Tag Archives: nyc
They had been out for a few hours already, it was muggy and hot, the kind of weather that makes one want to either be at the beach, near a pool, or in an air conditioned room. Instead, NYCity Mama and her husband were excited about joining those taking part in the Loving Day Celebration in NYC.
It’s been something Mama had not only been thinking about, but also talking about for almost a week now and though the weather was tempting them to head to the beach, nothing was going to keep them away from being a part of this.
When they entered the room, about an hour after the event had started, it was a bit overwhelming seeing so many interracial couples in the room. Lovers, friends, families, they were all there, some dancing, some drinking and laughing, some on the very long line to the grilled hot dogs and hamburgers. The energy was positive and happy. Mama’s husband slowed down his pace a bit as they entered the room.
Mama leaned over to him and said, “It’s kinda like realizing you’re a member of a cool club you didn’t even know you signed up for, huh?”
“Yeah,” he said, complete awe on his face.
Her 2.5 yo slept the entire time they were there, but her 3.5 and 11 year old joined others in the “Family Area” and spent time drawing while Mama walked around taking pictures.
At one point Ken Tanabe, founder of Loving Day, got on stage and spoke about not only the history that led to the Loving vs Virginia Supreme Court case, but also about the current history made when our country elected a multiracial President for office. The two things he pointed out that stood the most for Mama was the fact that when President Obama’s parents got married, it was illegal for them to do so in 22 of the United States. And the fact that since not too long ago has it been acceptable to mark oneself as multiracial on census reports.
It was strange for Mama to stand there, knowing how incredibly personal all of this was. How incredibly lucky she and her husband were for having been born in a time when their love was legal, and more accepted than it was for others not too long before their birth. It was very emotional. So, instead of going on and on with words, trying to describe the beauty of it all, she decided to share with you all what the faces of love look like.
To find how to host your own Loving Day Celebration, or find the Loving Day Celebration nearest you, visit the Loving Day site.
Not too long ago, the boys and I headed to one of my favorite playgrounds in Central Park, right off of 67th and 5th Avenue. We walked past all the energy and excitement often found along Fifth Avenue…even past some overly excited tourists taking pictures of a man being arrested (oh the excitement of it all!), and past the famous Plaza Hotel, and fairly new Apple Store and FAO Schwarz Toy Store and more.
Hope you enjoy their afternoon in pictures!
Continued from: Governor’s Island
The ferry ride to and from Governor’s Island is a short one. On their way back to Manhattan, NYCity Mama and family didn’t bother to get to the front of the ferry and check out the views. They were content with just siting back, enjoying the breeze that came in through the windows, and rest.
The crowd exited the ferry in an organized, yet hurried pace, and Mama and her husband started making their walk down towards the South Street Seaport, because now the idea of a nice cold beverage and the fact that the kids were mellow and quiet, seemed to allow for that.
As they walked along the Hudson River they were instructed to walk on the East end of the street, and they could see that the heliport, tight with security, was guarding the President’s helicopter, the one that he and Mrs. Obama arrived in for their NYC Date!
They didn’t see the President, nor his wife, and continued their walk to the pier able to hear the music and festivities taking place there the closer they got to it. They took the time to make a couple of stops, take some pictures, trying not to hurry the rare moment when they get to enjoy such great weather.
The South Street Seaport was bustling with activities. Unlike the last time she wrote about it, all the shops and restaurants were open. Musicians and performers were out doing their thing, children playing, and people enjoying the sites and activities, of which there are plenty there.
One musician in particular, playing the Spanish guitar, knew how to draw a crowd. Playing his guitar upside down, backwards, in reverse, people applauded him and joined in dance. There was a fun group of young men, some of them dressed in the silliest golfing attire Mama had ever seen a real life person wear, that were kind enough to pose for a picture. Not sure why they were dressed this way, her husband thinks it must’ve been a bachelor’s party. Whatever it was, they all looked like they were having a lot of fun and while Mama and her family sat down to eat, they kept them well entertained.
They decided to eat at the Heartland Brewery & Barbecue, which was perfect for the weather and the day. Mama’s husband ordered the Pulled Pork Sandwich and Mama ordered a Chipotle Chicken Caesar. That, along with one of their wheat beers, was a perfect way to end this fabulous Adventure together.
4:00AM. My husband gently tugged at me to wake me up. I had promised my 11 year old son that I would treat him to something special.
