$3.

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How Model
Moms Get Fit
Post-Pregnancy
Playground
Lifestyle for the New York Mom
Model, Mogul and Mom;
Living Life in the Fab Lane
Kimora
Easing Your Child from
Vacation to School
Decorating 101
Expert Tips on
Transforming Your
Child’s Room
Back-to-School
Shopping With
Kelly Bensimon
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Authentic Facilities • Expert Instruction • Best Program
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playground fall 2010
H
ard to believe, but
it’s fall already! It’s
time to close up
the beach house, get the kids
ready to go back to school,
and gear up for a busy season
that includes the Jewish holi-
days and Halloween! I hope
you had a wonderful summer, flled with family and outdoor
fun … and I also hope you’re recharged and ready for an
awesome autumn!
This September marks our one-year anniversary!
Yep, it’s been a year since we launched the frst Playground
in September 2009.
We are so thrilled that the launch of our new publication
has been such a huge success. And we thank you, the readers,
for making this possible.
I’m so excited about this issue of Playground, with
marvelous mom Kimora Lee Simmons on our cover. Kimora
somehow manages to run an ever-expanding professional
empire, raise three adorable kids (including her new baby
son, Kenzo, with actor hubby Dijmon Hounsou) and always
look amazing to boot. She’s defnitely a Type A achiever. She
gets everything done with style, sass and a positive attitude.
Speaking of busy moms, we spoke to some very busy
New York City moms about their morning routines.
With back to school on all our minds, we’ve included a
must-read feature by psychologist Betsy Schur Levy, that
explores how to calm your kids’ anxieties about heading
back to school after a long, fun summer.
And what would back-to-school season be without a
shopping spree for new fall goodies? For this issue, we have
10 pages of great kids’ fashions; and we go shopping with
Real Housewives of New York City’s gorgeous and grounded
Kelly Killoren Bensimon.
There’s loads more in this fun fall issue.
I hope you enjoy it!
Here’s to a spectacular autumn!
lyss@observer.com
h
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Gymtime_Icon_RegSpring.qxd:Gymtime 10/16/09 1:22 PM Page 1
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19
playground fall 2010
Contents
60 Kimora
Powerhouse Kimora Lee Simmons is an entrepreneur,
mother of three and model. Discover her secrets to success.
64 home
Take a tour of newscaster Sharyn Afonsi’s amazing
home in the heart of New York City.
68 Kid’s Fashion
These adorable fashionistas give the term “fashion forward”
new meaning.
78 parenting
How to manage the transition from lazy days of summer
to back-to-school.
84 travel
Take your family on a vacation with heart.
22 shopping lysst
24 health
26 shopping
28 resources
30 booKs
32/50 real estate
38 hot to tot
40 Fitness
42 philanthropy
44 party
46 proFile
48 managing time
Departments
features
60
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Over 15 Craft & Candy
Themed Parties
20
playground fall 2010

To become a charter subscriber of Observer PLAYGROUND, and
receive a full year of the quintessential parenting magazine
for over 70% of the cover price, please call 800-542-0420,
x2331, and get fve issues for just $9.95. It’s the only parenting
magazine you need!”
Cover photographed by Dani Brubaker/Icon International.
Observer Media Group
Publisher Jared Kushner

President Christopher Barnes
executive vice President Barry Lewis
senior vice President sales stephen GoLdBerG
senior vice President sales and Marketing david GursKy

director of classified advertising Ken newman
editor, the new york observer KyLe pope

the new york observer
321 west 44th street
new york, ny 10036
212.755.2400
www.observer.com
art director BarBara suLLivan
Production director tyLer rush
advertising/Production coordinator Lisa medChiLL
associate Publisher, Observer playGrOund
Betty shaw Lederman
Marketing Manager ashLey o’Brien

account executives
mitCh BedeLL, david Bendayan, danieL d’andrea,
pauL KornBLueh, traCy LinGo, miCheLLe morGan,
spenCer sharp, roByn weiss

sales assistant eLana deLasos
circulation
peter parris, CarLos rodriGuez, eden sherman
editor in chief Lyss stern
Managing editor shaina feinBerG
contributors
dana hadad
LamBeth hoChwaLd
wendy straKer hauser
JuLie earLe-Levine
Betsy sChur Levy
reBeCCa morse
ziBBy riGht
wendy saChs
andi siLverman
Playground
557 Broadway • New York, NY 10012 • 212 343 6166 • scholastic.com/store
®
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shoes •
l
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t
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y
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Shop Giftcards
facebook
f ind us on
Manhattan • Brooklyn • ryE
GrEEnvalE • huntinGton
Manhattan
2nd ave
@
80th St
212.734.9292
22
playground fall 2010
Shopping lysst
lySS Stern’ S lateSt muSt- haveS
glam Cluster Earrings,
$138, Henri Bendel.
Henri Bendel has always
had fabulous accesso-
ries. And right now is no
diferent. Take the Glam
Cluster Earrings, made
of gorgeous Swarovski
crystal. These babies will
look just as good with
jeans and a tee as they
will at holiday parties.
love rocks Mono-
gram Crest necklace,
$1,600. Nothing speaks
to us like the jewelry of
Limor Ratzabi Senker.
Her initialed crest
necklaces combine
ethically sourced micro
pave diamonds with
matte gold. Every piece
is made to order.
Eve lom Morning
Time Cleanser, $60,
Space NK. If you love
having facials but can’t
fnd the time to make
them part of your
routine, this is the
beauty product for you.
It’s an efective cleanser,
which exfoliates and
revitalizes every time.
spacenk.com.
diptyque Eau duelle. $88,
Diptyque boutiques. You’re prob-
ably familiar with Diptyque’s
blissful candles, but did you know
this chic Parisian brand has a
wonderful line of perfume? The lat-
est addition: delicious Eau Duelle.
Meredith Wendell Head and Tail
Bracelet, $795. Sometimes all it
takes is one standout piece of jewelry
to make an entire outft pop, like
this unusual bracelet. Made from
custom-cut pieces of stained glass,
bound together. meredithwendell.com
24
playground fall 2010
model moms
Brazilian model and new mom
amanda Ungaro talks about
shedding pounds and getting ft
H
ow do model moms shed weight so fast? They
faunt their post-baby bodies on the cover of
Vogue; the rest of us stare at our bellies, which
make us look like we are still fve months pregnant, wonder-
ing, how the hell do they do it?!
It’s a good question. So when gorgeous Brazilian model
and new mom Amanda Ungaro told us she expected to be
back at work, modeling lingerie and swimwear (gasp!) a few
months after giving birth to Giovanni, we had to ask, how
exactly are you going to do that? How can this be? How can
anyone just get their old (incredible) fgure back so fast? And
how could she do it while still going to parties?
Don’t hate her. Yes, just weeks after having a baby, this
New York mom looked amazing. She was getting little sleep,
and adjusting to having a baby. She was also going to parties.
“Is it okay to have, like, a bottle of Champagne?” she asked,
feigning innocence.
This is what the model, who has graced the cover of Ital-
ian GQ and is the muse of Patrick Demarchelier, did to drop
the weight so fast. There were no crazy diets. There was no
junk food. And she didn’t even exercise like crazy. But she did
have a secret exercise weapon. More on that later.
More Model Moms
Health
So, Giovanni was born on April 7 at St.
Luke’s–Roosevelt Hospital, weighing a healthy
9 pounds. Amanda was 132 pounds pre-baby,
and went up to 171.6 pounds while pregnant.
“Giovanni is a big boy!”
Did Amanda eat junk food before? “Oh,
yes, for the last two months of the pregnancy
I had a lot of chocolate. Many sweet things.”
The 6-foot-2 model started exercising one
month after Giovanni was born. “A week af-
ter he was born, it looked like I was still fve
months pregnant. My friends said, ‘Don’t wor-
ry, it will get fat again.’ I didn’t believe them
but it has gone down.”
Then she showed me her pancake fat
stomach. “This needs to go!” says Amanda,
who looks truly dismayed at her tiny tummy.
“You know the camera puts on 1 or 2 pounds.
I’m usually pretty skinny.” But back to the ex-
ercise, pre-baby. Amanda exercised the whole
time, whether it was cycling at the gym, or
walking in the last month. Now she is running
a little, but cycling on a stationery bike for 45
■Just six weeks after giving birth to her frst child, gisele Bündchen
was back to her sexy self, on the cover of Vogue’s annual Shape is-
sue. She gained 30 pregnancy pounds, and revealed that she
worked out during the pregnancy with yoga and kung fu.
She didn’t leave her apartment for six weeks after giving
birth, and whipped her body back into shape with yoga sessions.
■adriana lima, 29, was back in shape months after giving birth
to her daughter Valentina thanks to boxing, and jumping rope
every day. She also did an all-protein diet and ate salads. She said
it wasn’t easy getting back into shape. Seven months after, “I
wish my body was in shape right away (like Gisele’s). I’m still
not where I want to be right now, but I’m working on it.”
■alessandrio amBrosio said she was still dieting and
exercising to get back into pre-pregnancy form.
■heidi Klum was another mom who shed the weight fast.
She posed for Victoria’s Secret two months after giving birth
to her son Henry. She says her body tends to “spring back
into shape.” Lucky her!
heidi Klum.
alessandrio
ambrosio and
adriana lima.
25
playground fall 2010
minutes. She also has a trainer and works out for a total
of two or three times a week. “I work out, and then I do
exercises for my legs and abdomen.”
“After having Giovanni, I wanted to get back. It is
especially hard when you are skinny all your life. You
are like, ‘Oh my God, NOTHING fts!’ I am usually a
size 2 or 4.” When we spoke, she had not yet been to
see her agent. “In one month, I will go back. I can’t
until I’m ready and looking good.”
“You have to stay relaxed about it. Not get anxious.
Before I was crazy about it. I kept saying I’d go back in
one month, but it doesn’t work like that.”
With Giovanni, she needs energy. Breakfast is three
egg whites, scrambled, and then she works out. She
eats a lot of fruit: A banana satisfes her appetite for
three or four hours. Lunch and dinner are light. Snack-
ing? No way. “Now I’m eating a lot of salads, steak,
chicken, fsh. I’m not eating carbs but sometimes I’ll
have a very small portion. No chocolate or ice cream at
all. I’m trying not to think about it!” The bread basket
at restaurants? “I just say get rid of it.” She will order
fsh with a salad—never with dressing. “In Brazil you
don’t eat dressing! Just a little lemon or oil.” And she
never, ever eats after 8 p.m.
How about boozing it up? “I drink once a week
when I go out. My trainer says it’s not that bad, but not
too much.” If she needs a sweet treat, she has fruit, or
a very small scoop of low-fat coconut sorbet (Sharon’s
Sorbet). “It’s so good. You feel naughty eating it.”
But her ultimate secret is one that even I am
tempted to try out. It’s called a sauna suit. She shows
me what looks like a space-age suit you wear when
you work out, to help you burn carbs.
“When I go to the gym (Equinox) and am wearing
it, the part all around my hair is completely drenched.
The frst time I saw it, I thought, ‘Whoa, what’s that?’
But it really works.”
When we checked in with Amanda (mid-July), she
was very near to her goal weight. “I’m almost there! ”
We can’t wait to see her back at work!
—Julie Earle-Levine
amanda in an ad for Hummer.
225 W 39th Street, 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10018
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Enrollment for fall & winter classes is now open! Space is limited, early registration is encouraged.
Manhattan Fencing School.indd 1 8/12/10 4:05:21 PM
26
playground fall 2010
Back-to-School
with the BenSimonS
Kelly Killoren Bensimon
Gets us ready for school
O
range leaves, sharpened pencils and
fresh fall fashion: It’s back-to-school
shopping time! Our favorite shop-
ping partners? Real Housewives of New York’s
Kelly Killoren Bensimon and her daughters Sea,
12, and Teddy, 10. Between mom Kelly and their
dad, who is the famed photographer Gilles Ben-
simon, Sea and Teddy have style in their genes.
“They love fashion,” says Kelly, “but they’re not
obsessed with [it]. I think some kids in New
York are much more interested in fashion. My
kids are just interested in school!”
For the leggy reality star, scouting out new
looks with Sea and Teddy is about more than just
girl time: It’s a way to help her daughters de-
velop a healthy self-image. “I’m trying to foster
a sense of individuality,” says Kelly, who encour-
ages her girls to hone their own personal styles
based on their personal taste.
Kelly’s back-to-school
shopping tips:
Embrace your children’s
different styles.
Sea and Teddy Bensimon
each sport their mother’s in-
fectious smile—but the girls’
styles are totally different.
“[Sea] is more conservative;
she likes to wear polo shirts,
shorts and grosgrain belts.
My younger daughter [Ted-
dy] loves black Blondie T-
shirts from H&M and skinny
jeans, so they defnitely have
their own styles!” Allowing
your child to develop his or
her own style can encourage
a strong personal identity—
vitally important during those
preadolescent years. “It’s
funny because my younger
daughter is blond with blue
eyes,” says Kelly, “so she
looks like she might be more
[preppy], but she likes to be the rocker. Then my
older daughter, who has more of my look, wants
to be more conservative! And I love it!”
Mix it up.
As a model, former fashion editor and jewelry
designer, Kelly has used couture as her ticket to
stardom—and now fashion can provide a sense
of freedom for her and her daughters. “One day
you can be wearing this cool hot Lisa Perry ’60s
dress, and the next day you could be wearing
skinny jeans and Converse. That’s what’s fun
about fashion!”
Bring it home.
Since the girls are still young, Kelly picks out
a lot of clothing for them and then lets them
choose what to wear. “I see all these different
trends and fun things, and I bring them home.
They like the fact that I’m thinking about
them and I’m allowing them to be themselves.
… I want [Sea and Teddy] to take advantage of
the lives they have—and take advantage of me
as a mom!”
Shopping
Make yesterday’s trends today’s classics.
Bring back the trends you loved then! Kelly’s
picks for her daughters are her faves from her
own childhood. “I buy for them what I bought
when I was young: Sperry’s [Topsiders], penny
loafers, ballerina fats, Keds, running sneakers,
Converse, Minnetonka moccasins, cowboy boots,
grosgrain belts, leather belts, rope belts.”
Style doesn’t have to stop with uniforms.
Both Sea and Teddy wear uniforms to school—but
a dress code doesn’t have to put the lock-down on
style. If your children have uniforms, maximize
opportunities to accessories (while staying within
the lines of your school’s policies). Sea and Teddy
Bensimon love Le Sportsac, and their mom’s a fan,
too! “I like it because it’s really creative and it’s
art-driven,” says Kelly, “but they like it because it’s
fun and colorful and childish and interesting.”

