word pretty is very associated with being young. Pretty is a lightness and an attitude that you lose after years of looking after your kids, and paying the bills, and relationships that weigh you down. I wanted to write a book that would be uplifting and lighthearted and remind us of who we are or who we always wanted to be. Sometimes in life, we do what we are expected to do. But then as you get older you think, ‘I’m not doing what I want to do at all.’ Did you get pulled away and couldn’t find your way back? I love being a mom and am proud of my children, but it’s not all that I am. Very often I think women use their children as an excuse to say, ‘I have no time to take care of myself,’ and then the children grow up and it can foster resentment. I respect stay-at-home moms as much as I do working moms, but it’s important to take care of yourself, however that manifests itself. It can’t be all about your kids. How has motherhood changed you? Is it what you expected? The biggest thing motherhood has done is made me more conscious of time management. I’ve always been very spontaneous and instinctive. I moved to France just because I wanted to. Any big decision in my life has been from the heart, but you can’t do that in the same way when you have kids. I have three kids, and they have schedules. My 9-month-old twins take naps, and that very much affects my day. We have an iCalendar, and we sync up the calendars just to stay organized now. What’s the best part of motherhood and what’s the worst? I find my daughter is an endless amount of inspiration. But she can also be really intense. She’s very cerebral and creative and into art. She reminds me of me how I was into singing and acting as a kid. Your book talks a lot about personal style. Has your daughter inherited your sense of style? Mathilda definitely has her own sense of style. She will actually say to me, ‘Mommy this is your style and not my style.’ The fact that she’s able to articulate it, well, I have to respect that. She puts together outfits that I would never put together, and she looks fabulous.
playground june 2010

no Longer 16 But Still Pretty
gen X Icon Molly rIngWald on Motherhood and turnIng 40

olly Ringwald, the iconic teenmovie queen with her pouty, cherry-stained lips and flaming red hair, who personified our collective mid’80s adolescent angst, has turned 40. For those of us Gen-Xers who identified and cheered on our redheaded hero as she navigated the awkwardness of teenage crushes, the cliques and the mean girls, it’s shocking to realize that Molly Ringwald has grown up. Because, well, then so have we. But fear not, just as Molly guided us gracefully through teenage hell, so too can she usher us into our 40s with attitude and style. In Molly’s new book, Getting the Pretty Back (HarperCollins, April 2010), she pays homage to yet another rite


Tony Award-winning actress LaChanze and Caldecott Honoree Brian Pinkney present a showstopping story and Caldecott Honoree a mother Tony Award-winning actress LaChanze about a day in the life ofBrian Pinkney and her little diva daughter with BIG the life of a mother present a showstopping story about a day inBroadway dreams. and her little diva daughter with BIG Broadway dreams.
—Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review will find a kindred spirit in Nena. This should play to sold-out audiences.”

★ “All young ones who dream of dressing up and performing will★ “aAll young spirit whoNena. Thisdressingplay andsold-out audiences.” find kindred ones in dream of should up to performing
— Reviews, Starred Review to watch the video isit and to watch the song! Visithear the irresistible LITTLE DIVAvideo
and hear the irresistible LITTLE DIVA song!

Book includes CD with original Book includes song original CD withand reading by LaChanze! song and reading by LaChanze!


Don’t miss award-winning illustrator Don’t miss award-winning illustrator Ed Young’s presentation at Ed Young’s ZOO ANIMAL TALES the BRONX presentation at the BRONX ZOO ANIMAL TALES EXTRAVAGANZA on May 23, 2010! EXTRAVAGANZA on May 23, 2010!
Visit Visit for more information.

Visit Visit TeamMoonBear to help save a TeamMoonBear Moon Bear! to help save a Moon Bear! for more information.

makeup artist carlo geraci shares Beauty tips for the season From season to season, we can expect subtle changes in beauty trends—with a slight twist to Carlos freshen and update the look. Unless you were Says lucky enough to have an early spring resort vacation, you’ll want a bronzer. Bronzer is a great way to get the “I’ve been away” look. I’m obsessed with Hourglass’ Bronze ligHt cream bronzer and gold highlighter. It wears like skin and gives you the option to highlight those cheekbones. Now that we’re on the topic of cheeks, I’m loving laura Mercier’s Barely Pink powder blush for more of a subtle cheek and sHu ueMura’s MPink 34 for a brighter flush of color. Bright, bold (almost neon) lips are huge this season—matte, being the new approach to a modern lip! My personal favs are sHiseido Perfect rouge glowing Matte lipstick in RD325, a guava-ish color pink and PK224 is a very safe coral. For you glossy girls, nars easy lover raspberry-colored gloss would be the shear alternative to a bright lip. Moving on to the eyes, keep them toned down with Hourglass’ suede eye-shadow duo: soft shimmering beige and the perfect neutral taupe. This combo brings light to the eyes and keeps them demure. The fastest way to enhance your peepers would be to curl those lashes with BoBBi Brown’s lash curler—yeah, that’s right, I said it! I like this curler better than all the rest. Finish by doubling up on mascara; arMani’s eyes to kill in black or black/brown. Nail color is still muted. cHanel’s traPeze is a lighter taupe with shimmer, ideal for that strappy sandal. My nose is pointing towards francis kurkdjan’s aqua universalis

not In Vein
Writer and mom tatiana Boncompagni exposes the truth aBout Varicose Veins



playground june 2010

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this season, a blend of lily of the valley, lime and bergamot; the smell of Paris in the summer. Spritz yourself with this delicious scent, and then get out there and enjoy the weather!

ome women get stretch marks. Others get cellulite, lopsided belly buttons or saggy breasts. I was lucky; I escaped most of the physical after-effects of pregnancy except for one: varicose veins. And we’re not talking about a smattering of spider veins on the backs of my thighs. Oh, no. We’re talking big, blue and bulging. And painful, too. When my children would sit or play on my lap, I would hold their little feet away from where one of the veins rose, like the Appalachians, from my right thigh, right at miniskirt height. I would bite my tongue to keep from cursing. Obviously, this was no way to live; I had to do something. Dr. Howard Sobel, director of the Skin and Spa Cosmetic Surgery Center, told me that varicose veins result when veins fail to pump blood back up the leg toward the heart effectively, instead allowing blood to flow back down and pool inside the tributaries beneath. This pooling causes the veins to expand and become visible underneath the skin. This is the case with both larger varicose veins and smaller spider veins. Spider veins are by far the most common, with up to 50 percent of women developing them by age 50. By comparison, only 10 to 20 percent of women develop varicose veins—which are characterized by a blue, ropey appearance—by the same age, says Dr. Sobel. Varicose veins run in my family, which means I’m genetically pre-

disposed. Aside from genetics, the biggest factor in developing varicosities is (surprise, surprise) pregnancy. “During pregnancy, you have more blood circulating in the intravenous system, increasing weight in the uterus, which slows circulation in the legs, and hormones that have an overall loosening effect on the vein walls,” explains Dr. Luis Navarro, director of the Vein Treatment Center in New York. Many doctors also believe that women who have extra estrogen and progesterone in their body because they are on hormone-replacement therapy or birth control pills may be at increased risk of developing varicose veins. What doesn’t seem to cause varicose veins? Crossing your legs. (Hear that, Mom?) “That’s an old wives’ tale,” says Dr. Robert Weiss, an associate professor at Johns Hopkins University and the director of the Maryland Laser, Skin and Vein Institute. “Everyone crosses their legs, and a lot of people have varicose veins, so when two common things occur at the same time, people sometimes see a causation link where there isn’t one.” My mother might have been wrong about crossing my legs, but it turns out she was right about wearing compression stockings, which I didn’t do. Dr. Karyn Grossman, a dermatologist with practices in Santa Monica, Calif., and Manhattan, says she wore compression stockings during both her pregnancies and counsels all her pregnant patients to do the same. “Compression stockings offer graduated external support to help constrict dilated veins to decrease reflux of blood from the deep to the superficial veins and propel blood to the heart,” says Dr. Sobel. (A good online source is Other preventative tips include elevating legs while resting (gravity helps blood drain back toward the heart, giving veins a chance to rest) and not wearing heels for long periods, says Dr. Weiss. Unfortunately, these precautions only do so much. Because of the severity of my case, I was a candidate for an endolaser procedure as well as what’s known as a mini-phlebectomy. My surgery was lightening quick. I went in for a short procedure and then the mountain chains and blue rivers were gone. I wore short skirts with abandon, let my kids crawl on my lap to their hearts’ content. … But then I got pregnant again. And guess what? They’re back. In different places, and not quite as bad—because I’m wearing those darned stockings. Well, at least now I know they’re fixable. Tatiana Boncompagni is the author of two novels, Hedge Fund Wives and Gilding Lily.
playground june 2010

The United Nations International School

UNIS Summer Program provides recreational, academic & enrichment activities for children 4 and 14 years old, in a friendly and supportive environment that fosters friendship, develops sportsmanship and is nurturing in spirit. Office of Special Programs 24-50 F.D.R. Drive (& 25th Street), NY 10010 Tel #: 1-212– 584-3083

Apply On-line TOdAy!


* 860-361-6285

eSTB. 1997

The setting is naturally beautiful and the enthusiasm of the students is contagious. – Dave Liebman

KenT SchOOl KenT, cT

A life changing musical experience.
Jul 11-16 * Jul 18-23 * Jul 25-30 * Aug 1-6
Teaching arTisTs include

muSic direcTOr Don Braden, saxophones BASS Nilson Matta Avery Sharpe

drumS Charpi Persip Matt Wilson piAnO Junior Mance Rachel Z

SAxOphOneS Claire Daly Wayne Escoffery TrumpeT Russ Johnson Claudio Roditi

VOcAlS Carla Cook Shelia Jordan And mAny, mAny mOre
*subject to change


SAVe *The * dATe

{ Litchfield Jazz Festival
15Th AnniVerSAry Of The

AuguST 6-8, 2010


into the present and keeps you from getting caught up in unproductive thoughts and worries. 2. List three things per day for which you are grateful. Focusing on what you have and what you’ve accomplished is far more productive than thinking about what you don’t have or what more you should be doing. crease inflammation in the body, increase alkaline levels and keep blood sugar levels even, reducing sugar cravings. My favorite is Green Love from Organic Avenue ( 4. Eat every three hours. 5. Chew your food 24 times. 6. Don’t eat after 8 p.m. Wait 12 hours before eating again. Fasting rests the intestines and allows you to detoxify.

1. Take out all processed food or any-

1. Jump on the Urban Rebounder (www. 25 minutes a day. This mini-trampoline is convenient, easy, fun, improves digestion, enhances the lymph system and isn’t hard on the joints. Do it before your kids wake up in the morning or when you’re on the phone with your mother. 2. Work your core three to five times a week. This is the most important strength training, as it supports the spine. 3. Sweat everyday. Skin is your largest organ. Sweating detoxifies the whole body. Try spending 5 to 20 minutes in a dry sauna. —Zibby Right

Magen Banwart.

