Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City

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The Pepsi Cola sign is located at Gantry Plaza State Park along the East River, in Long Island City, in the New York City borough of Queens. The sign is widely visible from Manhattan, because it is 120-feet long and 60-feet high. So, on one of our many summertime adventures, I decided to take the kids on a short subway ride from Times Square, right up close to the sign in LIC.

Pepsi Cola 1936 by Artkraft Strauss

The northern portion of Gantry Plaza State Park was part of a former Pepsi bottling plant, where once sacks of sugar from Havana were unloaded, there is now a pricey high-rise, and beautifully groomed park. The neon Pepsi-Cola sign, was constructed in 1936 by Artkraft Strauss, and used to be located on top of the bottling plant, when the Pepsi plant closed in 1999, the sign was in need of a new home.

Pepsi Cola Sign New York City

Luckily for Long Island City this pop landmark found a permanent home within the Gantry Plaza State Park. Looking over the East River, onto the most beautiful New York City skyline view. You can see the Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, United Nations, FDNY boat, 432 Park Avenue all from LIC.

NYC Skyline from QueensWhere should we go on an adventure next?

Elizabeth Street Garden in the heart of New York City

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Elizabeth Street Garden, in the heart of New York City, is a unique public green, open space, located in Nolita (Little Italy). The space is on the land of an old torn down elementary school. Since the early 90’s the Elizabeth Street Gallery rented the lot and maintained the gardens upkeep on a month-to-month basis. The Elizabeth Street Gallery left many antique sculptures in the garden even after the space began accepting public visitors, in June 2013. Once the garden was discovered to be public land, the neighborhood group Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden, made sure that the garden belonged to everyone.

The space is still vulnerable to development, so here are a few ways you can help it flourish:

  • Roll up your sleeves and join as a new volunteer.
  • Tell your friends about the Garden, and encourage them to visit.
  • If you own a business in the neighborhood, consider sponsoring an event.
  • If you are interested in making a tax-deductible contribution, send a check made out to Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden Inc. to Friends of Elizabeth Street Garden, 235 Elizabeth St., Ste. 23, New York, NY 10012.
  • Most of all, remember to stop by often, and enjoy the Garden!

Plus the Elizabeth Street Garden has tons of weekly activities like movie nights, live music, Tai Chi, Kids Yoga & story time, a whole list can be found at their webpage Elizabeth Street Garden.

lilStrange and I enjoyed exploring the garden on a sunny summer afternoon, we even picked some wild strawberries to eat.
Black-eyed-Susans in NYC Elizabeth Street Garden Elizabeth Street Sculpture Garden lilStrange kept searching for the key to unlock this antique gate.Secret door in a secret garden NYCThe Elizabeth Street garden is really easy to find if you know what you are looking for, here is a map to the exact location.

Map to Elizabeth Street Garden

The garden is open-
Weekends 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Wednesday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday and Friday Noon to 6 p.m.

Whether you visit once a week or once a year, the Garden will be richer for your participation.

Summer in the City

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The first time running through an open fire hydrant is memory I hope my son will have for the rest of his life. It’s like a “City Kids” right of passage to run through the cool water spray on a hot summer day in the city.

Summer in the City

It’s a taxi car wash

Fire Hydrant in NYC My Strange Family City Kid Open Fire Hydrant in NYC

I did call 311 to notify them of the open fire hydrant, and I learned that 1,000 gallons of water can be wasted each minute! I hope this will be the last time we see this waste of water, but my son had a blast playing before the city shut it down.

 

7 Items from Flying Tiger for $2

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Flying Tiger is a Danish design store offering a quirky, ever-changing selection of their own-designed products at surprisingly affordable prices. The look of the store is simple, colorful, with a Scandinavian touch.

Flying Tiger Copenhagen Logo

They recently opened its first store in NYC’s Flatiron district, and I am totally obsessed. Flying Tiger has a feel of IKEA but only selling extremely discounted, novelty items, toys, office supplies, kitchen, accessories, textiles and personal care items. Kinda like a fancy 99cent Store.

