Tips For Parents: Using the Neighborhood to Learn ABCs

Photo by Otis Kriegel.

Editor’s note: To start the new year we have a new  feature —   tips for parents from Otis Kriegel, M.S.Ed., a veteran elementary school teacher, author, and artist. He offers advice for parents of elementary school kids on  

We’re lucky we live in the city for a number of reasons.  But one of those reasons is that neighborhoods provide kids ample opportunity to read while they’re walking down the street.

There are letters everywhere. If your child is in the stage where they’re just beginning to recognize the letters, and even attaching sounds to those letters, this activity is perfect for you.

Seward Park RFP Will Be Released Very Soon


Last night, city officials appearing before Community Board 3’s land use committee offered a very brief update on the Seward Park Mixed-Use Development Project.  After several consultations with a community-oriented task force, the New York Economic Development Corp. is preparing to release a Request for Proposals (RFP) for the 1.65 million square foot project in the next week or two. They indicated the RFP is “99% complete” and is now undergoing some final edits.

In keeping with previously agreed guidelines, the RFP allows for one-thousand apartments (half affordable, half market rate), around 600,000 square feet of commercial space, a new Essex Street Market and a small park.  Developers will be permitted to submit proposals for a single site, multiple sites or the entire project. Task force members were allowed to review the draft RFP but confidentiality requirements prevent them from discussing any details.

“Six to Celebrate” in 2013 Includes Lower East Side/East Village

Hester and Ludlow streets. Photo via Historic Districts Council.

Every year the Historic Districts Council, a leading preservation organization, chooses “Six to Celebrate,”  New York neighborhoods worthy of protection.  In 2013, the East Village/Lower East Side has made the cut.  Here’s the blurb from the HDC’s web site:

Home to waves of immigrants as well as avant-garde artists and progressive political movements, the East Village and Lower East Side have always been colorful pieces of New York City’s history.  While two small historic districts were recently designated in the area, the Lower East Side Preservation Initiative is continuing to work toward protecting and promoting more of this vibrant neighborhood.

You can read more about the Six to Celebrate program here.   One big Lower East Side priority this year will be Beth Hamedrash Hagadol, the landmarked synagogue at 60 Norfolk Street.  During the holidays, we broke the story that the synagogue is seeking permission from the Landmarks Preservation Commission to demolish the building.


Morning Reads: Mars Bar Hopes, Rat Attack, Reliving Bowery Punk Scene

Maybe Mars Bar will return to East 1st Street after all (Commercial Observer).

There were 688 complaints about rats on the LES/EV in the past two years, half the number on the Upper West Side (Post).

Charities, led by the Red Cross, raise $400 million for Sandy relief (WABC).

Sandy recovery: Seaport Museum gets $500,000 anonymous donation (Post).

Raising kids on Avenue D; gunfire, brawls, creative parenting (NYT).

Book Review: The Best of Punk Magazine (Village Voice).


Good Morning!

Allen Street near Hester.

Partly cloudy and windy at times times today with a high of 35.  Mostly sunny and 38 tomorrow.  Snow shoers in the forecast Sunday with a high of 39.  Have a good weekend.

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