Secrets to Sanity
GuRu MAGen BAnWARt ShAReS heAlth AnD WellneSS tipS foR MoMS

agen Banwart, founder of MB Fitness, is one of Manhattan’s bestkept secrets. A wellness, fitness and nutrition guru, Magen has been helping New York City moms for years with her holistic approach, from teaching unique classes like Yin Yoga at Physique 57 ( to running her Best Body program and wellness retreats. A lifelong fitness buff and former competitive runner, Magen turned to yoga, meditation and nutrition after an injury. She never went back. I asked Magen to share some of her proprietary techniques for helping moms like me keep their crazy lives in balance. If only I’d asked earlier!


thing white (flour, sugar, rice). You will likely lose 5 to 10 pounds, you’ll have more energy, your skin will look better and you’ll be a nicer person. 2. Limit coffee and alcohol. They deplete your energy, lead to cravings and often trigger bingeing. Instead, drink more water. Most people walk around with a low level of dehydration. Minor symptoms include fatigue and hunger. If you’re hungry, and you’ve eaten within the past two hours, drink some water and see if it dissipates. 3. Drink organic green juices 30 minutes before meals. Green juices are nutrientdense and improve digestion. They de-

VIP Skin Care
Want to glow like a Hollywood hottie? Michelle Williams, Denise Richards, Amber Valetta and others trust their skin to one of Hollywood’s top skin doctors, Dr. Harold Lancer. Dr. Lancer shared the skin care tips that Hollywood royalty rely on. Q. Dr. Lancer what should all New York moms be doing everyday to get that Hollywood glow? A. New York City moms need to follow either the anti-acne or the anti-aging Lancerx Method. The three-step program in conjunction with lifestyle modification can produce magnificent results. Q. If there’s one of your products all moms should not be without, which one would you say it is?A. The Lancer Polish is of supreme importance and no mom can live without it. Q. What’s the one beauty secret you can share with us moms about our skin? A. Skin care for moms includes the first step of making time for yourself. You can take care of yourself and be a great mother at the same time; one does not exclude another. Further information can be found at

1. Breathe. Short breaths put your body in fightor-flight mode. Deeper breaths (four to six seconds in and out) send the body a message that everything’s O.K. and calm the nervous system. Plus, paying attention to breathing brings you

Got Glow? Denise Richards, Amber Valetta and Michelle Williams.


Smile Mavens
Whether you’re talking to the glamorous Beyoncé knowles or scruffy-on-purpose Brad pitt, one of hollywood’s obvious must-haves is a beautiful white smile. americans revere beautiful smiles. think about it: julia roberts, Cameron Diaz, miley Cyrus—their smiles just make us want to smile. When it comes to getting the teeth you want, it appears that all roads lead to the same place: the office of cosmetic dentists marc Lowenberg, gregg Lituchy and Brian kantor. We sat down with Dr. Lowenberg and asked him our five most pressing smile questions. Who is a good candidate for a smile makeover? Mark LoWenberg: anyone who doesn’t like the way their smile looks is a good candidate. the most dramatic results are in the “aging” smile whereby the teeth have gotten darker over time and teeth have chipped or moved with age and use. often a “smile makeover” can make you look younger because whiter, healthier-looking teeth are more youthful-looking, and make for a more appealing smile. What is a good smile vs. a bad smile? in today’s world, a good smile is one that looks healthy and white. almost every celebrity has beautiful white teeth that show broadly when they smile. We look for specific things in a good smile. the color is white and clean-looking; the shape of the teeth is attractive and presents as even throughout the mouth; oftentimes, a wider smile is deemed more attractive (i.e.: julia roberts, Cameron Diaz, matthew mcConaughey). a bad smile is one that exhibits any of the following: stained, dark or discolored teeth; chipped teeth; spaces between the teeth or crooked teeth. What kinds of cosmetic procedures can you choose among? people who have a good smile but whose teeth have darkened over time can try bleaching or whitening their teeth, but otherwise the only way of changing your smile is with porcelain veneers. Is it possible to get the smile you want? you have to be realistic about your expectations. everyone cannot have a julia roberts smile. the dentist has to take into account facial bone structure, the size of the mouth and the size of the teeth. if you are realistic, then you absolutely can get the smile you want. once you have the smile you want, is there a lot of upkeep? Veneers, if done properly, will last for up to 20 years. they are treated exactly like normal teeth and need to be cleaned professionally every four to six months like regular teeth. no different than your own teeth. to make an appointment with one of these über-dentists: 212-586-2890. —Lyss stern
The Three Mouthkateers: (left to right) dr. lituchy, dr. lowenberg, and dr. Kantor.

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for insurance purposes. But we lost something in the process. Look back at the adventure playgrounds in Central Park, post–World War II, and you will see these amazing playgrounds built out of found stuff because that was all that was available.” Take the subway north to Union Square and you will find an equally intriguing playground—the Union Square Park Playground. The 15,000-squarefoot space features futuristic climbing structures; a sandbox with a water-play ledge and fountain to make mud; checkerboard flooring made of interlocking rubber tiles; and a stainless-steel talk tube, where kids can stand on opposite sides of the park and hear one another speak. The state-of-the-art playground and its surrounding landscape is the work of Matthew Urbanski, a principal at the landscape-architecture firm Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates. Every aspect of the playground, from the three distinct outdoor “rooms” created for three different age groups to the futuristic nature of each installation, was chosen to enhance a child’s play experience. “We wanted to provide a complex layout for imaginative play,” says Urbanski, who chose Japanese cryptomeria, a skinny evergreen, over simple planters. “This way,” he says, “kids can imagine they are playing in a forest.” It’s all about stretching the imagination. —Wendy Straker Hauser

a rendering of the burling slip imagination playground. below left, architect david rockwell. right, kids test out the new equipment at a playground in brownsville.

The Future Is now
Monkey bars and swing sets? passé. the future of playgrounds is now


rchitect David Rockwell might make his living designing glamorous spaces like the Kodak Gallery Theater or Jet Blue’s J.F.K. terminal, but it’s his latest project, the Imagination Playground at Burling Slip in South Street Seaport, that has him acting as giddy as a schoolkid. “I grew up in a world with lots of sudden changes and transitions and the key creative lifesaver for me was play,” says Rockwell. “A lot of my play consisted of making things. We had this really dilapidated garage and that was sort of my play laboratory where I would take doors and handles and objects that I would find around me and use those to create things.” The Imagination Playground is an 18,000-

square-foot space that acts as a constantly changing village in which kids can make something, take it apart and start over the next day. With more than 250 custom-designed loose parts; a sand and water station where kids can create and destroy mud sculptures; a chalk board on the ground that is constantly changing; and a large amphitheater with oversize balls that kids can roll around, this is not your everyday play space. “I am a big fan of monkey bars and swing sets with my kids,” says Rockwell, who has a boy, age 10, and a girl, 8. “But there are a lot of them around. We thought of this as an alternative to things that already exist.” It was Rockwell’s experience as a child living in Mexico that inspired him to build an entirely new kind of play space, a project that took him more than five years to create. “When you look at the history of playgrounds, it was in the mid-’60s that play equipment started to get more fixed,” he says. “Part of it was the litigious nature of the world, and

Where to Go
ImagInatIon playground At Burling Slip in the South Street Seaport area of New York City. Scheduled to open summer 2010. unIon Square park South of the Pavilion, on the north side of the 16th Street Traverse, from Union Square East to Union Square West. Open now.


playground june 2010

Todd PliTT; AxonomeTric

Labor of Love
It only takes a pregnant pause for Rosie Pope to pop out a baby. And a store on Madison Avenue Rosie Pope is the kind of woman you would love to hate, if it weren’t for the fact that she is so darn nice. The 5-foot-9 blond bombshell with hazel eyes and a soft British accent just happens to excel at everything she puts her mind to—even when she has no idea what she’s getting into. “Thank goodness,” Rosie admits. “if i knew what i was doing when i started any of these things, i would have been too scared to do them.” By “these things,” Rosie is referring to her past careers as an alvin ailey ballet dancer, a fashion model for international magazines, a columbia University medical student specializing in neuroscience and, of course, her latest incarnation as the creator and designer of Rosie Pope Maternity. it wasn’t until Rosie became pregnant with her son, J.R., now 19 months old, that she decided to launch her own maternity line with a boutique on Madison avenue, which coincidentally opened its doors on labor Day of last year, the same day her son was born. “The business was actually my husband’s idea,” she says. “all of our friends were having babies and complaining that there were no good designers out there. i’d always made my own clothes, but when my husband suggested i start my own line, i thought he was crazy. One week later, i found out i was pregnant, whereupon i thought he was a genius. i was so shocked that in this day and age, it was still so hard to find good, stylish maternity clothes. So i set out to make it my mission.” The result was a chic collection of ready-to-wear evening and couture pieces designed for all stages of pregnancy. Within weeks, amy Poehler, ashlee Simpson and Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford became big fans—and with them, so did the rest of new York city. The fabulous store, with oversize cushioned seats in every dressing room, high dramatic ceilings and glass chandeliers, features everything from stylish button-up shirts to silk blouses, suits and cashmere sweaters. “Our motto is that every day is your baby shower,” says Rosie, who offers her customers a complimentary car service and greets them with cakes, candies and virgin “mimosas,” a mix of papaya and mango juice served in champagne flutes. “We feel that it’s hard enough to get outside when you are pregnant, especially in new York city, where the weather is temperamental.” So how does this fashion-minded maternity designer mogul balance work with the trials and tribulations of motherhood? it all comes down to scheduling. “everybody knows that you cannot get me on the phone between the hours of 6 a.m. and 9 a.m. or 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. i have to always give my son breakfast and dinner and put him to bed; it’s the only way i stay sane.” —Wendy Straker hauser

Michael Fine

playground june 2010


Real Estate

Building from the ground up and including ample seed: developers catch on to the private-lawn trend. left: the visionaire.