At Flying Tiger, the inventory changes up every month, and 90% of the items are priced below $15. After doing a fast walk through, here are a few of my favorite items priced at $2.

7 Items from Flying Tiger for $2

Hair ties Flying Tiger

Hair ties

Wiggly eye rings Flying Tiger

Wiggly eye rings

color bowl plate Flying Tiger

colorful bowls and plates

Fish tea cups Flying Tiger

Fish tea cups

Hairbrush Flying Tiger

Hairbrush

Mask Book Flying Tiger

Mask Book

Strawberry Jars Flying Tiger

Strawberry Jars

You need to check out Flying Tiger Copenhagen if you are in the Flatiron District, your bank account will thank you.

Online game: Star Stable for the horse lover

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As a kid I loved playing simulation type computer games. I created cities and destroyed them, I built awesome loop-de-loop roller coasters and had a whole online family, that I had to make sure were happy a few times a week. So when I heard about Star Stable, an online horse game, I was intrigued, just like a kid again.

Star Stable

Star Stable is an online game where players from around the globe explore a magical world on horseback. Every player rides, cares for their horse, solves quests, participates in competitions, and takes part in the ever-evolving Star Stable storyline with new features, plots and twists added each week. Star Stable is a large multiplayer online role playing game, for PC/Mac that promotes fun, creativity, and engagement in a safe and positive virtual world. I would recommend it for kids aged 7 and up.

Once I started playing Star Stable I was placed in Moorland Stables, where Justin Moorland gave me instructions on the basics of the game. After exploring the Moorland Stables, spending some Star Coins on food, clothes and horse gear, Jenna, another stable girl had me complete my first task, to show that my riding skills are “safe”.

I passed the ridding test, so got to explore outside of the gates, I met a blacksmith who wanted me to help find his lost tools, a cosy picnic spot and an abandoned construction site. I wanted to explore more but my horse was getting tired so I needed to make my way back to the stable. You can only care for your horse at stables, barns, and other certain areas.

However, I was kinda lost and had to use the “Call for a Pickup” button, it took me back to the home stable, just in time. Over time I know I would become familiar with the maps and navigating but on my first few uses I was quite lost. I was also a bit confused on how to care for my horse, but once the horses mood was back to happy I received a message saying “Daily caring for your horse complete”. Because it was not easy at first, I would recommend Star Stable for kids 7 and up so they will not be frustrated.

My Star Stable

I did not participate in the chat features but I feel these would be a fun social experience for tween aged girls. Star Stable uses Crisp Thinking to automatically moderate and monitor all chat, and to ensure a safe and fun environment while playing Star Stable. Crisp Thinking chat moderation and profiling community platform prevents the online exchange of personal information, and actively filters out “bad” words and trigger phrases.

I had fun playing and exploring Star Stable and I can see the learning and development benefits for your kids. Players can learn social skills and problem solving by facing challenges in an ever-changing world. Star Stable encourages reading and engaging with fiction, as well as developing a sense of responsibility from money management to caring for their own horses.

StarStable-Logo-2015

The first five levels of Star Stable are free to play. Players who want access to the complete game experience can become Star Riders with a paid subscription, which gives them access to the entire world of Star Stable’s mystical lands, features, shops and evolving stories. Star Riders also receive a weekly allowance of 100 Star Coins to spend or save for stylish clothes, accessories or equine equipment.

The fees are broken down as follows:

$7.49 per month (no subscription)
$19.50 for 3-month subscription ($6.50 per month)
$31.99 for 6-month subscription ($5.33 per month)
$69.95 for lifetime membership
Star Stable works on Mac or PC and can be used with any internet browser.

I was compensated for this sponsored post and received Star Coins to help facilitate in game play, however all opinions expressed here are my own.

Set in Stone

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The kids hands are now set in stone at their grandparents house. HWS is four and clearly a lefty, and LMS is two and right handed. They picked their jewels to be placed into the concrete, with their little handprints, to be a memory stepping stone.

Set in Stone