Babyccino Shop Up Event in Brooklyn

September 19th, 2016

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The second Babyccino Shop up happened in Brooklyn these last couple of days and it was even more amazing and bigger than last year!

There was a lineup of lovely international vendors, and I was amongst the lucky bloggers today who was served a delectable breakfast spread of Blue Bottle coffee, Teapigs tea, Maison Kayser pastries, and The Doughnut Project doughnuts. And of course the lovely Mischievous Goddess showed up (and gave me some lovely handmade magic wands for the girls)! Also, really love my mini bouquet by Bloom That.

Courtney and Esther, of the Babyccino team were there, with Courtney sporting her little bump for baby number 5. So excited to see them.

This free event that is open to the public will be happening next year and hopefully for years to come. I’ll give the heads up beforehand so you can try and make it if you are in NYC!

 

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Jane’s Carousel – Dumbo, Brooklyn

June 17th, 2016

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We went to Jane’s Carousel, in Dumbo, Brooklyn yesterday. I’m really fascinated by carousels and we make it a point to visit every carousel we can. Here is the last one we went to. This one is a beauty. The detail is incredibly ornate and  every horse and chariot is a piece of art.

Here is the story of this wonder:

It originally was in Idora Park in Youngstown, Ohio which officially closed its doors after 85 years in 1984, after a firedevastated much of the park, including its famed 1929 wooden coaster, The Wild Cat. The carousel, scorched but intact, sold at auction that year. Each of its 48 horses and 2 chariots were sold individually, but at the end of the auction all the bids were tallied up and a single buyer was offered the opportunity to take the entire carousel for the combined sum. New York real estate developer David Walentas and his wife Jane bought Philadelphia Toboggan Company for $385,000.

 

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They were in the market because Walentas was developing a waterfront shopping complex in this Brooklyn neighborhood, DUMBO (Down Under Manhattan Bridge Overpass). They hired a specialized company to dismantle and ship the whole lot to Brooklyn, where Jane, who has a master’s degree in fine art, began researching carousel restoration.

Instead of outsourcing, Jane took on the massive restoration herself. It’s an incredible story of obsession and dedication. First she documented everything, taking pictures and samples and notes on the main pieces of the carousel. The original paint was unsalvageable so she sent the parts to a chemical stripper who removed dozens of  layers of paint. Jane had a carpenter repair the parts, prime them and then set them aside in storage to focus on the stars of the show, the horses and chariots.

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Said Jane: “I spent years, mostly alone, scraping the many layers of park paint to reveal the original palette and beautiful carvings. I had hoped to be able to keep the horses in their factory paint, but was eventually convinced that it was not possible. Much of the paint was fragile and the surface of most of the horses was rough and needed too much repair to have been left as they were. Once again, I did precise matches of the factory colors, and traced, drew and photographed everything I uncovered. I worked scraping paint off the horses, sporadically over the course of about 16 years.”
In June of 2004, after decades of work, she moved into a new studio, hired more help and set about doing all the repairs to the individual horses. Once repaired, they were repainted with painstaking fidelity to the original look, and then Jane took it a step further and gilded all the horses’ metallic fittings and decoration, originally aluminum leaf or aluminum leaf with a gold wash, in palladium and 24 carat gold, no less!! She also hired a car customizer from Mercedes-Benz to do all the hand pin striping work on the horse bridles.

 

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In 2006, the carousel was ready to be put back together and on display. Over the years the shopping center project had been scrapped to be replaced with a Empire Fulton Ferry Park, so the Walentas set up the carousel, now renamed “Jane’s Carousel” in honor of its new mother, in another of their properties, a converted spice warehouse in the DUMBO neighborhood where people could see it among the art galleries but not ride it.

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After struggling with various committees, the Walentas got permission to install the carousel on the waterfront in front of the Civil War-era Tobacco Warehouse. They hired French architect Jean Nouvel to design a pavilion to house it and he created the $9 million transparent acrylic jewel box that showcases the beauty of the carousel during the day, shows the riders a most spectacular view and that would at night be lit so that the horses cast huge shadows on the white floor-to-ceiling window shades. They also donated $3.45 million to the park for landscaping and nighttime lighting that allows the park to stay open until 1:00 AM.

