Category Archives: Park Slope

10 Family Activities to Enjoy In & Around Brooklyn this July

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Looking for something special to do during the month of July with your family?  Look no further.  Here are 10 ideas, from taking your child “Phishing”, kayaking at the Brooklyn Bridge Park, and checking out interactive installations at the Kids Summer Family Day at the Whitney Museum of Art.

 

July 4th:  Independence Day in Prospect Park, 12-5pm:   Enjoy family-friendly activities at the Prospect Park Audubon Center, Lefferts Historic House and the Carousel.  Activities include nature activities at the Audubon Center, signing a reproduction of the Declaration of Independence at the Lefferts Historic House and a ride on the infamous 1912 carousel.  https://www.prospectpark.org/news-events/events/2017/7/4#independence-day-prospect-park-2017

July 4th (location: all over NYC):  Do you have a little one that will stay up late and watch fireworks with you?  Time Out lists best places to watch this year, including Brooklyn Bridge Park and the Brooklyn Heights Promenade:  https://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/where-to-watch-the-4th-of-july-fireworks

July 8th:  Family Cooking in the Garden at the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, 1pm-2:30pm.  Bring the whole family to the Children’s Garden for an afternoon cooking class. Harvest produce from the garden, then try the kitchen tool, techniques, and recipes in the Children’s Garden that will also keep kids engaged in the home kitchen. The group will prepare one farm-fresh entree and one dessert to share.  Member Fee: $15, Non-Member Fee:  $17.  https://classes.bbg.org/CourseStatus.awp?&course=17SCGFCGA

July 9th and 23rd: Rock and Roll Playhouse at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg, 12pm.  On the 9th come check out The Music of Elvis Presley for Kids.  And on July 23rd, Kids Gone Phishing: Baker’s Trio.  Each workshop is 60 minutes long and is specifically designed for children 7 and under, but all members of the family are welcome to this family show.  All ages, tickets are $10 (kids under 1 are free).   http://www.brooklynbowl.com/event/1487392-rock-roll-playhouse-music-brooklyn/ and http://www.brooklynbowl.com/event/1469789-kids-gone-phishing-baker-s-brooklyn/

July 15th:  Whitney Kids Summer Family Day at the Whitney Museum of Art, 10:30am – 3pm.  Immerse yourself in movement at Whitney Kids Summer Family Day! Explore moveable sculptures in Calder: Hypermobility and interactive installations in Hélio Oiticica: To Organize Delirium. Join us for gallery activities, artmaking workshops, and a special Samba performance and dance party. You can also pick up a free Kids Activity or Audio Guide.  Buy your admission ticket online in advance to save $.  http://whitney.org/Events/Summer2017FamilyDay

July 16th and 30th:  Music In The Grove at Fort Greene Park, 11am-12pm:  Free. On July 16th:  Kids Concert W/ Rozz And Val Show.The Brooklyn-based high-energy duo Rozz & Val Show is coming to Fort Greene for an extra fun Sunday!  http://www.fortgreenepark.org/events/2017/5/31/music-in-the-grove-kids-concert-w-suzi-shelton-sng5r-bms53.  And on July 30th: Kids Concert With Hopalong Andrew.  Come listen to some upbeat, urban cowboy tunes brought to you by Hopalong Andrew, a former Central Park Ranger! Bring your blanket and set it down by the trees just south of the Prison Ship Martyrs Monument for this free concert catered to children 0-8 years old.  http://www.fortgreenepark.org/events/2017/5/31/music-in-the-grove-kids-concert-w-suzi-shelton-sng5r-bms53-rwsck-9m35n

July 30th:  Member’s Night for Children and Sunset Picnic, Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, 6:30pm-8pm.  For members only (great reason to join prior)!  Join the fun-loving bluegrass band Astrograss for an evening of singing and dancing, especially for the kids in your life! BBG educators will also be on hand with a special planting activity.  https://www.bbg.org/visit/event/members_night_for_children

Sundays through October:  Smorgasburg, Breeze Hill in Prospect Park, 11am – 6pm.  Find 100 vendors and food from all over the world every Sunday at Breeze Hill, located near Lakeside and the park’s Lincoln Road entrance. Presented in partnership with Prospect Park Alliance. Dog friendly. Rain or shine.  Here is a list of the top 10 foods you might need to try this year:  http://bbook.com/nightlife/10-things-you-need-to-eat-at-smorgasburg-2017/

Saturdays through 8/26:  Kayaking In Brooklyn Bridge Park, 10am-3pm.  For those with older kids, this is a fun adventure waiting for you!  Free.  Location: Pier 2.  Glide along the water while kayaking with the Brooklyn Bridge Park Boathouse at the Pier 2 floating dock! Children under 18 must have an adult guardian present. All levels are welcome and no experience is necessary. There are doubles for one adult and no more than one child under 14 (or paddler that needs assistance).  http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/events/kayaking

Thursdays – Sundays through October:  Makeryard, Brooklyn Children’s Museum (Crown Heights):  Inspired by adventure playgrounds, MakerYard, Brooklyn Children’s Museum’s newest exhibition, invites children to test their motor skills and imaginations as they construct, build, and invent structures and other creations using everyday materials such as cardboard, tape, fabric, string and recyclables. Parents and caregivers are invited to sit back and let children explore independently, or work collaboratively to create together.  http://www.brooklynkids.org/visiting-exhibits/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ideas for Staying Cool AND Having Fun This Summer!

