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$3.95 november / DECEMBER 2010

Supersize Me
When Baby Makes
Four (or Five)
It’s Time to Move

Lifestyle for the New York Mom

Golden Gratitude
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Give Thanks With the Family

Unleash Your Child’s
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Letter From
the Editor
I love this time of year! Filled with family,
friends and, of course, Thanksgiving. There’s
so much to be grateful for—like being a par-
ent and living in the world’s greatest city—
and I’m happy to get to share this wonderful
time of year with you in our latest issue!
For many people—me included!—this time
of year is synonymous with great food, and in
this edition of Observer Playground, we’ve in-
cluded some stories aimed straight at your sweet tooth. We’ve got a terrific
interview with candy maven Dylan Lauren about her new book. We’ve also
got an interview with Norah O’Donnell about her fabulous new cookbook,
Baby Love: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals for Your Baby and Toddler.
This issue also includes some must-read features on maximising your
quality time with the kids. We’re spotlighting Scribble Press—a new play
space where your kids can make their own books.
On a more serious note, we’ve also included stories on how to teach your
little ones social skills, and how to help them in the school application pro-
cess with Karen Quinn’s new book, Testing for Kindergarten.
As always, we’ve got a glamorous cover star, and I’m so thrilled that it is
Elisabeth Rohm. Elisabeth talked to us about her extra-
busy (but admittedly wonderful) life, which includes a
successful acting career; life with fiancé Ron Wooster
and their adorable daughter, Easton; writing novels,
recording music and doing charity work; and being the
spokesperson for an amazing line of
kids’ educational products, Juno
Baby Jr. She is an incredible role
There’s much more, including
the regulars you love—Hot to Tot,

Figjam Portraiture, Fine Portraits by Francis Hills; courtesy of dylan’s candy bar
the Lysst and an irresistible kids’
fashion spread.
Phew! What a full issue! Enjoy!
And Happy Thanksgiving!
Dylan Lauren

10 playground november / december 2010


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the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and marketing program in
which there are no barriers to obtaining housing because of race, color, religion, sex, handicap, familial status or national origin.
Editor in chief Lyss Stern

managing editor shaina feinberg

Kids Fashion Editor Stephanie Kaster

editorial associate Kat Harrison
Styling INTERN Victoria McClellan

Liz Armstrong, TAtiana Boncompagni,
Alix Cohen, Pamela Weiler Grayson,
LAmbeth Hochwald, julie earle-levine,
Betsy Schur Levy, Laura Morgan,
REbecca Morse, Melissa Schweiger,
Emily TannenbauM, Zibby Right

on the
Now openest Side!
Upper W art director BARBARA SULLIVAN

Production director Tyler Rush

Tutoring and Enrichment advertising/production coordinator lisa medchill
Associate Publisher, observer playground


Betty Shaw Lederman

Marketing Manager Ashley O’Brien

"NTUFSEBN"WFt:PSL"WF Account Executives

Mitch Bedell, David Bendayan, paul kornblueh,
Tracy Lingo, David Wolff, Michelle Morgan,
Spencer Sharp, Robyn Weiss

F session junior account executive Elana Delasos
January 29.
peter parris, Carlos rodriguez, eden sherman

Summer about
Camp our Summer
2: August mini-camps 3
15-September Observer Media Group
F 2-5
Girotondo (circle of fun) Ages Publisher Jared Kushner
An Italian language program which improves fluency through songs, stories,
President Christopher Barnes
games and arts & crafts. Classes require parent or caregiver.
Executive Vice President Barry Lewis
Giardino dei Bambini Ages 2-5
Giardino dei Bambini is a morning drop-off playgroup at CI for kids ages 2-5. Senior Vice President Sales Stephen Goldberg
Summer W Children
NECamp 2: may
August 15-September
join in on 3 and Thursday from 9-12 on an as
the fun every Tuesday
needed basis. Experienced instructors provide multiple opportunities for kids to Senior Vice President Sales and Marketing david gursky
learn Italian through play, while learning important socialization skills. The pro-
Girotondo (circle gram of fun)
offers Ages learning
language 2-5 through games, activities, songs, dance theater, Director of Classified Advertising Ken Newman
and hands-on creativity (art projects and cooking).
An Italian language program which improves fluency
Space is limited. 24-hour advance through songs,
reservation stories,
is required.
games and arts & crafts. Classes require parent or caregiver. THE NEW YORK OBSERVER
321 West 44th Street
Piccoli Cuochi Ages 5-11 New York, NY 10036
Giardino dei Bambini Ages 2-5
Italian Cooking and Recipes for children & grown-ups. 212.755.2400
Giardino dei Bambini is a morning drop-off playgroup at CI for kids ages 2-5.
NEW Children may joinCreate,
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Act, Draw... Ages 3-5 & 7-12
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12 playground november / december 2010

Group and private classes for adults and children

10AM - 2PM | Madison Ave.
bet. E. 67 Street and E. 86 Street, NYC
Shop to benefit the
Whitney Museum
Family Programs

Baby CZ by Carolina Zapf Jaded Petit Bateau

820 Madison Avenue (68 - 69) 1048 Madison Avenue (79 - 80) 1094 Madison Avenue (82 - 83)

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Visit for a schedule of in-store performances and events.

The Madison Avenue Business Improvement District and the Whitney Museum of American Art are 501(c)(3) organizations. A copy of their latest annual reports are
available from the organizations or the New York State Attorney General’s Charity Bureau, Attn. FOIL Officer, 120 Broadway, New York, NY 10271.

16 shopping lysst 26 career
18 Celebs give thanks 28/38 REal estate
32 party
Experience Pennsylvania in 20 fitness
22 Books 34 bike
24 hot to tot 36 food

46 Elisabeth
Whoa is me! Actress, writer, spokesperson and
mom,the gorgeous and unstoppable Elisabeth Rohm.
52 fashion night out
A mother and daughter fashion show at the
Lisa Perry Store that rocked the runway.
56 home
Extra! Extra! Read all about it! Reporter
Cat Greenleaf gives us a personal tour of her
amazing Cobble Hill home.
60 kid’s Fashion
Pint-size style! Pop-Tart pop-up fashion.
64 parenting
Great Choices Lead to Thanksgiving means more than mashed
Great Experiences. potatoes and turkey. A how-to on emphasizing
the spirit of gratitude this season.
tracy toler

68 Travel
Luxury vacations for the entire family. Hershey Harrisburg Lancaster
Shopping Lysst
Lyss St e r n ’ S L at e st m u st- h av e s
Tree of Life Necklace
The Tree of Life Neck-
lace ($180) is made of
pink tourmaline; you
feel like you’re wearing
a miniature piece
of artwork with this
beautiful item.

Everlon Diamond Eternity Band says forever

for the holidays! The ring ($915) is inspired by
eternal love. Sleek and stylish, the Everlon knot Ruinart Golden
features a contemporary design set with dia- Thread Wine Stopper

monds. Can be given with love for any occasion. by Patricia Urquiola
Ruinart, one of the old-
est Champagne houses
in the world (est. 1729),
has released a special
wine stopper called
the Golden Thread,
designed by Spanish
architect and designer
Patricia Urquiola.

Dennis Basso Tipped Faux

Mink Tiered Coat
Diva moms will want to sashay
H.Bloom down the streets of Manhattan
Nothing classes up an apartment when they are wrapped in this
or office more than a fresh vase faux mink coat ($168). Three
of flowers. Lucky for us moms, luxe tiers, balloon sleeve cuffs
H.Bloom is giving us a chance
and a shawl collar with a hood
to get in on some serious floral
give the fabulous piece
action with their new weekly
its super-chic silhouette.
flower-delivery service. It’s a great
gift—nothing makes me smile like
The Hammitt Westwood bag is the company’s No. 1 seller. It’s a
gorgeous flowers!
little bit slouchier (a hot look for fall) and available
in the popular leopard print. This hot bag ($485) is perfect for au-
tumn, and can go with almost every outfit in your closet.

16 playground november / december 2010























Give Thanks “I’ll be giving the
gift of meditation
at the David Lynch
Foundation TM
Some of our favorite New York celebrity parents share
centers. I’ll be get-
what they’re giving thanks for this Thanksgiving
ting good karma.”

“I am thankful for the “Every Thanks-

opportunity to give giving, our
back. Being on a real- family enjoys
ity show has put my time down
name out there and al- at our home in Palm
lowed me and my girls Beach. We love going
to be charitable on a down there to get away,
level we never expected. enjoy each other’s
This Thanksgiving, my company and eat fan-
daughters (Sea, 12, and tastic food! I’m giving
Teddy, 10) and I plan to thanks this year for
serve at a local shelter our health and hap-
such as the Food Bank piness!”
of New York.” —Melania Trump,
—Kelly Bensimon mom and wife of The Donald

“It’s something we mean to

do every day—say thanks—
but seem to lose sight of
most of the time. Make sure
that no matter what type of “For Thanks-
meal you are giving, I will
having, you take be in the 212
a moment to watching the
think about parade! No,
how much not sipping
you do have latté from
“I am thankful for human spirit. (health, love, some fancy
We all too often take our health friendship, pal’s CPW
and good fortune for granted, passion, duplex. I’ll be
abusing our bodies, pushing them perspec- Park-side with
to the limit, depriving ourselves of tive, ap- the fanny-
sleep, drinking and eating too much, preciation, pack-wearing
smoking and heaven knows what else. intellect, Red State mass-
“As a photographer and filmmaker, I reason, es. We do it every
have had the honor of traveling around the kindness), year. It’s freezing
world, to places like Tanzania, Haiti and and reflect and mobbed and
the ice floes off Eastern Canada, docu- on how you insane, but the
menting the struggles many people can share smile on my
face in abject poverty, extreme condi- more of it with son’s face when
tions and poor health. Yet one overall theme others.” ginormous Sponge-
that I always discover is hope. No matter how —Gwyneth
Bob floats down makes it all
difficult a situation may seem, we have the ability to Paltrow
worth it. I’m thankful I live
rise above it and fight on. I will be spending this Thanks- here. I love New York.”
giving with my wife, Cristen, and our two children, Jack, —Jill Kargman, author
getty images

who’s 4, and Jasmine, who’s 2.”

—Nigel Barker, fashion photographer and model —Julie Earle-Levine

18 playground november / december 2010

Divalysscious Hot Shots CE
by Heidi Green Photography O LN
E R lis
N C n Mar
WH sa


nt o
C stra wit 1�
J &
L Y e 0
M rch 2
A MLincoln Cen O V E M B
t e r E R

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Divalysscious Moms Night Out with Brooke Peterson
of the Food Network

Divalysscious Moms Central Park-

Holiday Cards photo shoot


Box Office / Entrance

Broadway at 60th

Preferred Card of Media Partner

Jazz at Lincoln Center
Divalysscious Moms and Daughters launch of
Stride Rite Glitzy Pets Sneakers Photo by Frank Stewart
ity friendly and her energy comfortable, yet still feel the burn. That alone is
positive. Before class begins, the theme of Core Fusion.
she chats with everyone It’s easy to see that Elisabeth has a great
briefly, introducing herself to passion for the Core Fusion workout. Before
the newbies and getting up- creating Core Fusion, she taught the Lotte Berk
dates from others she seems Method for years at the studio she and her hus-
to know quite well. band owned. She immediately embraced the
Core Fusion is a mix of idea of Exhale when she was approached by
various disciplines, includ- the founder to help create the ultimate “urban
ing Lotte Berk, Pilates, escape” in New York City. Now that there are
Yoga, core conditioning and 17 Exhale properties across the country (includ-
stretching. There is no run- ing six in Manhattan and one in the Hamptons),
ning or jumping (students Elisabeth can’t possibly teach every class like
simply wear a pair of socks) she used to years ago. She does, however,
but rather small, intense ensure that classes are taught by instructors
movements. The class begins who’ve received 275 hours of training, no small
with leg lifts, to get your feat for even the most intense workout enthusi-
energy flowing and prepare ast. Core Fusion has also morphed into various
you for what lies ahead. forms, including Core Fusion Cardio, Sport and
The arms get targeted first, Yoga. Each workout is different, but they all
and though working with promise to give you long, lean muscles, a higher
2-pound weights may sound backside and washboard abs. There is also a
like a pleasure cruise, by DVD series for those who don’t live near a loca-
the time you drop and give tion or would rather work out in the comfort of
them 20 (push-ups, that is), you can actually their own home. As with any fabulous workout,
Inhale, Exhale, feel the muscles beginning to surface on your it’s hard to keep it a secret for too long. Celebri-
Now do it again biceps and triceps. The class moves along, as ties like Brooke Burke, Anna Paquin, Cameron
Exhale’s Core-Fusion rocks you target your thighs and glutes while holding Diaz and Charlize Theron are toning their bod-
the body real good on to the bar. Elisabeth moves around the class, ies with this addictive workout.
giving everyone the attention they need to en- The best part about Exhale and Core Fusion,

pon entering Exhale, you’ll be tempted sure they are maximizing their workout. She is and the thing Elisabeth kept emphasizing, is
to breathe a sigh of relief. The space is constantly encouraging you to push through the that they strive to create a harmonious energy
relaxing, and the idea that it doubles as pain, even when all you want to do is break out as you enter and leave. It’s very difficult to find
a workout facility and a spa makes it much less of the zone you’re in. The amount of concentra- the motivation necessary to start or end your
intimidating than your average gym. But while tion needed is incredible; it’s the ultimate real- day with a great workout, but Exhale and Core
the atmosphere may put you at ease, Exhale’s ization that you don’t need anything but your Fusion make this transition seamless.
Core Fusion workout will make your heart race. own body to challenge yourself. Even though —Emily Tannenbaum
The Core Fusion studio is a large open space the workout is entirely independent,
with ballet bars lining the walls. Everyone is you feel yourself bonding with those
equipped with some weights and a strap for around you, sighing deeply after suc-
stretching. It’s obvious that many people are cessfully holding difficult positions
regulars; they grab the heavier weights when and smiling at your neighbors, who
they enter class and their bodies are toned and are struggling as much as you are
tight. On the day Playground visited, there was (even if they are regulars). The final
a large range of women, most of whom were segment of class targets your abs,
older, but it quickly became clear that age was which have actually been working all
just a number in this class. Elisabeth, who still along but still deserve special atten-
teaches at Exhale on occasion, embodies the tion. This abs series is no easy task,
workout she created with her husband of 27 but you are given multiple ways to
years, Fred. Her body is amazing, her personal- modify your workout so that you feel

20 playground november / december 2010

Hello Gorgeous!
It may be the season of delicious turkey, mashed
potatoes and pumpkin pie, but that doesn’t mean
your get-pretty routine has to fall by the wayside.
Here are six new products that will have you say-
ing “thank you” even after the holiday feast and
Black Friday madness subsides. —Kat Harrison

Pretty in Plaid. Harness your inner Scot with this

six-shadow palette, decked out in velvety tartan.

