As a former metal head (if you blur the line at Bon Jovi, Poison and Cinderella), I got a kick out of today’s culture spotlight on the front page of the WSJ. I guess it makes sense, as there are experts on everything, but there is something so compelling about the academic pursuit of heavy metal, and scholarly works about GWAR’s social context and significance. My heavy metal days, big hair and big crush on Axl Rose are behind me, unless and until, that is, I head to karaoke, where it all comes tumbling back like a badge of head-banging honor.
I’ve been watching the 80s on Nat Geo this week, with the girls. They loved to see the beginnings of Apple, and Steve Jobs’ vision in the early days (Funny that this is what they connect with!). I was moved by the Russian/U.S. “Miracle on Ice” and was stoked to watch the early days of Tony Hawk and the start of a skateboarding revolution. The 80s is definitely “my decade” –the one that influenced me the most for better & for worse . It occurred to me as I was watching, that I haven’t introduced A&C to the movies of the time. This week, my goal is to snap up Back to the Future and E.T., two of my absolute faves. I wonder how they’ll like them or if they’ll stack up to today’s blockbusters. Who can argue with a cell phone the size of a handbag and an alien who craves Reeses Pieces?
Ready to step back in time?: here’s the lineup – http://channel.nationalgeographic.com/channel/schedule/daily/?source=NavNGCHome and the site is full of 80s gems!
So I was lucky enough to go to F.I.T.’s 7th Annual Conference on Sustainable Design today and got to listen to D.J. Spooky speak about the his art and music exploring the intersection of urban culture and the environment; where nature, art and design converge. His new book, “The Book of Ice,” is based off of a 6 week trip he took to Antarctica where he was clearly struck by the vastness and the depth of “archival” material nature has provided. With a whirlwind of swipe (yes, lots of ice & penguins, photos, inspiration, movie clips & music, he danced around some very interesting topics. He even ’sampled the landscape’ using an algorithm based upon the fluctuation of temperature during his trip…
Part of what was interesting, especially for us city folk, is his demonstration that hip hop, traditionally urban, is affected by and is not worlds away from the natural world. At the end of his very interesting, pretty heady, a bit disjointed but definitely thought provoking presentation, he declared: “It’s the Era of the Remix.”
–>A Bob Dylan concert tee by Rowdy Sprout in front of a gorgeous deep green door surrounded with white stone detailing. That door opened when we were taking pictures. A sweet little dog emerged (accompanied by her owner) much to our delight! We know that petites chiens are the rock stars of the Parisian streets.
We just got back from a sojourn from the city–Spring break in Paris and the Loire valley. As I lived in Paris years ago, it’s held a big place in my heart and I was so excited to take the girls there. It’s a hoot to bring city kids to the country – There was a distinct topnote of Paris Hilton/Nicole Ritchie in their reaction to the natural creatures that live in the country and the unfamiliar environs.
Spilling out of the car, a Citroen Picasso that “fits 7″ (but Enterprise squished their face at us when they saw that we were not just 7 but were 7 with luggage! (mais non!)), the girls ran as fast as they could across the lawn toward two horses who were on the property. Out of the city they’re always blown away by the space and freedom.
Our “gite” was located outside of Tours – something I found on mrandmrssmith.com – which has some great properties especially nice for larger groups, and I highly recommend. It was a old French country house on a property with stables and a gorgeously dilapidated chateau that would be stunning renovated but was still beautiful. You could just imagine it in its heyday.
We made a fire every night in the fireplace and every day set off to the many chateaus in the area–gorgeous. We even went on a hike around the 500 acre property, wearing tall boots to protect against the mud, led by the property caretaker, an outdoorsman, and his dog “Escape” (who the girls fell in love with!)
On one of the days we took advantage of the property and snapped some pics with the latest collections.
–>The markets in France are chalk-full of fresh fruits and vegetables. I thought this Bobo Choses dress with leggings was adorable and really popped off the outbuilding behind. But then, again, she was drawn to the horses. Every girl wants a pony!
–>The geometric tee by Munster Kids with strong pastel colors felt right next to the chopped wood in every shape next to her. Although she looks like a homesteader staring off with deep thoughts of work and life, she’s really looking yonder at her favorite horse!
–>Lastly, both girls put on their furniture-tassel dresses by Mini Rodini - one in pink and one in green (which was topped with a opaque raincoat by A for Apple) and played at the once stately doorstep of the old, unkept chateau (and then all over the lawn, under the 200 year old trees, chased enthusiastically by Escape, the dog. The tassels conjured up the classical French furniture and tapestries that likely once dressed this grand estate.
I couldn’t get enough of all of the amazing styles and inspirational designs at Playtime NYC, which started yesterday. The trade show that attracts a host of domestic and international “indie” brands was held in the West Village, a hop and a skip from Petite Parade, Kids’ Fashion Week. Bouncing between the runway and the show, it was definitely a very fashionable kiddie weekend! Here’s a taste to whet the back to school appetite!