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Photo of Shipwrecked Miniature Golf, by Sai Mokhtari

OK…it’s starting to get hot, and it’s only going to get hotter. You’re in your little (hopefully) air conditioned apartment wondering how you and your family will be able to play and enjoy your day without melting into a puddle. You’re sick of the local playground water feature and need a change. What to do??? Here are some ideas, including awesome public pools and for those SUPER hot days…indoor play spaces!

 

Shipwrecked Miniature Golf: Right in our back yard of Red Hook, take the family out for a fun day of miniature golf (perhaps followed by a seafood lunch at Brooklyn Crab – also in Red Hook)! This place is indoor, has 18 holes and even theatrical lighting and special effects as you travel through the different themed areas of the course! They also host singers, magicians, jugglers and more. 621 Court St, 2nd Floor. http://www.shipwreckednyc.com/

City Treehouse: For those who are adventurous and are willing to take your child into Manhattan, check out the City Treehouse. Inside this play area is an interactive water play, a treehouse themed indoor play area, even a cavern illuminated by stars! It’s in Chelsea at 129A W 20th St. (between 6th and 7th Ave), Manhattan. http://www.citytreehouse.com/

Lefrak at Lakeside: You probably know about the amazing splash pad with 41 jets (AMAZING)…but, have you considered the other activities here? Rollerskating of course… and what about renting a single or double surrey bike for your family, and go explore Prospect Park? OR, go on a pedal boat where they allow one lap child. You could spend an entire day here, there is so much fun to be had! http://lakesidebrooklyn.com/#page-content

Brooklyn Public Pools: There are a plethora of free public pools right here in Brooklyn. A few of the favorites are the Red Hook Pool, the Sunset Park Pool, the Brooklyn Bridge Pop-up Pool and the Double D Pool in Gowanus. Remember to read all of the rules before planning your trip (check out “Know Before You Go” section here: https://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/outdoor-pools)

The NY Transit Museum: This underground super COOL museum is where you can sit on a vintage car, sit at the wheel of a city bus and check out a real subway platform and tracks with cars from different times in history. The interactive exhibits are so exciting for the little ones. Boerum Place at Schermerhorn Street in downtown Brooklyn. http://www.nytransitmuseum.org/

NY Beaches: Of course there is Coney Island, but how about Jacob Riis in Queens? There’s a playground, concession stand and a boardwalk. Or maybe try Cedar Grove Beach in Staten Island, known as the cleanest of the Staten Island beaches. https://www.timeout.com/newyork/attractions/best-beaches

SeaGlass Carousel: Pretend you’re underwater and check out the new SeaGlass Carousel, where you sit on an iridescent fish, instead of a horse – and “swim” up and around in all different directions. It’s amazing and such a quick subway ride on the R to Battery Park. http://www.seaglasscarousel.nyc/

American Museum of Natural History: Check out those dinosaurs and explore and discover in the “Discovery Room”, where kids can dig for dinosaur bones or search for animals in a baobab tree. Microscopes, animals and other fun things are there for your child to explore. There’s even a story time here on Monday mornings for preschoolers! http://www.amnh.org/learn-teach/pre-k-to-grade-2

NYC Water Taxi:  Thinking about going into Manhattan with the family?  Instead of the usual subway ride, get a little creative and take your family on the NYC water taxi from Red Hook into Wall Street!  Best part…it’s free on Saturdays and Sundays.  See the beautiful views of the NYC skyline while you cool off in the summer breeze.   After, head over to Pearl Street where you will find several restaurants with outdoor seating.  https://www.nywatertaxi.com/ikea

 

While you’re at it, treat yourself to a gelato or an ice cream. The best ice cream in town can be found at Ample Hills Creamery, which has a location in Gowanus that includes a rooftop deck with chairs! And check out L’Albero Dei Gelati in the Slope for some incredibly yummy gelato.  Bring on the heat, this can also be the most fun time of the year here in Brooklyn. Enjoy!!!

Fun-Filled Family Activities in the Slope!

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Spring is HERE!!!!  And this upcoming month’s local Brooklyn events do not disappoint.  Celebrate the cherry blossoms, get your children’s voices heard in a  “Children’s March”,  explore a fire truck and more at Touch-a-Truck, and experience a live outdoor concert with your kids by the Brooklyn Bridge.   So many special memories to be made!

May 13th:  It’s BAAAACK!!!! The best kids street fair in Brooklyn, the PS 295 7th annual Touch-a-Truck Event is here!   SO many trucks to explore, bouncy houses, delicious food, music and MORE.  18th St between 6th and 7th Ave, rain or shine. 12pm-5pm.  Buy tix in advance to save $.  Check out the Make-a-Truck Art center, sponsored by your very own SSP!  http://ps295touchatruck.weebly.com/

Saturdays and Sundays through August 20th:  Come see “The Reluctant Dragon” at Puppetworks, the story of a dragon protesting the mistreatment of his species.  Adapted for Marionettes by Michael Leach. Ages 3+.   Shows are at 12:30 and 2:30pm.  Reservations are suggested!  http://puppetworks.org/

April 29th and 30th:  From 10am-6pm celebrate traditional and contemporary Japanese culture during the cherry blossom season at the Brooklyn Botanical Garden.    Sakura Matsuri events include dance and music performances, a flower hat procession, live martial arts and a magic show!  https://www.bbg.org/visit/event/sakura_matsuri_2017/

April 29th:  From 10am-4pm check out the Spring Carnival at PS 321 at 180 7th Avenue between 1st and 2nd St.    There will be face painting, nail art, food, bouncy castles, a book shop, games to enjoy…and more!  http://ps321.org/spring-carnival/

