Grab Your Bathing Suit and a Bike Helmet! A Staycation in the City is Easy and Fun!

With Memorial Day behind us, it’s time to celebrate the unofficial start of summer and enjoy the sunshine! Busy schedules and travel make it hard, though, to carve out time and travel to a destination vacation.  However, a staycation in the City is well within reach and at the McCarren Hotel, located in hip Williamsburg, fun in the sun is closer than ever!  With complimentary Brooklyn Bicycle Co. bikes and an outdoor saltwater pool, your little ones can break out those sporty sneakers and the cool swimwear to enjoy the weather.  And as your weekend comes to a close on Sunday, be sure to check out the Brooklyn Flea Market, located only a few blocks to the east.

The Gansevoort Meatpacking is another exciting staycation option located in the Meatpacking District of Manhattan and has an outdoor pool (including this ever-cool swan) as well as close proximity to the Highline Park and the brand-new Whitney Museum.  And if you have a pet, fear not! The Gansevoort was voted the most pet-friendly hotel in America!

 

Photo courtesy of Chelsea Hotels

Grab your water shoes! Brooklyn Bridge Park is about to make a Splash!

Brooklyn Bridge Park water park Jeppe Hein

We’re super excited for the upcoming exhibit Please Touch the Art, by Danish artist Jeppe Hein, a water and mirror labyrinth that’s being erected at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The series of 18 sculptures intended for public interaction are sure to be a hit for big and small alike. Our favorite aspect of the exhibit is Appearing Rooms on Bridge View lawn where water shoots up establishing rooms with wet walls (bring your native water shoes!).  Other works include the skyline inspired Mirror Labyrinth, featuring mirror polished stainless steel of varying heights dotting the landscape as well Modified Social Benches, a series of 16 benches each unique, quirky and unexpected. The exhibit begins May 17 and extends to April 17, 2016. See you there!

Photo by Jon Spence

 

Babesta in the News: Fabulous Fashion House Tootsa MacGinty Chats with Babesta for Mother’s Day!

tootsa 2

We were so thrilled to be featured in awesome UK label Tootsa MacGinty’s blog this Mother’s Day! They got the skinny on Babesta’s beginnings, the new location at Brookfield Place, best advice for our little girls & what we love to do with the kids in our downtown nabe! Thanks Jules, Lisa, Tom & Kate!!! Read it here!

Photographs by Tom Pietrasik.

Hot Wheels for Mother’s Day: Babesta & Mercedes of Manhattan Giveaway!

 mercedes benz of manhattan and babesta givea
Babesta teamed up with Mercedes of Manhattan to make someone a pretty sweet Mother’s Day! Test drive a Mercedes GLA (the super cute compact SUV) at Mercedes of Manhattan (53rd & 11th), between now and Thursday May 14, and enter to win some hand picked awesomeness for a city family (all of which fits easily in the trunk, making for a very stylish set up!) Included are our top picks for a city family:  the Van Gogh x Bugaboo Bee 3 stroller, a Baby Bjorn travel light crib, the Nuna Pipa car seat and the Forma Pack & Go diaper bag with a Chevron Pronto portable changer by Skip Hop!  Even if you don’t win, enjoy a special offer at the Babesta stores for test driving the car (Mercedes will be giving it out!). We loved the GLA – it’s stylish and smart for the city-ample room yet easy to park.
Happy Mother’s Day & Good Luck!!

Babesta at Brookfield Place! We’re Mall Rats!

Babesta at Brookfield PlaceNever thought we’d see a mall we’d want to call home in NYC until we met Brookfield Place! Between grilled cheeses from Little Munster, crepes at Le District, working out at Equinox and shopping our faves at Vince, Theory, Burberry, Lululemon. . . this place had us at hello! And it’s not even done yet – more to come! Scoop, Saks Fifth Avenue, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon! And of course we love the location – on the water in front of the marina. The sundowns are spectacular!

With this new location, we’re aiming to make it easier for our friends in FiDi and BPC, introduce ourselves to the professional crowd and greet travelers, all with a great group of awesome stuff – from indie fashion, amazing gifts (many of which they won’t find anywhere else in the US) to the hottest strollers, furniture and gear! We also wanted to try  out a new format of the shop bringing Cribz & Threads together and extend our footprint, taking the opportunity to show new things! Don’t worry, nothing’s changing in Tribeca, we’ll still be there bringing you the best products curated by our off-the-hook buyers, an array of services to make it easier for parents, parents-to-be and gift-givers and the amazing baby brainiac-level knowledge of our Babesta stylists!

