Lifestyle for the New York Mom


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It just happens to be our favorite season!


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6. Bois Blanc candle from designer Alexa Rodulfo is my fave for when I need some “MTO” Mommy Time Out! Smells of violet leaf, grapefruit, and dry notes of cedar wood.


playground march 2011

Portrait: tracy toler PhotograPhy; Products courtesy of the manufacturers

t’s springtime! Winter’s finally over and now’s the time to put away those Uggs and Hunter Boots, pack up the kids’ snow pants and get outside and enjoy what just might be New York’s happiest season! Spring! This jam-packed issue of Observer Playground celebrates the joys of springtime: a season filled with hope and holidays and lots of family fun. We’ve got so many fabulous stories to share with you. I couldn’t be more excited that I got to chat with our cover star, Elizabeth Hurley, about life and motherhood. Of course she’s beyond gorgeous, but it’s amazing to hear her open up about raising her adorable son Damian and balancing work and family. She’s weathered a lot recently, but she’s handled it all with grace, confidence and inspirational focus … all of which comes through loud and clear in our feature. Of course, most of us don’t naturally have Liz’s killer figure, so this issue includes some great stories about how to shape up. We’ve got a piece about juice cleanses—like Blueprint, Cooler Cleanse, Organic Avenue—that so many women (including plenty of celebs) swear by these days. As always, we’ve got lots of hands-on, useful information in this issue. As we’re all beginning to think about the summer, there’s a great piece about camps. For the young athletes in your family, we’re spotlighting Kids In Sports and its wonderful classes.

2. Looking for a book to read over Spring Break? Written by Divalysscious Mom Suzanne Corso, Brooklyn Story is about a girl’s lost innocence and dreams found on just the other side of the Brooklyn Bridge. 3. The iCandy Peach
Stroller, from the popular British brand, is the new “It” stroller for New York City Moms.

And for all the vital questions your girlfriends can’t answer, there’s the Crib Sheet. Don’t forget to read MomScope; every issue we will be bringing you the best horoscopes just for moms! Of course there are plenty of style pieces, too—like a glamorous spring fashion feature we shot at the Surrey Hotel’s beautiful Presidential Suite, and an eco-friendly beauty story in honor of Earth Day—and favorites like the Lysst and the Hot-to-Tot List. They’re the perfect reads for the plane ride on a spring getaway … or just an afternoon sitting in Central Park in the sunshine. Enjoy this issue! See you in May, when we’ll run down the most fabulous family picks for summer.

4. A blend of oils gives Ilari roll-on fragrance a sexy, unique aura on each mom who wears it. 5. In need of a hot bathing suit? Look no further. I found the hottest suit from the Australian Swimwear line, We Are Handsome who heats things up in this one piece.



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on the cover As the face of Estee Lauder, an advocate for healthy eating and designer of her own line of beachwear, Elizabeth Hurley is the perfect cover mom for spring. She sits pretty in a dress of her own design from Elizabeth Hurley Beach. Hair by Felix Fischer for Factory Downtown New York. Makeup by Kelly Cornwell from Premier London using Estee Lauder. Photographed by Nihat Odabasi.


playground march 2011

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2/1/11 2:51 PM

the Lysst

Goodies BaG
By Lyss Stern and Rachel Felder


Ready to treat yourself to something new after all that spring cleaning? There are fabulous goodies out there to indulge in—here’s our rundown of the best

a. Jo nayor pendant

c. acqua di parma colonia essenza

$7,000, Sometimes it just takes one piece of jewelry to make an outfit really pop, like this necklace by New York jeweler Jo Nayor. It’s not flashy or bold, just an exquisite piece of lapis and gray moonstone on a just-chunky-enough gold link chain. With a subtle vintage feel, it evokes something that might’ve been passed down from a relative … and is sure to be something that gets passed onto your little one down the line.
b. tod’s ballerinas


$90, Bergdorf Goodman Acqua di Parma’s one of those classic scents that instantly brings to mind oldschool European glamour, and now this iconic fragrance is available in a new version, Colonia Essenza. Basically, it’s an intensified version of Acqua di Parma’s most compelling notes— like bergamot, neroli, and vetiver—mixed with oils of grapefruit, amber and more. And basically, it simply smells divine … and it’s unisex, so it’s ideal for sharing.
d. coach embossed python hobo



playground march 2011

all images courtesy of the manufacturers

$575, Tod’s Boutiques Thanks to Black Swan, it’s ballet’s moment … so what could be more timely than throwing on a new pair of classic (and comfy!) ballerina flats? Tod’s puts its own spin (or is that pirouette?) on plain ballerinas by adding the brand’s trademark pebble bottom, crafting them in extra-soft suede, and offering up a rainbow of colors (including this confident bright red). Talk about putting some spring in your step …

$798, Coach Stores The color this season is coral pink, and there’s no better way to wear it than this roomy hobo from Coach, in a dusty shade that (trust us!) will match with and update everything in your wardrobe. This style—which also comes in plain leather in plenty of other colors, if you just can’t imagine looking pretty in pink— includes plenty of functional interior pockets to organize even the shleppiest amount of daily essentials.


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$350, Neiman Marcus Sometimes what makes jewelry precious isn’t its carat weight or price tag, but craftsmanship, beauty, and the sort of impeccable style that gets you compliments each time you wear it. That’s the key to Ranjana Khan’s handcrafted creations, which, incidentally, are versatile enough to throw on with a tank top and jeans or a dressy outfit for a night on the town. We particularly love this cuff, in the springiest of colors, encrusted with Swarovski crystals.
Cuff f. CRème de la meR Radiant SeRum


$250, Saks Fifth Avenue If you’re one of those women (like us!) that swears by Crème de la Mer, make room in your bathroom for a new addition to the line: a light, nearly liquidy gel that adds an extralayer of moisture to your morning routine. Of course, this serum includes la Mer’s proprietary ingredients— like a special mix of blue algae—that really (really!) do help make your skin look smoother and younger. Yes, it’s expensive, but in this case, it’s definitely worth the splurge.


Free and easy

The top 10 free events to enjoy with your kids this spring By Rachel Morgan


If you have older kids, check out “Brain: The Inside Story,” the American Museum of History’s new exhibit that focuses entirely on the little 3-pound organ that makes us all tick. Replete with interactive games, videos and puzzles, this exhibit is great for older kids interested in science (through Aug. 15, free with museum admission).

President Barack Obama’s sister, Maya Soetoro-Ng, talks about her first children’s book, Ladder to the Moon at the Barnes and Noble Café (April 12, 7 p.m., 33 East 17th St., 212-253-0810, free). The book is inspired by her daughter Suhaila’s questions about the grandmother she never met.


Stories for Sweet Peas is the perfect activity to erase those Thursday doldrums. Every week at the 67th St. Branch Library, library staff hosts story time for 3-year-olds and their sometimes tired mommies (2 p.m., free, ongoing, 328 East 67th St.). For older kids, their own age-appropriate story time, Picture Book Story Time, follows at 4 p.m. (ages 4-7, free, ongoing, 328 East 67th St.).


Have a burgeoning naturalist on your hands? Take them to Crafts: Family Fridays, hosted by the Central Park Conservatory every Friday from 2 p.m.–4 p.m. Activities include botanical still-life painting, beading, even animal puppet making (free, Charles A. Dana Discover Center, 110th St. and Lenox Ave., through April 8).

Bedtime is an important ritual for all kids; now teach them about the bedtime routines of kids around the world at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum Night Journeys: An Adventure in the World of Sleep. Romp on an oversize bed to find charms from other cultures that get rid of nightmares; test out bedtime rituals from other countries; and even feed your child’s nightmares to the Japanese figure Baku, who gobbles up dreams and nightmares (free with museum admission, 145 Brooklyn Avenue, Brooklyn).
playground march 2011

Ease your kids into yoga at Storytime at Karma Kids Yoga, a storytelling experience infused with yoga poses and puppets that bring the stories alive (Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.–noon; Fridays, 3 p.m.–3:30 p.m.; 104 West 14th Street, infant to 6 years, free).


For older kids, try out the Fantasma Balloon Twisting Classes, led by leading balloon artist Todd Neufeld. Your children can make anything their heart desires— monkeys, dogs, silly hats, maybe even a balloon bicycle. For all ages (second Tuesday of every month, 4 p.m.–6 p.m. 421 Seventh Ave., 212244-3633, free, pay for balloons).

child & Balloon animal:; maya Soetoro-ng & moma: getty imageS

A Child’s Point of View Get inspired by local student artwork, ages 7 and up, at this amazing gallery that includes photography, video and animation (, 180 Maiden Lane, free; Mondays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Tuesdays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Wednesdays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Thursdays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; Fridays, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.; through Jun 24).


Taking your child to the museum can be a bit daunting during regular hours. But the Museum of Modern Art’s A Closer Look for Kids is the perfect solution. MoMA gives kids a tour of the collections and encourages kids to speak up about what they like— and what they don’t. It’s the perfect antidote to kids’ museum boredom. Ages 5 through 10 (Saturdays and Sundays, 10:20a.m.–11:30 a.m., 11 West 53rd St., 212-708-9805, free, drop in, tickets distributed beginning at 10 a.m. on a first-come, first-serve basis).


Need something to fill up your Saturday? Try the Jewish Community Center’s Free Saturdays—intended to celebrate the Sabbath and an escape from commercialism for one day a week, the event welcomes all religions. Free events include live performances, movies, art activities and a large open play space for children under 3 years old. All ages welcome (Saturdays, 2 p.m.–5 p.m., through April 9, 334 Amsterdam Ave., 646-505-5700, free).
playground march 2011



Spring awakeningS
a. ChanteCaille Sea turtle palette $79 Usher in light-sweater weather with this swamp-meets-chic palette for both lids and cheeks. The neutral tones (with a smidge of shimmer) are subtle and sexy when used solo—though the emerald shade is the ideal definer. B. Soap and paper FaCtory Solid perFume in gardenia $18 The secret’s out—S&P orchestrated the perfect garden in this solid perfume. Packaged in recycled materials, the pretty jar fits nicely in a clutch, so you can re-apply no matter where you are. Just dab a bit behind the ears for a just-plantedflowers boost. C. mayron’S goodS ChapStuFF $14 Once you go Chapstuff, you never go back! A blessed balm made of shea and cocoa butter (with a hint of tangerine oil). Slather on lips and cheeks for a slight sheen and smooth skin. A favorite of actress moms Kim Raver and Brooke Shields.


The sidewalks and skies are clearing—so it’s time to shine (both inside and out!) Here are eight springtime finds to banish your post-winter blahs By Kat Harrison


P.S. The polish pops even more against slightly tan skin.


d. FaCe StoCkholm


$12 Rest in peace, glitter, this season’s manicure is all about iridescence. Its fabulous factor is best when applied sheer, so the nail peeks through. The result? A swirl of pink and pearl.
nail poliSh #28 e. lidaremé CoConut CitruS Body SCruB



$28 Let your next shower take a trip to the Bahamas. Founder Indie Lee uses five simple (and all-natural) ingredients to whip up this zesty sugar-based delight. Coconut oil moisturizes while lemongrass aromatizes.


playground march 2011

all products courtesy of their manufacturer

f. Weleda Salt toothpaSte $7 It’s hard to feel your best when your smile is subpar. Buff those pearly whites the natural way, with Weleda Salt Toothpaste, and you will be sporting a huge smile all over town.

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g. MaC CoSMetiCS Wonder WoMan ColleCtion lipStiCk in Spitfire $15.50 Calling all wonder women! The DC comic superheroine is reinvented in this limited edition. A marriage of retro packaging and a matte, slinky magenta shade, this lipstick will bring out the glamazon in you … guaranteed. h. life balanCing

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Naturally beautiful

Meet Indie Lee, the organic beauty maven behind Lidaremé by Kat Harrison


f the slightest sound of anything au natural makes you think of slathering your cheeks in oatmeal (which is actually fantastic for the pores)—fear no more! Indie Lee, a self-proclaimed Manolo lover, is a stout believer that don’t you have to sacrifice luxury to be organic. “I don’t want to feel crunchy granola,” she says. “I want to feel sexy.” As mom to both Emily, 7, and Jacob, 10— her “proudest accomplishments,” she says— she is also the soul of (and happy-go-lucky energy behind) Lidaremé—a designer green beauty line that officially launched in 2009. Inspired by the birth of Lee’s nephew, Lidaremé began as her response to the vast number of toxic ingredients in baby products. As a gift at her sister’s shower, she experimented with talc-free baby powder and baby balm—two allnatural products that she still carries in the line today. Fast-forward two years to the current collection, which spotlights infant- and mamafriendly items that are not only good for you, but they feel and smell divine, too! Here at Playground, we adore the Balm—a doit-all salve—that will be any mani-pedi addict’s favorite new product. Lee swears that it makes these indulgent treatments last longer, and we can’t get enough of its bergamot aroma. Lee is also known for her user-friendly recipes (check out her Webisodes on that essentially bring Whole Foods to your vanity. Her latest DIY endeavor is a body-dusting powder that uses aloe root and mica—a simple and planet-friendly concoction that still manages to be wickedly hot! But Lidaremé, and its natural ways, is not just a day job for Indie Lee; it’s her mantra. “If you take care of your body, it’s going to radiate.” And this includes what we put on our bodies— not just in them. Get in the habit of reading labels, Lee says. If you can’t pronounce something, you probably shouldn’t buy it. The next time you go shopping, try straying away from the three S’s: salate, synthetics and Sodium Laruryl Sulfate (SLS)—the latter of which is most commonly used in tooth18
playground march 2011

pastes and detergents. But not all products (even the brilliant ones) are meant to last an eternity. Lee puts a sixmonth expiration on each of her designs from their opening date. She’s a firm believer that nothing should ever be so expensive you can only use it sparingly. Staying true to that, Lidaremé rocks affordability right alongside their wholesome ingredients. For Indie Lee, beauty is about the bare essentials. No chemicals, no preservatives, just Mother Nature and a creative mind. Hey, you know what they say; coconut oil makes a mighty fine moisturizer. You can find Lidaremé products on lidareme. com, in several Westchester locations, and also in Dinosaur Hill (306 East Ninth Street).

Intoxicating Shampoo and conditioner made with organic ingredients for that fresh feeling.

portrait and products: courtesy of Lidaremé; fruit:


ELIE SaaB: FaIry taLES, thEy DO cOmE truE

Mila Kunis was a vision in lavendar in her Oscars 2011 Elie Saab gown.


enowned Lebanese fashion designer Elie Saab has been designing dresses for women since he was just 18 years old and without any formal training. He has relied on his own natural talent to cleverly craft dresses and garments into wearable works of art. Saab’s designs are dramatic visions of lace, sparkles and Elie Saab flowing fabric, creating a fairy-tale element for women who wear his creations. His work is the perfect combination of luxury and artistry, which results in masterpieces that truly make every woman feel like a princess. His exposure skyrocketed after the 2002 Academy Awards, when screen siren Halle Berry wore his creation while taking home an Oscar that year. Once his brilliance was recognized, his designs were sought after and donned by celebrities such as Scarlett Johanson, Beyoncé, Rihanna, Angelina Jolie and Sara Jessica Parker, among others. I caught up with Elie recently to talk fashion.

feel that this was the right time to do it? And how do you view the relationship women have between their clothing and their accessories? ES: The brand is in constant development; I started with Haute Couture, which allowed me then to introduce ready to wear. The accessories are another extension of my creative world, and there are many other projects yet to come, like the launch of my first fragrance with BPI in July. HA: What are the colors and trends we expect to see for the summer collection? ES: The spring/summer collection has an exotic palette of dove gray, peach, cerulean blue, tea rose, coral, olive green and an abstract pastel print. The embroideries are tone on tone. As for the shape, you will find pleated and draped creations, fitted short cocktails and floaty long evening gowns. The accessories are in the same color palette, with a very graphic design. HA: Lately, a few designers such as Jimmy Choo and Lanvin, have collaborated with some lowerpriced chains, such as H&M, with an exclusive and limited collection. Would ES ever consider doing something like that? ES: I’m always willing to enter any field that I can add something new to it and make it my own. I’m open to all things, and whenever I receive an offer to enter a certain market, I will study it thoroughly, keeping in mind several objectives and criteria. HA: Do you have any plans to have a flagship store or base in New York? ES: We are currently working on opening additional flagship stores around the world. Beverly Hills and New York are among the list. —Heba Abedin

HA: You obviously know how to design for a woman’s body; how is it different when you consider designing for a new mother, or an expectant mother? ES: Whether a woman is expecting a child or just had her baby, the design process is the same. There is no perfect look. A dress should simply reflect the woman’s mood and personality. You can always tell if a woman is confident about her dress by the way she wears it. HA: What trends did you see with women dressing for the recent awards seasons [ e.g. the Academy Awards]? ES: The trends for awards season is always that women are simply looking for glamour and elegance. HA: You’ve recently added bags, jewelry and shoes to your design repertoire. After designing clothes since you were 18 years old, why did you
getty Images

playground march 2011


Get the skinny on juice by Anna Lund


ith spring break just around the corner, bathing beauties everywhere are whipping themselves into bikini shape. If you are one of these lovely ladies looking to make a beachside splash in an itsy-bitsy bikini, perhaps a juice cleanse is exactly what you need to lose those last few pounds. However, time spent cleansing does not have to be an unpleasant culinary experience, as a number of companies offer a variety of tasty and flavorful drinks that contradict the belief that juice cleanses are terrible to endure. This less-than-favorable public perception of juicing may stem from the fact that perhaps the most widely publicized juice cleanse is the rigorous Master Cleanse, which entails 10 days drinking a concoction of lemon juice, cayenne pepper and maple syrup. Used by Beyoncé to get her heavenly Dreamgirls body, this is a juice option that can easily be prepared at home; however, many criticize the Master Cleanse as being no better than an unhealthy crash diet, and not everyone has the die-hard dedication of our favorite crooner to stay committed to this lemon detox. In fact, a co-founder of a competing cleanse, Zoe
playground march 2011