May 4th – 8th:  For ages 2-5, Olive & Pearl tells the story of a young girl being raised by her Granny.  Told through puppetry, theater, dance and live music, this tale takes the youngest theatergoers on a sensory journey filled with wonder, surprise and delight.  BAM Theater.  http://www.bam.org/oliveandpearl

May 13th:  A truly remarkable event, this Children’s March gives our children the opportunity to stand up and speak out about the issues that are important to them.  Celebrating “independent thought, community, inclusivity, and their future”.  11am-2pm at Cadman Plaza.  https://www.facebook.com/events/1075768622552815/

May 20th:  Want to watch an incredible event and help cheer on Dr. Cao?  Come watch the Brooklyn Half Marathon, and high-five those runners as they pass by!  Show your support for those who have trained so hard, and share this inspiring experience with your kids.http://www.nyrr.org/races-and-events/2017/airbnb-brooklyn-half

May 20th and 21st:  Is your child obsessed with the “baa baas”?  Want to see those sheep get a haircut?  Look no further…come to the Prospect Park Zoo to enjoy some special wool activities and learn all about these animals and their coats at the 23rd Annual Fleece Festival.   On Sunday at 1pm you can even join a parade from the Zoo barn to the Lefferts Historic House as the fleece is transported, and see how it’s processed into yarn!  https://prospectparkzoo.com/events/14

May 26th -28th:  Staying local this Memorial Day Weekend and looking for something fun to do?  Take your family to the Brooklyn Children’s Museum where you can play with imagination playground blocks (including Magnatiles) AND join in the “Can You Dig It” program, where your child can recover fossils, rocks and minerals on their own archaeological dig!   http://www.brooklynkids.org/memorial-day-weekend/

Every Saturday through August 19th:  Come experience a free 1 hour family concert starting 4pm on the water at Brooklyn Bridge Park.  Beautiful music with a stunning view….this can’t be beat.    http://www.brooklynbridgepark.org/events/bargemusic

Family Events in Brooklyn!

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Photo by Julie Larsen Maher © WCS.

Fun family events over the next month include rocking out to a Michael Jackson tribute, celebrating “Grandparents Day” at the Children’s Museum, and enjoying breakfast with penguins!  Check out all of this and more in this month’s roundup of fun family activities in the area.

It’s Grandparents Day at the Brooklyn Children’s Museum!  Celebrating grandparents and elders in our lives, on March 18th you can meet an artist, touch live sea creatures, go to an interactive story time, say “cheese” with the grandparents in a pop-up photo booth – then design a custom frame to go with your photo!  AND so many more fun activities.  To learn more, go to:  http://www.brooklynkids.org/grandparents-day/

Say goodbye to winter and SPIRAL into Spring at Lefrak at Lakeside’s Ice Showcase, where you’ll see figure skating solos, duets and group numbers.  March 19th from 5:30-6:45pm.  http://lakesidebrooklyn.com/event/spring-ice-showcase/

From March 18th – 26th check out the Peter Pan Experience at BAM.  5 adult strangers find themselves in a world of nightstands and night lights, a world where your favorite forgotten toys appear out of nowhere, your favorite music thrills you to dance, and all of the joys of childhood come flooding back thanks to the invisible magic of Peter Pan.  Dutch’s theater company Het Laagland presents this formally innovative, effortlessly thrilling piece of physical theater about rediscovering the joys of play, shaking off the shackles of adulthood, and flying high with the kind of make-believe.  Ages 7+. Tickets: $15.   http://www.bam.org/kids/2017/the-peter-pan-experience

On March 25th at Littlefield Performance and Space (622 Degraw Street), check out “Kids Rock Michael Jackson!  A Tribute to the King of Pop”.  Doors open 11:45, show starts at noon.  10 Amazing young bands play tribute.  Tickets are $7, free for kids 5 and under.  http://www.littlefieldnyc.com/event/1429508

Every Sunday through April 30th in Coney Island you can come experience an afternoon of fun and wonder at the Magic at Coney Sunday Matinee. There will be magicians, illusionists, escape artists and mentalists.  All ages.  $10 for adults and $5 for children under 12.   http://www.coneyisland.com/events/?program=21

The Rock and Roll Playhouse at Brooklyn Bowl has some exciting shows coming up!    These are unique, interactive and educational live music experiences for children.  60 minute concerts, where children explore live music, movement and collaborative activity.   For kids 10 and under.  $10  person (under 1 are free). On March 19th there is a concert featuring the music of Prince, on March 26th there is a show featuring the music of Fleetwood Mac, and on April 2nd they will feature the music of the Grateful Dead!  http://therockandrollplayhouse.com/brooklynbowl

Breakfast with the Animals: Penguins (New York Aquarium, Coney Island):  On April 1st from 9am-10:30am learn all about penguins along while having breakfast and enjoying  activities like learning to sing like a penguin and carrying eggs on your feet.  There will also be a live animal encounter! Ages 3-8 with caregiver.  $45 per ticket for non-members, $40 for members (ticket includes an adult and child).  Pre-registration is required.  http://nyaquarium.com/programs/family-programs

Want to do something active as a family?  How about the Brooklyn 15k run, where you can sign up for a 15k, 10k, 5k or a kids 2k run!  It takes place in Prospect Park on Sunday, April 16th. http://www.brooklyn15k.com/

It’s Family Earth Day Celebration at the Prospect Park Zoo on April 22nd from 11am-12pm.  All ages, $25 for members, $35 for non-members (ticket prices include one adult and one child).  Come to the zoo for an Earth Day celebration to discover how the Wildlife Conservation Society is working to protect wildlife and how you can help!  Participants will meet animals up close, decorate a flower pot & other activities.  Refreshments will be provided.   https://prospectparkzoo.com/family-programs

And don’t forget…. the beloved carousel in Prospect Park reopens March 30th!!!