I dragged myself out of my comfy bed and washed my face with cold water. My eyes were red from lack of sleep, but I was excited about the upcoming Adventure with my oldest son. Excited because it was so rare that I got a chance to be with him alone, without the distractions of the other kids, to do something that I knew he would enjoy.
He was a bit harder to get up, but eventually we were both dressed and managed to head out of our dark, quiet apartment, and onto the dark, quiet, still empty streets of NYC. We took the 1 train downtown.
We were making our way to Central Park to watch the first of the Summer Concert Series being hosted by Good Morning America. Today’s performers were Green Day, who also happen to be one of my 11 year old’s favorite bands. My son was so excited to be going to the concert, and I even more so. I thought on our way there about the last performance we had seen together and laughed when I realized that it had been Blue’s Clues in Radio City many years ago when he was about 4 years old. As early as we tried to arrive, we still did not beat the hard-hard core fans who were there even hours earlier, and thus ended up on the line 2 blocks away from the entrance.
Despite the line, we were having a good time. The weather was wonderful, it was still somewhat cool and comfortable and the sun was still waking up slowly. We bought a t-shirt, took pictures, and even met and chatted with a family that came in from New Jersey to see the concert, having been up since 3AM to get there!
The line started moving and the crowd steadily made their way in. They separated the crowds up so that not too many people were going in at once and causing road blocks. When we were waiting behind the last barricade before entering the stage area an officer came up to the officer managing the flow of crowd and told him to only let about 20 more people in! Luckily we were right in front and made the cut off! When we finally reached the stage area, we could feel the excitement in the air!
The wait seemed like it was going to be longer. My son sat down for a bit. The GMA producer and crew still had a morning show to do and so the crowd cheered to the cameras as they filmed us between breaks, and cheered to the weatherman as he did his report. No one really expected to see the band for another 2 hours…until they came out for sound check, then the crowd went crazy! The sound check was like a concert in itself (minus the low acoustics and constant interruption for weather reports and such). It was an awesome way to warm up for the real deal.
At one point, the combination of having been up so early and the crowds, in addition to my 11 year old’s overwhelming excitement made him vomit. But even as he did, he was still saying how excited he was to be there, and he couldn’t believe how great they sounded…and “Oh man, they’re playing American Idiot now!”
The truth is it was an awesome concert. There were people of all ages there, big and small, young and old, of all ethnicities, from all around the Tri-state area. The crowd was into it the entire time, waving, singing along, and even forming a mosh pit in the middle of the crowd. At one point, lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, had a little girl, maybe about 6 or 7 go up on stage and dance while he did his magic on the electric guitar. The little girl danced and waved and jumped as if she was born for this moment. At another great moment he reached out to the audience to see who would sing on stage to all the words of one song, and after a few tries, it was a young, excited African American girl who, as she caught her breath, rocked to the vocals of the song without pause or faltering, and as Billie Joe watched in awe. Definitely a highlight of the entire event.
After an hour of music, dancing, singing, moshing, jumping, and waving, it was over. Me and my very tired 11 year old started making our way out of the park. We walked slowly taking the experience in, while my son quietly sang Know Your Enemy and I revelled in having shared this special moment with my first born.
Later on as we watched the replay on t.v. giving my husband the behind the scenes details, my son hugged me and said, “This was by far our greatest Adventure ever! Thanks Mom.” You rock Green Day!
To catch highlights of the concert as well as get a list of upcoming performances, check out the GMA Concert Series site here.
Note that the number of audience members is limited regardless of whether you waited on line, so make sure you arrive early to stand on line before the 6:00AM admittance to the performance of your choice.
I was hungry. The day had passed me by as I tried to tie up some loose ends and finish some projects before heading out on a new adventure with the boys and I just didn’t get around to eating, even though I managed to feed my kids.
Luckily our adventure today was taking them to one of NYC’s most overlooked, but incredibly appetizing gourmet destinations, Grand Central Market.
The past few days had gone by with me not feeling quite myelf. Fighting a cold and feeling exhausted has kept me home-bound for two days, which is huge for me and the boys as they are always doing something or another. Today however, I was feeling not 100%, but a lot better, and this was enough to get me motivated to go for a 6AM jog in Fort Tryon park and plan a few hours with the boys in Central Park in the afternoon.
The boys were in an especially good and sweet mood, they have been for weeks and I wonder if they are simply growing out of something and into something else. Whatever it is, I’m loving it!
