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OPEN THINKING | ON A NEW SCHOOL OF THOUGHT

When many of us were in school, physical education was simply “gym.” Leading educators today see it as so much
more — because there is much to be gained when a dialog is established between teachers in physical education
and those in academics. Students who lack confdence in the classroom can often gain that confdence by becoming
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Find out more about Jennifer Inniss’ thoughts on the role of physical education at www.avenues.org/inniss. You’ll
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Avenues is opening this fall in Chelsea. It will be the frst of 20 campuses in major cities, educating children ages three
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10 Scooter SPRING 2012
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Features
34 8 DAYS A WEEK
From Monday to Monday, spring brings new style for busy kids.
STYLED BY ERIN MARSZ AND IOANNA PSAROUDAKIS,
AND PHOTOGRAPHED BY JODI JONES.
42 HOT TO TOT
The season’s best family home décor and gear, BY ALEXA STEVENSON
48 CENTER STAGE
ALIZAH SALARIO reports that New York’s groundbreaking children’s
theater scene isn’t just for kids.
53 FULL HOUSE
JENNIFER WRIGHT explores the Gramercy home of writer Tom Dolby,
e-publisher Drew Frist and their twin girls. PHOTOS BY LOREN WOHL.
NYC Schools
60 HIGH SCHOOL ADMISSIONS
“Public” doesn’t mean your kid is going. DANIELLE MOWERY on
how to increase the odds.
62 THE RIGHT PRIVATE SCHOOL
TAMARA LOOMIS on the ins and outs of preparing a small child –
and yourself – for unprecedented scrutiny.
65 ASK THE EXPERTS
Sage advice from people who’ve seen it all, interviewed
BY STELLA PSAROUDAKIS
67 MIDDLE SCHOOL ADMISSIONS GAUNTLET
KRISTIN IVERSEN winces as her 10-year-old is thrown to the tender
mercies of admissions committees at his top public school choices.
69 BE TRUE TO YOUR SCHOOL
Notable New Yorkers tell CORYNNE STEINDLER about the
educational institutions that launched their path to success.
71 UNIQUE NEW YORK SCHOOL AWARDS
A sampling of the city’s most distinctive schools.
Downtime
19 GALLERY GIRL
A tour of the Downtown art scene
with a onetime baby blogger, age 8.
24 THE HAPPIEST HOUR
Parent-friendly bars in Brooklyn and
Manhattan, by Una LaMarche.
29 TOGETHERNESS
IN THE KITCHEN
Kids love cooking. It’s even better when
they actually help, says John Donohue.
30 WHEN THE BABY FALLS
Call the doctor, visit the ER? Abe Sauer
finds online advice just adds confusion.
32 DOWNTOWN DJ VS.
BROOKLYN MOM
Grownup playlists kids can groove to.
33 WALDORF MEMORIES
As a child, Jennifer Wright found her
slice of heaven in a hotel lobby.
Pacifier
ACTIVITIES, ENTERTAINMENT,
ESSAYS
81 A VERY GAGA WORKOUT
A high-energy sport finds young
enthusiasts on the Upper East Side.
82 SPRING EVENTS
84 GET FRENCH!
The French Institute Alliance Française
offers sophisticated fun.
85 SUSTAINABLE WEEKEND
Teach your kids the delights of growing
and eating healthy food.
86 WILL THEY GOOGLE ME?
Your fellow parents will find your web
trail, laments Karol Markowicz.
87 BORN YESTERDAY
This winter’s births include two lucky
Maxwells, born the same week.
88 REVIEWS OF MY SON’ S
TV SHOWS
Chris Mohney dissects the shows that
hold his 3-year-old spellbound.
90 BOOK IT
The season’s best kids’ literature.
93 DRAG AND CLICK
Alizah Salario wonders whether
the kids’ e-book craze is a win or loss.
95 SITES WE LOVE
A new child-themed art site fulfills the
vision of French-Brooklynite moms.
96 PARTY TIME
This past winter’s busy social scene.
114 SOPHIE TELLS ALL!
A beloved giraffe lets loose about life as
a suddenly trendy teething toy.
Scooter
SPRING 2012 VOL 1, NO. 2
34
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Scooter
Fashion
Fashion Photography Director
JoDi Jones
Deputy Fashion Director
ioanna PsarouDakis
Fashion Photographer’s assistant
aDam roDriguez
Hair and makeup stylist
emily long
Contributors
Dana BetHune
molly Dengler
JoHn DonaHue
CHris gasH
raCHel graHam
Drew grant
teD gusHue
kristin iversen
Brionna Jimerson
molly Jong-Fast
una lamarCHe
tamara loomis
karol markowiCz
CHris moHney
Danielle mowery
soPHie neale
alizaH salario
aBe sauer
ryan snook
Corynne steinDler
katHryn tuCker
Photo Editor
Peter lettre
Copy Editor
mattHew graCe

Interns
saraH kHuwaJa
JenniFer maas
Contributing Photographers
miCHael ewing
CHristian Pielow
Ben weitzenkorn
loren woHl
Publisher
roByn reiss
VP Sales and Marketing
DaviD gursky
Classifed Advertising Director
ken newman
VP Circulation
kratos vos
Circulation
alexanDra enDerle
Peter Parris
Carlos roDriguez
Danielle mowery
Sales
BarBara ginsBurg-sHaPiro
Betty leDerman
DaviD BenDayan
JoHn turCk
miCHele morgan
mitCHell BeDell
Paul kornBlueH
sPenCer sHarP
steven sCHoenFarBer
JonatHan klein
stePHen golDBerg
DaviD wolFF
Advertising Coordination
katHerine DesPagni
Production
Production Director
mark stinson
advertising Production
lisa meDCHill
website Design
Bao-tran HyunH
Special Thanks to:
BraDFisHertown
BruCennial 2012
JoHn gorDon gaulD
aPril Hunt
Billy morrissette
7eleven gallery
OBSERVER MEDIA GROUP
Publisher JARED KUSHNER
editorial Director ELIZABETH SPIERS
President CHRISTOPHER BARNES
executive v.P. BARRY LEWIS
senior v.P., associate Publisher JAmIE fORREST
editorial manager mICHAEL WOODSmALL
senior Director of integrated marketing DEBORAH ESTEvEZ-vANDERLINDER
marketing manager ZARAH BURSTEIN
Scooter magazine
Observer media Group
321 W. 44 St., 6th floor
New York, NY 10036
(212) 755-2400
Email: scooter@observer.com
Website: scooterny.com
Twitter: @nyoscooter
Facebook: scooter magazine
Distribution: dmowery@observer.com
Editor in Chief
Peter FelD
Art Director
sCott Dvorin
Deputy Editor
BenJamin-Émile le Hay
Home Editor
alexa stevenson
Arts Editor
JenniFer wrigHt
Fashion Director
erin marsz
Community Editor
stella PsarouDakis
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At Home In An Icon
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are pledged to the letter and spirit of U.S. policy for the achievement of equal housing opportunity throughout the Nation. We encourage and support an affirmative advertising and
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Date: March 16, 2012
Project: Manhattan House
Publication: NY Observer Scooter Magazine
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14 Scooter spring 2012
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raising children in
New York City requires
sacrifce, but offers the re-
ward of a childhood like no-
where else. Our kids stand
out for their street smarts
and their only-in–New
York fashion (see “8 Days A
Week,” p. 34). Only in
New York could the impos-
sibly lucky twins Violet and
Julia Dolby-Frist approach
their “terrible twos” in the Gramercy wonderland created by their liter-
ary fathers, Drew Frist and Tom Dolby (“Full House,” p. 53).
One of the most unique aspects of a New York childhood is school.
Public or private, a NYC education is different than being schooled any-
where else. This issue features a special section (beginning p. 59) on the
city’s most amazing schools, with expert advice on the heart-stopping
experience of school admissions, and our Unique New York School
Awards (p. 71), named for our favorite childhood tongue twister.
Parents fret about school admissions for many reasons. Last year, one
mom infamously fled a class action suit against her Upper East Side pre-
school for wrecking her 4-year-old’s chances of getting into Harvard.
“The school proved not to be a school at all, but just one big playroom,”
the complaint alleged. (Spoiler alert: That kid’s got bigger problems.)
But the real value of a school comes down to the teachers. I was lucky
to be taught English at Riverdale by Jane Bendetson, who died in Maine
last October at 82. Mrs. B. was an antiwar and femi-
nist crusader, a stickler for composition, a lover
of literature from the Bible to Virginia Woolf,
and a cult fgure in the best sense. Students
clustered around her desk during free pe-
riod, bantering about books, politics and the
harshness of the Yale faculty. She’d previ-
ously taught at Dalton, where she was just as
revered—at least by her students. After retir-
ing she wrote wry and moving essays for The New
York Times Magazine. According to Riverdale’s alumni
magazine Quad, Mrs. Bendetson re-taught herself to speak after a stroke
10 years ago—and then started a group at the Maine Medical Center to
help others recover from aphasia. Without her, I wouldn’t be able to
write or edit. That’s what the choice of a school can mean to a child.
This issue brings the return pleasure of working with Sophie Neale,
one of the frst bloggers I ever hired back in 2006, when at age 3 she
wrote “Baby’s First Blog” (“blob,” she called it then) for the much-missed
Cookie magazine where I was online editor. Sophie’s efforts caught the
eye of Time’s James Poniewozik, who proposed she be signed to a book
deal to write about growing up in public. While not yet ready to pen her
memoirs, Sophie (now 8) takes us on a tour of Lower Manhattan art gal-
leries as only a child can (p. 19). Her mom, Tamara Loomis—also an
ex-Cookie blogger—offers up private school admissions tips on p. 65.
If you enjoy this issue please “like” Scooter Magazine on Facebook. Our
Web site is ScooterNY.com, and be sure to follow @NYOScooter on
Twitter. In coming months we’ll be seeking nominations for our 20
Under 10 Awards this fall, so please send your suggestions for notable
New Yorkers under 10 who excel in scholastics, athletics, community
involvement or performing arts to scooter@observer.com.
Scooter from the editor
Editorial confErEncE for "BaBy's
first Blog" with sophiE at thE condE
nast cafEtEria, 2006.
ScooterSp2012_PreFOB_EDLetter.indd 14 3/23/12 9:51:15 PM
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16 Scooter spring 2012
Contributors
Illustrator ryan snook (p. 30) lives in
Toronto with his wife Beth and dog
Scooter. (We like the name.) Snook is
part of the illustration collective Illo
Confidential. His work, which can be
seen at his site ryansnook.com,
includes comics and picture books as
well as commercial and children’s
illustrations.
ioanna and stella psaroudakis both
come to us by way of our fashion
director, Erin Marsz. Stella, who once
performed with Erin in the indie
Brooklyn band sensation Tralala,
coordinated expert input for our
school section (p. 59) as Scooter’s
community editor. As our deputy
fashion director, Ioanna helped Erin
style “8 Days A Week,” our preview of
NYC kids’ spring 2012 styles (p. 34).
Born in the Soviet Union and raised
deep in Brooklyn, Karol Markowicz (p.
86) writes about politics for WNYC
and culture for the New York Post
opinion page. She’s also newly an
entrepreneur, as co-owner of a
blowout and nail bar, Fix Beauty Bar,
opening in late April on the Upper
East Side. She lives in Manhattan with
her husband and 2-year old daughter.
Una La Marche (p. 24 and p. 112), a
columnist for The Observer, blogs at
her site The Sassy Curmudgeon as well
as The Huffington Post and Nick Mom,
and is an editor at Aiming Low. Una’s
talents aren’t limited to the page
(print and web): she’ll be performing
in the first “Listen To Your Mother”
show at the JCC Manhattan on May 6.
3.16.12 • Scooter NY Observer • 1/2 pg horizontal • 7.125 x 4.625 • Issue: 3.20.12
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Scooter scooterNY.com 17
The mother of a 13-year-old son,
Danielle mowery recently started her
own nonprofit, Building Dyslexia
Awareness (buildingdyslexiaaware-
ness.org). A former copywriter at
publications from Nickelodeon to The
New Yorker, Danielle, who interviewed
admissions experts and profiled
schools for our special section (p. 60),
manages circulation for Scooter as
part of her day job. (So contact her at
dmowery@observer.com if your
location wants to distribute us.)
After three years reporting for the New
York Post’s Page Six column, freelance
writer and pop culture enthusiast
corynne steindler went on to
contribute to media outlets including
New York Weddings, NBC, In Touch
Weekly, Gourmet, and the New York
Press. She lives in Brooklyn with her
husband. She helped profile New
York’s unique schools (p. 71), and talked
to notable New Yorkers’ school
memories (p. 69).
Alizah salario, who reported for us
on origami class (p. 74) and e-books
(p. 91) is a freelance journalist whose
work has appeared in publications
including The Daily Beast, Ms.,
Huffington Post and Playbill. A
Columbia journalism grad and 2010
journalism fellow at the Poetry
Foundation, she’s now working on
her first book.
rachel Graham, who covered New
York’s new kids’ theater (p. 48) is a
writer and Pittsburgh native who lives
in Queens. Trained in dramatic writing
at NYU, Rachel has written for New
York Family and Babble.com, as well
as scripts for preschool television
programs, fashion and screenwriting
blogs, and the occasional grocery list.
She gets to teach and play with kids
as a tutor and substitute teacher.
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Gallery
Girl
We follow our 8-year-old critic on a tour of
New York’s contemporary art scene.
by Benjamin-Émile Le Hay
Photography by Christian Pielow
ScooterSp2012_FOB_ArtWalk.indd 19 3/23/12 9:22:48 PM
20 Scooter SPRING 2012
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THE BRUCE HIGH
QUALITY FOUNDATION
159 BLEECKER STREET
(WED–SUN 12–6PM, THROUGH APRIL 20)
THEBRUCEHIGHQUALITYFOUNDATION.COM
Sophie explored hundreds of alternative
and outlandish pieces at this art collective’s
Brucennial exhibition, timed to coincide with the
Whitney Biennial. This year’s show, curated by
Vito Schnabel, encompasses over 300 works by
Damien Hirst, Andy Warhol and Keith Haring—
along with up-and-coming talents.
Gallery
Girl
ScooterSp2012_FOB_ArtWalk.indd 20 3/23/12 9:23:20 PM
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Decks
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(212) 245-5110
Ashly.indd 1 3/20/12 12:41:17 PM
7ELEVEN GALLERY
711 WASHINGTON STREET
7ELEVENGALLERY.COM
Don’t be fooled by Z Behl’s fantastical life-sized
sculptures rendered in oil paint and Day-Glo in
her show “Battle for Lagniappe.” What appears
to be a dreamland adventure has plenty of adult
humor peppered throughout. The artist, known
for her work on music videos and set designs,
has filled the newly opened 7Eleven Gallery
with an underwater world that completely
transforms the gallery. Sophie loved exploring
the comical flying creatures, a besieged pirate
ship, mer-creatures and sea monsters.
BRADFISHERTOWN
23 SECOND AVENUE
BRADFISHERTOWN.COM
Artist Brad Fisher has recently moved to
a new studio space just off of the Bowery,
called BRADFISHERTOWN. His figurative
and ironic multimedia paintings have
earned the artist many well-known fans
including Renée Zellweger, NBC’s Ben
Silverman, Drew Barrymore and Marc Jacobs.
Sophie got the unique opportunity to tour
BRADFISHERTOWN and create her first
acrylic on canvas: a sure masterpiece!
S
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Azure.indd 1 3/20/12 12:42:06 PM
24 Scooter SPRING 2012
B
EFORE I GOT PREGNANT, I suppose I would have said babies probably didn’t belong in
bars. For one thing, they are terrible at holding their liquor. And they almost never tip.
But since most of the crying I’d seen at my local watering holes was limited to twenty-
something women after one too many Jägerbombs, I wasn’t overly concerned with the
burp-cloth set.
Then I had my son, Sam. I had planned to spend, oh, I don’t know, the first year or so just
gazing at him beatifically while visitors brought me gifts of frankincense and myrrh and maybe a
nice bottle of Sancerre. But gazing—more bleary-eyed than beatific, though still satisfying!—
only took up so much time, and by the fourth or fifth week I was in dire need of a social calendar.
Preferably one that involved a little booze.
Before Sam, a friend and I had a standing happy hour date at Five Points on Great Jones Street.
So when she suggested that I meet her there for a quick glass of wine one evening, I leapt at the
chance to ditch my yoga pants and handle a bottle larger than four ounces. “You do realize I’m
bringing the baby with me,” I said. “Of course!” she replied giddily. “I get to be the aunt who takes
him to his first bar.” And so we went. And, yes, there were awkward moments. I had to nurse
Sam beneath a glorified apron (less discreet than it could be, thanks to its frat-boy joke of a name,
“The Hooter Hider”) while perched on a stool and holding a Champagne flute. Once the restau-
rant started filling up I did get some quizzical glances, calling to mind Reese Witherspoon’s line
from Sweet Home Alabama, “Look at you, you have a baby … in a bar!” But Sam was charming and
composed, and the wait staff loved him. I had a lovely time.
Alas, happy hour for the masses falls squarely during the prime bedtime stretch for small chil-
dren. And many bars—certainly those that attract a rowdier crowd than Five Points—aren’t
such great places for babies, no matter how liberal your parenting style.
But across the East River in Brooklyn, new moms and dads who want to get out of the house to
drink a beer while little Langston plays with his feet have some options. Far from an excuse to get
hammered in the middle of the day, these happy hours are basically play groups where moms gab,
babies play and a cocktail might be nursed (no pun intended) over the course of a few hours.
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Mommy & Me …
& Malbec
Brooklyn’s New Baby-Friendly Happy Hours
by Una LaMarche
(Cont’d p. 26)
9:41 AM
I am in :)
Let’s think of a fun locale …
The Dutch is good fun; T. has good luck
with getting in there!
Open to all :)
Sent from my iPhone
9:58 AM
which one? 19th or boqueria local?
10:49 AM
As of now i think both work for me.
12:24 PM
So how does 1/17 work for everyone?
Lemme know!
xo
12:53 PM
1/17 works. Dutch is good or I really like
Boqueria too! Have you all been?
Spanish Tapas but not like the other
tapas place. These are small plates LOL.
Really like the venue …
Im good for 19th and either place works
for me!
3:06 PM
We need to hear from the slackers to
finalize :)
3:19 PM
Lol …
What about the week of January 23rd?
3:27 PM
If 1/18 doesn’t work I could do the week
of 1/23 …
Sent from my iPhone
4:11 PM
I could do the 18th but i thought it was
out for someone.
4:24 PM
I could do the 18th. Who can’t? Also, I
must commend the folks who haven’t
responded to this mail trail yet. Either A)
they have work to do or B) they have
finally figured out that chiming in at the
end of the trail makes much more sense
than responding to all the in-between
messages. Whatever the case may be,
BRAVA to you ladies!
7:00 PM
So 18th? Should I throw out the 21st to
Fu#k things up? LOL!!!
Sent from my iPhone
7:04 PM
We need to hear back from silent
‘slackers.’
18th seems to work for Kelly, Marcy, you
& Melanie. Not ideal for me, but I think I
can handle :)
7:08
I’m dizzy!
Sent from my iPhone
MANHATTAN MOMS
PLAN A NIGHT OUT
(the email trail)
ScooterSp2012_FOB_MomsNightOut.indd 24 3/23/12 9:35:28 PM
2.21.12 • NY Observer Rental Guide • mechanical & trim size: 8.125 x 10.75 • safety: 1/4” • bleed: 1/4” • Issue: 2.28.12
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sky_ny_observer_v1a_mccd_Layout 1 2/21/12 4:21 PM Page 1
fps.indd 1 3/23/12 8:00:48 PM
26 Scooter SPRING 2012
Der Schwarze Kölner
710 FULTON STREET, FORT GREENE
347-841-4495
TUESDAYS AND THURSDAYS, AND
SOME WEDNESDAYS DEPENDING
ON THE WEATHER, 2:30–5 P.M. (FOL-
LOW STUTENGARTEN BROOKLYN
ON FACEBOOK FOR UPDATES.)
As many as three afternoons
each week, the staff at this Fort
Greene German beer hall clears
away the communal-style tables
and benches and puts down rubber
play mats, delineating two spaces:
one for non-mobile babies and
another for toddlers. No drink
specials per se, but $6 will get you a
half liter of a nice, nutty
Hefeweissbier off the extensive
beer menu. A limited selection of
wine is also available, as are
non-alcoholic beverages and soft
pretzels with mustard. There’s a $5
minimum, and it’s cash only.
The vibe is laid-back. By
necessity, everyone sits on the floor
or on chairs lining the bar’s
perimeter. Moms are free to spread
out blankets and toys. But the lithe,
severe-looking young wait staff are
sticklers for health code violations,
and insist that all diapers be dealt
with on the changing table, located
somewhat head-scratchingly in the
men’s room. (A few dads do
regularly attend what the
neighborhood calls “Babies and
Beer.”) Parents must even sign a
waiver promising to adhere to the
bar’s rules. These include not
allowing children to touch or climb
on anything outside of the
designated play space. But the
frequent Facebook updates
(“C’mon down for some warm, dry
fun!”) on the bar’s Stutengarten
Brooklyn page are much friendlier.
61 Local
61 BERGEN STREET, COBBLE HILL
347-763-6624
MOM-SPONSORED MEET-UPS
THURSDAYS AND FRIDAYS AT 11 A.M.
INTERACTIVE MUSIC SHOW MIL’S
TRILLS EVERY SECOND FRIDAY OF
THE MONTH, 3:30–4:30 P.M.
BoCoCa moms flock to this cozy
pub for the tons of stroller space
and gourmet snacks, including Oslo
Coffee, Bien Cuit pastries and
Scratchbread, along with a beer,
wine and lunch service that starts at
11 a.m. The bar doesn’t host a formal
Mommy and Me play group, so no
mats or toys. But one Friday every
month musician Amelia
Robinson—aka Mil’s Trills—enter-
tains an often-packed house of
parents and tots with her specialty,
whimsical ukulele tunes. And owner
Kris de la Torre is happy to have the
Bugaboo business. “The mom’s
group is a really important
cross-section of the neighborhood
for 61 Local,” she says. “We’re happy
to be such a regular host.”
Uncle Barry’s
58 FIFTH AVENUE, PARK SLOPE
718-622-4980
AND
The Bearded Lady
686A WASHINGTON AVENUE,
PROSPECT HEIGHTS
469-232-7333
MOM-SPONSORED MEET-UPS,
4:30–6 P.M. WEDNESDAYS,
ALTERNATING BETWEEN SPOTS
Uncle Barry’s—a roomy, dimly lit,
exposed-brick watering hole with
18 beers on tap—opened its doors
on Brooklyn’s upper Fifth Avenue
last November. Park Slope
mothers and their youngest
children wasted no time in
organizing a biweekly gathering to
take advantage of the 1–7 p.m.
daily happy hour, offering $2 off
every drink on the menu. Sure, the
Mortal Kombat 2 arcade game in
the back isn’t exactly Baby
Einstein—and there are “definitely
no changing tables,” according to
co-owner Josh Ellis. But Bjorn-free
patrons coexist peacefully with
the breeders. On alternate
Wednesdays, the moms take their
business to the Bearded Lady, a
colorfully retro cocktail bar in
Prospect Heights that offers a
happy hour ever weekday until 8
p.m. with $4 beers on tap, $1 off
other drinks and tasty sandwiches.
BYO changing pad.
Putnam’s Pub &
Cooker
419 MYRTLE AVENUE, CLINTON HILL
347-227-8976
FRIDAYS, 3–5 P.M.
Last fall, a faction of a dozen or
so Der Schwarze Kölner regulars
broke off to form a new mom/
baby happy hour at this
unassuming Clinton Hill saloon.
There’s nothing special beyond
standard midday drink discounts,
and no setup for kids, but
Putnam’s is a large space with
room for strollers—the staff is
accommodating, and it’s empty
enough at 3 p.m. that moms have
plenty of room to spread out and
relax. “They have food, which
helps if you had to rock the baby
through lunchtime instead of
eating,” adds one devotee.
S

YOU HAVE A BABY ... IN A BAR?
Not a problem at these proven kid-friendly establishments, according to a survey of city moms.
(But here’s a tip: Go before 5 p.m. to avoid potential tsk-tsking from the after-work crowd).
MANHATTAN
BRASS MONKEY, 55 Little West 12th St.,
Meatpacking District, 212-675-6686
EAR INN, 326 Spring St., Soho, 212-226-9060
FIVE POINTS, 31 Great Jones St., No. 1, NoHo,
212-253-5700
DUKE’S, 99 East 19th St., Gramercy, 212-260-2922
GRAMERCY TAVERN, 42 East 20th St., Gramercy,
212-477-0777
ZAMPA, 306 West 13th St., West Village,
212-206-0601
BROOKLYN
BLACK MOUNTAIN WINEHOUSE, 415 Union St.,
Gowanus, 718-522-4340
FLOYD, 131 Atlantic Ave., Brooklyn Heights,
718-858-5810
FRANKLIN PARK, 618 Saint Johns Pl., Crown Heights,
718-975-0196
HABANA OUTPOST, 757 Fulton St., #A, Fort Greene,
718-858-9500
SODA BAR, 629 Vanderbilt Ave., Prospect Heights,
718-230-8393
THE GATE, 321 Fifth Ave., Park Slope, 718-768-4329
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8:03
This slacker (who happened to have a
tremendously stressful day with a client
that fired her firm) says ok to the 18th.
I need several drinks.
8:46 PM
Yay to the 18th … Sorry about the client.
8:47 PM
THIS JUST IN …
1/18th:
Kelly - yes
Olivia - yes
Melanie - yes (not perfect though)
Neila - yes (ditto)
Tina - yes
Marcy - yes
Brice - YES
Gretchen - ?????
Are we done yet?
:)
8:57 PM
Wow we almost have a date. Only took 400
emails and 20 hours!!! A world record!
9:14 PM
Ladies! Sounds good to me …
just pending a baby sitter.
G.
Sent from my iPhone
9:16 PM
Great!!
Yay!
I feel like we’ve already gone out & got a
little tipsy :)
N.
[THE DAY AFTER]
9:47 AM
Total blast as always.
Was up till 1:30.
At school at 8
Now at PTA meeting.
Dying ;-)
12:20 PM
Who are all you people!? It’s all a distant
memory … maybe because of the 17
drinks I had!
Soooo fun and I swear, I don’t think I’ll
ever eat again (which isn’t such a bad
thing). That was delish and a FEAST! I’m
still full!
Had a hs tour bright and early at 8am.
Just got back … exhausted!!
xoxo
Melanie
1:52 PM
Hey all,
Just woke up. Can you all just take it
down a notch?
LOL! Just kidding but it did feel like they
were filming extreme home makeover
inside my head.
Great fun last night ladies! Thank you for
including me!! Did I make the cut?
Here’s to hoping!
xxootina
ScooterSp2012_FOB_MomsNightOut.indd 26 3/23/12 9:35:33 PM
Creatures of
LIGHT
Nature’s Bioluminescence
TICKETS AT AMNH.ORG, FREE FOR MEMBERS
Open daily • Central Park West at 79th Street • 212-769-5100
March 31, 2012 – January 6, 2013
The natural world shines brightest with the fascinating creatures that
produce their own light. Explore it all in an immersive exhibition.
Creatures of Light: Nature’s Bioluminescence is organized by the American Museum of Natural History, New York (www.amnh.org),
in collaboration with the Canadian Museum of Nature, Ottawa, Canada, and The Field Museum, Chicago.
AMNCOL2122_scooter.indd 1 3/13/12 1:29 PM
AMNH0312.indd 1 3/23/12 7:07:33 PM
qART.indd 1 3/19/12 11:39:26 AM
F
O
T
O
L
I
A