Things to do this Winter!

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Let’s all agree, this isn’t the most lively time of the year.  It’s cold, the excitement of the holidays is over, and the Spring seems so far away in the distance.  The sun, if it’s out, isn’t warming us as much as we want it to.  The playground is not usually the best option, unless we want to freeze and listen to our kids complain they are cold.  So…what do we do?  How about sampling some of the best hot chocolate NYC has to offer…or try out some origami?   Here are ideas which are fun for ALL of us (parents included)!

If you’d like to stay warm indoors…

* Try out the best hot chocolates Park Slope has to offer…Le Pain de Quotidien on 5th Ave let’s your child swirl the dark chocolate syrup into the frothy milk themselves (what kid doesn’t LOVE to mix everything)!  There’s also The Chocolate Room and Colson Patisserie, both serve up a yummy cup of chocolate goodness.

* Check out the Brooklyn Children’s Museum pop-up exhibit, Industry City, at 274 36th Street in Sunset Park.  Through February 26th you’ll be able to check out an interactive art exhibit, which will ask kids what it takes to create a happy and healthy neighborhood.  There are interactive programs for families with children 1-8 YO. Thurs-Sun.  Free!  

* Go to a book reading at Powerhouse or Barnes and Noble in the Slope! 

* Try your luck at bowling at Melody Lanes in Sunset Park or Family Bowl on Saturdays at Brooklyn Bowl in Williamsburg.  A major draw for Brooklyn Bowl is that you can enjoy some of the best fried chicken around, brought to you by Blue Ribbon.  It’s SO good.

* Get crafty at Taro’s Origami Studio at 95 7th Avenue, between Union and President.  Follow directions on touch-screen tablets (fun for the little ones) or learn from the staff.  Make your origami flowers, spaceship or whatever you choose – and decorate with stamps and paint!  

* Check out a new puppet show at Puppetworks, right here in our hood of Park Slope.  Through April 9th, Puss in Boots will be performed!  Based on Charles Perrault’s 1697 French Fantasy, with an original score.

* Get that energy out at Bounce U, about a fifteen minute drive from Park Slope on 67th St and 9th Ave.  $16 per kid, reservation required (remember to bring socks).   There is a “preschool playdate” for kids 7 and under:  

* How about a little culture to brighten up that dreary cold day?  BAM offers theater and film with kids in mind.   On February 19th at 2pm check out a matinee of “Bon Voyage, Charlie Brown” about Charlie Brown and the gang traveling to Europe for fun and adventure.  And for a live theatrical performance, check out Do Not Disturb (2/11-2/12), about factory workers assembling a giant wheel – combining dance, physical theater and a clown!  Ages 6+.

If you want to brave it and have fun outdoors…

* The Prospect Park Zoo is open year-round!  You can go celebrate the “Year of the Rooster” 2/11 – 2/12 from 11am-4pm.  There will be puppet performances, a scavenger hunt, fortune cookies and a calligraphy workshop!  

* Also in Prospect Park, go ice skating at the Lefrak Center at Lakeside!  There’s even a skate school and a hockey program if your child is interested.   Grab a hot beverage after at the cafe!  

* The next time it snows, have a plan as to where you are going to sled!  There of course is the big hill at 9th street in Prospect Park, but there are other spots in Fort Greene and Bay Ridge.  Check this list for top sledding spots in NYC.

SSP Core Value # 7: Be Humble

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We are thrilled to share with you our Culture, Values and Promises. We want to make sure you understand what we stand for and what we promise to offer you.

So, first a little HISTORY:

Dr. Cao and Matteo opened South Slope Pediatrics in July of 2012 with the goal of offering a different patient/doctor experience and contributing to the growth of the local community.

 

OUR PURPOSE AND EVERYDAY GOALS:

At SSP we value relationships. Building strong relationships between patients, doctors and team members is at the center of our purpose and focus. We want to make sure that when you call us, come visit us or communicate with us in any way (email, social, verbal, etc.), you know that you are HOME and that we are here for YOU.

Our mission is to give you the best experience of your day. We are here to help you and most of the time we will go above and beyond what’s required or expected to do so. Our goal is to establish a strong and trusted relationship with you.

 

OUR PROMISES:

We promise to always LISTEN, be KIND, be HUMBLE and to be HELPFUL.

 

We simply ask you to reciprocate so we can work on creating a strong relationship based on trust and open communication.
 

OUR CORE VALUES:

Your SSP Team has established a set of 10 Core Values that we base our behavior and decisions upon. Every month we will unveil 1 core value to you and discuss it at the office and via social media.

We encourage questions about our values and we would love to hear your side of the story as well. Engage with your SSP team members when you see them and ask questions.

 

The February 2017 Core Value is:

BE HUMBLE

(Core Value #7).

Here is what we mean:

“At SSP we believe that no matter what happens, we should always be respectful of everyone.  While we celebrate our individual and team successes, we are not arrogant nor do we treat others differently from how we would want to be treated.”

Please send us your thoughts, questions or stories about being humble.We would love to collect them for our Culture Book and for our social media stories.

