0 Love It
Save it

Family portrait: The Farnhams

The Upper West Side family talks Halloween plans and how their kids discovered Apple products.

 (Photograph: David Rosenzweig)
Photograph: David Rosenzweig

Farnham Family Portrait

 (Photograph: David Rosenzweig)
Photograph: David Rosenzweig

Farnham Family Portrait

 (Photograph: David Rosenzweig)
Photograph: David Rosenzweig

Farnham Family Portrait

 (Photograph: Wild Bill Studios)
Photograph: Wild Bill Studios

Equestrian court, Arms and Armor Galleries at the Met

 (Photograph: Jody Dole)
Photograph: Jody Dole

Essex Steam Train and Boat


Gabriela's Restaurant

 (Photograph: Johanna Lindsay)
Photograph: Johanna Lindsay


It's no surprise that Brian Farnham, the former editor-in-chief of our sister publication, Time Out New York, and his wife Rebecca, a medical resident, are raising their kids—son David, 2, and daughter Evangeline, 8 months—in Manhattan. The husband-and-wife team grew up in the city ("Rebecca went to school at Spence and my family lived right across the street," says Brian) and have fond memories of their childhood here. Brian, who left Time Out in 2008, is now at the helm of Patch.com, a website that provides news coverage for various towns around the country. The Farnhams live on the Upper West Side.

Brian, both of your jobs have clued you in to city happenings. Does that help you plan family outings?
BF When I was at Time Out, I tried to do everything that was going on, but I think the residual knowledge has helped me more. The fact is we're both so busy that we don't get out enough with the kids. We do a lot of home stuff with them. There's a lot of playground time, too. It's important to both of us that we expose them to new, different things. We'll become more active as they get older.

With such busy schedules, how do you divvy up parenting responsibilities?
RF I work pretty long hours, and my schedule isn't very flexible. Brian picks up so much of my slack. Sometimes I won't be home at all overnight, and then the next day I'm gone too. And when I come home I have to sleep because I've been up all day. Brian has to watch the kids the entire time, and he's great at it. They don't even come in to wake me up!
BF The beauty about working with the Internet is that you can virtually work from home when you need to.

Are the kids into technology yet?
BF You could say so. Our son figured out the iPhone when he was about nine months old. He learned the word iPad before most other words! Our daughter is all about remote controls and anything with a button. We worry about it a little bit, but Rebecca always says that's the world they live in so what are we going to do?
RF Some apps are educational, like Duck, Duck, Moose, but then some are really passive and don't have the kids thinking creatively.

Any plans for Halloween?
RF We're going to Van Cortlandt Manor in Croton-on-Hudson for the Great Jack O'Lantern Blaze. They have hundreds of carved pumpkins done by artists along the property.
BF There's also a block party in our neighborhood. And we'll trick-or-treat in our building and our friends' buildings. You just press every button to get a lot of loot!

Their favorite...

"We like to round up the family on weekends at our kitchen table. David likes to sit on the counter and help make toast. Rebecca's a great cook. We're always grocery shopping at the nearby godsend Whole Foods (808 Columbus Ave at 97th St; 212-222-6160, wholefoodsmarket.com)."

"Swedish candy store Sockerbit (89 Christopher St between Seventh Ave South and Bleecker St; 212-206-8170, sockerbit.com) has a gummy candy called bilar—"car" in Swedish. They are little gummy cars that come in pastel green, pink and white. Our son is addicted."

"We often take weekend trips to Madison, Connecticut—the grandparents live up there. David is absolutely crazy for the Essex Steam Train (essexsteamtrain.com), a working steam train from the 1930s. And there are also amazing views of the Connecticut River."

"We have a weekly Sunday night ritual of going to Gabriela's (688 Columbus Ave between 93rd and 94th Sts; 212-961-9600, gabrielas.com) for an early dinner. David already has a palate for hot foods, and he'll dip into the green salsa with abandon. They also make a mean margarita."

"The kids both enjoy looking at the knights in the medieval section of The Metropolitan Museum of Art It's located right next to the samurai swords."

"There's a great pond near us (Central Park West at 101st St) that we like to go to. Sometimes we even break the rules and feed the ducks! There's a little landing—you can step right up to the water's edge and practically touch the ducks."