Rebecca Wolf

This blog is a chronicle of my daughters' growth - born July 2003 and May 2007. Be sure to check out the Thriving Babies homepage, for videos and instructions on how to use every type of baby carrier. For literacy and homeschooling tips, visit my Rochester-based Learning Center blog at

Thursday, October 11, 2007

More on New York City

We arrived on September 29th, one day before the rest of the cousins arrived. This was immensely helpful because we all got a chance to acclimate to the pace of the city and get the lay of the land. We found a pizza place (Ray's on Broadway), went to FAO Schwarz and played in one of the huge playgrounds in Central Park. We wanted to go to the Children's Art Museum on that day, but it was too far away from our room.

Everyone else arrived on Sunday. We went out for pizza again and got the view of NYC by going to the top of the Rockefeller Center. We were told the view was just as good as the Empire State Building's and there wasn't any wait, which is important when you have 7 kids with you!

Sunday night, we were invited to dinner by the Glovers, who are old friends of Andrew's mom from her Columbia days. Their daughter Jackie, and her husband had us over to their Riverside apartment and got some amazing Cuban food for us. We also celebrated Louise's birthday.

Monday was spent at the Museum and Tuesday we went to FAO Schwarz with the whole gang and then went to the Petting Zoo in Central Park. I wanted to stay in the toy store longer, but Arianna had her heart set on the zoo. I don't know why, we can see animals anytime at Springdale Farm, but whatever, the trip was for the kids, not me.

It took us awhile to find the correct entrance into the petting zoo. We had to go to the main entrance without going in and walk under the Delacorte Clock to the Petting Zoo entrance. There was a lot of construction going on and I didn't think it was very large or impressive, but the kids had fun feeding the animals. I thought the clock playing Row Your Boat was neat, but the kids were nonplussed.

I did manage to find some beautiful pashminas for sale on Fifth Ave for myself and my girlfriends back home. I thought I was only there for a few minutes, but apparently everyone was waiting for me for almost a half hour! Oh well, my only splurge for myself on the entire trip.

The Glovers were kind enough to drive us to the airport in Newark. Ostara was freaked out by the subway and a crying baby is no fun when you don't know how to buy tickets (no more tokens) or where you are going yet. Our first day was rather hectic as a result. We found taxis to be comparable to subway fares for our large party anyways, although the older kids just adored the subway rides.

By the way, the Maclaren Volo was THE stroller to have in NYC. It's light, foldable enough for the subway turnstyles, and able to accommodate my 50 pound girl. We wore Ostara in a soft pack carrier called the Sutemi, which I don't think is being made anymore. It is similar to the Ergo baby carrier and like a technical version of the mei tai carrier.

Gone are the trains marred by graffiti. I was amazed by how well the city has been cleaned up. There's no more ghetto in Manhattan -- everything has been gentrified. I could still get a whiff of sewer every once in awhile and don't know if I could ever get used to living with so many people (and all of their crap). I guess it's true what they say. You can take the girl out of the country, but you can't take the country out of the girl!



Monday, October 08, 2007

New York City trip (with kids)

Well, our 4 day stay in NYC went very well. Our main reason for visiting the Big Apple was to satiate my four-year-old daughter's appetite for dinosaurs at the Museum of Natural History. Although she enjoyed seeing the bones on display, she loved the Discovery Room. She and her cousin got to dig for fossils and put together bones to form a dinosaur skeleton, among other hands-on activities.

The Dinosaurs Alive movie wasn't what we expected because it was more about what paleontologists do rather than what dinosaurs did. I was just happy that four-month-old Ostara let me watch the movie in peace. She only cried for 30 seconds during the movie. Someone had the nerve to say, "I can't believe they brought a BABY in here." Well, some parents actually DO have the nerve to bring their children with them EVERYWHERE because they value family time together. It still amazes me how child-unfriendly this culture can be.

Everyone working in the museum was VERY helpful and accommodating. We had a party of 12 with us and the admissions person told us we didn't have to pay the suggested donation of $34 per adult as it was ONLY a suggestion. That's okay, we spent more than enough money in the gift shop and with the movie theater tickets to make up for our "less-than the suggested" donation.

All in all, the museum was a grand experience. The only thing I'd change would be to spread the visit over two days rather than trying to cram it all into one day. We planned our itinerary before we knew about the museum donation only being a suggestion.

Other museum highlights included the American Indian exhibits, the North American animal displays, and the cafeteria food (expensive, but tasty and pleasing to vegetarians and meat-lovers alike). I regretted not being able to see all of the dinosaur skeletons, the Hayden Planetarium, and the Woodland Indians floor. Oh well, I guess we will have to schedule another trip!