(
2
)

Scooter SCOOTERNY.COM 29
FRIKADELLER
adapted from The Family Dinner
by Laurie David, with recipes by
Kirstin Uhrenholdt
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M
Y WIFE ONCE DESCRIBED COOKING
WITH KIDS —we have two girls, now 5
and 7—as harder than trying to shower
with monkeys. I found that particularly
funny—because in our house, I do most
of the cooking.
We eat well: I’m prone to dishes like rabbit stew,
linguine alle vongole, red-lentil dhal, rib eye with
wasabi, mushroom risotto and wild salmon. The
one downside? Choosing between being in the
kitchen or being with my girls. Make
rosemary roast potatoes, or draw
pictures with them? Bolognese
or a board game? Soup or a
stroll in Prospect Park?
And if I’m at the stove,
there’s someone else to con-
sider. When I’m not minding
the children, my wife is. I spend
many more hours typing at a mid-
town desk than with my rapidly
growing daughters. My wife’s a new media entrepre-
neur, and thanks to her schedule, she already spends
more time taking care of them than I do.
So I resolved to bring the children into the kitchen
with me. My wife is happy for a break. I get a mo-
ment with the girls. And then we all gather for a
happy little Leave It to Beaver moment around the
dinner table.
Or that’s the theory. But a recipe that normally
takes 10 minutes will occupy half an hour with kids
involved. Measuring a cup of flour will take five min-
utes, wiping up spills not included.
I used to think that only the insane would try to
cook with kids. But sometimes the crazy choice is the
best choice.
One Saturday morning, I returned from a run in
the park to find my two girls chanting “Pfannkuchen!
Pfannkuchen! Pfannkuchen!” Their mother had taught
them how to say “pancake” in German. But now,
through the shower door, I could hear her trying
vainly to contain them.
By her tone, I could tell that the Maginot Line of
maternal patience was about to crumble.
I toweled off. Feeling brave and under the influence
of endorphins after some exercise, I invited the kids
to help me make breakfast. My youngest ran to get
her Hello Kitty apron. Her sister pulled a chair over
to the kitchen counter.
The girls took turns measuring the dry ingredi-
ents. We beat the egg whites to glorious peaks. And
with their help, I got break-
fast done just before lunch,
which, of course, gave my
wife plenty of time to go for
a bike ride.
When she came back, we
had our maple-syrup-fueled
moment of family bliss. But
my real dream —elusive
until recently—is for my
girls to reach the point
where they can help in the
kitchen, instead of slowing me down.
One Sunday, not long ago, I was making my version
of frikadeller, Danish meatballs I learned about from
Laurie David’s excellent book The Family Dinner. (The
recipe came from the grandmother of David’s co-au-
thor—and personal chef—Kirstin Uhrenholdt.)
Green beans were my side dish.
At the risk of extending dinner preparations
into Monday morning, I called for my youngest
to join me.
“Do you want to wash the
beans? ” Kids love playing
with water. I learned
early on to have the
girls take turns at
the si nk, washi ng
greens. They could
do it for hours.
She ran over immedi-
ately, and we were well on
our way to the cleanest green
beans in the tristate area.
I whipped up the meatballs. Then it was time to
trim the beans. I didn’t want her to leave, so I gave
her a knife and showed her how to trim the ends off
the beans. Not quite 5—old enough to start learning
some knife skills, I think. I gave her a small but sharp
steak knife. We went over some basics: blade versus
handle, and I kept an eye on her to keep her focused,
lest she poke herself in the eye or gouge my arm
while gesturing wildly to make an important point.
She was good about that. And she loved cutting off
the ends of the beans.
Her sister saw the fun and wanted to join in. The
green beans were under control, but I had another
interesting task for her. The frikadeller were ready to
be fried, and I had her stand with me and flip them
in the pan.
I let her hold the spatula by herself. She only burned
herself once.
S
John Donohue is the author of Man with a Pan: Culinary
Adventures of Fathers Who Cook for Their Families. He blogs
about cooking at StayAtStoveDad.com.
INGREDIENTS
⅔ cup cold water
½ cup homemade, unsea-
soned breadcrumbs (or a
little more, depending)
2 eggs, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 tablespoon apple-cider
vinegar
¼ cup chopped fresh
parsley
1 small onion, minced
2 lbs ground turkey
1 In a large bowl, combine all the
ingredients except the turkey.
Stir well until mixed together.
Let the mixture rest in the re-
frigerator for about 10 minutes,
until the breadcrumbs absorb
the liquid.
2 Add the ground turkey to the
bowl and mix well.
3 Heat oven to 350 degrees.
4 Oil a baking sheet and set it
nearby.
5 Heat a large frying pan with
some oil for frying.
6 Using a spoon and/or your
hands, make small balls out of
the mixture and place the mix-
ture in the frying pan. Flatten
the balls so they are no longer
round, and are more oblong
than circular.
7 Fry on one side until brown,
and then flip.
8 When brown on both sides
(more or less), remove the meat-
balls from the frying pan and
slide them on the baking sheet.
9 Repeat until all the mixture is
used up and you have a baking
sheet full of meatballs.
10 Bake the meatballs in the
oven for 20 minutes.
STAY AT STOVE CHEF
Togetherness With
A Chance of Meatballs
KIDS LOVE TO HELP IN THE KITCHEN. BUT HOW MUCH
BETTER IF THEY CAN ACTUALLY HELP! by John Donohue
ScooterSp2012_FOB_StayAtStoveDad.indd 29 3/23/12 10:29:11 PM
30 Scooter SPRING 2012
M
Y 10-MONTH-OLD DAUGHTER’S
head hitting the f loor was not
something I saw. I heard it. The
room was pitch black when she
slipped off the bed’s edge—which
to her might as well have been the
edge of the world.
The flat clunk of skin-padded bone against
rock was unmistakable in the room’s wee-
hour silence. That was a head hitting a floor.
A little head. A big, hard floor.
Then the crying started.
Say all the elitist things you want, but few
owners of shag-carpeted bedrooms have ever
found themselves online at 3 a.m. Googling
the term “baby fall head hit call should hospi-
tal take?”
My girl continued screaming as I inspected
the wound. No bleeding, thank goodness,
but . . . was that . . . a dent? Yes, there was a
clear dent in her forehead, not unlike the
kind that deters the purchase of a can of
fruit. My daughter’s dent was a crater. A real
moon feature. On close inspection, the dent
featured an impression of the four-way tile
seam she had hit.
Apparently, a dented head is “okay.” As one
family physician later told me, “babies are
born dent-able.”
But some potential symptoms of a baby’s
head injury are very much not okay. And it’s
not always that easy to suss them out. For in-
stance, you are supposed to call your doctor if
your child shows “confused thinking.” While
my 10-month-old did not yet speak, her
2-year-old sister does—and just that morn-
ing told me she was going to “put on her alli-
gator house poop.” Had she hit her head when
I wasn’t looking?
Under head injuries, the Seattle Children’s
Hospital’s “Should Your Child See a Doc-
tor? ” Web page recommends you “Call Your
Doctor Now” if “You think your child has a
serious injury.”
So, basically, if frantic Googling has brought
you to this page, call your doctor now.
I pondered what to tell my wife, searching
obsessively under “baby falls.” Because adult
human beings are horrible creatures, You-
Tube boasts a robust library of baby falling
videos. One stomach-churner, titled “Crib
Escape FAIL,” shows a toddler fall headfirst
from a crib, down and out of frame onto the
floor. The audience is invited to use its imagi-
nation—just like in Psycho.
It turns out football and hockey players have
nothing on being a 3-year-old. The leading
cause of unintentional injury for children is
falls. And for very young children, head inju-
ries from falls cause the majority of deaths and
severe injury. One-third of all fall-related
emergency room visits are from children.
As a parent, falls concern me far more than
other threats that just cannot seem to hold
my terror. (Such as, say, “bottle tooth.”)
There are walker falls, high-chair falls, win-
dow falls, rocking-horse falls, crib falls,
jumper falls, sofa falls, stool falls, Bumbo
falls, changing-table falls, bathtub falls,
slide falls, stroller falls, bicycle falls,
swing falls, running falls, everyday
pedestrian face-plants and, of
course, bed falls. It’s no
accident that some of
the most popular
nursery rhymes deal
with falls. “Broke his
crown” is just a poetic
way to say “intracranial
epidural hematoma.”
While a child’s brain is
like a sponge, his or
her skull is unyield-
ing, more like bone.
In fact, exactly like
bone. When a skull smashes into something,
such as a creamy, travertine Capadocia wal-
nut-tumbled six-by-six floor tile, it comes to
an abrupt and violent halt.
Ever curious, the brain continues on its path
to see what the holdup is, slamming into the
now-stopped skull. Did you know that once
the brain strikes the skull—coup injury —it
may bounce back and strike another side of
the skull, causing a separate countercoup in-
jury? Well, you do now.
More trivia: Mortality after a fall more
than doubles at 15 feet. For a fall from less
than five feet, such as from a bed, mortality
is just 0.5 percent.
My girl’s screams, quickly joined by sympa-
thetic yelps from the dog, were by far the best
signal her injury was not life threatening. If
the fallen are immediately quiet—or still
screaming after 20 minutes or more—that’s
when worrying should really be done. After
weeks spent researching online and talking to
doctors, what I’ve learned is: vomiting, lots
of blood, loss of consciousness, a seizure, fall
from a height of five feet or more, or swelling
beyond the size of a silver dollar are all signs
it’s time to go see a doctor.
Also, if you’re unsure, go see a doctor.
When I finally did get my daughter snooz-
ing again, I was haunted by the Internet’s hor-
ror stories about head-injured babies who
never woke up. After all that screaming and
drama, the poor child was so worn out that
all she wanted to do was sleep it off. But for
every 30 minutes, until the morning, she had
to respond to a curious poke in the ribs from
the very same guy who let her fall on her head
in the first place.
A week later the black-
and-blue bruise, after
turning a putrid shade of
brown in its final days, fi-
nally cleared away. Her
forehead again unblem-
ished, the only lasting in-
jury was my own sense of
guilt—and an inability to
ever forget that sound.
S
HEALTH
When the
Baby Falls
ONLINE HEAD-BUMP ADVICE MAY
BE HAZARDOUS TO YOUR
MENTAL HEALTH by Abe Sauer
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‘Broke his crown’
is just a poetic way to
say ‘intracranial
epidural hematoma.’
I want my kids to feel that in any
fi ght, the city has their back.
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ScooterSp2012_FOB_BabyFalls.indd 30 3/23/12 9:08:06 PM
ANNE ARANSAENZ, Vice President, Associate Broker
212.606.7645 | anne.aransaenz@sothebyshomes.com
167 E 61ST ST: A move-in sun-flooded 4 bedroom, 4 bath apartment on a high floor with spectacular NYC
skyline views in every direction. Highest standard renovation including new floors and kitchen. 2 balconies.
$2,390,000. WEB: NYO0017830
EAST SIDE MANHATTAN BROKERAGE I sothebyshomes.com/nyc
38 EAST 61ST STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10065
Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc., is Owned and Operated by NRT LLC.
Untitled-6 1 3/20/12 12:37:45 PM
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32 Scooter SPRING 2012
TED GUSHUE, 23, DJ,
JOURNALIST, UNION SQUARE
“I tried to find a happy mix of
new and interesting, classic
and timeless, or all-around
versatile. It wouldn’t be odd
to hear any of these at a
trendy lounge, or in a family
living room. All fun, all differ-
ent, all interesting!”
1. “Polish Girl,” Neon Indian
2. “We Found Love,” Rihanna ft. Calvin Harris
3. “New Beat,” Toro Y Moi
4. “Odessa,” Caribou
5. “Harvest Moon,” Poolside
6. “Midnight City,” M83
7. “This Is the Day,” The The
8. “Dream Machine,” Mark Farina ft. Sean Hayes
9. “Time Stands Still,” Cut Copy
10. “Dirty Bossa Nova,” Mr. Flash
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DANA BETHUNE WITH
DAUGHTER DYLAN, AGE 3,
BROOKLYN
“Dylan and I absolutely love
to dance and sing! So much
so—she is the youngest mem-
ber of the children’s choir at
church. In the evening after
school, we crank up the music
(sorry, neighbors), grab the
hairbrushes and let loose in the
middle of the living room floor. We have a lot of fun and
it is a great way to make sure she is tired at bedtime.”
1. “Baby,” Justin Bieber
2. “Last Friday Night,” Katy Perry
3. “Party Rock Anthem,” LMFAO
4. “Beat It,” Michael Jackson
5. “Moves Like Jagger,” Maroon 5 ft. Christina Aguilera
6. “Whip My Hair,” Willow Smith
7. “I Wanna Dance with Somebody,” Whitney Houston
8. “Rolling in the Deep,” Adele
9. “On the Floor,” Jennifer Lopez ft. Pitbull
10. “Love You Like a Love Song,”
Selena Gomez & the Scene
DJ vs. Mom Playlists
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ScooterSp2012_FOB_Playlists.indd 32 3/23/12 9:37:16 PM
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HE HAPPIEST I EVER WAS when I was a child was at the
Waldorf-Astoria.
Now, I don’t think a hotel is supposed to be the happiest place
in anyone’s childhood. Unless you are the heroine in a Kay
Thompson story, in which case I wandered into the wrong hotel.
I think I should be able to fudge my happiest childhood memory a
bit, and say that I was happiest at F.A.O. Schwartz or in Central Park—
though I don’t recall spending much time at either of those places.
But I can go back to the first time I walked into the Waldorf. I was 4,
accompanying my parents, who were in New York for the Canadian
Society Ball. (We lived in Chicago.) As soon as we walked into the
lobby my nanny said, “Well, this is heaven.” Because I was 4, I took her
literally. I was sitting on a chair by the H. Stern jewelry shop, and there
was a necklace in the window that was a rainbow of gemstones. In the
lobby was a flower arrangement I still remember as the largest and most
perfect I have ever seen. Someone mentioned that there was never a
night when there was not a party in the ballroom.
Scooter SCOOTERNY.COM 33
Waldorf Memories
For One Girl, a Hotel Lobby Was Heaven on Earth
by Jennifer Wright
Rainbow jewels. A bouquet the
size of a small planet. Eternal par-
ties. Heaven. Sold. It was a really
easy mistake to make.
I don’t think I figured out that
we were not actually dead until
the next morning. That night I
was allowed to jump up and down
on all the beds in the suite (not
permitted at home, on the
grounds that it was unladylike)
and eat ice cream
for dinner (also not
allowed, on the
grounds that this
would simply be
too much f un,
presumably).
The next day I
stood by the flower
arrangement, searching for
analogies to convey its wonder
to my nanny. “Like The Jungle
Book!” “Like the secret garden!”
“Like … good flowers.” She paid
no attention until I wondered
aloud whether the flowers would
ever change, on account of us
being in heaven. If they weren’t
going to, that was fine. I could
be fine with that.
She gently explained life, heaven
and the Waldorf.
I was not at all keen on having to
be a person again. Back to that
playground realpolitik, all those
snacks of applesauce, half-under-
stood disciplinary visits to the
preschool principal’s office … It’s
enough to make anyone sit in the
middle of a room and scream.
Adults are so apt to think of chil-
dren as harmless bit players in
life’s dramas that they forget that
to other children they are center
stage, and extremely dangerous.
Childhood is really the part of
your life when you most need
room-service-delivered ice cream
for dinner, and also, frankly, a
Scotch, although you don’t real-
ize that until later.
But then I thought about how
the smell of those Waldorf flow-
ers mingled with the perfume
my nanny always wore, and how
nice that seemed. And soon I
was whisked off to some nearby
plaza—it might have been Cen-
tral Park, but probably not—to
run around with pigeons. I was
fine again.
We went to the Waldorf once a
year for the next few years. “This
is heaven,” I would tell my nanny,
jokingly. Approximately 700
times, I think.
After that my nanny went away.
Because we live on earth, not in
heaven, those things happen.
Nannies go away, flower arrange-
ments change.
She left behind a box of her
clothing, stored in our basement.
It smelled like her perfume. And
then the smell faded away. Those
things happen. It’s silly, but when-
ever I visit the Waldorf, I half ex-
pect the flower arrangements to
smell just that way.
Not that I stay at the Waldorf.
When I’m walking through the
neighborhood I use its bathroom
as most people use Starbucks. But
H. Stern is gone now. The flower
arrangements are not what they
were. It’s no longer the early
’90s. Here on earth, life is ephem-
eral. (Overall, it’s still a pretty
O.K. lobby.)
There isn’t much about being a
child I would repeat. (Apple-
sauce! Playground fights! Abject
confusion! No Scotch!) But 20
years later, I don’t expect any-
thing will ever make me as happy
as room service ice cream at the
Waldorf did then. And who
knows? Perhaps, when you finally
check out of that hotel called life,
you wake up the next morning a
child at the Waldorf. Then you
jump on all the beds and feel once
again certain that good things can
last forever. S
Jennifer Wright (@JenAshleyWright on
Twitter) is editor in chief of TheGloss.com.
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“He’s a good kid, but I just wish he’ d act his age.”
ScooterSp2012_FOB_Waldorf.indd 33 3/23/12 9:08:53 PM
34 Scooter SPRING 2011
4
5
7
2
1
6
3
With the sun shining a bit longer every day and
the weather warming up, spring is upon us. As
April showers bring us May flowers, there are
many opportunities to wear all the bright, fun
colors and lighter fabrications of spring! As our
time fills up with all the activities the season
has to offer, there are still many ways for
children and parents to remain effortlessly
fashionable and fancy-free.
Days a
Week
Photography by Jodi Jones
Styling By Erin Marsz with Ioanna Psaroudakis
Hair and makeup Emily Long
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ScooterSp2012_FASH_8DaysWeek.indd 34 3/23/12 9:14:02 PM
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Milu: Bonpoint red dress
($310), Stella Mccartney Bee
raincoat ($197), gray tights
(stylist’s own), sunglasses
(model’s own), Hunter silver
rain boots ($60), kate Spade
“New Bond Street Florence”
handbag ($448).
Cole: ralph Lauren Langley
sport coat ($125), J. crew
gingham bow tie ($22.50),
boy’s dress shirt ($45)
available at Lester’s, Volcom
khakis ($45) and Hunter boots
($75) both available at Lester’s.
Hooked-wool animal portrait
rug ($78) available at Garnet
Hill online.
Monday
morning
off to
school …
FaSHioN
ScooterSp2012_FASH_8DaysWeek.indd 35 3/23/12 9:14:23 PM
36 Scooter spring 2011
fashion
Above
Milu: Pale Cloud Cayleigh silk blouse ($157) available at pale-cloud.com, Bonpoint
pink trousers ($150), Toms shoes ($29) available at Lester’s.
Cole: Lacoste polo ($40), gray v-neck sweater ($45) available at Lester’s, board shorts
(model’s own), Ugg boat shoes ($50) available at Lester’s.
right
Milu: appaman elephant T-shirt ($36),
Lacoste pink sweater ($98), Ralph Lauren
cotton knit shorts ($39.50), Lacoste gray
leggings ($35), Giox light-up sneakers
($60) available at Lester’s.
Cole: appaman lifeguard hoodie ($47),
appaman midnight track suit pants
($64), Reebox sneakers ($60) available
at Lester’s.
Tuesday
there is
work to do...
ScooterSp2012_FASH_8DaysWeek.indd 36 3/23/12 9:15:02 PM
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Scooter scooterNY.com 37
Wednesday
we just have
a ball …
ScooterSp2012_FASH_8DaysWeek.indd 37 3/23/12 9:15:34 PM
38 Scooter spring 2011
Thursday
brings music
study hall …
Above
Milu: Bonpoint denim jumper ($280) available at bonpoint.com, Stella McCartney Jessie cardigan
($112), navy velcro shoes ($38) available at Lester’s, J. Crew gingham bow tie ($22.50).
Cole: Bonpoint trousers ($205), Bonpoint button-down shirt ($160), gray cardigan (stylist’s own),
Naturinos ($69) available at Lester’s.
ScooterSp2012_FASH_8DaysWeek.indd 38 3/23/12 9:15:59 PM
Scooter scooterNY.com 39
Friday night
we watch
movies and
laugh …
Milu: Pale Cloud Desiree blouse in light sand
($110) available from pale-cloud.com, Stella
McCartney Dipsy jeans ($86), J. Crew girl’s
glitter suspenders ($24.50), Cienta glitter flats
($38) available at Lester’s.
Cole: Appaman superhero T-shirt ($36), navy
cardigan (model’s own), Lacoste tan trousers
($75), Naturinos ($69) available at Lester’s.
Jackie: Round cap sleeve knit dress ($68) with
Zinni by Garnet Hill yoga cardigan ($98) all
available at Garnet Hill online, Kate Spade
pin (pricing available upon request from Kate
Spade), Vince Camuto patent flats ($79) avail-
able at Lester’s.
Elementary sleeping bags with ponies (behind
Milu) and rockets (behind Cole) available at
Garnet Hill online ($98), Christen Maxwell pil-
lows ($150 each) available at christenmaxwell.
com, Mets plush tiger toy ($44) available at
Lester’s.
FASHioN
ScooterSp2012_FASH_8DaysWeek.indd 39 3/23/12 9:16:17 PM
40 Scooter SPRING 2011
Saturday
lunch we
just relax …
Milu: Pale Cloud Alice silk dress ($118), Bonpoint mustard cardigan ($155),
Lacoste gray leggings ($35), Aster burgundy shoes ($74) available at Lester’s.
Cole: Lacoste green pants ($75), Ugg boat shoes ($50) available at Lester’s,
Appaman mud T-shirt ($36), blue cardigan (stylist’s own).
Jackie: Pima pleated-detail knit top ($48) available at Garnet Hill, Kate
Spade “Janis” skirt ($368), Signature ballet flats ($98) available at Garnet
Hill, Pound Jewelry Lilith necklace ($195) available at poundjewelry.com.
ScooterSp2012_FASH_8DaysWeek.indd 40 3/23/12 9:17:05 PM
Scooter SCOOTERNY.COM 41
Sunday is
Monopoly
and Shark
Attack …
Milu: Stella McCartney Suzy dress ($92),
Lacoste gray leggings ($35), Kate Spade hair
pin (retail available from KS upon request),
Pound Jewelry necklace ($145) available
at poundjewelry.com, Cienta shoes ($38)
available at Lester’s.
Cole: Volcom trousers ($45), Harvard T-shirt
($19), Ugg boat shoes ($50) all available at
Lester’s. Gray cardigan (stylist’s own).
Jackie: Crocheted cover-up ($88) available at
Garnet Hill online, Splendid gray tank ($44)
from Lester’s, J Brand jeans ($150) available
at Lester’s, Vince Camuto patent flats ($79)
available at Lester’s.
They are all enjoying games on an Eileen
Fisher rug ($318) available at Garnet Hill
online, with Christen Maxwell pillows ($150)
available at christenmaxwell.com.
W
ith
Monday
just around
the bend,
we start
it up all
over again
FASHION
ScooterSp2012_FASH_8DaysWeek.indd 41 3/23/12 9:17:49 PM
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42 Scooter SPRING 2012
Hot Tot
to
From nurseries
to playrooms,
the best in this
season’s home
décor and
gear for babies
and kids.
by Alexa Stevenson
STURDY AND STAIN-PROOF, DASH & ALBERT’S
INDOOR/OUTDOOR RUGS ARE STILL SOFT
UNDERFOOT. THEIR NEW CATAMARAN STRIPE ADDS A
GRAPHIC PUNCH TO CHILDREN’S ROOMS. FROM $38,
DASHANDALBERT.COM
BRING A TOUCH OF MODERN GLAM TO
THE NURSERY WITH BLOOM’S ALMA MINI
CRIB. DESIGNED FOR URBAN SPACES,
THIS CRIB FOLDS FOR EASY STORAGE.
$340, BLOOMBABY.COM OR GIGGLE, 1033
LEXINGTON AVENUE, GIGGLE.COM
NURSERYWORKS PUTS A
TWIST ON THE CLASSIC
ROCKING CHAIR WITH
THE VETRO ROCKER.
WITH MODERN CIRCULAR
ACRYLIC LEGS, THIS
ROCKER WILL LOOK
GREAT IN THE NURSERY
AND BEYOND. $1,750,
LAYLAGRACE.COM
JONATHAN ADLER’S CHEERFUL
CHIC MEETS SKIP HOP’S
PRACTICALITY WITH THESE
BRIGHT NEW DIAPER BAGS.
$80, JONATHANADLER.COM
ScooterSpring2012_FEAT_NestYC.indd 42 3/23/12 8:44:43 PM
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Scooter SCOOTERNY.COM 43
Hot Tot
HAND-BLOCKED BUG PRINTS ADD A PUNCH OF
COLOR TO A GENDER-NEUTRAL NURSERY. PRINTS,
$250, DERMONDPETERSON.COM
THE FUNKY ANNA
LEAH FLOOR LAMP,
DESIGNED BY AMANDA
NISBET FOR THE URBAN
ELECTRIC COMPANY,
WILL BE THE CENTER
OF ATTENTION IN ANY
ROOM. FROM $2,445,
URBANELECTRICCO.COM
THE ICONIC EGG
CHAIR GETS A MINI
MAKEOVER WITH THE
ADORABLE YOLK CHAIR
AVAILABLE IN SEVERAL
BRIGHT SHADES. $585,
LITTLENEST.COM
AN URBAN- OR CAR-THEMED KID’S ROOM IS
COMPLETE WITH DWELLSTUDIO’S SKYLINE
BEDDING, WHICH COMES IN CRIB BEDDING UP
TO FULL SIZE. FROM $32, DWELLSTUDIO.COM
ScooterSpring2012_FEAT_NestYC.indd 43 3/23/12 8:45:10 PM
44 Scooter SPRING 2012
HOT TO TOT
S
H
A
R
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M
O
N
T
R
O
S
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WITH A COMPACT FOOTPRINT, OEUF’S SLEEK NEW PERCH BUNK
BED LEAVES PLENTY OF ROOM FOR PLAY. BONUS: THE BED IS
MADE FOR CHILDREN’S EVER-EVOLVING NEEDS AND EASILY
SEPARATES INTO A LOFT BED OR A STANDALONE TWIN. $1,490,
MINI JAKE, 78 NORTH NINTH STREET, BROOKLYN, MINIJAKE.COM
WHO CAN RESIST THESE DELIGHTFUL BABY ANIMALS
PHOTOGRAPHED BY SHARON MONTROSE? GROUP A BUNCH
TOGETHER OVER A CRIB OR CHOOSE AN EXTRA-LARGE PRINT TO
MAKE A MODERN BUT SQUEAL-INDUCING STATEMENT. FROM $25,
THEANIMALPRINTSHOP.COM
BROOKLYN-BASED DESIGNER KATIE DEEDY’S NOM DE
PLUM WALLPAPER LINE IS INSPIRED BY CHILDHOOD
EXPERIENCES AND CHILDREN’S BOOKS. THE
“CHRISTOPHER” PATTERN DEPICTS A MAGICAL FOREST
AND COMES IN THREE COLORWAYS. $180 PER ROLL,
GROWHOUSEGROW.COM
SIX SHELVES STORE AND
ORGANIZE OVER 100
BOOKS AND TRINKETS
ON THIS GLOSSY GREEN
TREE BOOKSHELF.
NURSERYWORKS TREE
BOOKSHELF, $850,
LAYLAGRACE.COM
PERK UP THE FLOOR WITH THIS WHIMSICAL
INTERPRETATION OF A CONGREGATION
OF BIRDS ON A HANDMADE WOOL FLOCK
RUG. AVAILABLE THROUGH THE STEPHANIE
ODEGARD COLLECTION, $330 PER SQUARE
FOOT, ODEGARDINC.COM
ScooterSpring2012_FEAT_NestYC.indd 44 3/23/12 8:46:24 PM
LEANN M. WALDRON 212.606.7775 | leann.waldron@sothebyshomes.com
KIMBERLY MEARDON 212.606.7652 | kimberly.meardon@sothebyshomes.com
DUPLEX OFF FIFTH AVE: This 12-into-10 room Rosario Candela duplex is located close to Central Park.
A tasteful & traditional renovation offers gracious rooms with an open staircase, 4 bedrooms, 4½ baths, state-of-
the-art kitchen. $5,900,000. WEB: NYO0018002
EAST SIDE MANHATTAN BROKERAGE I sothebyshomes.com/nyc
38 EAST 61ST STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10065
Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc., is Owned and Operated by NRT LLC.
Untitled-6 4 3/20/12 12:38:21 PM
46 Scooter SPRING 2012
HOT TO TOT
●The most important new trend
is HIPSTER HERITAGE, which
combines elements of Ameri-
can design, like braided rugs and
timeless favorites such as the
Jenny Lind crib, with furnishings
and accessories that are scoped
out at flea markets (or at least ap-
pear to be).
●Hot for spring is EUROPEAN
MINIMALISM. Nurseries with
clean lines and tones of whites
and grays accentuated with dusty
colors are great for rooms that ba-
bies can grow into.
●BOLD COLORS (think Kelly
green and bright orange) are big
this year. An easy way to create
this graphic modern trend is with
circle decals in bright colors on
the wall, shelves with cutout cir-
cles and a mirror. Finish it off with
furniture with lines and a bold rug.
●Remember to THINK LONG
TERM for the nursery. The nurs-
ery is a nursery for such a short
amount of time. Think about what
you will want when the baby is a
toddler, and make lasting deco-
rating decisions.
●Don’t forget about THE
CEILING! There is so much you
can do with the ceiling to add
interest. Why not add a stripe
or use wallpaper?
Christiane Lemieux is founder of
DwellStudio and a mother of two.
This May, DwellStudio will open its
flagship store in Soho at 77 Wooster
Street. dwellstudio.com
DO TRY THIS AT HOME!
DWELLSTUDIO’S CHRISTIANE LEMIEUX ON THIS SEASON’S
BEST TRENDS & TIPS IN KIDS’ DÉCOR
LACQUERED IN
CINNABAR RED, BUNNY
WILLIAM’S BEELINE
HOME OHM MIRROR, IN A
FUNKY, FLUID SHAPE, IS
A PERFECT FOCAL POINT
IN A SOPHISTICATED
NURSERY. PRICE ON
REQUEST, 212-935-5930,
BUNNYWILLIAMS.COM
OEUF’S CUDDLY
APPLE PILLOWS
ARE INSPIRED BY—
WHAT ELSE?—THE
BIGGEST APPLE OF
THEM ALL, NEW
YORK CITY. $68,
OEUFNYC.COM
MELDING THE SHAPE
OF A CHAIR WITH
THE COMFY POUF
OF A BEANBAG,
GARNET HILL’S
MEDIA BEANBAG
CHAIR IS PERFECT
FOR CHILDREN.
MONOGRAMMING
ON THE WASHABLE
SLIPCOVERS IS
AVAILABLE. $99 TO
$105, GARNETHILL.
COM
BLOOM INTRODUCES A SLIM, FULL-SIZE, ALL-TERRAIN FOLDING
STROLLER WITH THE BRAND-NEW ZEN. IT MAY BE SIMPLE TO SCHLEP
AND TO STORE, BUT WHAT WE LOVE ARE THE COLOR STORIES IT
COMES IN: CYAN AND MAGENTA AS WELL AS SILVER AND MIDNIGHT
BLACK. AVAILABLE FOR PREORDER ON BLOOMBABY.COM
ADD A TOUCH OF
WHIMSY TO YOUR
WINDOWS OR
UPHOLSTERED PIECES
WITH SCHUMACHER’S
AVIARY FABRIC, A
REPRODUCTION OF
A WALL COVERING
DESIGNED BY NEW
YORKER CARTOONIST
SAUL STEINBERG FOR
DECORATORS WALK IN
THE ’50S. AVAILABLE
THROUGH THE TRADE,
FSCHUMACHER.COM
ARTIST CHRISTIAN JACKSON RE-IMAGINES CLASSIC
FAIRY TALES WITH HIS DELIGHTFUL AND SUPER-
MINIMALIST STORY POSTERS. $48, OEUFNYC.COM
ScooterSpring2012_FEAT_NestYC.indd 46 3/23/12 8:47:23 PM
PHYLLIS GALLAWAY, Senior Vice President, Associate Broker
212.606.7678 | phyllis.gallaway@sothebyshomes.com
1725 YORK AVENUE: 2,300± sq ft with open river and city views with balcony. Bring your architect to
combine these 2 beautiful apartments to create 4 bedrooms, office/laundry room, and 3½ baths.
Broker owner. $1,900,000. WEB: NYO0017972
EAST SIDE MANHATTAN BROKERAGE I sothebyshomes.com/nyc
38 EAST 61ST STREET, NEW YORK, NY 10065
Sotheby’s International Realty, Inc., is Owned and Operated by NRT LLC.
Untitled-6 2 3/20/12 12:37:57 PM
48 Scooter spring 2012
H
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L
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in Europe and Australia, professionals every-
where struggle to prove its legitimacy.
But in recent years, noteworthy profes-
sionals from the adult theater world have
crossed over into children’s theater, while
exciting genres like new circus and physical
theater are spreading and becoming popu-
lar. Such works, increasingly offered at
spaces like BAM and Lincoln Center, aren’t
designed for children or adults in particu-
lar—they appeal to any age group. But the
New Victory was one of the frst theaters to
bring these genres to New York.
Everything that the New Victory stages
originates with the programming depart-
ment, a team of four who scour the world for
the highest-quality children’s theater. Mary
Rose Lloyd, the programming director, annu-
ally confronts the challenge of creating a sea-
son of shows that appeal to audiences ranging
from preschoolers to teens. Some New Vic-
tory shows are age-specifc, but most have
universal elements that appeal to adults too.
Much of the planning, says Lloyd, is a happy
accident: “It’s amazing to me . . . there’s some
sort of thread from each show to the next, but
it’s not something that’s prescribed. It’s about
works that we love and we know children and
adults are going to love.”
With its global range, the New Victory acts
as a bridge between the U.S. and the rest of
the world, particularly Europe, where chil-
dren’s theater is quite different from ours.
“Children’s theater in the U.S. is creating
seasons of work that don’t tour,” Lloyd ex-
plains. “So we’re always looking for ways to
help regional theaters think that they can tour.
Being in New York is a national platform for
them.” A number of regional theaters have
presented work at the New Victory, and four
have won regional Tonys, including the Chil-
dren’s Theatre Company in Minneapolis, the
frst children’s theater ever to do so.
But in European children’s theater, “there is
an understood touring element. Most don’t
necessarily have their own theater to present
work. They just create it and use a touring
network. They have it down!” Lloyd laughs.
This creates smaller, more intimate shows
that are easy to move without sacrifcing pro-
duction values. The New Victory encourages
these companies to look for ways to scale up
and create bigger, national work to ft the New
Victory’s stage. The New Victory has hosted
Scottish and Danish festivals featuring multi-
ple works from each country.
While Lloyd travels, the rest of the staff re-
views video submissions. They avoid saccha-
rine fare. “Work for young audiences doesn’t
have to be fuzzy bunny suits and simple lan-
guage,” insists Lloyd. “There are opportuni-
ties for artists to create work that speaks to
different ages in different ways. You can have
Traces, now playing in Union sqUare, is a unique blend of circus, street art and
dance, creating an emotional portrait of young people leaving their mark on the world. The
show was hailed by Time Out New York and Time as one of the top 10 theater pieces of 2011.
But one audience segment was already familiar with Traces: kids who saw it years ago at the
New Victory Theater, the frst theater in New York City dedicated to youth and families.
The New Victory got its start as one of seven theaters revived by the New 42nd Street, the
nonproft created to revitalize Times Square in the mid-1990’s. The organization took a dilapi-
dated, shuttered theater with a risqué past (it was once a burlesque club) and renovated it to cre-
ate something that New York didn’t have: a children’s theater presenting works from around
the globe.
There were no children’s theaters in New York then. Though children love it, parents tolerate
it and producers may even make money from it, children’s theater is often dismissed as cutesy,
condescending and shallow. While there’s more respect for the artistic side of children’s theater
Center Stage
The new Victory delights children while
inspiring the adult theater world. by Rachel Graham
The Book of
everyThing.
THeaTer
ScooterSp2012_FEAT_Theater.indd 48 3/23/12 9:19:39 PM
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Untitled-6 3 3/20/12 12:38:08 PM
50 Scooter spring 2012
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an adult and a child in the same show and both
have something interesting to talk about.”
Traces, for example, was produced by 7 Fin-
gers (Les 7 Doigts de la Main in their native
Montreal) with no particular age group in
mind. Lloyd already knew them, having at-
temped earlier to bring one of their produc-
tions to the New Victory. The company
pitched Traces as a younger-feeling show, per-
fect for the New Victory’s young but discern-
ing audience. It ran in the spring of 2008,
thrilling children with its circus-like acrobat-
ics and moving adults with its powerful un-
derpinning of young people trying to make a
mark on their surroundings.
The New Victory’s penchant for the cutting
edge provides interesting points of overlap
with the adult theater world. For example, the
popular immersive theater experience Sleep No
More takes theatergoers into a haunted-house-
like theater as Macbeth is performed. No one
had seen anything like it—except the kids
who saw the New Victory’s 2009 production
of Hansel and Gretel, in which the audience
trailed the main characters through the the-
ater to the witch’s house, past a memorable
tableau featuring a forest of doll heads.
The New Victory’s Carrie Dubois marvels
that White, a much-lauded New Victory show,
“won all sort of awards, yet it was specifcally
created for 3-year-olds.”
With no doubt, audiences and professionals
alike now look at children’s theater as a re-
spectable artistic endeavor, making the New
Victory programmers’ job a little easier. This
season’s shows feature work from writers and
producers with robust credentials. In March,
Lucky Duck, described as a “fun, Glee-esque”
musical from the veteran Broadway team of
Henry Krieger (Dreamgirls, Side Show), Bill
Russell (Side Show) and Jeffrey Hatcher (Tues-
days with Morrie) played to a target audience of
4-to-8-year-olds.
For ages 10 and up, there’s The Book of Every-
thing, about an imaginative boy growing up in
Australia. It’s directed by Neil Armfield,
known for his work with Geoffrey Rush on Exit
the King and Diary of a Madman. Rounded out by
Ahhh HA!, a show combining acrobatics, com-
edy and live Afro-Hebrew music, this spring
brings a New Victory mini-season with all sorts
of crossovers into the adult theater world.
In fact, defning the precise target age for
any given show can be a tricky matter. Laura
Kaplow-Goldman, the New Victory’s public
relations director, notes that art is subjective
and children mature differently. “What one
5-year-old loves, another might be afraid of.”
Lloyd agrees, and isn’t too concerned about
the occasional Facebook or Twitter complaint
from someone who’s been offended. “As long
as it makes them feel passionately one way or
the other, that for me is what art is all about,”
she adds. “The work is of a certain quality. It’s
saying something interesting, and whether
you disagree with what it’s saying or how it’s
being said, that’s completely subjective.”
“Kids are such an avant-garde audience.
Their imaginations are limitless,” Lloyd says.
“You don’t have to dumb it down for them.”
S
Ahhh HA! will run March 30 through April 14.
The Book of Everything will run April 20 through 29.
Purchase tickets at newvictory.org
Among new York City’s many
acting programs for kids, one
nonprofit is gaining attention
for its impressive work and
inspiring message. Launched
in 2010, Daytime Moon Cre-
ations is a recreational theater
program for children with
special needs. Founded by
Angelica Conway and Jenna
gabriel, two nYU grads with
experience in special educa-
tion and theater, the program
has grown rapidly, expanding
tenfold over the last year.
Daytime Moon offers both
extracurricular and in-school
classes, as well as internships
for college students studying
the field and jobs for young
adults with special needs tran-
sitioning into the workforce.
Acting classes, based on stan-
dard theater instruction, are ad-
justed to the students’ abilities.
“We provide a structure for
them where they will feel com-
fortable,” gabriel says. “We tell
our students their schedules, so
they know what to expect, and
we check in with their feelings.”
Classes focus on the experi-
ence more than results, helping
students to better adjust to
changes in their environment
and transfer these skills to the
academic realm.
Each class culminates in an
original show. For younger ages,
a playwright will work with chil-
dren to write a play based on
their characters and story. The
older kids write their own play.
Last year, Daytime Moon’s first
class performed its final play
in the heart of the theater dis-
trict. gabriel says the inclusion
of people with special needs
in the theater community is
growing, slowly but surely.
“Why shouldn’t we be em-
bracing their differences and
welcoming them into a com-
munity that is about expres-
sion and difference?” -RG
Daytime moon
Creations
LUCKY DUCK..
ScooterSp2012_FEAT_Theater.indd 50 3/23/12 9:19:56 PM
Untitled-4 1 3/23/12 7:14:18 PM


