Every morning I’m reminded of how unique Openhouse is to work from. Unlock the front door with a maintenance man’s set of keys, untrip the alarm, roll up the gate. Then down the landing and into our main room that’s super white or dressed in the pop up du jour. During Watch the Throne, it was Jay-Z’s black Maybach parked next to me. For CNET Gotham, I passed warily through rows of gadgets, hoping none of the devices’ alarm clocks would start start blaring. And finally up a tight circular stair case that would make Aaron Ralston claustrophobic.
Lately, walking into work’s been different. No blindingly white walls, no retail set up. Nothing I’d ever see indoors at all. Instead it’s a quiet pop-up park, twittering birds and … a mini stroller parking lot. Strollers? Strollers. Mommy Mornings started Friday so a handful of moms and nannies are lounging and chatting while their babies run, play or sit there looking quizzacle. Layered on the plush custom-made NewGrass are heaps of Fatboy bean bags and picnic blankets and plenty of kids rummage through the American Foliage flowers to find nonexistent birds hiding behind the MagicMurals.com trees. I say hi but don’t get much attention from moms who only see “non-threat” and babies who only see “non-dad.”
I got curious, though, about what they thought of Park Here, so I came down from my office tree house to find out. Six-year-old Basil Yee loved building Fatboy forts and taking hide-and-seek turns with her friend, Lili Atwood. But, Basil says, the park could use some fires. Or at least brown-paper bags illuminated by candles. Lili just wanted to play the bag-toss game Rolling Stone set up. Melva Yee and Maria Helen Atwood enjoyed being able to let their children run free while they chatted at wrought-iron bistro tables. Yee loves the spring theme, Nolita Mart’s chocolate, The Jam Stand’s raspberry jalapeno jam and Hong Kong Street Cart’s hot ginger tea.
“I walked by here many times last year,” says Atwood. “It never crossed my mind that this would be open to anyone!” Yee wouldn’t even have noticed the Nolitan pop-up park had her children not shouted out the bucolic storefront. In the back room, Diane Paul, a nanny to minimini Soya, says “The computers with Internet is an added bonus this year. There are more flowers and trees, too.” (Yee’s not sold on the computers “in a park?”) Sonya Halladene, a nanny to Luna, is back for a second year, too.
“There are so many places in the city, but not like this. They can run around so freely. Plus the M&Ms were great, too!”
Explore the calendar for Mommy Mornings at Park Here. Join more than 7,000 fans on Facebook + Twitter and see the full Park Here lineup featuring free concerts, wine tastings and a dozen local food vendors at ParkHere.info. Or head down to 201 Mulberry St. in Nolita. Park Here is open from noon to 8 pm daily. Mommy Mornings is open from 8:30 am-noon daily. Spring St. on the 6 train, Broadway-Lafayette on the B,D,F,M.
To learn more about Mommy Mornings, contact Leila Antakly – firstname.lastname@example.org.
Greg Spielberg | December 14 2011
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