We took the C train to 72nd St and Central Park West. It was perfect out, not too hot, not too cold, and sunny. I made reservations to see a marionette production of Peter Pan at the Swedish Cottage’s Marionette Theatre in Central Park. I had walked by the theatre many times before, knew the surroundings pretty well also, but somehow the minute I walked along the path off of 72nd St in Central Park I felt I had lost my way and realized I was completely disoriented. Finally I came upon a few older men who worked as volunteers for the Central Park Conservancy and they informed me that not only was I on the wrong side of the park (I made a right turn instead of a left on the path), I was also too far to make it to the last show on time.
“I want to see Peter Pan!” cried my 3.5 year old.
“I can’t find Peter Pan’s house,” I responded, “but I have something better. Wanna see?”
“Yeaaaah!” cheered the boys.
I thanked the men, happily accepted the map of the park they offered her (I feel that every New Yorker, not just tourists, needs one), and continued down one of the many paths.
I walked past musicians, open lawns with people sunbathing and reading. I walked past several large rocks on top of which young men and women kissed, played their instruments, or just talked. The boys stopped to climb rocks, pick up sticks, chase pigeons or squirrels, and pet dogs.
As we walked through one of the many tunnels, we could hear music echoing through.
“It’s the circus!” exclaimed my 3.5 year old jumping in excitement. “Circus! Circus!” repeated the 2.5 yr old who has never been to one.
“No, but it’s something just as fun!” I responded.
We reached the other side and came upon The Carousel. When my 11 year old was about the same age as my little ones now, we used to spend hours upon hours at the carousel. Back then the ride was only $1.00 (now it’s $2.00) and I would let him ride a few times before sitting down on one of the benches eating ice cream and watching the horses go round and round.
It made me nostalgic to be here again, as a mother of little ones, and that the carrousel is still there to offer to a fun pastime.
The great thing about weekdays in the park is that there aren’t many crowds for anything. I quickly purchased three tickets and was able to get on the ride right away. The boys seemed somewhat nervous, as the only other carousel they have gotten on was at the County Fair and that was significantly smaller.
Her little one seemed apprehensive and even shaky at first and her older toddler didn’t really now what to expect. She got them on, put on their straps, and the ride started to turn. Almost immediately the boy began to laugh. The ride is fast and considerably long. The beautiful, antique, and well maintained horses go up and down, and the carousel itself is old and beautiful, charming in so many ways.
“Wooooohoooooo!” the 2.5 kept yelling out. “Giddy-up! Giddy-up!” yelled the 3.5 year old. Of the few kids there, mine were the ones making the most noise.
As the ride began to slow down I worried that they would make a scene, so I told them the horses were tired and needed to rest. I was surprised and happy to see that this was enough to get them off and out without a sound of discontent.
“I have another surprise for you” I told them. “Yaaaaaaay!” they yelled in unison.
A short walk straight up the hill from the carousel led us to one of the best and biggest play areas in Central Park, Hecksher Playground. With over 3 acres of play area, this playground has it all. Climbing rocks for both big and small, smooth, cushioned patches for little crawlers to venture on, sandbox galore, slides, swings, and several water play areas and four restrooms. The boys saw this place and they went nuts, immediately running away together to the nearest climbing section they could find.
We spent hours playing there, taking only one bathroom break the entire time. The boys played and ran and chased and jumped and slid, it was no surprise to that eventually they both came up to me rubbing their eyes and wanting to go home.
So I led them back towards the carousel, let them get on one more time before “the horses got tired again”, bought them some popcorn and treated myself to a good ol’ fashion New York City hot dog.
The boys rested for a bit before making their way back out the park.
“I love the circus and the park, Mama,” said my 3.5 year old.
“That was the carousel, sweetheart, but yes, it has music like the circus. Do you want to come back?” I asked.
“Yes,” he responded, “but next time let’s bring Daddy and (the r 11 yr old) cause that was fun!”
“Ok, sweetheart, we will. Next time the whole family will come back together, ok?”
“Yaaaaaaaaaaay!” the boys cheered in unison.
There are often those things that happen everyday in New York City that we know about, never really pay much attention to on a daily basis, but are such a New York City experience that when/if given the opportunity you just don’t want to miss out.
Again, 1-800-Flowers reached out to NYCity Mama and a few other moms in their continued promotion of their Spot-A-Mom campaign and invited them to be a part of a very New York City moment: the ringing of the opening bell at the NASDAQ Marketsite in Times Square.
Now the PR reps for 1800-Flowers have been really great to Mama, and have done a nice job at getting her and her peers excited about what they are doing. But she really admires the history of the company, the history of the man behind the company, Founder and CEO, Jim McCann and the fact that this started and remains a growing family business. Mama is happy to support companies like these, and was even happier to have been invited.
