TCQ&A: “The Babysitting at Equinox Has Been a Lifesaver!”

A former journalist and public relations executive, Carla Sullivan has just launched MiniMunchers, a website devoted to finding kid-friendly restaurants. “Say you’re going to the Museum of Natural History—where do you eat afterward?” asks Sullivan. “A lot of restaurants say they’re friendly, but they don’t have room for strollers or kids’ menus. They say they can make something, but it ends up costing $20.” She lives in Battery Park City with her husband, Bob, and their two kids, Ryan and Keelin.

How long have you lived in the area?
Just over a year.


Which restaurants do you frequent most often?
With two kids, we tend to go to the most kid-friendly places. We love P.J. Clarke’s on the water (especially in the summer), Whole Foods Café, Moomah (an amazingly cool place with great adult food!), and Gigino.

Which restaurants do you tend to go to for special occasions?
It’s so old-school but Il Giglio has such great food and it is fun people watching. We also love the bar at Dylan Prime for a drink before or after dinner—the music is always lively and one of their bartenders is a dead ringer for Clarence Clemens. Ward III is also a great little spot for unique mixed drinks; the bartenders really take their drinks seriously.

Where do you order in (or get take-out) from?
Are there dishes you always order? Dean’s has a great salad (the Siciliana). We also love the eggplant and chicken parmigiana from Rosella’s Pizzeria. Zucker’s is a weekend staple—the jalapeño cream cheese is unique and the bagels are consistently amazing.

Bit'z Kids

Which shops do you find it hard to resist popping into when you pass by?
The new Bit’z Kids store for unique clothes for my children, American Apparel for fun and cheap clothes for me, and Stella for beautiful home accessories.

What was the last non-essential item you bought in Tribeca or BPC?
A make-your-own-ball out of rubber bands from the Balloon Saloon. They have the most fun and unique gifts and toys.

Are there any services (salon, fitness, etc.) that you’re particularly glad are in the neighborhood?
I am a huge fan of Equinox—the babysitting has been a lifesaver!

Tom Otterness's "The Real World"

What’s the area’s best-kept secret?
The Tom Otterness sculpture park in Battery Park City. It is so amazing to have a public art space that my kids can explore and that is “at their level.”

Where do you always take out-of-towners?
The waterfront by World Financial Center. It feels like you’re on vacation sitting at any of the restaurants or in the parks and watching the boats.

What’s your favorite part of the area (street, park, whatever)?
I have to say Washington Market School, where my son attends preschool, is such a great place. Our family’s happiness is paramount and watching him bloom there has been a joy.

Your most memorable celebrity sighting?
Ed Burns and Christy Turlington at St. Peter’s Chapel on Christmas Eve. It was very hard to pay attention to what I was there for. They are both so down to earth, their children are adorable, and of course she is strikingly beautiful.

If you could change one thing about the neighborhood, what would it be?
The congestion on Chambers Street in the afternoon is crazy. Between the kids from Stuyvesant, the BMCC students, and now the traffic—it’s a real pain!

What’s changed around here that you like? That you don’t?
Since I’ve only been down here a year I can’t really speak to changes but I am bummed out by the number of stores that I heard used to be here and those that have closed even in the past year. We really need to support our local stores before going to Soho or uptown to go shopping.

What’s your best Tribeca/BPC story?
When we first moved down here from midtown one of my best friends said to me, “Battery Park City? Good luck finding any cool people down there.” On our moving day, we were in our car on West Street—waiting at the light at Chambers—when Leonardo DiCaprio crossed in front of us on a bicycle. I couldn’t wait to tell my friend!

Tribeca Treats' frosting shots

Any questions you wish you’d been asked? What are some of the best kid-friendly spots in the area?
I would say Tribeca Treats is a great spot to take your kids for a cupcake or their signature “frosting shot.” Cercle Rouge also has a great brunch with a fun clown/magician that my kids never tire of. Of course Moomah is an über-friendly kid café/playspace and we love Washington Market Park—the lawn is terrific for running around and the pirate-ship sandbox provides hours of fun for both my kiddies!

Recent TCQ&As:
Jackie Spiegel: “My Dog Likes to Watch the Birds at Petland”
Bill Sullivan: “We Could Use a Bookstore like Dashwood”
Annika K. Martin: “I’m Intrigued by 135 Hudson”
Glenn Plaskin: “It’s Like Living on a Houseboat”
Shelly Mossey: “Adeline Adeline Is Like a Candy Store for Me”


1 Comment

  1. She is a lucky one.

    When my daughter was small, I joined Equinox just because of their Kids’ room though the gym was a bit out of the way. I remember my optimism.
    But my daughter REFUSED to stay with them, and when forced, HATED it. So, I pretty much wasted the year’s membership!

    I recommend that mothers try with their kids first.