This limited edition MAC Reelers & Rockers Eye
Kit features nighttime shades like matte black
(perfect for lining) and a sexy metallic shadow,
coyly dubbed “Gaelic
Gold.” All six colors are
sure to add some spring to
your jig, er, step. $36, mac- That’s how easy we can
make it to find that
Little Jack Horner. What’s chic all over and très autumn,
too? Essie Nail Polish in Velvet Voyeur. After you apply two special nanny you’ve
coats of this ultra-lush chocolate-plum shade on your been seeking.
fingers and toes, it becomes practically an accessory all
on its own! Though a gold bangle or two is always an ex-
ception to the rule. $8,
With 20 years in the
New York City market,
Lather Up. Nothing says a-ha to cold fronts bet-
ter than a hot bath and divine smelling suds. We adore the palm-size
we know nannies.
L’Occitane Fleur Chérie Flowers Soap that celebrates the Mediter-
ranean orange blossom with a slight woody finish. Trust us—you’ll
be thankful the chilly weather kept you cooped up for once. $7,
A CHOICE NANNY 850 Seventh Avenue
NYCDCA #0890176
Hello, Bombshell. For so long we’ve scoured the shelves for the Member, Better Business Bureau
Marilyn Monroe of sheer red gloss. But thankfully the search is
over! Bobbi Brown Lip Gloss in Hollywood Red looks gorgeous
flying solo or adds a killer kick of shine on top of your go-to lip-
stick. Plus, the gloss’s botanical extracts will keep your lips oh-so
smooth even after the rouge color
fades. $20,

Pompadour Perfection. How many

brushstrokes does it take to get to a
polished, detangled coif? Thanks to the
magnificence of the Italian-crafted Bumble
and Bumble Flat Classic Hair Brush, just a
few glides through will do. This boar bristle
beauty evenly distributes your hair’s natu-
ral oils so that your locks look glossy and
smooth. Plus, the beechwood handle is just
the right size and doesn’t slip as you primp.

Fringe Benefits. The Josie Maran GOGO

Mascara manages to volumize, thicken, Call to discuss your child
strengthen and curl your lashes all in one fabulous
black swoop. And thanks to the protein component care challenge!
of the Argan Oil, lashes stay limber (not brittle)
around the clock. Even better? Josie Maran will
donate one dollar from the sale of each mascara
to support the treatment and research of women’s
cancers at the City of Hope Center (
playground november / december 2010 21
the book? I taste everything and just a bite satisfies me. I
I love candy and feel a book think to not try things or eat in moderation is
is another way, in addition problematic. I also work out to even it out.
to the retail experience our Even though your family isn’t in the candy
stores provide, to show the business, you are surely surrounded by cre-
beauty and fun of candy and ative minds. How have they supported your
demonstrate how I see candy endeavors?
as fashion, art and pop cul- They all are very supportive entrepreneurs and
ture. I also want to inspire artists, and have creative business minds. They
people to get in touch with are constantly providing me with ideas and
their creative spirit and inner showing me tear sheets for inspiration.
child through candy. Do you ever find it difficult to constantly
Were there any surprises reinvent the wheel? What keeps the ideas
along the way? coming?
It felt like I was back in I actually find it easy to be creative with candy.
school writing my thesis with There are so many shapes, colors, textures and
lots of very late various packaging to play with or
nights, more get inspired by.
of them than Five stores nationwide, a line
any candy-store of beauty products and now a
project. It was book. You seem unstoppable!
also most chal- What’s next for you and the
lenging to ensure Dylan’s Candy empire?
the photos and We are looking to expand into
text lined up accurately. It was like major cosmopolitan cities such
Sweet Tooth a puzzle to try and fit the photos on as L.A., Las Vegas and London.
Dylan Lauren gets serious pages with the appropriate text, as We have and continue to open
about sweets some text was too short or too long, wholesale shops in luxury hotels and
some photos too wide or vertical. department stores such as Neiman Marcus,

s the founder and CEO of the Since you are the official taste-tester for Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s or the Regency and W.
flocked-to hot spot Dylan’s Dylan’s, what are some of your weak- What’s a candy-coated tip from Unwrap Your
Candy Bar, Dylan Lauren has nesses when it comes to sweets? Sweet Life that you can share with our Play-
a passion it takes only a millisecond to Everything, but more so fresh-baked ground readers?
piece together. Whether it’s chocolate- chocolate chip cookies, anything with Always surround yourself with candy, whether
covered, butterscotch-filled or vanilla fondant or marshmallows. you have it to eat or to give to others. Candy
smothered in sour sugar crystals— How do you fight the urge to over- never fails!
the inner workings of candy are indulge on new inventory? —Kat Harrison
something this lady knows a little
something about. And now she’s shar-
ing her secrets with the rest of us! In Treat Yourself
Dylan’s new book, Unwrap Your Sweet
Life, she spills candy-inspired crafts, Dylan Lauren’s flair for all things sweet shower gels and ice cream–inspired scrubs
holiday gifts and decorating tips that stretches far beyond the average lollipop. in four yummy flavors. Among our favorites
Photos Courtesy of Dylan’s Candy Bar.

will get you thinking creatively and In 2008, she launched a line of beauty are the Strawberry Licorice Candy Butter
playfully about sugar. products (adorably dubbed Re-Treat) Cream ($5.50) and the Birthday Cake Lip
that are full-on delish without the Saver ($2). Not to mention that the prod-
So this is your first written calorie intake. Sold exclusively at ucts are paraben-free and not tested on
venture. What inspired Sephora and Dylan’s Candy animals—so you can feel good about what
Bar, the line features you slather on (and smell!).
Dylan as Barbie. lip balms, lotions, Prices are based on

22 playground november / december 2010

Dance Till You Drop
There’s nothing more fun than dancing around the liv-
ing room with your little one. You can shake your hips,
do some dips and sing to the music at the top of your
lungs—so long as you don’t bother your downstairs
neighbor! Here, two moms share their iPod playlists.
Get ready to rock.

Classic and more in

Turtle Bay
Amy Metrick Hornstein, executive
director of global communications
at Origins, and mom of Ethan, 19
months, says there’s nothing bet-
ter than dancing with her little guy.
“Poker Face” by Lady Gaga
“Poker Face is easy to dance to and sing along with.
At the chorus, Ethan says ‘Pa Pa Pa’ when Lady Gag
says ‘Pa Pa Poker Face’!”
“Big Shot” by Billy Joel
“Any fast song by Billy Joel is a must on our playlist!”
“Birthday” by the Beatles
“Ethan loves it when they sing, ‘They say it’s your
birthday.’ He starts clapping at that point in the song!”
“Empire State of Mind” by Jay-Z with Alicia Keys
“How could you not start smiling when you listen to
this song?”
“If You’re Happy and You Know it”
“Ethan has this song choreographed. He claps his
hands, stomps his feet and raises his hand for ‘hurray.’
It’s adorably entertaining!”

Rocking out on the UES fiction • nonfiction • poetry • reviews • art

Marni Konner, founder of Little
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and Mac, 19 months,
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Subscribe at or call 800-363-1986
playground november / december 2010 23
Hot to Tot
Need to know what’s new, noteworthy and
not to miss this season? As always, we’ve got you Beatles Mania
covered. Here’s our definitive list of the In: Macclarren Yellow
most fabulous things to do, buy and enjoy for Submarine Stroller
you and your family. Out: Burnt Out
Beatles T-Shirts

Essential November
In: Revive: Stop Feeling
Spent and Start Living
Again by Dr. Frank Lipman
Out: A comprehensive
weekly list of sample sales

Fond childhood memory to

re-experience with the kids
Music for the Kids In: Egg creams at the
In: Moey’s Dance party Brooklyn Flea
Out: The Hokey Pokey Out: Thanksgiving Parade
floats in the freezing cold Hipster-in-training
Seasonal treat kids’ clothing
In: Cranberry Apple pedicure at Snowbird trip to look for- In: Diesel motorcycle jacket
Sweet Lily on West Broadway ward to Out: Black tee and skinny jeans
Out: Cranberry sauce from In: Visiting the new
Fairway on Broadway JW Marriott in Miami
Out: Visiting the In-laws’
November obsession condo in Boca
In: Roger Vivier Pilgrim flats
Out: The story of the pilgrims Cold weather schvitz central
In: The steam room at the gym
Distinctly New York City Out: An overheated prewar
time-consuming activity apartment
In: Impressing preschool ad-
missions directors
Out: Impressing co-op board Winter warmer Stylish snowl-
directors In: Fur vest, preferably faux overs’ most cov-
Out: Moncler jacket, particu- eted accessory
Long distance trip for larly if purchased full price In: Henri Bendel
Thanksgiving weekend logo snowboard
In: Six-hour plane ride to Gros- Calories-be-damned carb- Out: Chanel logo skis
venor House in London laden splurge
Out: Two-hour drive to Grand- In: Large Pulino’s pizza pie Promising opening that
ma’s house in Long Island Out: Morning-after-Thanksgiv- will hopefully be worth
ing leftover pumpkin pie the wait:
In: Fairway on East 86th Street
Guilty late-night shopping Out: The Second Avenue Subway
In: A trip to a newly-renovat- Tummy Time
Holiday and Birthday ed, 24-hour Duane Reade In: Erika Bloom Next Level Pi-
Gifting for the kids Out: Overspending on tele- lates DVD
In: and online gift vision shopping networks Out: Having to leave your apart-
store with the best of the best ment to do Pilates
selection of toys and games for Ubiquitous (but so
kids, and the gifts get sent in the comfy) footwear Inevitable seasonal
cutest recycable bags In: Fit-Flops Mukluks complaint
Out: Waiting on line at the Out: Uggs In: Too much traffic
toy stores to have the gifts Out: Too much turkey

24 playground november / december 2010

to and advises young women they come—they are the way they are. It doesn’t
at her firm about being a mean that we [shouldn’t] do a really good job
working mother, to share parenting, and helping with things that they’re
some of the secrets of her not good at, but when my child has an incredible
success. success or does a great time with a presentation
Find a company that or with test scores, I don’t mix that up with my
allows flexibility. “I’m really, success—[that’s] their success.”
really lucky because I have a Follow the 10-10-10 rule. Relations with
company that allows flexibil- caretakers can get “emotional,” says Foster. “It
ity,” says Foster of her firm, can seem like Armageddon that they didn’t wear
Cushman & Wakefield. “Peo- underpants to school or something,” she jokes.
ple get emails from me after Her rule. Ask yourself “will this decision matter
I put the children to sleep; in 10 minutes, 10 weeks or 10 years? If it won’t
I get up very early, I get on matter in 10 years, say your peace and move on.”
the stationary bike to bicycle, Be direct. “Another really important tip is to
[and] I do emails then. During be very, very direct about your schedule,” Foster
the day, I’m mostly in meet- advises. “I don’t ever get defensive that I have a
ings and on phone calls, but I school meeting or something else; I just say, ‘Lis-
do have a certain amount of ten, I can meet you beforehand, I can meet you
flexibility.” Foster has learned after, but I can’t meet you during.’”
to make every moment count; Finally, know that it’s hard. “I miss every
as she lives in Rye, her com- second that I could have been with them that I’m
mute varies widely based on not,” says Foster. “[I tell] the women here [go-
traffic. “I try to be home with ing on] maternity leave for their first child—one
my kids at one end of the day. If I have a dinner, thing that you need to know is that if you think
Cynthia foster: I take them to school [in the morning]. If I don’t you will have clarity on this decision, you won’t.
power mom have a dinner, then I try to leave the house early, If you decide to stay home, you’re going to have
Kids, husband and career— pre-traffic, at 6:30 a.m.” days that are boring, tedious and complicated …
tips on having it all Aspire to a position of seniority. Loyalty and if you come back, you’re going to miss them.
has its privileges. When Foster’s first son was There is no such thing as perfect clarity.”

ynthia Foster knows a little something 3 and the second a newborn, she faced the dif- Moms who have broken the glass ceilings
about getting things done. Head of ficult choice of signing a five-year employment show their children that it can be done. “I’m not
global client development for re- contract that took her from “middle to senior at the stage where my children perceive me as a
nowned real estate giant Cushman & Wakefield, [level],” she says. “Once you’re over the hurdle, mentor for them for working,” Foster admits of
she has three somewhat smaller clients develop- and you’re an executive, [that’s when] you get her still-young children—but that day will come.
ing at home—sons Beau, 13, and Jack, 10, and flexibility.” Plus, “the [senior] job is a lot more “What I say to her is you get to do it all because
daughter Jessie, 7. Having begun her career in interesting, you are better at it, [and] you’re able women can do it all, they have that ability.” And
real estate investment banking at Lazard, she to balance it better. I always tell young women, with a supermom like Cynthia Foster as her ex-
quickly climbed the ladder at Cushman & Wake- try to picture yourself five to seven years down ample, it won’t be hard to believe.
field, where she has been since 2001. With three the road.” —Rebecca Morse
children, a husband of 15 years and a commute See the positive aspects of your dual roles.
to Westchester to contend with, how does she Managing a full-throttle career and a family may
manage it all? “There’s a lot of juggling when seem like pulling a double shift, but, as Foster
you’re career is on fire and you’ve got three kids says, “it allows for perspective”—a perspective
at home,” admits Foster, laughing. “I’ve been at with benefits. “Having a demanding full-time
meetings, and people say, ‘I’m exhausted, I didn’t job [means] that I don’t take my children’s weak-
sleep well last night.’… I look at them and think, ness or failures personally: Their success are
‘I’m in a REM sleep at a stop sign!’ How could theirs. There’s a richness in that and a clarity. …
you possibly have the option of not being able to When you’re home, and [the children] are your
fall asleep?” We asked Foster, who often speaks job, it gets complicated. They come the way

26 playground november / december 2010

THEATRE a l l et
d i a n a b y e r, a r t i s t i c d i r e c t o r

e x q u i s i t e l i t t l e b a l l e t s
2010-11 SEASON

diana byer artistic director

e up
Gaggle of Chicks onc on a ballet
As a Manhattan mother of twins, I am always searching

e up
for ways to save time and money. That’s why when Gagg-

on a ballet CEO and New York native Matt Evans told me
about his genius idea for a daily deal Web site for moms and
families, I not only wanted to sign up as a customer, but I also
wanted to join the team!
GaggleofChicks ( launched its
New York site in late August 2010. (Look for more city sites
in late 2010/early 2011.) It’s a Web site that offers a new deal
for moms and families every weekday. The deals are only
“live” for 48 hours so you have to act quickly. Gaggle also has
a social buying component. A set number of moms need to
purchase a deal before it “hatches.” For example, Gaggle’s deal
of 52 percent off a four-pack of classes at Moey’s Music Party
required 10 moms to buy it before it hatched. Gaggle’s most
successful deals to date have been with online meal delivery
service Susie’s Supper Club, the Children’s Museum of the
Arts and Karma Kids Yoga.
Founder Matt Evans, a Collegiate School, Amherst Col-
Photo: Richard Termine

lege and Harvard Business School grad with a background

in finance, nonprofit management and venture capital, spent
one summer interning at Cheerios. After doing extensive
consumer research on the mom demographic, he realized
three key things: Raising kids is really expensive no matter
where you are; moms don’t have a lot of time to get everything
done; moms have to navigate a sea of information to figure 1 hour
out what’s best to purchase for their children. Evans decided All performances at
there should be a way to save moms time and money by of- Florence Gould Hall
perfect for
fering highly curated deals for moms and families. The Gaggle 55 East 59th Street
was born. kids!
The Gaggle team relies extensively on its rapidly growing
community of moms to inform the deal selection, including
its Mom Advisory Board, which consists of several industry
For details, visit
leaders; its Gaggle Ambassadors (more than 50 connected
Keith Michael’s
moms who help spread the word and advocate the brand);
and the stellar moms on the
management team who lead
the nutcracker
everything from editorial to
December 11–12, 18–19
sales. These moms try every Donald Mahler’s

