BY Carolina Pichardo
Thanks to Carol Cain Alvarez of NYCity Mama (www.nycitymama.com) for her time and easy-to-edit answers. You can subscribe to her newsletter or follow her fabulous storylines and thoughts on Twitter@nycitymama.
How long have you been living in Uptown?
I have been living Uptown, on and off, about 7 years.
Describe your craft (or what you do).
I am a freelance writer, and travel and food blogger. When in NYC, I highlight the various things to do with or without kids here, and when traveling, I do the same, but I most enjoy covering family travel locations and activities.
How long have you been doing this?
I have been blogging for a little over 1 year and a half. I started taking on freelance writing projects for about a year. It’s been an amazing time!
How has living in the area influence how you work, your family + lifestyle?
I come from a Dominican family. However, living in Washington Heights, surrounded by the familiar sounds and flavors of my culture, can be both exciting and overwhelming. We are a loud bunch and at times it can be too much, but at the same time it exposes my kids to a part of who we are as Dominicans/Latinos.
It’s easier to raise kids here, because culturally people are more acceptant of children everywhere we go. Kids can be kids, and there is a sense of community, where neighbors chip in when you need help and grandmothers reprimand you if your kid isn’t wearing a hat on a cold day.
Since you’re everything travel, what are your favorites spots in the area?
I absolutely love Fort Tryon Park and Heather’s Garden. The kids and I can spend an entire day there walking up and down the stone stairs and discovering new paths and places to have a picnic. I also love walking down to the Little Red Lighthouse and the up to The Cloisters Museum. And on a date without kids in tow, I like brunch and drinks at the Bette Midler’s New Leaf Cafe, also in Fort Tryon Park.
How about your least favorite?
My least favorite spot is St. Nicholas Avenue and Highbridge Park. The park has the potential of being something wonderful, with its various playing fields and swimming pool, but like St. Nicholas Avenue which is a major business avenue in the area. It’s too noisy, too dirty, and often unkempt. It’s quite a disappointment actually.
What else would you like our readers to know?
There is a wonderful community in The Heights and some really great restaurants worth the trip up on the A-train. People are friendly and there are tons of families that live here. It’s worth checking out with the kids or with friends for dinner or drinks.