Three words: Bring A Sling
I love New York. It’s busy, lively, flashy (in the eyes of an 8 month old) and noisy, all mixed up into one big, wonderful city. I have found, though, that the city really is not very baby friendly. Or at least, stroller friendly.
In a city of over 8 million people, with 22 million in the metro area, there are loads of babies. What you very rarely see, though, is a baby in a stroller on public transport. The public transportation is the most baby unfriendly I’ve seen yet. No strollers allowed on buses that don’t fold up, there are very few subway stations that have elevators, even fewer that have escalators, and forget it if you’re on your own. So, that’s why I say to bring a sling.
if you forgot one or are in the market for a new one, get yourself (and your baby) over to Metro Minis to buy one. I found this shop my first time in New York over the summer (that update to come later…) and bought one sling. And I found myself with Little Man at the shop again, this time to get a new one…we love our Beco Gemini but the snap on one of the legs has started to come loose so I wanted to get a new kind of sling that was a mix between the Beco Gemini and the Ergo Baby (we found one called the Action Sling that seems to be the perfect mix). This shop is fabulous. It’s got loads of different slings to try (there are many selections that are much more comfortable and supportive than the Baby Bjorn – those are considered the evil slings to the die-hard baby wearing world) and the women who work in the shop are very happy to spend as much time with you as you need to help find the perfect sling. The shop is extra perfect as they have a comfy back room in case you need to feed your little one, and even a lovely changing table to change him/her too. I believe the changing table is a model they sell – a really cool wall mounted unit that folds up and looks like a big apple when not in use.
But…as I say, try to avoid your stroller if you want to go out of a walkable radius from your hotel and not have to deal with the cabbies, which will add up in $$ if you want to go around the city. Of course, you can always plot your travels around the stations that have elevators, but you’ll find that you will be walking a lot to get places.
We are staying in Chelsea and the neighbourhood there is great to explore. It’s also close enough to the West Village and Times Square so you can walk down or up to those neighbourhoods. Penn Station, 10 blocks away, is very elevator-tastic and you can find yourself either in Times Square or around Union Square if you want to use the subway and some elevators without looking around for someone to help you carry your stroller up the stairs.
This time around, I have been looking for play rooms for Little Man while Daddy works. We take Gymboree classes back home and I found out that you can do a make up class at any Gymboree if you are travelling, so we hope to make one during our trip. New York seems to have many indoor play areas you can become a member of, or drop in for a one-off visit. We are aiming for one of them this trip, so I’ll let you know the choices and which one we end up going to.
If any of you out there live in New York and have suggestions on things to do, please let me know. I think I will start putting up links to places to visit with little ones in different cities.
Where have you found to be so stroller unfriendly?
Three words: Bring A Sling