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Lunch and a Show: The Spectacular Rockettes and Rock Center Café

rockettesLiving just outside of Manhattan, I know that I sometimes take things for granted --like the ability to win the Hamilton lottery and actually get to the city in time for the show. Of course, I have not been so lucky to have won, so I'm filling the void with other spectacular shows in the city such as...

The New York Spectacular Starring the Radio City Rockettes! The Christmas Spectacular has become so popular that the Rockettes now perform a super pumped up spring/summer show at Radio City Music Hall. Written by Douglas Carter Beane and directed and choreographed by Mia Michaels (of So You Think You Can Dance fame), the show will put a huge smile on your face and make you want to jump out of your seat and dance. The costumes by Emilio Sosa were magnificent. I wish I had counted the number of the Rockette's costume changes.

The show opened featuring the Rockettes rocking out to Taylor Swift's "Welcome to New York." It sets the stage, so to speak, for the entire show; big, loud special effects galore, cutting edge technology, masterful puppetry and a completely New York experience that will resonate with you long after leaving the theater. Anyone who lives in and around New York will be able to relate to and understand all of the song and dance numbers and appreciate the visual effects that are woven into the set. And anyone who comes to see the show as a tourist will feel like they just experienced the entire city with Jacob (Vincent Crocilla) and Emily (Jenna Ortega), the children we follow throughout the show. They come from Connecticut with their parents to visit popular sites in the city where their parents met and wooed one another years ago but get separated from each other when the subway doors shut. (This is something that literally almost happened to me when my son was four -- but one look at his face told me he had no recollection of that- thank goodness.) Impressively, it actually looks like a subway comes across the Radio City Stage.

It's a good thing their parents hit every major New York City site during the early days of their relationship because the audience joins Jacob and Emily from Grand Central Terminal to the Metropolitan Museum of Art where the paintings come alive (super cool) and then down to Wall Street. The Wall Street number alone is enough to warrant going to see the show. The kids then try to find their parents at the New York Public Library where the lion statues at the entrance do a hilarious rap using Hamilton-style prose. I could not figure out how they got the lions to look like statues but move with such fluidity. Mom and Dad were not at the library but they could have gone to Central Park so the kids go there and have some fun with the Alice in Wonderland statue.

Next up was my kids' favorite number- Singin' in the Rain. Not only are most kids familiar with the song, but the Rockettes bring it to life by tap dancing with umbrellas and raincoats while water shoots onto the stage. Alas, they head to Times Square to the delight of the Radio City audience and then down Fashion Avenue in another huge number featuring the Rockettes performing to "Vogue" by Madonna. Each leggy lady struts her stuff down the runway in a unique outfit. It's fun to watch and the energy during this number is tremendous. The kids head to the Empire State building and then the Statue of Liberty before reuniting with their worried parents and the show concludes a mind-bogglingly finale. We all left feeling as if we had actually seen every landmark site in Manhattan- it was all so realistic. Overall, the show was modern with its choreography, soundtrack, and use of technology but the Rockettes were still classics. It's a show that caters to all audiences, young, old and in between. Running 90-minutes with no intermission, the show is appropriate for most children ages 4 and up.

What's a matinee in the city without someshrimpsaladlunch beforehand? We checked out Rock Center Café smack in the middle of Rockefeller Center. We lucked out with a perfect day to eat outside right at this national historical landmark. The servers couldn't have more attentive to my family of four and children are welcome at this establishment (there's a nice children's menu). Many reviewers online raved about its location during the colder months as well because along with the view of the Rockefeller Center fountains and the sculpture of Prometheus, you dine with a view of the famous ice rink and the Christmas tree.