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Scooter scooterNY.com 53
boys who raise girls
t’ s 6:30 iN the eveNiNg in the Dolby-Frist house-
hold, and twins Violet and Julia are getting ready for bed.
In their matching blue-and-green pajamas, toddling next
to their matching cribs, the girls seem uncharacteristi-
cally poised for 16 months—at least until Drew Frist ex-
plains that their crayons had recently been switched for
Etch A Sketches. (“They wouldn’t stop trying to eat the
crayons.”) More positively, Tom Dolby remarks that the
girls are at a stage where they seem to really enjoy putting their toys
away, which perhaps accounts for the room’s neatness.
The bedroom’s whimsy and sophistication speak to the creative drive
of the girls’ two dads. The intricate papier-mâché animal heads and
collection of books are a nod to the family’s literary inclinations and
taste for travel. The group only recently returned from visiting Tom’s
family in Germany. Tom proudly notes how incredibly well the girls
held up—even over the long European dinners.
When not busy caring for their daughters, traveling, or decorating
their new Gramercy Park apartment, Tom and Drew are immersed
in the world of writing and technology. Tom is author of the popular
Secret Society series of books, something of a cross between Gossip Girl
and A Secret History targeted toward a young adult audience. He was
also a co-editor of the anthology that inspired the popular Sundance
show Girls Who Like Boys Who Like Boys. And he’s branching into pic-
tures—his screenplay is being turned into a flm called Last Weekend.
Full House
Tom Dolby and Drew Frist, a literary pair, create an enchanting gramercy Park home
for two adorable toddlers. By Jennifer Wright
Photography By Loren Wohl
The living room feaTures a large painTing by arTisT bo Joseph. lamps are vinTage,
from aero. sofa by Dune. bronze eTagere is vinTage 1970s, boughT aT aucTion.
ScooterSp2012_FEAT_Dolby.indd 53 3/23/12 9:10:17 PM
54 Scooter spring 2012
clockwise from top left: Black and
white lithograph By hugo guinness,
from John derian. mid-century
aBstract painting on fireplace from
eBay. chinese vases, 1920s, from cafi-
ero select. nesting side taBles from
gustavo olivieri antiques. chairs
are french, 1920s, Bought at auc-
tion. vintage indian screen from the
estate of tony duquette; woody,
the family’s rescue dog, from save a
yorkie rescue. cluB chairs from aBc
home. lamp from high street market;
Brass and Burl wood console is By
paul evans, 1970s, Bought at auction.
giant chess set in window from
the palm Beach antique & design
center; the family personalized the
kitchen By painting its walls a deep
Blue-green and adding artwork and
a Biedermeier mirror.
ScooterSp2012_FEAT_Dolby.indd 54 3/23/12 9:10:46 PM
Vintage French 1960s
dining room table
and chairs From
old town crossing,
southampton, reup-
holstered in indoor/
outdoor Fabric From
perennials. Vintage
stone and brass
tusks From the palm
beach antique &
design center.
then looking away as quickly as possible.)
While not exactly the bold move he thought, the approach had a
happy outcome. Just two years later, in 2008, the couple became en-
gaged at the Tuileries Garden in Paris. Drew had secretly brought a
ring with him. Having heard security might be searching visitors, he
was anxious he’d have to propose right in front of the guards. That
doubtless would have added excitement, but fortunately his plan went
ahead uninterrupted. “It ended up being a super-romantic day,” says
Drew. “Since it was May Day, everyone was carrying lilies of the valley,
and it felt like the whole city was in love.”
Tom’s mother was quick to celebrate, immediately informing the
men that they could be married in California. But that November, Cal-
ifornia voters passed a ban on same-sex marriages. So the couple moved
their wedding plans to Connecticut. “We’re still waiting on Califor-
nia,” Tom notes—and, for that matter, Indiana, Drew’s home state.
The girls arrived soon after. The couple always knew that they wanted
to have children—though they never expected twins —and used a sur-
rogate based in California. Her location meant a good deal of fying
back and forth. As they were doing so, they put the time to good use;
like all expectant parents they read baby books and considered names,
looking for ones that sounded somewhat classic and that ft well to-
gether. Violet and Julia must have been anxious to meet their dads.
Tom will co-direct with Tom Williams; flming is slated to begin this
summer in California.
Drew is the founder of Electric Type, a platform for “innovative,
imaginative, independent and interactive digital books.” The compa-
ny’s frst offering was The Jungle Book, illustrated by Nigel Bu chanan.
While Violet and Julia are still a bit young, Drew thinks they’ll enjoy it
in a few years, perhaps with their animal heads still beaming down on
them as they thrill to Mowgli’s adventures at bedtime.
Currently, Tom and Drew are excited to be collaborating on another
book, likely geared toward adults, about teen boys in Michigan who
inhabit an entirely different world from the privileged Manhattan life
of Tom’s Secret Society series. They laugh about background research
that entails spending an inordinate amount of time on the Michigan
DMV’s Web site, trying to fgure out how driving restrictions and per-
mits have changed since they were teenagers.
Given Manhattan’s dating trends and Drew’s tech savvy, it’s not sur-
prising that the couple met through social media. The romance began
on Friendster, when Drew sent Tom a smiley face. Drew recalls, “In-
ternet dating had long been established, but it was still new to me, so I
felt like sending a smiley face was a very appropriate thing to do. I
didn’t know it was so passive!” (For the uninitiated, the social media
“smile” or “poke” is the equivalent of looking at someone in a bar and
Scooter scooterNY.com 55
boys who raise girls
ScooterSp2012_FEAT_Dolby.indd 55 3/23/12 9:11:07 PM
56 Scooter spring 2012
“The girls came about a month early,” said Drew, “so we had to speed
up all our plans and get out there for the birth.”
Now everyone is happily settled in Manhattan. The new apartment
provides more room for child-rearing than their original West Village
digs, as well as a bit of history: Their residence is a historic prewar con-
dominium facing Gramercy Park. But while New York, unlike Cali-
fornia, may embrace same-sex marriage, not every individual does.
Tom and Drew hope that the world is evolving in a way that means that
the girls will never see their family as anything but normal.
“Having the girls, we thought we’d be given strange looks or asked
questions,” confdes Tom. “If we are, it’s because they’re twins. It’s be-
come one of these things where I think people don’t question. People
don’t question children and their legitimacy, and there’s something re-
ally lovely about that . . . I think the world is changing. It’s changing
slowly, but still changing.”
“For the girls, I hope that they feel the same way we do, that it never
crosses their mind that we are any different from a traditional family,”
continues Tom. “It’s only rarely that someone asks and I think, ‘Oh,
yeah, I guess we’re a little different.’ I think the girls will grow up with
this seeming very normal, and having a very strong sense of family,
they wouldn’t even understand why that question was being asked.”
But the issues that accompany nontraditional families are hardly the
couple’s only challenge. The dilemma of how to ft everything into the
day plagues every parent, of course, as does the struggle to maintain an
adult identity—which includes keeping toys out of the gorgeously fur-
nished living room.
“We like having adult spaces. We like, if someone comes over, not
having all these toys around that we have to throw into a bin. The girls
top: The vinTage yellow indian panel came
from The esTaTe of Tony duqueTTe. The
papier-mâché animal heads are from John
derian. cribs and changing Table from ikea.
bookshelf by wesT elm. orange canvas
sTorage boxes from The land of nod; Left:
drew and The girls sTack animal boxes in The
playroom; Bottom: Tom and drew found
This vinTage 1940s bench on ebay. They had iT
painTed yellow and recovered iT in les Toiles
du soleil indoor/ouTdoor fabric.

