Urban Granny

A Seasoned View of Urban Life

Archive for August, 2009


The New York Times, Digital or Print?

The New York Times Reader, Front Page

The New York Times Reader, Front Page

One of my great joys is to read the New York Times especially with a good cup of coffee on a beautiful Sunday morning. The Times has been trying to update itself and become more relevant and accessible. Print is going out of fashion and the digital revolution has taken over. The latest entry from the ever-evolving NY Times is the online service The New York Times Reader. This is in addition to their many other digital offerings; various news alerts, blogs, newsletters, eBook subscriptions and daily niche updates via email. By far, the Reader is my favorite besides the actual PRINT version (because I love to hold the paper in my hands, leisurely in a chair). This is a free service to anyone who subscribes to the print edition or at a weekly fee comparative to a subscription service.

The NY Times web page accessed through your web browser is wonderful but the navigation and email capabilities are not comparable to the Reader.

The Reader is easy to download to your desktop or dock in the case of a Mac. It is clear and easy to use and not dependent on a web browser. It may not replace the old print version for many people but it could come close.

Travel Section Email

Travel Section Email

Front Page The New York Times Web Edition

The New York Times Web Edition, Front Page

The New York Times Digital Edition

The New York Times Digital Edition

Posted under Newspapers, Observations

Grandparents in Charge

Recently my daughter and her husband were on a week’s trip to The Netherlands and my husband and I were left in charge of their three children ages 5, 4, and 15 months.

During the week their regular routine kicked in so our dilemma was the weekend and what would be fun activities for all of us.

The plan for Saturday was to walk the High Line, exit at 20th street, lunch at Cookshop, proceed to the Hudson River walkway on West Street and then go to the children’s park at Jane Street and the Hudson River. The park has a wonderful sprinkler and water play area.A High Line View


Saturday proved to be a mixed bag of results. High Line was a wonderful experience but the children were too young to appreciate it. They were looking for more activity than they found. They thought it was cool to be above the ground and that they could see the old tracks but still no “kid things to do”. The High Line activity listing scheduled a children’s art project of making constructions out of recycled material but it was crowded and disorganized. A bit of a disappointment but it had sounded great when I planned it.

Coming off the High Line at 20th and having Cookshop directly in our sight was perfect. The food was great and totally child friendly.

The walk to Jane Street Park was long but doable. It is a great park with a wonderful walk along the Hudson. The park was not crowded and there were restroom facilities and a snack cart with ice cream nearby.   Perfect!

Sunday was a trip to Governor’s Island. This was a blind plan since we had no idea what to expect. I had read about the available children activities but was not sure about the facilities. We decided not to take bikes since the kids rode at very different levels and we had to deal with Max, the 15 month old.

The first ferry to Governors Island was at 10 o’clock and we made it!!  We were worried about the prediction for rain and we were trying to avoid the crowds. This proved to be the correct move. The children loved the ferry ride. The ride is short and easy with designated areas for bikers and families with strollers.

Governor’s Island is a work in progress. There are porta john facilities and snack trucks but I definitely suggest picnicking. There are tables all over the Island. Water Taxi Beach has food but for now it is french fries, hot dogs and hamburgers.

The Island can be a little daunting at first so use the website and the Island map when planning your trip.


Maxwell Marking

Maxwell Marking

We immediately headed to the Summer Art Colony run by the Children’s Museum of the Arts.  This was simply wonderful. The instructors were enthusiastic, helpful and patient. They had art projects set up for all age groups, even for little Max. There were art kits “to go” for those who wanted to explore other areas of the Island and sketch or color.

Max had colored balls in a dry pool to play with, easels with chalk, markers and some kind of plastic material to mold. Ben and Madeleine were busy making fans, drawing and painting. They also did a project using colored tissue pasted on wooden frames. The kids had a ball and were so proud of their art projects that they decided to give them as gifts to their parents when they returned.

Madeleine Creating

Madeleine Creating

Later, we explored more of the island and played a round of miniature golf. The children asked for a playground but unfortunately it is not finished.  We then walked to Water Taxi Beach for lunch. I really wished I had packed a picnic.

We headed back to the landing and saw big crowds coming off the ferry. Probably the numbers swelled because of a planned Judy Collins concert.

Our timing was great and though Governor’s Island is still a work in progress it is well worth a trip.

The weekend ended up to be a wonderful time for the grandchildren and their grandparents alike.

Benjamin Chalking

Benjamin Chalking

Sides note regarding the Children’s Museum of Arts, CMA is a fabulous organization that runs several types of Art Colonies, art classes for all ages, some of which are affordable drop off classes, a summer camp and art exhibits. Go to their web site for a full list of activities.

Posted under Children, Recreation