Take it to the streets.
Kelly takes advantage
of living in downtown
Manhattan. “We buy a
lot of stuff on the street:
it’s fun and inexpensive
and very trend-driven
and my kids like that.
… I like anything that’s
like more unusual. I
want them to be a pio-
neer in terms of dress-
ing. I don’t want them
to dress like everyone
else. I want them to
have their own sense of
style,” says Kelly, and
that carries through
to all aspects of life. “I
want to take them to
the Met, and I want to
them to say, ‘You know,
I don’t really like that
[about a piece].’ I like
it when they disagree
because it means that
they’re thinking!” Who
could disagree with
that?
—Rebecca Morse g
e
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28
playground fall 2010
A
nimal Haven. On
Tuesday afternoons,
kids are in-
vited to visit
this Soho
animal shel-
ter (251 Centre
Street, 212-274-
8511; animalhavenshelter.
org) to bathe puppies, so-
cialize kittens and fll treat
bowls.
B
low Hair Salon.
With locations
uptown (843 Lexington
Avenue, second foor, 212-
452-0246)
and down-
town 342
West 14th Street, 212-
989-6282; blowny.com),
many moms count on it.
C
arousel rides at Bry-
ant Park. Join your
tot for a $2 ride on Le Car-
rousel (Sixth Avenue and
40th Street; bryantpark.
org), and you’ll feel trans-
ported to Paris!
D
inosaur Bar-B-Que.
Nestled right under
the Riverside Drive Bridge
(646 West 131st Street,
212-694-1777; dinosaur-
barbque.com), this BBQ
joint is a fave for moms
and kids.
E
manuela Corielli,
DDS, pediatric den-
tist. At this eco-friendly
Upper East Side prac-
tice (1317 Third Avenue,
10th foor, 212-355-7760;
brighthealthysmile.com),
Dr. Corielli soothes
nervous patients
in three languages
(French, Italian and
English).
F
ratelli Brick Oven
Pizza. This family-
friendly restaurant is a
hot spot for local moms
(1317 First Avenue, 212-
249-6092). A favorite pie?
The Jessie (or sauce-free
white) pizza.
G
lam dining (with
kids) at Sweet-
iepie (19 Greenwich
Avenue, 212-337-3333;
sweetiepierestaurant.
com). This West Vil-
lage eatery, dreamed up
by owner Julie Daniels
Janklow, is a wondrous
blend of sophistication and
whimsy.
H
ot yoga. When life
gets stressful, moms
zip right over for hot yoga
at Yoga to the People (115
West 27th Street, third
foor, 917-573-YOGA; yo-
gatothepeople.com).
I
ndoor play-
space. Mur-
ray Hill moms
fock to
Scandina-
via House
(58 Park
Avenue, 212-879-9779;
scandinaviahouse.org) on
Saturdays from noon to
5 p.m. (when the space is
open to the public).
J
ava everywhere but
especially at Bouchon
Bakery (Time War-
ner Center, 10
Columbus Cir-
cle, third foor,
212-823-9366;
bouchonbakery.
com).
K
ids club meetings
at the LEGO Store
(Rockefeller Center, 620
Fifth Avenue, 212-245-
5973; lego.com), where
kids can get together and
build Mini Models and
MiniFigures.
L
adies’ lunch at Lady
M Cake Boutique (41
East 78th Street, 212-452-
2222; ladymconfections.
com), known for its sleek
white L.A. look and tasty
salads.
M
other-daughter
mani-pedis at
Think Pink (445 Avenue
of the Americas, 212-366-
5111). The comfy chairs
and kid-friendly staff
makes this West Village
salon a go-to spot.
N
eighborhood play-
ground. Our favor-
ite? Carl Schurz Park (East
86th Street and the FDR
Drive; carlschurzparknyc.
org).
O
B/Gyn Joan Kent.
Located on the Up-
per East Side (235 East
67th Street, Suite 204, 212-
772-2900), Dr. Kent rocks
with moms.
P
earl River. For in-
expensive party
supplies, there’s no
place better than
this Soho empo-
rium (477 Broad-
way, 212-431-4770;
pearlriver.com).
Q
uiet time at the
Conservatory
Garden in Central Park.
Located at the north end
of the park (Fifth Avenue
and 105th Street, central-
parknyc.org).
R
eading at the Chil-
dren’s Center at the
New York Public Library
(455 Fifth Avenue, 212-
621-0208; nypl.org).
S
hopping with
a private
shopper, especially
Angela Horton at
Saks Fifth Avenue.
The Fifth Avenue
Club at Saks Fifth
Avenue (611 Fifth
Avenue, 212-940-
4026; saksffthavenue.
com).
T
reats on the street.
One sure favorite is
the all-things-Belgian Wa-
fels and Dinges (866-429-
7329; wafelsanddinges.
com).
U
nique non-plastic
playthings at
Enchanted Toys (1179
Lexington Avenue, 212-
288-3383; enchanted-toys.
com), a store that’s stocked
with European wooden
toys
V
intage vibe at
Economy Candy
(108 Rivington Street, 800-
352-4544; economycandy.
com). Since 1937, this
family-owned shop has
stocked candy in foor-to-
ceiling stacks. Visit today.
W
orkout at Soul
Cycle (103 War-
ren Street at the West Side
Highway, 212-406-1300;
soul-cycle.com).
X
ylophone. Making
noise is numero
uno on any kids’ to-do list.
So what better way to do
this than by buying the
Sevi xylophone ($35.99)
at the venerable FAO
Schwarz (767 Fifth Av-
enue, 212-644-9400;
fao.com).
Y
oung artists. At
the delightful
Moomah (161 Hud-
son Street, 212-226-0345;
moomah.com)—part cafe,
part play space—your child
will have a ball.
Z
ittles, located on
the third foor of
Zitomer (969 Madison
Avenue, 212-737-5560; zi-
tomer.com). Visit for toys,
games, gadgets and books!
—Lambeth Hochwald
Resources
from a to z
New York City moms share their
fave New York City gems.
29
playground fall 2010
From Pacifers to Picasso, Metropolitan Moms
founder Molly Snyder has made motherhood
in New York City a truly cultural experience.
The idea was simple. We live in one of the most
amazing cities in the world, and yet up until the
moment we give birth—and gasp, have 12 weeks
to recover and get to know our babies—most of us
are too busy at work to enjoy it. So why not experi-
ence it now? Let’s face it, in between baby bottles,
breast feeding and diaper duty, there are endless
hours of napping, rocking and cooing. So instead
of sitting alone by the duck pond in Central Park,
contemplating her new life—which we all know can
feel isolating, unfamiliar and lonely—Molly Snyder,
a mother of two, decided to take matters into her
own hands.
“I wanted to bring new moms together in a
culturally stimulating way, “ says Snyder, a for-
mer investment banker for Goldman Sachs, who
started the group, a series of culturally themed
Mommy-and-me classes, in 2004, shortly after
her daughter Sara, now 7, reached 3 months. “I
was surprised that nothing out there catered to
the moms specifcally. I didn’t want to resort to a
life of socializing only in a room flled with bouncy
castles and trampolines.”
Snyder was not alone. The initial response from
like-minded moms looking for a stimulating way to
connect with other moms was overwhelming. So
much so that Snyder decided to bring in a partner,
Dara Rosenberg—an equally enthusiastic new
mom (who took a few initial classes and fell in love
with the concept) with a background in childhood
education.
Today Metropolitan Moms has expanded
beyond babies to include toddler classes, mom-
only classes (read: wine tastings) and classes
for kids between the ages of 5 and 8, where they
can sit on the foors of the Met and sketch bal-
lerinas by Degas or go on adventurous scavenger
hunts through the Mummy and Ancient Egyptian
Pyramids exhibits. “It’s amazing to watch the ex-
citement grow on your child’s face,” says Snyder.
“These masterpieces that most people have to
travel thousands of miles to see have become
part of our kid’s playground. In a child’s imagina-
tion, the Monets and Van Goghs—these are their
friends.”
For more information on fall classes, visit www.
metropolitanmoms.com
—Wendy Straker-Hauser
Metropolitan Moms
MOM KNOWS BEST!
mind over matter
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Mind Over Matter Health and Fitness was founded to provide busy NYC Moms
a service to integrate ftness into their daily lives.
M.O.M’s mission is to provide certifed Pre-natal and Postpartum ftness instructors
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Whether in your home, offce or outdoors, MOM trainers are equipped to turn
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Are you looking for a superior, affordable
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8:45–9:45am
30
playground fall 2010
nigel Barker
gives us the equation
america’s Next Top Model judge
helps moms feel beautiful
H
ot mom? He’ll be the judge of that.
He is reality TV’s sexiest arbiter,
after all: He’s Nigel Barker, the
model–turned–photographer–turned America’s
Next Top Model judge. For the past 14 seasons
of ANTM, Barker has determined the fates
of would-be supermodels while seamlessly
maintaining his day job as a renowned photog-
rapher. With Barker’s 20 years of experience
in the beauty business, who could be better
qualifed to determine what makes a pretty
face? When it comes to women, though—and
mothers especially—this judge is anything but
judgmental. In his upcoming book, The Beauty
Equation, available this fall, Barker reveals the
10 essential elements that make up true beauty.
Whether your goal is making the cover of Vogue
or just making it out of your yoga pants before
school pickup, Barker’s guidelines may be that
mental and physical makeover you need. We
talked with the London-born
photographer about the real
defnition of beauty.
Through Barker’s lens,
there is beauty in everyone,
and as a photographer, his
favorite models are often
not models at all. “When
I think about my favorite
pictures,” he told us, “it was
never because the person in
the photograph was pretty. It
was always because it was a
good person, an interesting
person, a fascinating person.”
In fact, Barker adds, “When
you think about iconic pho-
tographs in time, even those
shot by Avedon or Irving
Penn, they weren’t of mod-
els but rather real people
or politicians or actors and
actresses. It was their lives
that really moved you”—and
not necessarily their faces. It’s the very premise
of Barker’s Beauty Equation—that beauty is far
from superfcial but can be conjured through a
set of self-directed qualities: Allure, Confdence,
Compassion, Spontaneity, Radiance, Health,
Honesty, Charm, Energy and Humor.
For New York moms, solving a beauty
equation might feel like working out the Py-
thagorean theorem. But for Barker, a mom is
precisely the mathematician to solve the Beauty
Equation. “I’ve always been in love with my
wife [Cristen Barker] and found her attractive,
but actually, I found [her] much more … attrac-
tive as a mum. It’s one thing to be young and
Books
pretty; it’s another thing to be actively dong
something beautiful, bringing up someone’s
children. …It provides such a strong reaction in
the husband or boyfriend and that is your al-
lure. Most women don’t feel sexy about it, they
don’t feel beautiful about it.” But according to
Barker, they should. “You have the ability to do
that, grow something inside of you: It’s the most
exciting, most beautiful thing.”
Thankfully, Barker’s Equation doesn’t re-
quire the numbers 36-24-36 to compute: He
espouses health over dieting and radiance over
of-the-moment fashion. “Confdence is the No.
1 criteria as far as appearing beautiful and be-
ing beautiful. The question is, how does one
get confdent?” It’s about more than beauty.
“Having children, being a mum,” says Barker,
a father of two, “you need to be confdent for
children to take you seriously.” He advises
women to seek confdence through another
one of the Beauty Equation’s elements: com-
passion, specifcally by affecting one’s commu-
nity through service and empathy. “Showing
common courtesy, leading by example, having
an open heart and actively going out of your
way to help others,” writes Barker in the book,
“is single-handedly the easiest way to build
your own sense of worth, which will naturally
build your confdence.”
Barker prioritizes rather than balances: “It’s
not the work and then the family. It’s always
the family and then the work. That’s really
my starting point. Every morning I wake up
at 6 a.m. with my kids [Jack, 4, and Jasmine, 1]
bouncing into the bedroom. I have those pre-
cious moments every morning with them.”
That equation adds up pretty nicely.
—Rebecca Morse
■Make tiMe for you; Make
tiMe for her. It’s important
for you to have your own life,
your own friends and your
own things. And dads and
partners: Make time for your
lady! “I don’t mean time for
you to be with them,” clarifes
Barker, “but rather make sure
she gets some time of so they
can do what they want to do—
without you.”
■throw fashion to the wind.
“Wear what makes you feel
comfortable,” says Barker, ad-
vising moms to avoid getting
“wrapped up with what’s in
fashion.”
■treat your Body right.
Being good to yourself in-
cludes keeping yourself
healthy—and that means
watching your salt, sugar and
cafeine intake. “We have a
tendency to drink way too
much cofee, especially in New
York,” says Barker.
Three Tips to make a Top Mom Feel like a Top Model
M
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31
playground fall 2010
Joy Bauer is every-
where: on the small
screen (NBC’s
Today Show), on
the even smaller
screen (Taxi TV), on
bookshelves, in her
private-practice of-
fce and on a fabulous
Web site, joybauer.
com. This diet dy-
namo has become the
nutrition guru to New
Yorkers island-wide
with her positive, achievable nutrition
goals. But with all those commitments, her three most
important ones are her daughters, Jesse, 15, and Aiden
Jane, 10, and her son, Cole, 13. It’s this hands-on work-
ing mom’s nonstop schedule that makes her nutrition
advice so accessible and so efective for busy New York
parents. Read on for some of her favorite tips.
Put nutrition front and center on the table.
For your children to learn to make the right food
decisions, they need to be faced with great choices
every day. “Empower your kids with a variety of
produce so that they grow up loving it and they are
attracted to it when they see it out and about,” ad-
vises Joy. Don’t sabotage the process by sneaking
produce items into food in lieu of presenting them
at the table. Joy admits, “I’m the frst one to add
pureed pumpkin into my ground turkey taco meat,
but after my kids gobble it down, I tell them it’s in
there.” And out on the Bauer table that same night?
Sugar snap peas, chopped lettuce, tomato, corn
and low-fat cheese. “Never give up visually showing
them—because that’s when they’ll take the bowl
and eat it up on their own.”
Out of sight? Out of mind. When the kids are out
of the house, whether at school or on a play date or
sleepover, how can we make sure they’re making
healthy eating choices? We can’t. Joy says: “Con-
trol what you can control—and that’s what’s in the
house. Leave them alone the rest of the time. When
they’re out and about, they’re going to have regular
pizza, regular cheese, a scoop of ice cream—and
that’s okay! When they’re in the house, though, it’s
1 percent milk or skim milk; it’s fabulous-looking,
fresh produce, always ready to go.” If you send them
of in the morning after a healthy breakfast, says
Joy, and give them a healthy dinner at night, then
you’ve covered those two meal.
Take advantage of the witching hour.
“One of my best strategies for getting kids to eat
more vegetables is that witching hour before din-
ner,” says Joy. It’s that dreaded 20 minutes: Din-
ner’s just about ready, but the kids are too starving
to wait. Keep little hands away from crackers, ad-
vises Joy, and put out a big bowl of vegetables with
a low-calorie dipping sauce or guacamole.
—Rebecca Morse
The Joy in Nutrition
Fall Semester begins
September 20th.
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School of Music
32
playground fall 2010
Real Estate
THE pErFECT FIT
We turned to the experts (real
estate broker moms!) for advice
on fnding fabulous family fats
in our city of dreams
O
nce you’ve decided to raise your
family in Manhattan, the inevitable
question arises: Where’s that go-
ing to happen? Fabulous family apartments
are hidden treasure on this island, but ahoy,
mates: We’ve found a group of expert guides
who know the market inside out—and also the
unique trials and tribulations of teething, tod-
dling and teenagers in Manhattan. They’re real
estate agent moms! These apartment-savvy real
estate professionals have frsthand experience
in buying, renting and parenting in New York
City. Family of four in a one-bedroom? Moms to
the rescue!
You know those three little words—location,
location, location—and for growing families,
that means schools. “[A]ll parents consider the
schooling options. It’s a huge consideration,”
says Valerie Sherman, a vice president and as-
sociate broker at Sotheby’s Realty, who raised
her twin sons, now 23, in the P.S. 41 (Greenwich
Village) district. The area schools were also a
reason that Francesca Ryan, a residential real
estate agent with Prudential Douglas Elliman,
chose to raise her three daughters in Battery
Park City. She counsels her clients similarly:
“The schools must be excellent.” Even if your
family’s path is private, school will dictate loca-
tion. For Christine Miller Martin, a managing
director at Warburg Realty, fnding an apartment
near her now-9-year-old daughter’s school was
paramount, especially given Miller Martin’s
own childhood growing up downtown—while
attending school uptown. “The experience of
that commute informed my decision on where
I wanted to live.” The daughter of a working
mom, this working mom recalls missing uptown
play dates: With her own mother’s schedule, it
just wasn’t an option. Today, her daughter at-
tends the same school Miller Martin herself did,
and they love walking to school together from
their nearby home. “Sometimes we actually bike
through Central Park to get to school!”
Make a short list of school districts: Your
neighborhood choices may be affected by your
space needs. Sotheby’s Sherman has seen cli-
ents “willing to push the boundaries of where
they are looking for more space.” Space, Man-
hattan’s Holy Grail, is something to reach for:
Francesca Ryan of Prudential Douglas Elliman
advises clients to “stretch to buy a place to be in
for the duration, [especially] because we don’t
know what’s going to happen to the market,”
notes Ryan. She continues: “An apartment is
such a huge investment. If you can invest your
money wisely, with two or three rooms at least,
that’s defnitely the best place to go, even if you
just have one child.” Having chosen her own
apartment knowing she could be in it “for the
duration,” Warburg’s Miller Martin agrees:
“Whenever I work with any buyer, I have them
think hard about their long- and short-term
goal. They shouldn’t be thinking about buying
if they’re not going to be in the apartment for
fve years.” Emily Beare, an executive vice pres-
ident at CORE NYC, has lived that decision. “I
lived in a two-bedroom apartment with my two
