Waterside Plaza Kids' Halloween Party!

Waterside Plaza Halloween Party 2014

Gather ye, all you little ghouls and goblins! It’s time for the Waterside Plaza Kids’ Halloween Party! Kids of all ages are invited to the annual bash held on Friday, October 31, from 6-8PM. The celebration takes place inside the Health Club and outside on the Plaza (weather permitting). Festivities include a costume contest at 7PM, interactive games, craft activities and face painting. The party is FREE and open to all Waterside children.

If you welcome trick-or-treaters this Halloween, don’t forget to post the Trick-Or-Treat Sign (below) on your door! Happy haunting, everybody!

Waterside Plaza Trick-or-Treat-Sign

 

A Photoblog Post: Here Comes the Sun at Waterside Plaza

Sun rising over Waterside's Plaza umbrellas.

Dawn rolls over Waterside’s plaza umbrellas

After a couple of miserable, gray days in New York City, the sun will come out tomorrow, just as little orphan Annie predicted! Weather.com reports blue skies and 0% chance of rain through the weekend in the 10010 (Gramercy Park) zip code. Here are a few recent photos we took at sunrise to chase away the rainy day blues while you wait–you just “gotta hang on ’til tomorrow.”

Morning sun on the water, East River

Morning sun reflected on the water, East River

A quiet corner to watch the sunrise at Waterside Plaza.

A quiet corner to watch the sunrise at Waterside Plaza

A glorious morning sky over Queens

A glorious morning sky over Queens, NY

October Events at the Waterside Community Center

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Kids’ shows at the Waterside Plaza Community Center. Credit: Tobias Batz

Waterside has always prided itself on being a peaceful enclave in a busy city. You could call our Community Center an enclave within an enclave. Located on the A Level in Building 40, the Community Center is open Monday-Friday, 10AM-4PM, and all residents are invited to stop by, and have a snack and a chat with your neighbors. This fall, Community Center Manager, Cynthia Lopez, has organized an array of activities to celebrate our community and history. Learn about the Community Center’s October events below and feel free to join in at any time!

October 6-10: Family Photo Week

The Community Center wants to decorate its walls with the memories that are important to you. This week’s theme is Family. Supply Cynthia Lopez (clopez@americanleisure.com) with up to 12 photos of your family–children, grandchildren, siblings, any and all loved ones. The Center will post them for the week and then return them. The other themes for this month are Scenic Photos (October 20-24) and Vacation Photos (October 27-31).

Oct 8, 15, 22 & 29: Children’s Story Time Hour

Join the Community Center for Children’s Story Time on Wednesdays at 2PM. Participants will tell stories, sing songs, and put on other performances for community kids.This event is perfect for children ages 16 months to 4 years. The Center will provide various books to read to the children.

October 13-17: Recipe Exchange Week

The Center invites all residents to share an old recipe you’ve always enjoyed and take with you a brand new one to try out. There will be some fall recipes on-hand, and Center Management may organize some favorite recipes to be prepared by the Cafe for a follow-up event.

Electronic Recycling Day 2014

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This Sunday, October 12, 10AM-2PM, the Lower East Side Ecology Center will be collecting working and non-working electronics outside on the Plaza to ensure environmentally safe recycling of all donations. At no cost to you, this is an easy way to responsibly recycle electronics you no longer need or want. Tax receipts are available upon request. You can see a list of acceptable items available here, and note the Center wipes all hard drives.

This year, the following specials are being offered to those who donate: 1) All participants are eligible to receive a $25 coupon and enter a raffle for a Macbook Air courtesy of event series sponsor Tekserve 2) Zipcar is offering a $15 coupon for all participants. This can be applied to driving credit for existing members or towards a membership for new members. For questions, email yketzis@watersideplaza.com.

Avast, A Pirate Ship Spotted on the East River!

Pirate ship spotted sailing past Waterside Plaza, East River, Oct 1, 2014

Pirate ship spotted sailing past Waterside Plaza, East River, October 2, 2014

So we overshot Talk Like A Pirate Day by a couple of weeks–it’s still not every day you see an old-timey ship straight out of Pirates of the Caribbean sail past your window on a misty day! What’s this apparition doing in the middle of the East River? Did somebody just take ThrowbackThursday really literally? Why is the rum gone?

Our best guess is we saw The Clipper City Tall Ship, a pre-Civil War era full-sail schooner operated by Manhattan By Sail, a company that offers sailboat harbor tours by day, sunset, or night. All you landlubbers looking to become scurvy sea dogs should check it out. As Captain Jack Sparrow says, “Now bring me that horizon.”

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An Interview with the Chair of NYLESA & a UN Spouses Event

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As every transplant knows, moving to New York City can be tough–moving to New York from another country can be overwhelming. We spoke with Olivier Caudron, Chair of The New York Local Expatriate Spouse Association, an organization created by UN spouses for UN spouses, about how they help international families settle into new lives and careers in NYC.

2014 NYLESA Steering Committee. Chair, Olivier Caudron, back right.

2014 NYLESA Steering Committee. Chair, Olivier Caudron, back right.

Q: We have a large international community at Waterside so we’ve seen firsthand the challenges of moving your family to a new country. Can you speak to some of these challenges, and tell us how NYLESA helps UN families settle into New York?