Kids don’t
need all the toys
they’re given.
They’re happy
with about
fve toys.
ScooterSp2012_FEAT_Dolby.indd 56 3/23/12 9:11:34 PM
Scooter SCOOTERNY.COM 57
BOYS WHO RAISE GIRLS
know they can come in here, but they have to understand that they
have to be careful.” Which doesn’t stop them from occasionally try-
ing to eat the chess pieces. Tom reports the two dads work really
hard to hold the girls to a “no licking the furniture” rule.
“Kids fit into your life, not the other way around,” asserts Tom,
“We’ve been here longer, and we have rules.”
To keep their apartment as adult as possible—especially impor-
tant as both Drew and Tom work from home—they embrace a min-
imalist approach regarding the children’s trappings. “Kids don’t
need all the toys they’re given. They’re happy with about five toys. If
you have more than that, that’s icing on the cake,” remarks Tom.
We counted. There were more than five—but none spilling over
distractingly into any spaces.
The couple plans ultimately to move to larger quarters in Park
Slope, anticipating the need for more room as Violet and Julia get
older. Not locked into Mommy and Me–style parenting groups,
they enjoy taking advantage of Gramercy Park, which gives the
twins a safe, confined area in which to run about, and regular jaunts
to the Union Square playground.
They are trying to teach the girls about foreign cultures. They’ve
picked up some Spanish words, and a bit of German from Tom’s
family. Tom and Drew enjoy hosting international cuisine nights,
so Violet and Julia already display sophisticated palates—they’ll
never be the kind of people who want to order only plain chicken.
(But the two acknowledge it might have been a bit early to start
the girls on sushi.)
The parents hope to maintain their low-key, loving and practical
approach to child rearing during the inevitable ordeal of selecting
schools. Tom and Drew say they strive to avoid becoming obsessive,
a precarious task considering the competitive nature of school ad-
missions in New York. Tom frets that as the girls get older, the pair
could turn into “the worst helicopter parents.”
Tom looks back fondly at his own boarding school days, but wor-
ries that being determined to get the twins into a specific school—
and even worse, the danger that the girls might feel that they’ve let
their parents down if they don’t get in—is a lot of pressure to put on
a toddler. That pressure can be even more intense with twins in-
volved, Drew points out, concerned about the consequences if one
girl makes it into a school and the other doesn’t. But if one twin is
selected at a school, and the other girl fits better somewhere else,
they’ll be more than happy to make the trip across town.
For Drew and Tom, these concerns easily give way to the simple
joys of having two healthy, lively little girls. Yes, there are unique
challenges to raising twins—making sure there’s two of every-
thing—but there are advantages, too. Drew finds a huge relief in
having a “control group” anytime something goes wrong. When Vi-
olet gets sick—a situation that can provoke panic in any first-time
parent—they can look at Julia, realize that she’s fine, and reassure
themselves that they’re not accidentally killing the girls. Not, ad-
mittedly, that there seems any possibility of that, but it doesn’t hurt
to be on the safe side. You never know what crayon ingestion can
do to someone.
“Have twins, that’s my advice,” remarks Tom—though he still
sometimes marvels that he’s a father to two children. But just then,
Violet and Julia look so adorable in their matching pajamas that his
enthusiasm is easy to understand.
S
THE FAMILY
TAKES A STROLL IN
GRAMERCY PARK.
ScooterSp2012_FEAT_Dolby.indd 57 3/23/12 9:11:47 PM
KnoxSchool_0312.indd 1 2/21/12 11:16:15 AM
SCHOOL DAYS!
GETTING INTO PUBLIC HIGH SCHOOL ........................P. 60
PUBLIC VS. PRIVATE ................................................P. 61
PRIVATE SCHOOL ADMISSIONS: HOW TO NAVIGATE ....P. 63
THE EXPERTS WEIGH IN ...........................................P. 65
IF YOUR CHILD IS LEARNING DISABLED ....................P. 66
THE MIDDLE SCHOOL ADMISSIONS GAUNTLET ...........P. 67
NOTED NEW YORKERS REMEMBER THEIR SCHOOL .....P. 69
THE UNIQUE NEW YORK SCHOOL AWARDS .................P. 71
G
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ScooterSp2012_SchoolOpener.indd 59 3/23/12 9:39:51 PM
60 Scooter spring 2012
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School ADMISSIoNS
Getting into
Public High School
by Danielle Mowery
You decided to take advantage of one of the city’s many excellent public schools, skipping private school
admissions headaches and tuition bills. So kick back and relax, right? Not if you’ve got a seventh-grader …
Start Early.
Seriously. There are a lot of amazing public
high schools, but not every hyped-up option
is a good choice for your kid. Narrow your
list now, giving you time to focus on the
best fts. Many schools offer spring tours—
go on them! “Parents really need to start
wrapping their minds around this by the
end of seventh grade,” says Brooklyn-based
consultant Joyce Szuf lita. “Start touring
early, and you can return in the fall for a sec-
ond visit. Schools become known quanti-
ties—and it’s a calmer process.”
Manhattan-based Robin Aronow adds, “In
the fall, it’s such a short period of time to ft
in the tours and do the research. Everyone is
working and busy!”
So how do you really get the school’s vibe?
Talk to other parents. Chat with the parent
coordinator. Go on extra tours. Check out
the kids coming and going. And do the com-
mute! Be realistic about what your child’s
daily life will be.
Play to your child’s
strengths and interests.
If your daughter is a soccer fanatic but also
plays violin and sings and dances because she’s
been doing it so long you won’t let her stop …
then please, don’t condemn her to four years of
being surrounded by LaGuardia classmates
passionate about the interests that annoy her.
In other words, put your kid where his or
her strengths will be an asset, not a distrac-
tion. That goes for learning style and person-
ality, too. Not every scholar belongs at
Bard—it’s too intense for many. Not every
musician can thrive at Murrow if she feels
overwhelmed by the school size. And not
every 14-year-old is ready to commute to
Bronx Science, no matter how fabulous.
“As kids get older, defnitely pick your bat-
tles! What parents want is often, at this age,
very, very different than what their kids
want,” Szufita notes. “But as long as your
child is focused on good criteria, it’s really
good to go with their instincts.”
Figure out
the application
requirements.
Stuyvesant, Bronx Science and the other
specialized high schools require the SHSAT.
Others, like LaGuardia, audition their ap-
plicants. All require registration. Some re-
quire attending a tour, or signing up (early!)
for an interview. Some ask for portfolio sub-
missions that will not be returned. Make
life easier—know what each school re-
quires and be prepared!
Create a portfolio.
“But my kid isn’t interested in any of those
arty schools.” Doesn’t matter. Many
schools, both public and private, want to see
a portfolio of work. Plus, it’s a good excuse
to gather your child’s best papers, showcase
his interests and, as an added beneft, create
a little snapshot of time.
“Public middle schools are very aware of
portfolios, and are already tracking students
and keeping their work,” explains Szufita.
Adds Aronow, “But moving from private to
public, parents and students have to be han-
dling the process more. Start to really pay
ScooterSp2012_Admissions.indd 60 3/23/12 10:22 PM
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attention to this as seventh grade begins.”
Art submissions are their own separate
world. If you have questions, check the
school’s Web site or call and ask. Figure out
both the portfolios and auditions now and
give your young artist time to prepare.
Only apply to schools
your child really
wants to go to.
Do not feel compelled to list 12 public high
schools on the DOE form just because you
can. What happens if you get choice No. 8?
Would your teenager really want to spend
four years there? Some schools are really ex-
citing; at some point, you’re sure to think,
“Wow, I would have loved to go here!” Valu-
able insight, perhaps, if you and your child
are very similar in tastes and strengths. But
not the basis for a decision!
When Beacon describes the writing re-
quirements and group projects and your son
complains, “Please, Mom, don’t make me
apply here! I couldn’t handle all that!”—lis-
ten to him. Let him tell you why he feels
that way. Maybe it’s something you can talk
through. Or maybe he’s just right, and it’s
not the school for him.
“It’s better to be at a school you really love
than a school your parents might think is the
smart choice,” counsels Szufita. “Often, it
makes for a more motivated student. Bal-
ance your priorities with your child’s level
of enthusiasm and interests.”
Similarly, let your children apply to schools
even if you’re convinced they won’t get in. If
they are excited, go for it! Just let them know
that even if the school loves them, they can
only accept so many. But do not stand in the
way of enthusiasm. If that motivation makes
other elements fall in place, then be a smart
parent and see it as part of the process. Plus,
you really never know …
Enjoy the process.
It’s exhausting, it’s stressful and it defnitely
can be frustrating. But the application pro-
cess gives you great insight into what moti-
vates your child, what she values in a school
and her classmates, and how she handles
making a choice. So as you weather the
chaos, embrace it as the rare opportunity it
is—a chance to get a better perspective on
your rapidly evolving teen.
S
New York City public schools may
have a bad rap for overcrowding,
limited resources and poor perfor-
mance, but the fact is that there are
many excellent choices—and the
selection is growing. Many schools
also have brand-new facilities and
equipment. Says one Upper East
Side mom who is looking at both
the private and public school op-
tions for her soon-to-be kindergar-
tener: “I was so impressed by what I
saw at the private schools, but then
I went to our local public school and
they had exactly the same thing.”
According to Robin Aronow of
School Search NYC, some public
school options worth taking a look
at include P.S. 6, 183, 290, 158 (in
a big old building that scares par-
ents, but has excellent test scores)
and 59 (moving into a beautiful
new building in September) on the
Upper East Side; P.S. 40 and 116
in Gramercy Park; P.S. 3 and 41 in
Greenwich Village; P.S. 89, 234,
276 and 397 in Tribeca; and P.S. 9
(just switched from Gifted and Tal-
ented to general education), 87, 199
and 333 on the Upper West Side.
Newer schools with good reps or
high expectations include P.S. 151,
267, 527, 343 and 452. For more info
on these and other public schools,
check out The Observer’s school
rankings (special insert to this issue)
and visit InsideSchools.org.
There are also a number of Gifted
and Talented programs scattered
throughout the city. Some, such
as P.S. 77 Lower Lab School, serve
just one district, while others, such
as NEST+m and Anderson, are
citywide. And, of course, Hunter
stands out. -Tamara Loomis
Public or Private?
ScooterSp2012_Admissions.indd 61 3/23/12 10:22 PM
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62 Scooter spring 2012
S
o you thought it was tough to
get a classic-six rent-controlled
apartment on Central Park West?
For NYC parents, that’s nothing
compared to the private school ad-
missions process. Landing a spot in a
top-tier kindergarten in the city is as com-
petitive as—if not more than—getting into
Harvard. By all measures, it’s just getting
worse. Struggling public schools, not enough
private schools, parents having more kids,
and the 9/11 baby boom have produced the
perfect storm, says Suzanne Rheault,
founder of Aristotle Circle. “The music stops
and not all the kids have a chair.”
But the frenzy over kindergarten admis-
sions is, well, simply a frenzy. Once you
recognize that there are more than 800 pri-
vate schools in the city—and a growing
number of outstanding public schools (see
p.60) —you’ll realize that your options are
much greater than you frst thought. So
don’t start packing your bags for the sub-
urbs. Instead, read on for a rundown of the
strategies for getting your kid into a NYC
private school.
What matters most? The three most im-
portant components of the kindergarten
application are the preschool director’s re-
port, the ERB and the school interview.
Let’s take each in turn.
the PreSchool Director’S rePort
A key part of every private school applica-
tion is the nursery school report written
by the teacher and reviewed by the pre-
school director.
This means that the director’s skill at get-
ting students into private school will di-
rectly affect your chances. So if you are still
choosing a preschool, check into the school’s
placement track record. Many preschool di-
rectors are surprisingly inept at getting
their students placed in the right schools,
says one educational consultant. But she as-
sures Scooter that directors at the leading
preschools are good at this. “If they weren’t,
they get fred.”
Clearly, you need to maintain a good rela-
tionship with your nursery school. Volun-
teering to fund-raise and work in the
classroom, donating money, joining a com-
mittee, attending social functions—all
good ideas, says educational consultant (and
former Horace Mann associate director of
admissions) Dana Haddad. “You don’t want
to be seen as a diffcult parent.”
Accept that your preferences are not nec-
essarily a priority for the director. A direc-
tor’s job is to get all of the preschoolers
placed in the best schools possible. “They
are your brokers,” says Victoria Goldman,
author of The Manhattan Family Guide to Pri-
vate Schools. “They see your kid in a certain
kind of school and you need to work with
them.” If you don’t, you could fnd yourself
shut out altogether. One parent recalls
being pushed by the director to make River-
dale her frst choice, though she preferred
Ethical Culture. She was smart and didn’t
push back and her kid now goes to River-
dale. “What do you think your chances are
going against the grain of the nursery school
director? None!” Goldman says.
the erb
ERB stands for the Educational Records Bu-
reau, which administers the standardized test
used by virtually all New York City private
schools. Its ability to predict which 4-year-
olds will fourish and which won’t is debat-
able—even the ERB itself admits it is not an
indicator of future performance. But it’s
ubiquitous, largely because it’s the only uni-
form, quantitative measure an admissions di-
rector has. “Rejecting a kid based on his or
her test score is the easiest way to cull the
pile,” Rheault says.
The exam is the revised Wechsler Pre-
school and Primary Scale of Intelligence
(WPPSI, aptly pronounced “whoopsie”), an
I.Q. test designed to explore everything from
a child’s vocabulary to his ability to perform
fne motor skills and solve math problems.
The threshold for most competitive schools is
95, and for some schools as high as 98. And
you get one shot—there’s no retaking the
ERB, absent extraordinary circumstances.
the School interview
The format for the school interview can in-
volve a play group, a one-on-one with a teacher
or a combination. Kids are tested on dozens of
areas including fne and gross motor skills,
reading readiness, peer interaction and the
ability to follow directions, as well as offbeat
assessments like how they hold a crayon or
Private
School
Admissions:
Navigating
the Maze
A few things to know about getting your young scholar
into the right NYC kindergarten by Tamara Loomis
School ADMISSIoNS
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64 Scooter spring 2012
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whether they can stand on one foot.
The interview also helps the schools in their
quest to create a balanced classroom. In addi-
tion to a balanced boy-girl ratio and range of
ages, schools like to have different types of
personalities represented in the classroom,
Haddad says.
What else is involved?
The application process also includes the par-
ent interview, school tour and parent essay.
Standing on their own, none of these means
you’re a shoo-in … although if you screw up,
they can ruin your chances altogether. Consul-
tants have endless horror stories of parents
putting their feet in their mouths. “I had a par-
ent say to the admissions director at Friends
Seminary, ‘So what the hell is so friendly about
this place?’” Amanda Uhry, the founder of
Manhattan Private School Advisors, winces.
“Another parent visiting an all-boys school
asked the director, ‘Do you still believe in cor-
poreal punishment?’ Goodbye!”
So keep it straight, do your research and try
to match up what the school cares about with
what you care about. And keep the following
don’ts in mind:
1. Don’t brag. That goes for you and your child
both. The director doesn’t care about the
amazing things you’ve done, or the celebri-
ties you know. And while you should portray
your child in a positive light—and highlight
actual accomplishments—remember that he
or she is 4 years old, and the director knows
that. Your preschool director can say your
kid is No. 1 in the class (whatever that
means), but you can’t.
2. Don’t complain, either. It’s the school’s job to
fnd out about any issues your child may have,
and they will fnd out. You don’t need to help
them out here. That said, most of the main-
stream schools are not set up to handle chil-
dren with special learning needs (Columbia
Prep, Fordham Prep and Trevor Day are ex-
ceptions). The good news is that there are a
slew of special education schools in the city,
such as Steven Gaynor, that work with dys-
lexic kids (see sidebar, p.66). The bad news is
that some are even more selective and more
expensive than the mainstream schools.
3.Don’t get personal. “Don’t share where
you’ve spent your vacation, or that you have
a driver waiting,” Goldman says. “Don’t ask
what they are wearing—it’s not the Acad-
emy Awards.”
4. Don’t ask probing questions. Off-limits ques-
tions include the size of the school’s endow-
ment, percentage of teachers with advanced
degrees, and any controversial publicity the
school may have experienced. As much as you
may want to chat about sex scandals with the
director of Poly Prep, it’s not a good idea.
Should I pay to prep my kid?
The offcial word is that you are not supposed
to prep your kid for the ERB, but these days,
everybody does it anyway, says Haddad. And
most schools appear to have come around to
accepting this as a given. “In the last two
years, I’ve never seen an ERB that states,
‘This child has been prepped,’” Haddad says.
Suzanne Rheault of Aristotle Circle is the
professional most often credited—or vili-
fed—for the widespread practice of prepping
for the ERB. She says she’s just leveling the
playing feld. “Some nursery schools—the
feeder schools—did a much better job in pre-
paring kids for the ERB. How is it that at some
preschools all the kids scored 95 and above?
Somehow they were gaming the system,”
Rheault says. With offerings of sample tests,
workbooks and professional prep consultants,
“we were the frst to demystify the ERB test.”
Prepping is also becoming more common
for other aspect of the admissions process.
Consultants offer mock interviews or play-
groups for kids, mock interviews for parents,
editing services for parent essays and just
about everything else you think you may
need to get a leg up.
Are the top-tier schools
really all that?
By most standards, yes. NYC private schools
took fve of the top 10 spots in a 2010 list of
the 20 best prep schools in Forbes. Trinity cap-
tured the No. 1 spot, and Horace Mann,
Brearley, Collegiate and Spence came in sec-
ond, fourth, seventh and ninth, respectively.
Two more NYC schools—Chapin and Dal-
ton—took the 11th and 13th spots on the list.
And don’t believe the hype about how stu-
dents at a top-tier NYC school are actually at
a disadvantage these days, because colleges
are supposedly more focused on geographic
diversity. According to Forbes, all the NYC
schools in its list boast acceptance rates into
the Ivys, MIT and Stanford of 30 percent or
more. Trinity’s acceptance rate is an aston-
ishing 41 percent and Collegiate, at 40 per-
cent, is right behind.
But it’s important to think about whether
such a rigorous education—and competitive
atmosphere—is right for your child and you.
Once you’re in, the pressure shifts to staying
in. “The parents’ fear of getting counseled
out is huge,” says Rheault. “If your kid gets
booted out of third grade, what are you going
to do? ” The result is an “arms race of aca-
demic tutoring,” she says. And the workload
is intense—by high school, students can ex-
pect to spend four to fve hours a night on
homework. These schools are not known as
mini-colleges for nothing. “Compared to
Horace Mann, Brown [University] was a
breeze,” says one graduate of both.
What are some alternatives
to the top tier?
Let’s face it—whether you consider fve or
15 schools to be top tier, we’re talking about
a few hundred students out of the approxi-
mately 3,000 kids taking the ERB. (This is
an estimate: The Independent Schools Ad-
missions Association of Greater New York,
which hires the ERB to administer the test,
does not make this number public.) But luck-
ily, there are many other schools to choose
from, and the difference between the so-
called top tier and the others is narrowing,
and in many cases, really just a matter of
who’s ranking them.
Riverdale, Fieldston/Ethical Culture and
St. Ann’s in Brooklyn are just a sampling of
the schools that are just as competitive as the
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Don’ t asK
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School ADMISSIoNS
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the eXPertS weigh in
Robin Aronow, who consults on private and public school admissions
in Manhattan; Joyce Szuflita, whose practice focuses on Brooklyn; and
clinical psychologist Shamir Khan, founder of the NYC Private Schools
Blog, are here to add a little sanity to an insane time.
on getting starteD …
Joyce szuflita: Go on the tours, definitely. You want to get a general feeling of the school that is very personal. Pay special attention to the block
area, the indoor play space, the children’s artwork and any of the “specials” that the school offers: music, dance, yoga, etc.
robin aronow: You might get a rooftop playground instead of blocks. With every school there may be a tradeoff, but very
rarely is it not a good fit for a child at this age. It is a second home for them, however, and parents will be intimately in-
volved. You need to trust the teachers and administrators in their experience with child development.
Joyce szuflita: You can start this in a very relaxed way, a couple years early even. Tour a few schools in the
neighborhood. Have those stroller and playground chats. Ask questions at the soccer field,
especially of families with older children. Go to a school at pickup time and start the
conversations with parents.
on Managing eXpeCtations …
robin aronow: All the way through, from pre-K on to college, families tend to get
a little narrow in their focus. I encourage them that before they disregard any pro-
gram, they do a little search with just your child in mind. Don’t just go for the most popular
schools or the most prestigious. Keep your eyes open for those under-the-radar opportunities.
shamir Khan: Parents should try to manage their own anxiety and not transfer it to their child. Parents should try to manage
their disappointment in case the child does not get admitted to a particular school. They should try to reassure the child that it was
not the child’s fault, and they will find a good fit for the child.
Joyce szuflita: If you are a parent who only wants your child to go the most best, most elite school, you have to be ready to be disappointed. You
might be too narrow and focused in your aspirations. Before you disregard any program, do a little investigating. Some wonderful schools that are
flying under the radar might have an easier entry; keep your eyes open for the “unpopular opportunity.”
robin aronow: Plus, having your child go to a less top-tiered school, a school where they might really
excel, can be much better for them in future applications than competing with 10 other kids who
are high achievers and going for the same secondary school later.
Joyce szuflita: Most of the people who have gone into education have gone in because
they love working with children at that age and developmental level. They are not focused
on the next round of admissions. They are mainly focused on your child now.
robin aronow: You have to balance it out. What works for your child? And breathe easy—
there are always schools that have openings. There will be a school out there available,
sometimes at the last moment, but, honestly, it all does work out!

You have to balance it out. What works for your child? And breathe easy—
there are always schools that have openings. There will be a school out there available,
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66 Scooter spring 2012
schools that made the Forbes list. Other
highly regarded schools include Friends,
Columbia Grammar, Bi rch Wathen
Lenox, Browning, Cathedral, Hewitt,
Marymount, Sacred Heart and Trevor
Day. Grace Church is opening a high
school in September.
Don’t overlook the schools that go only
through eighth grade, such as Bank Street
School, Cathedral, St. Hilda’s & St. Hugh’s,
Allen-Stevenson, Little Red Schoolhouse,
St. Bernard’s, Buckley and the Town
School. Among other things, “they help
keep kids younger a little longer,” says
Robin Aronow of School Search NY.
In general, it’s recommended that par-
ents apply to 10 to 15 schools, including
“reaches, reasonable choices and safety
schools—like college,” Aronow says. And
be aware of public school options and
their deadlines as well. “I knew of a case
where the parents applied to eight private
schools and were waitlisted at every one,”
she says. “And they had missed the public
school deadline.”
Do connections matter?
It depends. Being a legacy—a child of an
alum or a faculty member, or a sibling—
still means a lot, although it’s no longer the
magic bullet it used to be, Haddad says.
She cites a recent case where the parents
had two children at Horace Mann and
were shocked when the third was rejected.
Uhry echoes this observation: “It’s very
diffcult to say no to a sibling but it hap-
pens all the time.” Because spots are so
tight, multiples have an especially hard
time of it. “You see very few twins at the
top-tier schools,” Uhry says.
A contact or relationship with the school
community can raise your fle out of ano-
nymity but not necessarily get you in, says
Roxana Reid of Smart City Kids. That
said, even if you do have a connection to a
director, you may be better off with a rec-
ommendation from a school parent who
knows you and your kid really well.
What about diversity?
An emphasis on diversity is one of the driv-
ers pushing many NYC private schools
away from honoring the sibling connection
in all instances. There is a real trend to-
ward recruiting and retaining families
with a connection to the global market-
place, Reid says. Some schools truly excel:
At Fieldston’s Lower School, the 2011–12
kindergarten class is half minority, Dal-
ton’s is 47 percent, and Trinity’s is 45 per-
cent. Reid cites Spence, Friends, Grace
Church and Manhattan Country School as
other schools that stand out for diversity
initiatives.
Should I redshirt my kid?
Redshirting—or delaying your kid’s en-
trance into kindergarten—is a dangerous
thing to consider on your own, Reid says.
Some schools have strict cutoff dates, and
will force you to apply to the frst-grade
class if your kid is considered too old for kin-
dergarten. Conversely, many private schools
are actually asking parents with summer-
birthday students to wait a year to apply. So
the answer is: Check frst with the schools
you are interested in.
Should the school ask you to wait, the
question then becomes whether to stay with
your preschool or enroll your child in public
kindergarten. Parents with fall-birthday
students also face this dilemma, because the
private school cutoff is Sept. 1 and the public
school cutoff is Dec. 31—and the latter
does not permit parents to redshirt.
Aronow says that repeating nursery school
gives your kid—being older—the potential
to be a leader in the class. Plus, you keep ac-
cess to the all-important nursery school di-
rector’s report. But going public means a big
cost savings, and your child may well be
ready to move on to kindergarten. Finally,
you may fnd that you actually like the public
school, Aronow says. “I think that every
family has to be aware of their public school
options, especially younger kids who have
zoned schools.” To keep the private school
option open, she suggests seeking out peo-
ple other than your old nursery school direc-
tor to speak on your behalf.
So despite the instinct to panic, be reas-
sured. Your kid will get an education, and
quite possibly one that is better than 99 per-
cent of what’s out there on the other side of
the Hudson. “It’s like going down that yel-
low brick road,” Goldman says. “There are
fying monkeys and there are wizards, but at
the end, you will fnd a home.”
S
Nearly 20 percent of people in the
United States have a language-
based learning disability, like dys-
lexia. Is your child one of them?
If so, finding a school becomes a
whole different ball game. “The
search is harder. You have to dig
deeper,” says Joyce Szuflita.
Adds Robin Aronow, “Public
schools, including top high schools,
have a new mandate to accommo-
date more special needs kids this
fall. But finding the right fit is still a
challenge.”
Dealing with other parents can be
overwhelming, too. “A parent whose
child might not have the same op-
tions wants to be happy for their
friends’ kids, but it’s harder to talk
about with their friends. There are
so many hurt feelings,” says Szuflita.
“It’s important for parents in this
process to be kind to each other.”
Private schools specializing in learn-
ing disabilities, thankfully, do exist.
Getting into one can be daunting,
since there are such limited seats.
But here are a few stellar options.
-Danielle Mowery
Grades K–12
Churchill
301 east 29th Street
Mary McDowell Friends school
elementary, middle and high
school in brooklyn (carroll
gardens and brooklyn heights)
Grades K–8
gateway
211 West 61st Street
the Stephen gaynor School
148 West 90th Street
the Sterling School
299 Pacific Street, brooklyn
Grades 6–12
Winston prep
126 West 17th Street
if your chilD iS
learning DiSableD...
School ADMISSIoNS
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Scooter sCooterny.CoM 67
w
ith a son age 10, I’ve come
to expect the unexpected. Little
fazes me anymore.
Walking into his bathroom to
see the sink full of a brackish and
bubbling blue liquid concocted
during a play date? No big deal. Finding
crumpled-up notes in the darkest recesses of
his backpack that ardently declare first
crushes? A weekly occurrence, now. Being
requested to examine his underarms for the
frst signs of newly sprouted body hair? I
must admit I paused for a second at this re-
quest, but quickly took it in stride.
But not so long ago, my son came home
from school and rather dramatically depos-
ited his coat, hat and lone remaining glove on
the foor before launching into a torrent.
“Linus said that there is no chance of get-
ting into M.S. 51 unless we have it listed it
as my No. 1 choice on the application form.
Did we do that? Henry already has an in-
terview appointment scheduled. Why
haven’t they scheduled me for an interview
yet? Do you know what Charlie told me?
He told me that M.S. 447 only accepted 9
percent of the kids who applied last year.
Do you know who else only accepts 9 per-
cent of its applicants? ”
His voice had grown progressively more
high-pitched. He practically squeaked the
word I was simultaneously whispering.
“Harvard.” We said it in unison.
“What if I don’t get in anywhere? What if
all my friends get into the same school and
I’m somewhere else? ” he asked.
His shoulders slumped. He sat down next
to me on the couch and—for the frst time in
a long while—let me smooth his hair down.
I hugged him. He had seemed to outgrow my
hugs around the time that his shoe size sur-
passed my own, but with the advent of mid-
dle school application stress, all previously
established norms were abandoned.
All this left me in a state of shock. As I
tried to assure him that he had nothing to
worry about—that he had always done well
in school, that he was a well-behaved student
who was beloved by his teachers, that every-
thing would be just fne—I shuddered to re-
alize my son was now encountering a very
adult experience: that of constantly wonder-
ing, Am I good enough?
I suppose I had lulled myself into thinking
that the era of internalized torment and self-
doubt were still several years away for him.
Could it really be that only my son felt the
weight of his entire academic future on his
shoulders? Were his friends Linus and
Henry able to talk about the process so
blithely because they were worry-free? I had
to fnd out.
What I discovered was reassuring only in
that I learned that my son was not alone in
his angst. This was of little comfort though,
when I considered the extent to which
10-year-old kids are regularly tortured by a
process that seems to exist nowhere but New
York City, though it traces its roots to the
Spanish Inquisition.
On the playground, I asked a father if fll-
ing out the applications had been diffcult for
his son. He smiled and ran his hand through
his hair. “Let me just put it this way: There
have been tears.”
“The most difficult part is making a
10-year-old describe his good and bad
qualities in an essay. They’re only just be-
coming self-aware, and this heightens all
their other insecurities. This whole pro-
cess is so against their age.”
A friend who has remained childless
heard me out for one particularly lengthy
rant, then inquired, “But why are you
going through all this? Don’t they all just
go to the same school? The school near
your apartment? ”
Well, no. No, they don’t.
In an attempt to achieve as much academic
parity as possible in an unwieldy and aca-
demically uneven public school system, the
New York City Department of Education has
divided the city into districts, and the dis-
tricts into zones. All children have a zoned
neighborhood elementary school. Parents
may sometimes send their child elsewhere,
for a number of reasons, but are guaranteed a
spot in that school by virtue of where they
live. Some neighborhood public schools,
particularly in our Brooklyn neighborhood,
are so coveted that they become the primary
selling points of local real estate. Forget
about views of Prospect Park! This two-bed-
room is zoned for P.S. 321!
When kids reach middle school, the sys-
tem changes. Rather than being zoned for a
particular middle school, students can apply
to any of the middle schools within their dis-
trict. Districts cut across different neighbor-
hoods and each child is only guaranteed a
spot in one of the schools within the district,
not necessarily their top choice and not nec-
essarily a competitive school.
There are also a handful of citywide middle
schools, all of which require an extensive
testing and interview process—and all of
which make a 9 percent acceptance rate look
incredibly inclusive. Students are required
to fll out an application listing their top
choices. If those schools match up with the
schools that want them, they’re in.
It sounds simple enough. But when you
have over 2,000 children, with negligible
differences in their report cards and test re-
Middle School Gauntlet
NYC kids grow up fast. But 10 is a tender age to worry about wrecking your future because of a bad interview.
by Kristen Iversen
the most
Difficult part
is maKing a
10-year-olD
Describe his
gooD anD baD
qualities in
an essay.
School ADMISSIoNS
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68 Scooter spring 2012
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sults, applying for 175 spots, things start to
get scary.
The top schools openly tell you they exam-
ine attendance records dating back to fourth
grade in an effort to determine which stu-
dents will be accepted. Spending that extra
day in Beaver Creek last winter break sud-
denly seems like a signifcant turning point
in your child’s future.
As intimidating as these statistics are,
they’re nothing new to New York City par-
ents. This is, in a sense, just what we signed
up for. We knew there would always be
competition, that we would always need to
keep an edge. But foreknowledge does little
to lessen the shock of watching children as-
suming the burden to not just achieve, but
to exceed.
Soon enough, high school, SATs and col-
lege applications will inevitably dominate
many teenagers’ nightmares. But there is
something disconcerting about a 10-year-old
knowing the acceptance rate for Ivy League
schools. When I looked up Harvard’s actual
acceptance rate and found it to be hovering
around 6 percent, I gleefully told my son not
to worry because his preferred middle
school was actually more like Dartmouth—
and everyone knows that’s a safety Ivy.
Middle school acceptance letters don’t ar-
rive until late spring. Meanwhile, I’ve been
trying to allay my son’s anxieties. I’ve cer-
tainly convinced myself that he has worked
hard in school, that he is an intellectually cu-
rious and active child, and that, byzantine as
the system is, in the end even the Depart-
ment of Education wants children to be
placed in the best learning environment for
their individual needs.
So we went for his interview at one of his
top choices. I tried not to let my nerves
show, so he could maintain the relaxed com-
posure we had worked so hard on.
It took quite a while for him to come out
of the interview. Other kids who had en-
tered after him came out sooner. My eyes
stayed fxed on the door until I saw him
come through.
“How did it go?” I asked, trying to keep my
voice level.
His face broke into a grin.
“Wonderful. It was no big deal.”
And he ran off to join his friends and talk
about the questions they had been asked,
chattering and giggling like kids.
Which is what they are.
S
Robin Aronow, Ph.D.
School Search NYC
schoolsearchnyc.com
Beatriz Beckford
Brooklyn Food Coalition
brooklynfoodcoalition.ning.com
Leni Calas
The Mamas Network
queensmamas.com
Shamir A. Khan, Ph.D.
NYC Private Schools Blog
nycprivateschoolsblog.com