kids for fve years, and we did it, [but at some
point] it was time for more space.” Her advice
to clients? “If you can, stretch that little bit. Go
for it, so you don’t have to move in fve years.”
And space isn’t just about square footage.
“You need the room count but also the storage
space,” counsels CORE’s Beare. “When they’re
little, it’s the strollers, then it’s skateboards and
scooters and hockey sticks. … It’s amazing the
things kids come with!” (These days, for Beare,
they come with the job: Her grown son and
Battery park
City has lots of
opportunities for
outdoor play.
J
s
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b
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i
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EXCLUSIVE MARKETING & LEASING AGENT:
34
playground fall 2010
daughter both work at CORE alongside her!)
Think outside the four walls for elbow room and
consider outdoor space—the deciding factor for a re-
cent client of Beare’s. “It gave them room to expand
on,” says Emily, and made the apartment feel bigger.
Outdoor space is the ultimate luxury in the concrete
jungle. Robin Reardon, a real estate salesperson with
Sotheby’s Realty, who raised four children in a town-
house in Carnegie Hill, always wanted to be near “a bit
of green grass. I have always felt very fortunate to own
a house in the city with a garden—it’s like being in the
country.” Elliman’s Francesca Ryan chose Battery Park
City so her three girls, ages 9, 11 and 13, could enjoy
its lush green space. She now recommends the area
to her clients “to get that suburban feel as well as the
sense of safety.”
Common outdoor space drove Sotheby’s Valerie
Sherman to the prewar Greenwich Village cooperative
where she moved when her twin sons were born. Hav-
ing bought the largest apartment she and her husband
could afford at the time, which still compromised on
space and views, they bought the adjoining apartment
years later for views and light. Buying the apartment
next door is some homeowners’ dream come true, and
Reardon of Sotheby’s notes that “the demand for large
apartments in well-established buildings is prompting
many buyers to combine apartments rather than com-
promise on location.” The downside? Doubling up on
monthly maintenance, which, as Warburg’s Miller Mar-
tin, notes, people want to keep at a “reasonable level.”
And don’t forget, Valerie Sherman adds, the signifcant
construction costs.
If combining apartments isn’t an option, look out-
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playground fall 2010
Stepping inside 407 East 75th Street
is like being transported to the kind of
dream home one would expect to fnd in
the Hamptons or Fire Island. From inside
this nearly 9,000-square-foot oasis, you
would never know you’re in Manhattan. Its
high ceilings, spacious living and dining
spaces and an open kitchen leading to an
enormous Zen garden leave you breath-
less. Thanks to an almost invisible glass-
wall partition, the garden becomes part
of the panorama, creating an illusion of
continual space.
The Upper East Side gem was built in
1910 and currently is on the market for
$10,500,000. Once owned by famed pho-
tographer Richard Avedon, it is consists
of four foors, six bedrooms and 5.5 bath-
rooms. It also boasts over 2,000 square
feet of magnifcent private gardens, the
Zen garden being just one of two outdoor
spaces. The home’s present owner, Oliver
Sarkozy (half-brother to French President
Nicolas Sarkozy), with the help of architect
Michele Busiri-Vici, has put $2 million worth
of renovations into the property. Some of
the fabulous additions include White Oak
hardwood foors; Valli & Valli door handles;
incredible skylights that food the entire
building with natural light; a new custom-
designed, top-of-the-line St. James kitchen;
and Bisazza mosaic tiles, Duravit bathroom
fxtures and Dornbracht bathroom faucets
in the bathrooms.
A fantastic house for children (Avedon’s
former glass-enclosed studio on the top
foor makes for a delightful play room), the
property is located in proximity to some of
the city’s best private schools. Right down
the street is the Lycée Français, and a few
blocks away are Brearley and Chapin, to
name just a few!
Six bedrooms, 5.5 baths, two studios and
a 2,000-square-foot Zen garden.
The property is being listed by
Michael Bolla of Luxury Lofts and Homes.
michaelbolla.com.
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playground fall 2010
side the front door for extra square feet. “Newer apartments tend
to be smaller partly because developers have tried to create a whole
lifestyle,” Sherman points out. “If you end up affording something
not as large as you’d like, there are developments that [feature]
‘lifestyle rooms.’” The amenity boom has drawn many buyers to
buildings with perks. Robin Reardon mentions, “Here at Sotheby’s
International Realty, many of our clients seem to be focused on ame-
nities—a pool, play room, library, etc.”
There are still other aspects of the building to consider. When se-
lecting a home for her family—including her 19-month-old son—Reba
Miller, president of RM Miller & Associates in Manhattan, focused on
building services, including “the willingness and ease which the staff
of a building reaches out to help when coming in with full packages
and a stroller, or a rainy or cold day.”
“The doorman becomes increasingly important, not only in terms
of security but in terms of your life,” agrees Christine Miller Martin
of Warburg. And it’s not just the staff that matter. In her own apart-
ment search, Reba Miller realized that “the building having young
families [was] essential to me, because of built-in friends that we [have]
playdates with in and outside of the building.” She adds: “I have been
lucky that I have great neighbors who adore my son. Even the woman
downstairs who has not had a child living above her for years has come
to understand once in a while the ball is going to bounce.” As Miller
Martin puts it, “It takes a village” to raise a child in Manhattan.
At the end of the day, when it comes to Manhattan real estate,
“nothing is perfect,” allows CORE’s Emily Beare. “You need to decide
what’s most important to you. You can’t have it all. … There’s always
going to be that trade-off.” Even for brokers, who have their pick? “We
were only looking downtown when we moved to the city,” said Beare.
“I didn’t want to be on Sutton Place—but I found this fabulous three-
bedroom apartment for a fraction of what I would have paid down-
town.” Sotheby’s Valerie Sherman “bought the largest apartment [she]
could afford and compromised on light and view space.” For Francesca
Ryan of Elliman, living in lush Battery Park City was more important
than having a water view; she settled for a partial view. Miller Martin,
whose wish for a freplace lost out to location, notes: “There’s always a
concession in New York City real estate—always.”
And in some ways, living in New York with kids is a trade-off in
itself. “It’s not always easy,” admits Reba Miller. “You must have a lot
of patience, not just with your children but with the diffculty of liv-
ing in the city, whether it’s waiting for your turn on a swing, getting
in and out of a taxi. … It all is an entirely different experience than the
suburbs.” That said, she continues, “I have loved the experience and
wouldn’t have traded it for anything.” Francesca Ryan agrees: “I think
New York City kids have a view of the world that’s much more open.”
“New York is an amazing place to raise children,” concludes Chris-
tine Miller Martin of Warburg. She should know: She gave the ’burbs
a try when her daughter was an infant. Nine months later? They were
city girls once more.
—Rebecca Morse
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playground fall 2010
Mid-shopping midtown
lunch spot
In: A leisurely, elegant meal at
Le Caprice
out: A rushed department-
store-cafe salad
Kids’ knapsack to go back
to school in style
In: Le Sportsac rucksack,
complete with chic pattern
out: Nylon wheelie, ordered
online, with old-school mono-
gram
Birthday party thank-you
notes
In: Personalized Divalysscious
stationery from Cocodot
out: Pre-printed cards from
Hallmark
“don’t leave Home Without It”
clean-freak multitaskers
In: Yes to Carrots facial wipes
out: Heavily fragranced baby wipes
Inevitably larger-than-expected
seasonal expense
In: Back-to-school wardrobe
for the kids
out: Back-to-school wardrobe
for Mommy
the kids’ culinary memory of
summer
In: Danny Meyer’s Big Apple BBQ
out: Oscar Meyers and hamburgers
in the Hamptons
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Whether you’re shopping for back-to-
school essentials for the kids or just
some fall goodies for yourself, we’ve got
the season’s must-haves.
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In: Paloma Picasso
Tifany “Love” necklace
out: Hammered initial
charms
Flats to live in
In: Tkees B. ballerinas,
which come in a
rainbow of colors
out: Designer ballerinas,
which come with a big
price tag
Back-to-school supplies
In: Kimmel Kids Back To School
Kits, available at kimmelkids.
com and crewcuts
out: Boring Black and White
Notebooks and #2 Pencils
Cozy warmer for the
little ones
In: Happy Blankie
out: Last year’s Snuggie
youthful accessory
you covet
In: TopShop lipstick
out: Silly Bandz
Weatherproofng for a
rainy day
In: Ralph Lauren kids’
Wellington boots
out: Bright yellow rain
slicker
trendy trousers
In: J Brand Houlihans
out: Jeggings
actually stylish-and-pre-
sentable babygear
In: Mamas and Papas Loop
highchair
out: Designer logo diaper bag
painfully long fall evening
gathering
In: New parents’ night at school
out: Rosh Hashanah dinner at
the in-laws
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window seats
design studios
small businesses
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schools
universities
bookcases
desks
filing cabinets
call centers
workstations
cubicles
reception desks
medical offices
veterinary clinics
hospitals
consult offices
exam rooms
labs
40
playground fall 2010
soul sister
Go for the gold with Soul Cycling
W
hen it comes to exercise in New
York City, I think I’ve played the
feld. During my yoga phase, I
sweated, contorted and ohmed my way through
nearly every style, from Ashtanga to pre-natal.
In my less Zen, more aggressive period, I be-
came obsessed with kick boxing and Power
Strike. I got in touch with my inner stripper
when I took a pole dancing class and then fell
in love with the Latin-inspired dance aerobics
of Zumba. I’ve also sculpted and squatted with
a playground ball between my thighs during
endless, painful hours of Pilates, Lotte Berk and
Physique 57.
Meet my new love … Soul Cycle. I’m hardly
the frst to fall for Soul Cycle. It’s been creating
a sensation across New York for the past four
years. Ever since Soul Cycle opened its frst
indoor cycling sanctuary in the back lobby of a
nondescript building on West 72nd Street four
years ago, the experience has become an obses-
sion for thousands of New Yorkers.
Think of Soul Cycle as spinning 2.0. It is
rhythmic cycling to the cadence of a totally hip
and rockin’ party. At Soul Cycle, the playlist is as
important as the spinning, and the instructors
take their music seriously.
Recently, I had my frst date with Soul
Cycle at its fagship Tribeca studio. Walking
in felt like entering a modern urban oasis that
was a cross between a spa and an Apple store.
The air was ripe with a delicious grapefruit
smell courtesy of fickering Jonathan Adler
candles. The white walls contained inspira-
tional messages like “we aspire to inspire” and
the “rhythm pushes us harder.” Another wall
of Polaroids documenting its Soul Cyclists dec-
orated the entrance. This is not
just a class, but a community.
Enter the sanctum. The
lights are dimmed, more
candles are lit and the bikes
are aligned in the room so
that a powerful pack-type
of energy can ignite. The
mirrors steam as the in-
structors encourage their
disciples who are usually
sporting pirate bandanas
to “get into themselves,”
“feed off the pack,” “give to
your neighbor” and “change
your life.” The teachers are part
motivational speakers, part DJ
and part rock star.
But it’s not just the instructors
who inspire. The two founders
and owners of Soul Cycle, Julie
Rice, 40, and Elizabeth
Cutler, 42, have literally
revolutionized the spin
Fitness
movement and are at the cusp of creating a na-
tional lifestyle brand. Coincidentally, both are
moms to girls and met each other on a blind
date fve years ago, when their daughters were
5 months old.
Julie, a talent manager at the time, and Eliz-
abeth, a real estate agent, loved to spin and had
a hunch that they could reinvent the exercise
and experience. They traded phone numbers at
the lunch and by dinner they were searching for
studio space.
“We actually became business partners before
we became friends,” Julie said. “Elizabeth went
on Craigslist that night and started looking for
a location for the studio, and I had to fgure out
how we were going to buy and clean the towels.”
The goal was simple even though the busi-
ness model didn’t exist yet in New York City.
“No one has ever done a stand-alone studio
in New York City, and people thought we were
crazy. But we really wrapped our brain around
this and believed that every time someone
walked into the door, it was going to be an ex-
perience. You were going to look better and feel
better. We knew if we could deliver that every
time, people would come back.”
And people did come back. And a ride that
one of the Soul Cyclists did to raise money for
Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign truly put
Soul Cycle on the radar. Former President Bill
Clinton came to the class, and the buzz
started to spread.
Today it’s not unusual to see celeb-
rities sweating and swaying on their
bikes next to stay-at-home moms.
Soul Cyclist devotees even include
an 81-year-old man and a 77-year-
old woman who swear that this has
changed their lives and made them
young again.
“People have had very meaningful
experiences in the room,” Elizabeth
said. “It’s our culture and it’s our mis-
sion that we provide inspiration inside
the studio. Part of the reason we start-
ed Soul Cycle was to create a place to
become empowered. For us, Soul Cycle is
not only an incredible ftness experience
but a lifestyle.”
—Wendy Sachs b
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Big fans:
Brooke shields
and Kelly ripa.
41
playground fall 2010
Ildi Pekar Skin Care is worth searching for. Tucked
away in the “penthouse” of a nondescript midtown
Manhattan building, this understated, bare-bones
ofce boasts one of the leading facialists and body
treatment gurus in the city. Ildi Pekar, who is mom to a
3-year-old girl, trained in Hungary and Austria before
moving to the United States 14 years ago. Pekar ofers
a range of services that are hard to fnd elsewhere.
For example, Pekar claims that you can lose 6 to 9
inches doing her Therma Slim treatment, in which she
slathers you with 12 essential oils, cocoons you in a
blanket and lets you sweat out toxins for 30 minutes.
Her LED light therapy helps minimize blotches, age
spots and scars, like those pesky C-section daggers.
She also does traditional deep-cleansing facials and
self-tanning.
I went in for the Refne Facial with Oxygen Treat-
ment. Although I was wary when told to remove all
my jewelry due to the electric currents involved, I
had no reason to worry. Pekar deftly used her all-
organic products to soothe my skin. I withstood 10
minutes of facial-muscle-stimulating micro-currents,
which felt like my grandmother pinching my cheeks
yet oddly relaxing. Pekar held up a mirror: My left
cheekbone was defnitely more pronounced post-
treatment and my cheek was far less pufy. I loved
the sensation of the passion fruit peel. Even the
oxygen blast with liquid Vitamin C was a nice ending
whoosh. By the time I stood up an hour later, my skin
felt thinner, smoother and seriously sanded down. I
must say: I looked great!
I couldn’t leave without begging for some daily
skin-care advice. Pekar’s top tips were:
1. Get a facial every four to six weeks. If you don’t,
you’ll end up with clogged pores, blackheads and dry
skin, which leads to wrinkles. Instead, treat yourself
to clean pores, an even complexion, a nice glow and a
younger appearance. Body treatments will also help
diminish cellulite, and tone and frm your skin.
2. Maintain skin-healthy consumption habits.
Drink green juice to help digestion and eliminate tox-
ins. Skip Starbucks: The cafeine and sugar are a bad
combination. Limit dairy to reduce breakouts. Drink
a ton of water.
3. Use sunblock every day, no excuses. Reapply it
often, every hour if you’re sweating.
4. Clean and exfoliate your skin. Use moisturizer,
especially one with peptides.
Visit www.ildipekar.com. Ildi Pekar Skin Care, 315
Madison Avenue, Suite 2600 (26th foor), New York,
NY 10017, (212) 682-6080, salon@ildipekar.com.
—Zibby Right
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Central Park:
Doing your Part
It takes a village to raise a child;
it takes a city to care for a park
A
s a Manhattan mom, I don’t know
what I would do without Central Park
and its 21 fantastic playgrounds. Yet
until I spoke to Kamie Lightburn, chairperson
of Central Park Playground Partners, I’d never
given much thought to how the playgrounds
were maintained. I’d assumed city funds cov-
ered all maintenance, including playgrounds,
in Central Park. In fact, 85 percent of the park’s
$25 million annual operating budget is raised by
the Central Park Conservancy.
Since September 1991, when Playground
Partners was formed (by the Women’s Com-
mittee of the Central Park Conservancy), it has
raised $6 million to keep the playgrounds clean,
safe and well maintained. Funds raised by the
group support a conservancy maintenance crew
with its own equipment dedicated to the play-
grounds. In the past year, the group has raised
nearly $600,000—the most in its history.
“People don’t realize how much their do-
nation counts,” Lightburn says. “Every dollar
makes a difference.”
Momentum has been building for the Play-
ground Partners, now 3,500 members strong:
The group’s Annual Playground Party in May
raised 40 percent more this year than last and
an impressive 67 percent increase over 2008.
But Lightburn says welcoming new volun-
teers, supporters and fresh ideas into the fold
is vital to the group’s efforts in maintaining the
conservancy’s high standards for playgrounds.
Children rake leaves and
plant bulbs at the 96th
Street playground.


