Updating Inwood Manhattan and Washington Heights Activities
Yianni’s wife was the founding editor of the MKG publication and did a great job of updating information on a regular basis so other Inwood Manhattan and Washington Heights families would have an up-to-date schedule of neighborhood activities for kids and their parents. Also, during that period, they were developing community happening out of which evolved two organizations, “Lights Camera Read” and “Magic Neighbors.”
Mission: to Bring all Neighborhoods Together into a Single Neighborhood
Yianni and Alison’s daughter, who was then a toddler at the time, was of course the center of their lives. As parents, they did not see a sense of community that brought everyone in Inwood and in the heights together. So, they undertook several ambitious community-building projects that were aimed at bringing all the neighborhoods together into a single neighborhood.
Jump Starting the Mission with a Parade
This mission was jump started by an ambition parade that was documented and broadcasted by the NY1 channel. The parade, that had been highly publicized, consisted of over 100 kids and their parents. The parade began on the west side of Broadway and culminated on the east side of Broadway at the Inwood Fire Station. It was there that the captain and other fire fighters put on an educational and entertaining show that brought about the group laughing together. And for at least for one magic moment, the mission of being one neighborhood, had been achieved.
The first version of the “Manhattan Kids Guide” website was started back in June 2009 and was originally created using the now antiquated Dreamweaver software. Then in 2018 this website was transitioned to the more modern format of WordPress. Unfortunately, somehow in the transition, all the original content dating from 2009 to 2018 was lost! Though, there remains remnants of the early days of the publication, such as videos scattered throughout YouTube including this one that documented the Lights Camera Read parade that occurred back in November 2009.
We have been fortunate throughout the years, to have received much support and positive feedback from those we live near, here in Northern Manhattan. This can be seen in various videos scattered throughout YouTube of various events we created throughout the years starting with the 2009 costume parade and including library shows we performed for the local community. We were also lucky to have received much local press including the local publication, the “Manhattan Times.”
When my wife and I started this community building process in Inwood Manhattan in 2009, our daughter was a toddler. During the 2009 costume parade of kids and parents that my wife and I organized, our daughter’s participation was being pushed in her carriage while dressed as a lamb.
Our daughter will become a teen this year and as parents, my wife and I see ourselves focusing on how to best be there for her during these Pandemic times. Issues include remote learning, online socialization and other web processes and challenges. Thankfully, our daughter is flourishing in her online activities that she accesses through her Chromebook that her school provided.
Making movies for kids is easy but getting parents to purchase them is not. The key to making a digital movie that actually gets purchased involves marketing, marketing and more marketing.
Content Before Marketing
The secret to getting sales of your streaming movie involves a secret. You should not just create a movie and then seeking distribution and marketing, but rather thinking long and hard in advance regarding your motion picture’s storyline. You see, your film must be carefully made to fulfill a particular genre for which there are parents who are seeking such content for their children.
Study Current Successful Kids Movies
But how do you do this? The key is to look at full length films and other programing that your kids are watching right now. From this you can get a sense of what your children are most interested in and try to develop a movie of that kind.
Who will be leading our country is a big deal and can cause stress for parents. The not knowing who will be the next president of the United States can bring about moods that we need to contain for our kids.
Depending on the age of your child or children you can let them know about the important process we are undergoing. For example, our daughter is studying the presidential election in school and is having homework that relates to it.
In short, finding out who the next president of America can be a learning moment for our kids!
It’s enough here in Manhattan we’re having to follow protocol regarding COVED (that many are rejecting such as not wearing a mask etc.), but now one of the biggest issues in New York City torture is the flip flopping decision as to whether or not to teach our kids remote or hybrid?
We’ve been very lucky with our daughter’s school. They started with remote off the bat and will be taking a temperature for possible hybrid down the line. Many New York kids and parents were not so fortunate and have had to have the start of school change and change again messing up their schedules. And now with what is going on in Queens and Brooklyn, it’s anybody’s guess what’s next.
I’m a father. And I have been amazed (as is often said) that my child has grown up so quickly. Although we know this, we need to often be thinking about preparing our kids for the “Real World.” One of the key components of this is education.
For those of us here in Manhattan, New York, as it is for the rest of the country, due to the pandemic and other things of a safety caution, we are faced with one of the most difficult choices for our kids. We need to decide the manner we want our kids to be learning in: in-person in classroom or distance learning?