A: One of the first challenges newcomers have is to find an apartment. In New York, this means expect an expensive price, understand the rent policies and often pay broker’s fees. Other challenges are, starting a new life; find new friends, figure out how the city runs, look for a new job. Even if there are many facilities, each step is a new challenge and may be lived stressfully.

To this end NYLESA has created a Welcome Pack, accessible on our website (nylesa.org), with plenty of relevant information and tips. We also organize twice a month gathering events, the Coffee Gathering and the Cocktail Gathering. These events allow UN spouses to meet other UN spouses, to get information and advice, to share concerns and get support.

Q: We here at Waterside remember when your organization was founded! You’ve grown so rapidly in a few years. Can you tell us about some of the milestones NYLESA has achieved? 

A: The biggest achievement of NYLESA is having gathered a strong community of members deeply involved, and making the association each day stronger and hopefully recognized by the whole UN System soon.

Another achievement is the involvement of our colleagues inside the UN, our focal points. They are really engaged and do their best to facilitate the recognition of the UN spouses. Another huge achievement is career support. Thanks to the energy of the Career Support Working Group, NYLESA is now able to offer workshops, meetings, networking events, advice and support in career transition.

Q: Tell us about your involvement with NYLESA. As Chair, do you have any particular aims for your organization?

A: I joined NYLESA three years ago. It was still the beginning of the association. After few months, I became coordinator of the Welcome Working Group and then Chair since March 2013. NYLESA helped me and gave me the opportunity to meet people and to feel useful while I was struggling with the creation of my own business.

As Chair, my aims for NYLESA are to encourage members to get involved in the association’s management in order to improve their professional skills; to reinforce contact with other LESAs around the world in order to share ideas and facilitate the relocation; and also, to get the awareness of high positions in the UN about the importance of supporting spouses in settling in and in career transition. The more we will raise awareness about NYLESA, the more we will be able to help other UN Spouses and make the relocation easier for everyone.

Q: Can you tell us how spouses/partners of UN employees at Waterside can get in touch with your organization? 

A: The easiest way to contact us is via email at reachus@nylesa.org and to get more information about the association’s purpose, services and activities, go to nylesa.org.

Q: We were happy to learn that our friends on the south end of the Waterside Plaza complex, The British International School of NY, will be hosting an event with you on Tuesday, September 30th. Can you tell us about this event?

A: The British International School generously offered us to set up an Open House, 6-8 PM, to encourage the meeting between our two organizations. The event will start with a reception, and then the presentation of the educational opportunities of the school and possible collaborations. We look forward to many more opportunities to engage with the international community here.

To learn more about the private, independent school for children ages 3-14, The British International School, visit bis-ny.org. To learn more about the international community at residential complex, Waterside Plaza, visit watersideplaza.com.

Be A "Park Angel" - Volunteer Day at Stuyvesant Cove Park!

Waterside Plaza viewed from Stuyvesant Cove Park

Waterside Plaza viewed from Stuyvesant Cove Park. Source: http://instagram.com/p/rwwTKyAT3L

We can’t grant you wings but you’ll start your weekend off feeling like an angel–a “Park Angel” to be exact–if you lend a hand this Saturday, September 27, 9AM-12PM, for Stuyvesant Cove Park Volunteer Day.  Tasks include weeding, maintaining plant beds, and generally keeping the park looking its best. If interested, please reach out to the Park Manager at the awesome Park Green Center Solar One, Daisy Hoyt at daisy@solar1.org, or just show up ready to get dirty–extra hands are always needed! “Thank you” pizza lunch for volunteers to follow!

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Sun-dappled corner of Stuyvesant Cove Park

Those of us who live and work in the Gramercy Park neighborhood need no introduction to Stuyvesant Cove Park, the lush, green haven nestled between 18th and 23rd Streets along the East River. Many of us have lunched in some quiet corner of the Park, jogged along the breezy path by the river, or just sat on a bench and watched the sky change colors in the evening. What many people don’t know is this little green alcove was hard-won. Stuyvesant Cove used to be a concrete factory, then an industrial lot, and only became a Park with an environmental education center after a lengthy community stuggle.

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Stuyvesant Cove Park blooms along the path to Waterside

One of the rare victories in New York City community land battles, today, Stuyvesant Cove not only offers a much-needed green escape in our concrete jungle, but a summer-long calendar of Arts & Events at Solar One’s solar-powered facility, including activities like ice cream making using Park berries, and Family Demonstrations focusing on local fauna and flora. Stuyvesant Cove Park is home to a remarkable array of wildlife, including many varieties of birds and even the occasional harbor seal! So come out on Saturday morning to help preserve this little community gem and then enjoy the rest of the weekend in good conscience!

