Category Archives: Brooklyn

The wilds of Brooklyn

When we moved out to Brooklyn a few years ago, I was okay with our neighborhood, it was close to the train and Park Slope and friends. When we moved farther down the line last summer, I got a little freaked out. While it was only a subway stop further, it felt FAR OUT. It is far out. Park Slope is suddenly a shlep and takeout places don’t deliver here. And while this past year has been a whirlwind of renovation, pregnancy, long ass winter, more pregnancy, soggy spring, here we are, and I finally feel at a place where I can start to appreciate where we live and make it our home.

Last weekend we joined our local community garden. Membership includes a key to the garden, two containers to grow stuff (and we’re waitlisted for a small plot) and access to the compost bins, herb garden and a lovely green ENCLOSED outdoor space. I went over with the boys and we tried to see the fish in the fish pond, looked for snails and chucked unripe apricots at the compost bins, a lovely way to spend an hour. I’m so pleased to be a member of this garden, not only because it’s one step closer to feeling like we actually live in a community, but because my kids will have the chance to learn how things grow, to have respect for that which does grow and lives outdoors and know how to get their hands dirty.

We also live a few blocks away from the Kensington Stables. Actual horse stables (you know those horses you sometimes see in the park, this is where they come from) where one can go in and look at the horses and feed them carrots and for $3 take a pony ride three times up and down the block. Here is H riding his first pony. Sniff.

A few blocks from the horses, we found a guy who keeps fancy chickens in his front yard. I have no idea what breed of chicken Mel and Ed are (they are fancy looking, Mel is white, Ed is black) and the guy sometimes lets H feed them and has told us they scare off the cats and any other predators they might have. It has reinforced my desire to have chickens. Some day. On days when I can’t stand the idea of going and looking at horses standing around, we will go see if the chickens are out in the yard.

And a few blocks away from that, is the Sean Casey Animal Rescue Clinic, they specialize in rescuing reptiles and in their courtyard they have three huge Sulcata tortoises (I only know they are called Sulcata’s because we once owned one. We were those terrible people who bought a tortoise not knowing what we were getting ourselves into and once he got too big for the apartment, we had to send him down to Florida to find a new home.) Visiting the turtles is endlessly exciting, even though for the most part they are sleeping or eating lettuces. Sometimes, we can go inside the shop and look at the snakes, gerbils, parrots, grubs and occasional cat and dog.

Hansel, our Sulcata

And I can’t not mention the Prospect Farm, a small plot of land that is being turned into a working farm on Prospect Avenue, across the street from the fruit grove (somebody has fig, peach, pear, plum and apple trees in their yard) and the dude who makes his own maple syrup and sells it on the sidewalk on weekends.

Sometimes I feel weird that we live in NYC and I have seemingly stopped taking advantage of what this city offers, but the other day I realized that given where I am in my life right now, there is so much more to enjoy right where I am. This weird little neighborhood wouldn’t exist if the most fabulous and wonderful people didn’t live in this city for whatever reason they have to be here, and for some reason have decided to make this little corner of town into a veritable farmstead, an urban country. And in my continued effort to exist in the present, it’s a pretty good place to be.


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Filed under Brooklyn, Healthy habits, musing

Get that Body Back®

On Monday I’m headed out to Danbury, CT and getting certified to teach Body Back®, another Stroller Strides program designed by Lisa Druxman.  This is a results-based workout designed specifically for moms. Whether you just had a baby or had a baby twenty years ago, it will help any mom get her body back. Most importantly, it will help moms unlock their personal possibilities in an inspiring and powerful environment.

It’s different from Stroller Strides because it’s done without the babies and you sign up for an 8 week session, meet 2x a week and follow a meal plan designed for you.

I am really excited to be able to offer this program to Brooklyn moms. Because I NEED it. Really, I need someone to give me a Body Back class. I feel fine and can see how I’ll eventually get rid of this belly (10 months up, 1o months down is my new mantra) but I’m ready to get back out there, find my groove and rejoin the world of the living.

ready, set, go!


Filed under Brooklyn, fitness, Stroller Strides

I heart clothing swaps

Thanks A Child Grows in Brooklyn for the heads up about the clothing swap tomorrow at ArtsCetera in Carroll Gardens (maybe it’s Cobble Hill, I can’t ever tell which is where).