Yours,

Dr. Cao and the South Slope Pediatrics Team

Kindness and Love: What These 2 Words Mean to Our Children

As we enter the year of 2017, we have never been surrounded by so many troubling world events. It’s impossible to escape – we’re being hammered with it on social media, TV, radio, and throughout our daily discussions with friends and family.   There is no time more important than NOW to focus on the GOOD in the world, reminding ourselves to always be kind and loving… and we must all work hard together to spread that love around.

How do we do that?  A great place to start is with our children.  Let’s talk to our children about what is important in this life, and that is KINDNESS and LOVE.  Have you wondered what these words mean to them?

Pure, honest and innocent, they speak from their hearts without any hesitation or inhibitions.  Let’s hear what these two words mean from their own mouths, and let these words of wisdom give us all a little hope and inspiration.

What Does Kindness Mean to You?

– Being a good person to your family, and taking care of them when they are sick or feeling sad.  If someone is having a bad day, be extra nice to them and don’t bother them – Parker, 7

– Kindness is being nice to a friend, especially if someone is playing alone.  Never make fun of someone and share your food – Cameron, 9

– To be kind means to standing up for someone and care for them and generally be there for them – Celia, 6th grader

– Being kind means standing up for one another, helping each other and taking care of each other – Kira, 4th grader

– To be kind is to have respect – Stephen, 4th grader

– Kind means to be nice to someone – Joseph, 1st grader

– To respect others, show how much you love them and helping others who need help – Kailei, 4th grader

– To be kind means not to be mean to people – Anonymous, 4th grader

– Kind means loving, treating others with respect – Anonymous, 4th grader

– Be nice to others, help and be happy and helpful – Owen, 11

– Kindness means to help others and to forgive and forget and be nice to others – Peyton, 9

– That you don’t be mean and say hurtful things – Finn, 6

– When you feed me – Dylan, 3

– It helps love get around the world – Damon, 9

– Kindness is you need to treat people good – Harper, 5

– Being nice to everyone you know – Avery, 5

– When you’re being kind to someone you’re being nice to them and you’re being their friend – Val, 8

– When you’re being nice to someone – Ellie, 8

– Giving kisses and hugs and being nice – Emmett, 3

– Kindness is doing what you know is right to make other people happy – Evan, 11

– Be kind – Juno, 4

– Being nice and thoughtful – Nina, 7

– When you’re being nice and helping – Amaya, 4

– Being friends with someone – Cole, 6

– Kindness is helping someone – Isaac, 8

– Being calm, nice and giving kisses to someone – Alina, 4

– To make someone who is sad – make them happy, and you’re kind hearted-  like you’re being nice to someone and they really appreciate it and they’ll be nice to you – Anonymous, 4th grader

What Does Love Mean to You?

– Love is always telling someone you love them more.  If someone looks like they had a bad day, give them a long hug  that usually cheers them up!   Love is also making something for them, not buying a gift.   I think that shows a lot of love – Parker, 7

– Love is doing what you don’t really want to do because you know that person wants to do that, like I don’t always want to play UNO but I know that my sister does so I do it to make her happy  – Cameron, 9

– Having appreciation for people – Celia, 6th grader

– Love means being there, hugs, kisses, fully being there and helping them. To be present and visible – Kira, 4th grader

– Love is what you feel when you really care about someone – Stephen, 4th grader

– Love means when you care for people so much – Joseph, 1st grader

– Love means helping others around you, sharing and keeping others safe and comfortable – Kailei, 4th grader

– Love is when you really care for somebody or something –  Anonymous, 4th grader

– Love is honesty, friendship, happiness and helpfulness – Anonymous, 4th grader

– It keeps people together and makes people happy – Owen, 11

– It means it makes happiness and makes a happy thought – Peyton, 9

– It’s happiness in your heart and you have it in your body – Finn, 6

– When you feed me more –  Dylan, 3

– Love makes the world go around – Damon, 9

– Kissing – Mia, 4

– Family – Victor, 11

– People loving people – Harper, 5

– Liking someone but a lot – Avery, 5

– Love is about friendship and being nice and hugs and kisses – Ava, 5

– When you love someone you want to take care of them and if they’re sick you want to help them –  Val, 8

– When you treat something or someone nicely and when you like them – Ellie, 8

– Pancakes – Luke, 4

– Giving kisses – Emmett, 3

Something really enjoyable or someone that you look forward to seeing – Evan, 11

– I love you, to love everybody – Juno, 4

– Loving, sharing and caring – Nina, 7

– I love you – Amaya, 4

– Love is taking care of someone and marrying them – Cole, 6

– Love is family – Isaac, 8

– Love is mommy and daddy, God and friends – Alina, 4

– Caring for someone else – Tessa, 8

– When you love someone you feel happy inside and very comfortable with them inside – Anonymous, 4th grader

“The best portion of a good person’s life are their little, nameless, unremembered acts of kindness and of love”. – William Wadsworth

Interview with the Renowned Artist and Native New Yorker, Ida Pearle

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We are so very honored to interview Ida Pearle this month, a mother and patient of Dr. Cao’s, as well as a highly accomplished and renowned artist, writer (and violinist)!   Her artwork is both comforting and inspiring, beautifully depicting movement and capturing the innocence and magic of childhood.  Her first book, A Child’s Day: An Alphabet of Play was chosen as a best children’s book of 2008 by Bank Street College, and her newest title just released last year, The Moon is Going to Addy’s House, is an American Library Association Notable book and has received exceptional reviews.    Make sure to keep your eyes open at your next visit…her incredible artwork is about to grace the walls of South Slope Pediatric’s lobby!

SSP: Can you please tell us a bit about your background growing up in NYC and how the culture helped shape you as an artist and as an author?