We’re super excited to welcome Nununu to the Babesta store! We love this brand with its bold stars and pops of neon. It’s perhaps the coolest layette I’ve found in a long time! The funky toddler styles, from tees and onesies to dresses and shrugs are amazing as well. Made in Israel. Shop Nununu here!
We love these new Kee-Ka Organics onesies –they definitely make a great “indie” layette choice for a cool city baby! We thought today would be a good day to post, in the wake of the fare hike (Boo! New Yorkers are feeling nostalgic to when the fares were less: I looked it up, a ride on the NYC subway was 5 cents in 1904, $1.00 in 1986, $2.00 until 2009 and now a whopping $2.75)! Nostalgic, adorable baby onesies for New Yorker born and bred!
We’re throwing a bash with our fave stroller brand, Bugaboo, to celebrate living life on the fly (and living a fly life)! We’re debuting the latest installment of Bubaboo’s video series, this time detailing the urban adventure of stylist and blogger Latonya Staubs, her family and her Bugaboo Bee. Latonya will share some of her fave go-tos in the city, DJ Neil will spin some rad tunes, we’ll all eat some yummy cupcakes and enjoy. Cheers to city moms!!
We are big fans of the Bee, as it happens, as Babesta is curated for a city child, so it only make sense that a light weight, agile, easy to fold and high quality (& super stylish) stroller would be the guest of honor.
We’ll even be doing some stroller cleaning to those who pre-sign up for it (make an appointment ahead of time by calling 646 290 5508).
The deets: Come to Babesta Cribz, 56 Warren Street, March 6, from 1:00-3:00pm.
Also (as if this wasn’t enough) a Bugaboo Bee & accessory will be raffled off!!!!
I am always looking for great party ideas, and this year, since my oldest has become obsessed with Harry Potter, I thought I’d use the young Brit as the “theme”. Pop culture is a passion and even if this one isn’t really my bag, I’m game to engage! I called up Watson Adventures, a super cool scavenger hunt company in the city (they were recommended by a friend who had used them for a team-building corporate event) once I found they had a “Harry Potter” themed scavenger hunt at the MET. Of course, the days leading up to the big event, I was not only nervous that the party would go without a hitch (the news was going on and on about Superstorm NEMO) but also nervous whether the MET was ready for 15 8/9 year olds on a mission to win! Sigh of relief, no Greek or Roman statues were destroyed during the hunt, no Old Masters defaced! If you’re feeling energetic, it was a total blast and I recommend it! Here are some of my tips:
1. No hunting on an empty stomach: We ate pizza and had cake first at Mimi’s Pizza. Basic atmosphere but very nice people and easy going about the craziness (and all kids like pizza)! The other option is at the MET itself. I was not sure about this as it seemed like a chore as the menu isn’t as “you had me at hello” for the kids, but it probably would have also been a great choice.
2. Cake from Tribeca Treats–with crushed chocolate covered pretzel down the sides: a big hit! When I saw this cake I knew it was “the one.” I had already hammered the HP thing home and didn’t want to ‘theme up’ the cake. So we kept it simple and YUMMY. So yummy in fact that all of the adults sat around the remaining wedge of cake after it was divvied up and picked off all of the chocolate covered pretzels. Delish!
3. Team Ties, a la Hogwarts. Fun to make with sticky backed felt and is a colorful & easy way to spot your team. The days before we constructed felt tie necklaces in different colorways. Other than the inevitable joust to not be cast as a “Slitherin” it worked perfectly! Here’s one that I was inspired by on Etsy (on a pin). Easy to buy or make! http://etsy.me/13bqOkc
4. The Scavenger Hunt: We met our guide in the lobby of the MET and she gave us the low-down. Everyone’s competitive juices were flowing! Once we got our “clues” we were off. One key thing is that it all works better (and everyone remains on-point) if you give each kid a “job” – navigator, reader, logger, etc. It’s also good to have one or two dynamic adults with the teams to keep everyone moving & high (but not too high) energy. Comfy shoes are a must and as mentioned the Team Ties made it easy for the adult to quickly spot the team. It’s not easy, so don’t expect it to be so, but if you keep them pumped & excited (and this is a race against not only the other teams but time, as the museum is big!), it’s gonna be a great day.
5. Fun goody bags: What better than a packaged magic trick and an exploding frog soap (that I found on Etsy and we’re still waiting for our frog to explode!) Watson also gives a prize to the winning team. Here’s the link to the exploding frog soap! http://etsy.me/VIZh4X
babesta_harry potter_exploding frog soap
We had a blast and would strongly recommend this hunt to a HP fan. Or try the Grand Central one, as it’s the terminal’s centennial this year, so that one would be super cool as well. http://www.watsonadventures.com/.