Ask Your Kid
I literally just did the step that we as parents must do, which is in addition to having our own opinions about what form is best, we need to additional ask our children what their preference is.
Before revealing what my kid said as the preferred method of educational medium, I should mention that my child’s school is giving us two options for the upcoming school year. The first is mixed learning which means 5 days in classroom, followed by 5 days distant learning, and so on. The other option is to have just distance learning.
Choice is Theirs
As a parent I am not fully convinced that my child is going to be able to be completely safe from the virus or even from violence as I bring my child to school through a rough environment. But I put the final decision to be my kids’.
My Kid’s Decision
My child selected the hybrid of 5 days classroom, followed by 5 days distant learning. I pray everything is going to be okay. But I do trust the judgement of the school, so if things are not safe they will change their delivery method. I hopefully made the right choice to give my child the choice. Because, let’s face it, our kids are going to grow up!
With my wife and our 11 year old daughter we started our lockdown early on March 8, 2020. The date now is July 5th, the day after Independence Day. Ironically we have been independent of much of the world for the last 119 days. After day 100 I went outside solo with a medical mask on to mail a letter. The three of us also went outside to the park very briefly which was a frightening experience of people without masks, spitting talking loudly, bumping against us, all with a cavalier attitude about the virus. This as cases are rising!
Avoiding “Summer Slide”
So indoors we stay in Manhattan, NY in a small 800 foot two bedroom apartment. But what do we do all day and night? We have some traditions such as Family Game Night. Also we celebrate TGIF when my wife and I break free from our daily computer grind and have fun such as watching a movie together. Also, our daughter asked us if she could help thwart her losing her knowledge via “Summer Slide” by participating in a summer online learning camp. Although her test score average is 97% we said “yes” since it will be a healthy activity for her to do online.
What Do You Do During the Pandemic?
What do you and your family do during the Coronavirus lockdown? We want to know!
Being a dad is a great thing. In taking on the responsibility of raising a child it has to be an “all in” kind of a commitment. You are constantly in awe of the growth of your child and are tuned into what they need at any given time in their development.
Nature Versus Nurture?
The nature versus nurture question comes up constantly. How much does your input as a father impact a kid and how much is just an inherent a personality component of her or him? Going through the experience I’d have to say both.
Hands Off Versus Guidance?
There are ways that my child is very much her own person, with incredible traits that I can’t recognize in myself or my wife. These are things I give her space on and let her grow into ideas without interference by me. I have to admit I use “teaching moments” but I try not to bring too much attention to the fact I am passing on insights. In short, I parent with a hands off on things that are happening developmentally with her that are working out well, but step in when some guidance seems necessary. Something must be working out because she is an amazing human being!
The NYC Department of Health & Mental Hygiene together with the Department of Education put out a letter recently addressed to parents and guardians. The NYC Department of Health is currently investigating cases of Pediatric Multi-System Inflammatory Syndrome, or PMIS, a new health condition appearing in children in New York City and elsewhere. The NYC Health Department is also investigating the possible association between PMIS and COVID-19 in children. Some doctors think the condition is related to having COVID-19, but the connection is still not clear.
PMIS is a rare condition that is not contagious. However, because it is life-threatening, it is important to know the signs. Most children have a persistent, high temperature lasting several days, along with other symptoms, including:
Irritability or sluggishness
Abdominal pain without another explanation
Conjunctivitis, or red or pink eyes
Enlarged lymph node (“gland”) on one side of the neck
Red, cracked lips or red tongue that looks like a strawberrySwollen hands and feet, which might also be red
You should call your doctor if your child becomes ill and has had continued fever. Your doctor will ask about your child’s symptoms and use that information to recommend next steps. If your child is severely ill, you should go to the nearest emergency room or call 911 immediately.
This publication came about through our need to connect with activities for kids for our then toddler daughter. Things have changed a lot from then and our daughter is now in middle school.
Reflecting on the Past
The years do go by quickly and we are in awe of our daughter and the wonderful person she is. We continue to do this publication in part because we are supportive of the Blog Coalition of which we are members, but also because there is a part of us that makes us want to remember every phase our daughter has gone through.
What We all Have in Common
We don’t list activities for kids on this blog all that often. Times have changed but we’re really all kids at heart.