Sakoutis, was inspired to make cleansing more accessible to the masses after a seven-day juice cleanse she tried in early 2000; she was thrilled with the results but less than pleased with the time spent cleansing. So she teamed up with her friend Erica Huss to create the BluePrintCleanse, which comprises six 16-ounce bottles of raw, unpasteurized fresh pressed fruit and vegetable juices a day. With the motto “We Think. You Drink,” this cleanse is perfect for a mom on the go, as not only does the company deliver to your New York City doorstep but also understands that not everyone has the same dieting habits. The length of a BluePrintCleanse, then, is completely up to you, and different cleanse levels are offered to accommodate both the new and experienced cleanser. One of our favorite celebrity moms, Salma Hayek, believes so strongly in the power of the cleanse that she has teamed up with her good friend Eric Helms to create her own line of cleanse, called Cooler Cleanse. With juice flavors like grapefruit, watermelon, lime and more, this cleanse is sure to be refreshing. If those flavors don’t tickle your fancy,

perhaps the fabulously delicious vegan delights of their Raw Cooler will be more of a draw. The Raw Cooler is a series of artfully prepared raw-food meals that can be used before cleansing to get your body ready for optimum detoxing, or as a solo operation that is much more mellow than a juice cleanse. Mary McGuire-Wien, owner of the Hohm Juice Cleanse Retreat and the Hohm Juice Cleanse Delivered, makes a promising case for the cause: “A juice cleanse may be right for the working mother because she is busier than anyone and must take good care of herself so she can take care of her child,

her business and her other relationships. Juice cleansing is, at its best, a healthy ‘me’ time.” Created by and for the working mom, the Hohm Juice Cleanse Retreat offers the ultimate in relaxing and restorative “me” time, as frazzled moms can check into this elegant retreat for a break away from stressful city living. You can check in for as few or as many days as you see fit. McGuire-Wien aptly maintains that every mom can “benefit from a little time just to be still and remember her own desires and needs.” If you can’t take a few days out of your busy schedule to check into this haven, look into their at-home delivery

program. Another cleanse system that is all about peace and happiness is Organic Avenue, whose mission is to provide “LOVE” (Live, Organic, Vegan, Experience) through their variety of appetizing cleanses. To meet the needs of every user, Organic Avenue has five cleanses to choose among. For the new and inexperienced cleanser, LOVEeasy is the perfect program, as it is a mixture of Organic Avenue’s wonderful juices and light nutritious gourmet raw foods. The lovely Gwyneth Paltrow is an Organic Avenue convert and has touted their amazing results and delicious drinks. Visionary founder Denise

images courtesy of their manufacturers

Reading List
Cooler Cleanse $58 a day for the juice cleanse, $62 for a day of raw cooler meals sample Juices Essential Red (carrot, beet fuji apple, lemon), Young Coconit Water Find it Juice Generation, 117 West 72nd Street (between Amsterdam and Columbus)
site price

Fitting a bra is an art— not a science!

The Master Cleanse
Book The Master Cleanse Experience: Day-to-Day Accounts of What to Expect and How to Succeed on the Lemonade Diet by Tom Woloshyn site sample Juice A drink of lemon, cayenne pepper and maple syrup

Book The 3-Day Cleanse by Zoe Sakoutis and Erica Huss site price Per day : BPC Cleanse is $60 for pick-up, $65 for delivery sample Juices PineApple Mint, Cashew Milk Find it Exhale Spa, 980 Madison Avenue at 77th Street

Mari offers these words of wisdom for those who are on the fence about completing a cleanse: “I think that committing to and completing a cleanse is a learning experience that lives on. A person gains a certain level of confidence and empowerment when discovering new foods and juices that satisfy and nourish. When you know it’s going to be delicious and will make you feel better, it gets really exciting!” There is much to be gained from a juice cleanse, apart from a bombshell beach body. The physical benefits extend way beyond your midriff. So get cracking. Find the right juice cleanse for you and turn over a new life.

Hohm Juice Cleanse Retreat & Hohm Juice Cleanse Delivered
Book The 7 Day Total Cleanse by Mary McGuire-Wien site price Per night at the retreat: $275 for private room and bath. This price includes rooms, juices, soups,teas, yoga, and informal workshops. Price per day for the delivery system: $66 sample Juice “Creativity”: a mix of mandarin, carrot, celery, lemon, and ginger

2273 Broadway at 82nd Street
Store HourS: Monday - Friday 10 - 7 Saturday 9:30 - 6 Sunday 11 – 5

Organic Avenue
Book The pH Miracle: Balance Your Diet, Reclaim Your Health by Shelley Redford Young and Robert O. Young site price $350 for five days of LOVEeasy sample Juices Cacao Smoothie, Veggie Vibrance (carrot, cucumber, beet, celery, chard, spinach, ginger, parsley, lemon) Find it The Space of LOVE* 116 Suffolk Street (between Rivington and Delancey)

playground march 2011


In the FIeld

momentary: manhattan and Beyond
A behind-the-scenes look at the women behind Moms & the City and a Dad Named David By Kat Harrison


t’s 11:07 on a Wednesday morning and Denise Albert is perched sideways in a studio chair, networking with fellow mommy-world enthusiasts and simultaneously getting dolled up for the day’s taping. “Are you sure my hair looks O.K. like this?” MAC powder and Make-up Forever eye shadow sugar the counter. Soon, her business partner and co-anchor, Melissa Gerstein, strolls in with several garment bags in tow (I spy a leather jacket), and the room is a-flutter with momtrepreneurial chatter. Once Raina Seitel Gittlin completes the green-room trifecta, the mood is in a full (and infectious) swing. Let’s get this mama show on the road, shall we? Albert, Gerstein and Gittlin make up the three dynamic (and wonder-woman) personalities of Moms & the City and a Dad albert (front), Named David—which gerstein (left), gittlin at preairs every Thursday show powwow. night on New York Non-Stop at 9:30 p.m. The motherhood magic (moderated by father of one, David Ushery) came to broadcast television this past July, though it was in the theoretical works for several years prior. Fast-forward to now, and you have a show that reaches an audience of 10 major cities, including a West Coast premiere and a launch last month. You may also recognize them from your yellow cab. Each Wednesday, after taping the Thursday show, the trio chooses one of the week’s hot topics from their A-block to distill down into a one-minute segment. No topic stays in the taxi for more than a week—so the
playground march 2011

Three smart moms and a dad named david talk shop on the air.

conversation is consistently relevant and constantly revolving. Down to every detail, these women are team players. Albert, Gerstein and Gittlin alternate between red-carpet-event interviews, editing content, flip-camera filming for their popular “Mamarazzi” segments (celebrity-mom spotlights typically shot on Mondays or Tuesdays), and writing for their Daily News blog. Oh, did we mention that they are also blog contributors for the parenting site Baby Center as well? Which begs the question, in the boom of

multitudinous mommy blogs, what gives Moms and the City an edge? “We’re sparking a conversation which is healthy and missing about motherhood,” says Gerstein, who also adds that the show is a totally honest (and sometimes controversial) look into the parenting world. Though the topics are chosen beforehand (through constant email threads), and range from introducing your kids to Bubble Yum to the birds and the bees, the ladies never discuss their divergent opinions with each other beforehand. What you see on the show is a completely organic unraveling. Though there is a bit of pre-show routine: Albert skims articles on her iPad and smoothes her hair; Gerstein flips through written notes and re-applies lip gloss; and Gittlin remains collected—“I believe in my gut”—as she deliberates between boot styles.

In this not-often-seen model where the talent is booking the talent, managing, producing and also going to tour showrooms (all three are openly obsessed with Stuart Weitzman heels), these women get to call the shots. “No one does it better than us. No one is going to do it as passionately,” says Albert, who is also president of David Blaine’s production company. She met Gittlin, who started her career at CNN, when the two worked at Good Morning America together. “Nothing happens by chance,” continues Gittlin. “We’re still working overnight. We’re just doing it ourselves.” This hands-on approach allows these moms to mold their own schedule—and it’s this flexibility that ultimately led the three of them to leave their demanding careers and the production rooms and come into the limelight. “Once you become a mom, you’re ultimately responsible for the rest of your life,” says Gerstein, whose résumé boasts touring with Bush during

‘We’re sparking a conversation which is healthy and missing about motherhood.’
the 2000 presidential election and producing live shots from across the country. But it isn’t all work and no play for these three Manhattan moms, who each have go-to family hubs when they aren’t on camera. For Gittlin and her son (who is the transit system’s biggest admirer), they love 5 Napkin Burger and the Children’s Museum. Albert admits to being a tourist in the city at times (and liking it). She takes her two sons to play in Riverside Park and for grub at the Landmarc Bistro inside the Time Warner Center. For Gerstein and her three kids, downtime is all about the Natural History Museum followed by the checkered tablecloths plus cheap (but reliable) Italian fare at La Vela on the Upper West Side. Each family has its kinks and quirks, and Moms & the City and a Dad Named David is a platform that fully embraces every (albeit awkward) angle of parenthood. “Ready camera one.” Someone in the production booth plays the Charlie’s Angels theme song. A laugh ripples over the set. The conversation picks up right where it left off.
playground march 2011


First sign of springtime In Bright green Louboutin espadrilles, without tights out Bright green fresh peas, without coming from the freezer

Zing into Spring!
The ultimate guide to what’s in and out for families this spring By Rachel Felder


inter’s over and spring has sprung—the ideal time to refresh your wardrobe, spiff up the house, get out with the kids and have fun in the city. Can’t decide what to do, buy and enjoy? Here’s our definitive rundown of what’s best right now in the Big Apple.
Emblem of springtime
In Brisket out Bundled-up kids on a brisk day

luggage for a spring break getaway In Isabella Fiore “Vintage Lace” luggage out Battered suitcases that are old enough to be called “vintage”

Saturday chore
In Spring cleaning out Shlepping ice skates and

hockey sticks for kids’ lessons Healthy weekend bite with the kids In Sin-free pizza at Revved Up Pi out Oatmeal and orange juice at McDonalds Slightly-too-far destination
In Punta del Este, Uruguay out Montauk, Suffolk County

pre-destination pit stop
In Pat LaFrieda Burger

at LGA en route to a warm weather vacation out Frappuccino to go en route to an after-school play date

Calorie-busting culinary treat In Michelin Food and Wine NYC weekend out Cookie and Rice Krispie treats at the school carnival bake sale Elusive (and possibly fictitious) new york essential to hope for In Whole Foods on East 57th Street out An affordable classic six

all-weather boots for spring showers In Veuve Cliquot’s DKNY wellies out Hunters

Hot SpotligHt

The (Little) London Beat
Fortunately, that’s not the case with Little London, an adorable line of kids’ clothes that was launched last year by two New York City moms, Amanda Lederman and Samantha Stein. Inspired by their daughters, the pair—close pals—have created a capsule collection of looks for kids you’ll wish came in adult sizes, like crisp little eyelet shorts and breezy dresses in gingham and leopard prints. Everything’s somehow adorable and sophisticated at the same time, and is designed to go from a daytime play date to dinner with the grownups with ease. The entire collection is produced in New York, and sold at only a handful of tastemaker boutiques. With prices starting at $25 and a sense of fun that seems just right for spring, Little London’s pieces are the perfect March additions to any (little) girl’s wardrobe.
all images courtesy of the manufacturers

It’s easier than ever to find chic mini-me clothes for the kids, but many of those pieces are from brands and designers that make them as ubiquitous in Minnesota and Miami as they are in Manhattan.


playground march 2011

Formerly Cupcake Kids!

Kids’ music to actually enjoy In The Boogers out Justin Bieber

Foraging adventure to look forward to In Easter egg hunt with the kids out Sample sale designer bag hunt with your girlfriends

king t Coo “Bes lass” C ew York
by N azine Mag

Calling All Chefs!
Summer Cooking Camps
Weekly Camps from June 13 to Labor Day Ages 4-8 + 9-13

Environmentally correct spring fashion statement for the kids In H&M Conscious Collection sundress out Organic cotton leggings Seasonal splash of color
In Tie-dye T-shirt on Earth Day out Lighter blond highlights


109 West 27th Street 212-242-2248

tween mom’s valid complaint In Feeling burnt out juggling kids, work and life Irritant-free out Kids’ drawers beauty product filled with too many In StriVectin-HD for burnout tees sensitive skin out “No tears” baby pricey passover shampoo borrowed splurge that’s from the kids worth it In Schmura matzoh out Catered gefilte fish and charoset Heated seasonal negotiation In Moving off the preschool admissions wait list out Moving onto the summer-camp admissions wait list

Celebrating 90 Seasons of Camp Spirit in 2011!
Camp Jeanne d’Arc is a traditional camp for girls ages 8 through 16 located on beautiful Lake Chateaugay in the Adirondack Mountains. Our campers enjoy excellent water sports, horseback riding, field and target sports, hiking and camping out, the arts, fitness and lots of fun surprises and camp traditions. Supportive staff and caring counselors allow campers to challenge themselves and find self confidence. Our focus is on “camp spirit!” 2, 3, 4, 5 and 7 week sessions available. We welcome girls of all faiths and backgrounds. Buses from NY metro.

department store splurge In New Eres bikini for Mommy out New Butter sweatshirt for mini-me

Contact us: 410-647-7733 or Find us on the web at
playground march 2011



Expanding hEr EmpirE
Cozy Friedman, founder of Cozy’s Cuts for Kids, takes on the print world by Rachel Morgan


fter 20 years as Manhattan’s resident children’s hair expert, Cozy Friedman is finally putting all her salon advice into print. Her new book, Cozy’s Complete Guide to Girls Hair (Artisan, $15.95), hit shelves Feb. 1. The book has everything parents need to know about their daughters’ hair—from pulling off cute updos to how to deal with different hair types to how to calm bad-hair days. “It’s something our customers are always asking us about,” Friedman said. “Literally, moms come in for instruction on how to French braid, do updos—anything from how to detangle hair to trim bangs at home. To me, this is second nature now, but to parents it wasn’t. People have been saying to be me for years, ‘You should write a book, you should write a book.’” It seems Friedman finally took their advice to heart. The idea for the book sprouted from Friedman’s original business venture, her kid-friendly, parent-calming hair salons, Cozy’s Cuts for Kids. Friedman worked on the book with Life & Style Weekly founding editor Sheryl Berk, a New York Times best-selling author and contributor to InStyle and Martha Stewart. In fact, Berk’s daughter was a client at Cozy’s Cuts for Kids. “[Sheryl] is a fabulous writer and knows so

much about girls’ hair,” Friedman said. “The way we started working together is her daughter is a client at my shop and is actually featured in the book, too.” Friedman also consulted with her clients when it came to what to include in her book. “I really talked to clients and asked what they wanted to see [in the book] especially for the hairstyles part,” Friedman said. The fishtail braid, a new twist on an old standby, was one of the coveted hairstyles that young girls wanted and parents needed to know how to execute. The timing for the book simply fell into place. “It was actually funny because I was writing a book, and [Artisan] approached me at the same time,” Friedman said. “I said, ‘Actually, it’s funny; I’m already halfway through it.’ It just really worked out. They wanted to do a book on kids’ hair and we’re known as the experts on kids’ hair.” Cozy’s Complete Guide to Girls Hair includes everything from the best cuts for different face shapes to five-minute styles to detangling. Despite Friedman’s original business venture, the book even gives detailed instructions for how to give a good home haircut. “There are so many questions that people

have about their children’s hair,” Friedman said. “Your daughter could have curly hair and you have straight hair and you don’t know what to do with that.” But armed with Friedman’s new book, knowing what to do just got a little easier. Friedman is no stranger to the business world. Nearly 20 years ago, Friedman, a Forest Hills, Queens, native, quit her job as a sales manager for Z Cavaricci. “I had been there for six years and had a $30 million business I was managing,” she said. “It was really a big move for me.” The move was sparked by personal experience. One of Friedman’s friends took her

Aw, Nuts!
I’m a huge fan of Manhattan satirist Jill Kargman’s selfproclaimed “trashy novels,” including Momzillas, The Right Address and Arm Candy. So I couldn’t wait to get my hands on her first collection of essays and observations. In Sometimes I Feel Like a Nut, Kargman covers a wide range of topics, from her encounter with cancer at age 35 to an elegant ode to her single-girl-tomarried-mom apartment on the Upper East Side. She tears apart a pageantlike Passover Seder in Aspen and confesses that spinning at Soul Cycle is her latest obsession after a lifetime sans exercise. That, and shooting guns. Kargman’s real gift as a writer is her use of language. Words to her are things to be toyed with, re-created and oddly improved. Everything gets a nickname. (Her synonym for using tampons is frankly amazing.) She’s a rap essayist. But be forewarned: This is an R-rated, possibly X-rated, book. The F-word and Jill are BFFs. I blushed repeatedly, but laughed out loud more. Kargman may seem like just another native New Yorker, but this chick is something special.

