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Jan 23 2014

How My 10-Year-Old Walked Home in a Blizzard (And We All Survived)

By at 9:43 am

walking in blizzard in central park

Most weekday afternoons, I pick my 7-year-old daughter up from her school, while my 10-year-old son takes the cross-town city bus home from his. Usually, the 10-year-old is home before us, but there have been enough occasions where he’s a few minutes late that I don’t give it much thought.

As a rule, his commute home takes about 20 minutes. On Tuesday, as Winter Storm Janus dumped multiple inches of snow over New York City, my son wasn’t home 20 minutes after class let out. He wasn’t home 30 minutes later, either. I told myself the buses were probably delayed due to the weather.

Forty minutes after class let out (and about 20 minutes after he should have been home), my son called on his cell phone (no apps, no games, just emergency minutes) to say the buses were so packed, no one was letting him on. (He is skinny and well-mannered. Neither trait is particularly conducive to shoving your way onto an NYC bus.) Read the rest of this entry →

Dec 12 2013

It’s Time to Talk Openly & Honestly About Privilege

By at 2:08 pm

shutterstock_133827311

On Monday, my youngest child, Lilah, was eating breakfast at our kitchen table. She pulled the newspaper toward her and read the headline: “Girl in the Shadows.” She stumbled on pronouncing Dasani’s name, but got “homeless” pretty easily.

My daughter is 5, and she can read the headlines in the New York Times. Dasani is 12 years old, and lives in one room of a homeless shelter with her seven siblings and her parents, who are battling drug addiction. My daughter and her brothers get a home-cooked breakfast in their own rooms or at the kitchen table. Dasani stands in line to heat up a packaged meal in the cafeteria. My children chose to give up their Hanukkah gifts this year so the money could go to charity. Dasani stopped wearing her uniform to school because she couldn’t launder it. My daughter is in a private kindergarten and my sons go to a public school with a nice playground, computers, and a PTO that raises money for the arts. Dasani’s school may lose its dance studio–the place this girl feels most confident–to a charter school.

How do we talk about this? As a nation, how do we start to really talk about the divide between Dasani and my children? Read the rest of this entry →

Nov 25 2013

Free Stuff Alert: Four Tickets to the Jewish Children’s Museum

By at 3:25 pm

jewish children's musuem chanukah delight exhibit

If you’re in the New York area with your kids, a stop by the Jewish Children’s Museum in Brooklyn is a must. As the name suggests, the museum is a unique place for children and their parents to explore Jewish history and heritage in a fun and interactive way.

From November 29th to December 4th, the museum is hosting a special program called “Chanukah Delight,” where there will be an interactive olive pressing workshop, donut decorating, balloon animals, a giant menorah, and the opportunity to meet Judah the Maccabee!

jewish children's museum

We’re giving away four tickets to the JCM to one lucky winner ($52 value; to be used any time). To enter, fill out the form below and we’ll choose a winner this coming Thursday, December 5th. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Oct 10 2012

Baby #4 is Due TOMORROW but I’m Not Ready

By at 12:30 pm

due date baby pink shoes on calendarMy due date is tomorrow.

I remember those halcyon days when I was pregnant with my first child in New York. I left work a month early to “get ready.” Since I had no kids, “getting ready,” entailed long lunches with friends and family, museum visits to exhibits I’d read about in the New York Times, and putting together a registry that included now-banned items like crib bumpers. Livin’ la vida loca! I was so excited to give birth. “ANY DAY NOW!” I’d excitedly chirp to doormen, shopkeepers, and random pedestrians. Read the rest of this entry →

Sep 21 2012

Great (and Free!) Family Programs for Downtown Babies

By at 4:11 pm

If you’re in the New York area and have young children, you’ll definitely want to check out these upcoming free events at the Museum of Jewish Heritage that are part of their New Families, New Traditions series. They’re especially geared towards families with children under 3, and feature puppets, music and storytelling galore!

All events are at the museum at 36 Battery Place New York, NY 10004. For more information, email family@mjhnyc.org or call 646.437.4202. Reservations are not needed.

jacob stein with pupperSunday, September 23, 10:30 A.M.

Days of Awe-Some New Year Celebration

Join Jacob Stein and The Bakery Band Puppet Players to welcome 5773 with songs and stories.