OPEN HOUSE: Tuesday, October 26th at 6pm
Call Kristin on (212) 481 2700, or email visit.us@bis-ny.org to register interest.
Private tours also available Monday-Friday to fit your schedule.

 Explore our stunning riverside facilities as you meet with our
Headmaster and Senior Management Team
 Learn about our globally acclaimed, highly portable curriculum
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THE BRITISH INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL
OF NEW YORK
20 Waterside Plaza, New York, NY 10010 www.bis-ny.org
AN IBO WORLD SCHOOL FOR CHILDREN AGES 3-14 YEARS OLD
43
playground fall 2010
Supporters can join at any sponsorship level, and the
group encourages families to get involved by visiting
local park playgrounds to meet the “Playground Cap-
tains.” Each playground has three or four passionate,
dedicated team captains who host free monthly events
in their playgrounds (usually from 10 a.m. to noon on
the third Saturday of the month). They meet and greet
the playground users, talk to them about their needs
and concerns and let them know how to get involved.
“We really want to teach children the importance
of volunteerism and environmentalism,” Lightburn
says. With family-focused events like a fall leaf-
sweep, Playground Partners offers many ways for
children, no matter how young, to directly give back
to their communities.
Playground Partners’ largest fund-raiser, the An-
nual Playground Party, held at Heckscher Playground
the third Wednesday in May, is the only family party
held in Central Park’s playgrounds all year. The group
also hosts a variety of events in the fall and spring,
from hikes and bird-watching to breakfasts, ice cream
socials and cocktail events, like the April benefts host-
ed by Madison Avenue boutiques as part of Platinum
Jewels in Bloom.
“The Central Park playgrounds make it possible to
raise our kids in this urban environment,” Lightburn
notes. “They are the
most precious outdoor
resource and give our
children the opportunity
for unstructured play,
which is so important. If
we didn’t have the park,
a lot of us wouldn’t live
here. We have to main-
tain the playgrounds up
to the high standards
we’ve achieved now. It’s
such a rewarding feeling
to do something so valu-
able and important to
our community.”
— Zibby Right
Check out Playground
Partners online:
www.centralparknyc.org/
donate/more-ways-to-
give/playground-part-
ners.html.
Playground Party
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playground fall 2010
Profle
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lara spencer:
ultimate insider
The host of The Insider
talks to us about priorities
J
ulia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker, Sandra
Bullock—these are just a few of the A-list
moms who’ve been interviewed by the
host of CBS’s The Insider, Lara Spencer. We
turned the tables on the native New Yorker and
mother of two to fnd out what life is like on the
other side of the camera.
It was just two years ago that Lara Spencer
packed up her bags—and her family—in their
Greenwich Connecticut home to head west to
Los Angeles where The Insider would set up its
new studio. “I am a frm believer in embracing
where you are,” says the mother of two, who
takes a quick break from shooting to sit across
from me, in full hair and makeup, at an outdoor
table at the Starbucks on Ventura Boulevard.
“New York will always be my home,” she says.
“I would imagine one day we will make it back
there, but for now, it’s hello, Hollywood.”
So far there are no complaints. The beauti-
ful weather allows the family, which includes
husband David Haffenreffer, daughter Katie, 5,
and son Duff, 8, to spend quality time together.
“We hike Runyon Canyon or take the dogs for a
walk. Here there is no excuse not to go outside.
The time spent as a family is defnitely more of
a bonding experience. In New York on a rainy
day, it was much easier just to put the kids in
front of a DVD and press play.”
Another advantage—The Insider sticks to an
East Coast shooting schedule. So if you don’t
mind getting up at the crack
of dawn, you have the after-
noons free. “I miss breakfast
time with the kids and get-
ting them out the door, but
the trade-off is that I am
always there for school pick-
up. I am there for home-
work, and every single night
we have dinner together. It’s
a rare occasion that I have
to do an award show and because it is rare, it is
also tolerable.”
But make no mistake, Lara Spencer, despite
her bright and sunny demeanor, head-to-toe
designer digs (she is wearing Christian Loubou-
tin shoes and a skintight red-hot David Meister
dress) and successful television career, does not
claim to have it all fgured out.
“Anybody that tells you that they’ve got the
motherhood thing down should call me right
away, because it’s constantly evolving. I do the
best I can every day, and I really take it day by
day. Some days I wish I had more time, and
some days I feel like it couldn’t have been any
better, that it was just perfect and everyone at
work and at home (including my husband) got
everything they needed. But those days are rare
joys, and you just take a sigh of relief when that
happens.”
After fve minutes with the
blond bombshell, you can tell
that regardless of how many
red-carpet events she has
hosted or celebrities she meets,
when it comes to her priori-
ties, family comes frst. “One of
the reasons that I am so happy
at The Insider is because they
are very family-friendly. They
understand that if I am balanced at home, then
I will be able to give 110 percent at work. I am
very lucky that way.”
For Spencer, achieving balance at home
means really listening to her kids each and ev-
ery day. “They are both at the age where they
have a lot to say and they are going through
various changes at school. I just need them to
know that I am here and that I am listening. Not
just phoning in.”
—Wendy Straker Hauser
lara with samantha Harris
at the golden globes; and
behind the scenes at the
emmy awards (left).
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48
playground fall 2010
Time Management
alison Brod
Mom of Spencer, 4, and
Austin, 3, is president of
Alison Brod Public
Relations and lives on
the Upper East Side.
7:45 a.m.: I either reach for
my BlackBerry and alarm
buzzer at the same time or
am woken up by Spencer,
who is currently obsessed
with the weather and
comes in to read the tem-
perature on my clock. 7:47
a.m.: Brush teeth while
reading Page Six. 8 a.m.:
Join Austin and Spencer
as they eat breakfast. They
eat homemade oatmeal
with rainbow sprinkles
(a compromise of health
and bribery) while I drink
a Zico coconut water and
answer emails. 8:40 a.m.:
Take Austin and Spencer
to preschool in a taxi but
have to wait to fnd an SUV
or van because they only
like to travel in ‘big taxis
or airplanes!’ 8:55 a.m.:
Take a work call while in
the Play-Doh section of
Austin’s preschool class
and pretend that I’m not
surrounded by 3-year-olds
with their hands covered
in neon paint. 9:30 a.m.:
Arrive at the offce to
meet about our Fashion
Week strategy. 10:30 a.m.:
Take a car to the studios
where I’m a judge on a
new Food Network show
called 24 Hour Restaurant
Battle, while ordering
birthday gifts from Mini
Boden online on my iPad.
latham thomas
Mom of Fulano, 7, is
founder of Tender Shoots
Wellness and lives in
Harlem.
6 a.m.: I start the day by
meditating and practicing
yoga before my son wakes
up. This helps to set the
tone for my day, which is
always busy. 6:30 a.m. – 7
a.m.: I make breakfast for
us. It always consists of
fresh fruit, acai smoothie
with granola and sliced
bananas and, when it’s
cooler, oat and quinoa
porridge. 7:20 a.m.: Wake
Fuli up with ‘tickle’ time
and head to the bathroom
to wash up and brush
teeth. 7:30 a.m.: Fuli puts
together his outft for
the day. He likes to wear
Pokemon T-shirts, skinny
jeans and sports jackets
with Converse sneakers.
7:45 a.m. – 8 a.m.: We
sit at the kitchen table
together to eat breakfast.
I pack lunch for school.
We write each other love
notes, which we post on
our bathroom walls. 8:05
a.m.: I get dressed while
Fuli is fnishing breakfast.
I’m putting together skirts,
scarves, blouses and hand-
bags like it’s a competition
to get out the door because
at this point, it is! If I’m
not dressed on time then
we’ll be late for school. 8:15
a.m.: We’re out the door to
school and during our sub-
way ride, Fuli reads to me.
He loves Japanese-style
Pokémon comic books.
Karyn ravin
Mom of Ben, 2, and a
daughter on the way is
president of Maletzky
Media and lives on the
Upper West Side.
6 a.m.: From bed, check
the baby monitor—Ben
wakes up anywhere from
5 a.m. to 6:30
a.m.—then my
email on my
iPhone. 6:30 am:
CNBC Squawk
Box is already on
the TV because
my husband,
a corporate
restructuring
lawyer, is almost
out the door. Ben
sometimes gets
in bed to snuggle
with me. He
watches Yo Gab-
ba Gabba while
I do some work
on my laptop or check out
NYTimes.com. 6:45 a.m.:
Eat breakfast—I’ll have a
bowl of cereal just to be
social with Ben though I
typically eat at the offce—
keeping my email close
by. Ben usually requests a
bagel with cream cheese
and a glass of milk and
we sing songs, count and
talk about this day. It’s the
time in the morning that
we get to hang out before
I go to work, so I try to
engage him—it makes me
feel a little less guilty leav-
ing him if I can have really
good quality time with him
before I head out. 7 a.m.:
My nanny arrives and gets
Ben’s snacks and lunch
prepared for the day and
makes sure Ben’s diaper
bag is stocked. She’ll check
the calendar to confrm
his classes. 7:15 a.m.: Flip
through morning shows
and go online to WSJ.com
and USAToday.com to see
what’s being covered while
Ben plays cars, colors or
plays with Play-Doh with
his nanny. 7:45 a.m.: Ben
gets my purse, gives me a
big hug and kiss and turns
around and keeps playing.
8 a.m.: Walk to the sub-
way and call my friends or
mom on the way.
victoria shtainer
Mom of Lucas, 3,
Marcus, 9, and
Stephanie, 10, is senior vice
president at Prudential
Douglas Elliman and lives
in midtown east.
6:30 a.m.: Wake up Marcus
and Stephanie. I always
end up brushing one of
their hair—Marcus has
longish hair (à la Justin
Bieber), and it has to be
just so. 6:45 a.m.: Get into
my workout clothes; feed
the kids breakfast. 7:20
a.m.: Walk Marcus and
Stephanie to the bus, mak-
ing sure they have their
after-school equipment
(tennis racquet, violin) and
snacks for Hebrew School.
8:30 am: Lucas wakes
up. My nanny brings him
to classes and the park.
Answer emails from inter-
national clients in other
time zones, then work out
at Physique 57 for toning
classes or with my trainer.
9 a.m. – 10 a.m.: Start call-
ing back clients and check-
ing in on listings, clients,
status checks with team
members. My mom calls
each morning to check in
while I do meal planning,
sign up for kids’ activities
and send thank-you gifts to
clients.
—Lambeth Hochwald
ready, set. go!
How four moms get ready for the day
O
h, the morning routine. Just admit it!
Mornings are a chaotic triathlon: Guzzle
coffee, feed mouths, dress bodies, brush teeth.
With the amount of things that need to get done, it’s a
wonder we get out of the house at all! We spoke with
six moms who graciously shared their morning routine
with us. We’ll bet you recognize your own mornings
in these stories.
Karyn ravin with Ben.
C
M
Y
CM
MY
CY
CMY
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playground fall 2010
Real Estate Real Estate
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Manhattan, outsourced
leaving Manhattan … but avoiding
the suburbs
F
or the Sex and the City generation, the
suburbs were as foreign a concept as
extra closet space. Leaving Manhattan
wasn’t an option. Why own a car when a feet of
yellow chariots is at your disposal? Why bother
with a backyard when the city mows your
Great Lawn for you? Why fght for a seat on the
6:30 p.m. to Greenwich when there are seats at
the Waverly Inn to fght for?
But sometimes all that sex in the city turns
into, well, kids. Oops. And with wait lists for
public schools, sky-high prices for rock-bottom
space and the New York City vibe diluted,
Manhattan parents are scanning the skyline
for a loophole: The suburbs are a dirty word,
but the city’s feeling … dirty. Can space, afford-
ability and a family-friendly favor coexist with
contemporary art, 24-hour-a-day diners and
subway access? Yes, urban warriors, there is a
middle ground between Scarsdale and Soho.
Pockets of citifed civilization are popping up
just outside Manhattan, allowing families to
vote themselves off the island—but take the
best of the city with them when they go.
Moving out of Manhattan put the Guarda
family back in touch with the unique spirit that
they had loved about the borough when they
frst arrived—a spirit that, for them, had begun
to disappear. “We just keep asking ourselves,
‘Why didn’t we do this sooner?’” say Michael
and Nanette Guarda about moving to Williams-
burg. Brooklyn Heights too expensive? Park
Slope too ubiquitous? Many Manhattan families
are fnding themselves in Billyburg, an ultra-hip
neighborhood less than 20 minutes from Union
Square. The Guardas feel their new neighbor-
hood is “a lot like the New York we loved when
we moved here in 1989,” with an eclectic, almost
European vibe. “We like supporting indepen-
dent vendors,” says Michael, and it’s easy to do
with unique glassblowers, coffee shops and bou-
tiques only a short walk away from the Guardas’
condominium at 80 Metropolitan, where the 114
lofts and nine townhouses are “evocative of the
prewar lofts of historic Williamsburg.”
With the help of Halstead agent Jay
Overbye, the Guardas combined two apart-
ments to fashion a sprawling three-bedroom,
1,700-square-foot home, where both daugh-
ters—Natasha, 8 years old, and 9-month-old
Gemma—can have their own rooms, something
that might not have been possible had they
stayed on the Upper East Side. Williamsburg’s
family-focused attractions like McCarren Park,
Brooklyn Bowl and the 7-acre East River State
Park are drawing Manhattan families like the
Guardas, who are fnding the best of all worlds
in new Williamsburg developments, like 80
Met, the rentals at 184 Kent or the Williams-
burg Edge condominiums, where amenities
include a children’s play room and a plunge
pool. Williamsburg residents rave about the af-
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playground fall 2010
fordable space, the urban style, and the feeling of community engendered
by the young, laid-back vibe. “You live in New York and you’re separated
by paper-thin walls,” says Michael Guarda, but the neighbors beyond
the walls are total strangers. “Here we know all our neighbors on a frst-
name basis.” And those walls aren’t paper thin anymore: 80 Met’s devel-
oper used the same high-tech soundproofng techniques it employed in
building Steiner Studios, a state-of-the-art flm and television production
studio in Brooklyn Yard. “I thought I was a light sleeper,” jokes Michael,
who was easily awaken by the noise in Manhattan. “It turns out I’m a
pretty heavy sleeper.” Sweet dreams, Guardas!
Williamsburg isn’t the only neighborhood du jour for Brooklyn-bound
families; one trendy area has its roots in the past. When Chicagoans Lian
and Paul Jessup and their son moved east from the Windy City, they
blew right past Manhattan and directly to the tree-lined streets of Fort
Greene, an area steeped in American history and Italianate architecture.
Named after a Revolutionary War–era fort and its commander, General
Nathanael Greene, Fort Greene captures the old New York feeling that’s
disappeared in modern-day New York. Interspersed in that nostalgic feel,
though, are 21st-century perks, like the Brooklyn Academy of Music and
great shopping (Carol’s Daughter for Beyoncé sightings!). A long way from
the 18th-century General Greene on horseback, Fort Greene today is at
the crossroads of Brooklyn, with easy access to the BQE, Manhattan and
Brooklyn Bridges and 10 subway lines. That access to public transporta-
tion was the main draw for the Jessup family and their 20-month-old
son, but their Fort Greene shoes are made for walking, too. “We have en-
joyed being able to walk to our favorite haunts in Fort Greene, Brooklyn
Heights, BoCoCa and Dumbo,” especially the New York Transit and Pier
1 and 6. Fort Greene Park anchors the neighborhood with greenery and
the spirit of the past: The lush area was originally the site of forts built for
the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. Upon the insistence of Walt
Whitman, it was transformed into a green public space designed by Fred-
erick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux, the designers of Central Park. No
Revolutionary War barracks here: Manhattan-style housing options have
made Fort Greene even more appealing to urban families. For the Jessups,
the Avalon Fort Greene rental community was the obvious choice when
looking for a “new development with attractive foor plans and ameni-
ties that we were looking for in our lifestyle.” Indeed, no amenities were
livingroom at
80 Met.