I recently published a book about my childhood in New York called “The Moon is Going to Addy’s House”. It’s about a car ride from city to country that I took every weekend as a child.  I spent 5 years creating it, which was a wonderful opportunity to meditate and reflect on my New York city childhood and it’s richness.  I feel very attached and connected to my childhood places, be they neighborhoods or homes. I grew up in New York- late 70s/80s it was a very different place; my experience was a much more bohemian one than is possible today I think. My father was a sound engineer, and had a recording studio in our loft, and my mother was a painter.  I was surrounded by people creating constantly and my identity as an “artist” already strongly formed in childhood. My parents protected my free time and made sure I always had paper and pencil. I spent a lot of time as a child at the city’s art museums, The Met and The MoMA, and had access to tons of visual material, like my own large collection of children’s books and my mother’s art monographs. My parents were incredibly encouraging and really made art the center of my universe. In this way my focus today is very much a continuation of what it was in childhood, and my work is very much the blossoming of seeds planted in my childhood. The other lucky thing that plants my work geographically in New York was my going to the United Nations International School as a child. New York is already an incredibly diverse place, but UNIS was even more of a microcosm- every student hailed from a different country and that experience more than anything has informed my aesthetic. I aim to create inclusive imagery and a diverse representation of children. My commitment to celebrating the beauty of diversity is rooted in my experience as a child in playing with children who were different from me. Celebrating our common humanity is something I like to think we are especially good at doing as New Yorkers.

SSP: Who were your favorite illustrators and authors as a child, and how did they influence you?

Growing up I loved Robert McClosky, Ezra Jack Keats, Nancy Ekholm Burkert, Ludwig Bemelmans, Leo Lionni and Maurice Sendek of course. I think a few on this list were incredible draftsman- like Robert McClosky and  Nancy Ekholm Burkert, who also made work outside of the tradition of children’s literature. I think perhaps Ezra Jack Keats and Leo Lionni have influenced my work more directly in terms of simplifying forms in my own work (as well my our medium – cut paper) I think children are attracted to that simplification, and I have always been attracted to minimalism. It takes a lot more mastery of form to pare things down to their most essential.

SSP: As a creator of fine art for children, what mediums do you use? How would you describe your work?

My work is originally created in cut paper collage. I use a lot of drawing to produce the imagery- but then it all has to be cut out with an exacto knife and glued together.  I suppose I would describe my work as being about gesture, movement, and pattern. I’m very interested in the human form, how it moves through space, and the challenges of depicting that on a flat plane. It’s very interesting to have to create something from nothing and to have it convince the eye of something very specific, like weight, volume and/or velocity. I think there is a magic in art- the marriage of technique and imagination which transports you to a place beyond the page. Thematically, I aim to capture the happy and care free nature of childhood, and to create images where all children see themselves represented.

SSP: I understand you do unique customized pieces of artwork in addition to fine art prints – can you please tell us more about that?

I love to create collages for children and families’s homes. Mostly these pieces are bespoke and one of a kind. I’ve been doing this for nearly 20 years and I’ve gotten to hear how these pieces have become special family keepsakes that are treasured for a long time- which makes me very happy! It’s a very special process getting to know and depict a family through creating an art work for them! I treasure these experiences.

SSP: Your most recent book, The Moon is Going to Addy’s House, has received such incredible high praise. To quote Martin Scorcese, “The Moon is Going to Addy’s House is visual storytelling at its very best. The emotional journey of the children is beautifully expressed through Ida Pearle’s stunning use of collage, color, texture, and movement”.  How do you think you are able to connect so strongly to the reader? 

Well, first of thank you.  I’m very honored by these words, to say the least. I had the great honor of teaching Scorsese’s daughter private art lessons for 6 years, which is how he and his family came to know my book. I think the subject matter is highly relatable – how the moon follows us at night is a universal experience, and I think the visual part – the illustrations probably have as much if not more to do with how people consume this book in particular. I think children’s books are just as much about the pictures as they are about the story. We are visual thinkers first and foremost, we read in pictures before we read in words. Almost like hieroglyphs, they pick up on shapes and symbols first. There is a pictorial language that children react to and apply to their understanding of what is outside the page. I tried with Addy’s House to create a world children could really beam themselves into and see their own experience reflected. It’s an early and important phenomenological experience which is why we see it so much in children’s literature.

SSP: There is a very special relationship between a child and the moon, I see it in my own personal experience daily with my 4 year old daughter who almost treats it as a friend or family member of hers. “Look, mama – the moon followed us”! as we drive home at night. You capture that innocence and joy so well. Does this mirror personal experiences of yours as a child?

Creating ‘The Moon Is Going to Addy’s House’ was deeply meaningful for me. It is based on a phrase I used to repeat as a child on car ride from city to county to a cottage that has been in my family since the 1940s. My father and uncle, city kids used to play there in the summer, as did myself and my sister. My family over the years agreed that this phrase, (or idea) would make a beautiful children’s story. Children’s literature was very important in my family life as a child..

My father became ill about 8 years ago, and told me he really wanted me to focus on bringing this book into being. So, I did. He passed away 6 years ago and the last conversation we had was about the book; he looked at my sketches and encouraged me – he was an incredible cheerleader for my work. It was my opportunity to meditate on my childhood, his loss and to try to transform pain into beauty, which I think is the tool that art is. It’s a healing act, creating or engaging with art of any kind.

SSP: How has having a daughter of your own affected your work?

