Now that the weather is officially gray and frigid, what does one do to avoid going stir crazy? Sure, booze is always a fun way to pass the afternoon but there’s only so many times you can bring your two year old to the bar before Social Services comes knocking. With that in mind, every Friday On the Real will help you find stuff to do indoors. And so today, we bring you…puppets?Yes, puppets. And of all the creatures in the puppet Kingdom, I personally find marionettes inherently creepy. Maybe it’s because they are so herky-jerky. Maybe seeing them manipulated by strings inspires a certain Machiavellian dread. Or maybe it’s because of Chucky. Was Chucky a marionette? How about King Friday? Because I didn’t like him either. No matter. They’re freaky and so it was entirely an antsy-kid-in-cold-weather decision that made us head over to Park Slope to check out long-time marionette mainstay, Puppetworks. Set up as a black-box theater in the ground floor of a brownstone, it is actually sort of funky and charming.The puppeteers (marionetters?) come out before the show and explain to the kids the mechanics of how the puppets work, and they’re enthusiastic and silly and all the kids (including mine) ate the schtick up. The actual show itself was great — the kids yell and clap and point and are completely engaged, and despite my marionette aversion I’ll actually admit to being entertained as well. And I was struck by the notion that it’s totally wholesome, innocent and old-timey fun for a little kid and there isn’t tons of that fun around anymore. So this Saturday when the thermometer reads 19 degrees and your kids are drawing on the walls with Sharpies– remember the puppets.
For your lady or the little ones, go to Pink Olive in either Park Slope or the East Village. They have a fantastic mixture of cards, books, bags, art, jewelry, stuffed animals, kid’s clothes, candles and soaps. It’s the perfect one-stop-shop for smaller, more thoughtful gifts with a lovable sense of humor.I really like the “Anatomy of Love” print, but the vast selection of Jellycat stuffed animals have put so many smiles on and wiped so many tears off my three-year-old’s sweet face that I just have to shout out a huge “THANK YOU” to the good citizens that run sweet Pink Olive.
On one thing we can all agree: cold heads suck. And since 1895, an original American-made cap from stylish hatter Goorin Bros. has been the perfect antidote to a chilly noggin. They have a huge variety for both men and women, and can even custom fit a hat on the spot for you using 200 year old milliner’s hat blocking tools and a steamer.Don’t be a Scrooge! Your loved one’s head deserves it. (Locations in both West Village & Park Slope.)
I needed to get from Park Slope to the East Village quickly for my open houses today, so Greg suggested I try the Manhattan Bridge on my bike. It was a great ride: 6,855 feet of smooth bridge, with no cars to contend with! It was door to door in just under a half hour, and there’s also plenty of local color to enjoy along the way, as always.