Grass Is Greener In Your Yard
no grass growing under developers in race to sow some seed

dward Curtin, father of two, mows the lawn on Saturdays. With his power mower, Curtin carefully avoids the swing set and basketball hoop installed in his backyard, where his son Danny learned to pitch as a Little Leaguer. Butterflies swoop. Birds chirp. Last year, a family of cardinals built a nest in the backboard of the hoop. There will be fireflies tonight. It would be the idyllic suburban summer day except the Curtins live in a co-op at East 36th Street and Lexington Avenue, and the cardinals did not get a buildings permit for that nest. “The fortunate thing is that I don’t have to keep up with the Joneses,” says Curtin of his turf. “No one’s really looking over the fence and saying, ‘Hmm, his lawn is getting a little long.’” Be warned, Mr. Curtin. Somewhere in the western skies, Giancarlo Chicco might be mowing his lawn right now. Italian Chicco and his British wife, Claire, live high above the Hudson at 120 11th Avenue. The sliding glass doors of


their steel and stucco house, one of two plopped on top of a century-old Lifesavers factory, open onto an incredibly lush private grass lawn, where the Chiccos’ four children play soccer. American soccer, that is. “I have them help me work outside; they help plant flowers when we do the annuals, and they helped me plant the tulips, fertilize and water the bamboo.” Fertilizer? Gentlemen, start your mowers. The grass is always greener on the other side (of the Hudson), and historically, the desire for a lawn—suburbia’s sodded siren—has propelled New York families out of the concrete jungle. But for a growing number of New York families, this comfort of the ’burbs can be captured right here in the concrete jungle. “Our lawn was what really allowed us to stay in the city,” says Jill Curtin of raising two children in the Curtins’ grassy apartment at 288 Lexington. With private lawns sprouting up all over the city, it’s an option that’s becoming more available to all—and New York City children are raking in the benefits. “A growing body of evidence indicates that direct experience with nature in children’s growing years is fundamental to their healthy development,” says Dr. Cheryl Charles of the Children & Nature Network, who notes that outdoor play in nature contributes to children’s physical, intellectual and emotional health. “Children tend to be happier, healthier

and do better in school; they have more selfconfidence, are more creative and more cooperative. There is even some evidence that children are less stressed when they have exposure and experience with nature.” Once upon a time in Manhattan, “exposure with nature” meant running into a flasher near a fruit stand. Not for families lucky enough to revel in private grass. For Chicco, a private lawn “is almost like having Central Park in your backyard.” Central Park is indeed every New Yorker’s backyard, but a safety land mine for parents, who need to keep vigilant eyes on their children in the vast space. Meanwhile, on the Curtins’ lawn, where many a croquet game has been played, the children “could run outside on their own, dig in the dirt, make discoveries, and I didn’t have to worry about them! They were safe,” says Jill. Safe, and with a doorman to keep out the crowds; on sunny days, it seems like there might be more sweaty New Yorkers in Central Park than blades of grass. Kimberly and Bill Walsh can do the math at a safe distance: They overlook Central Park’s Great Lawn from their really great lawn, a 25-by-25foot grassy area perched atop 225 Central Park West. They purchased their penthouse from Christmas ornament king Christopher Radko in 2007. “The thing we love most about it,” says
playground june 2010

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LLLG_ob_play_5-5-10_v3_Layout 1 4/21/10 3:41 PM Page 1

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Mrs. Walsh, “is that when we go up there, Central Park might be packed,” but the Walshes and their chocolate Lab have a lawn all to themselves. “It only takes a few minutes” to mow, and it’s pretty unbelievable: “Everyone who comes here says, ‘I can’t believe you live here.’ Sometimes I can’t believe I live here either!” With good reason—Manhattan’s private lawns were once rare, usually the result of incredible history, like the tiny clapboard house with a lawn at 121 Charles Street that was transported to the West Village from its original location on the Upper East Side; or design flukes, like a co-op at 224 West 18th Street where the lawn is bigger than the apartment itself. But the seeds of the idea have been planted, and developers are capitalizing on the trend to capture the family market, with 2:16 PM more and more new buildings boasting private lawn space. “A very special handful of new developments have jewel-like parks and lawns open only to their residents,” says Kelly Mack, president of Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group. “Developers of buildings like Manhattan House, 515 East 72nd Street/Miraval Living and Soho Mews have made private parks a central design feature, creating the perfect spaces in which to run around and play, lay out and read a book or enjoy the company of neighbors—and all of this within a completely secure environment.” What does that mean for New York families? Green for less green. Private lawns that used to be available to only the very, very fortunate (like the 25-by-25-foot lawn that comes with the $13,500,000 townhouse currently for sale at 60 West Ninth Street) are now slightly more in reach—and it’s allowing more and more families to stay in the city. “Buyers who might otherwise move to the suburbs are choosing to stay here, and private parks are a fantastic lifestyle improvement for them,” says Mack.

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playground june 2010




evelopers building from the ground up have co-opted the trend. At Columbus Square on the Upper West Side, developer Peter Rosenberg of Stellar

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Management took action on what he sees as “the new trend in roof decks,” building a 30,000-square-foot lawn area at 808 Columbus. Rosenberg, who lives in the rental complex, revels in the phenomenal lawns, often taking his three there children to play. At 808 Columbus, residents picnic and arrange dinner parties, and “a lot of people bring a bottle of wine out in the evening.” Sounds like a perfect play date! Rosenberg has a great homeowner’s pride in his lawn. “I’m really proud of it. I’m willing to put our lawn up against any other condo or hotel in the city. We’re issuing a lawn challenge!” Miraval, Manhattan House, the gauntlet has been thrown. Also in the ring? The Visionaire, a modern, organic condominium in Battery Park, features a roof lawn with views of the Hudson River, built-in grills and individual cabanas. A wholly different kind of grass is for sale these days in the East Village at 425 East 14th Street, where condominium purchasers have access to a rooftop lawn a stone’s throw from a pool. And at the Chelsea Enclave, at 177 Ninth Avenue, residents enjoy privileged access to the Close, an expanse of green running up to the condominium’s Gothic seminary neighbor. If the idea of lawn maintenance makes you say “not in my backyard,” not to worry: Lawn care is included in all of the aforementioned developments’ monthly charges or rents. It’s a good thing, because as Christopher Myers, lead designer of Just Terraces, tells us: “To have an actual healthy life lawn is virtually impossible [in the city]. How do you mow it? How do you fertilize it? Plus, many buildings have very shady setbacks, and grass really loves sun.” And for private homes that do not come with lawn maintenance? Happy, lawn-owning families can draw straws. —Rebecca Morse
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We're all about getting ready for summer in our fourth issue of Observer Playground . Kicking us off is Bethenny Frankel of Real Housewives of


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summer plans … becoming a mom! Plus: Dr. Betsy Schur Levy's tips on managing your child's free time; get inspired when you take a tour of author jill Kargman's beautiful new York City home; our picks for seven fun day trips for the whole kit and kaboodle; and two futuristic playgrounds you and your kids will love to visit this summer. enjoy!

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the fabulous life and times of

spunky, sassy and hillarious! Don’t even think about telling bethenny frankel she can’t have her cake and eat it, too

m o m v e r s at i o n


nant. People always complain about being pregnant. What’s to complain about? I don’t feel tired, hungry and cranky. I feel great, energetic, bootylicious. Jason tells me my tush is juicy. What do you like most about being pregnant? I like that it’s making me dress nicer. I used to always dress like a slob; I love my pajamas. However, now that I am pregnant, I am dressing much more together. I am putting outfits together, getting excited about getting dressed up. Perfect example: Look at me today: I am in an outfit with coordinated shoes. In the past, if I had a photo shoot, I would show up in my flip-flops or sneakers and looking disgusting. Now I am putting myself together and am proud of the way I look, right, Julie? Julie agrees 100 percent. [Julie is Ms. Frankel’s assistant.] I like the not drinking alcohol. I feel that my skin and hair are glowing. I am taking my prenatal vitamins and I am feeling great. Did you set up the baby’s nursery yet? Nope, I am going to get a bassinet for the first three months. Everyone is so wound up about it, I am not going to stress about it, the nursery will happen. Have you done your registry? No, not yet; I just did a wedding registry. I will get to the baby registry before the baby shower. P h oto g r a P h Y b Y t r ac Y to l e r / fa s h i o n st Y l i n g b Y a n n a k ats a n i s
playground june 2010

o call Bethenny Frankel, star of The Real Housewives of New York City, a housewife is really expanding the definition of the word. With a best-selling diet and cookbook under her belt, her first exercise DVD on the horizon and her new spinoff show slated to tape this summer, Bethenny obviously doesn’t rest on her laurels. And she and her new husband, Jason Hoppy, are expecting their first baby this summer to boot. As you’ll learn from our Momversation, nothing has slowed down this mom-to-be. Thankfully, Frankel was able to take a little time out of her busy day to show off her beautiful baby bump and talk shop about pregnancy and being a first-time mom in New York City. —Lyss Stern LS: You must be over-the-moon excited? Bethenny Frankel: Yes, I am really excited! I am not rushing this; I am enjoying being pregnant! I am having lots of fun with being pregnant. My husband cannot stop telling me how sexy I look! What has shocked you the most about being pregnant? That it’s not as bad as people make it out to be. It’s not difficult. I am not complaining. There is nothing hard about being preg-


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playground june 2010


Vince sequined top, $225, Veronique Maternity, Mylo dweck dark blue skinny jeans, $60. Mylo Dweck Maternity: 364 Avenue U, Brooklyn, New York 11223; 718- 333-0420. JiMMy choo Quinze shoe in nude suede/mesh with crystal embroidery, $1,795, alexis Bittar lucite small moon dust hinge bangle in peach, $295.


playground june 2010

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playground june 2010

What stroller do you want? Everyone talks about the Bugaboo, the Quinny. I don’t know. … I want the lightest and the one that’s practical and easiest for on the go. Jason has been looking at all the different strollers; he’s really into finding the best one for us. Are you excited to embrace being a Divalysscious Mom? Yes, cannot wait! I am definitely Divalysscious and cannot wait to be the best mom and a sexy one! Have you hired a baby nurse? Yes, the day I found out I was pregnant, I hired a baby nurse. Are you interviewing nannies? I have not hired a nanny yet. However, I know I need to have a nanny! I cannot work at the pace that I work and not have a nanny. I was actually just thinking about that today: I need to find a nanny. They are expensive, right? Do you think that TV needs a “Real” TV show about “Real NYC Moms”? Ummm, I don’t know. The Real NYC moms, nobody would probably want to watch. What are they going to show, all the lunatics on the Upper East Side? Any mom that is “normal” is not going to want to be on a reality show. What will your push present be from Jason? I have been hinting about Eternity Diamond Bangles. We are on a budget. I want to be able to collect them for each holiday: one for the baby being born, one for Valentine’s Day, one for my birthday and so on. Julie, have I been blatant enough about that hint? Can you make sure he’s on it? Do you think you’re fully prepared to be a mom? Yes, because I am fully prepared for everything in life. I am the type of person that is fully prepared for everything that comes my way. Obviously, there’s a real sexiness to being pregnant. Do you feel it? Beyond sexy. I have never felt so sexy in my entire life. I love being pregnant!
playground june 2010

How do you think being a new mom will affect how you get along with your cast mates? Ummm, I already can tell that me being pregnant has softened my relationship with some of the other cast mates. Ramona has really been overly coddling me and so very supportive. If we are in a taxi, she will make sure that I have my seat belt on. She will buckle me in. Alex has also been great. Oh, and Jennifer Gilbert, one of the newest housewives, has been very kind to me; in fact, just today she texted me and wanted to know if I wanted her breast pump. She wanted to know if I wanted her onesies. A lot of the women are very into their own things, so I don’t expect them to stop the world for me or even think about me being pregnant and/or having a baby. They are all really into themselves. You should be excited raising a child in New York City. Agreed? Yeah! It’s an exciting place with a lot of exciting people. I look forward to walking everywhere with the baby. Everything is accessible to you. Any food cravings? Nothing crazy. I have been drinking a lot of orange juice. Some dairy-free ice cream. I swear if my belly wasn’t big, you would never know I was pregnant. I really don’t have those cravings that everyone talks about. Jason calls me an alien. I can go all day in 5-inch heels and not complain once that my feet are swollen or that I am hungry. Will you breast-feed? Yes, I am going to try. A company called Boob Maternity just sent me some cool breast-feeding tops. I have some sexy lingerie for breast-feeding as well. I also have been using this belly band that plays music to the baby; it’s really cool. Tell me one lullaby you think you will always sing to your baby? Awww, I have not even thought about that yet. Probably “You Are My Sunshine.” Yes I like that song!