Parents League of New York
parentsleague.org
Gina Parker-Collins
RIISE (Resources In Independent
School Education)
4riise.org
Joyce Szuflita
NYC Schools Help
nycschoolhelp.com
Pamela Wheaton
insideschools.org
anD to:
BronxMamas.com
Jennifer Brozost & Vimmi Shross
Private Education Advisory
Services (PEAS)
nypeas.com
Sandra Clifton
Clifton Corner
cliftoncorner.com
Susan Fox
Park Slope Parents
parkslopeparents.com
Blythe Grossberg, Psy.D.
Michael McCurdy
NYC Gifted and Talented Blog
nycgiftedandtalented.wordpress.
com
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School ADMISSIoNS
acknowleDgementS
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Scooter sCooterny.CoM 69
School ADMISSIoNS

Lucy Liu
Actress
Stuyvesant ’86
Starting her freshman year at brooklyn tech in
Fort greene, lucy liu tells Scooter she went on
to have “an amazing experience at Stuyvesant,”
where she matriculated as a sophomore. “My
brother went to Stuyvesant. My parents stressed
the importance of it. It seemed to be, ‘If you don’t
end up there, you’re going to end up at your local high
school,’ and that wasn’t really something they wanted to happen.” liu
recalls “the pressure and intensity for teenagers at the time to do well
on the SAts and to score. even to get into Stuyvesant was intense.”
growing up in Queens, “it took an hour to get to school.” but the com-
mute had its perks. “there was something very external about Manhat-
tan,” she adds. “I just found it really opening to be in the city . . . there’s
a style that you kind of fall into when you’re buying vintage clothes and
hanging out at the park.”
Pete Shapiro
Co-founder, Brooklyn Bowl;
publisher, Relix magazine
Dalton ’91
Friends of Relix publisher Pete Shapiro would not be surprised to learn
he was a “nice, creative” kid at Dalton—nor that the Brooklyn Bowl co-
founder remembers “getting chased on 86th Street in front of Toy
Park,” and the occasional Saturday night spent “drinking 40s on Upper
East Side stoops” during senior year.
Shapiro’s high school passion was basketball. “I had a public-access TV
show with a classmate, where we covered sports at Dalton,” he recalls.
“And I held Nerf basketball tournaments in my room between classes.”
Dalton prepared Shapiro for success in publishing and nightlife: “I
learned to navigate chaos and to make it somewhat controlled.”
Brad Zeifman
Principal, Shadow PR
The Dwight School, ’95
“There’s nothing like going to high school in
New York City,” maintains Brad Zeifman,
half of the power team that started public
relations firm Shadow PR in 2008. “Some
describe it as an early loss of innocence,
but I see it as a getting an amazing head
start. I saw from a very early age what this
city could offer if you hustled and connected
with the right people.”
At Dwight, Zeifman was part of the school’s first baseball team,
though he wasn’t exactly known as a jock. “Picture the teacher’s pet
meets the class clown meets the life of the party, and that was me,”
he recalls. “Oh wait, that’s still me. “
James Mallios
Owner, Amali Restaurant
Bronx Science ’92
the onetime “captain of the best debate team in the country,” James
Mallios has no qualms revealing he was “duke of the nerds” at bronx
Science. Mallios started at parochial school in Queens, but Science
“opened the city for me.” his newly opened restaurant Amali, on east
60th Street, “has New york in its bones … literally,” he tells Scooter.
“Almost every surface is repurposed from buildings in New york city.”
even better? “opening the restaurant has even reunited me with some
of my classmates from bronx Science, who now visit regularly.”
Tina Charles
Center, the Connecticut Sun
Christ the King, ’06
I was an “overachiever,” says WNBA
star Tina Charles. “I would want good
grades—and not just to get by in academ-
ics—and to be a good role model of what a
student athlete should be in high school.”
Going to school in Queens helped Charles
“learn about different cultures.” She became “street smart” through
years of “traveling on public transportation … It helped me mature and
carry myself a certain way.”
Richie Akiva
The Butter Group
Columbia Prep; the Dwight School ’95
His ninth-grade report card read, “Richie Akiva is one of the most en-
thusiastic and social students I’ve ever met.” Indeed: The owner of But-
ter, the Darby and 1Oak is grateful for his city education. “Going to high
school in New York City exposed me to a lot of art, music and culture at
a young age. I was out every night making a name for myself, establish-
ing relationships and watching the power players at work. When it came
time to start my own business, I knew exactly what I wanted it to look
like and I had the relationships to help make it happen.”
Alexis Swerdloff
Executive Editor, Paper magazine
Chapin School, ’00
Growing up in Brooklyn, Paper magazine’s executive editor Alexis
Swerdloff (the original Gawker “Intern Alexis”) attended St. Ann’s before
entering Chapin for high school, where she wrote for school paper The
Limelight. Though a hard-working student, “I don’t think I was a full-on
‘nerd,’ because I was pretty social.” The switch from Brooklyn in ninth
grade was a culture shock; many of her new classmates “had never
been downtown, let alone Brooklyn. My friends from Chapin thought
Bloomingdale’s was downtown!”

‘nerd,’ because I was pretty social.” The switch from Brooklyn in ninth
grade was a culture shock; many of her new classmates “had never
been downtown, let alone Brooklyn. My friends from Chapin thought
olD School
New Yorkers credit the educational institutions that launched
them on the path to success. by Corynne Steindler
acknowleDgementS
ScooterSp2012_Admissions.indd 69 3/23/12 10:23 PM
M
anhattan Country School is a pre-kindergarten through 8th grade independent school
that has both a city and a farm campus. Our goals for students are academic excellence,
independent thought, social awareness, self-confidence, and firsthand knowledge of the
natural world. MCS is unique among NYC independent schools in having a 180-acre working
farm integral to the curriculum, broad economic diversity and a sliding-scale tuition policy.
www.manhattancountryschool.org 212-348-0952 admissions@manhattancountryschool.org
ManhattanCountrySchool.indd 1 3/23/12 7:16:00 PM
Scooter SCOOTERNY.COM 71
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Unique New York School Awards
SCOOTER’S LIST OF SCHOOLS THAT STAND OUT
Most International
Faculty
UNITED NATIONS INTERNATIONAL
SCHOOL (UNIS)
24-50 F.D.R. Dr.
Mix the kids of diplomats, am-
bassadors and the U.N. commu-
nity with selected New York
City kids who have multicultural
backgrounds, along with the
children of professionals whose
jobs require constant interna-
tional travel—and what do you
get? A student body in which
nearly every student speaks more
than one language—with a di-
verse sampling of many different
mother tongues. (Students at
UNIS come from over 120 coun-
tries, while the staff represents
nearly 60 nationalities, accord-
ing to the school’s Web site.)
The school is tucked away at the
edge of the East River by Water-
side Plaza.
Even in our cosmopolitan city,
such guaranteed exposure to
multiple worldviews is not a
given. Classroom discussions at
UNIS can’t help but have an in-
ternational perspective based on
personal knowledge. Course of-
ferings in French, Arabic, Rus-
sian, Chinese and a slew of other
languages complement the inter-
national curriculum and ensure
that these youngsters’ worldly
inclinations thrive. Admission is
competitive, especially in the
upper grades. The school oper-
ates on the IB (International Bac-
calaureate) system, facilitating
transfers between other coun-
tries—or just adding another
impressive notch to college appli-
cations. —Danielle Mowery
Best. Commute. Ever.
NEW YORK HARBOR SCHOOL
550 Wheeler Ave., Governors Island
Do you have a budding Jacques
Cousteau (or even Steve Zissou)
in your midst? Then this is a
don’t-miss: After eight years on a
Bushwick campus, the students
of the New York Harbor School
in 2010 quite literally set sail for
their newly renovated home on
the truly exclusive and expansive
Governors Island. Students travel
to and from the school via a spe-
cial ferry, enjoying an unbeatable
commute starring the Manhat-
tan skyline, the New York harbor
and maritime life. Students in the
professional diving program can
achieve a scientific diving certifi-
cation (it’s the only U.S. high
school to offer this), with train-
ing offered in the Bahamas and
Bonaire—not so narrowly edg-
ing out Mystic, Conn., in terms
of seaworthy school trips. With a
dedicated aquaculture lab, and
courses in coastal piloting and
seamanship and underwater ro-
botics, this high school curricu-
lum is peerless. Fascinated
parents should view the docu-
mentary Classroom on the Water at
newyorkharborschool.org to de-
cide if it’s the right fit for their
child. A school application is also
available online. Ships ahoy!
(Sorry.) —Stella Psaroudakis
Culinary Excellence
CALHOUN SCHOOL
174 West 74th St. (pre-K through
first grade)/433 West End Ave.
(second through 12th grades)
At the Calhoun School’s Upper
School, located in an iconic build-
ing resembling a TV set, students
from grades two through 12 all
know “Chef Bobo,” who was
hired from the French Culinary
Institute in 2002 with the goal of
sprucing up the lunch program.
The prep school takes a “holis-
tic approach to healthy eating”
through its lunch program, which
is called “Eat Right Now.” Stu-
dents are offered healthy, high-
end lunches and snacks as an
alternative to typical drab cafete-
ria fare at many schools. The chef
also visits classrooms, offering
cooking demonstrations and
teaching students about the sci-
ence and culture of food.
Calhoun offers its 750 students
diverse opportunities to excel
outside of the classroom. Pro-
grams include volleyball, golf,
ballroom dance, basketball, mar-
tial arts and Pilates. The school
opened its new gymnasium in
2004, and added a green roof in
2005. Notable alumni include
Ben Stiller and Wendy Wasser-
stein. —Corynne Steindler
Most Anticipated
New Building
HIGH SCHOOL OF ART
AND DESIGN
1075 Second Ave.
Massive, cool and loaded with
tech, Art and Design is zooming
into the 21st century with a new
home at East 57th Street and Sec-
ond Avenue after over 50 years
just around the corner. A New
York classic that’s been readying
the next generation in fashion de-
sign, cartooning, digital photog-
raphy, graphic design, video
production and architectural de-
sign since the ’30s, Art and De-
sign will be sharing space, and
perhaps some of its fabulous vibe,
with P.S. 59, while a Whole
Foods will occupy the building’s
ground floor. “I loved being at
Art and Design,” one alum from
the late 1970s fondly recalled,
“but that building was old even
when I was there!” —DM
Best Tech Gadgets
WILLIAMSBURG HIGH SCHOOL OF
ARCHITECTURE AND DESIGN
257 North Sixth St., Brooklyn
If AutoCAD and digital pho-
tography equipment aren’t
enough to woo a techie heart,
how about a 3D printer which
renders student designs into plas-
tic miniatures that can be held,
CHEF BOBO
OF THE
CALHOUN
SCHOOL.
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UNIQUE NEW YORK SCHOOLS
loved and shown off in a way that
is so much cooler than paper or
even computer versions? For the
nearly 500 students in this Wil-
liamsburg multi-high-school
building, architecture is woven
into the curriculum starting
from day one. Digital photogra-
phy is used to study historic pres-
er vat i on by capt ur i ng
architectural detail, as well as
deterioration, which is then fur-
ther analyzed. Art classes incor-
porate building principles and
even math courses focus on the
pragmatic end results. Turning
tomorrow’s design visions into
today’s miniaturized reality is
just one fun part of this unique
Brooklyn package. —DM
Best Workout
Without a
School Gym
NYC iSCHOOL
131 Avenue of the Americas
Because NYC iSchool shares
space with the Chelsea Career
and Technical High School, stu-
dents trek to the fourth and fifth
floors of this 1848 downtown
building. Those two floors do
not include a gym, so no physi-
cal education classes are held at
the school. (Gym requirements
are satisfied at a nearby recre-
ation center or by getting credit
for after-school activities.) But
every day, this innovative high
school gives its students more
than mental calisthenics in their
project-based modules—climb-
ing to the top floor guarantees
that they are starting their day
with a better workout than most
New Yorkers! —DM
Most Dramatic
Campus
RIVERDALE COUNTRY SCHOOL
5250 Fieldston Rd. and 1 Spaulding
Lane, Bronx
From Beijing to Botswana, Riv-
erdale is making inroads in send-
ing kids out of the country for
global studies. Its character de-
velopment program ( “mind,
character, commitment, com-
munity”), initiated by headmas-
ter Dominic Randolph, was the
subject of a New York Times Maga-
zine profile last year, sparking
discussion throughout New
York’s education community.
And the school’s balanced view
of testing, coupled with its far-
sighted focus on educating to-
mor row’s s oc i a l - cha nge
entrepreneurs (Riverdale part-
ners with local schools including
KIPP and the Bronx Academy of
Letters), sends a strong message
to students and parents alike.
But what visitors are likely to
notice first are the two stun-
ningly lush campuses, compris-
ing over 27 acres and impressive
buildings. The Lower School and
its rolling fields are situated by
the Hudson River, below Wave
Hill, at what Google Maps hilari-
ously labels “Riverdale Country
School for Girls.” Which it was,
until the school went coed in
1972—when Google didn’t quite
yet exist (though Riverdale stu-
dents had access to the proto-In-
ternet as early as 1970). The
landscape is even more striking
at the original 1907 Fieldston
Road campus, where a formida-
ble 1960s athletic center, built
into the hillside, rises from the
playing field below.
Students hail from the sur-
rounding area as well as Manhat-
tan and Westchester. J.F.K. and
brothers Bobby and Ted attended
for several years while their fam-
ily lived nearby; recent grads of
note include Carly Simon, Buffy
the Vampire Slayer TV series cre-
ator Joss Whedon (whose mom
taught science there), Daily
Candy founder Dany Levy and
writer Molly Jong-Fast. —DM
Best P.T.A. Events
P.S. 295: THE STUDIO SCHOOL
OF ART AND CULTURE
330 18th St., Brooklyn
On April 9, 2011, hundreds of
parents and children converged
on the street in front of P.S. 295
in Brooklyn for the couldn’t-miss
event of the season: The “Touch-
A-Truck” fund-raiser. The event
featured 17 awesome trucks,
from garden tractors to fire
trucks, for kids of all ages to see
and touch and even climb. The
sensational event thrilled the
tots—not to mention the school’s
P.T.A., often referred to as “the
little engine that could.” The
one-day fund-raiser brought in
$26,000 of badly needed funds.
Perched on the outskirts of
Park Slope, P.S. 295 serves just
over 400 pre-K-to-fifth-grade
students. With budget cuts a
RIVERDALE COUNTRY SCHOOL
NYC ISCHOOL
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harsh reality at every level of ed-
ucation, the school’s parents,
teachers and students band to-
gether to do their share, and then
some. P.T.A. co–vice president
(and “Touch-A-Truck” co-chair)
Amy Janzen describes the group
as a “wonderfully diverse com-
munity—a creative group of
parents hustling to raise as much
money for the school as they
can.” With the “Touch-A-Truck”
fund-raiser proceeds, the P.T.A.
was able to hire a yearlong sup-
port teacher for fourth- and
fifth-grade students, helping to
alleviate overcrowding. Funds
from other successful events
(the “Beat the Blahs” concert se-
ries, the Spring Arts Festival,
the October Dance-A-Thon and
Silent Art Auction) have gone to
support a music enrichment
program partnership with the
Brooklyn Conservatory of Music
(which concludes with a concert
featuring students in grades K
through five), as well as regular
trips to the Brooklyn Museum
of Art and other cultural
experiences.
This year’s “Touch-A-Truck”
event on April 28 will feature
over 22 trucks, including tow
trucks, fire trucks and police
cars, along with an antique ce-
ment truck, a variety of food
trucks and an art truck. Did we
mention the bouncy house? If
that isn’t enough to get your
tykes’ engines revving, we don’t
know what will. —SP

