Bay Ridge

Baby Fingers and Other Baby Sign Language Classes in NYC

Russian is my first language, so when I became a mom, I resolved that all of my children would be bilingual. I now have three kids and failed with all of them in their own way (not unlike what Tolstoy said about unhappy families). They are all definitely English dominant.

But I did do one thing right with my now eight- and five-year-olds: In addition to speaking Russian to them from birth, I also enrolled them in baby sign language classes. Not only were they able to communicate through sign months earlier than their mouths and tongues were capable of physically producing words, it created a perfect bridge from one language to the other. When I spoke to them in English (if their father was around), I signed the words. If I spoke to them in Russian (when we were alone), I signed the words. Making the same sign whether I was speaking English or Russian crystallized the point that all three–English, Russian and sign–referred to the same thing, and really helped them keep it all straight.

Here are some places where families can take baby sign language classes in New York City.

NYC School Zones: Where to Find Accurate Public School Zone Maps

New York City got an F in geography this month as news got around that 311 (the official New York City info line) has been giving out inaccurate information about elementary school zones. Over the past few years, there has been an unprecedented amount of school rezoning due to the introduction of several new schools to help ease overcrowding. Apparently even the DOE and NYC.gov can't keep up with the changes, so what are parents supposed to do—especially with the deadline for kindergarten applications looming?

I spent several hours sussing out where NYC parents can find accurate school zoning maps. It was not an easy task as there literally is no one place to find accurate school zoning maps for NYC... until now. Read on to see how you can get the right information when looking up your zoned schools.

Old New York Soda Fountain Restaurants

New York has changed a lot in our lifetimes. When I was a kid we really didn't have that many chains stores and restaurants in Manhattan. I used to see ads for Red Lobster and Beefsteak Charlie's on TV and pine for the suburbs. Now, of course, I know better and pine for the old neighborhood places. Most of them are long gone, but there are a few places left that have miraculously survived.

You can take your kids to any one of these old-fashioned soda fountains and it's like stepping into a time travel machine. Each of these kid-friendly restaurants is a great place to stop by for ice cream drinks and desserts and is a window into a long-gone NYC. Experience old New York at an old-fashioned soda fountain. Isn't history yummy?

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