Five Favorites
New York CitY guiltY pleasure? Probably one

of my food guilty pleasures are Two Little Red Hens Red Velvet Cake. That’s my favorite, it has to be red velvet and from Two Little Red Hens. Another guilty pleasure is Becca at Haven Spa for massages. It’s a little, low-key spa on Mercer Street. Her massages are the best! loCal park? There’s a park right down on Hudson, and I am sure we will stroll to the parks down on the water. iCe-Cream flavor? I don’t love dairy, but I love Peanut Butter ZigZag by Purely Decadent. It’s dairy free. It will make you cry. It has slivers of chocolate; it’s out of this world! ClothiNg store iN N.Y.C.? Montmartre (named after a hill in Paris which was at one time an artists’ mecca) in the Time Warner Center, and one on Madison Avenue. And I love Michael Kors—so simple and classic and fits me great. saloN to get pampered iN? I am not that high maintenance; I really don’t get pampered. I like to get in and out. My favorite salon is my apartment, seriously. However, if I need to get pampered, I will go to the Peninsula Spa. I love this little room they have with the best mushy, fluffy pillows and the best service. When I am stressed out, I will do my yoga tape. I live for yoga! I also love my facialist, Christine Chin. It’s like torture. She digs in, but it’s the best facial.

final note

“Life does not happen to you; you happen to life. Nothing just comes to you. People think that you’re lucky. Lucky does not come to you; you have to go get it. ”


Kargman and son Fletcher at work. Below left, front door artwork, and right, Tauba auerbach's K.

No Place Like
For the writer, mom and die-hard new Yorker jill Kargman, home is definitely where the heart is
B Y R e B ec c a M o R s e
playground june 2010

The Kargman living room blends classic chic with modern family comfort.

playground june 2010

p h oto g r a p h y b y Da n i e l D ' e r r i c o

he burnished brass door knocker of Jill Kargman’s prewar Classic Seven has two round googly eyes stuck to it—right above a hand-glittered hot pink constructionpaper heart taped to the door. It’s a perfect entrance for the home beyond, where a well-loved Mickey Mouse sits under Tauba Auerbach’s pen-and-ink K that matches the “K” tattooed on the wrist of the lady of the house. Welcome Chez Kargman, where toys, modern art and a fab iTunes library blend together in a fantastic—and totally eclectic—domestic mix. The door knocker may be watching you, but the surveillance stops there in 34-year-old novelist Jill Kargman’s four-bedroom family home, where three mini-Kargmans—Sadie, 6, Ivy, 4, and Fletch, 2—are free to roam, climb and jump with impunity by the wood-burning fireplace, around art-choked walls and all over two pristinely white—yes, white—couches.

“Two words. Fiber. Seal. They did all my couches, all my carpets,” advises Kargman. “The white couches horrified people when I first did this place.” Kargman, however, had lived with a “Crate & Barrel explosion” for 15 years and wanted a grown-up apartment. “Funnily enough,” she muses, “the worst spillage is from our friends with a glass of wine—it’s not even the kids that are the culprits.” A few bachelorette years downtown aside, Kargman is an Upper East Side lifer: She grew up on East 66th and Madison and now lives only a few blocks away with her husband of eight years, Harry, the founder and CEO of Kargo, a wireless software company. Her father, Arie Kopelman, the former CEO of Chanel, and her mother, Coco, remain close by: “My parents are basically raising my kids with me,” says Kargman, convenience to them being one compelling reason for loving the East 60s, the other being … proximity to Brooklyn? “We go downtown a lot,” says Jill, and the subway is a short block away. “The one danger of living up here is that I have a lot of friends who don’t go downtown, ever. They consider downtown Saks. ‘I’m

Ivy's room. right, a telling pillow. Below left, an hourglass collection, and right, the Kargman Family.

The Kargmans' favorite hangouts: the den, here, and the master bedroom, opposite.

going downtown—to Saks.’ That’s not my life. I grew up with parents that are very adventurous—we always went to all five boroughs.” And with her family in tow, Kargman still ventures outside of Manhattan every Saturday. “We’re basically in our pajamas until 10:30 a.m., then we go to brunch in Williamsburg or Park Slope, and then to the Fairway in Red Hook— which is, in my opinion, the best supermarket in New York City.” Kargman and her home are uptown with a downtown soul, not unlike Eden Clyde, the mom-heroine of Kargman’s newest book, Arm Candy, who after decades as a West Village muse reclaims her freedom at 40 by moving to the Upper East Side. On bookshelves now, it is the fourth novel for Kargman, whose other blockbusters—among them Momzillas, The Right Address and, most recently, The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund—chronicle (and skewer) the foibles of would-be socialites in Manhattan. The appeal of Kargman’s books is how knowledgeably she depicts this world, but it is hard to reconcile her high-maintenance characters with their decidedly low-key—and eccentric—creator. What would a Momzilla think of Kargman’s penchant for skulls and hourglasses, which appear throughout the apartment? (Each of her children received a Michael Belivacqua framed skull upon birth; one hangs above each daughter’s bed.) “I do have that kind of dark side—that’s one thing that’s tricky to reconcile with being a mom. … I’ve always been into vanitas paintings [the Northern European 16th- and 17th-century still lifes] with jewels and riches and art and flowers, but then there’s the skull there to remind you that you can’t take it with you. Somehow, that struck me at a really young age.” If her carpe diem philosophy stems from a touch of the macabre, it translates into joy in the Kargman apartment. While the apartment is
playground june 2010


My Home
neighborhood Vibe Proximity to Central Park

and midtown (plus great subway access) makes the Lenox Hill neighborhood attractive for families and professionals alike, with as many briefcases as diaper bags on the crowded sidewalks. High-end hotels, shopping and restaurants on Fifth and Madison give way to comfortable grocery stores, Gaps and Banana Republics on Third Avenue and beyond.
SchoolS P.S. 59 Beekman Hill (K-5), JHS 167

Robert F. Wagner (6-8), York Prep, Browning and Episcopal School .
Kargman’S crib 2,000-square-foot Classic Seven

with semi-private elevator landing, den/library and wood-burning fireplace in a prewar doorman co-op. Traditional comforts meet serious Modern Art for a young and fun family home.
Jill’S Family FaVeS in the hood Serendip-

ity, Dylan’s Candy Bar (pictured), Heckscher Playground at Central Park, the MetKids store at the Metropolitan Museum, Via Quadronno for hot chocolate.

gorgeously chic, it is at the same time a real home, with toys and books and juice cups and silly family photos throughout. The kiddos each have their own rooms—in Fletch’s hangs Flor Leopold’s American flag made of toy cars—but the real action happens in the brown lacquer, bookshelf-lined den, which was what sealed the Kargman’s purchase in 2004. While house hunting, the Kargmans focused on finding a real family room. “Most people in our building use the den as a formal dining room, but we don't formally dine. We love plopping in couch-potato mode, and the people before us had done all the library built-ins. We just decorated and moved in, zero work!” If you hear music, look no further than the master bedroom. “All the dance parties are in my room,” says Jill. “It’s where my iTunes are.” With “Hey Mickey” playing on the iMac, it doesn’t take long for 2-year old Fletch to start grooving down on the canopied master bedroom, holding the mouse of the same name. The bedroom does double duty as Jill’s office, where
playground june 2010

“I do have that kind of dark side— that’s one thing that’s tricky to reconcile with being a mom.”

she writes between 12:30 and 2 each day (“I can’t be funny after two hours”) in between school drop-offs and pickups. The ultimate New York City girl loves raising kids in her hometown. “There’s constant stimulation. We’re always doing something fun. Even if we have no plans, just walking down the street, we bump into people. It’s such a healthy group-learning experience. The kids’ brains are just going all the time, and the culture is part of the education. In New York, you’re more worldly because it’s so international; you’re not in your little pea pod of homogeneity.” That’s not to say the Kargmans are out and about all the time. “We’re very lazy. I can do about one activity. On Tuesday, the girls didn’t have school so I took them to the Met for four hours. They could have stayed another two hours, but I came down and lay down in an X on my bed. I could have died.” A totally different kind of X than The Ex-Mrs. Hedgefund: In this case, X marks the spot for a superfun—and stylish—mom.

Courtesy of Dylan’s CanDy Bar.

Sammi wears paul Frank Tshirt, $20, and pinc jean shorts $41.90.

Summer means longer days and more time outdoors. And what better way to celebrate this season than a stylish romp in the playground? Dress your kids for summer fun in these adorable outfits.


Harry wears alpHa induSTrieS shorts, $44.90, and top, $33.90, and geox sneakers, $65.

p h oto g r a p h s b y h e i d i g r e e n
playground june 2010

anna wears roberta
roller rabbit by

roberta Freyman, top and leggings, $50 each, and her own sandals. left, ellie wears Halabaloo dress, $72, and nina sandals, $45.

playground june 2010


Ellie wears IT jean shorts, $42, 10 agaIn top, $29.90, and CroCs sandals, $24.99.


playground june 2010

Sammi wears pinc jean shorts $41.90, and So nikki white tank top, $15.90, and pink top, $27.90.

Mac wears Roudy SpRout Grateful dead vintage t-shirt $35.90, VolcoM shorts, $32, and Geox sneakers, $65.

