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    Child burned at NYC playground spurs lawsuit

    Mon Jul 21

    Be forewarned: This disturbing story made even the TV-News junkies among us cringe: The mother of an 18-month-old boy who sustained second- and third-degree burns when he ran barefoot on an Upper East Side playground last summer is suing the city. According to Metro, Anne Casson's lawsuit mirrors two others asking the city for $750,000 to $1 million in damages. Casson's son, Will, spent four days in the hospital after stepping on a black rubber safety mat at Carl Schurz Park; at least ten similar cases have occurred throughout NYC in the past year. A Parks Department spokesperson told Metro that the city posts warning signs about hot surfaces on playgrounds--though no sign was present at Carl Schurz. "We encourage all patrons to use common sense," said the spokesperson. I'm sorry, but common sense really only goes so far--the community watchdog group NYC Park Advocates took the mat's temperature on Friday: 166.9 degrees F! Even if Will had been wearing shoes at the time, what if he...

    Miley Cyrus's NYC concert

    Fri Jul 18

    Did any of you watch Miley Cyrus's live Bryant Park performance this morning on Good Morning America? Is it me, or was it a little cruel for ABC to air the concert at 8:55 when your kids are already out the door and on their way to camp? In any event, I thought Miley did a pretty good job, though I have to say I'm still a little dumbfounded by her appeal. She can shake her head and jump up and down like there's no tomorrow,  but ultimately, her voice seems to have a pretty small range—and sounds almost identical to Cindy Lauper's. What did you think of Miley this morning? We're dying to know what the camp-out scene was like last night, so be sure to comment below if you were there. Also, if you didn't catch her this morning, she'll be performing again on the Today show on Friday, July 25.

    Review: The Gazillion Bubble Show

    Thu Jul 17

    In its second year of soapy artistry, The Gazillion Bubble Show presents a fantasy world that hinges on the mystical allure, aesthetic pleasure and spirited promise of precarious pockets of air. Although this sounds a bit peculiar, the story behind the sparkling creations is actually quite touching. You’ll get the rundown with admission, but here’s a recap: Ana Fang was born in Vietnam and then moved to Yugoslavia, where she met her bubble-obsessed husband; together they moved to the United States to create the zany production. While it’s undeniably kooky, the show is a welcome change of pace for kids who are constantly inundated with overtly commercial, Disney-esque entertainment. The spectacle is an obvious amusement to youngsters, who extend their arms in excitement every time a bubble–big, small and even some inside other bubbles–float their way. The technical aspects of the show are a bit trite, but the overall performance is gratifying, particularly when Ana solicited kids...

    Review: Cirque Dreams: Jungle Fantasy

    Thu Jul 17

    Despite the name and the inclusion of juggling, acrobatics, balancing and more, this Broadway spectacle isn't the brainchild of Cirque du Soleil, but of Miami-based Cirque Productions. And like shows from the better-known troupe, the performance's plot is loose: An adventurer makes his way through the jungle with Mother Nature as his singing guide. Sounds cheesy, right? It is. Prepare yourself for two hours of day-glo-clad muscle men, a stage lit with more glow-in-the-dark than a rave and a soundtrack of upbeat soft-pop sung by an emotionless posturing waif. We felt like we were at a Miami disco circa 1975. Cirque du Soleil, it's not; but your kids will eat it up. Sure, the clowning is less clever than even run-of-the-mill cirque fare and the acrobatics seem more like gymnastics routines than theatrical acts, but youngsters will go nuts over the performers' feats of strength, flexibility and juggling skills. There's more than enough sensory overload to keep them occupied...

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