If you haven’t been over yet to Babesta at Brookfield Place yet, it’s time. Here are some pics to whet your appetite – we suggest  shopping Babesta (as well as our awesome neighbors CosBar, Judith & Charles, Bonobos, and Posman Books & then hitting Hudson Eats for a gooey grilled cheese – tell them we sent you!

babesta window at brookfield placeEstella and Oeuf plush toysBugaboo fleet of strollers at Brookfield place babestacool kid robot and more at babestaMy name is simone at babestabloom alma mini and gogos chop shoplove babesta

Around Town: Get Artful this Season!

It’s gonna be an artful season for you and your culture vulturitos! Check out some of our top picks around town this season!FaceBook Chuck Close

Close Up: Chuck Close at the Parrish

From May 10 through July 26, 2015, the Parrish Art Museum presents Chuck Close Photographs, a comprehensive presentation of the modern art superstar known for his large scale collage style photography (almost a modern approach to impressionism, in our opinion). Suffering from facial blindness, this New York based artist is not only an artistic pioneer but an inspiration for overcoming challenges and reaching the height of the contemporary art scene. The exhibition features over 125 of the artist’s images, from the early maquettes to large scale composite portraits. May 10–July 26. Parrish Art Museum, Southampton, NY.

Bjork, Volta, 2007. Photography by Nick Knight. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd. & One Little Indian

Bjork, Volta, 2007. Photography by Nick Knight. Image courtesy of Wellhart Ltd. & One Little Indian

It’s Oh So Awesome: Bjork at the MoMA

This spring, treat yourself to an interactive view into the life of alt rock singer-songwriter Bjork. You may remember her for her quirky fashion sense (swan dress anyone)?, but her creative spirit spans well beyond fashion and even music. The exhibit features 20 years of the Icelandic native’s innovative projects and eight full-length albums. March 8–June 7, MOMA.

 world pillowfight day

Bed Head: World Pillow Fight Day

Find your inner kid and grab a (soft) pillow. You have permission to let the feathers fly. April 4th is International Pillow Fight day, and adults from all over the city come together and regain their youth. Because the participants tend to be “big kids at heart” but not literally kids, keep your little ones at home. But definitely replicate the scene when you get home with a nice friendly match in the playroom. April 4, 2015, Multiple locations.

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin © 2014 Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, DF/Artists’ Rights Society (ARS) New York

Frida Kahlo, Self-Portrait with Thorn Necklace and Hummingbird, 1940, Harry Ransom Center, The University of Texas at Austin © 2014 Banco de Mexico Diego Rivera Frida Kahlo Museums Trust, Mexico, DF/Artists’ Rights Society (ARS) New York

Sunny Day Sunday: Stop and Smell las Rosas

The New York Botanical Garden celebrates noted Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in what is to be her first solo exhibition in NYC in over 25 years. For Frida Kahlo: Art, Garden, Life, the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory will become Casa Azul, outfitted with Mexican terracotta pots, beautiful flowers and traditional folk art items. A dozen of her paintings will be shown  in the nearby gallery.  May 16–November 1.

Whitney Museum rendering courtesy of Renzo Piano building workshop in collaboration with Cooper Robertson & Partners

Whitney Museum rendering courtesy of Renzo Piano building workshop in collaboration with Cooper Robertson & Partners

To Whit: Opening of the new Whitney

Take the downtown train from Madison to Gansevoort: That’s right, the Whitney Museum is headed south! On May 1st be a part of the highly anticipated outdoor–indoor celebration of American art. It will be the biggest extravaganza the Whitney has ever done. Opens May 1, 2015.

 May 2015 Portrait copy

Outta Town: Museums at Night

We found the perfect reason to keep your night owl flocking about town. Started in Berlin 15 years ago, the Night at the Museum festival has grown to include 30 countries and over 530 venues. Celebrated each May on the weekend closest to International Museums Day, this year’s event will feature everything from trapeze artists to poetry readings. Dash around the European museum scene and take in the culture. Unfortunately New York isn’t on the route just yet, though we know several museums have later nights on Friday & Saturday, perfect for an end-of-the-week extra dose of culture. Join in the adventure May 13th16th.

 

Eat Play Love: London Scout of Scout the City Dishes on her Faves

London Scout Scout the CityInstagram lights up when Scout the City’s London Scout dons her latest fashion find! Although the four year old style maven reportedly would choose her Elsa outfit if she had her way, when not in princess mode, Scout’s seen sporting “it” brands in the indie kids’ market, from Barcelona-based Bobo Choses to Mexican luxe label Little Miss Galia. Her mom, Sai, serves as her parental paparazzi, posting Scout snaps daily for a dose of city kid style.

