July 8th, 2011
This post is from Vanessa Salamanca our artist correspondent in Paris-here’s a link to her work.
Located in the Marais, one of Paris’ historical districts is a unique, little-known museum. As you descend a discreet flight of stairs leading into the Musée de la Magie, you enter another world. Upon arriving, a strange hand emerging from a mysterious box welcomes you into the 16th century stone vaulted cellars, that not only host a myriad of magic memorabilia but a magician’s school, and a museum of automata (a large, antique wind-up toy) as well. As you roam the small museum you are bound to come across a magician performing tricks right in front of you, see some of the devices Harry Houdini and other famous illusionists used, and lose yourself in a world of optical illusions, fortune telling machines, magic mirrors and other weird artifacts leading you through the history of magic from the 18th century to today.
My daughter loved this museum so much that we ended up hosting her 8th birthday party there.
This is how it went:
After the kids arrived, a magician took us on brief, interesting tour of the museum. Then the children were given some free time for exploring (one thing I love about this museum is that it’s so small it’s impossible for kids to get lost). We were then led into a theatre to watch a magic show, where the kids were invited onstage to participate. Then another magician taught the kids how to perform the tricks after the show. Once the expert had done his disappearing act, we were left to sing, eat our cake and enjoy the rest of the birthday goodies. The children had such a great time, they still talk about that day, even though it was two years and many birthday parties ago. The address is 11 Rue St. Paul.
July 6th, 2011
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Here’s another post for our Flower Theme. My close friend, Michelle in London (who will be blogging for us from time to time) just turned me onto Maggie Austin. The images of these heavenly couture creations made me dewy-eyed and breathless when they appeared on my screen. Yes, I get that emotional about cakes. I am dying to see them in person. This former ballerina has elevated this art form to dizzying heights-sheer bliss. The cookies pictured below do belong in a frame and I can’t imagine actually eating them. I would want to keep them forever! She is based in DC for those lucky ones in the area, but special arrangements can be made for others. And she does far more than floral cakes. Her tasteful website displays an absolutely stunning array of many different styles. I was so inspired by Maggie that I did a search for a book that could teach me to make sugar flowers and I found this. Can hardly wait until it arrives, so I can try some out. Do comment if you make sugar flowers and have any tips for us.
July 6th, 2011
This is from Yuko Suzuki, our Tokyo correspondent from Mamans du Monde blog.
If you are in Tokyo with your kid, one of the must-go-to restaurant/cafes is Tokyo Baby Cafe in upscale Omotesando, aka “Tokyo’s Champs-Élysées”. This famous architectural showcase street, features a multitude of fashion flagship stores designed by internationally renowned architects. These include the Louis Vuitton store (by Jun Aoki), Prada building (by Herzog & de Meuron), and Dior (by SANAA), amongst others.
But back to the cafe…Only parents with children under 7 years old and pregnant women are allowed in, so you don’t have to worry about your baby bothering other non-parent people. It’s a parents’ paradise. They offer a variety of baby/kids’ menus from mild curry to udon noodles to pain au chocolat, and there’s a play space complete with an impressive, gigantic sofa for the little ones to go wild in. Boredom is not an issue here. The atmosphere and interior design of the cafe is very stylish and comfortable – they use custom-made Cassina furniture and there’s also a nursing room. Joy. There is a fee for adults of 500 yen (6 USD) per half hour (kids are free) and it’s worth every yen.
Also, every year Omotesando is the venue for Tokyo’s Saint Patrick’s Day Parade. Check out this adorable video of baton twirlers at the Tokyo St. Paddy’s parade.
July 6th, 2011
More of our Flower Theme: I couldn’t resist this photo from Bridget Fleming’s blog, Downtown From Behind. It showcases a mixed crowd of cyclists on the streets of lower Manhattan, ranging from architects, designers, decorators, artists—to anyone who impacts their neighborhood. Some of them remain faceless and all we get is well… a view from the posterior.
This shot is of designer Frank Alexander balancing a massive bouquet of flowers over his shoulder. I love the way the people are projected into the future. They all carry some hint as to what their path in life is. The mystery is where they are going right now-what will they do? I imagine Frank made some absolutely stunning wedding arrangement with that. What do you think? But do take a look at his website-you will thank me. It is amazing and his work is to die for. Makes me want to get married all over again, just to have him design it!
Downtown From Behind encourages “green awareness through cycling,” partnering with Little Ambitious, a philanthropic group who lend support to young inventors and designers using sustainable processes.
July 6th, 2011
How gorgeous this Pansy Printed Ikat dress is. Great addition to our Flower Theme. I spied this in the Little Marc Jacobs store in Greenwich Village and was completely taken. I am a sucker for oversized flowers-especially on little girls, and love the shirred neckline and adorable flutter sleeves. Can this be the perfect transition dress-from playing to fancy? Well, okay, so this might be too nice a number to hit the Bleecker Playground sandbox in after all, but still versatile. And it’s also available from one of my favorite homes away from home: Zappos! Take a look.
July 4th, 2011
Okay, here’s another 4th of July pick. Just in case you weren’t all “Stars and Striped out” yet. Take a look at these Keds Stars and Stripes shoes. I’m liking them just the way are, but now for the really cool part. These are totally customizable. I had so much fun going on the Zazzle site and playing around. Here is what I came up with. What can you do with them? But I warn you-you’ll get hooked.
July 4th, 2011
I am a kiddie hair accessory addict and these Bubbly Bows are the most original and adorable things I have ever seen made almost entirely out of grosgrain ribbon. Here’s our (yes, you guessed it, 4th of July pick.)
And here are some others I couldn’t resist sharing with you. Their range is huge and so imaginative-I would like to buy all of them.
And to follow with our Flower Theme, here are some more.
July 4th, 2011
This post is from Emma Mathlein, our Mom Correspondent in Stockholm.
Celebrating the 4th of July Stockholm style means going over to Gray’s American Food Store to stock up on Milk Duds. The love affair between me and those wonderful little bits of candy started when I hung out in Texas a trillion years ago. Everywhere I went, Milk Duds came with me.
And as this will be Sixten’s first 4th of July, I am very excited to show you these adorable little pieces from the amazing Swedish brand, Moonkids. I am totally in love with their 70’s style. All dressed up – Gray’s here we come!
July 4th, 2011
Flowers are something I am passionate about, so it makes sense that my first post is all about flowers. And it also kicks off our very first theme: Flowers. Get ready for a flower explosion in the week to come!
And one of my favorite little trips in our neighborhood is to the Chelsea Flower Market. This is the bouquet we made from the flowers we picked up. As soon as we turned the corner into the markets, my four year-old, said, “Oh, Mama, I can smell the flowers”. Sure enough, we were hit with a potpourri of perfumes and a myriad of colors. I love stepping into the fresh coolness of the shops, especially on a sweltering day like yesterday. And there is something so mysterious about leaving with a plain brown paper package concealing such a treasure. The market is between 6th and 7th Avenues and 28th Street and you can get everything from fresh flowers, to plants, to all sorts of florist’s supplies. In fact, this is where most of the city’s florists get at least some of their flowers.
I took these photos at G. Page.
Then we pushed on a bit further up 6th Ave. to 38th street, (and I do mean pushed, as I had the double stroller in tow) to my fave ribbons and notions shop, the historic M&J Trimmings, for the ribbons around our vase. This place has a staggering range of over one million products: ribbons, buttons, trimmings, and every imaginable notion. They also have an online store.
Helpful hint: If you too want to wrap ribbon around your vase, it helps to stick it down with glue dots to keep from sliding And don’t forget to buy that green foamy stuff so your flowers stay put.