single product or service
firsthand before approving a
February 12–13
Gaggle also tries to bring
moms together through its Choreography by Agnes de Mille, Lotte Goslar & Antony Tudor
Community section. “An impor-
tant part of our business is our NEW! exquisite little ballets
grass-roots approach,” Evans April 9–10
says. “There’s nothing more
powerful than one mom talking James Sutton’s
to another about a recom-
mended product or service.”
sleeping beauty
To join the Gaggle, please May 14 – May 15
visit www.gaggleofchicks.
—Zibby Right

playground november / december 2010 27

Real Estate
minium, told Playground, “I have worked in the
residential real estate market for over 25 years,
mainly in Manhattan, and was pleasantly sur-
prised by life in Long Island City and all it has
to offer,” most of all, Long Island City’s park-
side living that New York families are finding
more and more appealing.
New green spaces are attracting families
in Brooklyn as well—like in Brooklyn Heights,
where Pier 6 has just opened at the Brooklyn
Bridge Park where Pier 6 has just opened. One
Brooklyn Bridge Park, Brooklyn’s largest con-
dominium conversion, looms above the park:
“We always knew this building was truly a
one-of-a-kind development,” said the building’s
developer Robert Levine, president of RAL
Companies, the building’s development, “but
with the opening of Brooklyn Bridge Park in
The New ‘It’ Parks in question being Gantry Plaza State Park in our backyard, buyers have finally realized what
Watch out Central Park: Long Island City, 12 acres spanning the Queens park living really means.” At Brooklyn Bridge
Families are flocking to more waterfront where children of all ages enjoy Park, a kids-only playground teems with happy
intimate neighborhood parks manicured gardens, a mist fountain and play- tots a stone’s throw from Brooklyn’s largest
around New York City grounds galore. Mya and her husband, Lev, sandbox and a variety of wading pools. And in
started renting at the View, a luxury condo- nearby Williamsburg, the loftlike 80 Metropoli-

iving within blocks of Central Park is minium blocks from the park, when Mya was tan condominium is within a few short blocks
the New York City dream, reflected pregnant with their third child; they fell so in of the L train—but also the East River State
in literature, in movies, in advertising love with the proximity to the park that they Park, a newly opened 7-acre park on the side of
campaigns—everywhere, it seems, except real- ended up buying their unit. “Sometimes going a 19th-century shipping dock. With open views
ity. Only those who live here know the deep, to the park can be a big outing,” says Mya, “but of Williamsburg Bridge and Manhattan, the
dark secrets of the most famous city park: that for us, it’s right outside our door—it’s literally East River State Park is also home to concerts
its size and breadth can make planning play our backyard.” Since every apartment at the that Williamsburg residents love.
dates a pain; that adjacent Upper West and View has its own outdoor space, the Fishmans It’s not just outer-borough parks that are
East Side real estate can be more like unreal have a backyard, too—but “we usually go to the competing with Central Park: right in Manhat-
estate; and that, like the sidewalks they head park more than we use our backyard.” At Gan- tan is the jewel of downtown, Battery Park,
into the green to escape, this park is packed. In try Plaza State Park, the Fishmans’ son, Joshua, which stretches along the Hudson River, and
recent years, New Yorkers in the know have 10, rides his bike while Briyana, 2, and Chloe, on sunny days, evokes a Southern Califor-
turned away from the center to smaller parks 16 months, play in the lush grassy areas. “The nia vibe. Towering above Battery Park is the
that combine a quiet accessibility with familiar- only place I can think of in New York City with Visionaire condominium at 70 Little West
ity and a neighborhood feel. New development grass is Central Park,” says Mya, adding, “Don’t Street. The 35-story high-rise condo has 246
projects near today’s It parks allow growing get me wrong—I love Central Park. But this
families to turn away from the ubiquitous Up- is more neighborhood friendly—we’re always One Battery
per East and West Sides and find themselves at bumping into people we know and my son’s Park Place.
home in luxury buildings with New York City friends.” Buyers at the nearby L haus have
parks that serve as their backyard. found the same pleasure in the area, combining
Park-adjacent living has been a green dream luxury living at a brand-new condo with the
come true for the Fishman family. They use award-winning Gantry Park just a hop, skip
their neighborhood park all the time. Use? and jump away. Karen Mansour, the executive
Well, sort of. “‘Use’ is not the word,” laughs vice president of marketing and sales for the

Mya Han Fishman. “Since we have three chil- Development Marketing Group at Prudential
dren, we practically live at the park,” the park Douglas Elliman, who works with the condo-

28 playground november / december 2010

Immediate Occupancy
25 year 421-A tax abatement
FHA and VA approved
studio, 1, 2 & 3 bedroom
See Why NY Family Cho
condos from $339K se Us
for their Dream Nursery

make a statement
The complete offering terms are in an offering plan available
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Inset photograph by Thaddeus Harden.
4-year-old daughter and 16-month-old son—“in tive of the building), its studio through four-
the summer I feel like it’s all the time!” says bedroom residences are just steps away from
Nicole. “Central Park just seemed so crowded Harlem’s Marcus Garvey Park, which boasts
to me, especially on weekends,” says Jay, a a farmers’ market, a dog run and designated
native New Yorker. “Bike riding is a totally dif- areas for children. So important is Marcus
ferent experience” in Battery Park. “Instead of Garvey Park to Fifth on the Park residents
it being a huge square,” adds Nicole, “you have that they’ve created a committee to help with
a feeling of it being different parks all the way keeping the green clean and planting flowers;
along—there’s a lot going on all the time,” like recently, a Fifth on the Park representative tells
fishing, preschool classes and tai chi. For resi- Playground, “some of the residents got together
dents of Battery Park City, like Jay and Nicole, for the first-ever Mahatma Gandhi Health and
and recent buyers at buildings like the Liberty Peace Walk in Mount Morris Park. It was orga-
Luxe and the Liberty Green, Battery Park is a nized by one of the first residents of the build-
The View.
very good neighbor. ing … as a health enhancer and another way for
And uptown, at 1485 Fifth Avenue, there’s people to meet each other.” Rainy clouds over-
residences, having from one to three bedrooms: a park right outside the door for residents head? No worries. Fifth on the Park residents
Not only does it overlook the green, but it of Fifth on the Park. Not that park, though— can enjoy the park from the comfort of their
is green—the greenest, in fact: It’s platinum while the majestic, window-walled, 28-story own spectacular windows—as well as a brand-
LEED certified. For Nicole Schaffer and Jay FX-Fowle–designed condominium does offer new children’s playroom off the lobby.
Hirschon, who moved to the Visonaire from sweeping views of Central Park (“The views We’re green with envy of these park-proxi-
the West Village, Battery Park is a neighbor- are breathtaking no matter where you are mate places!
hood perk that they use weekly with their located within the building,” said a representa- —Rebecca Morse


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bound book. choice: “a Peanut Ninja.”
Co-founder and Louise Phillips Forbes’ sons were supposed
CEO Anna Barber met to skateboard in the park the day of the open-
Darcy Troy Pollack ing but asked to go to Scribble instead. Her son
(president) on a plane, Douglas said, “It was cool seeing my art being
where they discussed made into a book.”
their passion for books Many mothers compared Scribble to the
and sharing them with more ubiquitous craft store–studio. “This is
their children. Thus more exciting and physically appealing, and the
was born the idea for activity is different from the other places on the
Scribble, which opened Upper East Side,” said Suzette Rubinstein.
in 2008 in California Scribble offers classes for kids ages 20 months
and was named “Best to 13 years old, so children can graduate from
Kids’ Party Place 2008” picture books to more complex creative writing.
by L.A. Parent. Summer camp is an option as well. It’s also a great
Barber and Pollack place to make personalized gifts for relatives.
hope their Manhattan At a recent Chapin first-grader’s birth-
stores will have special day party, staffers helped the kids contribute
appeal in this media- words for the story template; think group Mad
centric city. “New York- Libs project. “This is really fun!” exclaimed a
ers are more attuned to smocked-dressed moppet.
writing and reading and “We have four kids, and I know every venue
appreciate fiction,” said imaginable, so when I heard about Scribble, I
Barber. “And this is the jumped,” said Mona Aboelnaga, the birthday
center of the publishing girl’s mother.
world.” After cake and a short music/dancing inter-
The Early bird The Upper East Side location boasts 5,000 lude, it was time to read the girls’ book out loud.
catches the Bookworm square feet of space and is designed in an arty, The title was Rockstar Stravaganza and sample
Scribble Press creates eco-friendly style. The founders chose the phrases such as “Mrs. Gaga was so startled she
parties for the bookish metaphor of the toolbox in creating Scribble’s dropped her birds” and “Her two best friends,
look: rows of shelves stocked with markers, and Hannah Montana and Michael Jackson” elic-

he long wooden table was crammed wooden caddies filled with each child’s markers ited squeals of laughter.
with girls in party dresses, deeply of choice. The children pose for author photos, Each party guest left with her own book
engaged in drawing and writing pages which will adorn the back cover of their books, to take home. “This is cool!” shouted a curly-
for a book. Nearby, clusters of Upper East Side then write and illustrate their stories. A large haired cutie. “I love writing books!”
mothers were expressing their own excitement wall behind the central table is plastered with Nothing against painted pots and mani-pedi
about this new kiddie hot spot that was both plot and character ideas, helping kids under- parties, but Manhattan moms are beaming over
fun and educational. No screaming kids flailing stand story structure. The binding, which takes their little authors.
around, doing the same-old paint-and-chicken- about 15 minutes, is done at the back of the store. —Pamela Weiler Grayson
dance routine. As one mother gushed, “This is At the April opening party (the preview party
very civilized. I had a disco party.” prior to that included Kelly Rippa’s daughter
If you’re tired of repeat parties and rainy- and the Seinfeld kids), the air was buzzing with
day stints at traditional Manhattan venues, chatter. Ali Hewson, wife of Bono, brought two
you’re going to love Scribble Press. The store of their four kids to the opening. “It gives them a
opened its first New York location in April, sense of achievement,” she said. “Creating a story
on the Upper East Side (First Avenue at 84th from beginning to end is something parents can
Street), and its second one in November on the do with their kids.” Her sons, Eli (10) and John
Upper West Side (84th and Broadway). Scrib- (8), were thoroughly engrossed in their projects.
ble is a unique concept, where kids can write “My book is about an Apple Ninja, and about
and illustrate their own stories and take home a the good and evil side of a kid,” said Eli. John’s

32 playground november / december 2010

Madame Alexander
Lottie Nickinson lives on the Upper West Side of Man-
hattan. She is 8 years old. She chatters easily, likes to
act, sing and dance, and does a terrific cartwheel. Last
year, Lottie had a pool party for her birthday. This year,
in her continuing search for the unique, she and her
mother, Ann, chose to celebrate her 8th birthday in the
domain of Madame Beatrice Alexander, at the Alexan-
der Doll Company in Manhattan.
“We decided we just wanted a little party this year,
and I wanted to make a doll,” says Lottie, eyes shin-
ing. With five of her best friends, their mothers in tow,
Lottie did just that. The girls enthusiastically chose
among Caucasian, African-American and Latina
skin color, a dozen wigs and a rack of outfits. Three
of the six girls selected the same wardrobe, deciding
their dolls might be triplets and immediately started
arranging play dates. With help from the staff, they
glued on wigs and wriggled their dolls into polka-dot
dresses. One created a princess in a purple tutu. The
shoes were small and took negotiating. Each doll was
placed in her own carry box and added to the gift bag
awaiting Lottie’s guests at the end of the festivities.
Next, the girls and their mothers took a tour. First
stop was the showroom. Cruella De Ville and Angelina
Ballerina were instantly recognized. “I see Cinderella
and I’m looking at her right now!” cried one excitedly. ;f[ef[_WXadS^[ff^W
The mothers gathered around models of Ms. Obama
in her inaugural gown, Audrey Hepburn and the Rock-
ettes. Every size, shape, color, nationality, storybook
and historical character is represented. ,WLVWLPHIRUDOLWWOH0DJLFRQWKH0RXQWDLQ
The girls visited the Heritage Gallery with more
than 600 dolls from every era, where they were told
that many of the dolls were priceless collectables.
Lottie, amazed. There were five enormous Eloise Doll
Houses standing across from versions of elaborately
costumed Romeo and Juliet figures that had previ-
ously been sold at a charity auction for $8,000.
Tour stops also included the designers workroom,
the factory and the doll hospital. And after the visit to +2/,'$<
the Heritage Gallery it was time for the party! In a room
surrounded by dolls, at a table whose centerpiece was
made with tiers of small dolls like a cake, Lottie and her
guests sat for tea. Party hats, favors, pink paper plates 2SHQV7KDQNVJLYLQJ1LJKW SPSP 
and utensils rested among decorative confetti on a DQGHDFKZHHNHQGWKURXJK1HZ<HDU¶V(YH
pink tablecloth. Lottie’s chair had a big bow on it. 3HU3HUVRQ$GPLVVLRQ$FWLYLW\7LFNHWV
The girls compared dolls, ate and happily played. $YDLODEOHIRU3XUFKDVH
Each one received a gift bag from Madame Alexan- )ULGD\¶VSP±SP
der. It was clearly a party none of them would forget. 6DWXUGD\¶V1RRQ±SP
For information about parties: madamealexander. 'RQDWLRQVIRU7R\VIRU7RWVZLOOEHDFFHSWHG 6XQGD\¶V1RRQ±SP
com or call 212 283 5900. The Madame Alexander
getty images

Doll Company is located at 615 West 131 Street on the 9LVLW3RFRQR0DQRUFRPIRUGHWDLOVRU

6th floor. — Alix Cohen FDOOH[W_H[W

playground november / december 2010 33

League of American Bicy- light and red taillight on each family member’s
clists moved New York up bicycle.”
five notches from last year Lights are required by law in many places,
on their annual Bicycle as are properly fitted helmets for any riders
Friendly States rankings. under 14 years of age (which are a good idea
Bike Month techni- for everyone else as well). Bike New York of-
cally comes each May, when fers these rules, plus safety tips, in free classes
humans perched on two for all ages and skill levels throughout the year.
wheels are celebrated with More tips from Podziba: “Using hand signals
countless sponsored rides for stopping and turning is especially useful
throughout the city. And as when cycling in a group—each cyclist needs
summer comes and goes, the to see what the other cyclists are doing—and
bike traffic wanes, and so knowing how to signal is a skill that children
does the sun. “Besides the will use as they bike throughout their lives.”
fantastic weather and beau- Bike New York offers a visual of hand signals
tiful, color-changing leaves, on their site, as well as comprehensive re-
one thing to pay special at- sources for getting around the city on bicycle.
tention to in the fall is that it Once you all feel self-assured enough, get
gets dark earlier and earlier,” to know New York as a unit, unwinding and
says Ken Podziba, CEO and observing as the scenery becomes more fluid.
president of Bike New York, “Bicycling is the healthiest family addiction,”
perhaps the city’s says Podziba. “The more you ride together
most vigilant and as a family, the more everyone, espe-
active independent cially the kids, will want more and
bicycle awareness and educa- more of it. I know this from observing
Biking En Masse tion organization. “Families our constituency and from firsthand
The family that bikes together on bikes can help them- experience—only my wife and I
stays together selves remain visible use a trailer for the long rides
to drivers, pedestrians with our 3- and 4-year-old

ecently spotted: An otherwise and other cyclists by daughters.” Now bundle
smartly dressed man in socks and wearing bright, re- up the little ones, get out
flip-flops, leisurely riding his bike flective clothing and there and enjoy.
while eating a sandwich and talking on his cell installing a white head- —Liz Armstrong
phone. That display of overconfidence is the
cultural signifier of a bicycle-friendly city, the The stylish
activity that gives visible credence to all the Pashley Poppy.
stats the Department of Transportation likes
to tout about the city. Cycling Tips
In the past couple years especially, New
York’s been promoting its bike awareness, hav- ■ For pier enthusiasts, the Bethpage Bikeway in Long path to the East River State
ing last year completed a massive campaign Hudson River Park bike path Island, where you’ve got nearly Park in Brooklyn near North
to build 200 new bike lanes that add up to an extends from Battery Park nine miles of quiet nature to Ninth Street. Enjoy the view of
extra 620 bike-friendly miles. According to up along the Hudson to the yourselves. the city from the other side.
the Department of Transportation, commuter southern edge of Riverside
cycling is up 66 percent, and there are nearly Park, with several options for ■ Head across the Williamsburg ■ Don’t discount the obvi-
9,000 new bike racks (and we still see pile-ups boat scoping along the way. Bridge using the relatively ous. Make a big loop through
on poles). As a result of its efforts, the city new buffered bicycle path on Prospect Park or Central Park
Travis Huggett

has received some heavy accolades: Bicycling ■ If you want to really make Delancey (not for the tiny or and look at the fall leaves; if
magazine called it one of the best big cities for a trek of it and escape traf- timid, for sure), then up Kent you choose the latter, why not
the two-wheeled activity, and the no-nonsense fic almost completely, hit the Avenue’s two-way separated head on up to the Cloisters?

