Urban Tennis NYC in Lower Manhattan. FiDi Families are invited to visit the tennis team at Pier 40 or their newest location in Tribeca!
Fleet Week in NYC. Fleet Week returns this year, after a one-year hiatus, due to federal budget cuts. But, it’s back with over 1,500 service members participating in tours, parades and demonstrations. It’s a great opportunity to show your support for the military and introduce children to the military world and life on the sea. There are five ships to tour, all free and open to the public at both Pier 92 and Sullivans Pier on Staten Island.
During Fleet Week, the USS Oak Hill will be docked at Pier 92 in Manhattan, and will be open for tours. The other ships that can be toured are the USS Cole, the USS McFaul, and the US Coast Guard Cutter Katherine Walker – all of them docked at Sullivans Pier on Staten Island, and the US Coast Guard Cutter Campbell, which will be at Pier 92 with the USS Oak Hill.
Special Event: The U.S. Coast Guard Silent Drill Team will perform on the street outside the front entrance to the NY Stock Exchange.
Date: Thursday, May 22nd
Time: 12p – 12:30p
Location: NYSE on Wall Street
Ages: All ages welcome
FiDi Families Insiders: Fleet Week runs through May 27th. Location: Pier 92 and various locations throughout Manhattan and Staten Island
For more information, please visit http://www.fleetweeknewyork.com/fleetweeknewyork/
Family Veggie and Yoga Night at Charlotte’s Place. If you are looking for something different to do with your family and looking for some indoor fun, stop by Charlotte’s Place in lower Manhattan. It’s time to break out the Tox Sox …since it’s Yoga time. Practice with your children in this family-focused yoga class! Trinity Wall Street continues their ongoing series of family veggie and yoga nights at Charlotte’s Place, a free space operated by Trinity, and teaches the whole family yoga poses while maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
The yoga class is led by Tracy Collins who specializes in yoga with children and families. As kids discover the foundations of yoga, adults can sweat away their stresses from the week. Families will share games, create art, sing songs, explore the breath, and connect with one another. This interactive class will lead families on make-believe adventures and into partner poses until yogi’s find their way to chill-out time. With age-appropriate yoga poses, everyone will get their bodies moving and imaginations stirring.
Date: Friday, May 23rd
Time: 6p – 7:15p
Location: 107 Greenwich (between Rector and Carlisle Streets)
FiDi Families Insider: Delicious veggie snacks will be served. They do have some yoga equipment available in the space but please feel free to bring yoga mats if you have them.
For more information, please visit http://www.trinitywallstreet.org
Lavender Blues Music Class for Tots. Music and movement classes are great for little one’s as they learn to interact and socialize with other children their age. The folks from Lavender Blues are hosting drop-in music classes for babies and toddlers in Lower Manhattan at The Learning Experience. Bring your little one for a 40 minute music class with instruments and more. These classes are very popular so don’t delay! Drop in and meet other families from the neighborhood and take advantage of this great class.
Date: Friday, May 23rd
Ages: 2 months – 3 yrs
Location: 28 Washington Street (The Learning Experience)
FiDi Families Insiders: If you “LIKE” on Facebook or mention them using #lavblu, you will receive a free class! Simply email or print out your social media mention or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Limit of one free class per location.
To register please visit: https://www.kidzcentralstation.com/new-york/kids-classes/2151-lavender-blues-music-lavender-blues-music
Toddler Music with Irka Mateo. Children’s programming throughout lower Manhattan has enjoyed an upswing in the last several months. And, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian is no exception. They have introduced children’s films, arts and crafts and most recently, added renowned Taino musician Irka Mateo to their weekly lineup. Drop in with your toddlers and learn about Taino culture through stories, song, movement, and hands-on activities.
The museum is a wonderful place to explore, stroll with or without a stroller and introduce little one’s to the culture of the American Indian. Admission to all Smithsonian Museums is free. Take advantage of this beautiful indoor destination in lower Manhattan and support the museum with a visit!
Date: Wednesday, May 21st (recurring weekly)
Two Sessions Available:
Session 1: 10:30a
Session 2: 11:30a
Location: One Bowling Green (northeast corner of Battery Park)
Ages: 18 months – 4 years
FiDi Families Insiders: Registration is free and strongly encouraged: (212) 514-3702 or KennedyC@si.edu.
For additional information, please visit: http://nmai.si.edu/visit/newyork/
Children’s Storytime at the Scholastic Store. Reading to children is a great way to introduce kids to the art of storytelling (and quiet time). It’s never to early to start and the Scholastic Store is a perfect spot to explore the wonderful world of books and imagination. Join the Scholastic Storyteller for readings of classics and new releases from the Scholastic franchise. And, it’s a great indoor activity for children of all ages. Be sure to bundle up and jump on the subway and head to a fun indoor spot! Stop by the checkout counter to pick up their monthly calendar of weekly events, including a pet adoption day with a reading from “A Pet for Fly and You” and a Robot themed party.
Date: Tuesday, May 20th
Age(s): All ages but geared towards babies and toddlers
Location: 557 Broadway
FiDi Families Insiders: Storytime is held weekly, every Tuesday/Wednesday and Thursday
For more information, please visit: http://www.scholastic.com/soho
FiDi Families is a site dedicated to finding fun, family-friendly activities in the Financial District and throughout the neighborhoods that makeup Lower Manhattan or Downtown NYC. The amount of families that have moved into Lower Manhattan is staggering and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down. As a homeowner in FiDi and part of the post 9/11 wave of folks that set down roots in Lower Manhattan, we are excited to see how the neighborhood develops.