Best Place for
Kids to Get Their
Hands Dirty
P.S. 216: THE ARTURO
TOSCANINI SCHOOL
350 Ave. X, Brooklyn
For the past 10 years, the move-
ment toward the consumption of
local and organic produce has be-
come increasingly passionate.
This discussion has made its way
from the dinner table to the
lunchroom, with wellness advo-
cates fighting to make a differ-
ence in the way children eat.
In 2010, Edible Schoolyard
NYC transformed a cement
parking lot at Brooklyn’s P.S. 216
into a nearly three-quarter-acre
organic garden, where kinder-
gartners are taught to harvest ap-
ples and pear trees, winter
melon, dill, garlic, lettuce and a
multitude of other produce.
An affiliate of a program
founded by Alice Waters, Edible
Schoolyard NYC has created a
garden curriculum for every
grade level from kindergarten
through fifth. The garden and
kitchen are used as starting
points for interdisciplinary les-
sons tied to math, science and so-
cial studies. Kindergartners learn
about planting in patterns and
worm composting; first graders
compose poems about the signs
of spring; fifth graders help orga-
nize a harvest event for their
community. Every class partici-
pates in hands-on organic gar-
dening classes that reinforce the
academic curriculum.
Over 60 types of fruits, grains,
herbs and vegetables are culti-
vated and used in the children’s
lunch menu, completing the cir-
cle from farm to table. A dedi-
cated kitchen classroom and
cooking teacher are on the menu
for 2012. Principal Celia Kaplin-
sky, who traveled to Berkeley to
visit Waters’s original school gar-
den, calls this “living program” a
new way of life for the students.
“The children plant, grow, har-
vest and eat; it’s an all-encom-
passing experience.”
One mark of its success? Par-
ents clamoring to get their chil-
dren into the school. And what
change has it made in the eating
habits of these students? “The
kids are now raving about salads
every day,” Kaplinsky says. “At
first they didn’t know what
chickpeas were. Now they get
upset if they don’t see them in
the salad bar.” —SP
Silver Screen Award
FIORELLO H. LAGUARDIA HIGH
SCHOOL OF MUSIC & ART AND
PERFORMING ARTS
100 Amsterdam Ave.
This year, 9,000 students ap-
plied for entrance to LaGuardia
Arts, the performing arts school
near Lincoln Center and the in-
spiration behind the 1980 hit
musical Fame. (It was then
known as the High School of
Performing Arts, and it was lo-
cated near Times Square, before
merging with the High School of
Music and Art—itself the set-
ting for 1973’s Golden Globe–
nominated Jeremy.)
The school, one of N.Y.C.’s
nine specialized high schools, ac-
cepts only 664 applicants, mak-
ing it one of the most competitive
public schools in the city, espe-
cially for stage-bound students.
Kids who go to LaGuardia must
be smart as well as talented: Aca-
demics take up a large part of the
students’ rigorous schedule,
which includes studio training in
dance, drama, music, arts or
technical theater.
Madonna’s daughter Lourdes is a
student at LaGuardia; Al Pacino
and Jennifer Aniston are touted
as famous alumni. —CS
Hidden Gem
P.S. 32: THE SAMUEL MILLS
SPROLE SCHOOL
317 Hoyt St., Brooklyn
Nestled in brownstone Brook-
lyn, at the hot skateboarding cor-
ner of Union and Hoyt, P.S. 32 is
the quiet, often-overlooked dy-
namo of elementary ed in a
neighborhood brimming with
fabulous schools. Cheerful and
vibrant, P.S. 32 boasts small class P.S. 216: THE ARTURO TOSCANINI SCHOOL
ANNE BAXTER.
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sizes, wonderful art classes, a
beautiful playground, SMART
Boards and, as one education
professional gushed, “extraordi-
nary special education”: a well-
regarded NEST program
(team-taught classes geared to-
ward high-functioning children
on the autism spectrum) that
launched in 2003. And P.S. 32
did it right, starting first with a
partnership with P.S. 321 and
the Children’s School to initiate
collaborative team teaching
classes (C.T.T.—or I.C.T., as
they are now called), then grad-
ually expanding to the city’s
NEST approach. Parents have
described P.S. 32 as “life-saving.”
And parents whose general ed
children are in the classes rave
about the benefits, too.
Not enough to intrigue you?
The school’s library recently
underwent a significant capital
funds renovation. With a grand
reopening in February attended
by Borough President Marty
Markowitz and others, this
sparkling multimedia center
also offers community access
with parent workshops and
weekend hours.
Want more? The school is a
Music Memory Program partici-
pant and has won the citywide
competition two years in a row.
The spacious building also houses
M.S. 442: New Horizons (which
recently added an ambitious
rooftop garden), another under-
the-radar star. —DM
Most Bilingual
LYCÉE FRANÇAIS DE NEW YORK
505 East 75th St.
If the United Colors of Benet-
ton and Soho House gave birth to
a school, it would be Lycée Fran-
çais. LFNY opens its doors to the
likes of Maddox Jolie Pitt and the
children of those who run inter-
national corporations for the rel-
ative bargain cost of $22,000 per
school year.
In preschool, children are
taught on a bilingual basis, but by
first grade, all students must be
fluent in the French language in
order to be considered for admis-
sion. While every N.Y.C. private
school touts diversity, LFNY ac-
tually lives up to the claim: The
school’s 1,350 students hail from
50 different countries.
Aside from the intense aca-
demic requirements, Lycée Fran-
çais offers 30 sports teams and a
wide range of music programs.
Students are known for forming
their own rock bands at the
school: Members of Nada Surf
and the Strokes got their start at
LFNY. —CS
Eclectic Achiever
Award
EDWARD R. MURROW HIGH
SCHOOL
1600 Ave. L, Brooklyn
As most Brooklyn parents with
children of a certain age know,
Murrow’s a big school with a lot
to offer. “We had more people
than ever who wanted to see the
school this year—we had tours
past Thanksgiving. It’s great!”
says parent coordinator Rose
Dasch, who’s been involved with
the school for years. Phenome-
nal science and math (including
New York City science and engi-
neering finalists), music, theater
and theater design and funky
gym classes (though no sports
teams), and a greenhouse, a
planetarium, foreign languages
galore, intriguing English elec-
tives and a wide array of clubs
and activities, give just a flavor of
the school’s range.
Recently, Murrow’s won com-
petitions for both chess (state
champs yet again!) and the Vir-
tual Enterprises International
Annual Citywide Business Plan
Competition (with a student
business plan for Brandmark) —
and both are moving on to na-
tionals. And in terms of choice,
Murrow was top of the heap in
Brooklyn and No. 4 overall for
the city.
As far-ranging as its offerings
are, one staple of the school is, of
course, art. As one portfolio
reviewer for a prestigious art
school put it, “Murrow art
students are cool: laid-back,
great work and, year after year,
just effortlessly cool.” So:
eclectic, diverse and cool—is it a
Brooklyn thing or what? —DM
Most High-Tech
After-School Origami
Program
P.S. 372: THE CHILDREN’S
SCHOOL
512 Carroll St., Brooklyn
On a Friday afternoon at P.S.
372 in Park Slope, six first and
second graders hover over a sin-
gle iPad. At first they seem en-
grossed by an app that animates
step by step the process of
transforming a sheet of paper
into a frog, but it’s what comes
next that really grabs their at-
tention: a folder full of origami
paper in every shade of the rain-
bow. The students pick their fa-
vorite colors, their instructors
put aside the iPad and the class
gets to work.
When Taro’s Origami Studio
opened in Park Slope last No-
vember, P.S. 372’s after-school
program director, Hank Linhart,
saw an opportunity. Three
months later, the school’s first
origami class is in full swing. Led
by Hisao Ihara and Ben Friesen,
two experienced instructors
from Taro, the class is based on
an innovative teaching method-
ology combining modern tech-
nology with the ancient art of
paper folding. As Ihara and Fri-
esen guide elementary students
for an hour and half each Fri-
day, they bring to life studio
founder and origami iPad app
creator Taro Yaguchi’s vision:
standardi zi ng origami and
making it accessible to every-
one—with an emphasis on pro-
cess, and without compromising
attention to detail.
Ihara requests that students LYCÉE FRANÇAIS DE NEW YORK
P.S. 372: THE CHILDREN’S SCHOOL
UNIQUE NEW YORK SCHOOLS
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wash their hands prior to work-
ing with origami paper. He ex-
plains that hand washing will
not only keep their creations
clean, but also put the young
artists in a different frame of
mind. The adherence to con-
centration and discipline is ob-
vious from the outset.
Next, Ihara breaks out a model
of the day’s first task: a seagull,
its paper wings balanced on a
drinking straw as a makeshift
bird body. Then all eyes turn to
Friesen as he carefully demon-
strates the first fold, talking the
class through the finer points of
pressing down on the crease and
making sure the corners meet
just so. The kids bombard him
with questions: Is this good? Did
I do it right? Is the fold O.K.?
Will this be the wing?
“It can be tricky to get it ex-
actly perfect,” explains first
grader Ella.
In fact, the students seem just
as focused on precision as their
instructors. When first grader
Rachel notices a small crinkle in
her paper, she asks for a fresh
piece. Though Ihara tells her not
to worry, she frowns and turns
to the group: “But he always says
don’t be mean to paper!”
Sometimes the instructors will
project images from the app for
the entire group to see. The ani-
mation software is especially
helpful with large classes, allow-
ing more advanced students to
work at their own pace while in-
structors work one-on-one with
others. Even so, origami’s nu-
ance necessitates a human touch,
like the way Friesen demon-
strates how to fashion the curve
in a seagull’s “wings” by curling
each section of paper around his
index finger.
The art of paper folding isn’t
the only thing that students take
away from the course. For a gen-
eration reared on touch screens
and keyboards, the tactile prac-
tice is excellent for developing
hand-brain coordination.
“It gives the students a 3D un-
derstanding,” says Ihara. “Digital
can’t give you that.” What’s
more, continues Ihara, is that in a
society where being smart is
often equated with expediency
and cleverness, origami rein-
forces the value in taking things
slow and steady, making every
step count. —Alizah Salario
Most Over-Achieving
Student Body
STUYVESANT HIGH SCHOOL
345 Chambers St.
Possibly the most coveted ad-
mission of the nine specialized
high schools in New York City,
Stuyvesant High School in
Lower Manhattan is a breeding
ground for students who live to
excel. Though the school leans
heavily on its math and science
accolades, the eighth graders
who list Stuy as their No. 1
choice for entrance to the elite
non-private high schools of
N.Y.C. are likely to seek a well-
rounded education.
The competition between
Stuyvesant High and Bronx Sci-
ence is fierce among the math
and science programs, but many
Stuy students consider a future
in English, languages, history
or the arts. Ranked No. 31 in
Gold Medal Schools by U.S News
& World Report, the school’s
3,125 students are likely to en-
roll in A.P. classes and extra-
curricular activities—and to
attend college.
BEST OLD-SCHOOL SCHOOL
City and Country School
146 West 13th St.
Founded in 1914, the Greenwich Village–based City and
Country School is one of the oldest progressive educational
institutions in the nation. Taking the work-study concept to
a higher level, every Middle and Upper School group has a
specific job to learn and perform within the C&C community,
which is then incorporated into the curriculum.
The sixth-grade program harkens back to an age before text
messages, Twitter and all other things obsessively digital—
way back. The sixth-grade group, or “11s,” as they are called
(C&C follows a unique group numbering system), are respon-
sible for running the school’s printing presses, two behemoth
1800s-era Chandler & Price treadle models. The kids type-
set, produce all the school’s standard stationary, mix inks and
design lovely woodcut and linoleum holiday cards and liter-
ary magazines, which are then sold to the school community.
This distinctive hands-on experience is an integral part of the
year’s social studies curriculum, which focuses on the Renais-
sance and the critical point in history when the written word
met good olde print. Press on, kids. —SP
UNIQUE NEW YORK SCHOOLS
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New Yorkers can easily spot
the bleary-eyed Stuy kids study-
ing on the No. 2 train at 7 a.m.
before lugging their oversized
book bags up the stairs at Cham-
bers Street.
Paul Reiser, Lucy Liu, David
Axelrod, Tim Robbins, author
Hubert Selby Jr. and Himanshu
Suri of Das Racist are among
the Lower Manhattan school’s
famous alumni.
Stuyvesant was founded in
1904 as a “manual training
school for boys” and went co-ed
in 1969, though boys still out-
number girls at the school,
where 43 percent of students are
female. A recent New York Times
article also highlighted the
school’s growing Asian popula-
tion, which makes up 72.5 per-
cent of the student body. —CS
The Nobel Prize
Prize
BRONX HIGH SCHOOL OF SCIENCE
75 West 205th St., Bronx
Among the city’s nine special-
ized public high schools, Bronx
Science stands alone when it
comes to academic achievement
in math and science. Seven
Bronx Science graduates have
gone on to win a Nobel Prize—
that’s more than any other sec-
ondary education institution in
the world.
Bronx Science boasts 135 Intel
Science Competition finalists,
more than any other high school
in America. Almost every se-
nior in the 2010 class gained ac-
ceptance to a top college or
university.
The school’s principal, Valerie
Reidy, became a hot topic among
students and teacher at Bronx
Science after she was accused of
“driving out” teachers who had
spent their careers teaching at
the legendary school, and of re-
focusing the curriculum to pri-
oritize standardized testing.
With a student body of around
2,700, Bronx Science competes
fiercely with fellow specialized
schools Stuyvesant High and
Brooklyn Tech. The school is lo-
cated in a scenic section of the
Bronx, at West 205th Street and
Golden Avenue. The school has a
weather station, a rooftop plane-
tarium and a 15-acre field for
sports practice.
It is also home to the first Holo-
caust museum in the nation, the
Holocaust Museum and Study
Center, which is entirely student-
run and is housed in the school
library. It was founded in 1978
by Stuart Elenko, a retired his-
tory teacher working with a Jew-
ish survivor organization. —CS
The Jock Award
DALTON SCHOOL
108 East 89th St.
For many of the city’s Upper
East Siders, sending their chil-
dren to the Dalton School from
grades K through 12 is a part of
the plan. Unfortunately, ad-
mission takes more than send-
ing an application from a 10128
ZIP code.
Sending a child to kindergarten
at Dalton will run you $36,970 a
year—and that’s only if your
4-year-old beats out the 10 other
potential students vying for a
spot in the Little Dalton class.
But perhaps what sets Dalton
apart from other private high
schools in Manhattan is its repu-
tation for outstanding athletic
teams. Dalton is home to the
only varsity private high school
football team in Manhattan, and
boasts a rich athletic program for
both boys and girls, featuring
soccer, tennis, volleyball, la-
crosse, swimming, wrestling,
golf and track. The school offers
23 varsity teams—including a
cheerleading squad—and nine
junior varsity teams in its high
school athletics program.
That’s not to say that crushing
the competition in sports is Dal-
ton’s only claim to fame. The
school landed at No. 13 on the
Forbes list of Top 20 Prep Schools,
which reported that 31 percent
of graduates go on to attend Ivy
League schools—though in 2008
much was made of the fact that
not a single Dalton graduate was
accepted into Harvard. —CS
The Bootstraps
Award
BROOKLYN TECHNICAL HIGH
SCHOOL
29 Fort Greene Pl., Brooklyn
Located on a quiet block of
Brooklyn’s Fort Greene neigh-
borhood, Brooklyn Tech is
known as the largest and most
ethnically diverse of the nine
specialized New York City high
schools.
Tech, as its students call it, has
a bit of a chip on its shoulder,
because it’s often ranked third
of the founding three special-
ized high schools, after Stuyve-
sant and Bronx Science. Still,
UNIQUE NEW YORK SCHOOLS
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these kids have bragging rights.
Tech boasts one of the largest
auditoriums in the city, second
only to Radio City Music Hall.
It also features a swimming
pool, an aeronautical lab with a
wind tunnel and a student li-
brary equipped with fireplaces.
The school also offers over 100
student organizations, including
chess, football, quilting, cheer-
leading, rowing, tennis and a
model U.N.
Unlike some its richer, whiter
counterparts, many of the 4,500
or so kids who attend Brooklyn
Tech weren’t raised with silver
spoons. Almost half of the stu-
dents come from economically
disadvantaged homes—making
the school’s high graduation and
college acceptance rates that
much more impressive. Minori-
ties make up around 20 percent
of the student body. In 2010,
U.S. News & World Report ranked
Tech No. 63 on its Gold Medal
Schools list.
While Tech kids have a reputa-
tion for being hard-working and
fairly straight-laced, the school
did suffer a bit of a scandal this
year when a few students were
caught bringing marijuana-laced
cookies to school. Brooklyn Tech
now has a strict ban on home-
made baked goods. —CS
The Smallest Class
Size Award
BREARLEY SCHOOL
610 East 83rd St.
As one of the smaller all-girls
schools in New York City,
Brearley is probably best known
for consistent success at placing
its girls in Ivy League colleges.
Since 2007, the school boasts
sending 20 girls to Yale, 17 to
Harvard, 14 to Columbia and 13
to Princeton.
Located (where else?) on Park
Avenue, Brearley was the only
private school to be given an A+
by The New York Sun in 2008, and
in 2007 The Wall Street Journal
ranked it the No. 2 high school
in the country.
Brearley parents pay $36,800
per year in tuition (the rate is
the same for all grades from K
to 12) for the luxury of a nearly
unheard-of six-to-one student-
teacher ratio. Last December,
Brearley announced Jane Foley
Fried would take over as the
head of the school.
Brearley girls are fiercely
competitive with two other top
all-girls schools in the city,
Spence and Chapin. Famous
alumnae include actresses Tea
Leoni, Kyra Sedgwick and Anne
Baxter. —CS
The Creative Class
Award
ST. ANN’S SCHOOL
129 Pierrepont St., Brooklyn
Easily one of the most well-
known high schools in Brooklyn,
St. Ann’s elite reputation is based
on the creative encouragement
and individual attention it offers
its students.
Known for its “no grades” pol-
icy and unusual curriculum, stu-
dents at this Brooklyn Heights
K–12 school don’t have the same
reputation for academic rigor as
some of their counterparts at
other elite private schools. But
that’s not to say they’re a failing
bunch. In 2004, St. Ann’s was
ranked the No. 1 school in the
country by The Wall Street Jour-
nal; shortly after, the school an-
nounced it was replaci ng
infamous founding headmaster
Stanley Bosworth with former
Horace Mann head Dr. Law-
rence S. Weiss.
Since then, not much and ev-
erything has changed. No stu-
dents were accepted to Harvard
in 2009 or 2010, which caused
a bit of a stir among the par-
ents, who pay over $30,000 a
year in tuition for their kids to
learn to play oboe and make pa-
pier-mâché.
One former student described
the student body as “a bunch of
genius slackers,” suggesting that
the high-achieving, intelligent
students at St. Ann’s are not far
from the characters portrayed in
The Squid and the Whale. Students
here not only prefer but are often
encouraged to explore their cre-
ative consciousness over rigor-
ously hitting the books.
St. Ann’s is known for its far-
ranging course offerings—not
just Chinese, Japanese, Latin and
Greek at multiple levels, not just
amazing art classes that are al-
most overlooked because they
are so expected, but also its spe-
cialized courses in puppetry,
space colonization, game theory,
pharmacology, jazz history,
monotheism in antiquity (much,
much cooler than it may sound),
American women’s history, algo-
rithms for genetic sequencing,
programming (for four levels!),
Web design, live improv and
Nietz sche. And that doesn’t even
touch on the gym classes, after-
school clubs or music and the-
ater. And did we mention the art
BREARLEY SCHOOL
UNIQUE NEW YORK SCHOOLS
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classes? As one mom reassured
her mesmerized teen on a school
tour, “Remember—this is what
college can be if we find the right
one.” (St. Ann’s students are
often drawn to schools like
Oberlin, Berkley, Sarah Law-
rence or N.Y.U., rather than the
Ivy League.)
The distance from Manhattan’s
private schools doesn’t give St.
Ann’s kids a complex, especially
these days, when anything
Brooklyn-based represents the
standard of hip, and having arts
and smarts trumps cash and
flash. —CS
The Socialite
School Award
CONVENT OF THE SACRED HEART
1 East 91st St.
While there’s always been a
“schoolgirl gone bad” stereotype
surrounding private all-girls
schools in the city (think Cruel
Intentions), having Lady Gaga
emerge out of Sacred Heart high
school definitely revived the
image.
Home to “girls who have long
hair and play volleyball,” accord-
ing to one graduate of a rival pri-
vate school, Sacred Heart is
always under the microscope due
to its Roman Catholic roots and
female-only student body.
Located in two historic man-
sions on the Upper East Side,
the school sits across from Cen-
tral Park, at East 91st Street and
Fifth Avenue, giving it the air of
one of the toniest schools in
Manhattan.
Parents of Sacred Heart pre-
schoolers shell out around
$20,000 a year, while high
school runs families $37,000,
making Sacred Heart one of the
most expensive schools in the
country. So it’s no surprise that
girls with famous last names
such as Nicky and Paris Hilton,
Caroline Giuliani, Gloria Van-
derbilt, Caroline Kennedy and
Ally Hilfiger are among the
school’s well-known alumnae.
—CS
Best Farming
Opportunity
MANHATTAN COUNTRY SCHOOL
7 East 96th St.
Feel like the best way for your
kids to really learn about life is to
get their hands dirty? Look no
further than Manhattan Country
School, which sends students to
its 180-acre working farm in the
Catskills starting in second grade.
Beginning fifth grade, students
spend a week at a time at the “re-
treat,” getting up-close and per-
sonal knowledge about food:
where it comes from, how much
work is involved and what sustain-
ability really means in both a prac-
tical, local sense and a more
far-reaching global perspective.
Through its outreach and a slid-
ing tuition scale, M.C.S. makes
great effort to ensure this unique
out-of-city experience is offered
to a culturally, ethnically and eco-
nomically diverse group of N.Y.C.
students, an key component of its
1966 founding vision. —DM
Most Impressive
Manners
P.S. 69: THE NEW VISION SCHOOL
560 Thieriot Ave., Bronx
The first thing that strikes us
about P.S. 69’s Robin Hood Li-
brary is its color. It’s bright or-
ange, almost tangerine. The
second thing is its size: large
enough to hold two separate
classes, it also serves as the
school’s computer lounge, with
several iMacs lining the window
walls. But look outside and you
might be surprised to find your-
self transported not to the grounds
of some Park Slope charter school,
but to a busy intersection in the
Bronx. Welcome to the New Vi-
sion School, or P.S. 69.
It’s been nine years since Alan
D. Cohen came on board as prin-
cipal of a school on the verge of a
state takeover due to poor stu-
dent performance. The school’s
dramatic transformation is one of
the hidden gems of the New York
City public school system. By
2006, just three years after the
500-student institution’s educa-
tional and physical makeover,
test scores had risen by double
digits.
P.S. 69 is now run by Cohen’s
former vice principal, Sheila Du-
rant, who seems to be building
upon her predecessor’s legacy.
The A grade P.S. 69 received in
the Department of Education’s
annual progress report for the
2010–11 school year—the most
recent available data—put it in
the top quarter of N.Y.C.’s public
schools for student performance,
student progress and school envi-
ronment. That’s up from last
CONVENT OF THE SACRED HEART
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year, when it received an overall
A, but with B ratings in two of
the three categories. In 2010, it
was named one of the top 50 pub-
lic schools by the DOE.
New Vision uses a variety of
non-traditional models, includ-
ing the Reggio Emilia curricu-
lum, an arts education program
and “Time to Know,” an experi-
mental program in which stu-
dents study using laptops that
adjust to their learning rate and
provide teachers with the data.
We take our seat in the Robin
Hood Library and watch approx-
imately 20 fourth graders partic-
ipate in their monthly etiquette
class, taught by Lyudmila Bloch,
founder of Etiquette Outreach.
The Russian-born Bloch spends
most of her week teaching Wall
Street C.E.O.’s how to interact
with investors from other coun-
tries without coming off as boor-
ish Americans. But twice a
month she takes a car from her
midtown high-rise and teaches
the majority Latino and African-
American New Vision classes the
necessity of everything from
basic social and dining skills to
conflict resolution.
“It really is an opportunity for
children to develop self-esteem
and confidence,” Bloch says, ex-
tolling the benefits of early eti-
quette training on our ride. “Very
often, it’s not about fork and
knife. That’s a trivial understand-
ing of what etiquette is. It really
is about how we develop our rela-
tionships, our kindness and our
empathy toward other people.”
Some might see empathy classes
as a misuse of public funds. But
over the course of a one-hour les-
son, it becomes obvious that a
P.S. 69 education goes far beyond
math and reading comprehen-
sion. Unlike the same-age kids in
a Brooklyn Heights etiquette
class we’d visited weeks earlier,
Bloch’s pupils were unflaggingly
polite—raising their hands to
ask and answer questions, not
fidgeting or talking during class
and actually paying attention to
their instructor. They were, to
put it in obvious terms, polite.
For a generation raised by par-
ents who consider attention defi-
cit disorder a natural state of
being, perhaps the greatest gift
P.S. 69 has given its students is
the ability to truly listen and
learn—something the tradi-
tional elementary school model
doesn’t really emphasize.
Principal Durant points out the
newly renovated auditorium
where STAGES!, a New Jersey
theater academy, came and
helped students put on a produc-
tion of Willy Wonka and the Choco-
late Factory. The renovation
preserved the building’s original
structure (and somewhat drab
exterior), but a team of Nelligan
White architects managed to
turn the cramped quarters into
an open-space modern outfit to
foster a more creative learning
process. The project—including
a student-designed playground—
was funded mostly by state
money, secured by Senator Ruben
Diaz, his son, Bronx Borough
President Ruben Diaz Jr., and As-
semblyman Marcos Cres po,
along with some private donors
such as the New York Yankees.
“Every day, I tell my children
they are the best in New York
City and they are in the best
school,” says Durant. “They be-
lieve that and so do I.” And hey, if
P.S. 69 test scores keep rising the
way they do, perhaps other pub-
lic schools will adopt the innova-
tive program that has kept New
Vision thriving as the state looks
to slash even more funding for
public schools. —Drew Grant
S
P.S. 69: THE NEW VISION SCHOOL
UNIQUE NEW YORK SCHOOLS
ScooterSp2012_School _awards.indd 79 3/23/12 9:43:17 PM
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Dylan Lauren cutting into
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fitness | pacifier
Watch your legs!
“A lot of times, kids get into
a sport where parents have ex-
pectations. Here, it’s just a game,”
says Alissa Schmelkin, co-
founder of the newly opened
Gaga Center on the Upper East
Side. “You don’t have to live up to
standards.”
Gaga may be “just a game.” But
played in octagonal pens—
though rules can vary, the basic
aim is to avoid getting hit below
the knee—it offers a high-energy
workout that kids seem to love,
building endurance and fexibil-
ity, according to general manager
Avi Gordon.
The Gaga Center—the only
such venue in Manhattan—of-
fers co-ed groups for kids under 7
and for 7-to-10-year-olds. The
game is well suited toward youn-
gerer kids—the ball is soft—
though their games often devolve
into simple passing of the ball.
“Israeli dodgeball” is a misno-
mer: Gaga originated here in the
U.S. at Jewish summer camps in
the ’60s, and was brought back
home by Israeli counselors. Gor-
don grew up playing gaga at
Camp Givah near Albany. “I ac-
tually forgot how good a workout
gaga is,” he laughs. An ex-teacher,
he recruited the Gaga Center’s
five coaches, who spent two
months training before the Feb-
ruary launch.
Business is already booming,
Schmelkin tells me; birthday
parties—with DJs—are “ex-
ploding.” Schools send groups,
Scooter scooterNY.com 81
and groups of friends sign up to-
gether for freestanding sessions,
50 minutes in length.
As an older kids’ session starts,
the ball bounces twice. “Ga-ga,
then you can hit it,” explains
Gordon to the 7-year-olds, who
are on the honor system to leave
the game when hit below the leg.
Ana, in a white T-shirt, poises
herself for action as the game
starts. A moment later, the ball
catches the cuff of her pants. Re-
signedly she climbs out of the
pen, resting her chin in the palm
of her hand as she leans on the
railing to watch. Within seconds,
she is jumping and cheering for
one of her friends.
The 6-year-olds in the next ring
are having a less rigorous game.
“The honor system doesn’t al-
ways work,” Schmelkin laughs,
as one tyke happily ignores being
clipped by the ball and continues
playing.
“No expectations” notwith-
standing, some kids take gaga
pretty seriously. Co-founder
Marcy Singer’s son has “gaga
knuckles”; he wears gloves to pro-
tect his cut-up hands. Classes for
teens may be upcoming; at sum-
mer camps, the game is often
played more aggressively,
with harder balls and
tougher rules. Avi enthuses
that gaga can be great for
adults—“as long as you
have a good back.”
S
GAGA ceNter
230 eAst 93rd st.
GAGAceNter.com
(212) 920-7884
c
a
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n
o
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a
t
o
A Very
GAGA
Workout
by Peter Feld
Final three
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pacifier | events
What Start with Art
When Through June; Tu., Thu.,
Fri., Sat., Sun. (metmuseum.org)
Where Metropolitan Museum of
Art, Uris Center for Education
Sketching, exploring, and
listening to stories for kids 3-7.
What Love from
Mt. Pom Pom
When Through June 10
Where Children’s Museum of the
Arts, 103 Charlton St.
Japanese artist Misaki Kawai has
transformed CMA gallery into
an imagined world “where giant
fuzzy animals and other colorful
characters run wild.”
What Ahhh HA!
When March 30–April 14 (see
NewVictory.org for times.)
Where The New Victory Theater,
209 W. 42 St.
A 75-minute show (see story, p.
48) with comedians, acrobats,
and aerialists.
What Creatures
of Light: Nature’s
Bioluminescence
When March 31-January 6
Where American Museum of
Natural History
An exhibition about plants and
animals that generate light, from
frefies to deep-sea fsh.
What Qing Ming Festival
Family Day
When Sun., April 1, 10am–5pm
Where The Museum of Chinese
in America, 215 Centre St.
Celebrate “those who came
before you” with stories,
workshops for making pin-
wheels, kites and fowers, a
spring dance demonstration.
What Gustafer Yellow-
gold’s Year In The Day
release party
When Sun., April 1, 11am
Where 92Y Tribeca, 200 Hud-
son St.
Cartoonist Morgan Taylor’s
show, for kids 4 and up, is “equal
parts pop rock concert and
hand-drawn cartoon movie.”
What Grover’s Gang
Passover Family Concert
When Sun., April 1, 2pm
Where Jewish Museum, 1109
Fifth Ave. at 92
nd
St.
Songs of freedom and matzah for
kids age 3 to 9.
What Easter Fun Fest
When Sun., April 8, 12:30pm
Where Trinity Churchyard
Egg and scavenger hunts, a
puppet parade, digital photos
with the Easter Bunny, and
music by Bari Koral. Free.
What Earth Day Holiday
Crafts
When Thu., April 19, 2–4pm
Where Chess & Checkers House,
Central Park
Help “craft the colors of spring
into a larger-than-life paper
fower” for Earth Day.
What The Book of
Everything
When April 20-29
Where The New Victory Theater,
209 W. 42 St. (NewVictory.org)
The story of a boy who keeps
track of his daydreams, on things
like tropical fsh swimming in
the canals of Amsterdam.
What Touch-A-Truck
Brooklyn
When Sat., April 28, 11am-3pm
Where P.S. 295, 18
th
St. between
6
th
and 7
th
Aves., Park Slope
Kids can get “up close and
personal with working vehicles
they encounter in everyday life,”
with 22 trucks from fre engines
to an antique ice cream truck.
What Kindiefest Public
Festival Family Concert
When Sun., April 29, 12 noon
Where Littlefield, 722 Degraw
St., Brooklyn
With WeBop, SteveSongs, Apple
Brains, KBC Kids, Moona Luna,
and Bari Koral.
What St. George’s
Ukrainian Festival
When May 18-20
Where East 7
th
Street between
Second Ave. and Cooper Square
New York’s most homegrown
street fair features vibrantly
costumed folk dancers, from
adorable preschoolers to teens,
authentic crafts and food booths.
What Laurie Berkner
Band: Animal Party
When Fri., May 18 at 5pm; Sat.,
May 19 at 11am and 3pm
Where The Concert Hall, W. 64

St. and Central Park West
Bring your kids’ favorite stuffed
animal, animal-themed outft,
and shoes for dancing.
What Daytime Moon
Creations
When Sat., May 19, 3pm
Where Peoples Improv Theater,
123 E. 24 St.
An original play, written as part
of a program for special needs
children (see p. 50).
What Little Scientists
When Wed., June 6, 11:30am
Where Brooklyn Children’s
Museum
Introduce kids 5 and under to
the world of natural science.
What Father’s Day
Scavenger Hunt
When Sun., June 17, noon
Where DiMenna Children’s
History Museum, New-York
Historical Society
Children and their dads will use
their “history detective skills” in
a tour and scavenger hunt.
What Egyptian
Potsabilities
When Sun., June 17, 2:30-3:30pm
Where Metropolitan Museum of
Art, Uris Center for Education
Learn about an Egypt older than
the pyramids, then complete
your own clay “artifacts” for
future archeologists to discover!
Spring Calendar
spring is bustling with fun family events!
by Jennifer Maas
St. GeorGe’S ukraInIan feStIval
bIolumIneScence
aboundS at the muSeum
of natural hIStory
ScooterSp2012_BOB_EventsCalendar.indd 82 3/23/12 8:35:46 PM
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SkytopLodge.indd 1 3/16/12 2:08:34 PM
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pAcifier | Activities
I
n new York, a casual walk down any
given street is a cultural expedition. And
if you happen to be walking down East
60th Street, be sure to stop by the French
Institute Alliance Française at No. 22 for
a reminder of why you decided to raise
your kids in this city. FIAF is a nonproft or-
ganization on a mission to offer New Yorkers
exciting, unparalleled educational and artis-
tic programs centering on French culture.
FIAF offers events and affairs for all ages. Its
Language Center, with the most comprehen-
sive private French library in America, serves
thousands. The 400-seat Florence Gould
Hall Theater is home to a host of performing
arts events and New York’s only year-round
French cinema series, CinémaTuesdays.
FIAF’s popular Family Saturdays are par-
ticularly impressive. You needn’t worry that
your efforts to instill some urbanity into
your children will leave them bored. On
April 21,

at 1 p.m. in FIAF’s Le Skyroom,
you can introduce them to virtuoso violinist
and composer Daniel Bernard Roumain
(“DBR”), whose Haitian roots meld with his
classical training.
Want to try acquainting your children with
the French language without enrolling them
in a class? Be sure to stop by the Haskell Li-
brary after the DBR show, at 3:15 p.m.
There will be a story hour (all in French!),
along with snacks and arts and crafts. The
fun continues later into the day, with a
French flm and short episodes from Ma pe-
tite planète chérie (My Darling Little Planet)—a
fun way to teach kids about the environment
and celebrate Earth Day.
Or come to FIAF on Saturday, May 12, at
11 a.m. Les petits will partake in an arts-and-
crafts activity and enter the magical world of
Peau d’Ours (Bearskin), a French fairy tale de-
picted by two movement artists using props.
There will be another French story hour and
a flm screening (La prophétie des grenouilles, or
Raining Cats and Frogs).
This year, FIAF is expanding its popular
French Summer Day Camp with more options
for parents and children. Kids as young as 1
can be enrolled in à petits pas, a program that
introduces children to French language and
culture through songs, games, art and stories.
For children 3 to 5, à petits pas Mini Summer
Camp will focus on socialization and language
arts, incorporating body movement, yoga and
educational games. The camp offers a program
called “1,001 Stories of the French-Speaking
World” for kids 5 to 11, which will explore
French-speaking cultures through art, theater,
culinary workshops, games, sports and feld
trips, and cultural and immersion programs
for tweens and teens. S
For dates, prices and more information on FIAF’s Family
Saturdays, or for French Summer Day Camp, see fiaf.org.
Too Young
To Learn
French?
Mais non!
by Sarah Khuwaja
Arts & CrAfts At fIAf.
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activities | pacifier
CloCkwise from upper left:
union square farmers market,
Dig inn, the hattie Carthan
Community garDen, beD-stuy.
Scooter scooterNY.com 85
1. Visit Your Local
Farmers Market
What better way to start off
your weekend than shopping for
fresh, local food right around
the corner! Search for videos at
ParentEarth.com to see how
farmers markets connect your
kids with what they are
eating—and the people who
grow it. Invite your child into
the decision-making process.
Show them how to use all fve
senses to experience the food
around them, and let them taste
the samples. Look under “our
markets” at GrowNYC.org for a
list of 15 farmers markets open
throughout Manhattan and six in
Brooklyn.
2. Gardening Class
(drop-in programs)
Growing season is fnally here,
and a gardening class with your
kids is a great spring opportunity.
The New York Botanical Garden
hosts “Dig, Plant, Grow!” each
afternoon from 1:30 to 5:30 p.m.
beginning in April. There are
hands-on activities with fruits
and vegetables and crafts—all
included with garden admission.
Starting in May, the Brooklyn
Botanical Garden offers the
“Discovery Workshop” every
Saturday and Sunday.
3. Eat at a Healthy
Kid-Friendly Restaurant
Want an easy way to eat healthy
while dining out with the kids?
Try for a savory, local meal in a
casual, kid-friendly environ-
ment. Kids will not complain
about eating their veggies here!
The Dig Inn strives to serve
local food and visit its farmers
regularly. Five Manhattan
locations: 275 Madison Avenue,
150 East 52nd Street, 40 West
55th Street, 80 Pine Street and
17 East 17th Street.
4. Go to Your
Community Garden
Get in touch with your natural
side and visit a local community
garden. The 6th & B garden, at
East Sixth Street and Avenue B,
provides a host of craft
programs, science workshops,
slide shows, cultural festivals,
music, flms and performances
from all over the world. Just
down Sixth Street between
avenues A and B is a lush, tiny
jewel, the Creative Little
Garden. Visit evpcnyc.org for an
interactive map of the East
Village’s many other fantastic
green spaces. Use it to fnd your
own favorites and enjoy the
spring sun in one of Manhattan’s
little pieces of urban paradise.