34 playground november / december 2010

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playground november / december 2010 35

on his kitchen staples, high-fat butter, olive oil,
salt and peppercorns in a grinder for adding
amazing flavor whenever cooks. “Other than
that, we can go to the store and buy some fresh
veggies, fresh protein and maybe a starch and
make anything taste good,” he says.

Get them involved in the kitchen

“The big buy-in to eating is getting the kids to
help out with the cooking,” says Brown, who
delegates less-dangerous kitchen duties, such
as shucking corn, opening fresh peas and shell-
ing beans, to his kids. Another great way to
get children interested in what they’re eating
is taking them back to the source. “I’ve taken
my kids to the farm in Ohio where I get a lot
From Fussy to how to raise good eaters without pulling your of my produce,” says Brown. Once at the farm,
Foodie hair out in the process. Brown tells his kids the stories behind each
Uncover your kid’s inner food, including how long it took to grow and
gourmand Make things that taste good what kind of climate it needs. There are many
It may sound simple enough, but if you cook nearby farms in New Jersey and upstate New

or many families, mealtime resembles something delicious, your children are more York to take the whole family to. Make friends
a three-ring circus, with Mom as ring- likely to want to eat it. “People say you have to with some of the farmers at the Union Square
leader, trying to prepare separate din- develop your palette, but actually your palette Greenmarket and ask them for a tour.
ners for all members at the same time. Trying is most sensitive when you’re younger, which Taking kids along to the grocery store is
to remember which child hates tomatoes and is why things taste so strong to kids, especially also essential. Once they pick out some of the
which one loves them is enough to send most vegetables,” says Brown. His rendition of the ingredients, they feel a sense of ownership
well-intentioned moms to Menu Pages faster ultimate offender, Brussels sprouts, sounds toward it and will want to get their hands on it
than the drop of a wooden spoon. Children delicious enough to make even the most finicky in the kitchen.
have long been stereotyped as picky eaters, and eater want a bite. Brown uses a knife or a man-
while some researchers point to evolution as doline to shave the sprouts down to cole slaw– Introduce tasty food at a young age
the culprit, there are certainly environmental like shards. He then heats a pan with olive oil “I have used very good flavors and spices since
factors at play, too. As parents, we have many and salt and pepper and sautés the sprouts for my children were babies,” says Karine Bakhoum,
responsibilities, and getting our offspring on about two minutes. The end result is a crunchy, president and founder of KB Network News and
the good-eater track is no exception. “My kids healthy and, yes, delicious, treat. Brown relies frequent judge on the Food Network’s Iron Chef
eat everything because I wouldn’t allow it any
other way,” says Ed Brown, chef at Ed’s Chow- Surprisingly Kid-Friendly Restaurants
der House on the Upper West Side. “I know
parents that are fussy about food, and guess You don’t have to head to Mars ■ Tocqueville: 1 East 15th enough of the authentically
what, their kids are fussy about food.” 2112 every time you want to Street; 212-647-1515. If the French roast chicken and pom-
My husband and I take our food seriously. go out to eat with the tots. kids are old enough, then they mes frites.
Like many other New Yorkers, our weekends Book a table at one of these might be treated to a quick ■ Patsy’s Pizza: Multiple loca-
revolve around the seeking out of new and restaurants that will please all trip to the kitchen. Makovitzy tions. A healthier alternative
interesting tastes to try. We have visions of our palettes. has also given the underage to your typical pizza joint.
15-month-old son becoming the next Tom Col- ■ Gradisca: 126 West 13th set raw bread dough to play ■ Bottega Del Vino: 5 East
lichio. Needless to say, one of our biggest fears Street; 212-691-4886. The with if she sees them getting 59th Street; 212-223-3028.
is that he becomes (gasp!) a picky eater. In waiters at this convivial Village antsy. The proximity to FAO Schwartz
hopes of laying down the groundwork for my Italian spot kept my son happy ■ Le Charlot: 19 East 69th plus a menu full of creative
getty images

budding gourmand, I got the skinny from vari- and entertained with a toy and Street; 212-794-6419. Bak- paninis equals a win-win for
ous professional New York City foodies about lots of special attention. houm’s children can’t get families.

36 playground november / december 2010

Some favorite kid’s

America. She started by adding exotic spices like cumin to her

children’s puréed carrots. “I was concerned that if they were
only eating bland foods, that’s what they would get used to,”
she says. Nowadays, Bakhoum adds curry to her children’s
noodle soups, nutmeg to their mac and cheese and herbs de
Provence to their burgers. She also buys them limeade instead
of lemonade. “Lime has a more evolved flavor,” she says. One of
her kids’ favorite meals is a chicken and sausage dish Bakhoum
makes called Poulet Basquaise that delivers a hit of spice with
red pepper flakes and paprika.
“My daughter’s first meal was risotto with parmesan, ex-
tra virgin olive oil and butter,” says Jo-Ann Makovitzky, who
co-owns the Union Square restaurants Tocqueville and 15
East with her husband. Her daughter, Francesca, now 7, regu-
larly eats her meals at the sushi bar at 15 East.

Use pop culture references to introduce them to new foods

After Bakhoum’s kids saw Ratatouille, she took the opportunity
to introduce them to the namesake vegetable dish. “I jumped
into the kitchen and made them ratatouille with crunchy little
sautéed potatoes—like little French fries but cube shaped—and
put that on top of it. They loved it,” she said.

Never label your kid as a picky eater

“If you do, you’re only giving them an excuse to eat every-
thing you offer them,” write Matthew Yeomans and Hugh
Garvey in their kid-oriented cookbook, Gastrokid. “Kids’
tastes can be entrenched or they can turn on a dime,” says
Garvey. “I once assumed my kids would hate anchovies, to
only have them steal the little spiny briny fish off my cutting
board.” Meaning? Don’t underestimate your kids’ palettes;
they may actually be more daring than you give them credit
for. In fact, the only food Makovitzky’s daughter, Francesa,
won’t try? Sea urchin with octopus. I bet there are plenty of
adults that would agree.
—Melissa Schweiger Kleinman

playground november / december 2010 37

Real Estate
Properties Group developed a nine-unit bou-
tique condominium at 208 West 96th Street on
the Upper West Side, they designed each of the
apartments as sprawling three-bedrooms. “The
Upper West Side attracts large families,” says
Manor’s Simon Shamilzadeh, adding that even
for those buyers without children, “a three-
bedroom on the Upper West Side is really mar-
ketable and very much in demand.” (Size isn’t
all that matters at 208W96: Parents may not be
able to resist each apartment’s “crumb catch-
er,” a central vacuum vent in the kitchen that
catches and sweeps away any floor-bound mor-
sels!) At the Rushmore on Riverside Boulevard
and 64th Street, apartments range from two-
bedrooms to five-bedrooms, including apart-
The Georgica.
ment 5U, a 2,507-square-foot, four-bedroom,
three-and-a-half-bath unit currently on the
private to public, in part due to the recession, market for $3,455,000. Sotheby’s Nikki Field
SUPERSIZE ME there has been an increase in demand of family- sees Riverside Boulevard as a great “destination
When baby makes four sized apartments,” says Francesca Conejero of neighborhood,” where new buildings were de-
(or five), it’s time to expand the Voda Group of Prudential Douglas Elliman. signed with larger floor plans and proximity to
Even families that are happy to shoehorn three parks along the Hudson River in mind. “These

n New York, that extra child is fast be- little ones into a two-bedroom might recon- spacious, landscaped areas, with playgrounds,
coming the human equivalent of a Yves sider once those little ones are, well, bigger. are populated with friendly neighborhood lo-
Saint Laurent Muse bag: It’s cute, you’d “Parents need to look at well-planned layouts cals who keep an eye out for one another and
really love it and it’s a status symbol that shows with sufficient separation of space,” advises tend to form neighborhood friendships,” says
the world you can afford it—but can you? Re- Nikki Field, a senior vice president at Sotheby’s Field, adding that there’s an added bonus: “The
cent figures released by the Agriculture Depart- International Realty. “You may prefer to have dog runs are convenient and take the strain out
ment indicate that a child born in 2009 will your toddler on the other side of your bedroom of apartment living with pets.”
cost approximately $222,360 to raise through wall now, but when the sleep-over dates begin On the other side of the park, developers
the age of 18. If you live in the “urban North- and the teen years of ‘I need my space’ begin, near the East 86th Street corridor have seized
east” add about $30,000—and that doesn’t even parents find that their children often opt out upon New Yorkers’ desire for larger apart-
include the cost of college. Up and down the and prefer friends’ homes, where there is more ments. The Georgica, at 305 East 85th Street,
Eastern Seaboard, families are asking them- independence of space (known as privacy).” In has only two to four residences per floor—many
selves how they’re going to pay for that bonus other words: Space may spell happiness for big- of those half-floor three- and four-bedrooms
child. In New York, there’s a follow-up ques- ger families. It’s a trend that developers across
tion: Where are we going to put it? the five boroughs have noticed, and a wave of 208 West 96th
new buildings with supersize apartments ap- Street.
When lifestyle and budget rule out town-
house living (whether in Manhattan or nearby peal to those families that need a multitude of
urban outposts), families might find themselves bedrooms—and square footage. Now might be
up against a brick wall—and not just the one just the time to go big, too: “Buying a seven-
outside their cramped apartment’s “city view” room home today is more affordable than at
window. Market reports show that two-bed- any time in the past four years,” says Field. “If
room apartments are on the rise, encroaching you were once out of the game due to the me-
upon the historic market domination of smaller teoric price escalations, it was worth the wait,
one-bedrooms and studios, but a two-bedroom as there are now many options in both condos,
might feel tight when you’ve got three under 3. and the less expensive alternative, co-ops.”
“With the improvement in New York City pub- Those options abound in the child-heavy
lic schools, and the move of many families from zone surrounding Central Park. When Manor

38 playground november / december 2010



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sch washer and dryers). Beth Stern, inventory, is becoming more ac-
Georgica’s director of sales, tells Ob- cessible as well. The Voda Group/

server Playground that the “fabulous Douglas Elliman’s Conejero points to
windowed kitchens and baths, as well Battery Park as an example. “Battery

as the building’s amenity package, are Park City … has a significant amount
also big hits.” The 22-story Brompton of three-bedroom and [larger] proper-
at 205 East 85th Street features the ties on the market currently,” she says.

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Park, located at 333 Rector Place in Battery Park
City, a 2,363-square-foot four-bedroom apartment
Second Location is on the market for $1,725,000.

84th and Broadway This real estate baby boom isn’t limited to

Manhattan. Long Island City developments like
the Murano and the View attract growing families
with spacious three-bedrooms. And at Williams-
Birthday Parties burg’s new 80 Metropolitan, buyers don’t have to
Holiday Camps stop at the spacious three-bedrooms: Currently
on the market is a nine-room duplex PHXV with
Special Workshops four bedrooms and 3.5 baths spread across 2,800
Writing & Art Classes square feet and 856 square feet of private outdoor
space overlooking the East River and midtown.
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Jay Overbye, a senior vice president at Halstead,
has been the exclusive broker at 80 Met since
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And until you find that three-, four- or five-
bedroom jewel, a shared room can be a good thing.
“My kids and I live in a three-bedroom apartment,
and two [of the three kids] share a room,” offers
Conejero. “My next-door neighbor has her kids
share a room even though they live in a three-
bedroom because they made their third bedroom
into a huge dining room, which will remain the
case until they are tired of sharing their bedroom.
Many families do this. I wouldn’t say it is a trend
per say, as opposed to a necessity mixed with a
limitation of budget. Or sometimes, like in my case,
my two youngest daughters wouldn’t dream of
being in separate rooms because they are so close.”
The amenities that larger developments offer make
long-term sharing a real possibility. “Bless the new
developments with their swimming pools, play
rooms, game rooms, media rooms, music rooms,
party rooms, lending libraries, basketball courts,
rooftop terraces, interior courtyards and more,”
says Sotheby’s Nikki Field. “These well-designed
and easy-access (just a elevator ride from your liv-

ing room) children-focused spaces have expanded
the family living quarters and eliminated the need
to buy that extra room for play dates and private
teen hangout space. Make no mistake, these build-
ings give back an enormous advantage ... safe and
convenient spaces for recreation and entertaining.”
XZb$ 42 playground november / december 2010
80 Metropolitan.

But if you’re looking to put more you’ve got five tots? Well, 535 West
distance between yourself and, say, End Avenue has the place for you—a
several surly teens, forge on with 6,637-square-foot condo with six
your search—but be wise about it. bedrooms and 6.5 bathrooms, for
“A seasoned broker has access to only $18,900,000 … a steal compared
the ‘quiet’ hidden treasures that are to the seven-bedroom in the same
not publicly listed,” says Field. One building that is under contract with a
of them will be big enough, even if list price of $23 million.
you have three or four kids. What if —Rebecca Morse

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The leaves have changed color

and you're sporting your
favorite cardigan—what's not to
love about this season? This is
our sixth issue of the Observer
Playground , and it is filled to the
brim with content you'll love.
Get up close and personal with
actress and power mom
Elisabeth Rohm. Plus: Dr. Betsy
Schur Levy on celebrating
Thanksgiving with the kids. Travel
with the whole family. Kids fash-
ion galore and so much more!
Glamorous, gorgeous and going
places. Powerhouse Elisabeth
Rohm talks to us about her life

Queen of her domain

m o m v e r s at i o n

lisabeth Rohm is best known for her roles as Assis- her name should be. She’s an old soul.
tant District Attorney Serena Southerlyn on Law and That’s a great story! Well, post-baby, you look fantastic! What is
Order, and as Detective Kate Lockley on Angel. And your workout routine? Did you bounce back after having a baby?
when this youthful beauty (she’s 37, but could pass I gained a lot of weight during my pregnancy. I was a ripe 200 pounds
for 22!) isn’t playing smart and sassy women on TV, when I gave birth to Easton. I dove into a pint of ice cream every
she keeps herself plenty busy. If she’s not spending time with fiancé night, I will admit. I have to say, I was the happiest pregnant person.
Ron Wooster and their adorable daughter, Easton August Anthony I was not moody, was not crazy; I was relaxed and happy. In truth,
Wooster (more on this unique name later), Rohm is sure to be busy putting on the weight was healthy for me at the time. My doctor was
writing novels, recording music, raising awareness for her favorite worried that I had gained so much weight; however, he said that the
charities and being the spokesperson for Juno Baby—a line of edu- body really knows what it needs to create this baby. I put on 70, 75
cational products for kids. Oh, and did we forget to mention she also pounds. I had always been really active and athletic. Right before I
rides horses and keeps fit with a serious workout routine? There is got pregnant, we moved to Venice, and I started working out a lot
no doubt: This mom is an incredible role model. I was honored to get at a place called Circuit Works. I want to bring Circuit Works to
to talk to Elisabeth during hair and makeup for our November photo New York City. I honestly took my time taking off the baby weight,
shoot to find out more about her full and dynamic life! I breast-fed, so I am sure that helped. I went back to exercising a few
months after Easton was born. I enjoyed being home with Easton and
Lyss Stern: Your daughter’s name is quite unique. How did you not worrying about running back to a gym, then started to do a little
come up with it? yoga. I approached my weight loss without a race, I took my time. If
Elisabeth Rohm: Her name was going to be Grace. One night I had you’re happy, you have a happy baby!
an epic dream when I was pregnant, about a little girl and her name I couldn’t agree more! I know you ride horses. Is horseback rid-
was Easton. The dream was a vivid dream. I woke up the next morn- ing a workout for you? Or is it just a hobby you love?
ing, called my mom and told her about the dream. My mom said I I love horseback riding! I think riding is a workout; it’s really great
have to name the baby Easton. She was telling me in my dream what for your core.