The day, dreary, rainy and kind of cold, didn’t keep her from dressing in Spring fashion. She ran out of the house and made her way to Times Square in record time, having arrived just as everyone was being led into the studio.
Mama’s previous work in public relations had given her the opportunity at one point or another to walk into television studios and stand behind the massive cameras at the scene and witness all the silent commotion going on in the background. But the studios at NASDAQ where quite impressive with the blue screens as back drop often displaying the shifts in the electronic trading markets, + and – attached to a number, up and down arrows giving us a sense of our economic state in the World. It was all very, very impressive.
Mama got to meet some old friends such as bloggers at Blasian Baby Notes, Style Mom, and Mom in The City, but she also had the pleasure of meeting some new blogging moms, such as the bloggers of Chefdruck Musings, Mom Trends, and The Mama Chronicles.
After several photo-ops and a few speeches, it was finally time to join Jim McCann and his son, President of 1800-Flowers, Chris McCann, and Julie Mulligan, Floral Lifestyle Expert, up to the podium.
It was insane how all the lights, and the energy from the cheering of opening the market, something that happens only in NYC, suddenly got Mama so excited. Though there have been many in this position before her, that notion did not take away from the honor and priviledge she felt for having been invited to stand up there…and she appreciated every second of it.
Mama is expecting to get more pictures to share with you, which she will post here. In the meantime, this link will take you to more photos and a video of the event. See if you can find her!
Thank you to MWW Group, Jim McCann, and 1800-Flowers for a fun experience.
I started my day witha walk. While outside, I could see it was going to be an amazing day. I came home and was greeted by my husband with, “So what adventure are we going on today, Babe?” One would think that with such beautiful weather in NYC that finding something to do would be easy. But it’s not. One of the things that I love so much about NYC is that there is always tons to do, but especially on days like today.
At first I thought it would be great to take part in Green Fest at the NY Aquarium and then hangout in Coney Island. But my husband wanted no part in anything that would require being inside even if only for a short while. He wanted this to be an outside adventure.
So after reviewing my list, we decided to go to the Children’s Carnival going on at the Queens County Farm. The drive to Glenn Oaks reminded me of our many drives to the beach, and I couldn’t wait for those days to come.
Though we had planned on leaving sooner, it is impossible to leave the apartment quickly. It seems that everything just takes so long with these boys (including the 11 year old whose life support system seems to be attached to his video game system)!
Needless to say, we arrived and the line was long!
Fortunately the lines moved quickly because my “city boys” were getting annoyed with the little bugs flying around. Once in, we started getting really excited about all the rides. Unfortunately, the little ones weren’t skilled on waiting on line right away, and there were plenty of those, again with pretty long lines. At one point my 2.5 year old thought he would try to squeeze his way through the bars of the gates and get on the ride.
Once my 11 year old, hubby and I managed to figure out what worked to keep them entertained while they waited for the rides things seemed to move a bit more smoothly.
The great thing about the Carnival is that it had a lot of rides for my little ones. My 11 year old wasn’t left out though; he found fun things to do as well, especially in the games section.
There was so much to do! I was amazed the boys lasted as long as they did. The sun was pretty hot, and there were a lot of people. But everyone was pretty nice.
After all the rides, and standing on line, and waiting, and more rides all under the hot, bright sun, it was no surprise that the little ones started breaking down and crying.
We decided it was time to refuel with some carnival food. Ah, carnival food! Sooooo good. I indulged in a gyro with the works, while the boys and hubby had chicken, fries, and some crab sandwich. My 11 year old stood in line for what seemed like 20 minutes waiting for the perfect funnel cake, and the little ones cooled off with an ice cream treat.
After getting ice cream, the boys became a bit happier, so they ventured onto the quieter, less crowded side of the carnival, the farm. The farm itself has such wonderful history, and it’s definitely worth making the trip to continue to preserve it and maintain it. The kids didn’t take part in the hay rides going on, but they did get to say hello to a few chickens and cows, and a duck. The 2.5 year old even wanted to share his Spongebob ice cream with the cow, who looked more than willing to accept!
We started making our way out, but not before stopping into the green house and browsing through all the goodies in the gift shop. I was tempted to buy a plant or two, but I lack a green thumb and thought it best to spare the poor plants the misery and agonizing death they would surely experience under my care (or lack there of).