Charting the course of parenthood can sometimes feel like a wild ride. Here, some tips to keep you feeling sane. From how to manage the freedom of summer months to dealing with the waiting list and more

Navigating Parenthood
playground june 2010

Lazy Days of Summer
Managing your child's free time.


ith spring in full bloom, New Yorker’s can’t help but fantasize about the approaching warm summer months. Summertime presents a much-needed reprieve from the hectic, pressured and exciting lives of New York City families. However, summertime is not as simple as one would hope. While summer life offers a temporary vacation from the demands of your child’s school schedule, teacher conferences, play dates, after school activities, flu shots, ERB tests and strict bedtime rituals, it certainly presents its own complexities and challenges. The summer dilemma is best defined by the ever-present question: What should we do with the children during the free, unstructured days of summer? What will we do without school? How will the kids keep up and what do they need to accomplish this summer? New York educators, psychologists and psychiatrists are flooded with such questions. Should we be preparing for next year (perhaps tutoring a bit)? Hiring a tennis coach? Or at least a swim instructor? After all, every child has to learn to swim. How about day camp, sleep-away camp or travel? It appears that parents feel guilty and uncomfortable letting summer be summer. A less-structured time filled with play, creative exploration, new friendships, sea shells, sunsets and sometimes even sunburns. Many parents ask a critical question: How much free play time versus structured time is best for a child during the summer months? To answer this, each parent must consider both the universal and psychological virtues of play, as well as the individual needs of each child, his or her age, stage and character. First and foremost, let's talk about play. Play is the most important vehicle through which our children grow and explore themselves and their world. “Let’s play” is a very meaningful communication from any child. It is an innocent but direct expression of a child’s wish to engage and connect with others and include them in his or her world of fantasy and imagination. The

world of play is rich in symbolism and promotes creativity, intellectual growth and early socialization skills. Never dismiss your children’s request to play with them, even when you have heard the words “let’s play” over and over again. Play defines and depicts the magic of the childhood years. Many parents express concern that too much unstructured playtime will prevent their child from engaging in the more disciplined and constructive activities of summer, such as day camp or formal preparation for the upcoming school year. Here, balance and moderation are the key ingredients to healthy summer days. The school-age (nursery and early elementary school) child may crave and flourish from the more predictable and routine activities provided by day camps, athletic programs, music classes, etc. These activities often require the capacity to separate. Some children separate from their parents with ease; others experience more anxiety and difficulty. Parents need to consider how their child separates and makes transitions to new environments, and how long a day is appropriate for that child. For some children, a half-day of summer camp is just perfect; other children clearly need more. One child may benefit from additional athletic activity after camp and/or on weekends. Others appear to need a day off from camp (and complete downtime) each week. Some children use their free time to challenge themselves academically (beyond their grade level) and seek enrichment. And children with specific learning differences may need to work on academic tasks at home or with a tutor to prepare for school in the fall. In each of these situations, it is essential to maintain a healthy balance. Summer provides a wonderful time for your child to read for pleasure. Encourage your children to read books that they simply enjoy. This often includes books that they have read before

“Let’s play” is a very meaningful communication from any child.

and/or books that appear “too easy" for them. This experience promotes both mastery and self-confidence. Have your child accompany you on an old-fashioned trip to the library. Choose your summer reading together and don’t forget to get a book (or two) for yourself. Summertime presents a unique opportunity for relaxed and extended family time. This applies both to the child’s ability to see more of his or her parents (perhaps during their summer vacation time or on a long weekend), and his or her siblings who may have otherwise been off at school and involved in their own activities prior to the summer months. Family time is undoubtedly the most important component of a child’s sense of security, connectedness and belonging. Family time may involve long-awaited visits with grandparents and other extended family members. Family time can be kept quite simple. This applies to families who summer in the city, in the country or both. Try cooking together (even the inside barbecue will do), enjoy fresh and colorful summer foods, plant a garden, grow vegetables, watch the flowers blossom. Remember to count the stars in the sky, have endless ears of corn, try the two-wheeler again, take a walk on the beach or in the parks, swim, play in the sand and find your favorite ice cream parlor. On a rainy Sunday, build Lego’s to the ceiling. These summer memories don’t seem to fade, but rather become the foundation for wonderful stories passed on from generation to generation. In this pressure-packed, fast-paced, everchanging world, summer provides an oasis from it all. Summer living embraces the magic of childhood with warmth and excitement. Explore with your child, engage in their play, build that tall sand castle, knock it down if you wish and then build it again. Celebrate summer! —Betsy Schur Levy, Ph.D.

playground june 2010

The Waiting Game
Handling those waiting list blues.

y necessity, the New Yorker is a patient species. The wait for a cab after a Knicks game on a rainy Friday night could kill lesser souls. We know the eternal hours before Time Warner shows up or a table at Babbo becomes available. Some of us have been known to wait an hour for a cupcake. And then there is the ultimate in New York City waiting: the school admission’s waiting list. For the thousands of New York parents whose children linger in public- and private-school purgatory, the upcoming months may be less a summer break than a summer breakdown. For wait-list movement, “summer is a critical time,” according to Roxanna Reid, director of Smart City Kids, an educational advisory service. We talked to industry insiders about how to win the waiting game. What recession? For private schools, “this was a very competitive year,” says Emily Glickman, president of Abacus Guide Educational Consulting. “There continue to be very affluent people in New York chasing very few private school spots at the top schools.” It’s the second year in a row that public schools are operating on a wait list. New York City public schools have hundreds on their wait lists, including students zoned for the West Side’s P.S. 87 and P.S. 199 and the East Side’s P.S. 6, P.S. 183 and P.S. 290. It’s a frustrating situation: “I think people have a right to go to their neighborhood school, and it’s very disappointing people are on wait lists,” says Councilwoman Jill Lappin, who represents the 5th District of Manhattan. She doesn’t blame those who are anxious. “I would be very upset too. My son is 3, but we live in the P.S. 59 school zone, which has a wait list this year, so I will be wringing my hands in a couple


“I think it’s totally appropriate. There’s no harm in calling the school. I wouldn’t call every day, but there’s no harm in touching base.”

of years myself if we don’t solve the problem by then.” In terms of moving up on the wait list? “There’s not a lot a parent can do, which is extraordinarily frustrating.” However, wait lists will move at public schools. “We understand that for the families of these children this is a time of real anxiety. But rest assured, every child on a wait list will get an offer for a seat in a local school by the week of May 17th, six weeks earlier than last year and four months before the start of the school year.” said Jack Zarin-Rosenfeld, spokesperson for the Department of Education. As for private schools, there’s a reason they maintain those wait lists: Spaces do open up, and the schools want to fill those spots. “In every school, even the most desirable, things do happen over the summer, occasionally: Child A’s parents get relocated to London, or Child B’s parents get a record contract in L.A. Things happen,” allows Glickman, who often works with families in the financial and entertainment industries. Roxanna Reid, director of Smart City Kids, an educational advisory service, has seen private schools call with last-minute openings as late as August: “It’s within reason that it could happen.” Keep your eye on the calendar: Acceptances to Gifted & Talented programs (“G&Ts”), anticipated in June, could make waves on wait lists— in both private and public schools. “Some people who have put down deposits for private-school programs may be willing to lose that deposit if their child gets into a desired G&T program in June,” notes Robin Aronow, Ph.D., founder of School Search NYC. And in public schools, “as the gifted and talented assignments go out, there will be a big

shift; that will come in the middle of June,” said Councilwoman Lappin. Nonetheless, as the Councilwoman notes, “It’s hard to predict how many will be offered placements, and not everyone accepts a gifted and talented placement.” Confirm your interest; check desperation at the curb. Racked with anxiety? Pick up the phone. Councilwoman Lappin advises public-school waitlist parents to call: “I think it’s totally appropriate. There’s no harm in calling the school to check in and see if there’s been movement. ... The parent coordinators at each of the schools are excellent, and I assume would be happy to share what they know.” She adds, “I wouldn’t call every day, but there’s no harm in touching base every couple of weeks.” When calling private schools, “you want to be pleasant and you want to be present,” Abacus Guide’s Glickman suggests. “You want to make your commitment level known.” If you’re anxiety-stricken, “don’t project that to the admission directors: You’re confident, you’re happy and you’ve got your act together. You don’t want to convey your desperation.” “You want to treat [admissions contacts] like they’re a friend and try to find a mutuality that will make you stand out,” offers Brian Kaplan, director of communications at MetSchools, which owns Claremont Prep, further suggesting that parents offer to sign a document committing their kids to attending the private school
playground june 2010

Carbon nYC

if admitted. “The more you follow up and the more you show you want to be part of the community, the better your chances are.” Reid adds, “Manage the expectation of the phone call. Ask, ‘Is it okay if I call you back in two weeks, two months? When is the best time to call you back so that we can identify the best time for movement?’” It really can pay to be in touch as much as possible. “Some schools maintain their wait lists through September; others officially close them in late spring,” says Aronow. “Then it’s kind of open game again. I have found that sometimes it’s the person that happens to be on the phone at the same time someone else has just dropped out. If his or her child fits the profile, that child might get the spot.” With persistence, timing just might be on your side. When to Pull Out all the Stops. For private-school waiters, if there was ever a time to call in the big guns, that time is now. “If you have any connections at the school, they should be going to bat for you,” Glickman says. No big names in your BlackBerry? Don’t despair. One connection that parents may have is their own nursery school. “They can help assess if the wait list is really viable for families,” says Reid. Have your nursery school’s leaders reach out to your wait-list school to determine how realistic your chances are. But for public schools, resist trying to have connections call on your behalf. “Sometimes that can backfire,” notes Councilwoman Lappin. “I have been assured that this has all been done by a lottery system. I don’t think it could help, and I think if you had somebody trying to twist arms, it could only hurt your standing. ” And, at some point, give up. When all else fails, relax and take stock of things. No matter how disappointed you may be, it’s important that your child be excited about the year to come. The good news? “Even people who are very disappointed generally are feeling pretty good about the school by the end of the first year,” notes Aronow. So take a deep breath, log off and take your kid for a cupcake ( just go early to avoid the wait). —Rebecca Morse.
playground june 2010

Young Collectors
A parent’s guide to buying art

wouldn’t classify myself as a true art “collector.” The term conjures up images of worldly, international jet-setters with unlimited budgets, not moms like me with a few prints and photos hanging above piles of toy dinosaurs, scattered puzzle pieces and half-dressed dolls. However, I have purchased a couple pieces over the past five years. I didn’t set out to do it consciously; I just found a few things I loved and bought them. Was that the “right” way to do it? What should I keep in mind going forward? And will my toddler twins eventually destroy all of it? I decided to consult some experts. Look for quality and value. When shopping for art, find out as much as you can about the piece. Sometimes only industry experts, like gallery dealers or art consultants, have this kind of information or know exactly what to look for. Alexandra Schwartz, director of Pace Master Prints, knows that condition matters.


