Things To Do With A Four Year Old At Christmas In NYC

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Things To Do With A Four Year Old At Christmas In NYC

“These wonderful things are the things we remember all through our livesJohnny Mathis, Sleigh Ride

I’m babysitting for my four year old god daughter in NYC for a week during Christmas. Her mom is performing in a Tap Nutcracker at the Joyce Theatre to the music arranged by Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn Dec 17-January 5. It looks great if you happen to be in New York.

She lives in Tel Aviv so she is a tourist as well. I grew up in New York so  I want to do the things I’ve done as a kid and taken my kids to do. There are so many new things as well. Here is my plan. 

See Frozen the Musical. Frozen is a phenomena. My favorite Frozen story is the one about Idina Menzel’s son (she is the voice of Elsa in the movie). He says, “My mom sings “Let It Go”. “So does mine,” his friend replies.  Elsa, the slightly flawed, princess is everyone’s favorite including my goddaughter who is into robots  and vintage Ninja  Turtles. 

 I loved  going to the Central Park Children’s Zoo. There weren’t a lot of places that were just for kids back then but this one was. It had a castle to climb and a blue whale to go inside.  The zoo was redone by the time I took my kids there and I’m sure it is even better now.

FAO Schwartz opened its doors in 1862. It was the oldest and largest toy store in NY specializing in unique well made toys.There was only the Fifth Avenue store. My mother called it Schwartz’s Toy Store and told us that it was like a museum. Everything was very expensive for us but we could go and play on the five floors of toys for hours. It has reopened in Rockefeller Plaza and though now owned by Toys R Us still hopefully has some innovative and iconic toys.  

As someone who is not so good in math (huge understatement), I am a little nervous about seeing the National Museum Of Mathematics. Will I be able to answer the questions of a four year  old? I look at the website.There are robots, square wheeled tricycles, motion detector activities, digital painting etc.  It looks really cool. 

 Going to see the Nutcracker Ballet is always a great way to kick off the holiday season. I know it is ambitious to take a four year old. You forget how long the Waltz of the Flowers can be. But I think she  is up to the challenge.

  I was visiting with my god daughter when she was a year and half. We were sitting outside looking at the lights around the pool in the desert in Eilat. “Mapita” she said . I assumed she was speaking Hebrew. She kept repeating it. We went back in the room and she put a piece of the now cold pizza in her mouth. More pizza are words I have heard often from her. I cant wait for her to taste NY Pizza. Im hoping someone still throws the pies up in the air. I will also introduce her to a hot dog from Grey’s Papaya and a pretzel from a street vendor. 

Childrens Museum Of The Arts has a drop in morning art class for three to five year olds. The Children’s Museum of Manhattan is a 38,000 sq.ft facility full of fun and learning experiences. it will be perfect for cold weather.  Sugar Hill Children’s Museum Of Art And Storytelling focuses  on children three to eight with art and story telling workshops.We will do at least one of these.

When I was a kid in NY we went  ice skating every Saturday in the winter. It was either the rink in Prospect Park or Central Park. There is also Rockefeller Center and Bryant Park. Hopefully it will be like riding a bicycle and not super cold. 

The Big Apple Circus has been in New York for forty years. My kids have seen it on their many visits to New York to see their grandparents. The circus tent is set up at Lincoln Center. It’s good for the whole family and children of all ages.

The Sloomoo Institute is a pop up slime museum that with be in NYC for six months before moving on to another city. It is all things slime. That’s all I know and with a four year old- that’s all I need to know.

NYC during the holidays is filed with timeless traditions, festivities on every corner and lots of lights and memories. The magical feeling of the city reminds me to live in optimistic expectation. – especially if is snowing. 

Happy Holidays and Fly Safe,

JAZ

Ten Things That I Want To Do In NYC

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Ten Things at That I Want To Do In NYC

“New York has a trip-hammer vitality which drives you insane with restlessness if you have no inner stabilizer.’ Henry Miller

From 1892 to 1954, more than 12 million people entered the United States through the Ellis Island Immigration Center. This place was the first point of entry for most immigrants, My Grandparents came through there. Its’ a good time to see and contemplate an era when the United States answered the pleas of refugees for a better a life.