P h oto g r a p h Y b y t r ac y to l e r / fa s h i o n st y l i n g b y a n n a k ats a n i s

46 playground november / december 2010

Michael Kors Black
Cashmere Body Suit, $895.
Michael Kors Black
Double Face Stretch Wool
Crepe Pailette Fishtail
Skirt, $5,995. Available at
Michael Kors Collection
Store, Madison Avenue.
Antique Coin Necklace, by
BVLGARI, an antique coin
on a cotton lace, $4,100.
B.zero1 Ring, by BVLGARI,
18-karat pink gold and
black ceramic, $890. Avail-
able at BVLGARI stores
nationwide or visit bulgari.

IL GUFO Pink dress.,$345.
White tights by Childrens
Elisabeth wears
Michael Kors Barley Feather-
weight Cashmere Long Sleeve
Crewneck, $595; Michael
Kors Cross Fox Strips on
Chiffon Skirt, $5,995; Michael
Kors Teak Leather Asymmet-
ric Belt, $395. All are available
at Michael Kors Collection
Store, Madison Avenue.
Fabrication Calf Leather,
Parentesi Openwork Ring, by
BVLGARI, an 18-karat yellow
gold with diamonds, $5,400.
Tondo Sautoir necklace, by BV-
LGARI, in 18-karat yellow gold
and stainless steel; available at
BVLGARI stores nationwide, or
"Magic Alhambra" earrings
set in 18-karat yellow gold with
two tiger's eye and carnelian
motifs by Van Cleef & Arpels,

Easton wears
Navy wool shirt and navy
tweed skirt by IL GUFO,
White tights and shearling
boots, available at Children’s

48 playground november / december 2010

Elisabeth wears
Herff Christiansen
cha r-
coal ribbed long sleeve
Leila Shams stud
crop tie
dye top, $475,25park.c
James Jeans Twiggy

doir, $119, Piperlime.
Michael Kors Bla
ck Ankle
Wrap Sandal, $895, Mic
Kors Collection Store,
son Avenue.
Pamela Love Short
Ring, sterling silver, $17
Pamela Love Double
Ring with Hinge, sterling
silver, $525.

Easton wears
Pink long sleeve T-shirt,
denim skirt, tights and
boots; available at Chi

Minden Chan striped batwing

shirt, $198,
Max Mara Atelier "Acinoso" washed
camel hair Notch Collar Coat with Coat
Fur Lining, $5,990.
Van Cleef & Arpels "Magic Alhambra"
necklace set in 18-karat yellow gold
with 11 white mother of pearl motifs,
$12,300. "Magic Alhambra" bracelet
set in 18-karat white gold featuring
five pave diamond motifs, $40,100.
Pamela Love Double Cage Ring with
Hinge, sterling silver, $525.
So not only are you an actress, but also a en nuggets and French fries. I also love the book
writer and musician? The Sneaky Chef, and I try and sneak in spinach
Five Favorites I wouldn’t say I am a musician. I would defi- and broccoli. She loves her bread … bread and
nitely say I am a writer. I went to Sarah Law- bananas. We’re also a fan of yogurt.
Movie? rence to become a writer. I was not starring in What projects do you have lined up for 2011?
Cinema Paradiso the Sarah Lawrence musical; I wanted to write. I have two movies coming out, Chlorine and Ab-
My friends from college remind me that I al- duction. I am also the Juno Baby Jr. spokesmom.
Ice-cream flavor?
Vanilla ways wanted to be an actress. I guess they were I am now going to take a little time off to be with
right. When I started working on Law and Or- Easton. To be involved with Juno Baby is such
Vacation spot?
der, I also started writing more. I wrote a period an amazing experience. Everything Easton and
Miami, The Aqualina Spa
piece called Nerissa, a great feminist book, and I do, we can do together when it comes to Juno
Music? my second book is Desire, which I wrote during Baby Jr. It gives me and Easton so much joy.
Country rock shooting scenes of Law and Order. You are very active with Make the Connec-
Beauty product?
LS: What is an average day like for you? tion--an organization devoted to raising
Lucas Papaw Ointment from Australia, ER: I wake up between 2 and 4 a.m., when Eas- awareness about cervical cancer. How did
the best for chapped lips. My makeup ton comes into my bed to say, ‘Mommy, I love you come to get involved with that particular
artist turned me on to this product that you!’ We wake up around 7 a.m., and the day is cause?
I now cannot live without. really all about Easton. And then try and find I am still supportive of this, but not too involved,
some time for work. actually; I only did that PSA once. I worked for
I will say that finding the balance of being a the Red Cross for five years, though. I have done
mom, and being multidimensional, is such a pro- relief work for them in Cambodia, Asia and Viet-

found challenge. I feel so blessed that I chose the nam. I am also an emergency trained volunteer.
right career, being an actress. I get to be on a job, I am also involved with Refugee International;
and then have time when I am done with the job my heart really goes out to people that have been

to be home with Easton, where I can be 100 per- displaced by natural disasters.
cent with her. How did you meet your fiancé? And how do
We eat dinner together at 6 and we cook ev- you tackle raising Easton together, both being
ery meal at home. To be honest, she loves chick- such busy people?
Well, he and I share the same thoughts: Family
comes first. Anything else has to fit around our
family. Productive with purpose.
Elisabeth's favorite for Thanksgiving: INGREDIENTS We met because he is a fashion designer, an
Curried Buttercup Squash and Apple Soup 1.5 cups sour cream amazing designer; RATS is his company. I was
¼ cup maple syrup
serves 8-10 people borrowing clothes for an event, he measured my
2 tsp. salt (or more for taste)
1 cup pumpkin seed shells thigh and that was it. [laughs]
1. Heat the oven to 350°F. In a small bowl, whisk together sour cream, 8 tbsp. (1 stick) unsalted butter What kind of music do you play for your
maple syrup, 2 tbsp. of water, and a pinch of salt. Cover; refrigerate. 2 small buttercup squash,
2.In another bowl, toss pumpkin seeds with 2 tsp of salt. Spread sliced lengthwise
evenly over a baking pan. Toast in the oven until seeds are golden 2 medium onions, roughly chopped We really love the Juno Baby Classical Music.
and begin to pop (7 to 10 minutes). Set aside. 3 celery stalks, roughly chopped We listen to music all the time. I go to Juno Baby
3.Butter 9x13x2 inch baking dish. Place squash, cut-side down, and 3 medium carrots, roughly chopped for a lot of the music; the music is classical and
half-cup water in dish. Bake until tender, about one hour. Let cool for 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
modern compositions, and we really sing the

45 minutes. Remove seeds, peel and set aside. 1 tbsp. cinnamon
4. In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, melt butter. Add on- 1/2 tsp. ground clove songs together. We have this connection togeth- cupcake image courtesy of pottery barn kids

ions, celery, and carrots; cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg er through the music and characters. We totally
about 10 minutes. Add brown sugar and spices; cook, for 5 minutes. 1 tsp. ground curry powder
¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
blast the music in the morning in the house. Juno
Add apples and brandy; cook for 10 minutes. Add the squash and
12 cups of water; simmer for 1 hour. Let cool for 30 minutes. Puree 4 Macoun apples - peeled, cored, music has helped Easton find a voice!
in food processor until smooth. Add honey, and salt and pepper to and roughly chopped How do you keep the “sexy” in your life now
taste; pulse to combine. 2/3 cup brandy
that you’re a mom?
5. To serve, garnish with a dollop of maple cream (already made in ¼ cup honey
the refrigerator) and sprinkle with toasted pumpkin seeds. Fresh ground pepper to taste I am working on that now. [laughs and smiles]

50 playground november / december 2010

HANII Y fur cardigan,
$860; Herff Chris-
tiansen white ribbed
long sleeve shirt, $125,
James Jeans Twiggy
Boudoir, $119, Piperlime.
shoes, $1,200, walter-
Cerchi Necklace, by BVL-
GARI, 18-karat white gold
and diamonds, $54,000;
Lucea Ring, by BVLGARi,
18-karat white gold with
diamonds and pearls,
$3,800. Available at BV-
LGARI stores nationwide
or visit

Photographed at
20 Park (penthouse apt)
courtesy of Stonehenge

Porcelain tea set,

cupcake set with tray,
and cake courtesy of
pottery barn kids.

Chalk table and chairs

courtesy of Giggle.

Photo Assistant:
Shana Schnur
Digital Imaging:
Taisa Rudnik
Stylist Assistants:
Michelle Charak
and Candy Javier
Hair and Makeup:
Liam Dunn

playground november / december 2010 51

52 playground november / december 2010
Observer Playground and Divalysscious Moms
presented Fashion Night Out 2010 at the
Lisa Perry Store. A mother and
daughter fashion show that rocked the runway!

P h oto g r a p h y b y a n a s c h ec h t e r
54 playground november / december 2010
Stoop Cat Greenleaf entertains
New York celebrities—
and one adorable toddler—
in her Cobble Hill townhouse

56 playground november / december 2010

Right, the $2,800
Ikea kitchen; below,
Brooklyn Buddha.
Cat and Primo.

ome people are natural hosts, and Nicholas
Joseph Greenleaf Rey is one of them. Visitors
to his townhouse on a leafy green Cobble Hill
block are greeted immediately with a smile as
warm and welcoming as the room into which he
quickly leads them, an airy, sunny space over-
looking the quiet streetscape beyond. Everyone
gets the star treatment here, celebrity or not—
though, admittedly, the neighbors have spotted some pretty big names
coming and going (Kim Kardashian, Edie Falco, Spike Lee, Clay Aitken,
Brooke Shields, the Backstreet Boys, the Muppets). Nick, though, is no
name-dropper. For one thing, he can’t talk yet, but for the 19-month-
old, a steady stream of boldface names is just another day at home: His
Brooklyn house does double duty as a greenroom.
Nick’s mom, you see, is WNBC’s Cat Greenleaf, whom up to 40 mil-
lion viewers might spot each day on the television screen or Taxi TV,
above gas pumps or on Path train monitors. A New York City local news
fixture for almost a decade, Cat has risen to fame thanks to her show Talk
Stoop, a series of coffee klatch conversations with famous personalities
that take place, rain or shine, perched on the kind of rust-colored stoop
that is indigenous to New York. “People think it’s a set,” Cat admits, but
these steps adorn the front of house that she, Emmy-nominated CBS
producer husband Michael Rey and son Nick call home. Luminaries
traipsing in and around the late-19th-century house have been a part of take care of the dog or the baby.” As was the case with fellow Brooklynite
Nick’s life since he arrived in New York: Cat and Mike brought their Rosie Perez, who, after walking over to Cat’s house in her flip-flops, fed
adopted son home from Louisiana in the spring of 2009, and Talk Stoop Nick a bottle before the shoot began. “A lot of time, they precede me here,”
started not that much later. says Cat, who might run a few minutes late shuttling from the studio to
The show’s arrival in the family’s life was “just one of those things,” Cat stoop on the subway. “I’ve walked in countless times and the celebs are
says. “I woke up one morning [and] came up with the title. By the time I already here, waiting for me!” Waiting and virtually undisturbed by the
got to work, I had come up with the concept. … I didn’t really realize it neighborhood: “Sometimes we have these huge stars that come without
was going to take over my life in the way that it has!” Take over her life entourages and people just walk right by, not noticing. … We have had
and house—but that homey feeling is what gives the show its charm. “The nothing but positive feedback from the neighborhood. Everyone has been
greenroom is our living room,” explains Michael Rey. “[The interviewees] really supportive. We’re lucky, because if they weren’t …” She trails off.
come over with no idea what to expect. When they realize that they are in Luck has been a major force in Cat Greenleaf’s life—or maybe it’s fate.
someone’s house, it immediately disarms them. Cat’s making coffee, they “I know so very few things in the world,” she says, “but I did know a
settle in … it changes the whole couple things: One was that I was always going to adopt, and then, when
tone for everyone,” making even I met [now husband] Mike, I just kind of knew, ‘The store was closed,
the biggest names drop their guard he’s the one.’ And another thing—when I saw this house.”
and, sometimes, pick up some Ah, the house—whether fate or luck, it is a part of Cat’s story that
chores. “We’ll book four guests makes it clear she is living under a lucky star, or a lucky stoop, at least.
in a row,” Cat says, “so I’ll have Close with the people who lived next door, Cat and Michael had always
to run upstairs and change in be- admired their friends’ Cobble Hill existence, “living in a house in the
tween. Often the guests are left to city, having a yard, being able to take the subway but still having trees,

B y R e b ec c a M o r s e / p h oto g r a p h s b y Da n i e l D ' E r r i c o

playground november / december 2010 57

[and] a lot of people that seemed to be around our age and into simi-
lar things.” They knew their house well, having walked by it for years
and peered into its backyard while visiting next door, “and then we got
the phone call, and then we knew.” That phone call? From the house’s
owner, who, far from looking for a profit, even during the height of the
real estate boom in 2005, merely “wanted to pass it along to a nice young
family,” because someone had given him a deal on his first house. “He
just wanted to do a nice thing,” in this case, a very nice thing, offering
them the house at perhaps 40 percent less than it could have been. The Clockwise from
property never even went on the market, and Cat and Mike agreed to top left: Julio;
Primo in his
buy it before they had even been inside.
nursery; a family
The outside was the stuff of dreams, the inside the stuff of HGTV re- of guitars.
ality TV shows. The house needed a gut renovation right away, “down Opposite: Cat
with her kitty,
to the studs,” Cat says. “I loved the renovation process, I loved every-
Mighty; Michael,
thing about it, but in terms of advice I would just say… stay someplace Cat and Primo.
where it’s comfortable,” more comfortable at least than the spot next to
the boiler in a friend’s basement, where Cat and Michael camped out
during the six-month renovation. Today, those boiler days feel worth it;
the townhouse, which the couple divided to create a tenant’s apartment
downstairs, is a warm (not as warm as a boiler), happy place, perfect for
a young family. “We tried to preserve as much floor space as possible,”
says Cat. “Even though it’s a house in New York, it’s quite compact [the
house, including the tenant apartment, is 2,300 square feet]. We wanted
the downstairs as wide open as possible.” The parlor floor encompasses
the open kitchen and dining room and the bright, sunny living room,
where a sectional lounges under a Martha Hoover print of a trailer cov-
ered with the word “Health.” The piece is special to Cat because “it in-
spires us to try to stay healthy, but because it’s kinda run down around
the edges, it also reminds us that perfection is elusive.”
It’s a good lesson for the 38-year-old who says, “I have incredible
OCD. I cannot take it when things are out of order, so we keep our stuff
quotient very low in this house because I can’t bear [it]; OCD is hard
enough on its own.” If Mike and Cat do go shopping, it’s at country stores
and five and dimes in Stockbridge or Woodbridge. “We’re the boring
parents with the wood toys,” she says of their other old-fashioned finds.
Most other purchases were from the Red Hook Ikea, including the
kitchen, which opens onto the terrace (outfitted with Ikea furniture!)
beyond. “The day we stopped renovating was the last day that I went
into Ikea, but during the renovation period, I was there probably twice a
week. Our whole kitchen is Ikea, but we waited for a sale so it only cost
$2800.” Keeping to a strict budget was an important theme for the reno-

