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Family Portrait: Jonathan Perelman of BuzzFeed and his family

We chatted with Jonathan Perelman, family man and vice president of shareable-content kingdom BuzzFeed.

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Family Portrait: BuzzFeed's Jonathan Perelman and family

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Family Portrait: BuzzFeed's Jonathan Perelman and family

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Family Portrait: BuzzFeed's Jonathan Perelman and family

  • Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

    Family Portrait: BuzzFeed's Jonathan Perelman and family

Photograph: Caroline Voagen Nelson

Family Portrait: BuzzFeed's Jonathan Perelman and family


By day, Jonathan Perelman, the vice president of Agency Strategy and Industry Development for BuzzFeed, is collaborating with the rest of the popular site's team on ways to keep their content as viral and "in the news" as possible. The former Google executive has another full-time job, too—he's raising sons Jack, 7, and Will, 5, with wife Alexandra Lyon Perelman, the co-founder of the New York-based perfume company Give Scent. We chatted with Perelman about technology in the 21st-century, famiy game night and his crew's favorite spots for hot chocolate, pizza, mini-golf and more.

Are you a techy family?
We do have a lot of tech gadgets around the house: iPads, phones, smart watches, Google Glass! Our next purchase will be a GoPro camera.

How do you balance technology in their lives?
There's a time and a place for all of it. We have Sunday game nights, where our technology is put away and we play old-school board games and work on puzzles. We also put it away on Friday evenings when we have our special family dinner, creating a peaceful space to close the week. We limit the time they have with technology, but it's definitely different for them than it was for us. Technology is ubiquitous but when I was growing up it was just the Apple IIc.

Do they boys get the concept behind BuzzFeed?

I'm not sure they understand the day-to-day of my work. They know the site and love the animal section and the badges (LOL, CUTE, WIN) on the top of the page. We have many stickers with those on it around the house! I hope when they are older their friends think it's cool that their dad works at BuzzFeed.

What's the best thing about raising a family in Manhattan?
It's truly the most incredible city in the world. We greatly appreciate that our sons have access to all that NYC has to offer—the diversity, the museums, the vast transit system and, of course, the food! I grew up in the suburbs, and whie I had a great childhood, it was boring compared to city life. My kids will never say that about New York City.

THEIR FAVORITE...

WINTER ACTIVITY
"We like making snow angels in the snow at the Battery Park City Ball Fields, then going to Laughing Man in Tribeca for hot chocolate. Laughing Man is one of our favorite coffee shops. No matter what time of day, we always run into someone from the neighborhood. An extra perk: Stella is next door and they carry the softest fleece blankets in an array of beautiful colors to keep the kids warm."

PLAYGROUND
"Pier 25. Thank goodness they restored it after Hurricane Sandy. It's a wonderful place for mini-golf, a pick-up game of soccer on the astroturf, free art activities and a terrific water park to cool down in the summer."

MUSEUM
"The New York Transit Museum is one of the best museums in the area—especially if your kids are fascinated with the city's transit system. Our boys are now experts! The boys marvel when sitting on the 12-seat city bus and the various subway trains from the past century. Their collection of vintage turnstiles is a hit too."

PIZZERIA
"Lucali in Carroll Gardens—as long as you get there early. They have one of the most delectable pies for families in the city. There's just two things on the menu—pizza and calzones. And it's BYOB for grown-ups!"

RESTAURANTS
"Charlie Bird on King Street is a mix of Italian and 90's hip hop with an incredibly extensive and eclectic wine list (thanks to Robert Bohr). It's a great place for fresh cuisine downtown; ingredients are sourced from farms around the city. Kids can enjoy the food while listening to Biggie Smalls and Tribe Called Quest."

CLOTHING STORE
"We're fans of Polarn O Pyret. Not only do they have the best striped gear for kids in the city, they also have a train table and a tunnel for kids while you shop. We have spent entire afternoons at the train table. Think Sweden meets Nantucket!"


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