—Zibby Right


playground march 2011


nephew to get a haircut at her regular salon and the experience was rather traumatic for both of them. “He was little and started crying and they asked her to leave,” Friedman said. “When she was telling me the story, she was so bummed because she was expecting to have this great experience and to treat her nephew. And I asked why she didn’t take him to a place for kids. And she said she didn’t think there was one.” Turns out, Friedman’s friend was right. There was a giant, gaping hole in the market. Thus, the seed for Cozy’s Cuts for Kids was planted. “It just sparked the idea in my mind,” Friedman said. “I started to research, and I found in Manhattan there was only one place that welcomed kids, this barbershop in the ’90s called Michael’s that I literally got my first haircut at when I was a kid.” The place was less a relic than it was old and run-down. “It has been there for a million years; it’s an old dirty barbershop where the barbers play cards in the back,” she said. “I went to see it and there was a line. I thought, my God, if people were lined up at this place, can you imagine if you opened up a place that was kid friendly?” The only problem—Friedman didn’t have any children of her own at the time. Plus, she had no experience cutting hair. But that didn’t faze her. She did her homework, working in various children’s fields to learn as much as possible about what her young customers would like in a salon. She got her barber’s license and even read a bookkeeping guide so she would know how to keep her own. And she found a place to rent, a nearly impossible task for a young, unestablished businesswoman. “It took me two years to find a location that I could afford because I wasn’t established and did not have a track record,” she said of her first Upper East Side location. “I had so much support around me that I couldn’t give up. A lot of negative stuff happened, and if you’re not completely determined, I could see how it would be very easy to give up.” Once she secured a location, Friedman set out on her next task—advertising. Since these were the days before the Internet, Friedman took to the streets, organizing a direct-mail campaign,

advertising in the Yellow Pages and even having she said. “Most stylists in other salons do not like working with children,” she said. “They her mother out on the corner to pass out flyers. move, they cry, they could pee their pants. Who It seems all that work paid off—the first day knows what children are going to do? They are Cozy’s Cuts for Kids opened at Madison and moving targets. If you go into a regular salon 84th Street on Dec. 10, 1994, there was a line out the door. Friedman, who had just been married a and want to get a kid’s haircut, they are not so thrilled.” few months prior, had her family pitch in. But customers at Cozy’s shouldn’t expect to “My mother was behind the register; my get a haircut from the place’s namesake—Friedmother-in-law was sweeping hair,” she said. “It man, busy with the three salons, her hair care was a family affair.” and now her new book, had to put down the But the day was not without its problems. scissors some time ago. “We had problems with our electric and our water,” she said. “I was not in retail before. I didn’t even realize that I needed to have a change box. I didn’t even have enough Alison Sweeney adds new change to give.” lifestyle book to her long list of ‘roles’ But Cozy’s Cuts for Kids must have done something Alison Sweeney is one active mama. With a right. Since the opening of résumé that boasts an almost two-decade their first store nearly two run on the NBC soap Days of our Lives and decades ago, Friedman has a several-season hosting gig on The Biggest since opened two more Loser, Sweeney has been busy writing to locations, one on the Upper boot! Her latest endeavor, The Mommy Diet, West Side and another on is a true labor of love and spirit inspired by her own adventures in the Upper East Side. pregnancy (she’s Mom to the utterly adorable Ben, 5, and Megan, 1). And just how can a salon The book covers every step along the baby-making road (and become so successful in then some). Each of the five sections is peppered with moodsuch a short amount of specific playlists (like soothing tunes for the hospital); tips on how time? The answer it seems, to keep the romance hot; fashion advice; sample menus and recipes is in the toys. thanks to nutrition experts and chefs; and, of course, fitness fun. “First, it’s a toy store,” Sweeney says, “It’s for anyone who has trouble finding time, Friedman said. “We have energy or commitment to making their own health and wellness balloons, lollipops. I have a priority.” And she’s careful not to use the stigmatized term of people on staff whose ‘diet’ too loosely. “A ‘strict’ diet is impossible for me to achieve,” sole job is to entertain she explains. “This book is about a ‘lifestyle,’ something I can’t kids when they’re getting fail at—it’s my life!” a haircut. They could be Sweeney is busier than she has ever been, but she doesn’t use blowing bubbles, singing her hectic schedule as an excuse to neglect her health. (She songs. We have the car carries her gym bag around with her to minimize excuses—brilchairs for younger kids, liant!) Thanks to the show, she now understands the importance and regular chairs for older of taking care of herself—sleeping included. But hey, we’re all kids. We have videos to human. Miss a day of working out? So does she. Jonsing for a watch or video games at treat? Ali is a self-proclaimed popcorn lover. In the end, it’s all every chair.” about being honest with yourself about what you eat and how An impressive staff much of it you’re consuming, she says. doesn’t hurt, either. Sweeney suggests getting the whole gang to participate in work“The most important out outs by doing activities like hiking (a Sweeney family favorite with of anything is I have the their dog, Winky), rollerblading, hula-hooping or even a game of tag most unbelievable staff,” to get the blood flowing and the heart rate up. —Kat Harrison

The MoMMy dieT

playground march 2011


out and about

party people
New York City moms unite for learning and fun.

Laurie David Book Party
loCatioN: 20 PiNe
Divalysscious Moms hosted a book signing and breakfast with author Laurie David of the best selling book “The Family Dinner.”

A World Class Act
loCatioN: Columbia uNiversitY
In February, World Class Learning Academy (WCLA) hosted a panel discussion and cocktail reception for parents looking for guidance in choosing the right private school for their families. The panel featured noted admissions process guru Dana Haddad and WCLA Headmaster John Taylor and was moderated by Playground editor in chief Lyss Stern.

Valentine’s Day Sweethearts
loCatioN: make meaNiNg
Playground and Divalysscious Moms hosted a breakfast Valentine’s Day party at Make Meaning, PhotoOp was on hand to capture all of the beautiful smiles.


playground march 2011

CloCkwise from top left: miChael Chimento; B. Charles Johnson; miChele sChwartz; heidi Green photoGraphy; photo op nyC

Baby Makes Three
location: chelsea stratus lounge
Heidi Krupp Lisiten of Krupp Kommunication is notorious for putting authors on the best sellers list and clients in the spotlight, her hard work has made her pr firm very successful in NYC. After 9 years of wanting a baby Heidi and her husband Darren are expecting a little boy.

New Location For The Imagination!
Coming Soon to Grand Central Terminal
by New York Magazine and Lila Guide

as well as

in Essex County, NJ by Suburban Essex Magazine Visit our online store for unique toys and gifts or stop in to one of our fun and friendly locations.

60 West 15th Street, NYC 10011 212.645.6337

507 Bloomfield Ave, Montclair, NJ 07042 973.233.9444

Your Sleepaway Camp Matchmaker
Finding Sleepaway Camps for Children and Teens and

TEEN CONNECTION (a Division of the Camp Connection)
moms night out
location: aldyn Building
Divalysscious Moms hosted a moms night out with HGTV’S Selling New York Real Estate Gurus Samantha KleierForbes and Sabrina Kleier-Morgenstern at the Aldyn building.

Offering information and advice on: Teen Travel • Enrichment/College Programs • Study Abroad Community Service, Language Immersion and more!!! FREE Personalized Service • No Fee • No Obligation Over 20 years experience! Representing over 500 programs! email:


playground march 2011


Dining Out

happy meals
t Daniel—which many New Yorkers consider the city’s finest French restaurant—not everyone in the kitchen has attended culinary school or spent the afternoon mincing garlic and prepping the meat. Many nights, the kitchen is visited by a budding sous-chef—one that has homework to finish later, clothes from crewcuts or GapKids and plenty of friends who are looking forward to mac and cheese for dinner instead of frogs legs and amuse bouches. Daniel is just one of a growing number of New York City gourmet restaurants that go out of their way to welcome children. The antithesis of more traditionally kid-friendly places, it has no crayons or kids’ menus, just an attitude of warmth toward the little ones that makes them (and you!) feel comfortable, happy, and—more often than not—inspired to become a lifelong foodie. At Daniel, children are welcomed with a “Palm Beach” mocktail—a mix of raspberry puree and juice that puts a Shirley Temple to shame—and invited into the kitchen for a tour. At the Four Seasons, there’s a special Children’s Day once a year where kids eat lunch for free. (Mark your calendars: This year it’s on Aug. 19, and the event’s been consistently fully booked since its inception.) The key to really enjoying a gourmet meal with kids is, like so many other activities, knowing your little ones. If your child watches every episode of Top Chef, then chances are, they’ll love the experience. (And if that’s the case, a great place to start is at a restaurant where one of the show’s chefs or judges is involved—in New York, there are plenty.) If your child tends to be fidgety—or is very young—it’s worth keeping in mind that some of the city’s great chefs have less formal restaurants, too—like Daniel Boulud’s db Bistro Moderne and dgbg. Hotel restaurants—whether they’re in a

daniel’s dining room is fit for a king. and believe it or not, for your kid, too.


playground march 2011

courtesty of Daniel

landmark like the Carlyle or somewhere new and trendy like the Standard—are also a great option for upscale dining with the young ones, since they are accustomed to welcoming travelers with kids. And if dinner seems challenging, weekend brunch at a place like Maialino in the Gramercy Park Hotel is relaxed, kidfriendly and, indeed, delicious. Even somewhere extra-hip, like the John Dory in the Ace Hotel, can be a good fit for a foodie meal with the kids; just be prepared to come extra early and choose a quiet table. (And, if your little one isn’t up to eating octo-

pus and squid—although many children love them!—the irresistible lobster chowder and parker rolls are guaranteed kid-pleasers.) And keep in mind that weekday lunch at a hotel restaurant can be particularly easy with a child. Like going to a Broadway show, fine dining with the kids isn’t something you’d do everyday. But, just like a Broadway show, it’s a special, sophisticated experience that’s one of the many fun things for families to enjoy in New York. —Rachel Felder


Elisa strauss: Confetti Cake Confessions


lisa Strauss is charming, self-effacing and completely modest about her incredible talents as a pioneer cake designer. This petite founder of Confetti Cakes, author of two books, TV star and mom to 1-year-old Sophie, even thinks her dad is disappointed in her for not becoming a surgeon like him! We’re so glad she’s using her scalpel, literally, to make cakes that are so lifelike you can’t believe they’re edible confections. Strauss founded Confetti Cakes in 1999 after a cake she sculpted in the shape of a Bugatti sports car for her former boss, Ralph Lauren, drew immense praise from many in the fashion industry. Since then, her creations have appeared all over. We asked Strauss a few questions that we were dying to know about her booming business.
What is your most popular birthday cake flavor for kids? Vanilla with vanilla or yellow cake with chocolate buttercream. What’s your most popular birthday design? An open gift box with tissue paper and ribbons, which you can customize with different motifs like a monkey, clown or princess. What was your daughters’ first birthday cake like? It was in the shape of a sculpted owl. She has little owl eyes! How long does it take to make one cake? Too long. Each cake is custom so I give myself a week, which sounds horrible! It’s a minimum of 40 hours. The sugar decorations can take days but we bake the cake last. Cake designers always have to think backwards.

What’s the most expensive cake you’ve sold? The Lego cake cost $12,000. How about for kids? A family in New Jersey had us do a Willy Wonka–themed cake for their son’s fifth birthday that cost $3,000. How much do your cakes weigh? Some of the cakes weigh 100 pounds. Our largest cake, which we did for a Lego video game launch, required six huge guys to come and lift it! How many ingredients do you go through a week? Between 32 and 64 pounds of butter. One batch of buttercream for a multitiered wedding cake has six pounds of butter. What’s your most unexpected ingredient? We use vinegar in our red velvet cake. Any idea how many calories or nutritional info in a slice? No, but it doesn’t matter! You’re better off eating one piece of normal cake than a box of Snackwells. I believe in all-natural ingredients, the best chocolate and the purest butter. Just don’t eat the whole cake! How many cakes have you worked on? At least 1,000. What’s your personal favorite? I don’t really like cake! I’d prefer to eat a good chocolate chip cookie, an ice cream sundae or key lime pie. What can’t you live without in your kitchen? The love of my life is a 20-quart Hobart mixer. It’s so old and it works so well. It’s beautiful. How do you stay trim baking all these cakes and goodies … and being a mom?? I do yoga. I run. I believe, everything in moderation. And I don’t like cake! And being a mom, you never have time to eat anyway. How did you come up with the name? My brother and I were trying to figure out a domain name when I first started my business. I didn’t want it to have my name in it. We tried many different ones, but they were all taken. So I ripped up the list of names and threw it up in the air. My brother said, “Try confetti cakes!” and it wasn’t taken. So that was it! Any final tips for aspiring bakers/cake designers? Practice, practice, practice. Give away a lot of free cake. Use the freshest ingredients. Plans for the future? So many! I’d love to launch a product line. Maybe a DVD or a third book. We’ll see! —Zibby Right

playground march 2011


astroLogy editor’s Letter

By the AstroTwins, Ophira & TaliEdut

Aries Has “me time” become a foreign concept? A whopping six planets visit Aries this spring, heralding an early independence day. Buh-bye, martyr mommy. Set the best example for your kids by modeling confidence and leadership. Just tuck that iron fist into a velvet glove while Mercury is retrograde in Aries March 30 to April 23. Otherwise, your assertive new style could come across as steamrolling.
A lady of leisure you ain’t, but even you need a nap sometimes. With six planets circling your sleepy 12th house, postpone your “spring awakening” until May. Decompress at your favorite spa (or island resort). Take your family to the Met, get opera tickets, or enjoy some lazy Saturdays without a zillion activities planned. Stop humming that Tiger Mom’s battle hymn; it’s time for a kinder, gentler tune.

Libra Who’s that guy walking through your kitchen, sleeping in your bed and lounging on the sofa? Oh yeah, it’s your hubby! Between the kids, work and after-school activities, couple time has gone out the window. The planets reboot your relationship now. Feed your famished marriage with a kids-free getaway or a romantic night at midtown’s landmark Library Hotel (check out the Erotica package!). Scorpio You need the best help possible, as life is getting busier than ever. Hire a housekeeping service, and switch nannies if yours is putting the “sit” in sitter. Claws could come out with a catty person, so beware. If the playground “sancti-mommy” clucks at your non-organic snacks or offers hand sanitizer, don’t shrink at her public shaming. A smile that says “back off” will turn her targets elsewhere. Sagittarius Good riddance, 6-foot-high snowdrifts and slush-puddled intersections. Springtime is playtime, as the stars visit your creative and energetic fifth house. Get hands-on with your parenting, Sag! Celebrate Earth Day with the kids at events, concerts and workshops. Plant a window garden or organize a healthy bake sale. Let the renewed fun spread to your relationship. Some long-overdue romance is coming your way. Hello, spring fever! Capricorn Is that a “real housewife” staring back at you in the mirror? With six planets in your home and family zone, your workaholic sign is unusually domestic this spring. Host a big Passover or Easter dinner, or visit the in-laws over break. Bolster


Gemini Spring starts with a flurry of play dates, people and events. A smart phone stocked with time-saving apps helps you juggle it all. In April, the stars revamp your inner circle, bringing fascinating new friends into your life. Out with the momzillas and playground gossips, in with the artists and humanitarians. Make a difference, Gemini. Get on the who’s-who list by spearheading a school committee or fund-raiser.
Media literacy is a required skill these days, as kids are exposed to hundreds of ads and graphic images. Help your children become media savvy through honest dialogue. Or, take the proactive route: Let them build blogs about their interests or create a family Web site on Shutterfly. In March, the travel bug bites, so plan a vacation before work gets crazy in April.
playground march 2011

Alphabet lesson of the month: V is for Vacation. This spring’s planets highlight travel and education, so pack your bags (and backpacks). Apply for camps and summer enrichment programs, or put a bid on that seaside vacation rental. Foreign countries beckon; this could be the year to take the family on a cross-continental adventure. Prep with language or cultural immersion lessons to avoid the tourist traps. Long-term finances come into focus, especially property and investments. Is it time to put that condo on the market, or switch from renter to owner? Though the process can be tedious, now is a great time for real estate. Check out up-and-coming neighborhoods, like Queens or the FiDi. An affordable luxury high-rise with swimming pool, riverside parks and great schools? Might make the commute worthwhile.




High-Performance Optics for Earth and Sky

your emotional support system when Pluto goes retrograde in Capricorn April 9 to Sept. 15. Rethink your priorities; are you living true to your core values?

Aquarius Your neighborhood is bustling with undiscovered treasures. Bundle up the kids and explore! Fly kites along the Hudson, bike through Central Park, volunteer at a community garden. Check out books or enjoy story hour at the public library. As your social schedule explodes, you’ll need the latest Android or iPhone to keep pace. Load books onto a digital reader to spice up your subway commute. Pisces March is your time for fresh starts, as five planets visit Pisces. Step out of your comfort zone and make a bold move! In April, mommyhood goes luxe. Adios, Starbucks: It’s lattes at Via Quadronno and sundaes at Serendipity 3. Artsy glamour reigns when your ruler Neptune visits Pisces April 4 to Aug. 4. Off with the track pants and Uggs, stat. You never know whom you’ll run into now.

