Parents talk back!

Impressions of New York from those who brought us into this world.

Martine Vincentelli, mother of Arts & Entertainment Editor Elisabeth Vincentelli

I like trying exotic foods. I particularly love brunch, which we don’t have in France. I love bagels with cream cheese and muffins from Blue Sky Bakery on Fifth Avenue in Park Slope. Actually, I like Fifth Avenue a lot: There’s plenty of interesting, funky boutiques; it’s a very good place to walk around. I like the slate sidewalks in Park Slope, seeing the old-fashioned gas lamps outside of some houses, the trees in bloom in springtime. Crab apple trees, I think? You see them at the very beginning of that Woody Allen film, Everybody Says I Love You. There aren’t any like that in Paris. Blue Sky Bakery, 53 Fifth Ave between Bergen St and St. Marks Pl, Park Slope, Brooklyn (718-783-4123)

I always go to the Brooklyn Botanic Garden. There’s a great ambience, lots of different plants, it’s very well organized (like with the Shakespeare Garden for instance) and all the plants and trees are identified. I also love watching the children on school trips, walking in line. Brooklyn Botanical Garden, 1000 Washington Ave at Eastern Pkwy, Prospect Heights, Brooklyn (718-623-7200)

I used to love going to MoMA, going up the escalator and looking on the statue garden. I’m not so sure about the new MoMA… It feels a little cold to me. I was really disappointed on my first visit after the renovation. MoMA, 11 W 53rd St between Fifth and Sixth Aves (212-708-9400,

My favorite circuits start at the Union Square Greenmarket. Sometimes I go to Paragon, Fishs Eddie, then Bed Bath & Beyond on Sixth Avenue, Dave’s for jeans, Gap and Old Navy. They’re all next to each other. For us Europeans, the prices are extremely good [smirks audibly]. I do this every time I come. Or I walk down Broadway all the way to Chinatown, looking at all the shoe stores. You also see fancy boutiques on the way, like Prada. I love the old cast-iron architecture in Soho—that’s my favorite neighborhood. I don’t know the Village as well. I just love walking around, looking at people; there’s always a lot of activity in the streets, a lot of animation.

I love the Bronx Zoo. I went twice with Andréa [EV’s then-ten-year-old niece] but I would go back even without a kid as it’s quite fun for adults as well. It’s a bit of a long trip on the subway but it’s worth it. I was disappointed by the Aquarium, though I love walking around Brighton Beach, checking out all the Russian grocery stores. Do they still speak only Russian there? Bronx Zoo, Bronx River Pkwy at Fordham Rd, Bronx (718-367-1010)

Paul Freidson, father of Editor-in-Chief Michael Freidson

“I loved the restaurant La Luncheonette. I’ve dined there twice; and the experience was delightful both times. The seared scallop appetizer and the Coq-Au-Vin entree were both very tasty. My taste buds were so spoiled that I had to return just to satisfy those scallop cravings! I ordered a French wine (a Grand Cru Classe-Pouillac) that brought out the very best in the food. No wine since has been able to match that ecstatic aroma.” La Luncheonette 130 Tenth Ave at 18th St (212-675-0342)

William Barr, father of Editorial Director Elizabeth Barr
“Eating at Middle-Eastern spot Moustache in the West Village and looking out toward Edna St. Vincent Millay’s house (75 Bedford St), then taking a self guided walking tour of the Village and reading about the places that you have passed many times without knowing of their interesting history.” Moustache 90 Bedford St at Grove St (212-229-2220)

Ralph Lowenstein, father of Associate Features Editor Kate Lowenstein

“I’m annoyed at TONY for being so limiting with the space allotted to extol the joys of this city! Where to start - where to end?

How ‘bout in Chinatown with a dim sum brunch at the small but mighty Oriental Garden with their hand-delivered-to-your-table delicious tidbits? Oriental Garden 14 Elizabeth St between Canal and Bayard Sts (212-619-0085)

Then walk it off with a stroll up Mulberry Street to take in what’s left of Little(r) Italy.

Head to Chelsea to check out the art. Try Gallery Henoch for some terrific, unusual (but not too contemporary) works, paintings and sculpture. Gallery Henoch 555 W 25th St between Tenth and Eleventh Aves (917 305 0003,

And check out the art auction houses (Christies’, Sotheby’s, for often wonderful collections that are exhibited before the hammer falls—free, of course.

When I want to take a load off before dinner and theatre, I head to Greenacre Park on East 51st Street—the vest pocked oasis with the roaring,cascading water.

And I’ve already got my tix for the the Mike Nichols revival of Clifford Odets’ The Country Girl later this spring!

Debbie Rahn, mother of Online Designer Kelsey Rahn

I just love the young-designers Market in Nolita; it’s so affordable and you get to talk to the designers selling the pieces. I love that I can get unique jewelry and accessories that I’m not going to find anywhere else. When I go home I always feel like I’ve returned with something special from New York. The Market NYC, 268 Mulberry St between E Houston and Prince Sts (212-580-8995,

Alan Rust, father of TONY Kids Assistant Editor Katherine Rust
I love the West Village because it’s full of tiny places with good genuine cuisine. Like home cooking. you can smell it from the outside and it draws you in. the promenade in Brooklyn Heights has one of the most spectacular views in the world.

Jan Rust, mother of TONY Kids Assistant Editor Katherine Rust
I love going to eat brunch at the Clark Street Diner in Brooklyn because I love Mark, the owner. It’s like visiting family when we go. Getting a cup of Sahadi’s coffee on Atlantic Ave early in the morning and walking to the promenade in Brooklyn Heights, sitting down on a bench and looking at the view of the tip of Manhattan. Clark’s Restaurant 80 Clark St at Henry St, Brooklyn Heights (718 855-5484). Sahadi’s 187 Atlantic Ave between Clinton and Court Sts, Brooklyn Heights (718-624-4550)

Dr. Marc Halpern, father of Associate Features Editor Ashlea Halpern

Mario’s was the first place I ever had veal scaloppine; I was hooked for life! It also had great pizza pies, but those were only served as an appetizer. Nobody thought much of Arthur Avenue back then—it was overrun with Italian gangs. The Mafia would eat at Mario’s; you could always tell them by the diamond pinkie rings. Mario’s, 2342 Arthur Ave between 184th and 186th Sts, Bronx (718-584-1188)

Donna Halpern, mother of Associate Features Editor Ashlea Halpern

“I look for out-of-the-way Mexican restaurants where the helpings are generous and the food hot, and I search out GoodWills and Salvation Army stores. Oh! And a trip to the fabric district would kind of be neat.”

Penny St.John, mother of Music Writer Colin St. John

We really like to explore and “find” neighborhood bistros. One of our favorites is Jules—a low-key French food and wine local with jazz thrown in for good measure. We were just there on Groundhog Day for lunch and they were sponsoring an Obama for President get-together. Nice. Jules Bistro, 65 St. Marks Pl between First and Second Aves (212-477-5560)