This is a great way to get rid of that outgrown baby stuff and get some new to you and your little one stuff. Because really, and I don’t say this lightly, Brooklyn parents dress their kids in cool clothes, and I have found some of the best stuff from the neighborhood stoop sales.

The details:

WHEN: Saturday, January 22nd, 2011
AT: ArtsCetera
ADDRESS: 212 Smith Street, between Baltic and Butler
TIME: 9-4pm
COST: $10 suggested donation per family, and at least a grocery sized bag of items. Cost includes a donation to charity and covers any costs associated with the event.

**If you are not interested in swapping, you can also drop off items.

ALSO – I just discovered this website Thred Up, It’s a kids clothing swap site where you post the clothes you have to get rid of based on gender, size and season and can pick other peoples clothes (or toys) and pay just $5 plus shipping for the box of stuff you pick. It gets pretty specific down to brand, color, details of wear. And if you post a box of stuff and someone wants it, the company contacts you and the shipping is paid for. AND they provide you with shipping boxes (just regular USPS boxes, but still better than having to go find them).   I haven’t tried it out yet, but since I’m officially out of all hand me downs and in my mind I’m projecting spring, I’ll probably give it a go soon. Check it out.


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Filed under baby stuff, Brooklyn, mom stuff, weekend fun

Prospect Park – I’m going to miss you

Yesterday was our last** outdoor Stroller Strides class before we move indoors for the winter. I’m feeling a little melancholy about the move. I mean, I’m really excited to move indoors, not just because we’ll be warm, but I’m looking forward to the change the move will bring in our workouts and attendance. And while it’s definitely getting too cold to be outdoors all the time – it’s such a treat and a privilege to go to work in such a beautiful park. And since autumn started, it’s practically ours on those weekday mornings. Here’s a fantastic blog post from A Year in the Park that takes note of the recent super depressing NYT article on “outdoor deprivation disorder” and reminds us all to get the heck outside. Just because I’m not teaching outside, doesn’t mean I can’t still GO outside. Just because it’s cold out, doesn’t mean we can’t all bundle up and go for a walk.

And I’ve already embraced the whole ridiculousness of “my kid will never do that” syndrome that we all fall prey to before the kid comes into the world and develops into their own little person that is pretty much going to do whatever they want to (within limitations). But I swear, I really don’t want to have one of those kids who doesn’t go outside and spends 7 and a HALF hours inside on electronic devices. This is not counting school time, this is a national average of time spent inside by our kids, not to mention us as adults. How much time do we spend outdoors, and walking to the train doesn’t count.

If you are within the vicinity of a park today, or any greenspace, I challenge you to go outside for one hour and just be. Go for a walk, feed the birds, let the kids run in the meadow or if you’re somewhere warm and feeling lazy (jealous) – grab a book and find a park bench and read or watch the cute guys playing touch football. Vitamin D is free y’all.


**technically it’s not our LAST outdoor class – based on temperature and wind chill, we will continue to meet outside on Fridays – check FB or the 800# to confirm.


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Filed under Brooklyn, Healthy habits, Prospect Park

Family Fun this weekend

I can’t believe it, but it seems as if we are approaching a weekend with no plans to visit grandparents or run off somewhere to do something and the weather is supposed to be hovering near 60! So I have devised a new plan which entails not leaving town (zip code?) and checking out some of the super fun things Brooklyn has to offer. First up is a trip to Coney Island and a visit to Ruby’s, just in case the city goes through with it’s awful plan to shut down this institution, I want to be able to tell H, hey, back in the day, you were there. Why do these things only occur to me when it’s almost too late. Sign the petition to save Ruby’s here.

But after that…here’s what I’ve learned.

Children’s Book Fair at the Brooklyn Museum – Saturday, November 13 from noon to 4pm. More than 30 Brooklyn authors and illustrators will join us at the fair, which features story books, picture books, and graphic novels. Author readings, a game for children, and café service will be offered. At 4:30 there will be a live interactive performance from The Electric Company.

I LOVE Children’s Books. I truly can not wait til H starts showing interest in books with a storyline. I have so many favorites I want to share with him. In the meantime, we will check out the Brooklyn Museum this Saturday.