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Ophira & TaliEdut (The AstroTwins) are identical twins whose uncannily accurate forecasts reach millions each month on, and SIRIUS/ XM. Their book, Love Zodiac, is a 450-page essential guide to understanding the men of every sign. The AstroTwins do private readings by appointment. Find them online at

Art by Dana Dart-McLean
playground march 2011


real estate

“Education is simply the soul of a society as it passes from one generation to another.”
—G.K. Chesterton

no compromises at new york by gehry building.

“Location, location, location.”
Attributed to Lord Harold Samuel.
and good schools. When Robin Marshall, a brand-strategy consultant who was born in Connecticut, moved to New York City, she started off in Manhattan. “People said, ‘You wanna live in Manhattan.’ So I got a place in Manhattan and it was nice, but I thought it was kind of boring. When I could, I moved out to Brooklyn, to Greenpoint. And I loved it!” Marshall explained that her move from Greenpoint to Carroll Gardens was prompted by a new member of the family. “When we got pregnant, we decided to move again. Some friends of ours lived in Cobble Hill–Carroll Gardens, and in 2005 we moved there and had our baby.” Like so many others, Marshall’s family needed room to grow. “We realized that we needed more space, and there aren’t that many three bedrooms. So when we found out about Columbia Commons, we were really excited.” Columbia Commons is a new pair of buildings with one- to three-bedroom units located at 110 Warren Street in the Columbia Street waterfront district in Brooklyn. Columbia Commons offers the convenience of new construction with the charm of a vintage home. As Marshall explained, “I’ve been in New York for fifteen years and this is the first time I have an elevator! I used to be so anti new construction. It seemed like you could get original details or space. I was apprehensive going into a new building. But it’s beautiful!” At Columbia Commons the units were designed to be an appealing combination of old and new. They have the hip style that modern parents want with all of the conveniences family life requires. For example, the units in Columbia Commons have both wide-plank floors and sleek, walnut-toned cabinetry. They have articulated stone surfaces and high-gloss ceramic tile. Moreover, the units feature modern open layouts and washer-dryer units. Marshall raved, “They did an amazing job. The floors are beautiful—wide wooden plank floors. And it’s a great layout that really maximizes the space.” At Columbia Commons, Marshall found the space to stretch out that her family needed. “Our son is so excited to have two windows in his bedroom, instead of one like before. And he thinks that now that we have two bathrooms, one of them is his.”


ew York City parents want it all. Of course they do. They want their children to be able to go to a fantastic, nearby public school where the kids not only learn the three R’s, but are inspired and challenged by their teachers and classmates. But these parents don’t just want great schools; they also want to live in a beautiful building with loads of amenities and plenty of charm. And they want a unit that is actually big enough for their whole family, where each of their children can have a room of his or her own. And if it isn’t too much to ask, this all needs to be located in a vibrant neighborhood that is packed with restaurants, shopping and maybe even nightlife for those rare evenings when the kiddos stay home with the sitter. Well, these demanding parents are in luck. You can now find this perfect mixture of educational promise and comfortable living right here in New York, on either side of the Brooklyn Bridge. For many New Yorkers, having children is a game changer when it comes to housing decisions. Children bring the need for more space
playground march 2011


all images Chris miolla



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Columbia Commons is in a charming and fun part of Brooklyn that works for parents and kids alike. The Columbia Street waterfront district has serene cobblestone streets and avenues lined with restaurants and shops, and it is close to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum. But for Marshall, like so many parents, the real draw was the schools. “The neighborhood has phenomenal schools. P.S. 29 was the main reason we loved the neighborhood.” If Brooklyn isn’t your style, you can find great schools and modern amenities in Manhattan, too. One thrilling new building is Frank Gehry’s Spruce Street project, which was formerly called Beekman Tower, and is located at 8 Spruce Street in the Financial District. The Spruce Street project is New York’s tallest luxury residential tower. The New York Times described it as “the finest skyscraper to rise in New York” in the past 46 years. But the Spruce Street project doesn’t just offer superstar architectural credibility and units full of amenities. The building’s lower floors will house a new public elementary school. For busy New York parents, the benefits of having a beautiful unit and a good school in the same building are almost too wonderful to imagine.
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ElysE HarnEy rEal EstatE
Connecticut • New York • Massachusetts
lis tiN g

A Tradition of Trust

MAGNIFICENT ESTATE SHARON, CT. This exquisite home features grand architectural details, 20 secluded acres with breathtaking Catskills views, stunning landscaping and a Gunite pool. 5-6 BRs, 6.5 BAs, 6 FPs, cherry paneled Library/Family Room, Kitchen/FR, spectacular Wine Cellar, and Garages for 4 cars. Minutes to Town and Metro North train. Web# EH2228 $4,500,000



KEYHOLE FARM GOSHEN, CT. 139 acres of pastures, woodlands, stone walls, trails and a pond abut 800 acres of conservation land. Soaring twostory living space, great Kitchen, open DR and LR w/fieldstone FP open onto South-facing Terrace. Spectacular Master Suite. Two-car attached Garage and Barn with additional auto storage and Guest/Caretaker Suite. Web# EH2180 $3,425,000

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STUNNING HOME WITH VIEWS CORNWALL, CT. Serenity abounds in this light-filled 4-Bedroom, 3.5-Bath home which sits up high on 47 acres. Enjoy the outdoors on the covered Porch, Deck - or lounge by the beautifully landscaped gardens & Terrace around the Gunite pool with hot tub. Close to Kent as well as skiing at Mohawk Mountain and summering at Cream Hill Lake. Web# EH2175 $1,239,000

HISTORIC EYEBROW COLONIAL SHARON, CT. 1766 Eyebrow Colonial has been tastefully restored in 2005 with central air, 4-5 BRs and 2.5 BAs. Study with FP, eat-in Kitchen. 3+/- acres in Historic District; additional land available. Protected views. A 3-BR, 2-BA Guesthouse w/central air on adjoining parcel offered separately, see EH1329. 10 miles to Metro North train! Web# EH2224 $895,000

So if you are one of the many New Yorkers who is facing a housing crunch due to your growing brood, but who wants the best for your children when it comes to education, you aren’t alone. For many families, having multiple children makes finding the right place to live absolutely critical. For example, when Marci, a lawyer and mother to 3-yearold Sammy, found out she was pregnant again, she alerted the troops: “I told my husband, I said, ‘Don’t get comfortable, we’re on our way out.’” The family of three had just moved to a twobedroom apartment on the Upper West Side. “My husband grew up in Chicago and then we met at Columbia, so we both love the feel of the Upper West Side. We had been living in the same onebedroom apartment for nearly a decade when we decided it was time to move to a two-bedroom.” But the dust had barely settled when Marci found out she was expecting. “At first we thought we would only look on the Upper West Side. It was all we knew. But then you start looking and you start meeting people who live here or there and soon we were looking all over the city.” As Marci discovered, New York City now offers an array of buildings, in a variety of neighborhoods, where kids can spend their days at top-notch schools and come home to a space of their own. “It seems like new constructions are wising up to the fact that a family needs more than two bedrooms.”

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playground march 2011


Elizabeth Hurley
She’s easy on the eyes with joie de vivre to spare. Get a little taste of Elizabeth Hurley’s sweet life By Lyss Stern

pretty: Elizabeth wears polly bikini in white by Elizabeth Hurley Beach. photos by nihat odabasi. Hair by Felix Fischer for Factory downtown ny. Makeup by Kelly Cornwell from premier london using Estee lauder.
left Family Time: Elizabeth wears amber suit in python, damian wears kids Kurta kaftan. Both by Elizabeth Hurley Beach.

above Sitting

A lot comes to mind when you hear the name Elizabeth Hurley.
Model, the face of Estée Lauder, actress (with roles in movies like Bedazzled, Austin Powers and Serving Sara. She dated Hugh Grant for 13 years. Who can forget when she accompanied him to the London premiere of Four Weddings & a Funeral in a plunging black Versace dress held together with gold safety pins. It gained her instant media attention. Hugh may have been the star, but it was his curvaceous British partner who stole the limelight.

playground Spring 2011


elizabeth hurley

Five Favorites
On April 4, 2002, Hurley gave birth to a son, Damian Charles Hurley, and decided to forgo the Hollywood lifestyle for a life of farming back in her native England. An astute businesswoman, the actress-model-mom has also made a splash on the fashion scene with her swimwear line, Elizabeth Hurley Beach. Hurley, in her 17th year modeling for Estée Lauder, has been incredibly active in the Estée Lauder Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign. The company created an “Elizabeth Pink” lipstick whose sales benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. Hurley, whose grandmother died of breast cancer, is the mistress of ceremonies at the annual April fund-raiser for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in New York City, which will be co-hosted by Sir Elton John. It’s hard not to love her, and I am thrilled to have Hurely as our March cover mom!
How many dogs do you have? What kinds? I have three Labradors—Emily, Lucy and Raja—and a black cocker spaniel called Dash. I’m in love with them all and they all sleep with me. I also have a 7-month-old Blue Fronted Amazonian parrot, called Ping Pong. She is enchanting and can cackle, wolf-whistle and say ‘hello.’ When did you know you wanted to be a model? Have you loved being the face of the Estée Lauder cosmetics company? When Estée Lauder approached me out of the blue and asked me to work for them, I was staggered, as I’d never modeled before in my life. Now I’m in my 17th year, and I still love working for them. They’ve been very loyal and supportive to me and stuck with me through thick and thin. Estée Lauder left Au Natural: have raised over Elizabeth struts her $54 million for the stuff in one of her very own creations, the Breast Cancer ReNeera Tunic in sand search Foundation, by Elizabeth Hurley and it was through Beach. The Neera Tunic was designed to comthem that I got inbine comfort and style volved in the cause. for all those sunny They also taught beach days.

me to make an effort with my appearance every day, and now it’s a habit. I don’t always look glamorous, as I work and have my son to look after, but I watch my weight, don’t drink much alcohol, don’t go out much and try not to bite my nails!
How do you describe your style? I like a sleek, feminine look. I like women’s bodies, and am not that keen on baggy clothes which hide everything. On vacation I like women to look relaxed and easy—nothing should be tight or uncomfortable. At parties in town, I frequently wear stuff that’s tight and uncomfortable but that’s different! I tend to have a bit of a man’s eye and like what men like women to wear more than fashion-victim stuff beloved by some editors! What kind of dance did you do as a young child? Ballet? Tap? Did you want to be a Ballerina when you grew up? I studied dance for years, but switched to acting at college. I love to dance but, rather like with karaoke, need to swig a few glasses of wine before I take to the floor! Is it true that you dyed your hair pink when you were a teenager? According to my mother, I was a ‘gruesome teenager’—lots of dyed hair and insane clothes. I wasn’t really rebelling against anything, though; it was just fashion. Plus, I thought the punk guys were really sexy. I also really loved the music and still often have the Clash blasting from my iPod. From Bedazzled to Austin Powers, what has been your favorite film role to date, and why? I think I probably loved playing Vanessa Kensington in Austin Powers. My son adores the movie and knows all my lines. When did you turn organic? How big is the farm you purchased? I bought my 400-acre farm as a refuge for me and my son, Damian. I’d believed passionately in organic food for years, and after a while I realized how ludicrous it was to be



My favorite movie is Goodfellas. I’ve had a crush on Robert De Niro for as long as I can remember.


Ice Cream Flavor

I don’t like ice cream but eat plenty of chocolate to make up for it! I like oldfashioned English candy, like Crunchies, Walnut Whips and Lion Bars.


Vacation Spot

For sun, I love the South of France, the Caribbean and the Maldives. I ski in St. Morritz.

4 5


I love country music—the sadder the better. Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Kris Kristofferson … heaven!

Beauty Product You Can’t Live Without

I swear by Estée Lauder’s Advanced Night Repair; I’ve used it religiously for 17 years.

sidebar: Getty imaGes

elizabeth hurley

What irritates you the most about people? Sloth; I’m not at my best with laid-back people, it makes me even more hyperactive. How do always keep in bikini shape? Please share your secrets. I put myself under pressure to remain slim because I still model my own bikinis. I watch what I eat most of the time, but have little treats now and again. I walk every day with my dogs and force myself to run a bit—but I hate it. I love Pilates and yoga but don’t do them regularly. I am extremely active, though, and don’t sit still much. I do stomach and bottom exercises whilst I wait for the tub to fill. What do you and Damian love to do together? Damian gets virtually all my time when he’s not at school. Unless there’s an emergency on, I try not to work between picking him up from school and bedtime. We do piano and guitar practice, the dreaded maths homework, supper, bath, reading and bed together. If I have to be away on business, I keep the trips as short as possible and my mum comes and looks after him. What made you decide to launch your beachwear collection? I decided to venture into beach wear not only because I’ve always been obsessed with holiday clothes, but also because it’s an area where women, regardless of shape or size, can either look amazing or really get it wrong. I wanted to come up with some styles that make people look great and develop a resort collection which would make a woman feel fabulously sexy at any age. What’s your biggest indulgence? I love to soak in the tub with lots of Jo Malone bath oil and a good book. What makes you the happiest? What makes you cry? I’m happiest when I have all my family and friends around me. I cry at the drop of a hat and am not allowed to watch the news before bedtime as I get upset by anything sad.

living on a chemically farmed farm—even if only at weekends. Every month I’d sign huge bills for chemicals and then watch the very nice contract farmer dress up as Darth Vader to spray the crops. Finally, I plucked up the courage, canceled all contracts, cleared out the chemical store and put the farm in organic conversion. I’ve never looked back. Our little farm is in full bloom—I have healthy animals, healthy crops and I try to spread the word about sustainable farming whenever I can.
I know you were the middle child; did you have the ‘middle child’ syndrome growing up? I can’t imagine not having my big sister and my little brother. Without doubt I’m more of a handful than either of them, but I’m not sure if that was due to my ranking. My brother is a scientist but took a two-year sabbatical to manage my farm, which was great.

How do you get ready for your red-carpet appearances? I love getting ready for big events and can’t stand being rushed. I usually allow at least two hours and like my dress, shoes and bag picked out way ahead. I’m not very good at doing my own hair but can do my own make up, if I have to. I like big, sexy dark eyes and a pale, shiny mouth. I also like my skin to be tanned and gleaming, so I use a lot of Estée Lauder Bronze Goddess self-action tanner throughout the year. I read somewhere that you wanted to be a spy? If so, who would you want to be one for? I’d be a useless spy as I’m way too soft-hearted and couldn’t betray anyone. I think playing a spy in a movie is about my limit.


playground spring 2011

What TV show do you love to watch? Damian and I are obsessed with Glee. We know every song and adore Sue Sylvester. There are so many different rumors about your personal life swirling around on Twitter, Facebook, the Web and many publications. Can you please give us the scoop on what’s really going on in your love life? Sadly, my husband Arun and I separated last year. We still get on really well, above Three Cheers: though, and he is damian gets out his ya-yas. damian wears very active and Elizabeth Hurley involved in DaBeach Boys Shorts in mian’s life. We’ve palm navy. both moved on to left lounge lizard: new pastures, but Elizabeth wears allegra glamour bikini in it’s early days.
Cheetah by Elizabeth Hurley Beach. ring by Blaguette Jewelry.

What are you looking forward to doing this spring? Any special travel plans? Damian and I love India and will probably spend Easter there. Arun has a home there, so Damian will get to spend time with his dad, too. We will be spending time in beautiful Rajastan, where I always go berserk buying textiles and antiques. I know you are passionate about being a spokeswoman for breast cancer. When did you realize that this was going to be your charity? I know so many women that have battled this disease, and they didn’t all make it. We’re all scared of breast cancer, but we now know that if a localized breast cancer tumor is detected early, it is 98 percent curable. That’s why it’s so important to get the message out and tell every woman to see their doctors regularly and get a mammogram every year if over the age of 40. Survival rates are rising and each year we get

closer and closer to a cure for this disease. By wearing a pink ribbon, you are telling the world that you care and that you are supporting a powerful cause.
I want to know more about your new reality show; I heard it’s set on your farm? I’m shooting a one-hour, one-off documentary for Sky which is all about my life in the country—lots of shearing and milking sheep, with a bit of bikini shooting thrown in. Anything else you want to add? Would love to hear? We’re opening four pop-up Beach Huts this Spring in the U.K., Belgium, Italy and Germany, so we are working flat out to get them ready. We’re also about to start lambing, which is my favorite time of year. We had a very cold spring last year and ended up with

playground Spring 2011


the Suite Life!