5 Family Fun-Filled Apple Picking Farms Near NYC

A girl picks apples at an orchard near the eastern German town of Rathenow on August 21, 2008.The harvest of 1200 hectares of apple trees bearing 30 different sort has begun in the region. AFP PHOTO DDP / MICHAEL URBAN  GERMANY OUT (Photo credit should read MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images). Source: ourfamily2yours.com

A girl picks apples at an orchard near the eastern German town of Rathenow. Photo credit: MICHAEL URBAN/AFP/Getty Images) Source: ourfamily2yours.com

If your kids are already missing summer, tell them to cheer up! With fruit picking, corn maze adventures, and haunted houses a-plenty, we firmly believe fall is the most fun season for kids (and us adults who are young at heart)! Here are five apple picking farms near New York City that not only offer up several varieties of crisp, juicy apples for the plucking, but an entire array of family-oriented fun. Let the fall adventures begin!

Barton Orchards

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View of Barton Orchards’ expansive fields. Source: localharvest.org

With 122 acres of pick-your-own fruits/vegetables, a giant fun park with games and rides, a haunted house, a petting zoo, and a corn maze, Barton Orchards is the definition of a family-fun farm. Featuring 25 apple varieties for the picking, this is the farm for apple lovers. Farm admission is $3 with a $9.50 add-on FUN PASS for access to the fun park, corn maze, and haunted house. Apple bags are $15 & $24. Special events include Scary Pumpkin Carver this Sunday, September 28th, and a Haunt Night Saturday, October 18th. 63 Apple Tree Ln, Poughquag, NY. Monday-Friday 9am–5pm, Saturday-Sunday 9am-6pm through Oct 31.

Kelder’s Farm

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Kelder’s Farm giant jumping pillow. Source: chronogram.com

Kelder’s Farm located on Route 209 in the gorgeous Hudson Valley, offers the usual self-picking farm amusements, including hayrides and a corn maze, but what really sets it apart is its wildly whimsical mini-golf course and a giant jumping pillow. For $5 per person, you can jump all day if you like; every kid’s–and let’s be honest–many adults’ dream! If you can get your family off the pillow, there is also a petting zoo, as well other fruit, vegetable, flower and herb picking in addition to apples. Picking is $1.50 per pound. Be sure to get a picture with Chomsky, the giant gnome at the farm entrance. 5755 Rte 209, Kerhonkson, NY. Daily, 10am–6pm through October 31.

Masker Orchards

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A bountiful apple tree at Masker Orchards. Credit: Maria Danalakis. Source: Flickr

Consistently at the top of “Best NY Apple Picking” lists, Masker Orchards has the added advantage of being easily accessible by public transportation. You can grab New Jersey Transit’s #196 or #197 bus from Port Authority to Willowbrook Station, Warwick, and take a cab or walk up the road 1/2 mile to the farm. When coming to Masker, be sure to pack a family picnic because this 200-acre farm offers the most stunning views of the Hudson Valley in its fall foliage splendor. There are also baby barnyard animals, and pony and wagon rides for the kiddies. If you come up on Sunday October 6th, you’ll be privy to the town’s celebrated Warwick Applefest, featuring “a highly competitive apple-pie-baking contest.“ Daily 9am–5pm through early November.

Fink’s Country Farm

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Fink’s country farm pumpkin patch. Source: weknowstuff.com

Open April through December, you can come back to Fink’s Country Farm for your Christmas tree! In the fall, you’re invited to explore their 7-acre corn maze, enjoy hayrides, kiddy train rides, combine slide, and pick pumpkins right off the vine. If you’re an adventurous family, you’re welcome to explore the maze by flashlight October 18th & 25th. Admission is $13.50 including corn maze access and a hay ride. Children under 2 are free. Fink’s unique farm attractions include pig races, a corn canon and a pumpkin slingshot for blasting produce! Who could resist? 6242 Middle Country Rd, Wading River, NY. Weekends 9am–5pm through November 2.

Hurd’s Family Farm

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Cow train at Hurd’s Family Farm. Source: hurdsfamilyfarm

Another year-round access farm, Hurd’s Family Farm is an especially active fun farm. In addition to apple and pumpkin picking, $14 farm admission gives you access to the cow train ride pictured above, pedal karts, a giant sand slide, and animal and fish feeding. Additional adventures include gem or precious stone mining starting at $5, and paddle boats for parties of up to four people. Children under 3 are free. 2187 Rte 32, Modena Daily 9am–5pm. $14.

 

International Day of Peace Celebrations During UN Week

Source: internationaldayofpeace.org

Source: internationaldayofpeace.org

To most of us, UN Week, which is currently in session (September 16-24) only means worse traffic than usual but International Day of Peace, held around the world this Sunday, September 21, is here to remind us what all these people from around the globe are here working towards. To mark the 30th anniversary of the General Assembly Declaration on the Right of Peoples to Peace, the 2014 celebration is going back to its roots with the simple theme of “The Right of Peoples to Peace.”

Multiple celebrations throughout New York City mark the day, including an International Day of Peace Picnic featuring music and banner making in Queens Park, and a Peace Festival featuring yoga, meditation, and a potluck party at the Bowery Ballroom. See the full list of events HERE. And if you don’t get a chance to join an organized event, organizers invite you to share in the spirit of unity with a moment of silence at noon on September 21, and to share your thoughts on social media using the hashtag #PeaceDay.