Today, we launch a new series of blog posts from residents that call FiDi and ultimately, Downtown NYC “home”. Topics will cover a wide variety of subjects and will be written from the perspective of parents raising kids in the fast-paced world of New York City. We hope you enjoy this new blog series and let us know if you want to get in on the fun. No experience required. Seriously.
Staying Home on Wall Street
I moved to New York on New Year’s eve from a suburb of Seattle, Washington. It was raining when I left, and not just the regular kind of rain. It was raining babies and mothers. If you walked down the road on a Monday afternoon, you wouldn’t walk 2 minutes without bumping into a stroller, a toddler, a baby-wearing mother or a nice shapely baby bump. And no matter where you were, a Gymboree class or the line outside the Apple store, you would find yourself chatting with another stay-at-home mom like yourself. Discussing Sophie the giraffe and that other mom-n-me class you haven’t tried yet. I believed this was an epidemic that had swept the whole of the United States. I wore my yoga pants proudly like military uniform. I used the word ‘we’ when I referred to a stay-at-home Mom. After all, ‘we’ were everywhere!
And then I moved to NYC, the Financial District, no less. The ‘Diaper District,’ I announced smugly to my husband as we signed our lease on an apartment with the holy grail of family friendly conveniences—a playroom, with very realistic plastic fruit. I thought I had done my research. The papers said Wall Street was going baby-berserk. And they were right. But babies are only half the story!
What they didn’t mention was that the only stay-at-home moms you would bump into were the ones on their maternity breaks. Before you knew it, they disappeared into Wall Street. Suits, Type-A Personalities, designer high heels tap-tapping, everyone in a glamorous sort of hurry. Disappeared into one or another of the glittering glass-walled skyscrapers I could see from my bedroom window. Yeah, in the midst of all this opportunity and excitement, I somewhat reluctantly (kicking and screaming) stay at home with my toddler.
I wake up every morning and watch women (and men) with shiny hair and perfect nails go to work while I try to potty train my 2 year old and read That’s Not My Dinosaur for the zillionth time. I trudge to South Street Seaport on a weekday at noon, dragging a deceptively strong toddler along with promises of ‘seeing the big ship.’ We make it to Starbucks and ask for a child seat every time and get the same raised eyebrow in answer every time. I take my daughter to the New Amsterdam public library and get ssshed by a beefy security guard who is more club bouncer than reading room vigilante. I go home and fix myself a sandwich because the queues of workers outside Just Salad and Potbelly snake around the corner. I only go places with accessible subway stops—I do not have the dexterity to lift my 8 lb McLaren (and 25 lb kid) down multiple flights of stairs. And you can’t always make lunch plans counting on the kindness of muscular strangers.
So what if the babies love it. If you are a stay-at-home mom, the Financial District can theoretically leave you stressed out and with a serious case of what I call the ‘sweatpant complex’—the realization that you’re the only one wearing gray sweat pants in a queue at Starbucks. Except, it doesn’t!
A couple of months and several mid-morning naps later, I’ve come to the happy realization that it can actually be tons of fun to be an SAHM in FiDi. It’s really about what you’re willing to do (or have done unto you).
Here’s a sampler from my list of coping (and coming-out-on-top) mechanisms.
A game I don’t believe I invented. It means alarming smart banker-types by (almost) ramming your stroller into them and then apologizing lightly. It sends out the clear message that you are a transformer-like bosswoman when you’re out with the stroller and nobody dare get in your way. Bonus, your baby will love the game—mine improvises by kicking out at passing legs.
After being mistaken for my daughter’s nanny an average of twice a day, I decided it was more fun to be part of the babysitting brigade that takes over FiDi every morning. Hours of park-chats later, I’ve had an education. Sitters have tons of funny stories and experience to share, and know where all the good play spots (for uninterrupted facebooking) are. And they are less likely to go blue in the face when your toddler convinces theirs to eat mud.
Getting your child a sufficiently long stint on the swing at the park is very high up on the list of parent responsibilities. One of the best things about living in FiDi is that I hardly ever wait for my daughter’s turn at the swings during the day. Pearl Street Playground has a reputation for getting ‘overcrowded’ but clearly there is still a swing-toddler number imbalance, swinging in my favor. Park Slope moms and dads, give up already.
I can’t emphasize this enough. Given that I don’t need to squeeze myself into cigarette pants and hurry off to a post-lunch meeting, I can indulge in long, leisurely ice cream lunches with my toddler. Never mind that we don’t have too many options thanks to the queues of busy workers at every normal lunch place. Get a pint of Blue Marvel at the store or step into Carvel for something more conventional. Time stands still when you are nursing a mint chocolate chip and digging into your daughter’s cone as well (it would all melt if I didn’t help her!).
I love living close to the mostly accessible Fulton Street subway station. I imagine endless long distance travel possibilities in the near future, but even for now, I can get quite a few places without an upper-body workout.
Of course, if I get really homesick for the sight of sensible flats, oversized diaper bags and the look of plain frustration that only mothers seem to have, I can always wander over to neighboring TriBeCa. Or trek to Brooklyn. Except, I don’t. I just lace up my sneakers and pack the snacks and sand kit and make it to Imagination Playground, my second favorite place on earth right now. The Financial District is home and I feel lucky to stay home here. Especially among the giant blue foam blocks. (Schools, please don’t borrow them too often!)
Your toddler can drag her feet and throw a tantrum and sing loudly on the subway. People may stare, half curious, half amused but mostly unsympathetic. No one will give you that ‘oh, poor you’ look. It’s just another day at the office after all. And rubbing shoulders with Wall Street is an important reminder that everyone has a high risk, high returns job they can love. Right now, mine is being a mom.