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And they donated this 1922 Philadelphia Toboggan Company carousel with palladium and 24 carat gold fittings! And we thank you for it. We’ll be coming across the river more often.

Jane’s Carousel is open from 11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., every day except Tuesday. A ride costs $2, children under three ride for free.

 

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Seaglass Carousel – Battery Park, NYC

January 1st, 2016

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Well, we finally made it to Seaglass Carousel at Battery Park yesterday! We had been cycling past the construction of this very beautiful and most unusual carousel all during summer and it finally opened a couple of months ago. Solène was the lucky one who got to try it out first.

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Here is the story of how this carousel was born:
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Columbus Day Trip to Maskers Orchard

October 12th, 2015

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What an incredible Columbus Day it was today! We took advantage of the very warm and glorious weather and made a trip out of the city to Maskers Orchard. We trekked all over this place in search of some Granny Smiths to make a apple pie with and we finally found them at the very end of the earth! We also picked about 10 other varieties and chomped our way through the orchard, tasting and comparing different varieties. We will be apple connoisseurs soon.
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Family Holiday Gift Guide

December 18th, 2014

 

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Well, of course, we are starting with something special for the littlest ones. We had Robeez shoes for both girls up until there were no sizes big enough for them. And they have some cool new designs fresh off the presses. Head over to their website to see the huge range. 

 
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10 Free Sites For Pumpkin Carving Templates and Patterns

October 28th, 2014

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Here are 10 free sites for pumpkin carving templates and patterns!

Okay. The time has finally come to carve our pumpkin! We are running a bit late but as you can see, but the girls have been having fun playing around in pumpkin patches! This one above was at the White Post Farms Fall Festival.

And we finally got THE pumpkin yesterday at Fishkill Farms while we were picking apples (scroll down to see photos of our apple picking adventures).
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Time Out New York – Kids

August 12th, 2014

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It’s about time I plugged our fave resource for things to do in New York with kiddos! This is the latest Back to School issue that we just received. And even though this cover is not their usual cool cover (but a huge ad), we still think that this particular issue just rocks, because ahem, we are in it! See below. Yes, there we are in our clown, witch and Angelina Ballerina getups at last year’s Village Halloween Parade.  I was a bit taken aback when I turned the page and saw ourselves staring back at us! This is in a story for things to do this coming Halloween.

Scroll down for other particularly cool things to do in this issue…

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Macy’s July 4th Fireworks Display in New York City

July 3rd, 2014

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Happy 4th of July! It’s here again. And there are of course, some really special things to do in New York City with the kids! But we all know that the fireworks display is the cat’s meow! This year, the 38th Annual Macy’s 4th of July Fireworks makes its return to the East River and lights up the night from one of New York’s most famous landmarks—the Brooklyn Bridge! Here is the official site.

They will be held on the East River between the Manhattan and Brooklyn Bridges, making Dumbo, Vinegar Hill, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and Greenpoint the perfect spots to throw down a picnic blanket. Families may want to avoid South Street Seaport though (we hear Piers 15–17 will be closed).

Scroll down for Macy’s current viewing location recommendations but make sure you check the website again tomorrow for potential changes.

 

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The New York Philharmonic will bring Pixar classics to the stage – May, 2014

April 24th, 2014

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Pixar in ConcertPhotograph: ©Disney/Pixar

Okay, now for some serious listening and something you don’t want to miss out if you are lucky enough to live in ol’ New York City!

Yes, Lincoln Center has a big treat in store for you and the your little film buff kiddos. You can listen to the New York Philharmonic perform the scores from many of Pixar’s movies, including the Toy Story trilogy, Finding Nemo, Wall·E, A Bug’s LifeRatatouilleUPFinding NemoBrave, and Monsters, Inc. in Pixar in Concert. Clips from each film will be shown simultaneously, so you and your family can view the action while listening to the familiar tunes being played all around you.
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