The food was better than the typical tourist-area restaurant. We started with corn flour-encrusted calamari and the signature guacamole. The calamari was crispy and flavorful and the guacamole was fresh and perfectly seasoned. We split a hard frozen lemonade (utterly delightful) and I had the shrimp chop-chop salad, served with tasty buttermilk herb dressing and chopped capers to round out the flavor. The kids' meals were quite palate pleasing. One kid had "the best grilled cheese on the planet" and the other had "you can't actually not make pasta good" pasta. I rarely order dessert at restaurants but it was irresistible for good reason. We had a decadent trio of the strawberry shortcake, NY cheesecake, and tartufo banana split. Our stomachs were smaller than our eyes but I am happy we got to taste it. I appreciate attention to quality in restaurants and the manager, Alan, made his way from table to table throughout our meal, lighting up the place with his smile and ensuring that all diners were happy with their meal and their service. It makes a difference.

Best of all, Rock Center Café and Radio City have partnered to offer lunch at the café with tickets to the Rockettes. 

Don't miss out! The show is running now through August 7th every day of the week except Tuesday at the historic Radio City Music Hall. Catch a sneak peek and order tickets here

Geocaching: The Forever Adventure

geocachefindWith the warm weather comes the spirit of outdoor adventure for some of us. Maybe the kids are away at sleepaway camp and you're looking for some fun activities for you and your partner; maybe the kids are up for an adventure themselves; maybe you're up for a solo challenge or looking for something to do with a friend; maybe you're looking to get your high schooler inspired (and out of bed before noon). Whatever your motivation, geocaching may be the perfect activity for those looking for a mental and/or physical challenge, or even just a fun way to kill a bit of time almost anywhere.

Geocaching is touted as "...an any day, any time adventure that can take you to amazing and beautiful places in the place you live or the places you want to visit," by www.geocaching.com. Essentially, with the help of one of any number of apps on your smartphone, it's a never ending outdoor scavenger hunt with strangers.geocachehunt

A geocache is an item, typically a container, that holds a number of items and has been hidden at a location whose coordinates are posted on the internet. Geocaching is the pastime of looking for a geocache and a geocacher is someone who...well, you get the idea. Usually there is a log book in the container so fellow geocachers can log their names once they find the treasure. Also geocachers are encouraged to log their find online and write about their experience. Some geocaches encourage an exchange of "knick knacks." One friend of mine took a marble and left an eraser. There are two million caches worldwide and this number is ever-increasing. In fact, there's more than one near you right now.

geosnake1eocaches come in different shapes, sizes, and difficulties in terms of the terrain needed to traverse to get to the geocache as well as difficulty in terms of how hard the geocache is to find. For example, overall difficulty is rated on a scale of 1-5. Caches can be traditional in nature or they can be puzzle caches or mystery caches for the more advanced and adventurous. Cache size can be micro, small, regular, or large (and you can find size definitions on your app). They can be in the subway, underwater, at the end of a long hike, or any number of places. A geocache may be a large plastic container, a 35mm film container, a fake rock with a secret compartment. Part of the mystery and adventure is that most geocaches are completely different. I've only been geocaching once but it was in a forest in a suburb outside of Boston. We followed unmarked trails (versus the marked ones) for about 45 minutes. Using the app and some clues, (namely tiny one-inch-tall birdhouses that were nailed to trees along the way,) we found the geocache. The whole forest was transformed in this area. There was a fairy village set up (and there happened to be a live snake living in one fairy house) as well as train tracks that wrapped around the trees. My kids were amazed, possibly turning all future hikes into a disappointment.

There are guidelines that geocachers are asked to follow.geocachetreasure If you take something from a geocache, you should leave something of equal or greater value. You should log your experience. Illegal items should not be placed in geocaches. Geocaches are never buried. Geocache sites recommend that geocachers check a log to see that someone has recently logged a find, indicating that the cache is in place and can be found. You can also hide a geocache yourself as long as you follow the appropriate guidelines.

The White Family tested out geocaching, unsure if their 14-year-old daughter and 10-year-old son would be into it. The verdict? "It's a really great way to combine techie interests with the outdoor and hiking," Sarah White said. "I think that for kids who are less active, it provides a good incentive to move and explore. The swag involved, like the trinkets in the box, were not the incentive as much as the treasure hunting aspect of geocaching."