“It all started because my single New York friends were sick of me posting my child on Facebook every 10 minutes (I thought I’d never be that mom),” says Sai. She says Scout the City became her alt outlet for the pics—a digital diary of their favorite children’s brands worn with Scout’s unique and candid street style. Clearly people are loving it: at the time of writing (and after 9 short months), Scout’s amassed a following of 40,000! We are big fans of the duo, and were psyched to chat with them about their favorite spots in the Big Apple. We suggest you give these city hot spots whirl—and snap a pic while you’re at it!

EAT

This is clearly a question that little London Scout relishes and her answers are nuanced:

atrium dumbo

Best macaroni and cheese (a category of its own): Atrium in Dumbo—Mom notes that the place is always filled with other well-behaved toddlers for Scout to socialize with.

Lunch Fix: Though dinner can be a little more formal, for lunch it’s all about sushi at Nobu. Scout adores the vegetable rolls and edamame.

Yummiest Dinner: Both mother and daughter light up at the mention of Gran Electrica—a  very cute Mexican restaurant in Brooklyn. Scout calls it the “bubble man restaurant” because they have sketches of dancing skeletons with round heads on the wall.

deweys

Sweet Spots: Scout doesn’t only have one, she’s got two. One Girl Cookies is always the favorite for cookies and hot chocolate with homemade marshmallows, while Dewey’s candy shop in Brooklyn is home to her favorite lollipops and Pez dispensers.

 PLAY

klub 4 kidz

Indoor Energy Burn: Klub 4 Kidz in Williamsburg. It’s a huge padded indoor play area filled with balls, slides, zip lines and rock climbing.

Culture Rich Imaginary Play: Brooklyn Children’s Museum. It’s been around for some time—in fact it opened in 1899! There are miniature markets boasting everything from Italian pizza and West African beauty products to Chinese lanterns and Caribbean masquerade costumes.

janes carousel

Picturesque & Fun: Jane’s Carousel. The beautiful glass encased carousel sits on a raised platform in the East River, has breathtaking views of the city and is only $2 to pony up!

Awesome Afternoon: Pier 6 Playground at Brooklyn Bridge Park. It’s heaven for children, especially during summer months. Scout’s favorite playspaces at Pier 6 are “The Water Lab”, with water jets, and a mini river; “Slide Mountain” with two jungle gyms, a few super fast slides and climbing structures; “Sandbox Village,” the biggest sandbox in Brooklyn; and “Swing Valley” with 10 new swing sets for all ages as well as Tarzan-styled ropes.

LOVE

Scout is in her element living in the city, says Sai. “She loves her diverse group of friends, ballet class and riding the subway!  City life encourages her to be confident, outspoken and open minded to trying new things.”

Toy Story: Papinee

PAPINEE Deer at Shanghai Xintiandi_lr

He notes that quality and beauty marked his formative years, most pronounced in the special relationship he had with his parents. “They were always challenging my imagination,” he says. “We would close our eyes and daydream together. My mother would bring to life travels around the world, from Ginza in Tokyo to Prado in Madrid, without us having to leave our home.” He recalls the games—Gamin, Snakes and Ladders and other English toys—and the stories of Tutankhamun, King Henry, Christopher Columbus and Warhol, that his mom (who he dubs Mary Poppins) would relay whisking him across centuries and continents with a turn of phrase. PAPINEE Sphere Installation_lr

Those precious memories of colorful places inspired and fueled his path to create Papinee, a pledge to give that journey to others through heirloom quality toys built to at once inspire, delight and educate. Suj, who’s worked as a brand consultant for labels like Tod’s, Dunhill and Chopard, gathered 31 artists and 28 ambassadors to bring this concept to life. “It’s been a labor of love and so much fun for a group of individuals who love art and incredible quality, whilst wanting to make a difference,” Suj says.

PAPINEE Lion from Kenya_lr

“We want to make toys you can keep your whole life—for dreamers of all ages.” The collection of artisanal plush toys and companion storybooks are steeped in history, art and culture: The sheep was inspired by Turkey and Ottoman architecture; the horse is reminiscent of the palace of Versailles and Louis XIV; the deer is clearly an homage to street art culture in New York City. The company also makes a priority of giving back, sharing art and culture, working with organizations from all around the world. “It’s the education of global ideas and incredible objet d’art, both child-safe and universally fun. We believe in that gift.”