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54
playground fall 2010
spared for the studio, one-, two- and three-bedroom residences (each of which
has a washer and dryer); these amenities include a ftness center and on-site
garage with valet parking and Zipcar vehicles. And at nearby One Hanson Place,
the historic Williamsburg Savings Bank, built in 1929, has been transformed into
luxurious condominiums: These days, instead of safety deposit boxes, there are
play rooms to safely deposit your children—and storage rooms to lock down
strollers and bikes.
Sometimes, the city is more dazzling from the outside in. East Siders have
long associated Long Island City with the historic red Pepsi-Cola sign shin-
ing from its shores across the East River. Residents of the Queens art mecca,
though, get a full frame shot of the Manhattan skyline, from uptown to down-
town, as their pièce de résistance. The glittering view isn’t the only work on
display in Long Island City. While undergoing a metamorphosis into a chic
residential area over the past few years, Long Island City has nonetheless
retained the details of its shipping port past, repurposing a former dock facil-
ity into the Gantry Plaza State Park and a turn-of-the-century power plant
building into luxury condominium building The Powerhouse, designed by
starchitect Karl Fischer, replete with a full-service spa and a children’s play
room. In Long Island City, children play in parks that double as Modern art
displays—like the Socrates Sculpture Garden—and lounge on Water Taxi
Beach. Who needs Chelsea? Long Island City’s urban vibe was the reason East
Villagers Lamson and Gretchen Lam, parents to newborn Kai, chose the area
as their new family home. “Neither of us were really prepared—or really ever
into—being in the suburbs,” admits Lamson, “but being in the middle of the
intensity [of Manhattan] had run its course for both of us. [Long Island City]
is a perfect combination between the family friendliness and balance of the
suburbs, and the proximity of [Manhattan]—it’s a $15 cab ride or one stop on
the train.” There’s no pressing need for an LICer to venture out, though, with a
summer farmers’ market, a gourmet grocery store and restaurants (Henry’s is
a perpetual fave) and bars galore. “We’re probably going to get to know the res-
taurants and bars within four blocks really well,” say the Lams, who moved to
The View condominium in March 2010. “When you’re in the city, you never re-
ally explore the really close areas. You’re always going someplace else—where
you live is kind of [ just] where you sleep.” Now, however, where the Lams live
is a home—all 1,700 square feet of it. Moving from the Union Square area, the
couple launched an exhaustive search for an area where they could have a
View from
lhaus.
The Department of Young Family Education is
excited to offer two classes for children ages
newborn to 3 years, accompanied by a parent,
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families to the PAS community.
Kitah Rishonah or “First Class” is for ages
newborn to 1.5 years. This program is available
on Tuesdays at 10am and 11am.
HaMishpacha Sheli or “My Family” is
for ages 1.5 to 3 years on Fridays, 9:30am,
10:30am and 11:30am. Both classes provide
a warm environment for formative family
experiences through Jewish themes, holidays,
stories, song, movement, arts and crafts, and
free play. The deadline for the fall semester is
September 7. The deadline for spring semester
is January 24. PAS members are given frst
priority to all available positions. PAS reserves
the right cancel classes if not fully enrolled.
For more information, contact Matthew Check, Young
Family Education Director at mcheck@pasyn.org.
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56
playground fall 2010
Real Estate
car (and afford to park it) and where baby Kai
would have a bit more room to grow. In Long
Island City, these and their qualifcations (his,
a water view; hers, a family-friendly neighbor-
hood) were met at The View, located at the end
of a wide cobblestone street where the Lams
can stroll with Kai—or watch sunsets from the
rooftop cabanas. Their Manhattan skyline view
is guaranteed to be protected—and from their
foor-to-ceiling windows, the city seems close
enough to touch. According to Sofa Estevez of
The View’s developer, TF Cornerstone’s Sofa
Estevez, it almost is, with a less-than-10-minute
subway ride taking you right into Manhat-
tan. For Estevez, one of the best parts of Long
Island City is the “village” feel: “It’s not un-
like the meatpacking district.” But less Hogs
‘n’ Heifers than dogs and diapers: LIC has a
distinct family vibe, including a neighborhood
pediatrician, Dr. Moitri Savard, that all Long
Island City dwellers are raving about. Adds
View resident Lamson Lam, “I hear the public
schools here are great as well.” As a New York
City public-school principal, he should know!
Where can you fnd New York in New Jer-
sey? The riddle is solved at The Beacon, a re-
stored Art Deco landmark in Jersey City, the ar-
chitecture of which is reminiscent of Rockefeller
Center, the Chrysler Building and the Waldorf.
The architecture isn’t the only thing that alludes
to the city at this condominium—an on-site bar
and lounge, a nail salon and a gourmet market
(that delivers up!) make the development itself
an urban paradise. Why even travel the mere
six-tenths of a mile to the PATH station? George
Filopoulos of Metrovest Equities, developer of
The Beacon, notes, “It was always important
to us to have an amenity package that focused
on families,” and the onsite BeKids children’s
destination is indeed a home run for parents;
it’s an 11,000-square-foot children’s paradise
with an early childhood education center, sports
camps and a family restaurant. If they’re not at
BeKids, you might stumble across The Beacon’s
youngest residents playing in the 2 acres of pri-
vate outdoor space on a summer day—or maybe
riding their tricycles in the family home: with
vast 3,000- to 6,500-square-foot apartments in
The Beacon’s Mercury Lofts, there’s more than
enough room to roll. A free shuttle delivers resi-
dents to public-transportation gateways to Man-
hattan, but there plenty of urban amenities close
to home base, from Jersey City’s burgeoning
gallery scene to the Liberty Science Center, with
the world’s largest IMAX dome theater.
Urban outposts like Jersey City, Williams-
burg, Fort Greene and Long Island City are a
whole new brand of city living—Big Apple Lite:
all of the taste, none of the pits. Vote yourself
off the island: Moving out of Manhattan doesn’t
mean leaving the city anymore.
—Rebecca Morse
lobby and outdoor
space (below)
at the Beacon.
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Nothing is more exciting
than the beginning of fall!
And this fall brings with
it our ffth issue of
Observer Playground,
the thickest and most
comprehensive yet!
Catch up with Kimora Lee
Simmons—the mom and
mogul who lives life in the
fast lane. Plus: Dr. Betsy
Schur Levy on what to
expect when kids make the
transition from summer to
school.And so much more!
fall
Photograph by
Ana Schechter
Clothing by
Bonnie Young
60
playground fall 2010
Kimora
Behind the wheel and loving it!
Kimora lee Simmons
talks about life in the hot seat
living life in the fab lane
momverSati on
61
playground fall 2010
L
ife is fabulous for mom mogul Ki-
mora Lee Simmons. Her vivacious
personality and stunning beauty
are known around the world. And
those attributes only scratch the
surface of this dynamic and infuential woman.
Kimora’s done it all: businesswoman, author, phi-
lanthropist, producer, supermodel, television per-
sonality and Tony winner. What most can’t do in a
lifetime, Kimora has accomplished at 35. The sassy,
6-foot-tall beauty says her family is a top priority;
her stunning daughters, Aoki Lee and Ming Lee
Simmons, and her son, Kenzo Lee Hounsou, are
Kimora’s proudest accomplishments. I am hon-
ored to have had the chance to take a peek into this
truly inspirational woman’s life. Now, without fur-
ther ado, Ms. Kimora Lee Simmons.
Lyss Stern: Where did you grow up?
Kimora Lee Simons: St. Louis, Missouri.
At what age did you decide that you wanted to
become a model?
I’ve been modeling since I was 10 years old, and
when I was 13, I was discovered by Karl Lagerfeld of
Chanel. So basically, I’ve been in fashion all my life.
You seem to have amazing self confdence.
Is this something you worked on? Or does it
come naturally to you? Do you work on
instilling that in your children?
Throughout my childhood, I was constantly
teased by other children for the way I looked
and how different I was from everyone else. I’ve
always worked hard to build self-esteem and
self-confdence, and I try to teach this to young
people all over the world! I defnitely encourage
my daughters to strive for independence, and I’m
raising girls who aren’t afraid to go for their op-
portunities and fend for themselves when Mom-
my’s not around.
You have such a dynamic sense of style; do
your girls love to dress up in Mommy’s closet?
If so, what do they like to try on most?
Ming and Aoki are already fashionistas. To me,
them loving clothes and dressing up is a way for
them to express themselves. They are playful and
fun—like any young girls! They love fashion!
What do you do for fun with your children?
We love spending quality time. Reading, road
trips, ice cream parlor, movies. The kids love to
read and have been doing so since the age of 3.
living life in the fab lane
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What are some of your favorite family rituals?
We love to visit different shelters and children’s
hospitals and serve food, bring clothes and toys
and just be in contact with the people living there.
It always helps to stay grounded when we are ever
mindful of giving back. Also, when I was growing
up, every Christmas my mom would give me en-
graved ornaments, and since it was just the two of
us, it became our little tradition. I still have every
ornament that I got and it’s something very spe-
cial to me that I continue to do with my kids.
What do you do when you have some alone
time? Alone time meaning just you.
I try to steal some time to meditate, go to the gym,
or get a much needed massage. I have 500 jobs
and my family, which includes an infant. So steal-
ing time seems very diffcult lately.
What’s a beauty secret you cannot live without?
Moisturizer and plenty of water. Always need to
stay hydrated inside and out.
How do you balance it all? Having a beautiful
family while running a business empire?
I keep it moving! I manage to juggle and sort of
do everything. I’m a well-oiled machine. I also
have a great team and support system. I don’t hit
a wall because I’ve been in the business for over
20 years. I prioritize. Even though I run a fashion
empire, my children and family are my frst job
and my biggest priority.
What time does your day start?
Early! Around 5:30 a.m. I have a little baby! My
days are full, that’s for sure. But they are flled
with love and passion—my family and my work.
My schedule is hectic, but always fulflling.
I imagine you travel a lot for work; do you
bring your children?
Yes! If we have to travel, we often go as a family. I
think traveling and experiencing different cultures
is one of the most important things we can do for
our children—to teach tolerance and compassion.
What advice do you have for working moms
that are juggling a lot of things at once?
Do the best you can. Moms can do it all. Success-
ful business people are all about multitasking and
running their empires, as well as running their
families. However, you don’t have to be overly
neurotic. You can enjoy your life. Health, happi-
ness and peace of mind keep you balanced.
Do some critics say that you are trying too
hard to be a ‘Supermom’?
I’ve never heard that! Balancing all that comes
with building a company while raising two girls.
And now my little baby boy is the biggest chal-
lenge of my life. I remind myself every day not to
take on more than I can handle. I don’t need to be
a hero; I just need to do my best.
What are the newest projects you are
working on?
I have a new Twitter. Its my new obsession, social
media. I love to be in direct touch with people.
I’m really excited for my fans to follow me [fol-
low Kimora at @OffcialKimora]. Also, I just
launched my ffth fragrance, Dare Me, as well
as a new clothing line, Kouture by Kimora. Dare
Me is a firty, feminine scent that is the essence
of independence and designed to dare girls and
women of all ages to be bold, daring, confdent
and fun. My Kouture line was designed for girls
who like to have fun with their fashion. It’s all
about trends and modern glamour but at a ‘reces-
sion proof’ price and is accessible to all women.
It’s got everything from cocktail dresses to se-
quined tank tops, one-piece rompers and jeans.
All under $35.
What philanthropies are you most passionate
about and why?
I am most passionate about helping disadvantaged
youth as well as advocating women’s empower-
ment. In fact, I started an organization called the
Kimora Lee Simmons Scholarship Fund to help
provide tuition for academically successful girls
who need fnancial help. I am also very involved
with amFAR, 5 and Alive and the Hetrick Martin
Institute/Harvey Milk School.
What will you be looking forward to doing
this fall with your children?
Well, it will be back to school. I’ll be working, and
helping my kids with their homework, dance and
piano classes, and karate. Also, we will be taping a
new season of our show Life in the Fab Lane.
What’s something you never thought you’d
be doing that you’re doing now?
I feel incredibly blessed to be living my life, hav-
ing a family and running a fashion empire. Cap-
turing the hopes and dreams of customers for
themselves through fashion is so rewarding for
me. To me, design is about tapping into someone’s
aspirations, and how they’d like to see themselves
and their lives. I am grateful to be a part of that
process for so many.
Top Favorites
New York CitY GuiltY Pleasure?
Broadway productions with my kids.
iCe-Cream Flavor?
Coconut sorbet.
saloN to Get PamPered iN?
Facials at Christine Chin.
My schedule
is hectic,
but always
fulfilling
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playground fall 2010
ABC news correspondent, mom and New York resident
Sharyn Alfonsi gives us a tour of her newsworthy home
Stop the
Presses
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playground fall 2010
I
t’s the kind of loft that makes people move to New York,
before they realize that lofts like that really only exist
in the movies—or, in some rare cases, nestled in the
very epicenter of Chelsea. Wide-plank walnut-stained
foors, original cast-iron columns, oversize windows.
A wood-burning freplace with an industrial-feel alu-
minum frame. A sprawling, pristinely white kitchen. A
master closet the size of a hotel room.
Breaking news: Sharyn Alfonsi’s loft apartment is spectacular.
Whether on Good Morning America, Nightline or World News, Emmy-
winning ABC news correspondent Alfonsi is beamed into homes nation-
wide from dawn until dusk. Her millions of viewers just might not mind
being beamed into her home instead, just for a night, to snuggle up in
the jumbo arm chairs that are built for two and await a little Southern
hospitality from their Ole Miss alumna hostess, served up on her mas-
sive, reclaimed-wood dining room table. “When we bought it,” Alfonsi
remembers of the table, which seats 14, “the salesman asked me if we
planned on hosting the Last Supper. I LOVE to have friends over for din-
ner. [It’s] never anything fussy. We’re more likely to watch football, drink
beer and eat a big old pot of gumbo. Our friends bring over Carvel ice
cream cakes … not Chardonnay.”
A magnolia grows in Chelsea at the loft where Alfonsi and her hus-
band have lived since moving from the Upper East Side in 2006. College
sweethearts who met—like something from the plot of a Tom Cruise
movie—when undergrads at the University of Mississippi and the Naval
Academy, respectively, they fell in love at frst sight with their down-
town digs, too. For Alfonsi, it was the loft’s “big windows, tons of light
and killer closets” that did it. “I also thought it was so open I could prob-
ably roller-skate inside if the mood hit.” Add to that residential-roller-
rink-to-die-for Chelsea address a master bath that would make a spa feel
self-conscious and super-high ceilings, and the result was perfection.
Or was it? “I always thought something was missing in the apart-
ment. It turns out, it was a baby!” Four years after they purchased the
loft, the real headliner arrived: Wyatt Kristensen Eby. Now 10 months
By ReBecca MoRse / photogRaphs By Dave li eBeRMan
a dining table
meant for a party.
left: Sharyn
and baby Wyatt.
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playground fall 2010
old, baby Wyatt’s the top story of the day, every day, and according to his
Emmy-winning mom, much more entertaining that anything on televi-
sion. “Wyatt just warms up the whole house. His wild laugh, his toys all
over the foor, the splattered food and cheerios around his high chair—it’s
made our apartment into a ‘home.’ I think the chaos is the good stuff!”
Now, Saturdays are spent hanging on a cozy rug in front of the freplace
and playing with Wyatt. Early-evening dinner parties are hosted by the
high chair in the kitchen. And the most used part of the apartment? The
door. “Really, we don’t spend much time inside,” says Alfonsi. “We meet
friends for brunch and then hit the parks till we pass out.” The family
loves roaming in their hood, which “is charming, a little funky and very
laid back. It has a small town feel. I know so many people in our neighbor-
hood. We speak to each other, we say hello. Our dry cleaner used to run
out of his shop to help me with my grocery bags when I was pregnant. It’s
very ‘neighborly’ … I love that. And like any small town … we have lots of
eccentric characters in the neighborhood.”
It’s a touch of the South in the west—west of Fifth, that is. Alfonsi grew
to love that kind of small-town feel, and those kind of eccentric characters,
at college in Oxford, Miss., and in Fort Smith, Ark., where she began her ca-
reer in broadcast journalism at the local ABC affliate the day after graduat-
ing. Her meteoric rise to national news has since made her a Yankee—but
that’s not to say she’s left those eccentric Southern personalities behind.
Some have been brought home from above the Mason-Dixon line. “I fell
in love with Southern art when I was at Ole Miss,” Alfonsi explains. “I re-
Here, a cozy spot
to see mom on
the news. Below:
Wyatt's nursery.
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playground fall 2010
Chelsea Life
Neighborhood Vibe Stylish family living for
downtown tots. The High Line, Chelsea Piers, funky
galleries and great restaurants make Chelsea a chic
home for cool kids. A small-town feel on the town-
house-studded side streets allows nonetheless for
big-box convenience on the avenues (Whole Foods,
Bed, Bath & Beyond, Home Depot, Buy Buy Baby,
and a brand-new Trader Joes). Starchitect-designed
new developments with family-size apartments are
rising on every corner, making Chelsea even more
accessible for life with little ones.
SchoolS P.S. 11 William Harris (PK-5), P.S. 33 Chel-
sea (PK-5), P.S .3 Charrett (K-5), M.S. 104 Simon Ba-
ruch Middle School (6-8), Corlear’s (PK-4th Grade)
AlfoNSi’S PAd Over 2,600 square feet of the ulti-
mate in loft living. Three bedrooms, three and a half
baths with tons of light and every modern amenity.
Original industrial loft details paired with Southern
art—and hospitality—makes for down-home com-
fort in a fabulously stylish New York loft.
fAmily fAVeS iN the hood Chelsea Market (check
out Posman Books’ children’s section), weekend
walks on the High Line, sports at Chelsea Piers,
Brunch at Petitie Abeille or City Bakery.
ally love the photographs we have of Johnny Cash from
the early years. I also love the photographs of Mick Jagger
and Dolly Parton taken in the ’70s. I love that her wig is a
little crooked, her fake eyelashes are a little off but she’s
still smiling, thinkin’ she’s looking cute! We’ve all been there … smil-
ing, thinkin’ you’re looking cute, but you have a big old hunk of food in
your front teeth or toilet paper dragging from your heels. It’s the story
of my life!” Each piece of carefully chosen art tells a story, creating an
eclectic, personal collection with provenances from Southern galleries
to—gas stations? “I bought a chain made up of thousands of old bottle
caps that a guy working at an old gas station in Mississippi collected
over the years. Every time he opened a soda for someone, he added the
cap to the chain. It’s one of my favorite fnds.”
Such one-of-a-kind, personal touches provide shots of personality to
a space that is, above all, un-
cluttered. “I hate clutter,” Al-
fonsi admits. “I wanted to be
able to put everything away.”
The loft’s multitude of custom
built-ins and closets allow her
to do so. That streamlined, ed-
ited look provides a visual re-
spite from nonstop New York
City—and the 24-hour-a-day
news cycle in which Alfonsi spends her days (and often, nights). When the
cameras are off, a home awaits that is the design equivalent of a steaming
mug of tea in a thick white mug. Her vision? “Simple. Nothing too fussy.
No fabrics that can’t be washed, no tables people can’t sit on, nothing too
precious. I want it to feel like a really good pair of Levi’s. Classic, comfort-
able, versatile and perfectly suited for bare feet.”
But at the end of the night, it takes her into Wyatt’s room. “Like all
good New Yorkers, we waited until I was about six months pregnant
to begin work on a nursery,” laughs Alfonsi. “Our architect, Jeffrey
Povero, was amazing. He carved out three bedrooms for us, but kept
the giant pocket doors, columns and details so it still feels like a loft.
It was perfect. And, amazingly, done by the time Wyatt arrived.” The
Southern gentleman in training presides over his own little homestead
where “energetic” and “boyish” are the bywords.
Making your living on the evening news is hardly a 9-to-5 job; nei-
ther is being a new mom. “I’ve been to Iraq, to Israel and Lebanon [to
cover] the war. To Gaza … it was terrifying.” All the same, “none of it
compares to the challenge of raising a child. I just want to make sure
Wyatt knows me as “Mommy” and not “Sharyn Alfonsi.”... It’s my pri-
ority. Being a working mom is a struggle. I don’t have it fgured it out. I
think anyone who says they’ve got it all fgured out ... is probably lying.
I just try to laugh my way through it with good friends and pray Wyatt
doesn’t have enough material to write a book yet!” If he did, we know
it would be a smash hit.
Sharyn in the
kitchen, and with
the happy family
(below).
68
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playground fall 2010
photographs by
ana schechter
Fasion
Forward
These young
fashion trendsetter’s
showcase designer
Bonnie Young’s
new fall collection
lauren wears
Bonnie young
pufer vest, silver
“jeggings” and
Frye boots.
Celia wears layered
dress and leggings
by Bonnie young
and boots by
doC Marten.
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playground fall 2010
Summer wears
her own clothes.
71
playground fall 2010
Photographed at
Hudson Terrace
621 West 46th Street
new york City
hudsonterracenyc.com

Stylist: Moni Briones
Assistants: Erica palmer
and Marissa panfel
Special thanks:
Stephanie Kaster
Chance wears BonniE
young spray paint
T-shirt and old navy
army patterned shoes.
Sophie wears foral
shrug, spray paint
T-shirt and leggings
by BonniE young and
boots by SKECHEr.
Photographed at
Hudson Terrace
621 West 46th Street,
New York City
hudsonterracenyc.com