You can walk out your front door right now and find a geocache nearby. Here are some local geocaches to get you started. Opening an account is free.

Please comment if you've been geocaching and share your experiences.

July 4th Weekend in Scarsdale: Fireworks, Neighborhood Celebrations and Carnival at the Scarsdale Pool

fireworksdFireworks Tonight at the Scarsdale Pool, Celebrationsin Arthur Manor and Greenacres and a Carnival Day on Monday: Here's your July 4th weekend line-up:

The Village of Scarsdale will host their Fireworks Spectacular at the Scarsdale Pool tonight, Thursday June 30th at 9:15 pm. The show is open to the public. Non-pool members can enter the pool complex after 5 pm for a fee of $2. Members and non-members will pay an entrance fee of $2 to enter after 8 pm.The Westchester Band will play as well, starting at 8 pm.

The Greenacres Neighborhood Association will host a July 4 celebration on Monday July 4th from 9 am to 12 noon on Greenacres Field. There will be games, races, a patriotic program plus a visit from the Scarsdale Fire Department - who will cool everyone off with a big water spray.  Enjoy bagels, munchkins and watermelon too.

The Arthur Manor Neighborhood Association will hold its 88th Annual July 4th parade and celebration on Monday, July 4th. The lineup for the parade will begin at 9:15 am at the corner of Bell and Sprague and the parade will start promptly at 9:45 am. Children interested in participating in the parade can dress in patriotic costume or decorate their bicycles, tricycles, wagons or strollers. The celebration continues at Davis Park with a brief ceremony, field games and refreshments. Who will win the annual egg toss this year? Anyone interested in volunteering or contributing baked goods please contact Margaret Marcus at 723-0870 or peggylou99@aol.com or Matt Martin at 723-1455 or matthew.martin@pattoneakins.com.

In addition, the pool complex will have a carnival day on Monday July 4th.

Here's the tentative line-up for Monday's event:

There will be a live DJ, two costumed characters, a bouncy castle, temporary tattoos, and prize giveaways and events throughout the afternoon. Here is the tentative schedule:

12:00- freestyle swim races
12:30- wading pool penny hunt
1:00- kickboard races
1:45- parent/child relay race
2:00- foul shooting contest
2:15- inner tube races
3:00- diving pool basketball dunk contest

Patriotism and Old Fashioned Fun in Arthur Manor

sackraceOn a beautiful, sun-filled day, the Arthur Manor Neighborhood Association held its 88th Annual 4th of July parade and picnic at Davis Park on Monday, July 5th.

The day started with marchers gathering at the corner of Sprague and Bell roads at 9:15 am. Several judges ranked individual marchers in categories such as patriotic costumes, scooters, bicycles, tricycles and strollers and floats.graceHornUncleSame

Accompanied by a special police escort, the Westchester County Band and Scarsdale Volunteer Fire Company Number 1, the march departed from Bell and Sprague Roads at 9:45 am and proceeded through Arthur Manor to Davis Park where the ceremony began in front of the flagpole at the north end of the Park.

The ceremony began with the raising of the flag by the Scarsdale Volunteer Fire Company No. 1's color guard, serenaded by Dr. Jack Binder of the Westchester Band on the trumpet.davisparkrace

Richard Gast sang the National Anthem, followed by the recitation of the Pledge of Allegiance. The group observed a moment of silence to remember all of the men and women who sacrificed so much for the United States and what it stands for – both at home and abroad.

Arthur Manor's own Village Trustee, Matt Callaghan, addressed the group on the meaning of July 4th and the significance the day holds for all residents. Village Trustees Deb Pekarek and Jane Veron were also in attendance together with Arthur Manor's 4th of July all-star favorite, Uncle Sam (played by Teegan Lee).

