I have always thought that Katherine Edmonds, the founder and designer behind Wovenplay, must be a romantic at heart so evocative are her kids collections. A cross between costume dressing and playful clothes, she has invented and mastered the art of creating costumes for children that don’t look like costumes. Little pieces of playfulness that you would like to see them wear every day, just to add a bit of dream to their life.
Today, Katherine tells us all about her favorite New York. I have lived there for 10 years and I am excited to still discover new places with this interview. That’s why this city never stops amazing me.
I am a single mother with a wonderfully joyful 9 year old son, William. He spends his time equally with his father and me. We live in Manhattan and William goes to school in Brooklyn.
The concept of Wovenplay is all about nature, adventure, expression and individuality. All of this influence my choices for travel and daily life.
A perfect day for me and William goes like this:
1. Start out in Central Park Conservatory Gardens at 104th street and 5th Avenue. This is an almost secret very old formal garden with spectacular beauty, which I love.
2. Then take a walk Southwest through the park and over to the West side at 85th street and Amsterdam Avenue to a favorite restaurant called Barney Greengrass for brunch. I suggest scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, creme cheese and onions, fresh squeezed OJ (orange juice for any non-American:-)) and toasted bagels. The place is a historic New York spot, over 100 years old.
3. After that, walk down to 81st and Columbus Avenue and enter the back steps of the American Museum of Natural History to the secret terrace and wading pool with fountains–very refreshing place to relax and cool off on a hot summer day! To finish, you can see an exciting space show in the Rose Planetarium.
4. Another very nice day trip is to the Bronx Botanical Gardens. It is a couple of stops (20 min) on the metro, north from Grand Central station (a must visit in itself) and absolutely worth the trip. My son and I have fed birds from our hands there. There are incredible grounds and a fun childrens garden / activity area.
5. William also likes to wander in Central Park and for me to give him and his friends scavenger hunts to find things in nature. Then there is a nice bike path down the West side along the Hudson river we like to ride on and we go down to Battery Park all the way south of Manhattan (after Tribeca), where there is a playground (see below) and a beautiful promenade from which you can see the Statue of Liberty very close!
6. In Battery Park, there is a secret park called Teardrop Park all the way downtown behind a large building, with water sprinklers and a giant aluminum slide going into a sandy area. Kids love it. Parents too as they hang out on wooden steps and watch the fun.
Another great spot is BLT Fish in the Flatiron District, on West 17th st, for amazing grilled tuna sandwich and the freshest fish.
I also love Walter Foods in Williamsburg, Brooklyn for good old-school dishes such as a great burger.
A nice spot for two without the kids is Snack Taverna in the hip and romantic West Village. It is a great little Greek restaurant with excellent food. Get the saganaki!
Two favorite and recent hotels are the Greenwich Hotel in TriBeCa (owned by Robert De Niro) and the Crosby Street Hotel in Soho. Both are beautifully designed boutique hotels with luxury amenities and great food, located downtown. NYC hotels are always so expensive but I’ve found the Morgans Hotel to be slightly more reasonable at times.
Some of my favorite shops are:
Steven Alan on Franklin street in TriBeCa. John Derian‘s two shops on Second street in the East Village. Moomah on Hudson street in TriBeCa, which has great kids art and other fun projects, including a cozy cafe. What Goes Around Comes Around on West Broadway for amazing vintage pieces.
On weekends, the museums all have great family programs that you can very easily join in for if you call ahead or check the daily schedule. We go to the MOMA for these focused, age-specific guided tours for kids that end with a hands-on art project. They last about 2 hours and everyone has fun. Also MOMA has a kids film series showing in their theater depending on dates.
In NYC, take the subway instead of taxis during rush hours to avoid being stuck in bumper to bumper traffic. Also for current events and especially live music I buy the weekly magazine Time Out New York.
You can find Wovenplay online on nonchalant mom and Sweet William in the US, Orfeo Design in the UK and starting this September, on Little Fashion Gallery. For shops, the line is sold at Erica Tanov in NY, Lost and Found in LA, Couverture in London and Bonton in Paris. (Ps: These are literally the best of the best kids shops in the world!)