Stylist: Moni Briones
Assistants: Erica Palmer
and Marissa Panfel
Special thanks:
Stephanie Kaster
Chance wears
PaMEla Jo "Hand-
some Jack" top.
Emily wears Bow
by CHaNEl,
PaMEla Jo top,
RalPH lauREN
jeans and GEox
Sparkle
fat shoes.
Celia wears
PaMEla Jo top,
TRuE REliGioN
Jeans, ValENTiNo
black patent
leather bag and
sneakers by
CoNVERSE.
Summer wears
MY ViNTaGE BaBY bow,
PaMEla Jo top,
BaRNuM plaid shirt,
HERMES bag, H&M
jeans and FRYE
boots.
Sophie wears Bow
by MY ViNTaGE BaBY,
PaMEla Jo top, tutu and
boots by lESTERS.
lauren wears
PaMEla Jo top,
RalPH lauREN
quilted jacket
and DolCE &
GaBaNa gray
scarf.
73
playground fall 2010
Chillin'
Fall’s crisp air means mixing and matching.
Find your favorite tops at Lester’s
to create your new fall look
photographs by ana schechter
74
playground fall 2010
photographs by ana schechter
credit the
space!!!
Schol
photographs by ana schechter
Back to school
means back
to fashion.
Layer up
with stylish
fabrics
and smart
outfits by
Ralph Lauren
Days
75
playground fall 2010
Days
Spencer (left), Chad,
Jackson and Zachary
wear ralph lauren
KidS, and geox shoes
76
playground fall 2010
Jackson, Kate, Sydney and Rogan
(clockwise left), and Sophie,
Spencer, Alexa and Bennett
(above) all wear RAlph lAuRen
KidS and Geox shoes.
78
playground fall 2010
Navigating
Parenthood
Charting the course
of parenthood can
sometimes feel like
an obstacle . Here,
some tips to keep you
feeling sane.
79
playground fall 2010
I
t seems just like yesterday that we focused
on the complexities, challenges, magic and
joy of summer days in the June edition
of Playground. Oh, how time fies. The playful
days of summer have fown by and beach par-
ties, barbecues, summer camp and s’mores are
a mere memory. The excitement and anxiety of
preparing for the school year has arrived in the
blink of an eye.
How can parents help to ease the transition
from relaxed summer days to the structured
days of school? The frst step is recognizing that
there is a transition in the frst place! Read on for
a list of what to expect as your child transitions
from summer to school.
1. Increased anxiety...Transitions in general
are the source of signifcant anxiety for children.
You may observe changes in sleep patterns,
sleep disturbances, oppositional (or acting-out)
behaviors, increased need for discipline, hyper-
sensitivity, and a fuctuation between needs for
dependency and autonomy.
2. Fear of separation...After a long summer
which often included extended family time, chil-
dren (particularly the younger ones) must adjust
to the reality that their days will now be spent in
school and separated from their
family members. Separation
anxiety is extremely common
and can be managed by a parents'
effort to assure their child that
school is a safe place and that
the family will reunite later that
afternoon or evening. Parents do
not disappear.
3. Behavioral and/or mood changes...Chang-
es in conduct and mood are often caused by the
child's need to adjust to the structure and rou-
tine of school after enjoying a less structured
and fexible summer schedule. Your child may
The Big Ease-y
Helping your kid make the transition from summer to school.
Coping during the Admissions Process
Let’s face it. We all know
someone who is about t be-
gin the dreaded “admissions
process” to get a coveted
spot at one of New York City’s
premier schools. We have
pity on our friends that are
going through it and outright
dread when it is our turn. As
parents, everyone wants to
give their children the best
of everything. Isn’t it part of
the American Dream to give
our children more than what
we had?
In a matter of days, hun-
dreds of families will begin
the process of fnding and
getting into a school worthy
of our children. There are over
100 private schools in New
York City. You have to fnd the
school that is best for your
child, but in some cases your
child is a baby and how can
you know what is right?
Everyone you speak to has a
diferent piece of advise, it all
sounds good, and you are be-
ing told everything from “re-
lax” to “panic.” Here are some
tips to help you cope:
■Take a deep breath.
■Accept that you will do ev-
erything you can, and still may
not get what you want.
■Remember there is no “best
school”; you are on a mission
to fnd “the best ft” for your
child.
■Be honest with yourself
about what your child needs
(NOT what YOU need).
■Focus on fnding a place
where your child will develop
a love of learning and a strong
sense of self-esteem. That is
what will determine his/her
future success.
■You have got to be in it to win
it. Of course you should apply!
■Don’t ask too many people
for advise. You will get con-
ficting reports and feel even
more over-whelmed (if that is
possible).
■ If you have a connection,
use it.
■Find a school that matches
your approach to learning and
educational philosophy.
■Get help if you need it.
—Dana Haddad
appear "moody", nervous, agitated, excited, sad,
a bit withdrawn, angry or surprisingly content,
happy and relaxed. Many children actually wel-
come and need the structure and predictability
of school. Emphasize that the anxious feelings
are very normal and will dissipate over time.
4. Fears of ftting in or not...
The peer group is a major vari-
able in your child's experience
in school. As the summer ends,
many children wonder if they
will be accepted back into their
peer group or need to branch
out and make new friends. The
fear of rejection is very power-
ful and can affect your child's self-esteem. En-
courage your child to be patient, as renewing
and developing friendships all take time. Most
importantly, help your child to be themselves,
confdent and proud of who they are. Help them
to recognize that you get more with sugar than
spice...mean kids never really win.
5. Fear of failure...Many children worry that
they will not succeed as they face the increasing
academic demands of school. Help your children
to acknowledge that everyone learns differently
and at their own pace. Effort is what matters
most. Learning is a process, and all that is expect-
ed of your children is that they try their best!
During this sensitive period of transition
from summer to school try to be patient, frm,
understanding and supportive. It is always help-
ful to get into the habit of laying out the clothes
for school the night before, to avoid some of the
morning rush and tension. Many children enjoy
packing their backpacks the night before. In ad-
dition, a good night's sleep and a healthy break-
fast go a very long way to ensuring success in
easing into the more regimented school days.
Embrace your child with love, and emphasize
that they are in good company in regard to their
worries and concerns. Everybody gets nervous
about starting something new. Believe it or not, just
acknowledging that does a lot to ease the worry.
—Dr. Betsy Schur Levy
Transitions in
general are the
source of signif-
cant anxiety
for children.
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playground fall 2010
Room Service
Expert Tips for Decorating Your Child’s Bedroom
I
t fnally happened. I knew that one day
my twins would crawl out of their cribs,
but I still wasn’t expecting it when my son
sprinted past me in the hallway just minutes after
I’d put him down. That began the drama of the
“big-boy-and-girl-bed” transition. How could I
make their “new” room really special? I decided
to consult a few experts for their tips on decorat-
ing fabulous children’s rooms and nurseries.
Be safe. Meg Braff, founder of Meg Braff In-
teriors (www.megbraff.com), says, “Safety frst:
avoid hanging heavy mirrors or artwork over the
cribs, beds or changing tables and don’t use dan-
gly cords on the curtains.”
Choose practical materials. Ultra-suede
and micro-fber materials are great for daybed
and chair upholstery. “You can take a solid, inde-
structible material for the chair and pipe it with
another color, like turquoise piped with lime
green, to give interest to a piece,” Braff explains.
A reading chair should defnitely be forgiving.
And if you know your kids will walk in with dirty
shoes, make sure your carpet is up to the task.
Ali Wing, CEO of Giggle (www.giggle.com),
agrees. “It’s easy to fall into the trap of mak-
ing the room look like a postcard versus hav-
ing things you have to parent with,” Wing says.
“You can have the glider you love, but be smart
about the fabric so spit up won’t be the end of
the world; that’s going to happen no matter
what you plan for.”
Lighten up. Do something whimsical with
overhead lighting, Braff suggests. “It’s nice to hit
a switch when you walk in and it’s really nice to
have it on a dimmer so you can turn it down re-
ally low at night. Plus it won’t get knocked over or
destroyed.” Braff also suggests doing a fun lamp
shape on a less expensive light. “We did an over-
head lamp from the 1940’s recently, a four-arm
chandelier wrapped in twine with a nautical feel,
which I really liked.”
Sleep on it. “Splurge on the sleep environ-
ment for your child,” Wing advises. “It’s not how
cute the crib is, but the mattress that’s important.
The average child spends 16-17 hours a day in
there for the frst year of his or her life. You can
do with a less fancy diaper bag, but spend to get a
safe, healthy, frm and long-lasting mattress, like
Naturepedic.”
As far as beds go, Braff notes that trundles end
up being incredibly useful, like one carried by
Ballard Designs. She also thinks a small canopy
can be fun and “can make the bed feel like a spe-
cial and important place to be.” No matter what,
choose something timeless. There’s a place for
bunk beds, especially if you’re space-constrained,
but “you have to know your kids,” Braff says. As a
mother of four boys, she knows the risks of jump-
ing from the top bunk; one of the boys’ best friends
broke his arm that way. Also,
go right into a twin, not a tod-
dler bed, she advises. “We did
(a toddler bed) for our oldest
son, Douglas, when we lived
in the city, but he grew out of
it so quickly. Now all my boys
want queen-sized beds!” You
can always use bed railings,
she says, but “none of my sons
fell out without them.”
Avoid irreversible
themes. Make the theme
the smallest part of the
room, Braff cautions. “If
your son likes baseball, don’t
get baseball wallpaper; it
should go on the bedding or
a very small children’s chair.
Themes are fun, but kids tire
of them quickly.”
Hues it or lose it. “I like
bright and cheerful rooms,”
Braff says. Avoid dark colors
on the walls. Limit it to three
colors in a room for a room
that’s stimulating and restful.
Use solids for larger pieces
like a daybed or curtains, but
put a pattern on the foor and
do the chair in a fun fabric
with piping or tapes to give them defnition, like
a pale pink drape with a lime green tape along the
edge to tie in the carpet.
Jennifer Smokler, Senior Designer at Bunny
Williams Incorporated (www.bunnywilliams.
com), recommends browns, tans and blues for
boys and lavender for girls.
Deck the walls. Hang a big bulletin board
with the kids’ party invitations and artwork,
Braff adds. Be crafty: “I buy plain, white, wood-
en frames at Michael’s and frame all the kids’
artwork. If you do it in cohesive way, it can be
really beautiful to look at. Use raffa wallpaper,
especially for a boy’s room, which is so forgiv-
ing of small nails in the wall.”
Another interior designer friend
recommends hanging antique
block letters with the child’s
name on the wall.
Keep it simple. Don’t let the
room feel claustrophobic, Braff
says. Think about what’s prac-
tical and cheerful. “You don’t
want curtains puddling on the
foor,” Braff says.
Smokler agrees: “I think par-
ents sometimes over-decorate
their children’s rooms. For ex-
ample, I think some very mod-
ern chairs don’t make sense.
You should have a soft, comfort-
able chair, large enough for you
to snuggle with your child in.
Keeping the walls, windows and
carpet simple is best; all your
baby and child’s toys and stuffed
animals add so much color and
pattern to the room already.”
Be organized. “Everything
in the room should have a
place,” Braff says. Hang lots of
hooks from doors. Create stor-
age underneath a high bed with
Container Store boxes. “We get
asked the most about storage,”
www.alexbeardstudio.com
www.giggle.com
www.megbraf.com
www.bunnywilliams.com
www.ballarddesigns.com
www.containerstore.com
www.littlenest.com
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www.jenniferdelonge.com
www.cocooncouture.com
www.juniorsociety.com
www.jellio.com
www.nurseryworks.net
www.babygeared.com
www.lionwitchwardrobe.co.uk
www.loadbearing.com
www.ducducnyc.com
www.oeufnyc.com
www.gracioushome.com
www.potterybarnkids.com
www.mattress.com
www.naturepedic.com
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www.westelm.com
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Resources
81
playground fall 2010
Wing says of the “Ask a Giggle Expert” section
of Giggle.com. Use hampers and bins that ft
right into cubby units to give a clean look and
tighten things up. Braff suggests investing in a
great looking étagère, a narrow, open shelf for
books and trophies that will grow with you as an
alternative to a space-hogging armoire.
Look for whimsical, fun items. Wing loves
items like the monkey, elephant and owl storage
bins at the three New York stores (including the
recently opened Upper West Side location) or on
Giggle.com, which are great for hampers, toys
and books. “We couldn’t keep them in stock!”
Wing says. “They’re a great value with good util-
ity without looking too cutesy.” Wing also recom-
mends the orange clothes tree. “You’d be amazed
what you need to throw on a clothes tree at all
different stages,” says Wing. “When my son was
little, we used it for hats and blankies. Now we
use it for baseball caps and tradeshow badges.”
Read on. A reading chair with room for you
and your child is really nice, Braff says. Put a
standing lamp next to it. It helps you form good
habits by reading in the room together. Bean bags
are also great for creating a cozy spot to hang out
in. Smokler recommends a rolling storage book-
shelf from West Elm for the area.
Be neutral. If a boy and a girl are sharing a
room, keep it fun and cheerful but gender neu-
tral, Braff says. Go for blue and lime green, yel-
low and green, or beige and turquoise. Stay away
from royal blue, lavender and pink, but use blues
in a neutral territory. Spruce up blinds with a cute
color tape, another designer adds.
“More common than not, siblings share rooms
in Manhattan,” Wing says. “You can have fun and
be genderless in design. You can have fabulous,
non-primary colors. All the things that kids will
learn can be the greatest design and décor inspi-
ration: reading, ABC’s, 123’s and how the world
comes together: there’s nothing gender-specifc
about those.” Wing points to artist, Alex Beard
(www.alexbeardstudio.com), as a great example
of “sophistication and accessibility.”
It all goes so fast. Wing adds her veteran wis-
dom by saying, “When you think about investing
in a nursery or young person’s room, think about
how quickly they grow. Think multistage and
pick things that grow more useful over time. If
you buy something with the narrowest applica-
tion, you’ll feel more decadent, but you need it to
morph into later stage uses.” Remember, the bed-
room should grow with the child!
—Zibby Right
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playground fall 2010
Taking it to the streets
Breastfeeding makes a comeback, especially with the celebs
O
n the small screen, she’s Lily
van der Woodsen, a mother
who has to navigate the
treacherous waters of parenting a
privileged teenager in Manhattan.
But at home, Kelly Rutherford
is the single mother of Hermes and
Helena. Her children are now ages 4
and 1, but when they were younger,
Rutherford spent countless hours
breastfeeding them.
Today, Rutherford is just one of the
many celebrities who is openly talking
about breastfeeding. Forget the baby
bump. From Jennifer Garner to Gwen
Stefani, more and more stars are talk-
ing about breastfeeding. And the list
is long: Heidi Klum, Jessica Alba, Cate
Blanchett and Kourtney Kardashian.
“The tide may be turning in that celebrities
perceive breastfeeding to be the politically cor-
rect thing to do and therefore talk about,” says
Danielle Friedland, the creator of the Celebrity
Baby Blog and a Certifed Lactation Consultant.
“It does feel like more celebrities are speaking
publicly about breastfeeding. Perhaps more are
feeling societal pressure to at least try it and are
seeing how enjoyable it is.”
In fact, some celebrities seem to be
going one step further and taking on
breastfeeding as a cause. Salma Hayek
nursed a sick and hungry baby in Si-
erra Leone. And Angelina Jolie ap-
peared on the cover of W Magazine
nursing one of her twins.
“We see this as similar to celebri-
ties who were the frst to drive a hybrid
car and champion the environment,”
says Bettina Forbes, co-founder of
Best for Babes, a breastfeeding advo-
cacy group. “When celebrities take
a leadership role, it can have a huge
positive impact.”
That impact was real for Kelcey
Kintner, a mom of 4 who blogs at The
Mama Bird Diaries.com. Kintner says she
was encouraged to breastfeed her twins when
she saw a photo of Modern Family star Julie Bo-
wen breastfeeding her twins at the same time.
“At frst, I was horrifed, then intrigued and
then inspired. Hell, if Julie Bowen can get both
her twins latched on like that, so can I. And now
that’s what I do 8 times a day!" says Kintner.
–Andi Silverman
Even if you aren’t a red carpet regular, there’s
no doubt you’ll be front and center in your
baby’s life. From nursing tops to breast
pumps,here are some of our top picks:
Nursing pillows by My Brest Friend
My Brest Friend helps you hold your baby
close to your body, at just the right angle to
maintain a good latch. This extra support
enables you to maintain good posture and
not strain your back and neck.
www.mybrestfriend.com
Manual breast pumps by Simplisse
If you’re heading out for a few hours and think
you might need to pump, just stash this hand
pump in your purse. You don’t need batteries or
an outlet, just your own hand power. Simplisse
pumps are completely free of the potentially
harmful chemical BPA. www.simplisse.com
Electric breast pumps (shown)
If you’re going back to work you will defnitely
want a double electric pump. Gets the job
done twice as fast. Many manufacturers have
their own versions of this type of pump, and
this summer, Ameda debuted its “Purely Yours
Ultra Breast Pump. www.ameda.com
Nursing bras by Bravado
Bravado bras are a favorite of celebrity
moms. The company even has a section of its
website dedicated to its “Celebrity Bravado-
Mamas.” To fnd out what everyone from An-
gie Harmon to Christina Aguilera is wearing,
visit www.bravadodesigns.com
Nursing tops by Milkstars
Who said nursing tops were boring? Milkstars
shirts and dresses blend fashion and function.
Just lift the top layer of the shirt to reveal a
hidden layer with cutouts so you can reach
your nursing bra. Your stomach and back stay
covered the whole time. www.milkstars.com
Hands-free pumping bras by PumpEase
This hands-free pumping bra lets you be the
ultimate multitasker. Put the bra around your
chest, tuck in your breast pump fanges, and
press “on.” Your pump will go to work while you
send some emails. There’s a wide range of fabric
choices: everything from red with white polka-
dots to leopard print. www.pumpease.com
Andi Silverman blogs at
www.mamaknowsbreast.com.
Breastfeeding Gear
gwen Stefani
with Zuma.
Since foundation in 2006
The British International
School of New York (BIS-NY)
has grown to take its place
amongst the leading schools
in New York City.
Ofering sweeping views of
the East River from its large
classrooms, and an abundance
of natural light, BIS-NY cre-
ates a warm, stimulating and
child-centered atmosphere.
BIS-NY was established
as the transatlantic sister
school to Abercorn School
in London (one of England’s
leading independent schools).
BIS-NY’s mission is to serve
all students looking for an
education system combining
the acclaimed content and
rigor of the English National
curriculum, with the highly-
portable teaching approach of
the International Baccalaure-
ate Primary Years Program.
BIS-NY ofers rolling admis-
sions year round, where space
is available.
For children ages 3-11 years
old, BIS-NY integrates the
challenging International
Baccalaureate Primary Years
Programme (IBPYP) curricular
framework with the academic
content of the English Na-
tional Curriculum (ENC). This
combination creates a well-
grounded, dynamic learning
environment which motivates
pupils to become confdent
and independent learners.
The British International School
83
playground fall 2010
En Garde!
fencing Classes Help Kids Gain Edge
I
n a time when competition for ad-
mission schools is fercer than ever,
parents are seeking new methods
for their children to acquire an advantage.
Some New York parents are looking for
ways to get their kids a scholarship, and are
signing up for fencing lessons.
The best age to start is between seven
and 12 years, so they can participate in re-
gional and national tournaments, and be
eligible for an athletic scholarship to state
schools and private schools (Penn State,
Notre Dame, St John, Rutgers, Duke, Stan-
ford, Ohio State, Wayne State, Temple).
Fencing can also help with Ivy League,
but it’s not an athletic scholarship. There
are many New York City high schools with
fencing programs, including Riverdale,
Horace Mann, Stuyvesant and Fieldston.
Experts say it can be a little easier to get a
scholarship in fencing, than say, soccer.
Smart parents are signing up for fencing
classes for $40 (for 90 minute) sessions at
Manhattan Fencing Center, a private, fam-
ily owned club started by three-time Olym-
pic coach for the US and honor coach of
Ukraine, Yury Gelman, who coaches there.
“Everyone who walks through our
doors falls in love with the sport of fencing,”
said Julia Gelman, Yury’s daughter and the
club’s spokeswoman.
Fencing has been called “physical chess”
before. “It helps kids develop discipline,
coordination and lots of times, the parents
say it helps them in school,” said Gelman. It
is considered extremely good for hand, eye
and foot coordination and a general sense of
awareness because it requires you to think
and strategize accordingly.
The school has classes for all ages, and
skill levels including Mommy and Me, Mus-
keteer classes (aged 4 to 6) to Youth classes
and up. Tournaments can be for kids as
young as eight.
Alexander Dvorin, a top Hollywood di-
rector and writer and dad of two gorgeous
tots grew up in New York and learned fenc-
ing from a young age. “Fencing 100 per cent
helped me get into NYU’s Tisch School of
the Arts. It was a very crucial part of my
adolescence, growth as a person and conf-
dence builder.”
Allie, as he is known, went to a school in
Montclair Kimberly, in New Jersey. His good
friend, who was a straight-A student ended
up as a Harvard undergrad, told him to take
up fencing. “It is good to get into college.”
“It was a huge part of my teen years and
then I fenced in college. I went to NYU. I
ended up representing the U.S., and having
a good fencing career, competing from age
15 to 22.”
Experts say that in the beginning, for
young kids, it is just for fun
and basic skills, hand-
eye coordination and
speed. They learn a
basic technique that
has to be mastered
like any sport. And
what fun they have!
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playground fall 2010
Heart
Travel With
C
arrying a bundle of frewood piled high on her head, the Indian woman gathered her sari
with her free hand and waved the American family into her mud shack in a remote village
near Khajuraho, in central India. The village’s children were delighted, scurrying around
their wide-eyed young guests. Mud-covered oxen, goats and pigs wandered freely, occasion-
ally bumping into spare legs. The families in this village are eco-warriors, meaning they make
their own butter and milk, meat and eggs, and are completely self-suffcient.
Visiting a remote, dusty village in India is a far cry from a surfng vacation on a private
island in the Maldives, shooting doves in Argentina or riding horses from the private
families combine meaning with pleasure by Juli e earle- levi ne
85
playground fall 2010
Heart
Th
u
rs
d
a
y, N
o
ve
m
b
e
r 4, 2
0
10
8
:0
0
- 11:3
0
p
.m
.
Th
e
E
d
is
o
n
B
a
llro
o
m
24
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e
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t 47
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tre
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Yo
rk C
ity
To reg
ister and
find
out m
ore inform
ation
call 212-404-3559
86
playground fall 2010
stables of the King of Jordon in Amman.
Many New York families with bulging passports
are taking a break from their usual jaunts and taking
more meaningful, often philanthropic trips that ex-
plore culture and how the other half lives.
“Most parents want their kids to think beyond their
local situation and environment. To live outside the
American box,” said Katrina Garnett, the founder and
CEO of My Little Swans (MLS), an online travel network
for sophisticated families who want very luxurious travel
experiences. (They mostly travel commercial, then pri-
vate jet within countries, and many bring their nannies.)
Garnett, who has been traveling the world with her
kids for 15 years, said the new travel is about getting
kids involved in immersive, authentic experiences
and out of their comfort zone, to learn about other
countries, cultures and people frsthand. “Parents
want their kids to be truly global citizens. They want
trips now that inspire genuine passion and plant seeds
for how kids will choose to give back.” Garnett’s kids,
Morgan, 15, Emerson, 12, and Alistair, 11, have been to
every continent except Antarctica (and Ali is lobbying
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playground fall 2010
for that), and have visited 30 countries.
MLS partners organizes trips in China, where kids spend days
with children who were placed in special schools based on their
individual skills, such as calligraphy, opera, gymnastics or ballet.
“The kids in Chinese schools aren’t starving, but they are far from
privileged. They are in school because it’s the best way for them to
support their families as they grow up.” It’s an eye opener for many
American kids, and some parents have noticed it encourages them
to study and have a hunger for more languages and cultural under-
standing on their return home.
Families are also going to Tanzania, where guides who were born
into safari families help children to learn about their culture. One re-
cent MLS itinerary included a visit to a Maasai village in Tanzania to see
their living quarters—a small, single-room mud hut for the entire fam-
ily. Some kids with their own palatial bedrooms and play rooms were
shocked. “We’ve all seen the pictures, but it has a much greater impact
when you are actually there with them. You simply can’t get that kind of
education and understanding from books.”
Cox & Kings, the travel company that specializes in custom-designed
private travel adventures to far-fung destinations including India,
South Africa, Southeast Asia, Tahiti and Africa, is also seeing a surge
in demand for more authentic experiences. They organized the Indian
Micato Travel Safaris
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village visit, that is part of a tour on the Maha-
rajas’ Express, India’s frst cross-country lux-
ury train that cuts across state borders from
Mumbai to Delhi, or Delhi to Calcutta.
Kids get to observe up close. From the
window of their air-conditioned luxury train,
kids can see families who live near the rail-
way tracks in makeshift houses, or children
their own age collecting gar-
bage from the tracks. It’s not
picture perfect like the Taj
Mahal, but it’s often the topic
of conversation at dinner.
Cox & Kings recently orga-
nized a trip for a wealthy East
Coast family with young chil-
dren to Colombia, where they
met local women who make
and sell candy and fruit on the
streets, and to interact with
children and toddlers at a local dance school.
In China, they arrange for teenagers to be
“panda keepers,” during which they can help
feed and clean the rescued pandas. In South
Africa, families can visit sustainable commu-
nities along the Garden Route, where kids can
interact, learn about alternative ways of living
and play soccer with South African children.
Thomas Stanley, COO for Cox & Kings
USA, said it has had more requests from travel
agents to design tours that are very hands-on
with families. “Many of the tours we design
are focusing on learning and ‘doing.’” He said
these kinds of itineraries created meaning-
ful interactions between the traveler and the
location. “Families are expanding their ho-
rizons and experiencing destinations on an-
other level.”
The uptick in eco-tourism is also deliver-
ing discerning families more rustic, hands-on
experiences. Garnett said
her son had a chance to learn
about conservation when he
helped to tag giant sea turtles
at the Rocktail Bay eco-lodge
in South Africa and to count
their eggs.
At Anantara Golden Tri-
angle’s elephant camp in
northern Thailand, kids 8
years and older are taught
how to take care of these res-
cued elephants, as well as how to ride them.
They learn about the plight of elephants
in Thailand and what is being done to en-
sure that the elephant population survives.
Splashing with an elephant in the Mekong
River is a far cry from seeing an elephant at
the zoo or circus.
“Because of these kinds of experiences,
kids are increasingly aware of the fragility of
the eco-system. They’re terrifed the whole
world is going to disappear,” said Garnett.
Parents are also signing up for private
Kids of all ages have
the opportunity to
experience village life.
The uptick in
eco-tourism
is also delivering
discerning
families more
rustic, hands-on
experiences.
17
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(212) 759 3920
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90
playground fall 2010
guided tours in India to encourage their kids to
“slow down for a while and simply be.” Shakti in the
Himilayan regions of Kumaon, Sikkim and Ladakh
in northern India offers village walking experienc-
es for families with children as young as 3 (for Ku-
maon and Sikkim) and 7 years and up (for Ladakh).
Children can visit Buddhist monasteries and inter-
act with local children at their school and in games
of cricket and football.
In Africa, MLS often works with Wilderness Sa-
faris, which runs wildlife and community-related
projects at many of their 67 camps in seven coun-
tries. They open their camps to children from the
South African ghettos a few weeks a year so they can
learn about conservation and future jobs. American
kids have the opportunity to meet them and learn
about their lives.
Also in Africa, Micato Travel Safaris has pro-
grams that focus on the cultural experience. At
Loisaba, set on a 60,000-acre private reserve on the
Laikipia plateau, families can meet local villagers,
view games and spend a night under the stars on
four-poster beds set on platforms under the African
sky. They can also visit Micato’s nonproft Ameri-
caShare projects in one of Nairobi’s poorest slums.
Children learn about philanthropic programs to as-
sist women and children affected by H.I.V./AIDS.
They donate funds they have raised before the trip,
to help buy school supplies and uniforms and in
some cases to help get children off the street and
into reputable boarding schools. Kids meet with Af-
rican children their own age and discuss their lives.
“American children often come away from the
experience realizing that despite having so little—
no Nintendo, no Nikes—the kids in Africa seem
much happier and more joyful than some of their
friends back in the U.S.,” said Micato spokeswoman
Jessica Brida.
anantara golden
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ASK ABOUT OUR
MONTHLY PROMOTION!
www.tlc-moving.com
TLC MOVING.indd 1 5/6/10 6:17:05 PM
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Since 1995 when
the family-owned
Broadway Kitchens
& Baths opened its
fagship 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.
www.broadwaykitchens.com
819 Broadway
at 12th St.
New York City
212.260.7768
388 Summer St.
Stamford, CT
203.327.8800
Canac Kitchens of NJ
99 North Dean St.
Englewood, NJ
201.567.9585
Vi sit our showrooms:
www.broadwaykitchens.com
Bowlmor lanes, New York City’s
renowned bowling alley since 1938,
is proud to present Carnival. Located
on the 5th foor 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 carnivalnyc.com
for more information.
the craft
studio is the
hottest place in
NYC for parties,
play dates, painting,
toys, candy, crafts,
gifts, and more. Always ofering the latest and
greatest workshops, gifts, and fun. For over 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;
www.craftstudionyc.com
1657 Third Avenue, New York City 10128
212.831.6626
www.craftstudionyc.com
aire is an inspired, 43-story
glass residential rental tower
at the heart of the Upper West
Side.
Amenities include a private
courtyard driveway, indoor
and outdoor children’s play
areas, a private party deck,
ftness center, rehearsal rooms, conference room,
library, an expansive private park and on-site parking.
The building’s unique shape, set-back and foor-to-
ceiling glass ofer stunning vistas in every direction.
Beautifully detailed residences range from studios
to three bedrooms plus.
aire, 200 west 67th street, aireny.com
For those inspired by the
excitement of everyday
life, welcome to youtopia.
avalon fort greene is a
community with every resource
and a neighborhood with an
eclectic vibe. Brand new rentals
aford spectacular 42-story views. Studio,
1-, 2-, 3-bedroom and penthouse residences feature
gourmet kitchen with granite counters, stainless
appliances and full size washer/dryer. Private ftness
center, resident lounge, concierge and valet parking.
Easy access to 10 subway lines, the BQE, Manhattan
Bridge and Brooklyn Bridge. Find youtopia.
call 866-704-0204. avalonfortgreene.com
avon walK for Breast
cancer
Are you IN IT TO END IT? Register
today for the Avon Walk New York,
October 16-17. The Avon Walk
provides an opportunity like no other
- a true walking tour of the Big Apple
with all the sites and landmarks of
the city that never sleeps! For 2 days
and 39 miles, you’ll forever alter the
lives of thousands afected by breast cancer
.1888-628-9255
avonwalk.org/playground
Bilingual Buds is a dynamic
preschool and kindergarten that
focuses on the development of
the whole child and his or her
relationship with the world. We believe
that students’personal journey
to bilingualism enriches all aspects of their academic
exploration and creative expression. The school ofers a
continuum of Mandarin immersion programs including
Mommy & Me, Preschool, Kindergarten, Summer Camp,
and After School for ages 5-12.
Bilingual Buds
175 riverside Blvd. (at 68th street)
new york, ny, 10069
(212) 787-8088, www.bilingualbudsnyc.com
azure is a 34-story luxury
residential building located at 333
East 91st Street on Manhattan’s
Upper East Side. The building’s 128
residences feature foor-to-ceiling
windows and generous ceiling
heights, and range in size from
studios to 4-bedrooms. Replete
with modern fnishes, top-of-the-line appliances,
and 6300 square feet of amenity space, Azure is
open for immediate occupancy with immediate
fnancing from HSBC Mortgage Corporation
available for up to 80 percent loan to value.
please contact us at 212.828.4848;
info@azureny.com
208 west 96’s
contemporary architecture
and sophisticated
materials create 9 homes
that are as rare as they are
refned. Careful attention
went into selecting warm
fnishes to enhance the
generous, modern layouts
that evoke the feel of a downtown loft in an uptown
neighborhood. 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath homes prices from
$2,290,000 with a 10 Year 421-A Tax Abatement.
for more information, contact frances lucy
flucy@halstead.com 212-381-2557
www.208w96.com
the British
international school
of new yorK provides
a high-quality educational
foundation for children from
all over the world, integrating
the widely acclaimed International Baccalaureate model
with the best of the British Curriculum.
In a safe, happy and nurturing environment, students
develop a genuine love for learning, and academic
success. The school has gained an enviable graduate
placement record of excellence and achievement locally
in New York are and internationally.


