Tag Archives: NYC

A Day of Ballet Class for Macy & Some Exciting News

nikkiikkin a day of ballet Our family’s schedule dramatically changed when Macy started attending classes at School of American Ballet last September.  It wasn’t a hard decision to accept her invitation to dance there, but we knew that we would also have to accept that ballet rules our life right now.  We are so proud of her and her diligent attitude in her dance studies.  She has come up leaps and bounds in her strength and ballet education since she started.  With only a handful of absences and almost zero complaining, this has been her life 4 days a week.  3 of which are right after a long day at school.  Our time everyday at SAB is more than just waiting the 90 minutes while she is in dance class, we have much more time invested in it than that.  I wanted to share our family’s nearly daily journey and the logistics it takes for Macy have this amazing experience.


We made a decision early on that it was a waste of time for us to pick Macy up from school, walk home, wait 45 min and then walk back to the train.  So we leave straight from school pick up and get to SAB earlier than needed.

nikkiikkin a day at ballet 1

It takes 3 trains for us to get to Lincoln Center.  Its not really a big deal, when you live in NYC, transferring trains is a just how its done.  Sometimes you get lucky and there’s no wait for the next train to arrive and sometimes the train runs late and you have a long wait.  Its sort of the way traffic is everywhere else, its out of your control and you have to be patient. On the plus side you have time to read a book while you travel, in Macy’s case she has 45 minutes to work on homework.  She usually uses the time to do her reading but sometimes she gets distracted.  Especially if a 6 foot tall transvestite with purple hair and giant boots is making a scene on the train.  Would anyone be able to pay attention with that going on?

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We dont always take the last leg of train, sometimes we walk from 59th street to 66th street.  It’s not much difference in waiting for the 1 train and making the 7 block walk.  I often use the extra time we give ourselves to run an errand at the Shops at Columbus circle, printing at Kinkos or to mail a package.

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There is always something going on at Lincoln Center.  We stumble upon events ranging from the opening night of the Metropolitan Opera, to movie premieres (we saw Leonardo DiCaprio and other celebs at the Great Gatsby premier last week) just going about on our day of ballet.  The area of Lincoln Center for Performing Arts is made up of several world renown organizations.  The New York City Ballet, Metropolitan Opera, The Julliard School, New York Philharmonic, New York Public Library for the Performing Arts  and School of American Ballet to name just a few.  Last fall a sky walk crossing over 65th street opened to connect the buildings holding Julliard and SAB to the main Lincoln Center buildings.  Which makes it easier for me to stroll Hudson over to the plazas where a fountain, a reflection pool and grassy lawn are, if the weather is good we often walk over to enjoy their beauty.

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At our earliest arrival to SAB we have about 30 minutes before we can order from the dinner counters at the Julliard & SAB Cafe.  We LOVE the cafe!  I honestly dont think I could handle all of the hours and days we have to spend doing this if I didnt have the cafe to eat and wait in.    Serving  just Julliard and SAB students, staff and families, it has a  grill, hot entree counter, soup and salad bars and sandwich counter, several drinks and luckily brews Starbucks coffee.   We spend a lot of time there and see many interesting performing arts students.  It really is the heart of these two performing arts schools, as students are not just eating there between classes before they go home.  Both SAB and Julliard have resident students that depend on it for meals that are healthly and full of variety.  We on the other hand eat mostly pizza, Hudson does at least.  Macy likes to eat salad and yogurt and I enjoy the fact that its affordable and I don’t have to cook dinner on ballet nights.

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The Cafe is located on the lobby level of the Rose Building, SAB is on the 5th floor.  Unfortunately the school has very strict rules about photography on the 5th floor.  Parents are not allowed to stay on the 5th floor while their child is in class, which is a new rule this year.  There is actually several seating areas with big comfy sofas up there, its a shame really that we can’t enjoy it during class time anymore.  We are also not allowed to observe classes, but twice a year there is a Parents Observation week.

Before each class, I get 20 minutes to help her get ready, not that it takes that long.  Some days she has a morning shower and we do her bun in the morning.  On those days her bun is high and more classic looking.  On dry hair days we do a low bun with a side part just before class.  Macy is getting good at doing the bun herself now, she likes to use a bun form to get a big showy bun, but in general she has pretty silky hair that goes into a bun easily without too many fly aways.

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And here she is ready to go to class!

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After class, if we are lucky and Macy isnt socializing too much she can be dressed and ready to go in 10 minutes.  We don’t usually run any errands after ballet, we have about an hour commute and are just ready to be home.  If you are wondering about Hudson during our ballet days, he doesn’t go every time.   On most weeks, Jacob is home for 1 or 2 of the ballet days and  one of us stays with Hudson.  When he does go, he often falls asleep in his stroller on the train ride there and of course eating dinner and watching some netflix is part of his day anyway, he just has to do it away from home.

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And now for Macy’s exciting news!  During the year SAB students are asked to fill childrens’ roles in ballets at New York City Ballet.  This being Macy’s first year learning ballet so intensely we have not auditioned for any of the open calls, but some of the ballets roles are chosen directly by the Children’s Ballet Master……

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Macy has been chosen to perform in the ballet Firebird with the NYCB for 4 nights in May at David Koch theater!   It really was a surprise to us that she was offered this experience so soon, we are so proud of how hard she has been working. This week she begins rehearsals and of course we plan to attend all 4 performances.  I cant wait to she my baby girl on stage at Lincoln Center!  I will certainly have more to share as it happens, so stay tuned.


