ARCHIVE FOR September, 2011

Leonard Lopate Can’t Afford Brownstone Bklyn Either…27

Posted by Deirdre // 09-29-2011


According to The Observer, our favorite radio personality lives in Cobble Hill (WNYC in da house!) and rents a 3rd floor walk-up. As much as he loves the hood – also still my favorite in the borough – buying could be out of the question because “unfortunately this neighborhood is incredibly expensive and may be beyond our means.” Yeah, we know.

This Chuck Close self-portrait may or may not be part of Lopate's collection, via Austin Museum of Art

Makes me feel a bit better about renting and being relatively poor. Only thing is, being the public radio man-about-town that he is, Lopate apparently owns several original Chuck Close prints. The Observer’s suggestion I guess being that he hock them for some dough and take advantage of those interest rates! Or, maybe Leonard doesn’t want to part with his art and may need some info on an alternative neighborhood? So when you see him at Seersucker, tell him about the blog.


Your Kids Can Handle It, Even if You Can’t16

Posted by Deirdre // 09-28-2011


I have been completely remiss about posting this – I was sick and blah blah blah. So if you diligently read the NY Times Mag you have probably read this article. But if you’re like me and never get past the Styles section on Sunday and missed it, it’s definitely worth a read.

The piece was recommended to me by a friend, a writer and Brooklyn mom extraordinaire Nell Casey. It appeared in the education issue and its subject matter – how the author chose immersive education for his kids rather than the more typical American/International schooling, when moving to Russia of all places – is of particular interest to her since she and her family are moving to Rome next Summer (don’t worry, I’ll interview her for the blog and find out how we can all do the same).

The author’s youngest in school in Moscow, image via James Hill for The New York Times

But more than the education (which is duly impressive and while very different from the endlessly positive reinforcement our kids receive here, this school would likely have a waiting list a mile long in Brooklyn) the article shows how ultimately adaptable kids really are. Even when essentially dropped into a competitive school in which no English is spoken in a very foreign land, the kids thrive.

This is of course peace of mind for those of us who fear adverse effects on our kids if we uproot them from what they know, even if it’s less than a mile away (ok, that was me). It’s also of note that the article’s author, Clifford Levy is from Brooklyn and his kids were among the “coddled offspring” at PS 321. Read the article first but do not miss the video, which features the kids narrating the ups and downs of their experience. Fair warning – I watched much of it through tears, but I am a total sap and occasionally cry at commercials and while reading children’s books with my little ones.

Is anyone else considering a move abroad, or to a very different culture? On that note, check out this great piece in the Park Slope Reader on the subject of the culture of Brooklyn, or Park Slope more specifically.

{this is an update of the previous version of this post, with the correct PS Reader link!}


Outside NYC Ain’t Always Pleasantville3

Posted by Deirdre // 09-26-2011


So there are small cities and towns and even big cities that we’ve all heard of being pretty hard-core: Baltimore, DC, Philly, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Chicago and yes Detroit (there it is again). The list goes on. But for small cities in the Hudson Valley, one may think of poverty as being an issue for sure, but crime? Worse crime than in the worst parts of the city? Yep.

FBI agent James Gagliano in "Blood Alley." Photo via NY Times by Joseph Rodriguez

This week New York Magazine shines a harsh light on Newburgh, NY which is right across the river from Beacon, the darling of dia and the star of the recent NY Times article. Yikes. I grew up seeing ‘Newburgh’ on the sign for I-84 West when we would drive up to my family’s cabin in Putnam County. We never went there or talked about it. Since then I’ve driven through, sticking to the highway, past sad strip malls and fast food joints. I sort of imagined a sweet little Main Street tucked away far from the noise and bustle of the highway. In this case what’s unseen is actually worse.