for more information visit www.bis-ny.org
chelsea piers sports &
entertainment compleX
Chelsea Piers, located on the
Hudson River, ofers Manhattan’s
best sports programming for children ages 12
months - 17 years. Children enjoy state-of-the-art
facilities, including a gymnastics center, rock-
climbing wall, indoor soccer felds, basketball
courts, batting cages, indoor ice-skating
rinks, golf driving range, bowling center, and a
preschool. For ice skating or hockey programs,
call (212) 336-6100; for junior golf
programs, call (212) 336-6400; for bowling, call
(212) 835-BOWL. For all other sports programs,
call (212) 336-6500.
(212) 336-6666 www.chelseapiers.com
Bettina equities: Living Well,
In the World’s Greatest City. Bettina
is known for afordable prices that
make Manhattan living in the fnest
buildings within reach, with NO FEE!
Attractive studios, spacious three-
bedroom duplexes and triplexes in the
most desired neighborhoods: East/
West Side, Clinton, Murray Hill, Gramercy Park, Union
Square and East Village. Experience the diference
in the way our buildings are run— with a quality
commitment and ongoing attention to amenities such
as exceptional maintenance/upgrades, a responsive
management staf and roomy, comfortable layouts.
www.bettinaequities.com.(212) 744-3330.
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Have a fun flled 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.
summer Breeze at york avenue preschool
gymtime rhythm & glues
1520 york avenue, nyC, ny 10028,
www.gymtime.net, 212.861.7732
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 fnd an enchanting
assortment of fun and delighting the senses with our
world of dolls, limited-edition treasures and exclusive
experiences you’ll forever cherish.
767 5th avenue new york, ny (at 58th street)
212-644-9400
personal shopping: 212-644-9400 ext. 3
www.fao.com
hours: m-w: 10-7, th-sat: 10-8 sun: 11-6
harry’s shoes For
Kids features quality
infants’and children’s
footwear from the most
popular name brands,
including Ugg Australia,
Umi, Primigi, Naturino, Jumping Jacks, Robeez, New
Balance, Timberland, Hunter, Geox, Ecco and many
more. We are renowned for our ftting expertise as well,
and have a proud tradition of serving New York families
since 1931! Find us at 2315 Broadway, between 83rd
and 84th Streets. We’re open seven days!
For more information please contact us at
212-874-2034
hudson urBan BiCyCles,
located in the West Village, now
has the best selection in NYC of
pedaled child-carriers. 5 diferent
models, available for sale and
rent, will carry 1, 2, 3, or 4 children
easily “at least around Manhattan
or Brooklyn”says George Bliss the HUB’s general
manager. “Other boroughs may require electric-
assist.”These are mostly Dutch and Danish designs,
although the store has developed its own product,
with children in the back. Open daily 9-8.
139 Charles st. 212-965-9334
hudsonurbanbicycles.com
The roots of
lazzoni actually
date back all the way
to the 1950s, when
it frst established
itself as a trademark in Turkey. The company owes
its growth to producing goods of only the highest
quality, persistent tracking of new technologies, and
an unmistakable eye for innovation. It is precisely this
openness to change that has allowed the company
to propel into one of Europe’s fnest furniture stores.
Introducing Lazzoni’s Flagship store in Chelsea, NYC.
154 west 18th street, 212-242-0606
www.lazzoni.us
the laurel Condominium
Located on Manhattan’s sought after
Upper East Side, The Laurel features
studio to four bedroom condominiums
with abundant natural light, sweeping
views and the most elegant refnements.
LEED-certifed construction and modern
design are complemented by rare
conveniences such as on-site parking and 12,000 sq. ft.
of private amenities including a 50 ft. lap pool, triathlon
training center, screening room and children’s play
areas. The Laurel is 60% sold and ofering immediate
occupancy. Financing available.
www.laurelcondominium.com
212.750.5550
At lester’s you’ll always fnd what’s
new and edgy in clothing, shoes, and
accessories for little kids to teens and
junior contemporary. For kids, Lester’s
has the latest Northface thermal
insulated outerwear in reversible,
hooded and belted styles. Denim
remains versatile and trendy coming
in a broad assortment of washes and styles For boys,
super cool graphic tees are perfect for layering. For girls,
jeggings (equal parts jeans and leggings) have become
the new fashion staple.
lester’s stores are located in manhattan at
1534 second avenue (212 734 9292) as well
as Brooklyn, rye, greenvale and huntington long
island, and deal, n.J.
Kidding around — named
“Best Toy Store in NYC”by New
York Magazine. Sister store,
just kidding around, named
“Best Toy Store in NJ”by New
Jersey Monthly Magazine. We
are passionate about our
selection of toys, games and gifts. Great design and
great value – lots of classics and lots of surprises! As
a family owned business, we so thank you for your
support of local independent retailers! Unique toys
& gifts.
60 west 15th street, new york City 10011.
212.645.6337. www.kiddingaround.us
Since 1920, diller-Quaile has
been teaching music in a way that
develops the innate musicality in each
individual, inspiring participation for
a lifetime. Diller-Quaile ofers Early
Childhood Classes (4 months - 7
years); Instrumental and Vocal Lessons
and Classes; Adult Programs; and Teacher Training/
Dalcroze Courses. Engaging Rug Concerts, master
classes, and faculty concerts occur throughout the year.
Extensive Outreach Programs bring the spirit and mission
of Diller-Quaile to hundreds of individuals throughout
NYC. Classes begin September 20, 2010.
Call 212-369-1484 or visit www.diller-quaile.org.
the diller-Quaile school of music
24 east 95th street, new york, ny 10128
Apply Now for
Fall 2010
Early Childhood Music Classes
(Infants - 7 Years)
Music & Art
Preschool Classes
Instrument and Voice
Lessons and Classes
Orchestra, Chorus,
Chamber Music & Suzuki
Playing Classes
Advanced High School Program
Adult Programs
& Teacher Training
Concerts for All Ages
THE DILLER-QUAILE SCHOOL OF MUSIC
24 EAST 95TH STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10128
(212) 369-1484 www.diller-quaile.org
ACCREDITED BY THE ACCREDITING COMMISSION FOR COMMUNITY AND PRECOLLEGIATE ARTS SCHOOLS
The Diller-Quaile
School of Music
Jodi’s gym has been providing
New York kids the highest
level of fun & ftness for 29
years! Mommy & Me Gym and
Music Classes (6 months-3
years), Tumbling Tots (3-5
yrs), FUN-tastic Gymnastics
(Kindergarten-5th grade), Motion Evolution, Totally
Tumbling, Tiny Dancers, Hip Hop Hooray, summer and
holiday break camps, free monthly perks for members,
open playtime, Jodi’s To Go, play groups, Jodi’s
gymwear and the best birthday parties ever!
244 east 84 th st, nyC 212.772.7633 www.
jodisgym.com
l haus, a new condominium in
Long Island City, was designed
for living and built for life. Lhaus
features 122 spacious residences
with one bedroom homes starting
from $465,000 and two and three
bedroom homes starting from $635,000. Residents
enjoy the 10,000-square-foot Yard, club room, ftness
center, yoga room, media room and roof terrace with
breathtaking views. Conveniently located three minutes
from Manhattan, Lhaus is one stop from Grand Central
Station on the 7 train. Lhaus is available for immediate
occupancy and is FHA approved.
For more information, please call (718) 94 lhaus
(54287) or visit www.lhauslic.com.
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-fve years, MAM is sold in over
thirty countries and fve 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
www.mambaby.com
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A Conspiracy of Fun
Whether we are sewing custom
gifts for friends, silk-screening
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, mid-centruy inspired vision and you’ve got
paul Frank IndustrIes.
195 Mulberry street, new york, ny, 10012;
212 965 5079
www.paulfrank.com
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.
Contact: Jennifer Mincey 203.563.9885
500 ridgefeld road, Wilton, Ct 06897
www.pippenalley.com
MInd over Matter
HealtH and FItness was founded
in 2004 to provide busy New Yorkers
an accessible service that would help
integrate ftness into their lifestyle.
MOM’s mission is to provide certifed,
friendly, reliable healthcare professionals
specializing in areas such as Personal Training,Yoga &
Pilates. Whether in your home, ofce or even outdoors,
MOM trainers are equipped with the skills to turn any
existing space into your own private health club.
Joshua Margolis
126 West 96th street, suite 3a, ny, ny 10025
(212) 865-9290
Joshua@MindoverMatternyC.com
www.mindovermatternyc.com
tHe pavIlIon Located at 500
East 77th St., the historic Pavilion
ofers 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 fnishes,
generous proportions and timeless
sophistication. Just steps from John Jay Park and
the City’s fnest schools, residents also beneft
from Glenwood’s full-service amenities including
landscaped rooftop sundecks, available valet and
maid service and on-site shopping.
For more information, call 212.535.0500
or visit www.glenwoodnyc.com
MatHnasIuM makes math fun!!! Mathnasium
ofers 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 confdence and a love for
math. Your child will receive both homework guidance
and a customized program that flls in skill gaps and
builds number sense.
WARNING: Your child could become CRAZY about
Math!!!
1597 york avenue (b/t 84th & 85th)
mathnasium.com/manhattan
212-828-MatH (6284)
ooMpa ofers a constantly
expanding collection of
European wooden toys, baby
toys, lunch bags, baby gear and
modern children’s furniture.
We pride ourselves on selling
non-character branded, quality
toys that are designed to last for
generations. We believe baby
toys should be natural, safe, eco-
friendly, and non-violent. Free
shipping over $65.
to see our complete
collection, visit www.oompa.com
ManHattan FenCIng
Center Learn one of the most
elegant, exhilarating and safest
sports which teaches discipline,
coordination and sportsmanship
in NYC’s Olympic Fencing facility.
Programs include Musketeer Club (ages 4-6), Youth
Club (ages 7-13) in addition to
teen and adult classes, lessons, camps and bouting
sessions.
Enrollment for fall & winter classes is now open!
Space is limited, early registration is encouraged
225 West 39th street, 2nd Fl. new york,
new york 20018. ph. 212-382-2255 www.
manhattanfencingcenter.com
pa dutCH Hotels Great Choices Lead to Great
Experiences. Perfectly located in the heart of PA’s
top destination locations, PA Dutch Hotels ofers 5
exceptional hotel choices in Lancaster, Harrisburg and
Hershey Pennsylvania. Specially designed for group
travel for all ages, our hotels ofer memorable value-
packed packages year-round. Come experience Central
PA’s beautiful landscapes and fun-flled activities. From
Sight and Sound Theater’s magical performances to the
action-flled, nationally recognized Hershey attractions,
we truly do ofer something for everyone.
padutchhotels.com
poWer pIlates is
the leading educator of
classical Pilates in the
world with a network of
110 training centers in 10 countries supported by
more than 7,000 Power Pilates trained graduates.
Power Pilates is distinguished in the industry by an
unwavering emphasis on training that honors the
integrity of the original method developed by Joseph
Pilates. Whether you visit our fagship studios in New
York City and Westchester, travel to one of our of global
training centers, or take a class from a Power Pilates
trained instructor at your local ftness center – you are
guaranteed to receive an consistent, classically-based,
invigorating and ftness focused Pilates workout.
212-627-5852
pHIlosopHy day sCHool
helps students develop the
type of character they will need
for life’s upcoming challenges.
The school helps children
to be generous, confdent,
openhearted, clear headed and reasonable and
provides a rigorous academic program that
features the reading of good literature for the
development of fne morals. The nursery and pre-k
programs founded upon “love and play” are well
established, ofering the option of an extended day.
philosophy day school
12 e. 79th st. nyC 10075
(212) 744-7300. www.philosophyday.org
prospeCt HIll orCHards
Prospect Hill Orchards is located in
Milton, NYwhich is about 1.5 hours
from NYC. We have been in the Pick Your Own fruit
business for over 20 years.We are open for pick your
own on weekends only.Afamily owned and operated
farm, we offer cherries, peaches, nectarines, apples,
pears and pumpkins in season. Under the Canopy is a
recent addition to our pick your own apples- it’s a tiny
market “under the canopy”.We greet you with delicious
hot coffee or spiced cider and homemade cider donuts.
Browse through our “made on the farm”products
including dried apples, jams and fruit butters, muffins,
and apple pies.YHayrides are offered sometimes during
cherry and peach season depending on the location of
the fruit. prospecthillorchards.com
park avenue
synagogue
Toddler Classes
Fall Semester:
September 14, 2010
until January 28, 2011
We ofer two classes for children ages newborn to 3
years – accompanied by a parent, a grandparent or
a caregiver. Classes foster a commitment and love
for Jewish life, culture and tradition. $715 per child
per semester.
to regIster or For More InForMatIon,
contact Cindy sherling at csherling@pasyn.
org or at 212-369-2600 ext. 121.
95
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roger erickson has
been a top producing broker
in Manhattan for over 20
years with sales in excess
of a billion dollars. For the
3rd consecutive year, he
has been recognized by The
Wall Street Journal, REAL
Trends and lore Magazine as
one of the Top 100 Agents in
America by Sales Volume, currently ranked as the #4
agent in the nation. The prior year he was ranked as
the #1 agent in Manhattan.
www.roger-erickson.com
This sprawling, colorful
6,200-square-foot children’s
bookstore is a one-of-a-kind
experience in the city. Located
in the heart of SoHo, The scholasTic sTore™
ofers the latest quality products for children of all ages,
including great books, toys, puzzles, audio books, DVD’s,
games, and interactive books. Parents and teachers will
also appreciate the well-stocked Educational Resources
area, and kids can even have their own custom themed
birthday party in the large upstairs activity loft!
The scholastic store
557 Broadway (between prince and spring)
new york, ny 10012, 212-343-6166
Thescholasticstore@scholastic.com
www.scholastic.com/sohostore
www.scholastic.com/store
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, state-of-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.
54 West 21st street,
Between 5th and 6th avenues, nyc
www.slate-ny.com - 212.989.0096
event@slate-ny.com
SLATE
The TriBeca learning
cneTer Our school believes in a
multicultural approach and teaches
language amongst the history of
a variety of cultures.We believe in
promoting, reinforcing and motivating each child to reach
their individual goals.We focus on integrating the learning
content amongst the different subjects so the children
can realistically learn through all the available venues in
the classroom! We value the methodology of High Scope
which incorporates the different learning centers in the
classrooms including the dramatic play area, the blocks,
the art area, the math area, the science area etc..
1 york street, ny, ny 10013, 212.925.3150
718.812.1910, Tribecalearningcenter.org
The soloW ToWnhouses
on East 67th Street ofer a
classic townhouse lifestyle
with a fusion of contemporary
architecture, dramatically high
ceilings and traditional luxury.
Choose from a two-bedroom
duplex or a three-bedroom
triplex townhouse. Each ofers
private entrance into a formal reception foyer,
garden, 17 foot high ceilings, private elevator, wood-
burning freplace and marble baths. Residents also
enjoy all the amenities of a full service high rise.

