OCCUPATION: Fashion Designer
MY STYLE IS: Quirky, colorful, inviting, and fun
I LOVE NEW YORK BECAUSE: There are many reasons this city is a great place to raise kids—there’s the theater, the food, the museums, and the green markets. We also get to bike everywhere we go, which is one of my favorite things about living in New York. I love that we rarely get in a car!
The Greenwich Hotel
New York Times food critic Frank Bruni was rather harsh on Ago, the last restaurant at Robert DeNiro’s Greenwich Hotel, but then it reopened as the much-loved and ever-busy Locanda Verde. After your lamb meatball sliders, you might want to stay the night. The hotel offers 88 exquisitely designed rooms (we’re talking Carrara marble tiles in the bathrooms), plus a courtyard, Shibui Spa, and free wi-fi. Jennifer Fisher and her husband had plans here for a New Year’s Eve staycation. When their sitter cancelled at the last minute, they decided to take the kids, and it was a great time. “They freaked over the secret downstairs pool, mini kids’-sized robes, and candy in the room,” she says. And you can even bring the dog, as pet-friendly rooms are available upon request!
Mouth-watering vegetables may sound like a gift from the table gods, but Lela Rose says it’s simply the mastery of Dan Kluger, executive chef of ABC Kitchen. The brainchild of Phil Suarez and chef Jean-Georges Vongerichten, ABC Kitchen is a space that is as sophisticated as it is sustainable. Suarez and Vongerichten take great pride in using locally sourced ingredients and décor—which is impeccable, understandably, given the restaurant’s location inside ABC Carpet & Home. But back to the vegetables: The wood oven roasted sunchokes with hazelnuts and herbs just might cause your child to turn a culinary leaf (no pun intended). Should you be so lucky, reward them with seasonal glazed donuts or a cookie plate.
Governors Island has served many purposes—at different times belonging to the Dutch, the British, the U.S. Army, and the Coast Guard—before becoming the city escape it is today. A quick ferry ride (load up early for the best views, Lady Liberty included) drops city dwellers off on a strikingly suburban landscape, where old homes, sprawling lawns, bicycle trails, and a mini golf course help create a Pleasantville feel that’s perfect for a day off of Manhattan. The island has an extensive calendar of events, making any summer weekend a good one to visit. Pack a picnic, or buy one there—Perfect Picnic sells baskets of bread, meats, cheese, and beverages, ranging from classic to kid-friendly.
A true shopping experience, Chelsea Market hovers somewhere between suburban shopping mall (there is, after all, an Anthropologie) and rustic farmer’s market. Whether you’re looking for an obscure Thai cooking ingredient or the finest slice of brie imaginable, the market’s specialty shops and restaurants are sure to satisfy. “We love to come here on snowy or rainy days, or after walking the nearby High Line,” says Christy Prunier. “And our friend, Mark Mennin, a remarkable artist, created all the stone sculptures throughout the premises.”
What used to be an abandoned textile factory is now the 72-room Wythe Hotel. While this may sound like standard Brooklyn procedure, the Wythe has all the trimmings of Manhattan’s finest lodgings. It’s just a little bit cooler, with its exposed brick walls, custom-made wallpaper and furniture, and family-friendly “band rooms” featuring bunk beds. The hotel restaurant, Reynards, serves seasonal fare, cooked to perfection. Upstairs, The Ides, the hotel’s rooftop bar, boasts views of the Manhattan skyline.
Downtowners can get to this Brooklyn oasis in a flash—so fast that Tribeca mom Lela Rose makes it her go-to park. “I find the crowds to be smaller, and there are so many areas to explore. We’ve even gone on a mushroom hunt and picked food for dinner!” The 585-acre park has a variety of nature trails, playgrounds, historic architecture, and athletic facilities, as well as a Wildlife Conservation Society-operated zoo. Check the park’s website for a list of current tours and activities.
Union Square Greenmarket
If you think a city-based farmers’ market is a new-age novelty, think again. A trip to Union Square Greenmarket on a Saturday is enough to convince even the most die-hard supermarket shoppers that sustainable, local, and slow-grown groceries are not a passing trend. Since 1976, Greenmarket has done an amazing job in making fresh food accessible to New Yorkers, growing one group of 12 vendors into a network of more than 230 farmers and fisherman and 53 markets around the boroughs. The Union Square location is its flagship, and operates on Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday. Brand-loyal? Look up the list vendors—updated every day the market is open—to see who’s selling.