With some of the best real estate, shopping and restaurants in the city, the West Village is one of the trendiest neighborhoods to raise a family. The Sex and the City tour bus dropped you off ages ago and today you realize this cozy little neighborhood is even better with kids. With the proximity to the Hudson River Park, tree-lined streets and a chic downtown vibe, you wouldn’t dream of moving to the suburbs (let alone above 14th St.). Granted your kid sleeps in a closet and you can barely fit a double stroller on the sidewalk, but it’s still your home sweet home. You know you’re a West Village parent if you agree with these 12 signs.
Image: Wally Gobetz via Flickr
1. Your social circle revolves around Bleecker Playground. While you used to meet friends in the Meatpacking District, now the go to destination is Bleecker Playground, particularly after brunch. If you’re feeling adventurous, you’ll change it up and let the kiddos go nuts at two other neighborhood hot spots – Horatio Playground and Leroy Playground.
2. You would never trade fashion for motherhood. That’s right, West Village moms and dads dress to impress (even if it means baby spit up on a designer jacket). Check out the crowd at preschool pick up, and you’ll see the latest trends like black leather Vans, floppy wool hats, ray ban sunglasses and fur vests.
Image: Sarah Gilbert via Flickr
3. Your kids eat at all the best restaurants. Fact – you’re dining at the best selection of restaurants in the city without ever leaving your neighborhood like Red Farm, Blue Ribbon, Commerce, Rosemary’s and Market Table. The list goes on and on.
Image: Ed Yourdon via Flickr
4. You complain about the lack of an indoor playspace. It’s the achilles heel of the West Village – no indoor playspace. So you have to travel outside your ‘hood to keep your sanity during the cold winter months. If you have a toddler, you’ll go the extra mile for an indoor playground.
Image: turbulentflow via Flickr
5. Your family domain was once your husband’s bachelor pad. You moved into your one bedroom loft when it was just you and your husband. Now, you have one baby in a closet, another in the dining nook, and you’re sleeping on a pull-out sofa. Because who can find a three bedroom in the Village?
Image: Gary Alexander via Flickr
6. You play it cool around celebrity kids. From SJP’s twins to Martha Stewart’s grandkids to Sienna Miller’s cutie pie to Peter Dinklage’s darling, your kid probably threw sand at them at least once on the playground (and you may have even tried to photobomb a pic or two).
Image: Michelle Doetsch
7. You’re A Friend of Hudson River Park. Your kids have been running, strolling, biking, scooting and playing soccer along the Hudson River Park since birth. Your apartment is way too small to contain the savages, so you have no choice but to let them run wild right outside your doorstep. Thank goodness for your backyard in the city.
8. You’re a member of West Village Parents online – See all those moms and babies on blankets in the park in the spring? It’s no accident. You plan meet-ups, swap your stuff, and make friends via the online parents group. From strollers to baby nurses and where to stay with kids in the Caribbean, your biggest questions, concerns and advice has been traded on the message boards.
Image: Dave H. via Yelp
9. Your kids are bred to be artists. From the new Whitney Museum to the Children’s Museum of the Arts to Greenwich House Music School and Baby Moves at Perry School, you can’t deny the art scene in the Village. Your kids paint and sculpt. They sing and dance. They even play the bongos.
10. Doodle-Doo’s. Need we say more? It’s THE place for a kid’s haircut in the West Village and it boasts an amazing selection of toys too. Plus, with all the other favorite baby boutiques in the West Village like Yola, Bonpoint, Teich, Little Marc Jacobs, and Bombalulus, who needs SoHo?
Image: Rachel Lovinger via Flickr
11. Your kids are extras on TV. Your little New Yorkers can be seen in the background of Law & Order or The Goodwife or that new Chris Rock movie. Film crews are all over the West Village, all the time. You can’t help it if you casually push your stroller through the shot (over and over and over again).
Image: Benjamin Dumas via Flickr
12. Location, location, location. You wouldn’t dream of leaving the picturesque downtown enclave. Where else can you find criss-crossing, tree-lined, cobblestone streets that still manage to get you lost on the way to playgroup. You’ve even signed friendship contracts with all the other West Village moms promising you’ll never move to the suburbs (let alone above 14th St.)!
Tell us what makes you a West Village parent in a comment!
– Ashly Grzyb