Tuesday, November 22, 2011


"Can" you imagine all the people that "can" be fed by people who donate cans of food for people.

Turns out that a lot of people can be fed by canned food. We went to Canstruction a the World Financial Center in Manhattan. The cost? A can of food.

Now,  please take a moment and instead of the Macy's Thanksgiving Parade, imagine these structures coming toward you and then thousands of hungry people swarming to get a can of food, smiling gratefully for the food they've been given . . . You really don't have to imagine that. I'll just imagine it.

Just prior to the swarming hungry people someone with a nice voice that you feel could be a good friend says, "Wow! Look at this--Breaking Dawn by National Repo Graphics.  This float (okay--I think I'm in the parade zone) has 1,700 cans of food and will feed 755 New Yorkers. Enjoy the protein rich legumes folks."

"Oh, and here we have the candles that are 'Shedding Lite on Hunger.' This display has 2,600 cans of food which will feed 2,090 New Yorkers. Good work, Leslie E. Roberts and Associates."

The Cantropolis is the home and working place of 3,725 cans which will feed 3,460-ish New Yorkers, thanks to the efforts of AECOM.

This is a unique one--unfortunately I am not sure how many people this will feed or how many cans it contains.  But it is rather fabulous, don't you think?
This one is called "Rise Against Hunger" it has 1,500 cans.  For some reason it reminds me of a Charles Schultz cartoon. It was done by Ferguson and Shamamian Architects, LLP.

"We CAN EnLIGHTen the World" by Severud Associates Consulting Engineers made me think of the torch held by the statue of Liberty--plus it is protein packed. It will feed 1,020 New Yorkers with its 2,410 cans.

CAN you believe it . . . yuck, yuck, yuck.

The Cangry Bird was a favorite among my children. It was from DeSimone Consulting Engineers, contained 3,500 cans  and will feed 1,570 people.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Have you been to the Brooklyn Children's Museum? Forget anything Manhattan for children. Come to Brooklyn. It's generally quiet and so fun!

I kept getting gasps of delight with "Mom, look at this!" and "Awesome!"

The third Thursday is free as is the first full weekend of the month--but not for school groups.

They had the fake garden for the children to practice planting and picking vegetables.

We they went down to the sand box and played. We visited Fantasia the snake (the BCM mascot) outside her display--she's gigantic,

played with the tangram pieces, and build a bug.

But the winning part of the experience --this time-- was BCM's very own Spumoni Gardens.  
The kids had  a glorious time playing waiter, cook, cashier, etc. My favorite kid comments then were:
"May I get your order, Madam?" and "Here's your drink. You'll have to share. Share your pizza too." and "Mom, pay me for the food."
The kidlets had a fabulous vespa-ish experience.
For the 5 and under crowd is the totally tots department, which we did not visit (grudgingly from my over-five-ers).  It looked amazing!

I'll be honest, it was really nice to stop myself from saying "No!" every few minutes.  This is the universal "Yes, go ahead and play with that" place.

When I got home and was getting my youngest (age 3) ready for bed he said, "Mom, Now can we go back to the museum?"  Then tonight he told my husband, "Dad, I want to go the museum." Looks like we will be going back another time to the BCM.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon When You Take the North "Poll"

Melissa & Doug want you to tell them which of their educational toys you think is the best! Just click on the image below to place your vote in the North "Poll!" You'll Get a Melissa & Doug 25% Off Coupon** to use at MelissaAndDoug.com just for voting!

Roosevelt Island Tram and Dylan's Candy Bar

For the cost of a subway ride you can take the Roosevelt Island Tram. It opened in 1976, has two bright red gondolas, and is the only mass transit tram in North America. It goes high up in the air, it shows you beautiful NYC vistas. It's on 59th and 2nd Avenue.

 If your child is over 44 inches tall--you must pay for them.  They'll put your card through for you--which is really convenient if your hands are full. 

 It was around the time that I took the photo above that a huge gust of wind hit the tram and the entire tram swayed like crazy for a second and my oldest hit his head on the door because it was packed and we were the last ones on. You could hear the thud through the whole car and he ended up okay, but with a head ache. 

So, if you're on the tram make sure your children know that there may be gusts of wind that will sway the tram and they need to be ready to protect their heads with their hands. 

 When you get to Roosevelt Island you can take the $.25 Red Bus around Roosevelt Island. Roosevelt Island hosts neat events--like their recent Quidditch match. If you'd like to see what it actually looks like click here.

 This is the famous candy store is right up the street from the tram so it makes sense that we'd stop there--but it was so full of people and the line to buy the stuff almost went out the door and my children were to the tired, hungry, grouchy stage--so we opted to look briefly and get something up the street, but my friends that have actually purchased something there say it is not exactly economical--but it is delicious--really delicious.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Free Prospect Park Adventures

Come jump into the Prospect Park adventure--trust me--it's magical.  It's not a pedestrian Mecca--like it's Manhattan sister--it's an experience where if you might find yourself in a silent green opening.  Fall is especially gorgeous there. If you cannot get out of the city for your fall foilage fix--this is the place to come--and absorb the rich succulent colors.

There are trees for climbing--with extraordinary knots to examine and discuss why the tree has knots and holes--and what animals are loving the cool innards of the tree.

This is not necessarily budget-friendly, but in case you wanted to know and felt the need--here is the information so you could ride a horse around Prospect Park.

Years ago, I brought a butterfly net for my four year old to attempt to catch cabbage leaf butterflies (or something like that) and one of the horse back riders stopped their horse and shouted at my dear child, "Leave those butterflies alone--they have a life too!"  Some New Yorkers are so involved----in other people's lives.  When this happens just let it roll off your back--they're just interfering people with an absurd desire to . . . interfere.

Also, my kids found it an extraordinary opportunity to collect amazing leaves, rocks and sticks.

When you get to the Prospect Park Lake, notice everything. Take a moment to breathe in the wet lake smell and then visit with the swans and ducks.  Be careful. They think anything you hand them is food. Thankfully, they were not easily fooled by the leaves my kids were attempting to feed them.

Don't forget--geese, swans and ducks--they all bite.  The honkers hissed threateningly when my daughter asked to eat some goldfish crackers (which we did not feed the animals).
I know you cannot see their faces too well, but my kids were in heaven! They loved every second by the lake. We were just supposed to walk by, but we stayed there for a half hour.

Here is the adult swan and the "teenager."  I am sure the swan went back to his/her swan buddies and said, "Dude--don't go to those kids, all they are giving are leaves.  He-llo! If I wanted a salad all I have to do is get out of the lake."

Prospect Park is a fabulous place to sit and read, walk, meditate, think, lawfully pick mushrooms for cooking, bird watching, concert absorbing, play a lot of sports, and just about anything, including driving in certain areas. 


Oh I love this place!

It's amazing!  We are so blessed to have the blessing of an amazing park!!! As always, public parks in NYC are free! Yay!