Opening at The New Victory Theater this weekend – A different kind of circus – Ok, I really don’t love the Big Apple Circus. I get it, I know why kid’s love it, but sigh…I’m not looking forward to having to sit through another evening of Grandma’s hilarious hijinks again. Especially not when there’s this! The Squirm Burpee Circus: A Vaudevillian Melodrama opens at the New Victory Theater this weekend. Described as “a dazzling display of first-class circus skills, dapper dance moves and outrageous comedy, it’s a pastiche of pandemonium full of gadgets and gizmos.” Sign me up. More info and a clip of what to expect here.

Also on Saturday at the Brooklyn Public Library at 1pm – The Mark Morris Dance Company presents a preview of their Nutcracker ballet, The Hard Nut. Get a head start on holiday mayhem and join the MMDG dancers as they get the little ones involved. Maybe not appropriate for the 21-month old set, but I love me some Mark Morris dancers and this sounds like a ton of fun and a great way to introduce your little one to the wonderful world of ballet and a preview of a super fun ballet that moves into BAM on December 10.

My favorite yoga studio – Yoga Sole is having a clothing swap this Sunday from 1pm – 3pm. I always love an opportunity to look through other peoples stuff AND clean out my closet, especially now, since I think it’s fair to say I won’t be wearing any business casual for at least another year…if not, fingers crossed, longer. You don’t have to be a member of the studio to join in and all clothing not swapped will be donated. Check out the site for more details.

Also, every Sunday at the Farmer’s Market on 5th Avenue and 4th St. the Brooklyn favorite kids band, Rolie Polie Guacamole will play along with special guests from 3pm – 5pm.

And I’m sure there is so much more out there. Shoot, a nice walk through the park, a visit to the zoo, a train ride to the beach and a before they shut down all that is good and holy about Coney Island forever. (don’t forget to sign the petition here)

What are you doing this weekend?



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Filed under Brooklyn, stuff that makes me happy, weekend fun

Reasons to love Autumn in Brooklyn

How amazing it is to be able to work out outside in the park with my kid. The super fresh (for NYC) air, the squirrels running rampant foraging, the brisk temperature and the awesome moms and babies who continually show up for class.

Have you been to the Long Meadow in Prospect Park, I think if you look up the word pastoral, there might be a picture of the meadow in late October there.

Apple season, not just apple picking, but apples. That bright delicious snap when you bite into one, the crunchiness, the way it can satiate my hunger and nonstop desire for sweetness in one piece of fruit, the fact that an apple makes my kid so happy and  apple cider, apple donuts and apples in general.

The color of the sky at dusk, the light turns this magical gold color that makes me a little teary eyed when it comes through my bedroom window.

The anticipation of Halloween and having kids and knowing other moms with kids. What’s your kid going to dress as? Are you going to let your kid eat candy and if so, how much is too much? Are you going to the parade, will I see you there?

Breaking out the cold weather clothes and then being so delighted when you get a surprise warm day (or week) and thank goodness I didn’t pack away the warm weather clothes yet.

Butternut squash lasagna – recipe here (I replace acorn squash with butternut, but you can do as you please) Either way it is decadence in a pan.

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Filed under Brooklyn, fitness, recipes

Be Green Sale – this weekend in Park Slope

Hey Brooklyn moms – Just wanted to let you know about this great consignment sale happening this weekend. It’s a company called Be Green Sale and they have these events around the country, where you can drop off your gently used baby and kid stuff, other people can buy it and you get a percentage of the sale.

I went to the first one they had in Brooklyn back in May and it was fantastic. I walked out with so much stuff, books, toys, clothes, shoes and all for a fraction of the cost of what it would cost new and the bonus good feeling of not having to buy any new plastic toy.

I know Park Slope is all about sharing the baby stuff love, but here’s a great way to actually see the stuff you want/need and the shape it’s in before you commit to buying it.

I don’t have any affiliation with the company, we were there last time handing out info about Stroller Strides and I just enjoyed myself thoroughly (because I LOVE a bargain) and wanted to share the love. Here’s the info

Pass it on!

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Filed under baby stuff, Brooklyn, mom stuff