5. Sunday-Night
Cooking with the Kids
Finally, end your spring weekend
with a nice home-cooked meal
you made with your children (see
p. 29). There’s always fun in a
little mess! They will love
measuring, pouring and stirring,
and cooking together offers a
wonderful bonding experience.
ParentEarth.com provides
kid-friendly recipes. After the
meal is prepared, you can sit
down and relive the weekend’s
food-related adventures. S
Parent Earth’s Perfect
Spring Weekend
try these family adventures to educate and excite your children about healthy,
sustainable eating. by Molly Dengler
ScooterSp2012_BOB_FIAF.indd 85 3/23/12 9:44:38 PM
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the playground what, exactly, it
is that I do for a living. I didn’t
care if they judged me—I’ve got
enough f r i ends al ready,
thanks—but what if they didn’t
want their children to play with
my child? What if my daughter
were shunned? What if the pre-
school decided it didn’t want to
accept the child of one of those
conservatives?
In the über-competitive world
of New York parenting, it be-
comes diffcult not to care, at
least a little. Google results that
might not have mattered when
you were a freewheeling non-
parent take on a much greater
meaning when you have a child.
Take Toby Bochan, now a se-
nior editor at Yahoo! and previ-
ously a poker guide at About.
com. An avid player, she also
authored The Badass Girl’s Guide
to Poker: All You Need to Beat the
Boys. Mildly edgy, sure, but
nothing embarrassing —so far.
Unfortunately for her, some
site lifted her explanation of one
particular poker game. No, not
Hold ’Em, or Omaha, but, of
course, Strip Poker. That page
turns up near the top of her
search results. And, yes,
stripped of its About.com con-
text, it seems Toby spontane-
ously elected to codify the rules
for how to lose your clothes
while playing a card game. How
does that play to a school admis-
sions committee?
For other parents, such as
matchmaker Lori Zaslow (co-
founder of Project Soulmate and
star of Bravo reality show Love
Broker), the problem is less about
judgmental parents than about
curious children —their own,
perhaps several years down the
road. “Being a matchmaker
means talking to people about
life, love, sex. Sometimes topics
like sex toys. I want to be the
best role model for my kids,”
Lori said.
“I don’t care about what the
other moms think, but I worry
about my 8-year-old Googling
me someday.”
(For her matchmaking clients
facing a Google past of their
own, Lori’s strategy is to ar-
range truly blind dates, where
the daters don’t know each oth-
er’s names or phone numbers.
“There are three sides to every
story,” Lori says. “This way
they’ll give each other a chance
without believing what they
read on the Internet.”)
Other examples are less sym-
pathetic. Take Daniel (not his
real name) in Brooklyn. These
days, Daniel is a reputable busi-
ness owner and upstanding fa-
ther of two. Back in 2001, in his
mid-20’s, he was involved in
some fnancial malfeasance and
served a year in a federal peni-
tentiary. Eleven years and one
Occupy Wall Street movement
later, his frst Google result is
the charge from the Securities
and Exchange Commission.
“Before having children, I
never considered someone
would Google me and fnd out
about my past. And if they did, I
can’t imagine I would care.
We’re leaving my name off the
school applications,” he said.
Still, some people shrug their
shoulders at buttoning up just
because they’ve had a child.
Writer J. R. Taylor, whose work
spans from the semi-respectable
Playboy.com to significantly
seedier Web sites, isn’t worried
about being judged or how his
kid will be viewed if he’s
Googled.
“I’m pretty proud of my low-
life work, and it’s still how I
make my living. I’ll want some
samples online —so my kid will
have to rebel by becoming a nor-
mal human being.”
S
M
any new yorkers spend the frst part of their lives
perfecting their “I don’t care” attitudes. The light is red?
I still walk, I don’t care. A guy is peeing on the corner?
Just don’t come near me and I don’t care. You don’t like
me? I really don’t care.
But the protective urge kicks in when you have your frst
child, and completely overtakes all previous nonchalance. You want
to give your baby everything, and it’s horrifying to imagine that you
might somehow stand in your child’s way.
Or that your online history might. Whether getting along with your
new mommy friends or getting into preschool, the past that a parent
might want to keep secret can easily come up in search results.
It might not be anything too scandalous. My own Google not-so-
secret is that for years I maintained a politically conservative blog,
which then led to paid employment as an outspokenly conservative
politics writer. I was never one of those Republicans who pretended
to be a libertarian or something. Having been raised in Brooklyn
with the mantra “be yourself,” I was always fearless about it. I’m
proud of my politics and I can defend my positions. I also never talk
about politics in social situations unless someone engages me, and I
fgured I’d continue in the same vein after my daughter was born.
But having a child puts you in a new, awkward social situation. It’s
the frst time in a long while that you go out of your way to make
friends. It’s like starting at a new school or moving to a new town—
but the stakes are higher because you care for this little person so
much more than you ever cared about yourself. You don’t want to
hurt your child by association.
So I found that I would shy away from telling the other moms on
Suffer the
Search Engines
think what you want about me. but will
my Web trail hurt my kid? by Karol Markowicz
I want my kids to feel that in any
fght, the city has their back.
paCIfIer | teCh
‘I don’t care about
what the other
moms think, but
I worry about
my 8-year-old
Googling
me someday.’
ScooterSp2012_FOB_GoogleMe.indd 86 3/23/12 8:42:05 PM
Maxwell X MacPherson
Dec. 7, 2011
6 pounDs, 14 ounces
The newest Guest of a Guest is
none other than the prince of New
York’s social scene, by way of Ra-
chelle Hruska, the GofG founder
and social queen with an omni-
scient view of Gotham people,
places and parties.
Her baby boy, Maxwell X
MacPherson (“X isn’t an initial,
it’s the name—ha!”), is already
almost as busy as his father, hote-
lier Sean MacPherson, of The
Jane, Maritime and Bowery fame.
“Maxwell has been to the GofG
offces on a weekly basis, as our
house is three blocks away,”
emailed Hruska. “He learned early
on that he had to sleep through the
night so he could make it to the
early morning writers meetings.”
That’s some serious work ethic
for someone under the age of 1.
Perhaps the little socialite in the
making is so conscientious about
his work schedule because of an
early prod from his pop. Among
MacPherson’s frst words to his
son were “Welcome to the world,
now get to work!”
Despite preparing to mold his
offspring into an assiduous child,
there was one thing that MacPher-
son was not prepared for.
“Sean was certain we were hav-
ing a girl. When they said, ‘It’s a
boy!’, we were both in shock. We
were so surprised, we didn’t have
our name decided on until we had
to leave the hospital and fll out his
paperwork.”
Maxwell Eliot Stringer
Dec. 9, 2011
6 pounDs, 2 ounces
On a Friday morning in Decem-
ber at 8:13 a.m., Elyse Buxbaum’s
pregnancy culminated in a baby
boy with a “full head of dark
hair” and “large steel-blue eyes,”
not to mention a “charming
smile.” Clearly, Buxbaum, an as-
sociate director at the Cooper-
Hewi t t Nat i onal Desi gn
Museum, and husband Scott
Stringer, the Manhattan bor-
ough president preparing a 2013
run for mayor, may have a bud-
ding politician on their hands.
Buxbaum didn’t mind being
pregnant: “I was fortunate to
have a pretty easy pregnancy. I
don’t think I’ve ever been hap-
pier—at least I never laughed so
much or so hard.”
We’d be chipper too if we had an
extraordinarily busy husband who
still managed to attend each and
every one of our doctor’s appoint-
ments, and brought us peach
smoothies every morning to sati-
ate our cravings.
We already know the little guy
has Stringer’s chin and maybe his
feet. Those dashing good looks are
all his mama’s, though, at least ac-
cording to the proud papa. Bux-
baum likes to think that Maxwell
is “the perfect combination” of
herself and her husband.
“Although,” Buxbaum quips,
“when he’s being sweet he looks
like me.” S
Born
Yesterday
Maxwells in the house! by Sarah Khuwaja
info@mylearningspringboard.com
646.478.8692
www.MyLearningSpringboard.com
Voted NEW YORK MAGAZINE’s Best Specialty Tutors
Private Tutoring.
Test Preparation.
Consultation.
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H ISEE, SSAT, SHSAT, SAT, and
ACT preparation
ScooterSp2012_BOB_BornYesterday.indd 87 3/23/12 8:32:18 PM
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pacifier | television
The Cat in the Hat
Knows a Lot About That!
pBs, weekdays 8:30 am and 2:30 pm,
weekends 7:30 am
Kid Appeal: Goofy and weird pedagogy,
usually about science and nature topics.
Fairly high-concept; not shapes and colors,
but more like microorganisms and minerals.
Fourth Wall: Occasionally violated for
singing, gesturing, simpatico cheerleading to
power one of the Cat’s outlandish gadgets.
Magic: The Cat’s existence, super-powers,
machinery, minions, etc.
Adult Appeal: Martin Short voices the Cat
and brings his Broadway musical yodel to
various show-stopping numbers about dia-
toms and such.
Mickey Mouse Clubhouse
disney Junior, various times
Kid Appeal: Walt’s deal with Lucifer appar-
ently intact, as Disney characters still rock-
solid eyeball magnets.
Fourth Wall: Routinely violated for count-
ing, color choices, shape identifcation, point-
ing out things the characters somehow can’t
perceive despite immediate proximity.
Magic: All problems are solved using one
of four random “Mouseketools” provided by
foating Mickey trademark symbol known as
“Toodles,” which occasionally exhibits a per-
sonality but is usually a faceless but omnipo-
tent automaton.
Adult Appeal: Historical interest in ob-
scure Disney character cameos; main
nemesis is Pete the Bear, whose light-
weight current incarnation belies his
Prohibition-era origin as a malicious
bootlegger.
Thomas the Tank Engine
nick Jr., various times
Kid Appeal: Gentle introduction to
narrative storytelling in a land inhabited
by mechanical nitwits.
Fourth Wall: Ignored in favor of
hermetically sealed and chronologically
frozen Island of Sodor where action
(such as it is) takes place.
Magic: All trains, vehicles, and indus-
trial machinery are living beings enslaved
by pompous English robber baron. De-
spite supernatural existence, the trains
neither resent their slavery nor possess
mental development beyond toddler level.
Adult Appeal: Nil. Repetitious nature
of trains’ character faws and pointless
nature of their labor an unwelcome re-
minder of adult workday life. Occasional
celebrity narrators somehow make it even
more depressing.
Chuggington
disney Junior, weekdays 7:30 am,
weekends 6 am
Kid Appeal: Takes the dreary Thomas
the Tank Engine world and amps it up to
11 with bright colors and clangorous
racket. Most bald-faced rip-off in cartoon
history, with exception of Flintstones v.
Honeymooners.
Fourth Wall: Ignored because there’s
too much going on already.
Magic: Trains are alive à la Thomas, and
they behave just as foolishly, but at least
it’s acknowledged that most train charac-
ters are immature train-children. Also, a
godlike artifcial intelligence, known only
as “Vee,” who monitors and controls me-
chanical and human life through an Or-
wellian system of animated loudspeakers.
Adult Appeal: Minimal, though at least
it lacks the sonorous monotony of Thom-
as’s world. Still disturbed by the way the
trains tend to jump around on the rails
when excited. Simmer down!
Reviews of My Son’s
TV Shows
a toddler’s dad adjusts to his new video diet. by Chris Mohney
ScooterSp2012_BOB_MySonsTVShows.indd 88 3/23/12 8:41:11 PM
Television | pacifier
Octonauts
Disney Junior, weekDays 11:30 am,
weekenDs 7:00 am
Kid Appeal: Undersea fun with various
weird beings on a submerged base dedicated
to helping injured animals. Predator animals
usually given short shrift. Nobody helps the
sharks.
Fourth Wall: Closing “Creature Report”
song details what’s been “learned” about the
ocean animal featured in the episode.
Magic: Other than the talking animals,
there is a coterie of cutesy “vegimals” (ani-
mal-vegetable hybrids), possibly created by
the other unexplained miscegenation on the
base: Professor Inkling, who is allegedly an
octopus but has the face and ears of a cat.
Adult Appeal: Despite the setting, disap-
pointingly plodding and pedantic. But did
feature what has to be the frst cartoon ap-
pearance of a blobfsh, so there’s that.
Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Disney Junior, 8:30 am
Kid Appeal: Colorful pirate adventure
drained of actual danger or adventure, in-
cluding emasculated Captain Hook. Exotic
locale. Boats. No actual piracy.
Fourth Wall: Violated when viewer assis-
tance required to solve simple puzzles, plus
sharing in group “reward” of pointless and
unspendable gold doubloons.
Magic: Pixie dust for fying, supposedly
used only in “emergencies” but used regu-
larly and trivially. Various magical char-
acters and beings with congenital inability
to survive without help from fying pirate
children.
Adult Appeal: David Arquette voices a
parrot.
Phineas & Ferb
Disney anD Disney XD, various times
Kid Appeal: Manic insanity of genius
brothers who control space and time with
their inventions while tormenting their
sister with impunity. A gateway step to
hyperactive post-toddler cartoons.
Fourth Wall: Some characters mug to
the audience, or more specifcally, to
adults.
Magic: Science on a colossal superheroic
scale, used by good and evil and incidental
characters with no apparent limits. Indo-
lent townspeople so inured to daily catas-
trophe that nothing appears to faze them.
Adult Appeal: Permanent side plot of
super-spy platypus versus mad scientist
that always touches on main plot tangen-
tially, despite oblivious main characters.
Possibly the most overt appeal outside of
Pixar to placating parents.
Special Agent Oso
Disney, 6:30 am
Kid Appeal: A stuffed bear secret agent
so incompetent he will make any child feel
like a genius.
Fourth Wall: Completely rent asunder.
Oso addresses the viewer constantly, both
when pleading for help in accomplishing
the most basic tasks (“how to blow your
nose” is one lesson) but also for jokey asides
or smarmy praise.
Magic: A roster of James Bond gadgetry,
plus singing “Paw Pilot” virtual espionage
handler, endless fatuous James Bond puns
that without doubt go right past the child
viewer to lodge uncomfortably in the brains
of older viewers.
Adult Appeal : Sean Astin, aka Samwise
Gamgee of hobbit fame, does the voice of
Oso. Otherwise completely repellant.
Little Einsteins
Disney Junior, various times
Kid Appeal: Group of mystery-solving,
musically inclined children enter hallucina-
tory worlds composed of elements from clas-
sical artworks and inhabited by beings fueled
with classical music.
Fourth Wall: Yes, your child must lo-
cate non-hidden objects, articulate obvious
choices, and clap or wave or writhe in place
to “power” a rocket.
Magic: The rocket, named Rocket, zooms
the children around the universe and trans-
forms into other vehicles, occasionally clash-
ing with other super-powered vehicles whose
motives are obscure. Is the sinister Big Blue
Jet crewed by a foursome of evil tots?
Adult Appeal: Regardless of what you
think of the Einsteins franchise, there is
no appeal in this saccharine attempt to
convert high art into the television equiva-
lent of chewable vitamins.
Team Umizoomi
nickeloDeon, weekDays 10:30 am anD
12:30 pm
Kid Appeal: Colorful alien children in a
primary-colored world who, as usual, re-
quire the child-viewer’s assistance. With
math.
Fourth Wall: As is standard, the charac-
ters are unable to overcome any challenge,
no matter how inconsequential, without ab-
stract help from your child.
Magic: The two human-child characters
and the robot-child character have various
species of powers derived from mathematics.
None actually involve solving math problems
without help, of course.
Adult Appeal: None. Math is never fun.
Super Why
pBs, weekDays 9:00 am anD 12:00
noon, weekenDs 8:00 am
Kid Appeal: Fantastical journeys into the
wonderful world of reading about stuff.
Fourth Wall: If you haven’t yet caught
on, the child’s mandatory assistance is as-
sumed as he or she is press-ganged into
the Super Readers club of problem-solving
fairytale characters.
Magic: The characters are from fairytales
to begin with, but here they also have read-
ing-derived super powers, use computers,
and creepily interact with the occasional
live-action interloper.
Adult Appeal: Very little, though it’s hard
not to chuckle at Alpha Pig, the alphabet-
powered swine who nevertheless seems like
more of a beta personality.
S
Scooter scooterny.com 89
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pacifier | books
Oh No, George!
by Chris haughton
(CandlewiCk press)
ages: 2–4
The vibrant illustrations of Oh No, George!
will remind you of Eric (The Very Hungry Cat-
erpillar) Carle’s classic stories in their intri-
cate and careful crafting, or No, David! by
David Shannon. Oh No, George! is a great read-
aloud story for children about keeping their
word, as George, a dog, struggles with his af-
fnity for cake and playing with his friend,
Cat, after he promises owner Harry that he
will “be good.” The story is a great way to in-
troduce the concept of behavior and account-
ability. George’s struggle for self-control and
Haughton’s subtle writing illustrate the all-
too-familiar struggle with temptation.
House Held Up by Trees
by ted kooser with illustrations by
Jon klassen
(CandlewiCk press)
ages: 4–8
In House Held Up by Trees, the lyrical prose of
Ted Kooser (U.S. poet laureate from 2004 to
2006) is more than matched by Jon Klassen’s
expert illustrations. House chronicles trans-
formation, loss and the gentle conquest of na-
ture as two children fnd solace in a wooded
area near their home. After they reach matu-
rity and their father moves away, the house
melds with nature, hoisted into the air by the
surrounding trees, and human nature and na-
ture itself converge. The story serves to re-
mind children and adults of who and what
was here frst, with an ending that restores
priority to the earth, while inspiring envi-
ronmental curiosity in the reader.
Robot Zombie Frankenstein
by annette simon
(CandlewiCk press)
ages: 4–7
Annette Simon’s latest tale will make you
reboot and re-compute! Her take on friendly
rivalry, Robot Zombie Frankenstein, mixes the
supernatural and the all-too-real feelings of
competition between two individuals. Two
robots play creatively through stark trian-
gles, rectangles and playful shapes, evolving
frst as robots … then robot zombies …
then robot zombie Frankensteins! This tale,
emphasizing the fuidity of identity and ne-
cessity of creating wiggle room in a child’s
understanding of self, is for children with
limitless bouts of energy, and will encour-
age the shy child’s creativity. There is also
something for adults in this book: In a world
where technology reshapes our world on a
daily basis, and some new gadget is almost
always making its way down the conveyor
belt, Robot Zombie Frankenstein recalls the
simplicity we can regain once we strip away
our apps and devices. Maybe we all just need
some pie.
Who’s Like Me?
(Uncover & Discover)
by niCola davies with illustrations
by marC boutavant
(walker Children’ s books)
ages: 2–5
Who’s Like Me? is a fresh take on the typical
children’s fip book, commonly stuffed with
tactile texture pads and uncharacteristically
soft fbers in lieu of animal fur. But this cre-
ative concoction by Davies (a zoologist who
has transformed her interest in the natural
world into an educational venture) and
Boutavant seeks to inspire kids to use their
eyes and imagination to explore textures
and describe the natural world around them.
It opens by asking, “Who’s furry and
breathes air like me? ”, before prompting
children to fip open slats in the book. The
story establishes connections between like-
bodied animals and makes animal classifca-
tion a f un task. Davies’s earl ier
award-winning children books include White
Owl, Barn Owl and Surprising Sharks.
What Color Is My World? The
Lost History of
African-American Inventors
by kareem abdul-Jabbar
and raymond obstfeld with illus-
trations by ben boos and a.g. ford
(CandlewiCk press)
ages: 6–12
What Color Is My World?, the second collab-
oration between retired NBA great Kareem
Abdul-Jabbar and Raymond Obstfeld, illu-
minates overlooked African-American in-
ventors in the United States. The story
introduces us to nearly two dozen of the
countless American innovators, often over-
looked by history, through the lens of sib-
lings Ella and Herbie as they help renovate
their new home. Black history should not
begin and end in February! The book is en-
gaging and expertly illustrated, with “fast
facts,” blueprints and diagrams galore. S
New Kid Lit
the intersection of technology and individuality permeates
this season’s children’s books by Brionna Jimerson
ScooterSp2012_BOB_BookReviews.indd 90 3/23/12 8:33:40 PM
Scooter SCOOTERNY.COM 91
BOOKS | PACIFIER
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cording to a recent
NPR story, or that
t he Joan Ganz
Cooney Center at
Sesame Workshop
found that children
preferred books on
i Pads. I n a recent
study, the center ob-
served 24 families with
children ages 3 to 6,
who, when given both
print and e-books, pre-
ferred reading the elec-
tronic versions to print
books, though compre-
hension was equal. There
has yet to be a comprehen-
sive study that addresses
whether e-books are better
or worse for kids’ learning.
So before deciding whether
reading your child to sleep
while curling up with a back-
lit screen is a good or bad idea,
consider a basic question:
With all the digital bells and
whistles, what does a “good”
book even look like
these days?
For Brookl yn-
ba s ed Mi chel l e
Knudsen, author of
over 40 books for
children, the heart
of a good book re-
mains a compelling
story. Knudsen notes
t hat pi npoi nt i ng
what made her most
popular title, Library
Lion, such a hit isn’t
totally obvious, but the elements
that resonate with young read-
ers have more to do with emo-
tions than electronics.
“I think what they most re-
spond to is the emotion—the
feelings of the characters for
one another and the themes of
friendship and belonging and
sacrifice,” says Knudsen in an
email. “I didn’t sit down to
write a story about any of those
things at the outset, but I think
the fact that there are real emo-
tions at the heart of the story
makes people care about the
characters and what happens to
them in the books.”
“The key point for a good
book is universality,” agrees
E.J. Altbacker, author of the
Shark Wars series for middle
grades, and a writer for car-
toons and kid’s shows. “What-
ever magical land you’re in,
there has to be something an-
choring it that kids can relate
to. Either the character is an
outcast, or an orphan, or he’s
different somehow.”
Altbacker notes that those who
grew up listening to storytellers
spin yarns around the fire might
have experienced similar feel-
ings about the transition to
print. Initially, a story without a
teller may have seemed stale,
the page revealing nothing about
the subtlety of tale. “Everyone
knew the stories, but it was the
skill of the performer who was
giving nuance to the words,”
Altbacker says.
While stories can be told in
many different formats, picture
books leave plenty of room for a
child’s imagination. There’s
even the “picture book procla-
mation,” a tenderly illustrated
manifesto spearheaded by chil-
dren’s book author Mac Barnett
and signed by numerous promi-
nent writers and illustrators.
“We believe a picture book
should be fresh, honest, piquant
and beautiful,” it declares, in-
sisting that printed children’s
books are “a form, not a genre.”
Print books and e-books each
have their strengths, and aren’t
mutually exclusive: Readers
young and old still cherish the
tactile experience of reading a
picture book. Knudsen suggests
that while apps or games can
supplement a book, letting
young readers enjoy characters
in an extended format, the story
should still always come first.
“The words and the pictures
draw the reader in, inviting her
to meet the author or artist
halfway, helping to bring the
story fully to life in her mind,”
says Knudsen. “If books become
too much like games, if it be-
comes all about touching the
screen to see what happens, I
worry that sense of connection
will be lost.” S
W
HEN THE GODFATHER OF CHILDREN’S LITERATURE,
Maurice Sendak, talks books, it’s best to take note. In a
recent interview with Steven Colbert, the revered author
of Where the Wild Things Are confirmed his status as a lov-
able curmudgeon.
“I don’t write for children,” he told Colbert. “I write,
and someone says, ‘That’s for children.’ I don’t set out to make chil-
dren happy, or make life better for them, or easier for them.”
Sendak’s rough-around-the-edges sensibility is a provocative
counterpoint to the growing list of digitally enhanced children’s
books that incorporate kid-friendly animation and interactive ele-
ments. Consider the recent iPad makeovers of these classics: An e-
book iteration of The Three Little Pigs allows young readers to help
the wolf blow down the piggies’ houses via the iPad’s microphone,
and The Tale of Peter Rabbit is tricked out with touch-and-hear text
and pull tabs that literally “pull” readers into the world of Beatrix
Potter’s classic illustrations.
In a rapidly evolving publishing landscape, it comes as no surprise
that 11 million parents have purchased e-books for their children, ac-
‘I’ll Drag, and
Click, and Blow Your
House Down!’
E-books are popular with kids. But are they losing the
magic of the printed page? by Alizah Salario
ScooterSp2012_BOB_eBooks.indd 91 3/23/12 8:34:33 PM
Untitled-9 1 3/20/12 12:46:15 PM
Scooter scooterNY.com 93
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art | paciFier
An Enchanting Child-Themed
Art Site Grows in Brooklyn
WaNt to celebrate the magical realism of childhood
in a more sophisticated fashion than your average Anne Geddes print?
Of course you do—unless you really love grinning infants wearing
pumpkin costumes. (I have always suspected those children are
drugged.) Kid-in’s take
on childhood is thor-
oughly grown up. If there
is a child in a pumpkin
costume on the site, you
can be sure that it was in-
tended as a wry and
pointed commentary.
At Kid-in (kid-in.net),
an online platform on
which a wide range of
international and local
designers and photogra-
phers focus their cre-
ative efforts upon the
subject of childhood,
you’ll always fnd some-
thing fresh. Updated fortnightly, the site features photos of children
dressed in war paint, sitting like tiny tutu-ed dictators on thrones,
and grimly dragging their toy
trains. Meanwhile, toys such as
the Slinky lend themselves to
the “platonic solids” series. The
overall effect is more fashion ed-
itorial, less consciously cutesy.
That is to say, the children in it
still look like children—but
they don’t look like they were
posed to provoke squeals of de-
light from adults.
Alice Betay and Stephanie Ar-
page, the two Brooklyn moms
from France who founded the
site, see childhood as more than
simply adorable. Alice notes that
she’s driven by “her love of spon-
taneity and the surreal,” while
Stephanie’s inspiration stems
from the family attic and “the
hours on end spent pilfering for-
gotten trunks of exotic fabrics
and costume jewelry.” Perhaps
those insights account for the
stunning outfts seen on the chil-
dren who appear on the site—or
maybe that’s just good stylists at
work. Regardless, you can ex-
pect to see something brilliant
and inventive—with very little
kidding around. –Jennifer Wright
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ScooterSp2012_BOB_KidsInSite.indd 93 3/23/12 9:45:36 PM
94 Scooter spring 2012
pacifier | events
Ramses BaRden and fRiends
Social Scene
Winter was a busy party season for new York kids
and the grown-ups who love them too much.
On March 6, F.A.O. Schwartz, Sloan-Ketter-
ing and Tiffany teamed up to host the society
children’s event of the year, the 21ST AnnuAl
Bunny HOp at the Fifth Avenue mega toy
store. proceeds benefitted the pediatric Family
Housing Endowment. Kids of all ages enjoyed a
plethora of creative activity booths, craft tables,
toy-making corners, live animal and sing-along
presentations, plus gorgeous food stations.
upstairs, Birkin-toting moms enjoyed posh sips
of rosé while stylishly clad juveniles danced to
the beats of a DJ. For many youngsters, the big-
gest excitement was the appearance of new
york Giants wide receiver Ramses Barden.
Kid-in.net (see p. 93) celebrated its launch
with a lively party at the Invisible Dog gallery
in Cobble Hill on Feb. 16. Founders Alice Ber-
tay and Stephanie Arpage, Brooklyn moms
originally from France, and managing editor
larissa Zaharuk mingled with parents, writ-
ers and photographers as images from the
site were projected on large screens, while
adorable, impeccably behaved children
busied themselves out of the way of the St-
Germain-sipping partygoers. (Just as one
might expect of children raised in the famous
French style of non-helicopter parenting.)
On Jan. 29, Scooter joined with Big City
Moms and sponsors RedRover, J&R Jr.
and the Observer Media Group to host
WInTERFEST FAMIly Fun DAy at Central
park’s Wollman Skating Rink. The event
raised funds for K.I.D.S (Kids In Distressed
Situations), which provides clothing, toys,
books and baby products to 67 million
children in need around the world.
Kids skating and warmed up with hot
chocolate and lunch from Relish Caterers
while listening to a high-energy
performance by Rockin’ Railroad.
p
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HenRy and KatHeRine tucKeR
Vignette and
PHoenix fRancis
RocKin’ RailRoad
alice BeRtay and stePHanie aRPage
ScooterSp2012_BOB_Events.indd 94 3/23/12 8:36:51 PM
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FOR 5 - 30 PEOPLE • PRIVATE ROOMS AVAILABLE
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Birthday Parties
Customized Live Entertainment!
Spooky Special Efects
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91 7th Avenue South
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1586 York Avenue (between 83rd and 84th Streets)
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Karena Wu is the owner of
ACTIVECARE PHYSICAL
THERAPY located in midtown
Manhattan. The facility oers
one-on-one hands on treatment
and takes most major insurances.
Please call for an appointment.
212-777-4374.
www.ActiveCarephysicaltherapy.
com; Karena Wu, PT, MS, CSCS,
CPI, ACTIVECARE PHYSICAL THERAPY, PC.. 12 West 37th
Street, Suite 1202, New York, NY 10018
www.activecarephysicaltherapy.com
AZURE, the Upper East Side’s
newest luxury residential
development located at 333 East
91st Street, oers floor-to-ceiling
windows in each residence with
breathtaking city and river views,
as well as 6,300 square feet
of amenity space and includes
full service valet and 24-hour
concierge, a live-in resident
manager, Fresh Direct approved
refrigerated storage, additional individual storage units and
free bicycle storage.
For more information about Azure, please contact the
sales o ce at (212) 828-4848, e-mail info@azureny.com
or visit the website at www.azurenyc.com.
CLARIDGE’S, a classic pre-
war building in the heart of
midtown, is steps from Central
Park, Fifth Avenue and 57th
street shopping, Time Warner
Center, Carnegie Hall, and
MoMA. Residences oer high
ceilings, restored plaster
moldings and beams, granite
kitchens, marble baths and entry foyers and abundant custom
closets. Penthouses feature large terraces, many with views
of Central Park. Featuring an elegant lobby the building has a
24-hour doorman, staed on-site fitness center and “Sky’s the
Limit” concierge to attend to all your personal needs.
For more information call 347-728-0332
Since 1920, DILLER-
QUAILE has been
teaching music in a
way that develops the
innate musicality in
each individual, inspiring
participation for a
lifetime. Diller-Quaile
oers Early Childhood Classes (4 mos-6 yrs); Instrumental/
Vocal Lessons and Classes; Adult Programs; and Teacher
Training/Dalcroze Courses. Rug Concerts, master classes,
and faculty concerts occur throughout the year. Outreach
Programs bring the spirit and mission of Diller-Quaile to
hundreds of NYC individuals. Accredited by the Accrediting
Commission for Community and Precollegiate Arts Schools.
212-369-1484 or www.diller-quaile.org.
THE ASHLEY AND THE ALDYN,
are the latest additions to
Manhattan’s vibrant Riverside
South neighborhood. Residences
feature gracious oversized floor
plans with sophisticated and elegant
details. An extensive selection of
amenities includes a 40,000 sf LA
PALESTRA Fitness Center & Spa,
Abigail Michaels Concierge Service,
residents’ courtyard, lounge and
a host of services. Now oering
immediate occupancy, The Ashley
and The Aldyn Leasing Center is located at
60 Riverside Blvd, New York, NY 10069. For more
information, please call 888-375--2296 or visit us at
WWW.RENTONRIVERSIDE.COM.
For more than a century, BIDEAWEE has been dedicated to
cultivating and supporting the life-long relationships between
pets and the people who love them. Bideawee accompanies
pets and pet lovers on their life-long journey together by
oering an array of services including: adoptions, animal
hospitals, behavior and training classes, pet therapy and
humane education programs, volunteer opportunities, pet
memorial parks and bereavement counseling.
Join our community by calling 866-262-8133, visiting
Bideawee.org or joining the conversation on Facebook.
Need More Space? Dream
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paint and decorate together. Available in twin, full and queen
sizes. Custom-Built and Hand-Made in Upstate NY.
866-739-2331
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DUTCHESS COUNTY
TOURISM
From majestic mountains,
lakes and towns to pastoral
farmlands and trails,
Dutchess County in the
Hudson Valley truly has it
all. Discover nearby, aordable places to visit just 90 minutes
from New York City, easily accessible by car, train, or bus.
The abundance of historical landmarks, fine restaurants,
and cultural art venues, plus striking natural beauty, makes
Dutchess an ideal destination for weekend getaways or longer
excursions.
DutchessTourism.com 800-445-3131
THE ART FARM IN THE
CITY is an an Eco-friendly
and organic facility which
teaches your children about
nature, animals and how to
better care for our planet. We
also teach your children about
responsibility through caring,
loving and being in the company
of animals. Our magical, USDA
licensed, indoor petting zoo
has a wide variety of animals
including bunnies, chinchillas,
guinea pigs, lizards, turtles, birds, tropical fish and more. We
oer a variety of programs such as camps, birthday parties,
adult and me & after school classes, drop ins, and more.
CHELSEA PIERS is home to 14 specialty sports camps for
children and teens, ages 3 to 17. For the past 16 summers,
campers have enjoyed world-class facilities, expert instructors,
and the most exciting sports curriculum available, without
leaving NYC!
Lunch is provided for all campers. Transportation is available
from major residential neighborhoods in Manhattan and parts
of Brooklyn. An After Care Program is available from 4:30-
6:00pm.
Enroll for one week or up to eleven weeks from June 18 to
August 31.
COOBIE SEAMLESS BRA is
simply the most amazing bra
you’ll ever buy. Ultra comfortable,
supportive, and inexpensive - it’s
the perfect combination. The
Coobie Bra provides shape and
support and can be worn in place of
a camisole or tank top. Available in
30+ colors. One size, fits a 32A thru
36D (yes it really does!)
Shopcoobie.com 888.789.1037
For 150 years, the
legendary FAO
SCHWARZ® has
enchanted generations
of kids, created
lifelong memories
and drawn acclaim
for its assortment of
extraordinary toys. Established in 1862, the country’s oldest
and most beloved toy store kicked o a year-long celebration
for its 150th anniversary. The company will honor its rich
heritage with in-store events, commemorative product
oerings, a showcase of brand archives and an enhanced
website that together will present the brand’s storied history.
1.800.426.8697
fao.com
Here in the Heart of the
Hudson Valley, you can
ride a carousel or a zip
line, enjoy water park fun,
museums, history, and
river cruises.
Stay a few days more to
pick peaches, stroll public
gardens, or tour the
Walkway Over the Hudson.
All of this and more is less
than two hours away by car
or train.
Come to Dutchess, where
an affordable getaway is
time well spent.
Time Savor
Spend your vacation time savoring every moment.
Simple and Sophisticated.
You Deserve Dutchess.
®