Kate is ready for the rain in Stella McCartney Kids Floral rain coat, denim snap dress, & yellow rain boots, available at Stella McCartney NYC.

playground march 2011

he weather outside was frightful as we all gathered in the Penthouse Suite at the Surrey Hotel for a fun, fabulous pajama party! The girls had a pillow fight, thanks to Lisa Perry; took a ride on a luggage cart; snacked on an array of Crumbs cupcakes; played games; and were the first to see and try on all the amazing new spring clothing from Ooh La La, Milly Minis, Stella McCartney, Gucci and so much more. Come take a look …
photographY bY aNa SCheChter | StYled bY StephaNie KaSter

Kids’ Fashion

The girls roll in STYLE! Ooh La La Couture dresses all at Lesters; overnight bags, Lisa Perry at; top hats,; crystal bangle bracelets & headbands by Bari Lynn at Lesters.

above Emme & Sophie wear Milly Mini’s! L. Emme in Ink open back party dress,, with Gucci Ballet floral flats; R. Sophie in Blue Ikat Carolina combo at left Stella McCartney red suede clutch with chain detail.

left Isabella welcomes with open arms in Stella McCartney Kids play suit with wings, Stella McCartney NYC; Michael Kors Gladiator wedge in Silver; and Bari Lynn headband, both at Lesters.

above Party time with Ooh La La Couture dresses at Lesters; placemats, Lisa Perry, LisaPerryStyle. com; cupcakes, Crumbs; Hats, Sanfranciscohat. com; headbands & bracelets, Bari Lynn at Lesters.

playground march 2011


Pj’s all available at Lesters; pillows, Lisa Perry


playground march 2011

Kids’ Fashion

Splish-splash, let’s all play in the bath! Emme (left) Little Marc/Marc Jacobs; Sophie, Little Marc/Marc Jacobs at Bloomingdales; Isabella, Juicy Couture

makEup By LISa WoLpEr for Laura GELLEr

playground march 2011


room With a VieW

Trail of Crumbs
One New York family uses their kitchen as a laboratory

By Rachel Felder Photography by Heidi Green


here’s no shortage of great cupcakes in New York, but, really, if you’ve got a sweet tooth, is there anything quite like one of Crumbs’ giant, will-powerresistant creations? Whether our obsession is Cookies & Cream or the Elvis, most of us are passionate about at least one of Crumbs’ unique, extra-indulgent flavors … all of which were developed in Mia and Jason Bauer’s kitchen. The Bauers opened their first irresistible bakery in 2003; as word (and people’s obsession with their goodies) has spread, the company has vastly expanded, with branches all over the city and in five other states, with more to come. But although it’s constantly growing, the heart of the business remains this couple and their two adorable kids—Annabelle, 3, and Zachary,
playground march 2011

1—and their Upper East Side kitchen. Afternoons and weekends in the Bauer kitchen are typically filled with baking, either perfecting new flavors or just having fun, with Annabelle as sous-chef. “We do a lot of cupcakes, but we’ll do anything that involves a lot of decorating,” Mia Bauer explains. Unlike some other cupcakes, Crumbs’ treats have a noticeable handmade touch—they’re not necessarily 100 percent symmetrical or uniform but are always made with creativity and zeal. That quality is also an integral element of the way the Bauers bake at home. “The idea is that it should be really fun and elaborate and imagina-

tive— and not necessarily a perfect concoction,” Bauer says. “It’s a great teaching tool to let my daughter know that baking doesn’t have to be perfect: It can just be fun.” Inspiration for new flavors—like green tea, which Crumbs recently added to its offerings—often comes out of family time. “Things that I do with my daughter have always inspired what we do in the bakery,” Bauer says. “If we see a movie, there’ll be something we see—even a color that might come up—that will jar my memory or will inspire me with an idea. You just have to have your eyes open. Once you’re calibrated to think

Mmmm... Let them eat cupcakes! Sprinkled cupcakes are the perfect treat for kids and adults.

of stuff like that, the inspiration comes from everywhere.” But in spite of a kitchen filled with chocolate and other sweet indulgences, the Bauers encourage their kids to eat healthy. “The idea in our house is that they eat 90 percent healthy foods—whole grains and vegetables—and then they’re entitled to some treats,” Bauer says. “We believe in everything in moderation.” “Moderation” might not be the first word that comes to mind at the sight of Crumbs’ extravagant cupcakes in the Bauer’s gorgeous kitchen …but balancing it all—treats with more nutritious meals; work and family; maintaining neighborhood charm in a quickly growing business—is the key to what makes this very New York family tick.
playground march 2011



Bunny hop marks 20 years of service

Kate Spade cozies up to a bunny.


Endowment, the event’s beneficiary. ne of New York’s most iconic famIn fact, the Associates Committee has ily events is back for its 20th year pledged to raise $2 million over a fiveof service, just in time to ring in year period for the fund, which pays the spring season. for hotel accommodations for famiOn March 8 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., high-prolies who need assistance while their file families will gather at FAO Schwarz for children are receiving treatment at the Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering CanMemorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer cer Center Bunny Hop, a kid-friendly night of Center’s Pediatric Department. carnival games, face painting, dress up and In 1984, the Associates Committee was even live animal demonstrations. formed in order to introduce a younger genCo-chairs of the Bunny Hop are Kate Aleration to the society. Since its inception, the len, Laura Harris, Laura McVey and Palmer O’Sullivan—all moms and all passionate about Associates Committee has taken over hosting duties for three major events annually—the the event. Bunny Hop, the Fall Party and the Associates “I always love watching how excited all Luncheon, all of which benefit the Departof the children get as they enter the Hop ment of Pediatrics. and see all of the incredible decorations and For many attendees, the Bunny Hop is the activities,” McVey said. “The Bunny Hop is unofficial signifier of spring. such a fabulous ‘only in New York’ event.” “Given its date of early March, the Hop is a In McVey’s house, the Bunny Hop is a mustcelebration of spring, raising money to give attend event, especially for her 4-year-old renewed hope and additional growth to all daughter, who has a soft spot for the event’s the aspects that are involved in caring magician, Magic Al. for children with cancer,” Allen said. Hosted by the Associates Committee “Such a terrific, large crowd always of the Society of Memorial Sloan Ketattends the Hop. [It’s] a testament tering Cancer Center and sponsored by to the consistent support of such a Brooks Brothers, the event will host worthwhile cause.” more than 1,000 attendees at this Allen’s older children, 6-year-old year’s carnival-themed event. Katie and 3-year-old Dillon, also “The kids ride up the escalaattend the Bunny Hop—and tor and walk into a wondereven put money in their own land filled with hundreds piggy banks to help the cause. of other kids, charac“They understand it simply as ters, games, music, raising money for the children in food, and as a parent, ‘the hospital,’ to help the kids it is just a joy to watch get well,” Allen said. your children have such High-profile moms like a fabulous time and know Tina Fey, Kelly Rutherford that you are helping support an and Nina Garcia and their amazing cause at the same time,” respective children will Harris said. also be in attendance at the Since its inaugural year, the BunBunny Hop. Honorary chair ny Hop has raised millions of dollars Tina Fey and comedic genius Fey will for the Pediatric Family Housing strikes a pose
for charity.
playground march 2011

host. Celebrity status or not, the Bunny Hop has always been a familycentric event. “[We get] grandparents, moms, dads, siblings [at the Bunny Hop],” O’Sullivan said. “[It’s] a great kick-off to spring in New York City.” Activities at the Bunny Hop include carnival games by Kids In Sports, cupcake decorating by Eleni’s, live animal shows by A Touch of Nature, a magic show by Magic Al, giant paper flower making, balloon art, dress-up, a magic and comedy show, face painting, a DJ and karaoke, and a live musical performance by Broadway Babies, among others. There is something for everyone. Perhaps the event’s best advertising is that all four co-chairs, their children and even their extended family come to the Bunny Hop for some good old-fashioned fun. O’Sullivan even convinced an unlikely attendee to come to a past year’s Bunny Hop—her 25-year-old brother. “He had a blast,” she said. According to Harris, she and the other cochairs picked activities and games to feature at the Bunny Hop based on what their own kids would want to see. While Harris also admits her kids may be a bit young to fully appreciate service, she hopes to “lead by example” when it comes to giving back. O’Sullivan agrees. “It is my hope that introducing them to philanthropy at a young age will inspire them be passionate about causes they care about when they are older,” she said. —Rachel Morgan
Tickets are $180 for adults, $80 for children. For more information, call Amy Sullivan at 212-6397389 or visit



mad about You
All of your favorite crazy characters from the blockbuster feature film Madagascar have escaped from the zoo and are hitting the stage in Madagascar Live. Presented by DreamWorks Theatrical, it is a wild new adventure based on the film that swept the nation in 2005. The brand-new stage show aimed at family audiences stars the cast of popular characters from the beloved Madagascar film series, including Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe, Gloria the Hippo and members of the madcap Madagascar crew, King Julien and the crafty Penguins. Widely successful across audiences of all ages, the original story will be brought to new life in the 90-minute stage show, which will transport audience members from the Central Park

Madagascar Live plays Radio City Music Hall April 15–24

From top: courtesy oF madagascar Live ; Heidi green pHotograpHy.

Zoo to the wilds of Madagascar. In addition to featuring everyone’s favorite characters, Madagascar Live takes the audience on an action-packed adventure with imaginative set, costume and puppet design, magnificent singing and dancing and the hit song “Move It, Move” for an experience the entire family will enjoy.
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playground march 2011



nannyquette 101

How to have a healthy relationship with your nanny By Wendy Sachs


t all started with a bowl of spaghetti. The cold, congealed noodles had sat neglected in the back of the fridge for days. Susan, the mother of three, despised leftovers lurking behind the milk. She had repeatedly reminded her nanny, Florence, who had worked for the family for three years, to keep the fridge clean. Annoyed by finding the half-eaten spaghetti on Friday, Susan yanked out the bowl, leaving it in the sink for Florence to clean. The weekend went by, and the bowl sat defiantly in the otherwise empty sink. Florence had washed all the dishes except for the one covered in marinara, which now had the consistency of dried Play-Doh. By Monday evening, Susan could stand it no longer and told Florence that if she didn’t clean the bowl, she would lose her job. Florence stated flatly, “Where I come from, we scrape off our own dishes.” Was Susan being unreasonable or simply making a point? Is Florence’s behavior understandable or unprofessional?
playground march 2011

It depends on whom you ask. Probe a little deeper into Susan’s world, and you learn that two of her three children have special needs. She is tense and tired and quickly snaps, even though she says she positively adores her nanny. But to Florence, Susan’s behavior was disrespectful and inexcusable. And reason enough to possibly forfeit her job. The mom-nanny relationship is complicated. It is often fragile and fraught with unresolved issues. The co-dependent situation it creates can be challenging and made worse by unclear communication, lack of respect or unfair expectations. And the intimacy of having someone in your house—sometimes even living in your house—who not only cares for your children but also sees the piles of bills on your kitchen table can blur the boundary between employer and employee. I’ve learned from experience that creating a healthy, long-term relationship with your nanny takes effort and a hefty dose of honest and frequent communication. As in a marriage, communication is ev-

photoillustration by scott Dvorin

are your nanny is not clairvoyant. You should be direct and specific about your priorities and things that you want done. If you want your kids to be fed tofu twice a week, put it in a menu schedule. If you want her to purée veggies for your homemade “Sneaky Chef” dinner, than tell her. If homework needs to be done before dinner, make it clear that this is a priority.


op for a Chelsea shlish tot! the super-sty


DOn’T ASSume
Just because you have strategically left an art project, children’s puzzle or stack of picture books on the kitchen table, don’t assume that your nanny will jump on them. Some nannies may eagerly open up the puzzle and be thrilled with the new art project, but others may not engage until you ask. Also, don’t assume that because you gave your nanny a day off or paid her a full salary for working fewer hours one week that she will offer to stay late or work overtime without pay. You must communicate what you want and what you expect. Remember, it’s better to ask than to assume.

erything. Below are tips to getting you on the right track, and it all starts with the first interview

The InTervIew
During the interview process, make sure you are clear on what your needs are and what the responsibilities of the nanny/sitter entail. If your nanny will be asked to do laundry, polish silver, walk the dog, or tutor the kids in algebra, tell her now.

reSpecT bOunDArIeS
You may want to get emotionally close to your nanny and fold her into your family, but not everyone is comfortable with that type of intimacy. Respect personal boundaries and possible cultural differences. Your nanny may feel like family or like a close friend, but that doesn’t necessarily give you the right to probe about her boyfriend/husband/children or even her financial situation.

On The JOb
Keep talking—all good relationships are based on communication. Check in with your nanny weekly to make sure everything is going smoothly. Even if you’re the passive-aggressive type, talk about any issues or concerns and don’t them fester. Respect her time and the hours she works. If your schedule is changing, tell her in advance.

Many moms get squeamish discussing money, raises, overtime or holiday bonuses. Be open about what you will be paying for hours worked and let your nanny know what she can expect on any given week.

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I’ve been invited to my first Passover seder—what’s appropriate to bring as a hostess gift? A A Passover seder is a wonderful meal that’s all about tradition and family—you’ll love it! It’s fine to bring food, but keep in mind that leavened baked goods (like bread and many cakes) aren’t eaten by Jews who are observing the holiday. Fortunately many stores stock special Passover-friendly treats this time of year, and bakeries like Balthazar typically offer luxe versions of desserts that are suitable for the holiday. At a huge feast like a seder, we also like bringing a non-edible gift, like a gorgeous scented candle or spring flowers. And, although it’s not typical, if you’re close to a hostess who will have cooked all day, a gift certificate for a day-after manicure or massage is a nice touch. Children are particularly welcome at a seder— where the youngest child is involved by reading
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non-profit educational organization For Affordable, Live-in Childcare Host an International Au Pair!
a set of questions, and many families tuck a piece of matzoh away for a festive version of hide-andseek—so the gift of a game or art set for the host’s kids is always appreciated. And if you’re bringing your own kids, make sure they’ve had a nap—a seder can run quite late! All my kids’ friends are going for fancy destination trips over spring break while we’ll be home on a staycation. How do I explain it to my children? A It’s certainly hard in New York to keep up with the Joneses, particularly when it comes to vacations. If you’re staying home because of work commitments, the explanation’s easy, but if it’s simply too expensive to take a lavish trip, use this time to show your kids how diverse and rich New York offerings We’ll tell you how are. Explore some culturthis night is different. ally rich neighborhoods you don’t typically get to—like Jackson Heights, Brighton Beach or Flushing—and bring home souvenirs, just like you would on a long-haul holiday. None are expensive, and all are just a subway ride away. And go to the theater and museums you don’t usually get to. In other words, keep busy and make sure to have plenty of fun! A nice project for the break is to make a spring diary, which you can craft with drawings instead of words if your kids are very young. Tuck in ticket stubs, leaves, photos—any bits and pieces that are great reminders of what you’ve done. Ideally, aim to make each entry at the same time every day—say, right after an afternoon snack or before bedtime. And, even on a tight budget, a day trip or two to upstate New York or Connecticut can break up the city time and give you and your kids a perfect taste of “away time.” As long as the kids are occupied and enjoying themselves, spring break will—we promise!—be as pleasant as an ocean breeze.
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first person

high school reunion

New York mom gets makeover just in time for class By Danielle Sutherland


hen my 25-year high-school reunion invitation arrived in the mail, I thought to myself, “You know what would be even more fun than a high school reunion? Anything. Bedbugs. Jury duty. Getting splashed by the cab that didn’t stop for me for the next year’s worth of rainy days when I’m running 10 minutes late.” Not that I didn’t like high school. I had no emotional scars or old scores to settle, I just had no desire to lay eyes on most of the people I spent high school with. But really, deep down, I think I was a little scared for them to lay eyes on me. So there I was with the invite in hand, literally on the way to consigning my past to the trash bin of personal history when the phone rang. It was Margot*. She was the only high-school friend I’d stayed close with. “Danielle, have you checked your mail?” Margot screeched, before even saying hello. “Yes.” “And? Are you excited?” “I’m sorry, but I’m not going,” I said. I had missed all of the other reunions, why start now? I argued. But Margot begged. The more she insisted, the more I had to acknowledge
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there was something underlying my reticence to see my old classmates. Over the past 25 years, Margot (a knockout even as a child; she was “that girl” who always had a boyfriend, starting in the sixth grade) had diligently maintained her looks with Pilates three days a week, a personal trainer, New York City’s top plastic surgeon and a nutritionist she practically kept on retainer. A high-school reunion wouldn’t phase a stunner like Margot; she was better preserved than the frogs we dissected in bio. Let’s just say that all of our classmates would say to her, “You haven’t changed a bit!” And they’d say to

me: “Danielle, I hardly recognized you!!!” If I were honest with myself, I’d have to admit that the reunion loomed as nothing so much as a venue to showcase my shortcomings. Somewhere between motherhood, a demanding legal career, and more failed diets than you could shake a protein shake at, I had fluctuated between a size 4 and a size 12, with every clothing size in between represented in my closet. I was now a size 10, or so I told myself, but in actuality I hadn’t been able to button my size 10 jeans in a year. Add to this a difficult few years of caring for a sick parent while working

60-to-70-hour weeks, and I looked awful. I had really let myself go—gray roots and all. There was little chance I was showing up to that reunion. However, Margot insisted, begged and then bribed. It literally took Margot’s promise to pick me up with her car and driver and let me borrow her live-in laundress and ironing maid to close the deal: I’d go to my highschool reunion with Margot, but privately, I made a deal with myself. I was going to look my best for this reunion come hell, high water or a Hall and Oates reunion. This is when I discovered The High School

Reunion Diet by David Colbert, M.D., and Terry Reed. As I looked for books on diet and exercise at the bookstore, Dr. Colbert’s book jumped out for obvious reasons. The headline said “Lose 20 Years in 30 Days”—I had more than twice that amount of time, so I felt compelled to peruse it. I was genuinely impressed with the book; it was filled with what seemed like (for once) rational good sense and easy-to-follow advice; I liked that the book billed itself as a “food knowledge” book, not a diet book, and promised to re-educate the reader on the subject of food, and so I purchased it, hoping it would deliver on its promise to deliver you to your reunion looking more like your “original self than you have in years.” Just 10 days after following Dr. Colbert’s menu plans, which incidentally never left me feeling starved, as other diet’s have, I was actually able to zip into those size 10 jeans. Another three weeks later, though I could barely believe it, I was fitting into my size 8 clothes. And while my face was even starting to look better (less bloated), the deep lines on my forehead and crow’s feet were still visible, tormenting me.


illustration by EllEn lindnEr

first person

And then something really unsettling happened: Walking along Madison Avenue and looking into a store window one afternoon, I noticed an oldlooking woman in the reflection. It took a minute to process that I was seeing my own visage! Already impressed with the results of the diet, and knowing Dr. Colbert’s dermatology practice is in Manhattan, I picked up the phone in no time, desperately requesting an “emergency visit” that day; lucky for me, the doctor had a cancellation! The pristine interior of Dr. Colbert’s Fifth Avenue office hits you the moment

when Dr. Colbert walked in, he quickly put me at ease. He was personable and fun. I think he might be the first doctor to actually make me laugh since I stopped visiting my pediatrician. Beyond being kind in a one-on-one setting, this successful doctor, with an A-list clientele that includes Angelina Jolie and Rachel Weisz, travels in his spare time to Haiti aiding amputee victims. I told Dr. Colbert my situation, and, hearing that I had my high-school reunion coming up, he smiled and said, “You’ve come to the right place.