“If you’re buying a brand-new work of art, it is typically in pristine shape,” Schwartz says. “If you’re buying on the secondary market, beware of stains, tears, fading and trimmed margins, because all those factors will affect the value of the print.” Shop around. “The more looking you do, the more sophisticated and knowledgeable you become about the quality and prices of art,” Schwartz says. Schwartz suggests going to the Met and MoMA to hone your tastes. Consider prints and photographs. They’re a great entry point to the art market and aren’t as prohibitively expensive as other works, like oil paintings. Goulding notes that smaller editions, like a set of 10 prints, tend to hold their value better than larger editions in the hundreds, but can be more expensive. Still, she says, “there’s a lot you can do for under $5,000.”

Massimo Vitali, Cefalù nonna, Sicily, 2008, part of the author’s collection.

courtesy of the artist and the Bonni BenruBi Gallery


Field Trip to the Met
Make an investment in your love of the piece. “Art can turn out to be an investment,” Schwartz says. “But you can’t go into it that way. Tastes change, an artist’s work changes. Buy what you love because you’re investing in your enjoyment, not because the artist is hot or because someone told you to buy it.” Goulding agrees: “First and foremost, art should be considered for its art historical and aesthetic quality. The market for great art always follows.” Really you have to buy what appeals to you. As a good friend with two young children just told me, “I went to a gallery recently and the artist was there explaining all the details and motivations of his various works. And all I was thinking was, ‘I just need something that looks good over the couch.’”
Take a trip to one of New York City's greatest assets: Our guide to a child-friendly visit to the Met
I SPY Interactive games like “I Spy” aren’t just for road trips. Take your little one to the African Art gallery and go on an “I Spy” safari. Start with something they love like elephants and say, “I spy an elephant,” and ask your child to search the room until they find it. While you’re looking together take the time to mention fun facts about elephants, like the fact that their tusks are made from ivory. Then later you can point out art made from the ivory of an elephant's tusk. COUNT ME IN Counting is a great way to keep kids involved and on their toes and the Oceanic art galleries are a great place to start. This exhibit is filled with sculptures portraying gods, spirits, ancestors and other supernatural beings. Have your child count how many figures they can find in a grouping of wood sculptures. FIND A THEME Some artists, like Degas, took an interest in a specific subject matter—in his case ballerinas. Take your child to the Impressionist galleries to see Degas’ ballerinas. Explain that he was also a painter and see if

they can locate his paintings with a ballerina theme. Discuss the difference between painting and sculpture. Explain how Degas was an artist who worked in several mediums, but that he never showed his sculptures to anyone.
SIZE IT UP In a period room from Versailles,

have the kids find the biggest chair and then the smallest chair. Explain how the most important person would sit in the big chair and the least important in the small chair. For older children, a discussion of size in a work of art could lead to talk of how artists use size in creating perspective (objects further away appear smaller, objects closer up appear bigger).
SHAPES AND COLORS Head over to the Modern

“Buy what you love because you’re investing in your enjoyment, not because the artist is hot or someone told you to buy it.”
Start early. Many fellow parents have purchased art specifically for their children’s nurseries and bedrooms. Schwartz cites studies showing that very young children respond to black and white; older children respond to color. Figurative is great, she adds, but abstract art is also wonderful for children. She recommends artists such as Donald Baechler, Jim Dine, Wayne Thiebaud, Claes Oldenburg, Kiki Smith, Sol LeWitt and Ryan McGinness. Goulding adds that Jeff Koons prints and Christopher Wool skateboards are perfect for kids’ rooms. “If you like it, your children will react to it,” says Schwartz. “Buy great, fun things that will endure, not just cutesy things for the nursery. Exposing your kids to art at home, in museums, or at galleries is a life-enhancing gift that they’ll enjoy for the rest of their lives.”

Galleries. In front of an Ellsworth Kelly installation of different-colored canvases, give each child a piece of colored construction paper, and ask them to stand in front of the canvas that is painted the same color as his/her paper. Once the child has made the match, he/she can trade in the color for another.

In front of a Japanese Buddhist altar, have the kids sit like the Buddha. Talk about what the pose and hand gesture means in this culture.

Protect your investment … from your kids. Art should be hung high on the wall. Works on paper should also always be framed behind glass or plexiglass. Keep all of it out of reach as much as possible. “Work that has been conserved is generally less valuable,” Goulding warns. She advises parents to establish boundaries within the home for where kids can go. (Easier said than done.) Goulding herself owns a 4-by6-foot Guyton/Walker silkscreen on drywall that leans against the wall and can easily tip over. Her baby, Miles, “will never be allowed near there!” Schwartz adds, “Prints are glazed and have plexiglass on them, so the artwork is protected. Besides, I always found that my children wrote on the walls, not the artwork.”

If your kids do add their own flourishes to your art (as I did at age 5 by scratching my name into my mother’s Friedel Dzubas), call Elizabeth Estabrook at Amann + Estabrook Conservation Associates. “We worked on one painting for eight months that a child had drawn on, but the results were not satisfactory,” Estabrook says. “It couldn’t be remedied.” But Estabrook says she usually has better luck. I’m definitely rethinking where I’ve placed my prints and photos. Yes, my twins might decrease the value of my art by adding their own special touches one day. But they’ve increased the value of my life immeasurably. I think it’s well worth the risk. I’m headed to the Armory. —Zibby Right
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courtesy of metropolitan museum of art

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playground june 2010

Family Day Trips


It’s the weekend, and you’re not in the Hamptons. There’s nothing on the calendar, and you might just lose your mind if the kids keep saying there isn’t anything to do. The solution? A quick and easy, kid-tested and parent-approved day trip out of the city, easily accessible by car or public transport. Best of all, with these picks you’ll have as much fun as the kids. B y j o S H H e l m I n

A mini Versailles & Louvre, right in your backyard. One of the nation’s largest suburban museums is just 40 minutes east of the city. (Wave to Jennifer Lopez and family, who live nearby, as you drive in.) The Nassau CouNTy MuseuM of arT houses a first-rate art collection in a resplendent mansion and boasts more than 145 acres of unspoiled grounds, perfect for family exploration. Catch a kidfriendly gallery talk and tour Sundays at 1 p.m., followed by an art activity for all. Outside you can follow marked walking trails, wander through lush gardens—some fastidiously restored to historical 1920s design—and discover sculptures spread throughout the acres. One Museum Drive, Roslyn Harbor, N.Y., 516-484-9337;
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Modern Art for all. If you’re thinking that a Modern Art museum might not be much fun for kids, perhaps you haven’t been to the Dia:Beacon. The 240,000-square-foot museum, formerly a Nabisco factory, feels like a giant, welcoming Soho loft. The decidedly unfussy art, bathed in acres of natural light and underscored by blond hardwood floors, is a collection accessible to visitors of all ages. A big hit among the younger set is the work of Richard Serra, composed of giant, walk-through sculptures nearly the size of a tanker’s hull that shift and move space in unexpected ways as you venture into them. When you’re done exploring the art, check out the adorable, newly flourishing Main Street just up the hill. 3 Beekman Street, Beacon, N.Y., 845-440-0100;
playground june 2010


Eat like an Obama. Michelle Obama made headlines when she planted a garden at the White House and fed her family with garden-fresh ingredients. Take a cue from Michelle and head to Stone BarnS, an upstate farm (affiliated with the Rockefeller family) where your family can harvest fresh ingredients, turn it into a simple cooked snack with the staff and learn about how food goes from farm to table. You can help the Stone Barns team collect eggs, do some gardening or even shear sheep. Take a stroll on the woodland trails and check out animals grazing in fresh pastures and farmers planting and harvesting crops. Food, served with a side of education, has never been this delicious. 630 Bedford Road, Pocantico Hills, N.Y., 914-3666200;


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Hands-on: art in the great outdoors. Central Park is great, but if you’re ready for even more unspoiled acres of nature close to home, look no further than Wave Hill, only a train ride away in the Bronx. On weekends you’ll find free art activities for the whole family (sculpting clay into kiln-cooked flowers, for example, or drawing classes for any skill level). While away the afternoon wandering around the gardens, strolling through the woods and, in the kid-favorite aquatic garden, peering at the koi and frogs. West 249th Street & Independence Avenue, the Bronx, N.Y., 718-5493200;
playground june 2010


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All aboard for the train-obsessed. If your kids can’t get enough trains, there’s no place cooler to visit than the railroad MuSeuM of new enGland. An extensive, beautifully maintained collection of locomotives is on display, including passenger cars, freight cars and cabooses, from the 1840s onward. Hop on the Naugatuck Railroad right at the museum for a 75-minute train ride along the river, through the Mattatuck Forest, up along rock cliffs and past the historic brass mills of Waterville. You can even sit in the seat on the train where Leonardo DiCaprio filmed scenes for the movie Revolutionary Road. For train lovers of all ages, it’s an unforgettable visit. 242 East Main Street Thomaston, Conn., 860-283-7245;

Picnic among world-famous sculpture. On the grounds of PepsiCo headquarters in Purchase, N.Y., is one of the best (and least overpopulated) sculpture gardens in the Northeast. Bring your picnic basket and a blanket to the Kendall Sculpture GardenS and stroll the 168 acres of winding, manicured lawns, punctuated with more than four dozen large sculptures from world-famous artists (including Monsieur Rodin). You’ll have the place mostly to yourself, and the kids can run free without worry. 700 Anderson Hill Road, Purchase, N.Y.

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Smart thrills for the whole family. If you’ve already hit most of the science museums in New York City, it’s time to branch out to the liberty Science center. There are nine permanent exhibits to explore, filled with hands-on, interactive activities, including learning about weather through blasts of hurricane-force winds and rain and harnessing up for a walk on a beam 18 feet in the air to learn firsthand how iron workers get their job done. The aquarium filled with giant fish and the IMAX theater—the largest fully immersive IMAX dome screen in the nation—is sure to keep not only the kids entranced, but their parents, too. 222 Jersey City Boulevard, Jersey City, N.J., 201-200-1000;
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To celebrate Mother’s Day and raise awareness of (RED), Bugaboo teamed up with supermodel and mother of three natalia Vodianova and worldrenowned photographer Mary McCartney (one of Sir Paul McCartney’s talented daughters) to create this artistic representation of the children that have been helped through the partnership between the two entities. The new (BUGABOO) RED campaign launches Mother’s Day, May 9, 2010, to raise awareness and help generate funds for the Global Fund, an international organization dedicated to combating AIDS in Africa.


playground june 2010


The World Class Learning Academy New York


he World Class Learning Academy New York, opening this fall, features an internationally renowned curriculum to help students reach their full potential Most educational curriculums still revolve around traditional teaching methods that don’t always work for every student. Children who process information differently, require extra help along the way, or simply are ahead of their classmates don’t get the individualized attention they deserve. Increasingly, schools are offering more personalized curriculums that address each child’s unique learning style, and a proven leader in this field is World Class Learning Group (WCL Group). Known for highly-regarded schools the WCL Group will open its first school in the city this fall—the World Class Learning Academy, New York, located in the heart of the East Village.“We are extremely passionate about learning,” says Emma Northey, Head of Primary Learning at the British School of Boston, one of its sister schools. “We believe very strongly that one size does not fit all, and therefore in order for a child to learn and succeed, they need to have a tailored program that teaches to the child and not to the class.” What makes the WCL Group’s approach stand apart from other schools is that it’s rooted in something quite tangible: the International Primary Curriculum (IPC). Created and developed 25 years ago by a branch of the WCL Group called Fieldwork, the IPC is taught at all of the WCL Group schools, including the British Schools of America, based in Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Houston and Washington, DC (the New York school will be the latest addition). The IPC is also taught in 900 schools around the world. “[People are] very taken by the focus on the learn-

ing, quality of the work, and how far ahead our students are” says Ann McPhee, Vice President of U.S. Operations and Director of Education for the WCL Group. “We track the progress of our students and evaluate their outcomes comparative to students in schools in the U.K. and U.S. so we know our students are succeeding for both their age and ability. Graduates of our schools regularly go on to Ivy League and prestigious universities around the world.”