58 playground november / december 2010

Living in Cobble Hill

The Vibe Landmarked streets make this southern Brooklyn

neighborhood, with its bluestone sidewalks and late-19th-
century brownstones, feel like a slice of “old New York.”
Independent stores and charming restaurants line Smith,
Union and Court Streets.
Schools: Linden Tree Preschool (ages 2 to 4), Open
House Nursery School (ages 2 to 6), P.S. 029 John M. Har-
rigan (grades PK to 5), P.S. 448 Brooklyn School for Col-
laborative Studies (grades 6 to 12), P.S. 292 Henry Street
School for International Studies (grades 6 to 12), P.S. 519
Cobble Hill School of American Studies grades (9 to 12)
Behind the Stoop: The Greenleaf-Rey townhouse is
2,300 square feet, 1,700 square feet of which is used by
the family (the remainder makes up a separate apartment
below, currently rented by tenants that Cat and Mike
adore). On two levels, Cat and Matt’s living space includes
a master bedroom, a nursery and a playroom/spare bed-
room, with an open kitchen, a dining area, a living space
and a charming terrace on the first floor.
Family Faves in the Hood Cobble Hill families love the
Bookcort bookstore, Verandah Park, Cobble Hill Cinemas
and nearby Carroll Park. For their frequent dinner parties,
Cat and Mike shop at local favorites like Los Paisanos
meat market, the Trader Joe’s on Court Street and Jim &
Andy’s fruit and vegetable cart.

vation: They had no room to be surprised. If a light fixture was five dol- [adoption] was how I was going to grow our family,” says Cat, “and on
lars more than they had thought, “well, even five dollars more per bulb our second date, I told Mike that … and he drank more wine.” Mike in-
… adds up. So we just didn’t get it. Bringing coffee to the contractors also terjects to joke, “And I said, ‘What was your name again?’” The couple,
doesn’t hurt!” says the couple, who “didn’t hammer a nail” in the house. who despite spending their early years virtually next door to each other
(“We wanted it to stand!”) And stand it does, anchored proudly by the in the small town of Mamaroneck, met only while he was at a produc-
entrance with its rough-hewn wood trim, a find from Sullivan’s County, tion company and Cat was working at NY1 on the Road and Rail Report.
where “an old farmer was getting rid of a barn, Nick, or Primo, came along seven years later, and
and just gave it to us.” The hulking piece of wood hopefully, another little one will join the family
is appropriate for Cat, who says her “knuckles are soon.
raw from knocking on wood,” superstitious of her “The neighborhood is perfect for kids,” says
luck in life, love and real estate. As with most luck, Cat. “We love our neighbors so much; during the
though, it arrived only after a lot of hard work. weekends, we just sit out on the stoop and every-
“Like most people in New York, I started my ca- one comes by.”
reer without a mirror. I couldn’t even see how I Between his celebrity visitors and his neighbor-
looked when I went off to work—on television!” hood friends, Nick’s pretty popular. Is that where
Now, she’s got a giant walk-in closet that helps he got his nickname, Primo? No. 1 in their hearts?
with a 4 a.m. wake-up time, attributable to both Cat laughs. “Primo—not because he’s the first …
life on the air and life with a toddler. but because he always flies first class! He always
And with all Cat and Mike’s good fortune, it’s gets bumped! When we were flying home from
clear that the magnanimous Nick, whom the Louisiana, they kicked him up to first class, and
couple calls “Primo,” has been the four-leaf clo- for the next four flights after that, too.” Well, with
ver that Cat and Mike cherish most. “I’ve had friends like Primo’s, we have no doubt he’s got a
him in mind since I was 4. I just always knew that VIP future ahead, in the air and on the stoop.

playground november / december 2010 59

Pop Party
Adorable (and fashionable!) kids invade the Pop-Tarts
pop-up store, and delicious and wild times ensue!

P h oto g r ap h y b y H e i d i G r e e n / St y l e d b y St e p h a n i e K ast e r
60 playground november / december 2010
62 playground november / december 2010
(from left to right) Bella wears: my vintage baby headband, mini boden bow dress and faux fur vest, tory burch shoes, north face hat, pop tart scarf, ooh la la legging.
Dylan wears: north face hat, j collection /my vintage baby shoes. Artie wears: Shirt Mini Boden, Pants Ralph Lauren, Shoes Nike Sneakers. Sophie wears: ooh la la dress,
wristlet, leggings, wizards of waverly place shoes for payless, scarf & hat north face. David wears: geox sneakers, ralph lauren jeans, volcom T-shirt, jack's shirt.
Dylan wears: ooh la la dress, leggings & headband, wristlet, splendid button down shirt, uggs. Lilly wears: ooh la la top, skirt with legging. Ethan wears cut by 2 blondes shirt,
volcom T-shirt, ben sherman sweater, north face hat, volcom jeans, new balance sneakers, my vintage baby headband, uggs.

playground november / december 2010 63

Navigating Parenthood

Connecting your kids to the spirit of giving

Emphasizing gratitude this Thanksgiving

n Thanksgiving Day, families and and educational for all! involves no exchange of gifts. The gift is in
friends come together to prepare Participate. Have your children partici- the giving.
and delight in the most popular pate in the preparation of the Thanksgiving Give Back. Finally, focus on the true mean-
American holiday meal: turkey, stuffing, sweet meal and the decoration of the Thanksgiving ing of "giving" during "Thanksgiving." Families
potatoes, pumpkin pie and more! But we know table, though make the involvment age-ap- can go together to serve meals to the home-
that this holiday is about much more than a propriate. Younger children can make turkey less and elderly at soup kitchens and nursing
meal. On Thanksgiving the spirit of goodwill, placemats and decorate the table playfully, homes or join programs at their churches or
compassion, thankfulness and gratitude fills and older children can help in the cooking synagogues that are designed to give to those
our hearts. Here are some ways to enrich your and preparation of the meal. Let your chil- less fortunate. Emphasize that giving to others
child's experience of this wonderful holiday: dren pick the flowers, serve the food, join is the core to a meaningful life and strength-
Family and Friends. First and foremost, the clean-up committee. Active involvement ens one's sense of self—from drawing a pic-
emphasize the value and importance of fam- and participation make the experience much ture for an elderly person to preparing the
ily and friends. Thanksgiving is a time of the more meaningful for each child. Help your Thanksgiving meal for the hungry or disabled.
coming together of all family members. It children to feel as if the preparation of the Many people in your community will benefit
is also a time to welcome friends and those Thanksgiving table and dinner is a group ef- from the food left over from your scrumptious
who are alone to your Thanksgiving table. fort. Every contribution is a valuable contri- Thanksgiving dinner. Perhaps your children
Be grateful for the love of family and friends. bution. It's all about togetherness, coopera- can accompany you as you deliver the excess
Cherish your loved ones. tion and building tradition. food to shelters or hospitals and the many or-
Learn. Every holiday presents a unique Be Thankful. During the Thanksgiv- ganizations that provide food to those in need.
opportunity for learning. This Thanksgiv- ing meal, talk about what the holiday repre- Giving in these ways makes each one of us
ing, read books with your children, watch sents—being thankful and giving. Emphasize stronger, kinder, more fulfilled. Reward your
movies and go on the Web to explore and that we all should be thankful for our family, child's efforts to give. Help them to acknowl-
learn about the rich and interesting history our friends, our teachers, our doctors, our edge that the ability to give to others is a gift.
of Thanksgiving. There is much to be dis- health, our freedom, our lives as Americans. Teach them, by example, to be thankful for ev-
cussed about our country's history as it re- Nothing should be taken for granted. Recog- ery blessing and to cherish those they love.
getty images

lates to the declaration of the Thanksgiving nize the wonderful feeling of being thankful Happy Thanksgiving to all!!
holiday. Make sure that this process is fun and how this holiday, unlike many others, —Dr. Betsy Schur Levy

64 playground november / december 2010

Kindergarten? Can do!
A book that puts you back in the driver's seat

indergarten admissions … two of the rights for a motion picture adaptation, now slated $14.99—and put the power of preparation back in
scariest words in a Manhattan parent’s to star Sarah Jessica Parker. But Quinn still didn’t the hands of the parent. “You can so easily help
vocabulary. Between feel satisfied, so she set about penning your children. And it’s organic. You’re child isn’t
writing personal essays and going a how-to guide for parents looking to crashing for a test; they’re learning not only what
on a dozen (or more) school tours, help their children improve their IQ they need for testing, but also what they need to
the application process can be as scores. “I owed it to people to put this do well in school,” she says.
stressful and time-consuming as a information out there,” says Quinn, Testing for Kindergarten breaks down test prep
full-time job. But of all the hurdles who originally fell into tutoring after into seven specific abilities—language, memory,
a parent has to jump through in helping her own then 3-year old son mathematics, knowledge, visual-spatial, cognitive
pursuit of one acceptance letter, it’s lift his IQ scores from the 37th to the and fine motor skills—and includes 125 fun ac-
the intelligence testing (in New York, 94th percentile. tivities to help children get ready for the big day.
that’s primarily the ERB for private “In New York, it has become so (My son loves doing these.) There’s also plenty of
schools, the OLSAT for public-school competitive,” says Quinn. “A good insider tips and common-sense advice to put even
gifted-and-talented programs and the score may not be able to get your the most nervous parent at ease.
Stanford-Binet for Hunter College Elemen- child into school, but a bad score can keep your As a companion for the book, Quinn developed
tary) many find the most anxiety inducing. child out.” For yers now parents either had to a Web site that offers free daily test prep ques-
Enter Karen Quinn, a kindergarten admissions turn to tutors, which cost $100 to $200 per one- tions, and created a board game—think of it as an
counselor turned novelist. Her first book, The Ivy hour session, or buy commercial test prep ma- IQ-boosting Candyland—for up to four children,
Chronicles, charted the fictional travails of a tod- terials that sell for hundreds of dollars; with her available via
dler tutor and became a national best seller. Soon new book, Testing For Kindergarten, Quinn hopes Play dates may never be the same again.
after its debut, Warner Brothers snapped up the to level the playing field—her book is priced at —Tatiana Boncompagni

Craft Studio
the other side of the pot. Finish by painting on a
Keep your little ones excited and interested in face in the middle, complete with a beak and that
Thanksgiving with these crafty tips. famous gobbler neck. After letting it dry, fill with
mini-pumpkins, Indian corn and gourds. Not only
Thanksgiving Day Centerpiece do the kids feel proud, but it is a foolproof way to
Have the kids contribute to the ambience! My guarantee that the table will look good; even if all
favorite turkey day craft is a Thanksgiving Day the colors mix together on the pot, it will look like a
centerpiece. At your local florist or craft store, Thanksgiving Jackson Pollack!
buy two or three (depending on how big your
table is) 6-inch terra cotta pots, and some Dinner Games
acrylic paint in festive fall colors like chocolate Keep the kids happy during dinner, and adults will
browns, oranges, deep reds and yellows. Next, have the kids burn some get to spend more time at the table. The week before Thanksgiving, buy
energy and send them outside to find some great intact fall leaves. Lay some eco-friendly craft paper (or hit up the butcher for some butcher paper
down some newspaper so your kitchen table doesn’t fall victim and gather and kill two birds with one stone when you buy your turkey) and cut to the
the kids around. After painting some nice same size as your dinning table. Have the kids whip out some more of those
base colors and letting it dry, get out those leaves and stamp it with some of those great fall acrylic colors. Find the
fall leaves and paint one side. You will use child with the best penmanship, or the worst, because it is so cute to see
them like stamps and push on to the pot and their little chicken scratch, and have them write all over different Thanksgiv-
hold for five seconds. Carefully take them ing questions. For example, favorite Thanksgiving memory, favorite part
away without sliding or moving them and be of the meal, what are you most thankful for. Just when the kids are getting
amazed by a perfect and beautiful leaf print! restless at the table, have guests read aloud the question nearest them and
Now don’t panic, but you are going to allow have everyone answer around the table. This will keep kids involved and
your kids to paint their pointer fingers and happy. So here’s to a beautiful and fun-filled Thanksgiving Day!
stamp it onto the pot in alternating colors For all your craft, gift and toy needs, make sure to visit us at the Craft Studio
to look like the fan of a turkey’s feathers on on the Upper East Side! —Lindsey Johnson
Norah O'Donnell's Breaking News:
Healthy food can be delicious!

ith their new book Baby Love: ing I do. So one of the things I take a little time to
Healthy, Easy, Delicious Meals do in the book is to outline some basic techniques
for Your Baby and Toddler, No- that I learned at the Culinary Institute of Amer-
rah O’Donnell and Geoff Tracy take a break ica. They’re not complex, but I spell them out
from their demanding day jobs (she’s the chief very straightforwardly, and by following them,
Washington correspondent for MSNBC, and you become much faster in the kitchen—not only
he’s a trained chef and the owner of five D.C. cooking baby food, but cooking anything. I basi-
restaurants) to help parents feed their kids bet- cally spent an hour every other weekend doing
ter. Loaded with quick and simple recipes like this, usually while watching a football game. I
“Strawberry and Fig Puree,” “Norah’s Brain was able to knock it out and feed the babies for
Booster Zucchini Muffins” and “Baby Guacamo- two weeks.
le,” the book is the perfect kitchen companion for How important is it to use organic fruits and
time-crunched moms and dads who don’t want vegetables?
to resort to feeding their children processed, Geoff: I do highly recommend going for US-
jarred or canned foods. DA-certified organic ingredients for baby food. I
and is doing such a great job with this issue. I also talk about local foods in the book. The closer
So whose idea was it to write the book? was recently at the White House with a thou- something is, the fresher and better it tends to
Geoff: When the twins started to get to the sand chefs from across the country—Michelle be. And it’s greener. Generally, I think that pro-
point where they were ready to eat, there was Obama invited us to talk about her efforts. And cessing the ingredients yourself makes for much
never a doubt in my mind that I was going to pro- what we’re doing in the book starts right at the healthier food than anything you could ever find
duce their food. But I had no idea that we were beginning. This is the first food babies put into in a jar.
going to end up writing a book about their mouths as they move out of the Norah: Organic products should be your first
it. Within a few weeks of watch- breast-feeding stage. preference because there are fewer hormones,
ing me, Norah said, ‘We have to How easy are these recipes for fewer chemicals and fewer pesticides. That’s im-
write this book,’ because she felt moms not lucky enough to be mar- portant because in these very early ages of brain
it was very important. I probably ried to a chef? development, we should be trying to make sure
said, ‘Really, we’re really going to Norah: We designed this book there’s not a lot of junk in children’s food.
write a book about baby food?’ It not only to help people build a You make the case that it is also cheaper than
turned out to be a great project foundation for healthy eating, but buying jarred food.
that we worked on together and also for it to be easy. We certainly There’s a sense that organic products can be
something that we both very much enjoyed. looked at some of the other cookbooks that too expensive, but the price gap between organic
Was it easy to work together? are out there and made sure these recipes are and conventional foods is starting to narrow. You
Geoff: That sounds like a marital question. beyond simple. I’ve made the “perfectly basic can expect to pay a little bit more for organic, but
[laughs] applesauce” in 30 minutes before work. One in our book, we compared some of the prices of
Norah: It was great to work together. We morning my nanny turned to me at 7:30 and said jarred food at the local Safeway versus organic,
just divided up the project and helped edit one there’s no more food left. So I zipped out to the and you still are getting a better bang for your
another, rather than trying to write the recipes Whole Foods, got some organic apples, quickly buck buying organic. Our chicken soup is like the
together. Geoff handled a lot of the recipes and I cut them up and put them in a pot with a little bit biggest bargain in the world.
handled all the nutrition stuff. That’s of huge in- of water, covered the lid, cooked them for about So you’ve never broken down and fed your kids
terest to me. As we say to our kids, ‘What works? eight minutes—until they were tender but not too food from a jar?
Teamwork!’ mushy—put them in a blender and puréed them Geoff: Not even once. Even on vacations we
In light of Michelle Obama’s focus on chil- and, boom, there was the applesauce. Not only is just either made it where we were or brought it
dren’s health, a book like this is quite timely. it healthier, it’s very, very easy. with us. You can just freeze the food in contain-
Geoff: It’s really interesting that Michelle Geoff: I fully understood that the audience ers and carry them on. The TSA allows for chil-
Obama has come out so strongly on nutrition out there wasn’t going to have the culinary train- dren’s food to be brought on a plane.