I made a deal with myself. I was going to look my best for this reunion come hell, high water or a Hall and Oates concert.
you walk through the door, instantly letting you know you’re in good hands. Naturally young-looking women—and men—wait for the doctor inside. This was not my mother’s plastic surgeon’s office, where the wind-tunnel, pinchedface look abounded. Waiting in the exam room, I was nervous; rationally, I knew Botox and fillers were commonplace, but on some level I had always been nervous about the procedure. Thankfully, Don’t worry, I’ll make you look years younger before the reunion.” After receiving quick injections of Botox into the forehead and around the eyes, I sat with icepacks on my face for a few minutes and wondered what I had been so afraid of. Sure, it was uncomfortable, but compared to my three C-sections, it was a walk in the park. Dr. Colbert followed up by treating me with his signature medical facial, the Triad. Used by

many stars the day before the Oscars, the Triad gives patients a youthful and dewy glow. My skin did look fabulous when I left, but unfortunately, I wasn’t going to the Oscars, just home to an empty apartment (the kids were at camp and my husband on a weeklong business trip). Before I left Dr. Colbert’s office that day, he explained to me that once the Botox took effect, it would take five years off my face, and if I was willing to come back in a week, he could take off another five. Dr. Colbert said he would be able to reconstruct my face in the office without surgery, just by using Restylane to give me back my fuller cheeks that were now a thing of the past. Seven days later, with the Botox having taken effect, Dr. Colbert finished the transformation. Holding up a small handheld mirror, Dr. Colbert asked me what I thought. I barely heard the question; the tears welling up in my eyes said more than anything I could put into words. Within seconds the Restylane gave me back a youthful face! I couldn’t believe the combined results; they were breathtaking. Before meeting Dr. Colbert, I thought one needed to have a face-lift to achieve effects this noticeable, but I was wrong. The things that happened next were, in short, beyond my wildest imagi-

nation. On the street, I noticed men, young and old alike, were turning and taking note—an appreciative glance here, a nod of approval there and even requests to go on a date (sometimes despite seeing a ring on my finger). At first, it was impossible to believe. Then one night, I noticed a look in my husband’s eyes that I hadn’t seen in years. He couldn’t stop telling me how great I looked and, not knowing what I’d done, asked how much the face cream (he presumed I bought) had cost us! The romance started coming back into my marriage, too; my husband was paying more attention to me, sending me flowers with notes telling me to meet him at the Lowell Hotel after work, where we had gotten married. Work was also improving. I had more confidence all around—a bounce in my step. The night of the highschool reunion, I found myself —now a size 6 with a smooth face (and sans the gray roots)—standing in front of my full-body mirror a completely different person than the one that needed to be bribed into agreeing to go a few months ago. Who needed Margot’s maid to iron my sheets, I thought to myself, when I looked this good? My 25-year high-school reunion ended up being not just a great night (after all, everyone wanted to

know my secret; someone even commented, “You win for who looks the best 25 years later”) but one of the most eye-opening, perspective-changing events, too. One of the boys I had a major unrequited crush on a quarter-century before, now middle-aged and twice divorced, was suggesting we get back in touch, and his hug goodbye felt filled with regret (on his side). “Why didn’t you ever go out with me back then?” I somehow marshaled the nerve to ask. “It never occurred to me you liked me, you were so shy, a little awkward,” he remarked, “but always a cutie.” In the days that followed, Margot and I had a good time reminiscing and replaying the evening. But in my private moments, I realized something else. I wasted a lot of time being insecure when I was young. I wasn’t as unattractive as I thought I was. I just lacked confidence. Then, having never felt pretty in the first place, I suppose it was that much easier to let it slip away. Looking great at this point in my life felt like I had been given a second chance. The first time around, when I was young and pretty, I lacked perspective to embrace and enjoy it—or just even recognize it. I wouldn’t make that mistake again.
*Names have been changed.

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Designer furniture for kiDs
New York parents are snapping up serious pieces of designer furniture to provide heirlooms for their children by Julie Earle-Levine

arents who are passionate about design themselves really want to instill in their children a sense of the importance of design,” said Roy Otwell, co-owner of switchmodern, an e-commerce Web site featuring luxury and contemporary furniture. New York families are stocking up on heirloom items. “They see an Arne Jacobsen Egg Chair and buy it because they want something authentic and something that endures, at least beyond four years! No one wants cutsie, throwaway furniture. They want an item that lasts and enriches their lives.” “No longer do parents say, ‘We’ve chosen to have kids and it will be a hell zone for 12 years,’” said Otwell. “They realize that they can buy quality heirlooms for the kids that are compatible with their own aesthetic.” Franklin Getchell, president at the design store Moss, in Soho, backs this view. “We see clients who want their child to be aware of design or art even before they may be old enough to understand it intellectually, and they do this with works which have appeal, through color or material, but come with a richer narrative, which the child will eventually appreciate on other levels, but for now, they just ‘like’ it because it’s fun.” Top choices at Moss are Banquette chairs by Fernando and Humberto Campana, brothers who work from their studio in São Paulo. The mixed-animals chair, an eye-candy assortment of stuffed animals to make a chair, is the one they began with, and the limited edition of 150 have mostly sold out. “Eight years ago when we first began selling them, they were $4 to 6K, and people would definitely buy them for their children’s rooms,” said Getchell. “Now that the same chair is $85K, it’s less commonly placed where children can happily sit and eat messy foods.”
playground march 2011


This handsome fellow cozies up in a yolk chair from little nest.

A child’s chair in clay by Maarten Baas, a Dutch designer, also finds its way into children’s rooms, he said. Each is unique, using industrial clay hand modeled on a steel skeleton. Lamps from the Fossili Moderni collection by Massamilliano Adami, a young Italian artist, are also playful but not childish in appeal. These are pieces made from found objects embedded in polyurethane foam and then sawed in half, creating a flat side to each of the pieces. Of course, not everyone is lucky enough to grow up with parents who insist on buy-

ing chairs by Arne Jacobsen or Gio Ponti. “But design-aware parents are trying to do their best,” said Otwell. Ludacris, the rapper and actor, recently invested in a “modern,” disco version of a gentlemen’s library with seats parents and kids can crash on and a place for them to curl up with a book, a peaceful lace for them to learn and do homework. “Our customers don’t want Mickey Mouse on the walls. They don’t want to compromise good taste because they are starting a family,” said Otwell. There are plenty of tasteful taupes and neutrals but there are also playful pieces like the Bloom chair. “The economy is finally improving, so clients are spending without guilt. We are seeing spring colors, vibrancy.” Kids love the Ghost chair by Kartell (which you can even buy in pink), plus a stunning modern dollhouse designed by Wolfgang Sirch that may resemble Mommy and Daddy’s sleek weekend country retreat. One client ordered a 30-plus run of Poliform closets (about $42,000) for an Upper East Side billionaire who wanted the closets to have red lacquered doors. “These were to house his little princess’ shoes, clothes, and toys.”

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MoMA is also seeing increased interest in design for kids. Top picks include the child’s chair by Kristian Vedel that can allow children to rock in the frame, or just crawl through it. Add a plate, and it works as a multipurpose table for eating, drawing or playing. But the most coveted design piece is the Fritz Hansen Egg chair designed by Arne Jacobsen. Otwell said it has become the equivalent of the rocking chair. It swivels and is comfortable in the nursery. It is $5,934 to $9,400 in fabric, and $10,798 to $15,209 in leather. Designers love Little Nest, a collection of children’s furniture modeled on designs of mid-century masterpieces, including the Yolk chair, which is a childsize replica of the 1950s Egg Chair. “I think we all wish we’d grown up with an egg chair.”

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or some, the words “summer camp” conjure visions of macaroni necklaces, slop buckets and stinky latrines, but a number of East Coast day camps offer quite the opposite—a semi-luxury experience. At places like Hillard, Shibley and Pierce, kids indulge in lunches, sport facilities and social opps that rival their Manhattanite parents’. Here are three of the most recommended camps in the area.

amenities and details

Camp Hillard
scarsdale, New york

With seven heated pools on the premises, it’s no wonder “everyone who comes to Hillard learns to swim,” says Jim Libman, one of the counselors at Westchester’s first day camp. Yes, swimming is kind of a big deal at Camp Hillard, but it’s not the only outdoor activity offered—basketball, baseball, softball, soccer, lacrosse and football are among the most popular sports. Camp Hillard focuses on skill-building, so in addition to well-coached sports, kids can get their creative juice on with arts and crafts ranging from jewelry-making to ceramics. With a one-to-three staff-to-camper ratio, there’s plenty of personalized attention to go around, a tradition at Camp Hillard since it opened its doors, er, grounds in 1929.
amenities and details

Luxe-and-tumbLe camps fOr east cOast kids
Shibley Day Summer Camp
Roslyn Heights, New york
After hearing the Web site’s Rocky theme song and chatting it up with a camp director, you’ll get the feeling that kids have fun and become champions—of everything—at Shibley Day Summer Camp. “We’ve got every activity in the world,” says one of the directors of the 82-year-old camp. When asked to name the camp’s most impressive aspects, the director, who proudly claimes 42 years with Shibley, says, “The people who run programs, our 40 acres of shade and the fabulous swimming and sports.” To create a relaxed, nurturing environment that’s less about competitive pressures and more about kids being themselves, Shibley’s programs include “built-in success” and help campers develop individual growth and selfconfidence. Want to see for yourself? Shibley hosts open houses seven days a week and offers yearround programming.

Shibley Day Summer Camp is for kids in nursery school through eighth grade; kids in pre-school to first grade can attend a separate junior camp. Shibley offers air-conditioned doorto-camp bus transportation. Day-camp rates are unlisted, but camp directors are happy to discuss costs on the phone. Visit or call 516-621-8777 for more information.

Pierce Country Day Camp
Roslyn, New york

What kid wouldn’t want to spend a summer at an indoor pool, doing musical theater, circus arts or sculpture? Similar to Hillard and Shibley, the 27-acre Pierce Country Day Camp provides an enriching, skill-building outdoor getaway. In fact, Pierce says it offers a “Core Experience” that emphasizes learning skills, making friends, and looking at life as an adventure. Pierce strives to help kids make “noticeable gains in physical, emotional and social development.”
amenities and details

Camp Hillard is for kids 3 to 12. An air-conditioned health center with registered nurses and healthy lunches and snacks are included in the camp price. The eight-week (June 28–August 18) camp is $7,950 per child. Camp Hillard offers bus transportation from Manhattan; Riverdale; Greenwich, Conn.; and Westchester County. Campers are picked up at 8 a.m. and are dropped off at about 5 p.m. Visit www. or call 914.949.8857 for more information.
playground march 2011

Pierce provides transportation, special meals for kids with allergies and a pediatrician on site, in addition to registered nurses. Pierce is open June 29 to Aug. 23, and offers fast-track programs; mini–day programs; and six-, seven- and eight-week standard programs; the standard eight-week session starts at $7,425 per child; the fast-track, eight-week program for kids who have completed eighth or ninth grades starts at $3,712.50. Visit www. or call 516-621-2211 for more information. —Amy Schroeder

getty images

Kids in Sports Grows Up
give kids the chance to create and have fun, while touching upon many different things, from athletic exercises, stretching, sports skills, cooperative learning skills and sportsmanship,” Coach Mike explains. The coaches are amazing. “When we hire coaches, we look for someone who can really impact the kids, can relate to them, and aren’t just former college athletes looking for part-time jobs,” says Elizabeth Paige Right, director of sales and marketing. Right, a former Dartmouth lacrosse player and a first-grade teacher with a master’s degree in childhood education and in sports psychology, also works with kids one-on-one to help with any issues. “We like our coaches to have backgrounds in childhood education. We want working with kids to be their passion, not just working with sports,” she says. Providing high-energy excitement and delighting kids are priorities. Many Kids in Sports coaches have stuck with Coach Mike and Coach Kenny from the beginning: Turnover is extremely low, and most have worked seven, eight or nine years. Kids in Sports offers spring-break and summer camps, birthday parties and more. For more information, visit http://www.

summers filled with fun since 1951!
n and Call for Informatio ent! Set Up an Appointm

With a backpack of sports equipment and 30 willing kids, Coach Mike Strutt and Coach Kenny Colon launched Kids in Sports in the fall of 1999. By last fall 2010, there were 25 in staff and 1,400 children participating in multiple locations from Manhattan and Long Island to Greenwich, Conn., and Washington, D.C. So what has made this program such a roaring success? Here are a few ways Kids in Sports is a step above its competitors. They give children the confidence to participate. Not all kids are ready to jump right in. Sports classes— or any classes—can be overwhelming for some little ones. At Kids in Sports, they won’t let any kids feel left out. Given their five-to-one coachto-child ratio, Kids in Sports makes sure that a coach shadows anyone struggling on the “sidelines.” The coach will give the child a small duty, like helping collect the balls, being the “line leader” or turning off the music, to gradu-

ally get them involved. After several weeks of sticking with it, most former wallflowers are racing around with the pack, thrilled to have persevered, another important sports lesson. As Coach Kenny says, “Seeing all the progress from week one to week three is so rewarding. We get the most notes from parents thanking us for helping their little ones stick with it.” They prepare kids for kindergarten. By segmenting the little athletes into groups, structuring each class, directing the kids to activity stations, having them work with teammates, teaching sportsmanship and making sure they look the coaches in the eye, Kids in Sports teaches much more than just ball skills. The atmosphere is warm and friendly, not über-competitive (at least at the pre-school level). The coaches give kids the opportunity to laugh, yell and release the energy they need (no easy feat in New York City) and just be silly. “We


om www.bluerilldaycamp.c


444 Saddle River Road Airmont, NY 10952

courtesy Kids in sports

—Zibby Right


miami heaT
For those who like it hot, there’s always Miami By Julie Earle-Levine
playground march 2011

Sunbathing at the Canyon Ranch.


t’s only March but we’re fantasizing about a warm beach holiday, where we can get our bodies bikini-ready, meditate and eat and drink well, without having to drag ourselves to a far away retreat in Thailand. Miami suits us just fine. It’s a long weekend, a three-day escape, or more if you can swing it, and an easy trip from N.Y.C. Miami has some exceptional new properties and restaurants. Here are our top picks. Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa in Miami Beach is far enough away from South Beach to be truly relaxing. New Yorkers know and love CR from its Lenox, Mass., and Tucson properties, where it has hard-core, intensive fitness schedules and skinny meals (don’t go looking for chocolate or wine). But the Miami property is the only CR where you can stay with kids and indulge, too. Moms (and dads) get to work out all day doing everything from Buff Ballet Booty to yoga on the beach and can finish the day with an exquisite organic cocktail or wine. The purple pillow, with house-infused lavender vodka, blueberries and lime, is killer. The property has a genuinely relaxed, family-friendly vibe. That’s probably why there are as many celebrities as there are locals who flock to the beachfront oasis. Eva Longoria, Shakira, Alec Baldwin and Ricky Martin have all stayed. At brunch, families in workout gear (albeit stylish gear), some with little dogs on their laps, soak up the sun and settle in for an indulgent breakfast of fresh berry pancakes or a Mediterranean egg, a fried egg on hummus with warm baba ghanouj and cilantro micro greens. Yummy! Fitness first. Just looking at the 40 fitness classes a day is exhausting. There’s no excuse however, not to work out. There is Beach Boot Camp, Meditation and Breathing, Pilates Mat, Kundalini Yoga, Boxing Circuits and Restorative Yoga. The learning workshops for adults we liked include Detoxification; Going Beyond

N O W T H R O U G H M AY 2 5 T H O N LY !