Al Stuart, former President of the Arthur Manor neighborhood association, then conducted the awards segment of the ceremony for the parade participants in the various categories such as floats, bicycles, tricycles, etc. (Find a complete list of the winners below.)

amanor1After the ceremony, the crowd the moved to the other end of the Davis Park field for the annual races including the dash, three-legged race, potato sack, wheel-barrow, relay and the annual favorite "egg toss" -which first appeared at Arthur Manor's annual July 4th picnic in 1944! The games were conducted by Sam Bryant and his son, Max. (A list of the winning participants is also below).

Hosting the event was the Arthur Manor Neighborhood Association's President, Matt Martin who said, "It's gratifying to see all the happy faces on the kids and their parents. The event definitely helps to foster a sense of community by bringing everyone together."

Refreshments included lemonade (courtesy of Kalpana Thenmalai), hot dogs (courtesy of Kate and Gianni Porco) and baked goods were on hand for all to enjoy.

This annual event in Arthur Manor is made possible by the collective efforts of the Arthur Manor volunteer residents including Margaret and Neil Marcus and their family, Kate and Gianni Porco, and all of the other Arthur Manor volunteers too numerous to list here. A special thanks also to DeCicco Family Market for contributing the eggs for the renowned egg-toss.

Arthur Manor Neighborhood Association Fourth of July Celebration
Parade Results, July 4, 2016

Marchers in Patriotic Costumes
1st George Washington & Cherry Tree by Zoe Maidman, Beatrice Martin & Violet Martin
2nd Taiki Miyake & Asa Ogakiarthurmanorbike
3rd Happy Birthday by Lily Tamura
Honorable Mention Danielle Efforo

Scooters

1st Carolyn Guermey
2nd Ella Farmsworth
3rd Ellann Zitrin
Honorable Mention Emery Farmsworth

Bicyles

1st Raymond Donovan
2nd Colin Madealoni
3rd Christina Semple
Honorable Mention Lesi Davis

Tricyles

1st James Martin
2nd Sophia Wu
3rd William Landman
Honorable Mention Myka Smith

Carriages and Strollers
1st Bobby Kyle Carhon
2nd Grace Horne
3rd Kiely Piekarski

Floats
1st USS Orion by Orion Krenidisarthurmanorhats
2nd Freedom Float by Grace Piekarski
3rd Live Free Float by Elenor Barnea
Honorable Mention Babies Rock the World by Katelin Roche


Field Events- Results
July 4, 2016

Dash

1st Heat: 5 yrs old and under, boys and girls together
1st Christian Zlomislic
2nd Daniel Varriale
3rd Pearline Deschanps

2nd Heat: 6 and & 7 year olds, boys and girls together
1st Taiki Miyake
2nd Julian Zlomislic
3rd Connor Coakley

3rd Heat: 8,9, 10 year old, girls
1st Chisa Ogaki
2nd Violet Martin
3rd Christina Semple

4th Heat: 8,9,10 year old, boysartmanorfun
1st Trevor Knopp
2nd Daniel Hoey
3rd Max Maidman

5th Heat: 11yr old and older, girls
1st Zoe Maidman
2nd Maeve Jacobson
3rd Julia Genin
6th Heat: 11 year and older boys
1st Joseph Samuels
2nd Will DelGuercio
3rd Brendan Knopp

Whellbarrow Race (Teams off two boys and girls mixed)

1st Heat: 7 yrs old and under
1st Thomas Delorenzo/ Ian Delorenzo
2nd Sergey Yanovsky/Pearline Deschanps
3rd Charlie Rich/ Evie Schiff

2nd Heat: 8, 9 & 10 yrs old
1st Trevor Knopp/Daniel Hoey
2nd Ronak Sheth/ Raymond Donovan
3rd Ryoto Miyake/Keisuke Ogaki tied with Paula Serrano/ Violet Martin

3rd Heat:11 yr olds and older
1st Brendan Knopp/Will DelGuercio
2nd Eve Rich/ Maeve Jacobson
3rd Abby Trotta/Katie DelGuercio