66 playground november / december 2010

Norah: That’s not to say they haven’t eaten Michelle Obama hosts ment does have a role
store-bought crackers. Healthy Kids Fair at to play and must play
the White House.
Geoff: But as babies they never ate baby food a role. As it is now, we
out of a jar. spend nearly $150 billion s a year on conditions
You mention that what kids eat now may im- related to obesity like cancer, heart disease and
pact them later in their lives. strokes. The heath costs are staggering, and if
Norah: To me, this is the most fascinating as- we don’t make fighting obesity a No. 1 concern, it
pect, and we’re really just scratching the surface will bankrupt us. The statistics are unbelievable;
scientifically in terms of learning about this time I mean, compared to 40 years ago, we consume
in children’s lives where you can really influence 23 percent more calories and 56 percent more
their future health. added fats and 14 percent more sugars. The
Would you like to see food become more of a policy question out there. federal government does have to get involved
political issue? Geoff: I’ll put my two cents in here, but basi- in terms of changing the school lunch program.
Norah: One of the questions that’s out there cally I think the government needs to stay out of This is an area where they have to do something,
is can Washington find similar success fighting some of these things. People like chefs and the and they’re trying to do something. We shouldn’t
fat like they did smoking. The federal govern- first lady putting it on the agenda may be more have kids getting overweight eating the food that
ment decided to take on smoking, and it actually impactful than policy changes. The last thing I the government subsides.
has worked, but it was due to a combination of want as a restaurateur is to have the federal gov- Geoff: Absolutely.
things—making it socially unacceptable, higher ernment talking to me about how much butter I What are your kids’ favorite recipes from the
taxes, proving it was unhealthy, suing the tobacco can put in my risotto. book?
companies. And over half a century now, it has Norah: And this may be an area where Geoff Geoff: Pancakes!
produced a reduction in smoking. So there is a and I disagree, but I believe the federal govern- —Laura Morgan


20 Waterside Plaza, New York, NY 10010 (212) 481 2700

Accepting applications for boys and girls, 3-14 years old.

With a highly-qualified and The acclaimed, highly-portable
experienced faculty, small class curriculum combines the rigor and
sizes and a stunning campus BIS- prestige of the English National
NY is one of New York City’s Curriculum with the philosophy of the
leading international schools, with International Baccalaureate to create
a placement record to match both academically strong, confident and
locally and internationally. talented students able to excel in the
challenges of the modern world.
Contact our Admissions Office at ADMISSIONS@BIS-NY.ORG or (212) 481 2700 x204
We look forward to welcoming you to our school.


playground november / december 2010 67

The Wheatleigh
Terrace Suite;
exterior; and
Great Hall.

travel for families

Travel Kardashian-style: Take the whole family along b y J u l i e E a r l e- L e v i n e

ringing the entire family together for a holiday can evoke a com-
bination of joy and dread. But sometimes it is a necessity. Why not
do it in style by taking over a small, exotic luxury hotel, so you can
keep the family banter and bickering private?
The beauty of a buyout at the right resort helps ensure fantastic
staff, exceptional cuisine and absolute privacy. We think these properties deliver.

The Wheatleigh, Berkshires

Yes, it’s grand, with antique mirrors and marble fireplaces, but it’s also family friend-
ly if you book this late-19th-century mansion, in Massachusetts’ Berkshire Hills, for
$21,000 to $30,000 a day (tipping and service
charges included).
The Wheatleigh has 19 suites and guest
rooms and recently refreshed its restaurant,
which is wonderful for diner, and launched a
new private wine cellar. The Dining Room, with
sweeping views of the country, offers contem-
porary takes on classic French dishes. Guests

68 playground november / december 2010

Borgo Finochchieto,

discuss personalized menus with executive chef Jeffrey Thompson; ing and the first press? December is all about Christmas fairs and
there are also wine tastings. Food and beverage are extra. chestnuts roasting.
Cosy up inside and indulge in the luxurious amenities—La Prairie, The Borgo holds up to 44 guests in 22 bedrooms and suites, and
Bulgari and Aromatherapy, your choice—while the kids run around also offers "exclusive use" of the property for groups that want only
the private 22-acre estate or swim in the outdoor heated pool. Dad the manor house’s nine suites, giving them exclusive use of the pool,
can go golfing, horse riding or fishing. Snowshoeing and skiing can be gym and grounds. There is a minimum of three nights, or seven nights
arranged in the winter, followed by a fire pit with smores. It’s only two during the holidays. The cost is about $9,800 a day for exclusive use
hours and 45 minutes by car from the city, with easy access by private (nine suites) to $20,800 for the complete property (22 rooms/suites).
plane. Weekend bookings have a two-night minimum, and holidays
carry a three-night minimum. There is a 40-guest maximum. Tcherassi Hotel + Spa, Cartegna, Colombia
This 250-year-old, seven-room luxury hotel with its own spa, roof-
Borgo Finocchieto, Tuscany top pool deck and restaurant in the heart of Cartegna’s Old City along
The Borgo is an 800-year-old village, or "borgo," that has been trans- the Caribbean coast already feels like a private mansion. Families
formed into a luxury retreat, with its own manor house and four vil- can make it their own from $4,000 a night (not including meals and
lage houses. It is 30 minutes south of Siena, and very close to Mon- a spa). It’s the first collaboration between Colombian fashion icon
talcino in the Brunello wine district. Silvia Tcherassi and Miami-based CF Hospitality and it wows. The
The Borgo has nine luxurious suites hotel has four pools, a stunning vertical garden with more than 3,000
Bookings in the manor house, plus four village
Lighthouse Bay Resort houses consisting of 13 suites and bed- Tcherassi rooms. Between the library, the wine- Hotel + Spa.
tasting room, the spa, the sports courts
and the swimming pool, there is some-
thing for everyone. Some families like
The Borgo to launch their own competitive bocce tournaments, gather to watch classic
movies after dinner or take family biking
The Wheatleigh expeditions on road bikes, with stops for
photos and snacks.
Spicers Tamarind Did we mention that November in Tuscany brings the white truffle festival,
and the end of the year means olive pick-

70 playground november / december 2010

lush plants and incredible views of the city, as well as a
full-service spa.
The kids may be fighting over the rooms, which
are all unique and occupy the four-story mansion. The
largest is a 1,200-square-foot, trilevel penthouse suite
that has its own private rooftop pool. But all rooms
have soaring ceilings, rich wood floors, restored origi-
nal stone walls and private walk-out balconies offer-
ing views of the garden, or the city. Tcherassi boasts
custom amenities, including its own fragrance and his
and her bathrobes.

Lighthouse Bay Resort, Barbuda

The Lighthouse Bay Resort, set on a peninsula off the
small Caribbean island of Barbuda, is accessible only
by boat or helicopter. “We fly by helicopter. It’s basi-
cally an uninhabited island with the best private strip
of beach in the world. There is no better pink sand than
Barbuda,” said one Wall Streeter and father of three
who likes to buy out the nine-suite property. A bonus:
A private chef whips up lobster, any way you want it.
“It’s available anytime. There is also shockingly fantas-
tic wild game, and the best venison and duck I’ve ever

There’s Something
In Great Neck.
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fied wear limits or intervals. All work must be performed by an authorized Jaguar dealer. For complete details on Jaguar Platinum Coverage, including warranty and maintenance coverage and exclusions, please visit your local Jaguar dealer or JAGUARUSA.COM.

playground november / december 2010 71

Lighthouse Bay
Resort (and below).

It’s basically an
uninhabited island with
the best private strip of
beach in the world.
eaten, hunted, and butchered right on the island.”
Barbuda, is the sister island to Antigua, with 17
From $69.00 to $499.00 miles of perfect soft white sand beaches. Snorkel-
ing is incredible, right off the beach, where fish and
rays swim lazily by in clear turquoise water. It costs
$12,500 a day for a buyout for up to 20 people. All


72 playground november / december 2010

kidding around

kidding around

just kidding around


Unique Toys
and Gifts
meals and alcohol are included. There are a dozen
staff on hand should you need cocktails. When you
tire of snorkeling, swimming, sailing and kayaking
there are tennis and basketball courts. Scuba, spa
and fishing cost extra.
Sunday December 12th 2010
Spicers Tamarind, Australia
Ready for a close up with kangaroos and other Aus- 11:30 am
tralian wildlife, in your own private retreat? Spicers
Tamarind in Maleny on Queensland’s stunning
Sunshine Coast Hinterland is a great stop-off en
route to Far North Queensland. A buyout is about
$2,400 a day or, midweek, $1,980 a day, and includes
Right now, it’s summer Down Under. Arrive
by helicopter or drive to this tucked-away, 19-acre
property overlooking the rainforest and Australian
bush teeming with local wildlife. Expect to see pad-
dy melons, a small chubby version of a kangaroo, Help FDNY firefighters rescue Santa from the roof of the Museum.
kookaburras (birds) and possums. Kids can explore Once safely inside Santa will be available for photos and gift requests.
the Obi Obi, the river that runs through the prop- Join us on our 3rd floor loft and enjoy Christmas Carols performed
by John Clacher’s band. Hot cocoa, hot dogs and drinks
erty, and hang with general manager Paul Blain’s
will also be available for purchase at our Christmas Cafe.
domesticated pet dingo. Blain is a renowned Thai
chef, and his restaurant here utilizes Thai methods
$7 for adults $5 for Children
and sources some ingredients, such as turmeric, NEW YORK CIT Y Purchase Tickets in advance
chili, galangal, Tahitian limes, custard apples and FIRE MUSEUM Online at
278 SPRING STREET email:
mangos, from the retreat’s private garden and or-
N E W YO R K , N Y 10 013 by phone: 212-691-1303

playground november / december 2010 73


Spicers Tamarind,
Maleny, Australia.

chard. The menu ranges from oysters with finger lime sorbet
to spicy Massaman curry and more.
First-class comforts abound: Private outdoor heated
tubs, king-size beds and fluffy bathrobes are in all five one-
bedroom villas and the one two-bedroom villa, surrounded
by rainforest and sounds of waterfalls. After a few days re-
laxing, head to the Great Barrier Reef, the tropical 2000-ki-
lometer gem along Australia's east coast and that is among
the world’s top reef and diving spots. Spicers Tamarind has a
14-person maximum.



Located in Pa., just two hours from New York City,
this 3,000-acre historic resort is an ideal choice for family,
corporate meetings, retreats, and honeymoons or romantic
getaways. Many of the hotel guest rooms offer beautiful,
panoramic views of the Pocono Mountain range and modern
conveniences that include complimentary wireless Internet.
Packages include a generous breakfast buffet and four-course
dinner, and our numerous leisure activities feature golf, horse-
back riding, indoor and outdoor pools, full-service spa, dog
sledding, snowmobiling, Manor Sports Lodge offers fishing ,
clay shooting, cross country skiing, and more. Conveniently
located to to attractions for which the region is famous. Only
2 hours from New York, New Jersey, and Philadelphia. This
Thanksgiving enjoy all of the traditional favorites: Affordably
priced at $26.95 per adult, seniors $20.95, children 5 to 12
$12.95 and children under 5 free. Prices subject to tax/gratu-
ity. Select an overnight package or the Black Friday package
for an excellent start to your holiday shopping at the Cross-
ings. The resort grounds and buildings will be beautifully

ORDER adorned, the Fireside Lodge will be transformed into a Winter

NOW Wonderland featuring Santa & Mrs. Claus, Live Reindeer,
Family activities, horse and carriage rides, build a s ‘mores
by the fire and more! Event begins Thanksgiving night and
runs each Friday, Saturday & Sunday through New Year’s day.
Overnight package rates start at only $158 for a family of four
and includes admission to event, breakfast each morning and
in-room milk and cookies with one of Santa’s helpers. For
further info, please visit .