Tues at 7


Wed at 2 & 8

Sat at 2




CALL 212-239-6200 and use code MAMMA75 VISIT and use code MAMMA75 BRING this ad to the O Winter Garden Theatre
(1634 Broadway & 50th St.)

courtesy canyon ranch

Offer valid for performances from 2/23/11 - 5/25/11. Offer not available 5/7, 5/14 and 5/21. A $1.50 facilities fee has been included in the price of each ticket. Tickets are regularly priced at $127.50. Limit 8 tickets per order. Offer not valid in conjunction with any other offer or on previously purchased tickets. Subject to availability and prior sale. Telephone and Internet orders are subject to standard service fees. All sales final. No refunds or exchanges. Offer may be revoked any time. Additional blackout dates may apply. Offer expires 5/25/11.




frost Valley yMca
2011 suMMer caMps
aN JOIN uS fOR : EN hOuSE Op

register online today!
Sleepaway Camps Farm Camp Horse Camps Adventure Trips Service Trips

Feb 27 Mar 13 April 10

1 & 2 wEEk SESSIONS JuNE, JuLy & auGuST aGES 7-16

REGISTER ONLINE: EmaIL: TEL: 845-985-2291
check us out on facebook:

ONLy 2.5 hOuRS fROm mETRO Ny/NJ!

Oceanfront accommodations, private beach, pool, tennis.
The way Cape Cod was, still is at the Lighthouse Inn. Welcome to a true family vacation – no cooking, no cleaning, no hassles… simply enjoy the soothing ocean breeze on seven secluded oceanfront acres.

A Cape Cod Family Vacation
• Supervised Children’s Program • Sandy Beach, Heated Pool, Tennis • Complimentary full breakfast • Recreational Facilities for Children • Family Entertainment Nightly • Cottages, Suites, Family Accommodations

Lighthouse Inn
One Lighthouse Road, West Dennis, Cape Cod, MA (508) 398-2244 Find special offers at

Poses—Yoga, Running 101 and Body Composition Assessment—yep, fat pinching and developing a targeted exercise routine. There are also great classes with experts on nutrition, exercise physiology and physical therapy, Chinese medicine and life management, to name a few. Kids as young as 5 can do Superfit Families and Superfit Kids (ages 5 to 8) and enjoy yoga (with fun poses to keep them interested), meditation, beach walks and rock climbing with their parents. KidFit (ages 8 through 12) has many classes and treatments where kids can work out on their own, or as a family. The wellness spa, where adults can indulge in a shiatsu massage, or a Your Transformation facial, is the largest in Miami, at 70,000 square feet. Teens can also experience a spa treatment, including a relaxing facial and mask, or a private relaxation class to learn how to channel stress. When it’s time to eat, the main restaurant is Canyon Ranch Grill, where staff produce crayons and Wikki Stix for kids at each meal (i.e., hours
playground march 2011

courtesy canyon ranch

Always the BEST parties

Birthday Parties, Toys and Gifts, Candy, Walk-in Art Workshops, Special Events

Oceanfront views from your room.

of entertainment). It’s delicious organic fare. Kids will devour artichoke fries, which are actually healthy (they are baked, not fried), and New Zealand lamb chops with minted herb drizzle and tabouli. “Simple eats” by the pool include Black pearl organic grilled salmon with sautéed spinach, and the Cabana serves healthy juices and smoothies. The property’s 150 rooms are simple and fresh, with extras like large-screen televisions in the bedroom and a spacious living area with its own breakfast bar, in-room coffee and kitchen for early risers who want to hit the beach early. For parents who really need a makeover, the Weekend Warrior Package ($550) includes all meals and boot camp (accommodation not included). We also love Soho Beach House, the just-open sister property to New York, West Hollywood and London’s Soho House. The 50room swank hotel is just north of South Beach, on the oceanfront and family-friendly. Kids are welcome to sink into comfy lounge chairs for a breakfast where the order of the day is Green Eggs and Ham (arugula or spinach tops eggs to make them “green”). Blue-and-whitestriped communal lounge beds surround the pool and are perfect for napping after a dip. There is a second rooftop pool and lounge

20 Different Craft and Candy Themed Parties, Including Craft Studio Classics and Hot New Projects!

212.831.6626 1657 Third Avenue New York, NY 10128
Find us on Facebook! Follow our Tweets: CraftStudioNYC


Need a Helping Hand?
Penelope’s People is a boutique caregiver placement agency, specializing in child & senior care. We place only qualified nannies. We have caregivers available to work FT/PT and Live in/Out.

Dining out at the Blue Door Fish.

212.444.1313 or 226 East 54th Street, Suite 306 - New York, NY 10022

New York Chinese Cultural Center
390 Broadway 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10013 • Tel: 212-334-3764 •

School of the Arts
Weekend Classes
January 8th through June 19th
Classes include Chinese folk and classical dance, Peking Opera, acrobatics, Chinese painting, calligraphy, paper cutting, and language.

After School Chinese Program
February 28 through June 23

New York Chinese Cultural Center offers exceedingly fun language classes combined with traditional Chinese dance, music, and fun arts and crafts activities to keep your young ones engaged.

Ages 3 ½ - 6 ½ years old 4 days a week from 3:15PM to 4:30PM

All ages Saturday from 9:00PM to 6:00PM Sunday from 11:00PM to 5:00PM

overlooking the beach. The rooms are handsome, with antique king-size beds, drinks cabinets and enormous free-standing bathtubs. All-natural, full-size Cowshed products—just try to resist “Horny Cow” bath and shower gel, with rose absolut, patchouli and cinnamon—are heavenly (you can use them and also buy them to take home) The same products are in the full-service spa with Cowshed’s first Blowdry Bar. Have a cocktail mixed and made for you in your room. Be sure to dedicate at least one night for the hotel’s Cecconi’s, a modern Italian restaurant that is one of the hottest (and tastiest) eateries in town. The snapper carpaccio with citrus and fennel and the baked Florida black grouper with clams, potato and marjoram are delicious.
Other great eats

Summer Camp
in China
3 week program in Shanghai!

July 28 th through August 22 th

Daily dance and language classes, plus weekend sightseeing and weeknight performances.

Ages 9 -15 years old

in New York
Ages 3 ½ and up


playgrounD march 2011

courtesy c

New York Chinese Cultural Center Join us for a summer of Chinese folk dancing, acrobatics, language, painting, and more!

July 11th through August 26th

Don’t miss the revamped Blue Door Fish at the Delano. Kids can run between the flowing curtains in the spacious lobby until it’s time to dine and no one blinks. Nab one of the three banquettes, surrounded by vintage glass chandeliers and Venetian mirrored table and order the truffle frites for starters. The caramelized octopus with garlic, shallots and Dijon mustard on black olive potato salad is to die for.


GranD openinG SpecialS
20% off SELEcTEd mENu iTEmS
happy hoUr - 4pm-7pm

WiNE $4.50 - bEEr $3.50 PLuS frEE bASiL roLL & TAro roLL

239 W 105 ST. (corner of bWay)
it will be a new high end rest featuring a beautiful party room as well. Looking forward to seeing you there.

neW locaTion
212 222 2111

Union SqUare - 115 East 18 Street, NY, NY 10003 | TEL 212 387-8885 TheaTre DiSTricT - 663 9th Ave (at 46st), NY, NY 10036 | TEL 212 582-1669

At night, go to the revamped Fontainebleau, where you can tell kids Elvis once performed and then have them ask you, who was Elvis? At Hakkasan, kids with chopsticks can munch on tasty jasmine tea smoked pork ribs and grilled Shanghai dumplings. Sean Penn and his children are fans of the hotel, which offers guests kids-night-out movie art projects and smores by the pools. The Setai has a new executive chef, David Werly. Go for his Grand Breakfast, which has everything from baked breads, pastries and muffins to home-smoked salmon, blinis and crème fresh ($47 per person, $18 for kids under 12) The hotel also now has a new beach trailer that serves lunch, including Setai ceviche and open-faced salmon burgers, right on the beach.


Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa Miami Beach


playground march 2011

Noon to 2pm every Saturday and Sunday

Complmentary Balloons

keep it local
take a staycation: the surrey hotel

as soon as you cross the threshold at the spa at the surrey hotel, something magical happens. it’s as if you’re being transported into a luxurious upper east side boudoir. styled to resemble a spa coco chanel would retreat to, it has are no loud phones ringing at check-in. instead, each guest is invited to luxuriate in a club chair separated discreetly with gauzy white curtains. the relaxation begins the minute you’re offered tea—there are three types available— and continues when you arrive in your spacious treatment room (there are five, including two oversize suites just perfect for couples looking to unwind), all of which are decorated with art Deco light fixtures and contemporary artwork. a sumptuous sferra robe and slippers await, and there are no communal locker rooms here; instead, clients disrobe en suite and store personal items in an ornate handpainted armoire. Before your service even begins, your therapist will spend time talking about your wants and needs. “We ask you how much time you want to spend,” says cheryl Jacobs, spa director. “We urge our clients to talk about what they want to achieve. Maybe your hip hurts from carrying your baby, or maybe your neck aches. or maybe you just want a massage to help you relax. Whatever a client wants, we’ll help them achieve it.” opened in november 2009 following the surrey’s $60 million renovation, the second-floor spa—which features a hummingbird, said in native american mythology to bring joy and happiness—offers everything a busy mom could need. “Moms are under a huge amount of pressure and they need to take time to take care of themselves,” she says. “the idea is that a group of five or six moms can come here Cerce.indd 1 and have their treatments together. We want moms to feel like they’ve had a little getaway.” “every minute that you can relax is precious,” says Jacobs. the spa at the surrey, 20 east 76th street, is open Monday–Friday, 9 a.m. to 8 p.m.; saturday and sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Phone, 646-358-3600. half-day and full-day personal renewal retreats are available as well.

Ragidy Supreme



Physical Therapy, PC
Treatments include: Pilates-based rehab, Yoga-based exercises, Kinesiotaping and a variety of specialized manual therapy and sport specific techniques.
We are a holistic, hands-on PT facility that offers intimate, practitioner to client treatment for direct rehab. Our clients include high end “type A” professionals who injure themselves during daily activities, weekend warriors, post surgery rehab and compensation cases. Get better!


We treat the person, not the diagnosis. Karena Wu

PT, MS, CSCS, CPI 12 West 37th Street, Ste 1202 New York, NY 10018

212 777 4374
playground march 2011


playground Gallery
208 WesT 96’s contemporary architecture and sophisticated materials create 9 homes that are as rare as they are refined. Careful attention went into selecting warm finishes to enhance the generous, modern layouts that evoke the feel of a downtown loft in an uptown neighborhood. 3 Bedroom, 3 Bath homes prices from $2,290,000 with a 10 year 421-A Tax Abatement. for more information, contact frances lucy 212-381-2557 a ChoiCe nannY has been matching high-quality nannies with discerning New York families since 1991. With attentive, personal service and professional guidance throughout the hiring process, A CHOICE NANNY provides full time, part time and temporary caregivers for newborns to school-age children. Background investigations by private detectives included. Located at 850 Seventh Avenue, A CHOICE NANNY is licensed by the NYC Dept. of Consumer Affairs and is a member of the Better Business Bureau. To schedule a noobligation child care needs assessment, contact 212-246-5437 or Karena Wu is the owner of aCTiveCaRe phYsiCal TheRapY located in midtown Manhattan. The facility offers one-on-one hands on treatment and takes most major insurances. please call for an appointment. 212-777-4374 karena Wu, pT, ms, CsCs, Cpi aCTiveCaRe phYsiCal TheRapY, pC 12 West 37th street, suite 1202 new York, nY 10018

animal Camp CuB CReek sCienCe Camp Feed lemurs, walk llamas, hold baby kangaroo, pet a porcupine (very carefully of course), launch rockets, explore a cave, make candy and crafts, enjoy archery, riflery and zip lining. Offering a modern facility, beautiful air-conditioned cabins, great food and caring staff. Cub Creek is the only overnight animal camp in the country. Most popular week long activities are Adopt and Animal and Jr Vet. Request your FREE brochure. 573-458-2125

After a successful 6-year track record in New Jersey, Bilingual Buds brings its well-touted Mandarin immersion school to Manhattan. Its Upper West Side location offers an academic, 5-day Preschool and Kindergarten with a dual-language curriculum. Inspired, native-speaking teachers help students build a foundation for fluency while developing the “whole child” in both English and Mandarin. Additional immersion programs for children ages 2-12 include After School, Summer Camp in NYC and Summer Camp in Beijing, a travel experience for families offered this July 2011. 175 Riverside Boulevard (at 68th street) new York, nY 10069 (212) 787-8088 Chi au paiR usa provides a diverse group of caring young au pairs from around the world. Each au pair becomes a member of your family while providing safe, attentive and affordable live-in childcare. Your family’s world view will expand through sharing your au pair’s unique language and customs. CHI Au Pair USA provides the best value for your money. For more information on this government regulated program, contact us today! Chris Burbach Telephone: 1-866-528-5152 Experience a summer alive with sports and adventure at CoRBin’s CRusadeRs daY Camp! Located in New City, NY, only a short drive from Manhattan where fifty breathtaking acres of exciting outdoor fun awaits. Catering to campers’ diverse interests, we offer professional, dedicated and enthusiastic instruction in various sports including: baseball, soccer, basketball, lacrosse, tennis and swimming. Our adventure program includes fishing, boating, hiking, go-carts, archery and much more! directors: Wendy and peter Corbin (212) 875-8174

Blue Rill daY Camp Fun, family and friends forever… what Blue Rill is all about! Comprehensive sports programs, state-of-the-art swimming pools and beautiful lake, incredible creative and performing arts, outdoor adventure programs and awesome traditions and special events. New SportsPlex, tennis complex, rock wall, zip line and Playworld playground! The perfect combination of exceptional programs, great facilities and experienced and enthusiastic staff for campers ages 3 to 15. Transportation included - only 25 minutes north of the GWB! 444 saddle River Rd, airmont nY (845) 352-3521 The neW YoRk Chinese CulTuRal CenTeR (NYCCC) is a major force in presenting and preserving traditional Chinese arts through professional performance programs and educational workshops. Each year, NYCCC provides over 3,000 classes to people of all ages and all backgrounds. Its assembly programs reaches over 150,000 people every year nationwide. This summer, NYCCC will produce a summer camp in Shanghai, China, with three-week intensive dance, language and cultural classes from July 28th to Aug 22nd, plus weekend tours and weeknight performances. for more information, please call 212.334.3764 or visit

Need More Space? Dream Higher! Eco-Friendly unfinished wood lofT & Bunk Beds foR YouTh, Teen and College sTudenTs. Perfect for a bedroom makeover. For children in small bedrooms or multiple kids sharing a room, loft beds provide more living space. A customized loft bed makes a great gift and a fun family project to setup, paint and decorate together. Available in twin, full and queen sizes. Custom-Built and Hand-Made in Upstate NY. 866-739-2331

The Camp ConneCTion: YOUR SUMMER CAMP MATCHMAKERS. FREE ADVISORY SERVICE for exceptional summer programs for children. We have over 25 years of experience representing over 600 summer programs. Guidance, brochures, and DVDs are available on the finest Sleepaway Camps, Teen tours, Pre-college and Community service programs. Each camp has been personally visited and assessed for facility, staff, program, safety, supervision and cleanliness. Camp Connection consultants offer you unlimited time to assist you in finding that special summer camp and/or Teen program for your child! NO FEE/NO OBLIGATION. Call 1-800-834CAMP(2267) and speak to one of our consultants. or e mail us at

The CRafT sTudio is the hottest place in NYC for parties, play dates, painting, toys, candy, crafts, gifts, 1657 Third Avenue, New York City 10128 212.831.6626 and more. Always offering the latest and greatest workshops, gifts, and fun. For over 15 years the Craft Studio has also been the premier party location for cool kids in New York City. With over 20 themes to chose from, there is something for everyone. Call for reservations and walk in availability. 1657 3rd avenue, nY, nY 10128 212-831-6626;


playground march 2011






Ringwood, New Jersey
Proudly Serving the Upper West Side.






A Day Camp with the Look and Feel of an Overnight!


ompare Program, Facility, and Staff thletics, Swim, Arts, Creative Arts, Trips, Events ature Staff, Individual Red Cross Swim Instruction erfect Setting Rain or Shine, 26 Acre Campus, 5 Acre Lake, Heated Pools, Manicured Athletics Fields

Easy Comm ute Just 2 ! miles 5 fro the GW m B!



Ages 4 to 15; Camp Hours 9am to 4pm A/C Door to Door Mini-Bus Transportation from the Upper West Side Catered Hot Lunch and 2 Daily Snacks Uniform T-Shirts Provided


Highest Quality … Best Value!



Mitchell and Michelle Kessler Owners/ Directors Family Owned and Operated Since 1989



open house: saturday March 5th, Saturday march 12, and February 13th. Open House: Saturday and Sunday February 12thand sunday march 13 from 11am Please call to schedule to schedule an 11am to 1pm to 1pm, please call an appointment. appointment.