Jacob Stein is the musical director of the Jewish Community Project in Lower Manhattan, and his Bim Bom Musicfest Class is now in its seventh year. Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 28 2012

A Special Needs Service for Rosh Hashanah

By at 4:39 pm

rosh hashanah service for special needs familiesFor New York families with special needs kids, we’ve just got word of a great Rosh Hashanah service that you might want to check out.

Congregation Rodeph Sholom on the Upper West Side is offering a Rosh Hashanah celebration for families with special needs. On Tuesday, September 18th from 11 a.m. to noon, join the Rodeph Sholom family for an interactive service open to the entire community–members and non-members, all ages welcome. There will be singing, instruments, apples and honey (and a variety of other healthy and tasty snacks), and of course, the shofar! Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 16 2012

Literview: Karl Taro Greenfeld, Author of Triburbia

By at 2:08 pm

triburbia karl taro greenfeld interview kvellerKarl Taro Greenfeld is a half-Japanese, half-Jewish writer whose work has taken him around the world in many ways. He was managing editor of TIME Asia, editor of Sports Illustrated and is the author of two books about Asia. Triburbia is his first foray into fiction, and is a Dubliners-esque portrait of a city–New York and specifically TriBeCa–through its people and parents. In the well-written series of stories that somehow all coalesce into a novel, parents learn how to parent by doing and kids learn how to torment one another much as the adults involved torment themselves. Greenfeld took time to do a Q&A with Kveller’s Jordana Horn about the transition from journalism to fiction, nightmares of parenting, and books with pink covers.

Your book is an ensemble piece of sorts, focusing on various parents in TriBeCa. What made you–a journalist who’s written extensively on Asia–take on this particular subject? Read the rest of this entry →

Aug 1 2012

Mayor Bloomberg Wants You to Breastfeed

By at 2:02 pm

mayor bloomberg formula lock up planIf you’re really thinking about it and not just squawking to be quoted, you’re going to have mixed feelings about New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s new push to get more women to breastfeed. Starting in September, 27 of the city’s 40 baby-delivering hospitals will begin to keep formula under lock and key, meaning they will only provide it to moms who request it or need it for a medical reason. Moms who do request formula will reportedly get a lecture about why breast is best.

Much of the debate has centered on, “How dare the city tell me how to feed my child?” And that might normally be me, but in this case, my first thought was, “Oh good, now maybe the hospitals will stop pushing formula.” Because believe me, they do. Any new mom can tell you that. How can they not? The entire maternity ward experience is practically “Brought you by Enfamil and Similac.” My impression: The formula companies have been so cozy with the hospitals for so long I’m waiting for them to sell naming rights to the maternity wings. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 29 2012

Will the Suburbs Make My Kids Boring?

By at 12:56 pm

suburban house and duskMy parents (like many, many Jewish parents before them) are partial to telling me that things happen for a reason (or more accurately, that just about everything is bashert). So it was no surprise that following the heartache of finding a house we liked, signing what we thought was a binding contract and then discovering that the sellers hadn’t actually signed and instead went with another deal, my parents comforted me by saying that this house wasn’t meant to be, and that our bashert house was just waiting for us to find it. Read the rest of this entry →

Jun 28 2012

Should We Be Doing Background Checks on Our Elmos?

By at 2:44 pm

anti-semitic elmoFull disclosure: I’ve never been an Elmo fan. I didn’t especially like him when I first met him on my television screen–he seemed too relentlessly happy, too sure that I would care “what he’s thinking about today.” He made me think about throwing shoes at the television. My boys, of course, loved him. They watched Elmo constantly during the most harrowing time of my life–my year-long divorce. When I hear that red guy’s high cloying voice, to this day, it makes me shudder.

So I’ll admit that, in a weird way, I felt slightly vindicated when I found out Elmo was a recidivist racist. Okay, fine, it wasn’t the REAL Elmo. I mean, to the extent any Elmo is real, of course. Racist Elmo is not the one with the ™ symbol next to his name, the legitimate Elmo. No, racist Elmo is one of the illegitimate Elmos. New York has a bunch of Elmos (and other characters with sidewalk child appeal) who wander around tourist sites to pose for photos with kids and make some quick non-taxable cash. Read the rest of this entry →

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