74 playground november / december 2010

Playground Gallery
2280 FDB in Harlem has raised 5th On The Park A CHOICE NANNY has been matching
the standard for quality of Located at 1485 Fifth high-quality nannies with discerning
construction, materials, appliances Avenue on the corner New York families since 1991.   With
and finishes to a higher level. of 120th Street directly attentive, personal service and
The sleek and modern kitchens across from historic Mount professional guidance throughout the
feature Aster Cucine custom Morris Park, this 28-story hiring process,  A CHOICE NANNY
cabinetry with CaesarStone countertops and appliances shimmering glass tower, provides full time, part time and
from Electrolux ICON Series or Wolf, as well as Sub-Zero fully complete and ready temporary caregivers for newborns to school-age
and Miele. The baths incorporate stand out features for immediate occupancy, children.   Background investigations by private detectives
including Grigio Luna Indian Sandstone tile. From the 12th at once sets a new standard for luxury condominiums in included.   Located at 850 Seventh Avenue,  A CHOICE
floor communal roof terrace with an outdoor fireplace to Harlem and is the newest elevation of its renaissance. 1 to 4 NANNY is  licensed by the NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs
its on-site parking, 2280 FDB has the amenities that matter. bedroom, duplexes and penthouses from $580K. and is a member of the Better Business Bureau.  
Immediate Occupancy. FHA approved Bldg.  To schedule a no-
212-521-5742; obligation child care needs assessment, contact 212-246-5437 or     

The Aldyn is located Italian fashion brand Allegri Basic Bidet. Bidets for decades
in the city’s vibrant has been the master of stylish popular in France & in the Far East are
new Riverside South and functional outerwear since now becoming a common bathroom
neighborhood. It features 1961. Thanks extensive fabric accessory in the U.S. Bidets easily
an indoor playground research, Allegri raincoats and installed onto your existing toilet bowl
designed by Kidville jackets offer the best protection wash your private parts with just a press
USA, and a La Palestra from the elements without of a button for a clean and fresh feeling.
fitness center with its own compromising style. This ivory Beneficial for Pregnant Women, Children, Older Folks &
basketball and squash courts, 75-foot swimming pool, goose down water repellant people with physical handicaps. Bidets save millions of
38’ rock climbing wall, a bowling alley and golf simulator. satin coat features diagonal rolls of toilet paper hence thousands of trees. The Bidet
Residents have access to acres of green space and stitching that both lengthens and slims down the silhouette. Shop located in mid town, New York City, offers a range
soccer and baseball fields along a newly planted section  Available at Saks Fifth Avenue of Bidets from $69.00 to $499.00.
of the park. Nearby the Aldyn are schools, museums, the jackets retails for $ 1,195 All are (DIY) do it yourself products.
restaurants and shops as well as Lincoln Center. To order, please visit

Bilingual Buds is a dynamic Fun, family and friends forever… what Bowlmor Lanes,
preschool and kindergarten that Blue Rill is all about!  Comprehensive New York City’s original
focuses on the development of the sports programs, state-of-the-art upscale bowling alley
whole child and his or her relationship swimming pools and beautiful lake, in Greenwich Village
with the world. We believe that incredible creative and performing presents Bowlmor
students’ personal journey to arts, outdoor adventure programs and Times Square- opening this November! 90,000 square feet
bilingualism enriches all aspects of their academic awesome traditions and special events. New SportsPlex, of fun and excitement on 44th St btw 7th and 8th avenues.
exploration and creative expression. The school offers a tennis complex, rock wall, zip line and Playworld Featuring 50 lanes divided into 7 New York City themed
continuum of Mandarin immersion programs including playground!  The perfect combination of exceptional bowling lounges, The Stadium Grill Restaurant with food by
Mommy & Me,  Preschool, Kindergarten, Summer Camp, programs, great facilities and experienced and enthusiastic celebrity chef David Burke, the Tribeca Loft Nightclub and
and After School for ages 5-12. staff for campers ages 3 to 15. Transportation included - the New York Salon private event space. Finally- a reason
175 Riverside Blvd. (at 68th Street) only 25 minutes north of the GWB! for New Yorkers to roll into Times Square!
New York, NY, 10069 444 Saddle River Rd, Airmont NY, (845) 352-3521
(212) 787-8088

The British International Welcome to Cayman Villas Collina Italiana’s

School of New York provides a Grand Cayman in the beautiful Italian Winter in
high-quality educational foundation Cayman Islands!?Cayman Villas is the City program is
for children from all over the world, the premier on island villa booking for children of all ages
integrating the widely acclaimed agency, located in Grand Cayman. who want to learn and
International Baccalaureate model We represent about 70 privately practice Italian, meet new friends, absorb the warm and
with the best of the British Curriculum. owned beachfront villas and condos in the Cayman lively culture of Italy, and have fun Italian style...right here
In a safe, happy and nurturing environment, students Islands. Established in 1970 we have friendly, professional in New York City! Giardino dei Bambini, a morning drop-
develop a genuine love for learning, and academic success. accommodation specialists with a wealth of knowledge off playgroup for ages 2-5, is offered year-round. Other
The school has gained an enviable placement record of and experience to help you plan your perfect Cayman programs, including comprehensive language learning and
excellence and achievement both locally in New York are Island vacation getaway! hands-on instruction in the arts, are Girotondo (“Circle”),
and internationally. Teatro Italiano and Piccoli Cuochi for little chefs. 
  1-800-235-5888 135 E 96th Street
For more information visit (212)-427-7770

playground november / december 2010 75

Playground Gallery
Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, New The Craft Imagine a world where childhood
York’s premier children’s hair Studio is the dreams come to life. One of toy
salon and toy boutique, makes hottest place in soldier greetings and piano dancers.
haircuts fun for kids and easy NYC for parties, Travel through a safari of plush wild
for parents. Our expert stylists play dates, 1657 Third Avenue, New York City 10128
animals. See yourself as a Muppet
love working with kids and make painting, toys, candy, crafts, gifts, and more.
212.831.6626 Whatnot puppet. This is the storybook world of FAO
every experience enjoyable. Having a party? Let our party Always offering the latest and greatest workshops, SCHWARZ, where you’ll find an enchanting assortment
consultants help you choose the perfect gift or party gifts, and fun. For over 15 years the Craft Studio of fun and delighting the senses with our world of dolls,
favors from our unique selection of toys. Treat your little has also been the premier party location for cool limite-edition treasures and exclusive experiences you’ll
glamour girl and her friends to the Ultimate Beauty Bash - kids in New York City. With over 20 themes to forever cherish.
a birthday party at Cozy’s! chose from, there is something for everyone. Call
for reservations and walk in availability. 767 5th Avenue New York, NY (at 58th Street)
Visit us at: 212-644-9400
1125 Madison Avenue 1657 3rd Avenue, NY, NY 10128 Personal Shopping: 212-644-9400 ext. 3
1416 Second Avenue 212-831-6626;
448 Amsterdam Avenue Hours: M-W: 10-7, TH-Sat: 10-8 Sun: 11-6 

Gymtime Harry’s Shoes for Kids Hudson Urban Bicycles,

Gymnastics features quality infants’ and located in the West Village, now
Rhythm and children’s footwear from the has the best selection in NYC of
Glues is now the most popular name brands, pedaled child-carriers.  5 different
newest gymnastics including Ugg Australia, Umi, models, available for sale and
center in Manhattan! Join us for our many programs Primigi, Naturino, Jumping rent, will carry 1, 2, 3, or 4 children
in our brand new, state of the art gym! Gymtime Jacks, Robeez, New Balance, Timberland, Hunter, Geox, easily “at least around Manhattan
Gymnastics Rhythm and Glues offers classes for Ecco and many more. We are renowned for our fitting or Brooklyn” says George Bliss
children 6 months - 18 years including mommy and expertise as well, and have a proud tradition of serving the HUB’s general manager.  “Other boroughs may
me, gymnastics, sports, tae kwon do, music, art, New York families since 1931! Find us at 2315 Broadway, require electric-assist.” These are mostly Dutch and
cooking, preschool, birthday parties and more! between 83rd and 84th Streets. We’re open seven days! Danish designs, although the store has developed its own
product, with children in the back. Open daily 9-6.  

Gymtime Rhythm & Glues 1520 York Avenue, For more information please contact us at 139 Charles St.  212-965-9334  
NYC, NY 10028,, 212.861.7732 212-874-2034

The Inn At Pocono Manor- a 3,000- Established in 1938, Jaguar of kidding around — named
acre resort is your getaway for family, Great Neck was the first Jaguar “Best Toy Store in NYC” by New
golf groups and romantic getaways.  Our dealership in the Country.  Our York Magazine. Sister store, just
rich tradition of hospitality insures your experience has led to a reputation kidding around, named “Best
expectations are not only met, but of value, personal service and Toy Store in NJ” by New Jersey
exceeded. Many of our packages include after-sale support that is unrivaled.  For 70+ years we have Monthly Magazine.  We are
a generous breakfast and dinner, and our been selling to and servicing the New York area with the passionate about our selection
numerous leisure activities include golf, horseback riding, pride and attention it deserves.  Model for model, option of toys, games and gifts.  Great design and great value
indoor and outdoor swimming pools and  state-of-the-art for option, no one is more competitive than us. We will beat – lots of classics and lots of surprises! As a family owned
spa.  The Inn At Pocono Manor sports offers fishing, clay any advertised price in New York...Guaranteed!  Fulfill your business, we so thank you for your support of local
shooting and more.  Our location is convenient to the passion for perfection with one of our awesome 2011 Jaguar independent retailers! Unique toys & gifts.
area’s famous activities and is less than 2 hours from New XJ models.  One is waiting for you at Jaguar of Great Neck.
York, New Jersey and Philadelphia. 60 west 15th Street, New York City 10011. 212.645.6337.; 1-800-233-8150 888-263-4158

Manufacturing How do you make a child happy to get The Lucida, a dramatic
furniture is ready for bedtime? Visit Lester’s for the 21-story glass curtain wall
our expertise cutest and coziest nightwear. This holiday condominium developed by
ñ providing season Lester’s is offering a collection of Extell Development Company,
an unforgettable experience is our passion. Lazzoni fun prints in pajama bottoms, shorts, tops offers residents a lifestyle
does not design, manufacture, and market extraordinary and robes they’ll love to snuggle up in. that combines the prestige
furniture for the home, but for the individual. We Prices range from $32.90 - $74.90 Lester’s, of the Upper East Side with
embrace the diversity, inconformity, and uniqueness of known for its trendy fashions and the eco-consciousness and the ultimate in modern amenities,
our customers and furniture alike. The foundation for this most wanted brands of  clothing, shoes including the LA PALESTRA Fitness, Wellness and Spa
philosophy was established over 50 years ago, and Lazzoni and accessories knows what your children Center, a playground designed by Kidville, N.Y., a private
has never looked back since. If we are as exceptional as our want and love. lounge and game room, wine cellar and bike storage.  
customers, who knows what will come next. Corcoran Sunshine Marketing Group is the exclusive
marketing and sales agent for The Lucida.  
Lester’s is located at 1534 Second Ave and 80th St in
154 West 18th Street Manhattan (212 734 9292) with additional locations in For more information, call 212.585.1510
212-242-0606 Brooklyn, Rye, Greenvale and Huntington.   or visit

76 playground november / december 2010

Playground Gallery
Make Meaning’s brand We’re MAM- the small Austrian company The iconic, landmarked Manhattan
new 3-level store on the UWS with big ideas! From our start in 1976, House has been impeccably re-engineered
is the best new creativity our mission has been to combine by O’Connor Capital Partners with one- to
destination and party space in outstanding design, optimal functionality five-bedroom residences for immediate
NYC. Adults and kids alike can and medical know- how to a line of smart occupancy. O’Connor recently unveiled The
make amazing soap, candles, baby products. Starting with one unique Modern Collection, a portfolio of signature-designed residences
or jewelry, paint ceramics or pacifier, today MAM’s range includes a by James Huniford, Celerie Kemble and Rita Konig, in response
make a beautiful glass plate – just by walking in! Come in and variety of intelligent baby design in four to growing demand for larger residences in Manhattan.
be the first to create a beautiful and thoughtful holiday gift for key areas- pacifiers, bottles, teethers and  Set within one of Manhattan’s largest private residential
your friends and family. oral care. gardens, Manhattan House features the rooftop Manhattan
Club and exhale® spa. There is a children’s playroom and exhale®
fitness center, full-time doormen, five-star concierge services,
329 Columbus Ave (btwn 75th and 76th) For more information about MAM and porte-cochere entrances, on-site garage and valet service.  
(212) 362-0350 MAM products, please visit us at Manhattan House, 200 East 66th Street W: , P: 212 566 0660

Mathnasium THE NEW YORK CITY FIRE MUSEUM Oompa offers a constantly
makes math fun!!! Plan your visit today! The New York expanding collection of European
Mathnasium City Fire Museum, the official museum wooden toys, baby toys, lunch
offers tutoring of the FDNY, occupies a renovated bags, baby gear and modern
and enrichment 1904 Beaux-Arts firehouse built for children’s furniture. We pride
programs exclusively in math in your home or at our Engine Company 30.  Permanent ourselves on selling non-character
centers. We help students in grades PreK-12 build a and temporary exhibitions document branded, quality toys that are
solid math foundation while developing confidence the evolution of firefighting technology, beginning with designed to last for generations.
and a love for math. Your child will receive both the early bucket brigades, and depict the traditions and We believe baby toys should be
homework guidance and a customized program that romantic lore of firefighting.  The museum houses fire natural, safe, eco-friendly, and
fills in skill gaps and builds number sense. Come visit related art and artifacts from the late 18th Century to the non-violent.
us at our brand new UWS location! present, including a permanent September 11th Memorial. Free shipping over $65.
WARNING: Your child could become CRAZY about Math!!! NYCFIREMUSEUM.ORG
UES – 1597 York Ave (b/t 84th & 85th) DIRECTOR@NYCFIREMUSEUM.ORG
UWS – 506 Amsterdam Ave (b/t 84th & 85th) 212-691-1303 To see our complete collection, visit

PA DUTCH HOTELS The Pavilion Penelope’s People is an

Great Choices Located at 500 East 77th St., the historic innovative placement agency
Lead to Great Pavilion offers the best of luxury rental living offering excellent nanny
Experiences.  Perfectly today. The Pavilion’s one-, two- and three- care, housekeeping, personal
located in the heart of PA’s top destination locations, bedroom homes are built with growing assistance and senior care
PA Dutch Hotels offers 5 exceptional hotel choices families in mind, boasting Glenwood’s services. We personally match caregivers to make your life
in Lancaster, Harrisburg and Hershey Pennsylvania. signature finishes, generous proportions easier when you care for your most precious possessions –
Specially designed for group travel for all ages, our hotels and timeless sophistication. Just steps from your children and loved ones.
offer memorable value-packed packages year-round. John Jay Park and the City’s finest schools, We have an extensive screening process that includes
Come experience Central PA’s beautiful landscapes and residents also benefit from Glenwood’s full- interviewing, reference checks and background checks by a
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playground november / december 2010 77

Playground Gallery Playground Gallery
SLATE, one of New York’s
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featuring 16,000 square feet of sleek décor over 2 floors,
=\Ac\ROg2SQS[PS`#bV]dS`&QO`W\U accommodating parties of 10 to 1200 guests. Slate provides
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CaSO\SZWUWPZSS\`]ZZSR/[S`WQO\3f^`Saa•1O`R well as a spacious dance floor. Slate is ideal for all of your
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Teen Ink is a monthly magazine, now in its

22nd year, written entirely by teens and for
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is produced by the nonprofit Young Authors Foundation and
your subscription helps support teens.    

To Subscribe or obtain a free sample copy, visit the website

at: or call 1-800-363-1986
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78 playground november / december 2010

Playground Gallery Amagansett East Hampton
Brooklyn’s newest iconic
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playground november / december 2010 79

Mom’s Minute
Stacey Bendet is a native
New Yorker and the de-
signer and co-owner of hip
clothing line Alice + Olivia.
Stacey is quirky, smart,
determined and definitely
forging her own path. Find
out how this designer mom
lives life to the fullest.

How do you juggle work and family?

As best I can, margaritas and a lot of
yoga help too
What lessons from parenting have
you incorporated into your work?
Patience. Altho I cant claim to have
mastered this.
What’s the best advice you’ve given
your daughter? To always say please
and thank you. I mean, she’s 21
What do you wear to take your
daughter to class-school (Drop Off)?
I don’t know, polkadot skirts, platform
shoes, sequins… she likes when I wear
hats and big glasses too
What’s your favorite family moment
everyday? When I wake eloise up in
the morning she says, “mommy book”
and I climb in her crib and we read
together. benefit of being tiny.
What’s the best part of raising a
child in New York City? Everything is
around the corner, zoo, parks, muse-
ums, classes… there is just a plethora of
culture to expose them to
What’s the worst part of raising a
child in New York City? There is a bit
of confinement for children in apart-
ments verses being able to run around
outside and ride bikes ext…
What’s your cause that you are most
passionate about and why? BentOn-—the organization creates
yoga programs in NYC public schools
Favorite Family Hidden Gem in New
York City? Moomah on Hudson street
in tribeca
What’s your guilty parenting pleasure?
Ice cream for breakfast

80 playground november / december 2010





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