OCCUPATION: Owner, Minnie and Emma Correspondence.
MY STYLE: My fashion style has relaxed a bit since I’ve had kids, but I would say it is preppy with a downtown twist. I like really great pieces that can function from the playground to a meeting with very little effort. It was important for me when we had kids for our home to keep a sophisticated, city feel while keeping in mind it is our children’s home, too. We try to keep the bulk of the toys in the play room and bedrooms so it doesn’t feel overwhelming or cluttered. We try—not so easy!
I LOVE NEW YORK BECAUSE: NYC has been very good to me. I’ve had my first job here, gotten married here, and had my babies here. I love so many things about it, and every time we say we are going to leave, it just sucks us back in. Now that we have 2 kids, the city has taken on a whole new role. Simply walking around with our kids is fun for them; there is so much to see and explore. And as a bonus, our neighborhood has a very sweet, small town feel to it, which I absolutely love.
This rustic neighborhood tavern cooks up Italian cuisine based on family recipes. The hand-filled ravioli, wood-fired pork chop, and girandole with duck sausage are all fresh, indulgent, and—consider yourself warned—sure to make you crave a repeat experience! And as delicious as Locanda Verde’s dinner may be, Coralie Charriol Paul also comes to Locanda Verde for brunch, when menu mainstays include lemon ricotta pancakes, crispy garlic potatoes, and sweet treats by renowned pastry chef Karen DeMasco.
Chelsea Piers Bowling—300 New York
Chelsea Piers sports complex offers endless fun for kids and their families with spaces for golfing, swimming, rock climbing, skateboarding—you name it. 300 New York at Chelsea Piers offers all the fun without the work. “Bowling on. Brain off” is its motto. It’s a great place to host birthday parties for kids with colorful flashing lights, catering services, and loud music blasting all day. Raegan Moya-Jones takes her girls there on “dreary winter days” in an effort to tire them out. If you’re more serious about bowling, you could opt for a private lesson. But, as they say, “no matter what the occasion, it’s always more fun when you’re in bowling shoes.” After 10pm, though, certain sorts of occasions are celebrated more than others, considering that’s when the lights go down, the alcohol comes out, and no one under the age of 21 is allowed to bowl without a parent present.
Award-winning architect David Rockwell was inspired by his own two children, 10-year-old Sam and eight-year-old Lola, to create the Imagination Playground at South Street Seaport. Giant connectable foam blocks, fabric, mats, crates, and wagons allow children to transform their surrounding environment into worlds of their imagination. “David Rockwell has done such a great job understanding kids, probably because he has his own. It has a wonderful mix of clean sand, water, and shade,” says Meredith Levy. People have been playing with blocks forever; research shows it enhances cognitive and social skills, and Rockwell’s Imagination Playground transforms blocks to a whole new dimension.
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.
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!
The Trump name has long been synonymous with opulence, indulgence, and impeccable taste, and the family’s Soho hotel is no exception. Sweeping views of lower Manhattan delight guests of the 46-story Trump Soho, which offers them nanny and pet services, personalized stationary, and special treatment in several of the neighborhood’s boutiques (including Diane Von Furstenburg, La Perla and, of course, Ivanka Trump Collection). But we think the highlight of the hotel is its spa, to which Ivanka gave her own special touch. Inspired by her travels, the designer added Moroccan and Turkish Hammam treatments to the menu, as well as ayurvedic therapies for those who wish to stray from the Swedish variety. For those who don’t, the Trump’s signature treatments—including the Balancing Diamonds Massage—are also available.
The place to go for all your knitting needs, Purl Soho has the widest selection of yarn, fabric, and supplies around the city. Whether you have a project in mind, or need alittle inspiration, the welcoming staff is readily available to assist. Meredith Levy claims, “Purl Soho could be one of my favorite stores of all time. The staff is so knowledgeable and helpful. It is so inspiring to walk in there.” With floor-to-ceiling walls of vibrant yarns and colorful fabric galore, Purl Soho stimulates new ideas for creative crafts. Classes are available for all levels of experience, even kids!
Children’s Museum of the Arts
Committed to celebrating the artist in every child, the Children’s Museum of the Arts provides a hands-on experience to inspire creativity and exploration. With exhibits featuring art by children, classes led by a team of professional teaching artists, and community-based outreach opportunities, the Children’s Museum of the Arts truly offers something for everyone. “There are two floors of endless things to create. We love it so much that we had my son’s birthday party there,” says Meredith Levy.