Filed under I heart NY, The Chic Tween

Dylan’s Candy Bar Invitation

After a promise made more than two years ago, Macy’s dream party at Dylan’s Candy Bar in Manhattan will come true in just a few short weeks.  This weekend 10 special little girls received this original and SWEET birthday party invitation.

Although a Dylan’s Candy Bar Sweetie Pie birthday party is all-inclusive and the fill in invites they provide are perfectly fine, I can’t help myself from using this opportunity to create something fabulous.  I knew from the start that I wanted to send the girls candy necklaces with the invitation but the style of the card came to be after I stumbled upon the bracket shaped cards from Paper Presentation.  They come in a color called Fiji that looks like the exact shade of teal that is a Dylan’s Candy Bar signature color.  Once I had the bracket card, designing the rest of the invite was a piece of cake!  Here is how I created this special invitation for my special little girl.

  • For the address label wrappers I used Photoshop to create a striped design in Dylan’s Candy Bar colors, I downloaded the bracket shape from Paper Presentations web site & I printed them on full sheet label paper.
  • The base of the invite is a 5×7 pre-shaped bracket card from Paper Presentation.
  •  The bracket cards also come in 4×6 for layering but Im not sure how I would print on that shape so I made my invite on regular paper, carefully measuring the words to fit within a 4×6 space.
  • I didn’t want to put directions on the invitation, so I added an additional lollipop shaped card.  To make this I used an image of a lollipop from a candy website and altered it with a brush stroke filter in Photoshop.
  • The envelopes are regular 6×9 white envelopes, we hand delivered nearly all of them, a padded envelope would be better for mailing.
  • Real candy necklaces make this invitation extra sweet!

  • The address label wrappers, lollipop note and printed bracket cards are cut out and ready for assembly.
  • I wanted the candy necklace to still be edible so affixing with tape and glue were out of the question.
  • I sewed the necklace to the back of the card with two quick loops of thread.  It was very important to do this BEFORE glueing on the printed front bracket card layer because the stitches needed to be hidden on the front.
  • The first side of the candy necklace ties on at any point.
  • The spot to tie the second side is judged by how you want the candy necklace to drape.  I stood it up and held the spot with my finger.
  • Theres no right or wrong way, just as long as the necklace is entirely within the boundaries of the card.  Macy liked the shape because it looked “like a smile”.
  • Using spray adhesive  (outside on a surface protected by a paper bag) coat the back of the printed white bracket card layer.   Adhere it to the front of the  base bracket card with the candy necklace sewed on the back.
  • Full sheet label paper makes the address label wrapper supper easy to peel and stick but you could print them out on regular paper and glue them on instead.
I can’t wait to share Macy’s 10th birthday party at Dylan’s Candy Bar with everyone, look for that post after June 23rd.


Filed under Celebrations, SugarCoated

In Remembrance: September 11, 2001

9/11 Memorial Lights

Although we are blessed to have no particular person to morn on this day we are touched by the memorial that happens every year.  Our 1st NYC apartment at 71 Broadway had a living room view into Ground Zero.  For 3 years we listened to the bells, saw the lights and took in the somber feelings that are all around Lower Manhattan on this day. Im proud that 10 years later Americans still show so much respect for 9/11.  Its not a “holiday” with BBQs and fireworks, its a memorial day of a different type that our country should never change.  A day of remembrance and reflection of what America lost.  In 10 more years there will be children that are adults that were not around when those planes changed our lives.  How will the next generation learn to respect this day?  We have to teach our children, we have to go to these memorials each year to see our service men in uniform, hear their stories and see the pictures of the people who perished.  Every year I see new pictures of 9/11 published and it is what reminds me of how horrible it was, like a yearbook or family photo album, I am taken back, I remember.   We went to Lower Manhattan for a few hours yesterday evening, the memorial lights are especially nostalgic to us as they are situated behind our old building and every year made our apt glow from the close proximity. All of BPC and FiDi was filled with people, but like the weather the mood was somber and unnaturally quiet. The actual memorial was only open to families but we plan to attend the next chance we get.  I am sharing some of lasts nights pictures and a few that we took while living in 71 Broadway with the memorial lights shining just behind our building on top of the Battery Tunnel parking garage.  I was very pleased that my new camera picked up the lights and glows that are so beautiful in NYC.

Macy in front on One World Trade Center - Freedom Tower 9/11/2011

One Life - One Flag, nearly 3,000 flags in Battery Park

Flag of Honor, each listing the names of those who perished on 9/11

Flags of Honor - Battery Park 2011

Statue from WTC that was not crushed in the fall. Now lives in Battery Park. 9/11 Memorial lights & Flags of Honor

9/11 Memorial lights and the Freedom Tower 2011

Trinity Church, 71 Broadway & 9/11 Memorial Lights 2011

9/11 Memorial lights from roof top of 71 Broadway 2008

9/11 Memorial Lights 2008

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Filed under Holiday