After depicting childhood, and motherhood for so long it’s opened up another dimension of my practice to me. I understand a mother’s love for the first time, which is different from only understanding a child’s love. I haven’t had the chance yet to make much new work, but when I do- I know I will have a deeper connection and understanding of children, and of parental love.

To learn more about Ida Pearle and her work, go to: http://www.idapearle.com

 

FUN HOLIDAY EVENTS IN BROOKLYN & BEYOND!

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Check out these fun family events that will surely help get you into the holiday spirit.  From family-friendly holiday themed shows like The Nutcracker, Fancy Nancy’s Splendiferous Christmas and a Charlie Brown’s Christmas Live…to train shows at Grand Central and the NY Botanical Garden…from an Ice Spectacular Show at  Lefrak to meet and greets with Santa himself right here on 5th Ave in Park Slope, there are many ways to celebrate and share the joy with our little ones!

* 15th Annual Holiday Train Show in Grand Central (Grand Central Station, Manhattan): November 14th – February 26th.  Mon-Fri 8am-8pm, Sat and Sun 10am-6pm.  This year’s Holiday Train Show display will feature a 34-foot-long “O gauge” model train layout with Lionel’s model Metro-North, New York Central, and vintage subway trains running on eight separate loops of track, against a backdrop featuring graphics celebrating the Museum’s 40th anniversary by artist Julia Rothman.  http://www.grandcentralterminal.com/event/15th-annual-holiday-train-show/2145462112

* Fancy Nancy: Splendiferous Christmas (Vital Theatre, 152 W. 71st St):  November 19th – December 31st, Saturdays and Sundays at 11am and 1pm.  Based on the NY Times bestselling picture book by Jane O’Connor.  What could be fancier than Christmas? Presents with elegant wrapping paper, festive decorations, Christmas cookies with sprinkles – and who could forget the tree? After all, there is no such thing as too much tinsel. Ooh la la! This year, Nancy is especially excited. After selling some of her old gowns and accessories, Nancy has enough money to buy a brand-new sparkly tree topper. She can’t wait to decorate the Christmas tree. But when things don’t turn out the way Nancy planned, will Christmas still be splendiferous?  http://fancynancychristmaslive.com/  1 hr long.

* Holiday Train Show (NY Botanical Gardens, Bronx): From November 19th – January 16th.  Enchanting model trains zip through a display of 150 landmarks, each re-created with bark, leaves, and other natural materials—all under the twinkling glow of the Enid A. Haupt Conservatory. Marvel at G-scale locomotives humming along among familiar sights such as the Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and Rockefeller Center on nearly a half-mile of track.Explore a winter wonderland across our 250 acres with special tours, a cappela performances, Winter Harmonies Concerts, a poetry reading with recently named NYBG poet laureate, Billy Collins, and activities for kids.  http://www.nybg.org/hts16/

* Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade (Manhattan): 9am on November 24th.  The annual pageant of giant balloons, floats, cheerleaders, clowns, marching bands, theater and Broadway in New York performances and celebs is one of the best NYC events in November. Read up here for recommended viewing areas:  https://www.timeout.com/newyork/things-to-do/events-festivals/macys-thanksgiving-day-parade

* Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar (501 Union, Gowanus): November 26th and 27th, 11am – 6pm.  Free admission.  Brooklyn Holiday Bazaar is a unique annual event that showcases the best of Brooklyn under one beautiful roof. The 4th edition will be packed with fine handmade goods, food, drinks, music, craft activities and more good times on Thanksgiving weekend.  http://brooklynholidaybazaar.com/

* Rockefeller Christmas Tree Lighting (Rockefeller Center, Manhattan): The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree is a world-wide symbol of the holidays in New York City. The 2016 Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree will be lit for the first time on Wednesday, November 30, with live performances from 7–9pm, at Rockefeller Plaza, between West 48th and West 51st Streets and Fifth and Sixth Avenues.  https://www.rockefellercenter.com/whats-happening/2016/11/30/2016-rockefeller-center-christmas-tree-lighting/

* Charlie Brown Christmas Live (ShapeShifter Lab, 18 Whitewell Place, Brooklyn): Fri, Sat and Sun, Dec 2nd – 11th.   Performance of the classic Charlie Brown Christmas special word for word and gesture for gesture.  Jazz trio will play the iconic Vince Guaraldi score.  For show times and details, go to: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2698281

* Santa on 5th (several locations on 5th Ave, Park Slope on Dec 3rd, 10th and 17th): Ho ho ho!  Santa will be making appearances at 3 different locations on our very own 5th Ave during the month of September.  Eat, Drink and spend locally – while saying hi to our friend visiting from the North Pole!  Strolling carolers will be making an appearance as well.  http://parkslopefifthavenuebid.com/event/here-comes-santa-clause-first-visit-of-three/

* The Colonial Nutcracker at the Walt Whitman Theater  (Brooklyn Center for Performing Arts, 2900 Campus Rd, Brooklyn):   December 11th, 2pm.  An annual holiday favorite, Dance Theatre in Westchester performs its family-friendly, full-length version of Tchaikovsky’s ballet set in wintry colonial Yorktown, complete with a red-coated mouse army, an enchanted nutcracker prince, and simultaneous narration to help young audience members enjoy this timeless classic.   2hrs, 10 min including a 15 min intermission.  Recommended for ages 5+.  Tickets: $15. http://www.brooklyncenter.org/buy-tickets/calendar-of-events/view/The-Colonial-Nutcracker/