contact the leasing ofce at 212-249-0303 for
more information.
The VieW, located on Long
Island City’s waterfront on
4630 Centre Boulevard, boasts
gorgeous water and skyline views
from every home. Each spacious
one-, two- and three-bedroom
residence ofers foor-to-ceiling
windows, white oak fooring, up
to 12-foot ceilings, gourmet-ready
kitchens featuring Sub Zero and Viking appliances
and elegant fve-fxture marble baths. Amenities
include rooftop garden, glass-enclosed heated pool,
state-of-the-art ftness center, screening and game
rooms, all one short subway stop from Manhattan.
4630 center Boulevard, lic
www.livingtheview.com, 877.lic.7778
scriBBle press,
New York’s only
“make your own
book”store’s exciting
Fall classes help
kids build literacy and creative writing skills in a fun,
collaborative environment. Developing storytelling skills,
building vocabulary and learning diferent forms of
illustrations, each class ends with their own published
book. Classes for younger kids include ABC’s and
Great Books. Scribble Press is also the perfect place to
drop in, make a book or other custom project, or have
a birthday.
1624 First avenue
www.scribblepress.com
Toren-Brooklyn’s newest
iconic tower is now over
60% sold and ready for
immediate occupancy. This
SOM designed building ofers
residents an indoor pool,
attended lobby, ftness room,
roof terrace and a 25 Year 421-A tax abatement. On
track for Gold LEED certifcation, Toren features its
own on-site cogeneration plant- one of the frst in a
NYC residential tower. FHA & Fannie Mae approved.
torencondo.com
718.222.Toren (8673)
sales gallery at 150 Myrtle ave., Brooklyn, ny
WinsTon prep ofers
an individualized and
responsive setting for
middle and high school
students with learning
diferences. The WPS
program provides continuously modifed instruction
based on each student’s dynamic learning profle,
with curriculum designed to challenge each
student’s strengths while developing both academic
and life skills. The individualized instruction ofered
at WPS has successfully resulted in 94% of
graduates going on to attend college or university.
new york city 646.638.2705 x634
connecticut 203-229-0465 x535
www.winstonprep.edu
Because New Yorkers’
have everything but space:
Techline sTudio-
furniture that fts. Architect
owned, we measure,
design, and install our
modular systems for a
custom ft solution. Our
job is to help you make
the most of your home and ofce space. And to fnd
spaces and places for the things that matter.
35 east 19th street,
ny, ny 10003, 212-674-1813
www.techlinestudio.com
sTuarT’s FarM Is the largest
Orchard in Westchester County,
NY! We are located in Granite
Springs which is approximately
1 hour or less from NYC. U-Pick
apples; Labor Day Weekend- Early
November. U-Pick Pumpkins; Late
September- October. Stuart’s Fruit Farm is the oldest
and largest working farm in Westchester County. Our
farm has been in the Stuart family since 1828. Our
fruit and produce stand was built in 1886. We have
over 200 acres of apple orchards, pumpkin felds and
vegetable crops.
stuartsfarm.com
ReseRve
space Now
For the
November 3rd
Issue of
observer playground
For advertising information contact
Betty Lederman,
Associate Publisher,
Observer Playground
212.407.9359
Blederman@observer.com
96
playground fall 2010
Hair+Nails+Spa
Mom’s Minute
How do you juggle work and family?
Wow, that’s a diffcult one. My studio
is attached to our loft, so I am actually
around most of the time. The most
diffcult thing is that the kids have
physical access to me, so it’s diffcult
for them to understand I am unavail-
able because I am working. I try to
include them in my work as much as
possible so they feel important.
What lessons from parenting have
you incorporated into your work?
Trying to keep calm, forgiving and
focused with my children as well as
employees.
What’s the best advice you’ve given
your children? I remind them to re-
main centered and grounded as much
as possible. I practice yoga daily at
Jivamukti and encourage my 9-year-
old daughter, Celia, to join me a mini-
mum of once a week.
What’s your favorite family moment
every day? The kids wake me up with
a cappuccino in the morning in bed
and we all cuddle for 15 minutes. It’s
my favorite moment.
What’s the best part of raising a child
in New York City? I think the people.
My kids are exposed to so many inter-
esting people, different nationalities
and walks of life.
Favorite family hidden gem in New
York City? Rolls at Knori, a tiny
Japanese restaurant near my hus-
band’s studio on St. Marks. And Jack
Lin, my Chinese acupuncturist.
Designer Bonnie young’s
work has taken her around
the world, working with
greats like Donna Karan
and Ralph lauren.
The creator of the Bonnie
Young Collection—which
was inspired by the birth of
her daughter, Celia, opens
up about her life.
400 East 67
th
Street
Far Left: The shimmering infnity
edge 50 ft lap pool can be found in
The Laurel’s 8,000 sq ft ftness
facility and features a glass mosaic
tile interior and botticino
marble deck.
Left: The Laurel Condominium,
a graceful new residential tower
fashioned of glass and limestone
is located on the Upper East Side,
in Manhattan’s most coveted and
convenient location.
Left: The crowning glory of
The Laurel is its spectacular top
foor penthouse featuring
panoramic views. The double-sided
wood burning freplace grounds
this great room creating a warm,
yet striking atmosphere.
Left: The Laurel’s Penthouse
features a private bi-level terrace
and roof deck with an additional
wood burning freplace.
Buyers seeking quality – quality
of construction, quality of
fnishes, quality of life – fnd
The Laurel a true value.
immediate occupancy
12,000 sf of amenities
Leed certified
421a tax abatement
60% soLd
financing avaiLabLe
Studio to Four Bedroom Condominium reSidenCeS | on-Site Parking
triathlon training Center | SCreening room | Children’S Play areaS
400 east 67th street | 212 750 5550 | LaureLcondominium.com
deveLoped by aLexico group. excLusive marketing and saLes agent: the sunshine group, Ltd.
photography by evan joseph. the compLete offering terms are in an offering pLan avaiLabLe from
sponsor. financing for quaLified purchasers onLy. fiLe no. cd-06-0801. sponsor: 1240 first avenue LLc.
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