The IPC was written for the sole purpose of giving children ownership over their learning. That’s how we’ve found children learn best.
So what does the IPC look like? For one thing, you won’t typically see a teacher standing in front of a classroom lecturing a group of students. At the World Class Learning Academy, New York, educators will adapt the resources or media they are using so that every child is able to access the curriculum. Additionally, teachers cater to each child’s ability level, so that in any given classroom, some students are working at a beginner’s level while others are working on more advanced assignments. And students play an active role in deciding how they learn best. “For instance, if a child is presenting their knowledge or skill, they may be happier doing it with a Power Point presentation or through role play or on a

piece of paper,” says Northey. Classroom activities are also very hands-on, so that students have the chance to really “live” the curriculum. Quite often teachers assume that they imparted the knowledge, and therefore the student learned. It doesn’t work like that.” Ultimately, says Northey, “The IPC was written for the sole purpose of giving children ownership over their learning. That’s how we’ve found children learn best.” Something else that makes the IPC distinct is its focus on globalized learning. Its goal is to teach students understanding, respect, and knowledge of other cultures and beliefs around the world. It makes the World Class Learning Academy a compelling choice for students who will go on to work and live in a very international, ever-changing, 21st century world. “In this world, children are going to need to be adaptable, to communicate well, to be cooperative, to have respect, to be thoughtful,” says Northey. “Any school can say they want that for their students, but realistically, are they equipping the students with these skills? Our curriculum does.” As much as it will offer an education with a worldwide perspective, the World Class Learning Academy will also have a deep focus on its home city, Manhattan, using the city as an extension of the classroom, drawing on the city’s art, culture and history to enhance the learning that takes place inside the school. For families looking for a school for this fall or in the coming years, World Class Learning Academy New York most definitely provides a unique option. Families get the best of both worlds: the energy, new facilities and fresh approach that come with a new school combined with the impressive track record of the WCL Group. To learn more about the World Class Learning Academy, New York, visit

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Two attended lobbies, fitness room and locked elevator access, 40 cEntral parK South homes are spacious, harkening back to a time when New York City floor plans were majestic. Generous terraces and Juliet balconies, elegant foyers, en suite bathrooms, separate bedroom wings and discrete service entrances define these residences. The kitchens and bathrooms are fitted with the latest appliances and finishes, and the seasoned staff pays close attention to all of your personal needs. antIQuE & VIntagE WoodS oF aMErIca We offer one of the most respected and diverse Antique & Vintage inventories of reclaimed Woods of America and recycled wood in America. Dedicated to the Green Earth Concept, our major goal is to salvage and reclaim old wood and incorporate it into new and restorative construction. Our antique flooring products and beams come from salvaged barns and gristmills. Our vintage flooring products come from managed forests or from fallen trees over 100 years old. Our vintage line has widths over 36 inches. We have 2 million board feet in inventory and can do large commercial projects as well as smaller ones. High end consulting services are available for all of your specialty wood needs. 2290 route 199, pine plains, ny 12567 518-398-0049, BaBIES is a visually stunning and joyful new film that simultaneously follows four diverse babies from around the world on an epic adventure - from first breath to first steps. BABIES captures on film the earliest stages of the journey of humanity that are at once unique and universal to us all. USA Today raves, “If you were enraptured by ‘March of the Penguins’ wait until you see ‘BABIES’” , .

40 central park South new york ny 10019 212.750.1600

premiering in theaters everywhere May 7th, Mother’s day Weekend.

thE BEacon is an historic art deco landmark in Jersey City, NJ featuring luxury condominium residences and onsite retail. More than 550 residents already live in The Beacon, including many with children. Developer Metrovest Equities recently unveiled Mercury Lofts, a 17-story building offering 25 half- and full-floor lofts ranging from 2,994 to 6,665 square-feet. The lofts, some of which have huge outdoor terraces and spectacular Manhattan views, are introductory-priced from $925,000. Residents enjoy 45,000 square feet of private amenities, while BeKids at The Beacon, a ten-story, 66,000 square-foot children’s destination, will offer a variety of activities for kids of all ages. There’s also valet parking, shuttle service to PATH trains and ferries to Manhattan, a private two-acre lawn featuring an organic community garden, outdoor children’s play area, jogging and exercise areas and a dog run. For more information call 201-716-3000 or visit

BIlIngual BudS is a unique Mandarin immersion school for children ages 1-10. The first school of its kind in New Jersey and now Manhattan, Bilingual Buds offers a strong language arts and math curriculum, as well as science, culture, music and art in both Mandarin and English. Class sizes are small and teaching is hands-on and interactive. Bilingual Buds’ extensive list of programs include full and half-day preschool (ages 2∏-5), kindergarten, afterschool classes for children ages 5-10, and Mommy & Me for ages 1-4. The school’s summer camp program takes place in New York and Beijing, China. Bilingual Buds is currently enrolling for summer and fall 2010. 175 riverside Blvd at 68th Street, ny, ny 10069 212-787-8088

BoWlMor lanES, New York City’s renowned bowling alley since 1938, is proud to present Carnival. Located on the 5th floor of Bowlmor, Carnival is a 16,000 square foot wonderland of amusement featuring boardwalk style games, live performers, classic carnival food favorites and much more. We’ve brought the excitement of Coney Island indoors with face painters, balloon artists, magicians, over a dozen games and fabulous prizes! Throw your child a birthday party they will never forget, or bring the family and join us every Saturday from 12pm to 6pm. Also available for Private Parties and Special Events.

call 212-255-8188 or log on to for more information.

Visit our showrooms: Lighting Collection Il Fanale 819 Broadway 388 Summer St. Canac Kitchens of NJ from at 12th St. Stamford, CT Italy is represented 99 North Dean St. New York City 203.327.8800 Englewood, NJ exclusively in the United 212.260.7768 201.567.9585

States by country

Since 1995 when the family-owned BroadWay KItchEnS & BathS opened its flagship Manhattan store, customers have asked the same question, “I want to redo my kitchen and bathroom, but where do I start?” The answer is “Broadway Kitchens & Baths” BKB now has 3 convenient . locations; Manhattan, Englewood NJ and Stamford Ct. BKB has a simple mission to help the customer make good choices, then execute the renovation on time, and within budget.

gEar ltd. located in Bridgehampton. This lighting collection, is inspired by Old World traditions and design, and created using classical materials of copper, brass, iron, ceramic and Murano hand-blown glass, using handcrafted production techniques. This collection brings together the combination of Old World patina finishes of antique brass and aged copper with the timeless elegance of ceramics and Venetian glass, offering unique lighting for your home, garden or business. 2408 Main Street, Bridgehampton, ny 11932 631-537-1032

thE craFt StudIo is the hottest place in NYC for parties, play dates, painting, toys, candy, crafts, gifts, 1657 Third Avenue, New York City 10128 and more. Always offering the latest and greatest 212.831.6626 workshops, gifts, and fun. For 15 years the Craft Studio has also been the premier party location for cool kids in New York City. With over 20 themes to chose from, there is something for everyone. Call for reservations and walk in availability.

1657 3rd avenue, ny, ny 10128 212-831-6626;


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harry’s shoes for Kids, at 2315 Broadway between 83rd and 84th Streets is New York’s premier children’s footwear retailer. A natural extension of the landmark third generation adults’ store just a half block south, you can be assured of finding all the most famous name brands, like Ecco, Merrell, Primigi, Umi, New Balance, Naturino, Ugg Australia, Teva and so many more. And rest assured your child’s fit will be perfect and our service will impress you as unparalleled.

Imagine a world where childhood dreams come to life. One of toy soldier greetings and piano dancers. Travel through a safari of plush wild animals. See yourself as a Muppet Whatnot puppet. This is the storybook world of fao sChwarz, where you’ll find an enchanting assortment of fun and delighting the senses with our world of dolls, limited-edition treasures and exclusive experiences you’ll forever cherish.

Have a fun filled summer with an exciting camp program located in the York Avenue Preschool and gymtime rhythm and glues facility. Our safe and spacious indoor environment is the perfect setting for a wide variety of arts and crafts, music, cooking, sports and gymnastics. All of this is perfectly complimented by more adventures in the outdoor water play area and on our playground.

767 5th avenue new york, ny (at 58th street) 212-644-9400 personal shopping: 212-644-9400 ext. 3 hours: m-w: 10-7, th-sat: 10-8 sun: 11-6

summer Breeze at york avenue preschool gymtime rhythm & glues 1520 york avenue, nyC, ny 10028,, 212.861.7732

for more information please contact us at 212-874-2034

the inn at poCono manor- a 3,000-acre resort is your getaway for family, golf groups and romantic getaways. Our rich tradition of hospitality insures your expectations are not only met, but exceeded. Many of our packages include a generous breakfast and dinner, and our numerous leisure activities include golf, horseback riding, indoor and outdoor swimming pools and state-of-the-art spa. The Inn At Pocono Manor sports offers fishing, clay shooting and more. Our location is convenient to the area’s famous activities and is less than 2 hours from New York, New Jersey and Philadelphia.

Jazz at linColn Center, under the artistic direction of Wynton Marsalis, is dedicated to inspiring and growing audiences for jazz. The world-renowned institution’s Jazz for Young People family concert series engages children and adults alike, with popular hosts including Wynton Marsalis, Ted Nash, and Sean Jones. Tickets are on sale now for the final concert on June 5 with Matt Wilson. Subscribe now to get the best seats at the best price for the 2010-11 season.