Big museum plans. The Whitney Museum has moved downtown to a cool  space in the Meatpacking District. The Metropolitan Museum Of Art  is leasing the space for its Modern Art call the Met Breuer. Giacometti is  at the Guggenheim and a there is a great  photography exhibit at MOMA. Henri Cartier Bresson is at the International Center For Photography.

NY is a city of foodies and chefs. There are so many  restaurants to try. I will let you know how I do.

Take a walk through Central Park. It was always our bit of nature in the city.

There is the best shopping in NY. I want to visit my favorite department stores, Bergdorf Goodmans, Barneys and Henri Bendels. I also loved shopping in Nolita, Chelsea and the Lower East Side.

There are so many Street Art  Walking Tours  to choose from. Painted murals, graffiti, mosaic installations, sculpture, art embedded in the pavement, stencils and stickers are found all over the city. 

I grew up seeing  Broadway and Off Broadway Theatre in NY several nights a week. We have our tickets and I can’t wait.

How cool is this? Apparently they built Highline Park on an  unused elevated subway line on the  West Side. 

I’m glad to have the opportunity  and privilege to finally visit the 9/11 Memorial. 9/11 is not a past event; terrorism and acts of violence continue to be a current part of our everyday life.  So, the museum is a visit to a horrible act of the past, but one that continues to persist and be a part of the modern world. 

Visiting Lincoln Center and my mom. My mom asked that her ashes be strewn over Lincoln Center so she didn’t miss anything-especially the opera. She said that she wanted us to stop by and visit her and see a show in NY. 

Fly safe,
JAZ

How To Tell If Someone You Know Was Born And Raised In New York

How To Tell If Someone You Know Was Born And Raised In New York

“The city is uncomfortable and inconvenient; but New Yorkers temperamentally do not crave comfort and convenience – if they did they would live elsewhere.”  E.B. White

Nw Yorkers don’t wait for a street light to turn green to cross the street.

They don’t go to the corner to cross.

They don’t know what a cross walk is.

They walk fast and they walk everywhere. Unless it is raining, then try to get a taxi. You won’t.

New Yorkers talk fast. They might interject a comment if they overhear a stranger’s conversation and then walk on by.

They talk loud – sorry, they speak loudly.   Don’t judge them. Remember that  they grew up in the noisiest city in the world.

They don’t necessarily believe that one person needs to talk at a time. It is a cultural thing.

They honk their horns in traffic.

New Yorkers avoid eye contact when walking down the street.

They don’t smile on the street.

They appear rude but really they are assertive. Some are rude.

They immediately check for their wallet when someone bumps into them.

People from New York follow baseball and basketball.

They never give directions saying North, East, West and South. It is always street names or Uptown and Downtown.

They hail passing taxis with their hand instead of calling for one.

They think every city has cruising taxis and are very surprised when they don’t.

They never give an exact address in a taxi. They just say eighteenth and first.

New Yorkers ignore crazy behavior.  Homeless people, prostitutes, transvestites, cross dressers, lunatics and street performers are all part of the scenery.

They are surprised when restaurants close at ten.

Unless they are in Italy or New York, they complain about the pizza. They eat it while they are complaining.

They also complain about the Chinese Food and the bagels anywhere but New York. They eat it anyway .

People from New York avoid restrooms in parks and subways.

They don’t go to Central Park at night unless it is for a concert or performance in the park. They always leave with the crowd.

They know the difference between a bad neighborhood and a neighborhood that just looks bad.

They are surprised that  you didn’t know that the Empire State Building changes colors at night.

They are surprised that you didn’t know who won the Tony Awards.

New Yorkers avoid Times Square unless they are going to the theatre.

They use the letter R inappropriately or not at all.

They read the obituary column to find apartments.

They are not afraid of cockroaches. (They are afraid that the ones who live in their apartments know too much about their lives).

They always look for rats on a subway platform. They are afraid of rats.

They have a New York accent. Like New York garbage, it is always there. No matter how long you have been away or how much you try to disguise it, it always slips out so fuhgeddaboutit.

They are very proud to be from New York or “the city.”

Fly safe,

JAZ