It was a fabulous day spent at the carnival and we got plenty of outside time! By the time we made it home, all 3 boys were fast asleep, which is always a sign of a great time.Children’s Carnival at Queens County Farm ADMISSION: $9.00 per person all ages to enter the farm grounds (carnival rides included at no additional charge) (height rules apply at all rides) COST ESTIMATE: Game stands vary between $1.00-$3.00 per game Food cart prices vary between $2.00 for sodas and $7.00 for sandwiches CASH ONLY
Check out their website for more upcoming events throughout the year.
NYCity Mama was up early today. Her new venture got her up and working out before 8:00AM (which is early for her), and without the kids. When she done, she was full of energy and inspiration for the day. She had a list of things she and the kids could do, and imagined how well it would all work out with her being up so early.
However, the kids woke up sick. Sneezing and sniffling, tired and even a bit whiny. The 3.5 year old had a fever the night before, so he was still recovering. Thus, their day out would have to be left for another time. Figures too with all the work there is to do in the apartment, Mama thought.
They did manage to venture out in the ‘hood for a bit, but nothing like what she would’ve normally done on a day like this.
For example, it wasn’t too long on a beautiful day like this that Mama and the family decided to take a trip to their old stomping grounds of the Upper East Side.
When people think of the UES, even most New Yorkers included, they think of “The Nanny Diaries” or of it being the Socialites’ haven, and yes, this is in part some of what one can find, but that has changed a lot and the UES Mama grew to love and know was more laid back, with young families like hers. She loves the incredible selection of bars and restaurants, both for entertaining put of town guests and for a night out with or without the family. The shopping (though she hates it herself) is fun and she loved taking her friends down Madison Ave. just to window shop at least.
Where they use to live on 82nd and 2nd was, for them, absolute perfection. Walk a few blocks West, they were on the steps on the Metropolitan Museum and Central Park, walk a few blocks East and they were on the East River Promenade. It was heaven. And then they moved to WI.
They daydream of moving back some day, but for now they love revisiting their old hood. When they last visited it was one of those fine New York City days. Sunny, not too hot, not too cold. They found parking right away and ventured onto the East River Promenade right on 82nd St. Families were smiling, children running and playing. And the dog park adjacent to Carl Schurz Park. Before the younger ones were born, coming here and watching the smaller dogs play was a pass time favorite of the family.
The promenade extents from a long way up the East River and is a wonderful place for walks or even runs, as Mama used to often do back then.
But for the little ones Catbird Playground is incredibly fun. Mama and her husband love the size, how they have the pay areas for the little ones separated from the pay area for the older kids, but all the seating areas for the parents, with perfect view of your children. The only thing she doesn’t like is that the bathrooms have only one stall each, which during times of potty emergencies, which they always are, it can be some what of a problem.
The boys had a great time. They climbed and rolled and slid and swung…they even managed to find some chalk and got creative.
As often happens, the hours flew while the kids played and ran around. They became hungry and headed out to grab a bite to it. The problem is never finding a kid friendly place in the area, but rather which of the many to choose! They settled on Dorian’s. Dorian’s a local bar/restaurant, very much unlike the ones that Mama won’t frequent with her kids. The staff (and patrons) are welcoming of family with kids, have plenty of room for their umbrella stroller, and even have a great seating area snugged nicely against the windows (for fire truck watching) and away from the bar. Of course, they have never gone here at night with their kids, when most people would come in for a drink, but then again they wouldn’t need to as their kids are in bed by then! They have a great “bar food” menu of burgers and sandwiches, and a tasty kids’ menu as well. Mama ordered their chicken quesadillas, which was such a huge serving she couldn’t finish it all, and the kids split a chicken strips and fries dish (their favorite), while her hubby had a burger (the 11 year old decided to sit this one out, so he missed out!).
The atmosphere was delightful. It was quiet, the cool breeze coming through the windows was refreshing, and the boys behaved wonderfully the entire time, flirting with the incredibly sweet waitress each time she came to their table. Afterwards, Daddy and the boys split a frozen yogurt from Pinkberry before making their way back uptown.
Days like those are definitely New York’s finest!
We made our way down Flatbush Ave. The day, now completely sunny, was also warmer than I had expected. The traffic in New York is crazy. People are aggressive and always in a hurry.
We passed the Greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza, Prospect Park Zoo, and the very many shops and restaurants found along Flatbush Ave. A wrong turn took them over the Brooklyn Bridge again, which was not our plan, so we decided to park and walk back. We found parking only a block from City Hall, which was super convenient as the entrance to the Bridge’s promenade is located on Park Row, across from it.