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Y
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D
E
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DutchessTourism.com 800-445-3131
animal people for people who love animals
Original Swedish clogs, WWW.CAPECLOGS.COM oers a wide
variety of vivid signature
prints and styles for all
personalities. Men, women
and children sizes and with
an orthopedic anatomically
arched alder wood foot bed.
Cape Clogs Inc. is a privately
held designer, exclusive
distributor and marketer
for a sixth generation
manufacturer located in
Smaland, Sweden.
MONEY SAVVY
GENERATION
continues to develop
innovative educational
products to help
parents, grandparents
and others teach kids
the basics of personal
finance. Through our
award-winning line of
unique 4-chambered
banks - Money Savvy
Pigâ (winner of Parents’ Choice Gold and NAPPA Gold awards),
Money Savvy Cowâ and Money Savvy Footballâ - we introduce
kids (4 – 11) to the basic choices for money: SAVE, SPEND,
DONATE, and INVEST. The perfect child’s gift!
Call: 866-390-5959 or visit www.msgen.com.
SHOOFLY has been
a teeny star in NYC
since 1987, the
first to showcase
European footwear
for children.
Shoofly originally
set out to be more
than your average
shoe store, oering
an unusual selection of hats, socks and accessories. Fashion is
fun but fitting shoes is also very important at Shoofly and we do
it with care, fun and expertise. We carry shoes from newborn to
big kids, prewalkers to stiltwalkers, walkers to hikers.
Please stop in!
SCOOTERGallery0312_2.indd 109 3/23/12 10:41:02 PM
Scooter Gallery
110 Scooter SPRING 2012
Scooter Gallery
FROST VALLEY YMCA is the
premier year-round camping
and retreat center in the heart
of New York’s Catskill Mountains
and a favorite for parents seeking
an engaging, summer camp
experience for their children. Our
6,000-acre campus oers one
of the most breathtaking natural
settings in the country, surrounded by 250,000 acres of “forever
wild” Catskill Mountain Forest Preserve. We oer year-round
activities for families, friends, couples, and groups.
Learn more at: frostvalley.org

HARRY’S SHOES
FOR KIDS
continues to oer
the city’s most
extensive collection
of quality brand-
name children’s
footwear, fitted
by our highly
competent
and patient sta of professionals. From infants to “tweens,”
Harry’s oers style and selection to even the most demanding
consumer: your child! Visit us on Broadway between 83rd
and 84th Streets. We’re open seven days! And when in the
neighborhood, visit our adult’s store on Broadway at 83rd
Street!
KIDDING AROUND — named
“Best Toy Store in NYC”by New
York Magazine. Sister store, just
kidding around, named “Best Toy
Store in NJ”by New Jersey Monthly
Magazine. We are passionate about
our selection of toys, games and
gifts. Great design and great value –
lots of classics and lots of surprises!
As a family owned business, we so thank you for your support of
local independent retailers! Unique toys & gifts.
60 West 15th Street, New York City 10011. 212.645.6337 •
www.kiddingaround.us
From luxe layette to celeb-coveted
looks, LESTER’S has been a go-to
destination for the latest trends
and most coveted fashions with
world-class service for the entire
family for over six decades. Now,
savvy shoppers can purchase their
favorite clothing, shoes, accessories,
camp apparel and essentials, and
gifts on line at LESTERS.COM. You’ll
find fashion’s hottest brands like Splendid, Ella Moss, Flowers
by Zoe, Volcom, JBrand, Parker, Vintage Havana, as well as style
blogs, videos and personal shopping guides. LESTERS.COM is
a virtual playground of style, making shopping fun, easy and
fabulous.
Lester’s stores are located in Manhattan, Brooklyn, Rye,
Greenvale and Huntington, LI.
LESTERS.com
FUSION ACADEMY &
LEARNING CENTER
A private school
and tutoring center
for grades 6-12 that
customizes an academic
program and schedule for each student in the perfect
environment: one student and one teacher in each classroom.
At Fusion Academy, the educational experience is completely
customized around each student. In addition to being taught
on a one-to-one basis, all of our classes are self-paced and the
material is presented in a way that considers each student’s
individual interests, strengths, and learning style.
Manhattan 866-430-7677
Long Island 866 426 1188
www.fusionacademy.com
ICING ON THE CAKE was started
as a love of baking and grew into a
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! Call or email to
schedule a consultation for your next event. We look forward to
baking for you!
(347) 604-3309
icingonthecakenyc@yahoo.com
www.icingonthecakenyc.com
LAKERIDGE, a woodsy retreat
just a quick drive from New
York City, has 474 homes
and limitless enjoyment for
your family, including sixteen
outdoor tennis courts, indoor
and outdoor pools, a private
ski area, and onsite day camps.
Situated next to Burr Mountain
State Park in Litchfield County,
a place for everything from
horseback riding to tennis
lessons to gardening, Lakeridge
has everything you need to for the perfect vacation any time
of year. For more information, please visit or call us at
lakeridgect.com / 800-796-8929
MANHATTAN HOUSE, a
landmarked Modernist icon,
features spacious one-to-five
bedroom residences with multiple
exposures and gracious floorplans
impeccably re-engineered and
available for immediate occupancy.
Many feature expansive closet and
storage space, fireplaces and private balconies. Set within one
of Manhattan’s largest private residential gardens, Manhattan
House oers full-time doormen, concierge services, porte-
cochere entrances, and on-site garage and valet service.
Residents enjoy the rooftop Manhattan Club; rooftop exhale®
mind body spa; yoga studio and treatment room; exhale fitness
center; and Roto Studio-designed children’s playroom.
For more information visit www.manhattanhouse.com.
HALSTEAD PROPERTY is
one of the most respected
firms in the real estate
industry. As the largest
privately held real estate
firm in the Tri-State area,
servicing New York, the
Hamptons, Connecticut
and New Jersey with
21 o ces and 950+ agents, the company’s presence is
unmatched. Halstead’s innovative and personable approach
to service makes the process of buying and selling real estate
rewarding and fulfilling. Visit the award-winning www.
halstead.com to search listings, view videos or learn
more.
INCARNATION CAMP. Why pay
double for the same camping
experience that you can get at the
oldest co-ed camp in America? For 120
years, kids have been making friends
and enjoying a full range of activities
including sports, hiking, boating,
archery, and horseback riding on our
700 –acre campground with private
lake. Visit us to see for yourself what
a great time your kids can have this summer. American Camp
Association Accredited.
Ivoryton, CT
Incarnationcamp.org 800.226.7329
LEMAN MANHATTAN
PREPARATORY
SCHOOL. Located in
historic downtown New
York, we are a world-
class preparatory
school starting with
3s through Grade
12. Our academically
challenging education teaches young people to be courageous,
critical thinkers who are prepared to succeed at top choice
colleges. Our network of schools in Europe, Asia, Latin America
and throughout the US creates endless opportunities for
students to participate in international learning, leadership,
athletic, music and art programs that develop cultural
knowledge and real-world experience.
MANHATTAN COUNTRY
SCHOOL is a pre-
kindergarten through 8th
grade independent school
that has both a city and a
farm campus. Our goals
for students are academic
excellence, intellectual freedom, social awareness, self-
confidence, and firsthand knowledge of the natural world. MCS
is unique among NYC independent schools in having a 180-
acre working farm integral to the curriculum, broad economic
diversity and a sliding-scale tuition policy.
For more information:
Visit online: www.manhattancountryschool.
org Call (212) 348-0952 or e-mail: admissions@
manhattancountryschool.org
SOUTHAMPTON INN
Is one of the only hotels in
the Hamptons for guests of
ALL ages- from toddlers to
teens, new parents to great-
grandparents! Perfectly located in the historic Southampton
Village, the inn oers complimentary shuttle service to #1
Coopers Beach (summertime). 50-ft. Heated pool, tennis court,
outdoor climbing toys and lawn games, and a playroom of
toys and books. Pets permitted in some rooms. The midweek
summer 6-day/5-night special for two adults and two kids is an
aordable Hamptons holiday!
91 Hill Street
Southampton, NY 11968
Southamptoninn.com
THE STORY HOUSE, a
boutique condominium
located in the heart of
the Flatiron district at
36 East 22nd Street,
oers eight, full-floor
loft residences all with
privately keyed elevator
access and some with
private outdoor space.
Two-bedrooms plus den and three-bedroom homes both
feature three full baths and open gourmet chef’s kitchens.
Bathed in sunlight from floor-to-ceiling windows, homes
have soaring ceilings and expansive floor plans. The building
is serviced by Cyberdoorman™, and Manhattan Skyline’s
exclusive Sky’s The Limit™ VIP concierge. Please visit www.
TheStoryHouseNYC.com or call 212-697-8679 for more
information.
WEST RIVER HOUSE
Located at 81st Street and West
End Avenue, West River House
oers family-sized apartments up
to convertible three-bedrooms.
Amenities include a staed
health club, a fully furnished and
landscaped roof deck, 24-hour
doorman, laundry rooms on every
floor, 24-hour attended parking
garage and “Sky’s the Limit” concierge. Steps from Broadway
shopping, (including food favorites: Zabar’s, Citarella’s,
Fairway, Trader Joe’s) and transportation, the building is also
near Riverside Park and 79th Street marina, the Hudson River
promenade, the Museum of Natural History and the Children’s
Museum.
For more information please call 347-728-0367
Heated Pool • Tennis Court • Gameroom • Large Lawn to Play On
Shuttle to Cooper's Beach (summertime) • Bring the family pet!
91 Hill Street Southampton, NY 11968 • 800.832.6500 • southamptoninn.com
Find us on
Your Home i n t he Ha mpt ons
SCOOTERGallery0312_2.indd 110 3/23/12 10:41:21 PM
Scooter Gallery Scooter Gallery Scooter Gallery
Scooter SCOOTERNY.COM 111
DM ROTH & ASSOCIATES
Adivision of Dinsmore/Steele Dinsmore/
Steele is a human capital agency that helps
companies like yours comparatively price
the market for each stage of their employees’
life cycles-from payroll, health insurance, risk
mitigation & HR. Whether you’re a start-up
or a publicly traded company, we eliminate
the stress of shopping multiple providers and vendors by eliminating
the sales process altogether. Presenting you with the best solution for
your needs and saving thousands over your current solution. Come
save with us, you know, if you’re into that sort of thing.
www.dinsmoresteele.com Contact Timothy Hillert,
Human Capital Strategist, One Penn Plaza, Suite 2035,
888.973.6276x145 th@dinsmoresteele.com
ONE CARNEGIE HILL,
located at 217 East
96th Street, oers
discerning New Yorkers
a truly unique Upper
East Side lifestyle with
a luxurious collection of
spectacular for sale residences featuring breathtaking river to river
views, sumptuous marble baths and gorgeous granite kitchens.
The 18,000 square foot Residents’ Club, designed by acclaimed
architect David Rockwell, includes a 50 foot skylit pool, a state-of-
the-art fitness center, outdoor play and BBQ dining areas, and a
stunning rooftop lounge and terrace. For further information
or to schedule an appointment, contact Matthew Chook
at (917) 597-6967. www.onecarnegiehillsales.com www.
related.com
PETER COOPER VILLAGE oers
gracious, contemporary apartments
and a lot more. The high ceilings,
hardwood floors, oversized rooms,
new kitchens with state-of-the art
appliances, marble bathrooms and
abundant closets throughout create
a sophisticated living environment.
Master bedrooms are designed to
accommodate king size beds and
home o ces, or seating areas. Just steps from Manhattan’s
most dynamic neighborhoods, the exquisite grounds of this
80-acre private park feature abundant activities, amenities and
services.
To learn more about Peter Cooper Village, call or visit the
leasing o ce:
(888) 415-5679 • petercoopernyc.com • 252 First Avenue
@ 15
MY 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. Oering a modern facility, beautiful air-
conditioned cabins, great food and caring sta. 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
www.MyAnimalCamp.com
THE PARENTS LEAGUE OF NEW
YORK is a non-profit association of
families and schools since 1913. The
Parents League provides advisory
services to families applying to
preschools and independent
elementary, middle and upper
schools in NYC. Boarding school,
special needs and summer camp
consultation is also available
from our team of professional
advisors. Parents League parenting
education events and publications
provide information on a wide
variety of subjects of interest to parents. Join today at www.
ParentsLeague.org
For over 48 years, ROARING BROOK CAMP has specialized
in providing instruction in outdoor sports and outdoor skills,
Vermont crafts and backpack/canoe trips. A 650-acre forest
preserve with 15 acre private lake provides a pristine setting
for boys wanting a fun and exciting camp experience. Activities
include: rock climbing, rappelling, ropes course, tyrolean
traverse, survival training, orienteering, swimming, kayaking,
canoeing, fishing, fly-tying, woodworking, leatherwork,
blacksmithing, archery, marksmanship, fitness, timber sports,
first aid and rescue.
MY LEARNING SPRINGBOARDis
an educational services company
oering consultation, private
tutoring, test preparation, and
enrichment teaching as well
as homeschooling and special
education services. Our faculty is
comprised of top-notch educators
and specialists with expertise at
all levels, from pre-kindergarten through adult learning. We
develop trusted relationships with families and schools by
taking a holistic approach to teaching and learning. Please
contact us to discuss our services:
info@mylearningspringboard.com
646.478.8692
www.mylearningspringboard.com
THE PAVILION
Located at 500 East 77th St., the historic
Pavilion oers the best of luxury rental
living today. The Pavilion’s one-, two-
and three-bedroom homes are built
with growing families in mind, boasting
Glenwood’s signature finishes, generous
proportions and timeless sophistication.
Just steps from John Jay Park and the
City’s finest schools, residents also
benefit from Glenwood’s full-service amenities including
landscaped rooftop sundecks, available valet and maid
service and on-site shopping. For more information, call
212.535.0500 or visit www.glenwoodnyc.com.
Your premier source for fine art.
Experience a new way to buy art.
www.Qart.com
THE SINGULAR
PARENT
There’s plenty of
advice for parents.
Parent coaching is
dierent. Parent
coaching is tailored
to your circumstances and your needs, and it really works.
Home visits, phone calls, and email are available – we can work
out a program that fits for you. Be the parent you want to be!
Miriam Jochnowitz, MA, is trained in counseling and mediation.
For more information call 646-808-5355 or email
Miriam@thesingularparent.com
SKYTOP
LODGE vacation
retreat and
Pennsylvania
family resort is
less than two
hours from New York City. Escape to 5,500 majestic Pocono
Mountain acres. Revel in charming, historic accommodations
and rejoice in a myriad of unique things to do in the Poconos.
Experience a naturally inspired getaway at one of the most
esteemed lodges in the country—Skytop. One of Ten Amazing
Hotels O The Tourist Trail ~TripAdvisor.com.
800.345.7759 Skytop.com One Skytop - Skytop, PA
SOTHEBY’S The East
Side Manhattan o ce
is just steps away from
Central Park in one
of the most desirable
neighborhoods in the
city. It is known for its prime Manhattan real estate, which includes
some of the cityís most elegant historic and prewar homes. Our
brokerage sta oers unsurpassed service to our clients. Our
agents are thoroughly familiar with the neighborhoods in this area,
and with all aspects of sales, including the demands of the luxury
market.
For more information, please visit
www.sothebyshomes.com/nyc
Life’s Better Together at the Top!
Live the Adventure
800.345.7759 | Skytop.com
Experience a naturally inspired get‐
away at one of the most esteemed
lodges in the country—Skytop. This
grand historic estate features the very
best in accommodatons, fine dining
and limitless recreaton throughout
5,500 pristne acres of breathtaking
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112 Scooter spring 2012
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Sophie
Speaks!
the world’s most famous teething
toy tells all. by Una LaMarche
P
eople often ask me what it’s like being the world’s most
famous teething toy. They want to hear about the glamour of it
all, about the F.A.O. Schwartz displays and the accolades
and the song John Mayer may or may not have writ-
ten about me. But it’s not always an easy life.
Don’t get me wrong, I love my
work. I mean, sure, if I’m being honest
with myself, it can get a bit tiring to be
gnawed on all day by babies and Shih Tzus,
or placed in a cat litter “zoo” with Muno, the
phallic centaur from Yo Gabba Gabba! But
trust me, the adoration of my fans makes it all
worthwhile. (That and the 10 percent cut I get
on Sophie sales, which has made me a millionaire
hundreds of times over. My primary residence—
on Avenue Foch in Paris —contains three original Pi-
cassos that have been shrunk down to 18 centimeters
using giant convection ovens so that I may enjoy them
without the assistance of an Erector Set crane.)
Still, I’m getting older, and while my rubber may look
taut and healthy thanks to my all-natural, phthalate-free he-
vea-tree-sap physique (as well as once-a-month juice fasts
and a truly punishing Equinox trainer named Fabian), I have
to be realistic about how long I can keep up with the other
toys in the sandbox. I turned 50 in human years last May, roll-
ing off the assembly line in 1961 on the same day that John F.
Kennedy made his “man on the moon” speech to Congress.
Incidentally, would you believe that I’m just a few weeks
younger than George Clooney? Our agents tried to set us up
once but he backed out at the last minute, mumbling some-
thing racist about dating outside his species. You’re not kid-
ding anyone, Clooney—I know the real reason is that my
shapely neck and legs would make you look like a toadstool at
the foot of la Tour Eiffel.
Anyway, my birthday was quite the fête. My publicists threw me a
huge party at Le Rex Club, and absolutely everyone who’s anyone was
there. Even President Sarkozy stopped by to pick up a few of me for the
frst baby, Giulia. The night was a dream until Rupert Murdoch—
whose young daughters used to dress me in edible gold leaves from their
ice cream sundaes at Serendipity—asked if the rumor was true that I’m
really 350 in dog years. Well! I had a few Kir Royales in me by that point
and so I said, “Do I look like a bitch to you?” Then I turned on my heel
and had a dance-off with Alexander Wang. Rupe and I laughed about it
later, of course, but I had Nate Silver do the math for me using mean
solar days, and in giraffe years it turns out I’m just 155, like my style icon
Karl Lagerfeld —only skinnier! (Mais non, Karl —I kid! You know ich
liebe dich.)
Obviously I rub elbows with major celebrities, which is a nice perk of
fame, but I also suffer the consequences of being a household name.
Have you looked at my Amazon reviews lately? I hasten to add that nor-
mally I wouldn’t even bring them up, but last night I ate the entire foie gras
appetizer at Nougatine all by myself and came home feeling bloated,
which led to an unfortunate 2 a.m. Google shame spiral. Of course I
didn’t read any of the 1,130 fve-star reviews. Oh, no, I went straight to
the one-stars, or, as I like to call them, LAND OF THE ALL CAPS
CHARACTER ASSASSINATION.
I don’t know which is more hurtful, the suggestion that I should have
my legs surgically shortened to prevent rugrats from accidentally “chok-
ing” on my God-given gams, or the claim that I’m simply not worth my
price, and “could easily be mistaken for a dog toy.” Oh, REALLY? Well,
I don’t know what kind of dog you have, “Valery,” but any pedigreed
breed would never even think of disgracing me in its jaws. On my last
trip to Washington I met Bo Obama, and he could not have been more
of a gentleman—not even a cautious lick. That’s class.
But as (former) Countess LuAnn de Lesseps once told
me, I shouldn’t indulge the haters. At least when I’m feel-
ing down, I can just shut my laptop, nibble on some twigs
and gaze at the framed photo I have of me and Harlow
Madden—Nicole Richie’s daughter—frolicking in the
grass in Washington Square Park, my head in her mouth.
It’s not like I don’t have plenty to do to pass the time. On
any given day I might be on a road trip
to the Grand Canyon, lounging
poolside at Soho House, tak-
ing a safari through the
dishwasher, or watching
Let’s Make a Deal with the
nanny—we love “le Wayne
Brady” in France!
And of course there’s my
51st/158th birthday coming
up next month. It will be a
smaller affair this year, but
that’s to be expected—and
makes it so much less stressful.
People are always BBMing me last min-
ute to get on the guest list, or request-
ing freebies for their niece, their
neighbor’s adopted twins,
their godson. But if my half a
century on the planet has
taught me one thing, it’s
self-respect, and I’m done
sticking my neck out for
people. I really am.
S
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