* Radio City Christmas Spectacular (Radio City Music Hall, Manhattan): The Radio City Christmas Spectacular 2016 literally kicks off the holiday season in NYC. Since 1933, the tap dancers, flying Santa and of course the Rockettes have put on one of the city’s most classic Christmas spectacles. If The Nutcracker from New York City Ballet is too stuffy and doesn’t have enough camels onstage for you, this show is the one to see.  https://www.rockettes.com/christmas/

* Tree Lighting Party (Greenwood Park, Park Slope):  December 7th from 6pm- close. The “biggest tree in Brooklyn”!  Tree, wreaths, and decorations will be for sale in the holiday market.  Bring the family to meet Santa – there will be hot coca, cider, food and drink specials!   http://greenwoodparkbk.com/blog/events/holiday-tree-lighting-party/

* Ice Spectacular (Lakeside @ Lefrak Center, Prospect Park):  December 18th, from 5:30 – 6:45pm.  This annual winter show is FREE to watch and features figure skating solos, duets, and group numbers. Group number registration includes three half-hour rehearsals on Sundays before the show as well as skate rental, show accessories, and keepsake programs on performance days. Register in advance online or in person, limited space available.  $40 for one (1) event, $60 for two (2) events.  http://lakesidebrooklyn.com/event/ice-spectacular-winter/

Interview with Dr. Danis Copenhaver

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Interview with Dr. Danis Copenhaver

 

For those of you who have not heard the exciting news…South Slope Pediatrics has now added a fantastic new full time pediatrician to the growing team!  Let’s get to know Dr. Danis Copenhaver, a new mother herself!

 

SSP: Welcome to South Slope Pediatrics!  Where did you practice prior to joining SSP and what brought you here?

Thank you! I am so happy to be a part of the South Slope Pediatrics Family. For the past two years I have been practicing pediatrics in Brooklyn. After living and working here, and starting a family of my own, I knew I wanted to put down strong roots and South Slope Pediatrics was the practice to do that. Dr. Cao is an institution in Brooklyn–he is a skilled pediatrician with years of experience dedicated to family and community health; Dr. Wilson-Taylor actually taught me pediatrics at Weill Cornell in medical school, and I have always admired her intelligence and approach to medicine. And then I met Matteo and the rest of the team! I have never met a more competent and friendly group of people committed to going the extra mile for their patients. I knew that joining the practice and working alongside these amazing people would be the right fit for me.

 

SSP: Please tell us a little about yourself. Where you are from? Do you have a family of your own?

I am a Southern woman, who has found a home in Brooklyn. I was born and raised in a small town in South Texas, and moved to Conway, Arkansas when I was ten. I attended the University of Arkansas where I majored in Biochemistry, rowed crew, and met my future husband, Drew. After graduation, we spent a year living in Belize partnering the University of Arkansas with the nonprofit organization Peacework to create a service-learning study abroad opportunity for students at the University. After Belize, I moved to New York City to start my medical training at Weill Cornell Medical College, and completed my residency at the Children’s Hospital of New York – Columbia University. Drew and I were married in 2011 and we just welcomed our son, Elo, in 2016.

 

SSP: It must be invaluable to relate on a personal level to new moms and dads. Do you have any advice for new parents that you wish someone had shared with you?

So many of my patients would comment during my pregnancy about how being a pediatrician would affect being a new parent, but it was another pediatrician/father who told me, “Being a pediatrician won’t make you a better parent, but being a parent will make you a better pediatrician.” And I have totally found that to be true. I have such a deeper understanding and empathy for the struggles of new parents–this is really hard work! While I still consider myself to be a novice parent, my advice-though not novel-would be, take a deep breath, trust your instincts, and everything will be better after a nap.

 

SSP: Do you enjoy any special hobbies or activities during your “down time” (if there is a such thing with a newborn)?! Any special interests?

You are right about lack of “down time,” but thank goodness for a Kindle for middle of the night feeds! I love to read and have been able to do quite a bit of it during my maternity leave and now commute to and from work. I also love listening to podcasts. Any interesting information outside of medicine and parenting these days comes straight from a podcast.

Drew and I love traveling, cooking, and bike riding. I also enjoy camping and hiking and hope to take Elo on his first campout in the Spring.

SSP: What led you to decide that you wanted to study pediatric medicine?

Since I was four-years-old I have been drawing pictures of myself with a stethoscope, and that desire to be a doctor stayed with me throughout my education. I have also always taken care of children in some capacity. I watched my younger sister and cousins growing up, started babysitting in my neighborhood at 11 after getting Red Cross Certified, nannied in high school and college, and was the president of Camp Phoenix, a camp for pediatric burn survivors, in medical school. Kids bring me such joy! But I knew I wanted to practice pediatric medicine when I met the doctors, nurses and patients during my pediatrics rotation at Weill Cornell Medical School. I fell in love with the idea of taking care of not only the patient but the whole family. I was engaged with pediatric disease processes, unique and distinct from adult medicine, and I was awed by the dedication and care of the people who practiced pediatric medicine. Within a week on that rotation, I knew I had found the field of medicine I was going to dedicate myself to.

 

SSP: What do you find most fulfilling as a pediatrician? Can you please share any experiences you’ve had that has helped shape you as a person and as a doctor?

I find the continuity of care the most fulfilling part of my job–getting to know a patient from birth and following them through adulthood is incredibly rewarding. This sense of dedicating myself to a family likely stems from growing up in a small town with a general practitioner who took care of my whole family. From the everyday colds, to treating me for burns after an accident I had when I was 7, he was a constant in the care I received in my childhood. He even threw a big Halloween party every year that the town went to! Even though we live in a big, bustling city, I hope to bring some of that small-town medicine to my practice and my patients.