Kinneret day sChool provides an early childhood education to 3-, 4-, and 5-yearolds in a loving and stimulating environment. We help our children gain self-confidence feel at ease in social settings and develop a love for learning. Our children are introduced to song, dance, music and art, Hebrew and Jewish holidays and customs. The children have multi social and educational experiences all day long and work in both small groups, one on one, and with the entire class. Located in Riverdale Kinneret is minutes away from the city. Transportation provided. 2600 netherland ave., riverdale ny 718-548-0900, principal: asher abramovitz

Visit for more information.

lester’s, is a unique one-stop shopping destination for clothing, shoes, and accessories for infants to teens and kids in between plus young men’s, juniors and contemporary women’s fashions. When it comes to gift giving, graduation and other special occasions, Lester’s has all you need and want. New fashions arrive daily. Lester’s also carries everything your kids need for sleep-away or day camp whether its basic brands of camp gear, camp gifts, fill-in items or official CLOZ logo’d camp uniforms. At Lester’s you’ll always find the great brands you love, and the fashions you crave! lester’s manhattan store is located at 15-34 second avenue on the corner of 80th street, (212 734-9292) with other locations in greenvale and huntington long island, Brooklyn, and rye.

liBerty luxe and liBerty green: Located at 200 and 300 North End Avenue adjacent to “The Ballfields” in Battery Park City, Liberty Luxe and Liberty Green feature 471 condominium residences in one of New York’s most family-friendly neighborhoods. Rising 33 and 23 stories high, the new “Green” buildings from Milstein Properties offer dramatic views and a variety of studio-to-fourbedroom floorplans ranging from 615-2,741 square feet. Private amenities include fitness centers with yoga rooms, lounges with catering kitchens, children’s playrooms, valet-operated garage, 24-hour doormen, and outdoor roof terraces with a wading pool and barbecue area. The Asphalt Green Battery Park City community center connects the two buildings. for more information, call 212-945-4200 or visit

luna and stella This year, give her a gift that symbolizes the loves of her life—her moon & stars. Inspired by celestial beauty, our necklace is symbolic of the circle of love that connects us and our loved ones. The delicate crescent pendant is hand-set with the birthstones of her children, grandchildren, family or friends, and will be ready to ship in just 5 business days for silver, or 10 for gold.

order today at

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About MaM Founded in Vienna, Austria in 1976, MAM is a leader in providing families with industry leading baby care products, essential for a child’s early years. A trusted brand for over twenty-five years, MAM is sold in over thirty countries and five continents. MAM has strived to be on the cutting edge of technology, lifestyle and modern design, while upholding industry leading quality control and testing standards. For more information about MaM and MaM products, please visit us at Manhattan house, the iconic landmarked luxury residential condominium, has been impeccably reengineered by O’Connor Capital Partners and offers spacious one- to fivebedroom residences for immediate occupancy. Residents enjoy the 10,000-square-foot rooftop level featuring the Manhattan Club and exhale® spa, the brand’s first residential spa in New York City. Set within one of Manhattan’s largest private residential gardens, Manhattan House also features a Roto Studio-designed children’s playroom and exhale® fitness center, as well as full-time doormen, five-star concierge services, porte-cochere entrances and on-site garage and valet service. 200 east 66th street W: p: 212 566 0660, e: info:

MathnasIuM makes math fun!!! Mathnasium offers tutoring and enrichment programs exclusively in math in your home or at our center. We help students in grades PreK-12 build a solid math foundation while developing confidence and a love for math. Your child will receive both homework guidance and a customized program that fills in skill gaps and builds number sense. WARNING: Your child could become CRAZY about Math!!! 1597 york avenue (b/t 84th & 85th) 212-828-Math (6284)

MInd over Matter health and FItness was founded in 2004 to provide busy New Yorkers an accessible service that would help integrate fitness into their lifestyle. MOM’s mission is to provide certified, friendly, reliable healthcare professionals specializing in areas such as Personal Training,Yoga & Pilates. Whether in your home, office or even outdoors, MOM trainers are equipped with the skills to turn any existing space into your own private health club. Joshua Margolis Mind over Matter health & Fitness 126 West 96th street, suite 3a, ny, ny 10025 (212) 865-9290

For years people with frizzy hair had to blend products in a hopeless attempt to tame their locks. Those days are gone! MIXed ChICks was created to moisturize, control frizz, and define curls without the sticky mess. How to use: Shampoo, detangle, and work Mixed Chicks leave-in conditioner through hair and air dry (no towel or blow). And if you need an extra bit of shine, try Mixed Chicks hair silk.

ooMpa offers a constantly expanding collection of European wooden toys, baby toys, lunch bags, baby gear and modern children’s furniture. We pride ourselves on selling noncharacter branded, quality toys that are designed to last for generations. We believe baby toys should be natural, safe, ecofriendly, and non-violent. Free shipping over $65. 818.888.4008

to see our complete collection, visit

A Conspiracy of Fun Whether we are sewing custom gifts for friends, silkscreening designs on t-shirts or illustrating our latest loveable character: We are all about one thing –– fun! We have been creating smiles all over the globe for ten years through our most recognized character, Julius. Combine all that with our brightly colored, midcentruy inspired vision and you’ve got paul Frank IndustrIes.

the pavIlIon Located at 500 East 77th St., the historic Pavilion offers the best of luxury rental living today. The Pavilion’s one-, two- and three-bedroom homes are built with growing families in mind, boasting Glenwood’s signature finishes, generous proportions and timeless sophistication. Just steps from John Jay Park and the City’s finest schools, residents also benefit from Glenwood’s full-service amenities including landscaped rooftop sundecks, available valet and maid service and on-site shopping.

Classic and timeless, pIppen alley creates highly personalized stationery products perfect to share with new parents, children and friends and, sometimes to give to yourself. Our whimsical yet sophisticated designs are on art-quality paper and have a hand-made feel. If you are feeling creative, select from our charming, fun motifs to create something unique. Mix and match from our selection of motifs, color and fonts and add your own message to create something truly special.

195 Mulberry street, new york, ny, 10012; 212 965 5079

For more information, call 212.535.0500 or visit

Contact: Jennifer Mincey 203.563.9885 500 ridgefield road, Wilton, Ct 06897


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rent Maternity Wear We rent gorgeous maternity dresses bought directly from top maternity wear designers such as Christian Siriano, winner of Project Runway, Olian Maternity, and Maternal America. We have the perfect maternity dress for every event on your social calendar – be it a holiday party, wedding, baby shower, cocktail party, or dinner out – without the investment of buying! Come see our Collection today. Only available online. Located in the company’s corporate world headquarters, a landmark building in the heart of SoHo, New York, the ScholaStic Store is a unique space that elicits gasps and giggles from even the most sophisticated shoppers. We offer the latest products for kids of all ages, including books, toys, plush, puzzles, audio books, CD-ROMs, videos, games, and the best interactive books from Klutz. Little ones can also celebrate their birthday in our activity Loft!

Slate, one of New York’s only venues with private and semiprivate reception spaces; featuring 16,000 square feet of sleek décor over 2 floors, accommodating parties of 10 to 1200 guests. Slate provides on-site catering of sumptuous modern American cuisine, activities such as billiards, ping pong and foosball, stateof-the-art surround sound and audiovisual capabilities as well as a spacious dance floor. Slate is ideal for all of your special and private events including corporate parties, Bar/Bat Mitzvahís, fashion shows, birthday parties, film shoots, meetings/seminars, rehearsal dinners and receptions. The possibilities are endless! 54 West 21st Street, Between 5th and 6th avenues, nyc - 212.989.0096

the Scholastic Store, 557 Broadway (between prince and Spring), new york, ny 10012. 212343-6166. theScholasticStore@scholastic. com.

Sore no More, Sore? From backache, arthritis, bruise, sprain, workout? Soothing & penetrating topical analgesic gel provides effective relief. Visit our Website for a Free Sample Offer for our special blend of six natural plant extracts. Stay fit. Enjoy your kids to the fullest!

Because New Yorkers’ have everything but space: techline Studiofurniture that fits. Architect owned, we measure, design, and install our modular systems for a custom fit solution. Our job is to help you make the most of your home and office space. And to find spaces and places for the things that matter. 35 east 19th Street, ny, ny 10003, 212-674-1813

Tres Jordan
treS Jordan Hair, makeup, and all fashion, is first and foremost... FUN. Even indigenous tribes find the time to detail hair and makeup. Concern about outward presentation spans every age, continent, culture and race in existence. It is part of what forms humanity. The way you choose to present yourself shouldn’t be a bother, chore, obligation or an attempt to follow a trend. The journey towards your outer self is ultimately a reflection of your inner self. A sojourn at times, you should arrive at a destination that is confident, serene and Tres Jordan Hair Design.

435-259-5931; 1-800-842-6622


united nationS international School Summer Program was created to provide recreational, academic and enrichment activities for children between the ages of 4 and 14, in a friendly and supportive environment that fosters friendship, develops sportsmanship and is nurturing in spirit. The program offers a unique composition of student and professional faculty.

ReseRve space Now For the august 25th Issue of observer playground
For advertising information contact Betty Lederman, Associate Publisher, Observer Playground 212.407.9359

www.unis. 212-584-3083 email:

playground june 2010


Mom’s Minute
jeweler MiMi So’s creations are both wearable and glamorous and on the arms of some of new York’s most fabulous moms. The successful jeweler and mother of three shares some of her pearls of wisdom.
How do you juggle work and family? You just do! 100 percent family, 100 percent work. When you love both you make it work for you. What lesson from parenting have you incorporated into you work? Patience and time. What’s the best advice you’ve given your child? Eat all the ice cream you want now because you can get away with it. What’s your favorite family moment everyday? Dinnertime—this is when we get to ask each other about our days. What’s the best part of raising a child in New York? Once you step out of your apartment, the entire city is our backyard. It’s eclectic and a huge melting pot of many cultures, art, fashion and history. What’s the worst part of raising a child in New York? Once you are exposed to this great city, it’s difficult to be anywhere else that’s not as active or convenient and colorful. What’s your guilty parenting pleasure? Staying up late with the kids past their bedtime—breaking the rules. … Yes, I’m the softy one.


playground june 2010

nine local golf courses

full scale aquarium

private swimming pool

tons of shopping

private tennis courts

over thirty wineries

fine dining

day spas

beautiful beaches

neighboring farm stands

hiking trails

local riding stables

Are you looking for a second home? There is something for everyone here at The Highlands Club. Nestled on Long Island’s North Fork just 90 mins from Manhattan, sits this unique private community with luxury homes starting at $499,900. Seeing is believing, come visit us at 4681 Sound Ave, Aquebogue, NY 11931. Models open 6 days 11-5 Wednesday by appointment. 631.722.5900. To request additional information email us at
Marketing/Sales For Builders / Developers. © 2010

Complete offering terms are in an offering plan available from the sponsor.

From the Eclipse Collection: Pendant, ring and hoop earrings in 18k rose gold with brilliant-cut cinnamon pavé diamonds. Ring $ 8,995 Earrings $ 6,755 Pendant with La Catena necklace $ 11,275