Potato Sack Races/Girls

1st Heat: Girls 6 and under
1st Alessandra Arakawa
2nd Harper Smith

2nd Heat Girls 9 and 10 year olds
1st Grace Varrick
2nd Evie Schiff
3rd Mackensie Wolfson

3rd Heat: 11yr old and older girlsarthurmanorcostume
1st Violet Martin
2nd Isabella Chiaramida
3rd Chisa Ogaki

Potato Sack Races/Boys


1st Heat: 6yr and under
1st Ryan Roche

2nd Heat: boys 7 and 8 yr old
1st: Ari Maibrunn
2nd Sergey Yanovsky
3rd Kizuki Kawamuna

3rd Heat: boys 9 and 10 yr old
1st Trevor Knopp
2nd Max Maidman
3rd Brian Reis

4th Heat: boys, 11 and older
1st Joseph Samuels
2nd Brendan Knopp
3rd Will DelGuercio

Parent and Child Relay

1st Heat: Children 5 and under
1st Christina and Oliver Zlomislic
2nd Rina Kawamura and Ken Kawamura
3rd Blake and Howard Wolfson

2nd Heat: Children 6, 7 and 8 yr olds
1st TIE Brendan and Luke Knopp/ Mackensie and Howard Wolfson
2nd TIE Sergey and Dviah Yanovsky/ Max Maidman & Ian Maidman
3rd TIE Uma and Uriel Jose Scher/ Keisuke & Motoo Ogaki/ Matt & Dan DelGuercio

3rd Heat: Children 9 and 10 yr old
1st Chisa Ogaki & Motoo Ogaki
2nd Raymond and Dan Donovan
3rd Daniel and Kevin Hoey
4th Heat: Children 11 and older
1st Dan and Will DelGuercio
2nd Zoe and Ian Maidman
3rd Abby Trotta and Katie DelGuercio

Three Legged Race boys and girls mixed
1st Heat: 6 and under
1st Alessandra Arakawa/ Lexi Davis
2nd Isabelle Lorch/ Miyuki Asamase
3rd Taiki Miyake/ Keisuke Ogaki

3rd Heat:7 and 8 yr olds

1st Sam Weston / Evie Schiff
2nd Ari Maibrunn/ Leo Kreonikis
3rd Keisuke Ogaki/ Kaza Kikawamura

4th Heat 9 and 10 yr oldsamanor6

1st Daniel Hoey / Trevor Knopp
2nd Raymond Donovan/Ronak Sheth
3rd Beatrice Martin/ Chisa Ogaki

5th Heat: 11yr old and older

1st Angela Hoey / Maeve Jacobson
2nd Clara Weller/ Danielle Eforo
3rd Abby Trotta & Katie DelGuercio

Egg Toss
1st & 2nd Place: (Tied with another team) Sam Bryant & Olivia Bryant
3rd Mackensie and Howard Wolfson
arthmanorlineup

Register Now for the Scarsdale Summer Youth Tennis League

tenniscourtThe Scarsdale Summer Youth Tennis League, organized by the New York Junior Tennis and Learning is proud to announce their 32nd season. Sponsored by the Scarsdale Recreation Department the program is for boys and girls between the ages of 6 and 18 and begins Monday evening July 11 at the Scarsdale Middle School Tennis Courts with round robin matches on weekday evenings from 6 to 8 PM. The program will continue for four weeks into early August. Players can chose to play one or two hours per night.

A player can play 32 hours of tennis matches over four weeks for just $50, which includes a participation trophy and a Scarsdale NYJTL shirt. The program concludes with a tennis tournament and a pizza and ice cream party.

Tennis matches will be held for all skill levels: beginner, novice, intermediate and advanced. The league will build on the successful Rec Department spring short court tennis program with over 150 participants.

Youth and parents interested in the Summer Youth Tennis League should contact Bob Harrison, volunteer director of the League for 32 years , at 914 646-4054 or by email at proscars@aol.com. Applications can be picked up at the Rec Department at Village Hall or printed at www.scarsdale.com/recreation.

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