Tompkins Square Park


For us, a typical weekend day includes a subway journey to a different New York neighborhood.  We start with lunch, peruse a few shops, and then spend a couple hours in the local playground, followed by a subway ride home ideally before dark.  Recently we visited the East Village, starting with lunch at B&H (127 Second Ave.), a tiny Kosher restaurant, famous for its grilled cheese on challah bread, which totally lived up to the hype.  We went to John Derian where I got my heart set on a perfectly proportioned loveseat and multiple Jeanette Farrier quilts.  We popped our heads into Trash and Vaudeville on our way to Mr. Throwback, where my husband felt right at home checking out 90s basketball paraphernalia with Beverley Hills Cop playing in the background.  After walking down St. Marks Place, we went to Tompkins Square Park.  Tompkins Square Park has a rich history and was the highlight of our adventure, offering public zones for basketball, ping pong, skate boarding, and a dog run.  There is also a large enclosed playground, with plenty of space for kids to run and climb, as well as benches for the weary adults.  It’s always a nice opportunity to chat with other parents and to watch my toddler navigate a new social situation and make new friends.


Veselka — Ukranian 27/7Veniero’s PasticceriaArt, food and a place to sit

Veniero’s Pasticceria

Without fail… every year since birth, my entire family has celebrated their birthday with a cake from Veniero’s. There simply is no substitute, and frankly, a birthday just isn’t a birthday without one. The old-school Italian Pasticceria has been around since the beginning of time and is a wonderful place to bring your kids for an afternoon treat. There are cases filled with freshly made Cannoli’s, Eclairs, Fruit Tarts and my personal favorite, THE RAINBOW COOKIE. Quite possibly as addictive as heroin, and Veniero’s has the best ones on the planet.

There is a large space in the back to sit down and enjoy them with a cappuccino and they are open late on the weekends so it’s a great place to bring kids for an after dinner treat. Try to hit it at off hours and NEVER during the holidays as it is crowded. By the way — I got this image off of one of my favorite NY Food Oriented Websites “The Smitten Kitchen” which has the recipe. And luckily once the guilt sets in… Liquiteria is just down the street!! (more…)


Art, food and a place to sitTompkins Square ParkVeselka — Ukranian 27/7

Veselka — Ukranian 27/7

One of the greatest things about New York City is the ability to source any type food you desire at a moment’s notice — even at 3am. Veselka has been around since I was a kid and I am happy that it is still going strong. This long-standing East Village eatery is open 24-7 and serves up hearty platters of delicious Ukrainian Pierogi, Sweet and Savory Blintzes and hearty vegetable soups. If you are looking for something a bit lighter they have a HUGE menu that serves up all the traditional diner favorites like scrambled eggs, pancakes, salads and sandwiches. Its a perfect little spot for a quick easy breakfast or lunch with kids. It also sits on the corner of one of my favorite blocks in New York…9th street between 1st and 2nd Avenue which is home to a bunch of small boutique shops, including a sweet little toy shop called Dinasour Hill. (Image from Flickr)

Nearby Playground: Tompkins Square Park


tompkinsvanieroskat'z deli
Tompkins Square ParkVeniero’s PasticceriaKatz’s Delicatessen

Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz’s Delicatessen is a classic New York fixture and happens to be one of the few dining institutions to have survived the massive gentrification of the East Village. The sprawling cafeteria-like space is filled with nostalgia and serves up hand-cut fries, mile high pastrami sandwiches and hot dogs with all the fixins’. It is an easy place to bring a child as the service is quick and there is ample seating. Katz’s still uses the same “ticket” system that they used when they opened back in the day… there are several meal stations to go to pick up your food and you pay on your way out. (Image from Flickr.)
Nearby Playgrounds: 1st Street Park (1st Avenue and 1st Street) and Tompkins Square Park (8th Street and Avenue A)<


Tompkins Square ParkVeselka — Ukranian 27/7Liquiteria — It’s clean-up time everybody!

Art, food and a place to sit

newmuseum_kaufmanI do love New York but there are also a lot of things that I really hate about it.the lack of parks and open spaces, and the complete absence of places to just sit down. The other day I took my girls to the New Museum on the Bowery. I have been wanting to go since it opened and there was an exhibition by Urs Fisher which looked bizarre and cool. There was, after all, a croissant hanging from the ceiling on fishing wire with a butterfly on it! Anyway– the exhibition was indeed cool but the best discovery of the day was the little cafeteria with tables and chairs that they had in the back of the main lobby. It’s a nice place to sit (for free!) and shockingly, it was very kid friendly — they even serve peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. So for those roaming around Soho or the East Village with a stroller looking for a place to just sit for a few minutes — stop in. Admission is free for everyone under 18.


tompkinsvaselkakat'z deli
Tompkins Square ParkVeselka — Ukranian 27/7Katz’s Delicatessen

Liquiteria — It’s clean-up time everybody!

liquiteriaFirst it was low-carb, then it was no-carb and now it’s all about doing a “cleanse”. We all know of someone who has done it, wants to do it or plans to do it. A juice fast can do the body good every once in a while – even if it is just for a few hours (which is about all I can manage to do). It is especially great for kicking off a new eating routine (i.e.: breaking the coffee/sugar habit) and for those of us whose meals consist mainly of discarded nuggets and pre-chewed food that your kids have flung on the floor. The juices at liquiteria are the best in the city — fresh, delicious and extremely well priced, and if you swing by to talk to one of the owners they will customize your very own cleanse. I highly recommend ‘The Grasshopper’, ‘Beets Me’ and ‘The Killer’.


Art, food and a place to sitVeselka — Ukranian 27/7Veniero’s Pasticceria