The Way Camp is Meant to Be ... Est. 1989


Playground Gallery
CuMi’s BaBy Boutique is a Chelsea shop for the superstylish tot. Cumi, the owner and designer, having worked for twenty five years with other top-name designers such as Diane Von Furstenberg, Cathy Hardwick and Vera Wang, has set up a shop of her own in the Gallery District. She is currently preparing clothes for newborns up to 3 years old and will began fitting for 3-4 year olds in the near future. Cumi’s is a traditional boutique where quality and distinctiveness is always guaranteed. (646) 633-5282, 317 10th avenue (near 28th street). The Team at elyse HarNey real estate is dedicated to sharing this beautiful part of the world with those seeking a weekend retreat or a full time home. What unites the talents of the entire staff at Elyse Harney Real Estate is the belief that the relationship between real estate agent and potential home-owner goes beyond business. The sale of a house is just the first step. We know the area and we know the importance of community. With offices in Millerton, NY, minutes from the Metro North train station, Salisbury, New Preston and Norfolk in CT, as well as MA, the possibilities for a little “Magic” are endless. 2010 has turned the corner! Join the optimism of our buyers who are committing to their dreams. Enroll today and be a part of Frost Valley yMCa’s summer camp program! Our two-week resident camps are designed to provide exciting days that ensure fun for every camper and provide activities that foster healthy, outdoor fun. From swimming to tenting in the woods and stories by the campfire, children enjoy discovering new friends, new challenges and new skills. Camps offered: Sleepaway, Horse, Farm, Adventure, and more! Visit our website for more information: 2000 Frost Valley road, Claryville, Ny 12725 845-985-2291 Welcome to griMaldi & assoCiates where Insurance and Financial planning isn’t complicated. Since 1990 we have provided our clients with a no hassle approach to doing business. We pride ourselves in our knowledge and taking time to understand your needs. You’re not a number, but a part of our family. Our fully licensed and knowledgeable staff is always there to assist and looks forward to serving you with the same care and personal attention you’ve come to expect. Protecting the Present, Future and Beyond. Barbara a. grimaldi, 227 e 56th st 212- 759 -3920. HoMBoM toy store With 2 NYC locations, this toy store/craft emporium carries an outstanding selection of toys geared to newborns through pre-teens, including a large selection of Creativity for Kids/Faber Castell and Alex Toys craft kits. Our great customer service includes free gift-wrapping & free delivery. We also provide decoratively wrapped party favors chosen within your budget. 1500 1st ave (btwn 78th & 79th sts) 212-717-5300 412 Columbus ave (btwn 79th & 80th sts) 212-362-1039

Harry’s sHoes For kids (and for Adults!) is a wonderland of thoughtful, useful and always appreciated gifts! From warm cozy slippers to weatherready boots, holiday dress-up shoes or casuals for play and school, Harry’s has it all! Choose from your favorite quality brands like Ugg Australia, Merrell, Ecco, The North Face, Timberland, Umi, Primigi, Naturino, Hunter and so many, many more. Make Harry’s your holiday headquarters! 2315 Broadway, New york, Ny 10024 212-874-2034

iCiNg oN tHe Cake was started as a love of baking grew into a love of making people smile… After all, if there’s a cake there’s something to celebrate! Every cake is made to order. That means you can be sure that your cake is fresh and delicious every time. Each cake is individually designed to match you, your personality, and the theme of the occasion you are celebrating. Icing On The Cake can create anything from a traditional wedding cake to a 3D sculpted cake. We also make cupcakes! (347) 604-3309

Established in 1938, Jaguar oF great NeCk was the first Jaguar dealership in the Country. Our experience has led to a reputation of value, personal service and after-sale support that is unrivaled. For 70+ years we have been selling to and servicing the New York area with the pride and attention it deserves. Model for model, option for option, no one is more competitive than us. We will beat any advertised price in New York...Guaranteed! Fulfill your passion for perfection with one of our awesome 2011 Jaguar XJ models. One is waiting for you at Jaguar of Great Neck., 888-263-4158

CaMp JeaNNe d’arC is a traditional camp for girls ages 8 through 16 located on beautiful Lake Chateaugay in the Adirondack Mountains. Our campers enjoy excellent water sports, horseback riding, field and target sports, hiking and camping out, the arts, fitness and lots of fun surprises and camp traditions. Supportive staff and caring counselors allow campers to challenge themselves and find self confidence. Our focus is on “camp spirit!” 2,3,4,5 and 7 week sessions available. We welcome girls of all faiths and backgrounds. Buses from NY metro. Check us out at Jehanne Mcintyre edwards, director (410) 647-7733 ligHtHouse iNN, will take you to a time gone by…secluded and relaxing, with refreshing ocean breezes to rejuvenate your spirit… this is Classic Cape Cod. Situated on nine secluded oceanfront acres, the Lighthouse Inn offers a private sandy beach, heated pool, tennis, children’s activity program and a full service restaurant with panoramic ocean views. Accommodations are provided in Capestyle guest houses and one-,two- and three- bedroom cottages. All have private bath, refrigerator and air conditioning. Most have gorgeous ocean views and wood burning fireplaces. one lighthouse road, West dennis, Cape Cod, Ma (508) 398-2244,

kiddiNg arouNd — named “Best Toy Store in NYC” by New York Magazine. Sister store, just kidding around, named “Best Toy Store in NJ” by New Jersey Monthly Magazine. We are passionate about our selection of toys, games and gifts. Great design and great value – lots of classics and lots of surprises! As a family owned business, we so thank you for your support of local independent retailers! Unique toys & gifts. 60 west 15th street, New york City 10011 212.645.6337

kids-Make-MoVies offers “Make-a-Movie” Parties, private classes and summer workshops. Kids learn all aspects of movie production or focus on one part: story development, filming, acting, editing. Parties: kids pick a theme and in a three-hour party all guests take turns as actors, directors and camera operators. Classes: kids create short movies, stop-motion animations, music videos, documentaries or work on individual projects. We edit in iMovie, Final Cut Pro and Photoshop. Kids learn valuable skills in a fun and collaborative environment. Call now for summer workshop schedule. tel: (917) 650-5044 elke stappert


Playground march 2011

metro window mar 9 2011.pdf


2:54:49 PM

We Still Make House Calls!

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Call today 212-501-8282 for your FREE In-Home Decorating Consultation.
Two Convenient Manhattan Locations
Upper West Side 469 Amsterdam Ave. Upper East Side 189 East 79th St.
(between 82nd & 83rd St.)

212 501-8282

(corner of 3rd Ave.) 212


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leSTeR’S What a charming gift! Charm bracelets are a great gift and the latest jewelry trend for little girls. Each bracelet can be individually designed with her favorite charms. The bracelets are crafted of unadorned silver tone links or with a variety of enameled beads. Prices range from $7.00- $14.00. Fun, brightly colored charms can be added to the bracelet in a variety of whimsical shapes. With 36 charms to chose from and collect, she will never tire of this gift. Charms retail for $5.00. At Lester’s you’ll find a great selection of gifts for kids of every age. lester’s is located at 1534 Second avenue and 80th Street in manhattan and in brooklyn, Rye, Greenvale and huntington. You can find them on the web at and on Facebook maNhaTTaN houSe, a landmarked Modernist icon, offers five-star services, exclusive amenities and reengineered residential interiors. Set within private gardens, the building amenities and services also include the residents-only rooftop level with Manhattan Club and exhale® spa, a Roto Studio-designed children’s playroom, exhale® fitness center, full-time doormen, five-star concierge, porte-cochere entrances, and on-site garage and valet service. With multiple-exposures and generous balconies, Manhattan House captures the spirit of New York City’s Upper East Side. Manhattan House, 200 East 66th Street W: , P: 212 566 0660 e: meTRoPoliTaN WiNdoW FaShioNS has been serving the metro area for over 75 years – specializing in custom window fashions, Hunter Douglas shades, bedding and reupholstery. Honored as the National Retailer of the Year, by Draperies and Window Coverings Magazine, Metropolitan is proud to be family owned since 1934. Stop by our two convenient locations in Manhattan or our fabric warehouse in New Jersey. visit or call 212-501-8282 for a FREE in-home decorating consultation.

Nikki Field, Senior Vice President, Associate Broker, has been a dynamic presence with Sotheby’s International Realty since 1998, consistently ranking among the global agency’s top five producers and accomplishing sales of over one billion dollars. America’s Top 400 Real Estate Professionals, an annual ranking sponsored by The Wall Street Journal, ranked Nikki in the top 100 agents in America and in the top 10 in New York City for Sales Volume. For more information, visit

Does your home or office have a great view? Explore and enjoy it to the utmost with obeRWeRk Long-Range Binoculars and Binocular Telescopes. Highest quality optics provide stunning clarity and sharpness at surprisingly affordable prices. visit us online at For FRee catalog, call 866-623-7937 or email to obeRWeRk CoRPoRaTioN

The PavilioN Located at 500 East 77th St., the historic Pavilion offers the best of luxury rental living today. The Pavilion’s one-, two- and threebedroom homes are built with growing families in mind, boasting Glenwood’s signature finishes, generous proportions and timeless sophistication. Just steps from John Jay Park and the City’s finest schools, residents also benefit from Glenwood’s full-service amenities including landscaped rooftop sundecks, available valet and maid service and on-site shopping. For more information, call 212.535.0500 or visit

PeNeloPe’S PeoPle is an innovative placement agency offering excellent nanny care, housekeeping, personal assistance and senior care services. • We personally match caregivers to make your life easier when you care for your most precious possessions – your children and loved ones • We have an extensive screening process that includes interviewing, reference checks and background checks by a private security firm 226 East 54th Street, Suite 306 New York, New York 10022 Ph: 212.444.1313 email: RoboFuN is an active learning space that provides vacation week camps, summer programs, after-school programs, and birthday parties to youth in technology and multimedia. Our mission is to construct solutions that inspire students to address the widest possible range of academic standards through the use of leading edge technologies. RoboFun’s programs are designed to creatively enhance students’ learning by using computers for Animation and Game Design, LEGO® Robotics, and other project based work. The RoboFun Studio is located in the Flatiron District, across from Madison Square Park in NYC. | 212.245.0444 3 8 e 23rd St. New York, NY 10010

For more than 38 years, PolY PReP has offered a summer day camp program unrivaled in New York City. On a 25-acre campus, children participate in activities ranging from swimming to softball, from cookouts to ceramics, from picnics by the ponds to performances on the stage. They also offer supportive academic courses ranging from math to SAT Prep. Come to the open house on Saturday, April 9th, 2011, 9:00 am to noon. 9216 Seventh Avenue, Brooklyn. Tel. (718) 836-9800 ext. 3220

CamP RamaquoiS is conveniently located in Rockland County NY. We provide bus transportation for campers from Manhattan, NYC, Bergen, Westchester and Rockland. We strive to create a unique environment where children feel a sense of belonging, learn life-long skills, have opportunities for leadership, and forge lasting relationships with their peers and their counselors. With over 88 years of camp history, Ramaquois is not only a quality day camp, but a leader in the summer camp industry. Contact us to set up a personal tour. 30 mountain Road, Pomona, NY 10970 • 845-354-1600 Best Quality, Most Fun, Best Value in Town! SPRiNG lake daY CamP of Ringwood, NJ is the perfect choice for campers ages 4 to 15. We are located just 25 Minutes from the George Washington Bridge. Spring Lake’s heated pool complex, 5 acre lake for boating & fishing, athletic fields and covered sport complexes cannot be duplicated. We offer plenty of shade & indoor facilities as well. Our 3:1 camper to staff ratio ensures an enriching, safe experience for all. Air conditioned mini bus transportation, hot lunch, camp shirts, photos and yearbook video are included in the tuition. Call for a personal tour or visit us online at 973-831-9000

Smithsonian Cooper-Hewitt, National Design Museum
THE SMiTHSoniAn’S CooPER-HEWiTT, nATionAl deSiGN muSeum is the only museum in the nation devoted exclusively to historic and contemporary design. The Museum presents compelling perspectives on the impact of design on daily life through active educational and curatorial programming. It is the mission of CooperHewitt’s staff and Board of Trustees to advance the public understanding of design across the twenty-four centuries of human creativity represented by the Museum’s collection. 2 east 91st Street, New York, NY 10128 212-849-8400


Playground march 2011

Playground Gallery
At The successful child we offer educational testing, behavioral consultations and targeted academic assistance in the home; thus, minimizing a child’s anxiety and maximizing convenience for parents. We help families feel confident prior to taking entrance exams for schools. The company includes educational specialists, licensed psychologists and teachers. We custom tailor each program and believe that every child has the ability to succeed academically, socially and behaviorally when provided with the right opportunities. call (917) 494-0262 or email

June 27-August 5, 2011
TasTe Buds is the most unique place in NYC for cooking parties, classes, camps and special events. Moms call it, “an absolute blast” for their kids! Home to the only kitchen studio in Manhattan designed and built just for budding chefs, each event at Taste Buds is a unique lip-smacking culinary adventure. With classes for kids and families ages 2-teen, we have something for everyone. Don’t miss our summer and holiday camps with weekly themes of “Baking 101”, “Around the World”, “Iron Chef Training” and more. Call or visit our website to learn more! 109 West 27th street 10th floor (btw 6th and 7th avenues). (212) 242-2248

ToWn shoP. Bras that actually fit! Featuring the “best of theAP in best” PE G lingerie, swimwear, hosiery UE A S l t RA Featuring and shapewear and isleepwearN T Bras by tle CE more. Swimwear su Chantelle, Wacoal, Anita, Hanro, and S pe ma mae r B by. Karla Colletto, Gottex,gic str Carmen Marc Valvo, Tommy dr socc a os Y: Bahama, Miraclesuit, iand more. lHosiery by, Wolford, er bb l s Spanx, Calvin Klein, DonnajKaran,a more. Your r. t and rs entire favorite brands under one roof with spectacular customer service. If you haven’t been to Town Shop you’re probably wearing the wrong size. At Town Shop “Fitting a bra is an art, not a science! 2273 Broadway (Bet 81st and 82nd) Tel: (212) 724-8160.

uniTed naTions inTernaTional school UNIS Summer Program was created to provide recreational, academic and enrichment activities for children between the ages of 4 and 14, in a friendly and supportive environment that fosters friendship, develops sportsmanship rt is nurturing a and in spirit. The program offers a uniquesic ondays mu composition of m student and professional faculty. s on ry ae sund discove ucation for information: Tel #: 212-584-3083 or email: ed ay ical d physostume more! c & ow





Your world is his studio! PhoTograPher alex M Wolff becomes part of your world and captures your stories, memories and emotions in artistic and expertly crafted images delivered in sizes ranging from wall portraits to profile pics. alex M Wolff For more information 516.375.4315 great images at

Ford S t r 11, August 24 and the May - a ee 2 n November 15 issue of t ge 9 s 3 @ Observer Playground & 4 For advertising information contact:

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Playground march 2011

mom’s minute

Stephanie hirSch
Entrepreneur, designer, author and artist


tephanie Hirsch created the inca resort lifestyle brand in 1996. The boutique design house featured collections of luxury swim and resort wear. With Hirsch’s trendsetting designs, inca became a globally recognized brand. Entirely self-taught, Hirsch has designed apparel that has been praised for its unparalleled attention to detail along with its flattering and superior fit, bringing her wide acclaim and international recognition as a fashion designer. Following the birth of her son Hunter, her journey as a mother led her to write the book Mother Nurture: Life Lessons from America’s Best and Brightest. Hirsch has also collaborated with the premier indoor cycling studio SoulCycle. In bringing her design expertise and shared vision of reinvigorating the soul, she cocreated their fitness line of comfortable yet stylish cycling apparel. She now turns her attention to art, using her unique vision and flair for style in creating beautifully embroidered and beaded canvases. Visit her Web site to see more about Hirsch and her amazing pieces of art.
playground march 2011

How do you juggle work and family? If I am working or with my kids, I try to remain present and in the moment. I live by the mantra ‘be where you are.’ When I am with my kids, I try not to think about my work, and when I am working, I try not to think about the million other things I need to do. What lessons from parenting have you incorporated into your work? I have learned two important lessons from parenting: (1) Do not take everything so seriously, and (2) when things are out of control, I always say, ‘It is just a moment, NOT a Lifetime.’ What are you looking to doing this spring with your boys? Ride our bicycles in Central Park.

What’s the best advice you’ve given your two sons? Apply our family values and beliefs to the outside world regardless of whatever everybody else is doing. What do you wear to take your boys to school or practice? If I have a meeting, something absolutely inappropriate, and if not, then the usual workout wear. What’s your favorite family moment every day? Breakfast time. There is something so pure and refreshing about all of us sitting together at the table starting a brand-new day .

What’s the best part of raising a child in New York City? The access to everything interesting, exciting and current. What’s the worst part of raising a child in New York City? That I cannot just open my back door and have a big backyard where my kids can run around. Favorite family hidden gem in New York City ? We love BabyCakes! The treats are so yummy and the best part about it is they are all natural and organic. What’s your guilty parenting pleasure? Champagne.


Whether you’ve had a baby and bought a new car, or now have a teenager on the road, your insurance should keep up with your life. Call today for a free review to help you decide what protection is right for you.
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