June 5, 2005

Citibabes: Making a Difference, Changing Lives

There are so many incredible, worthy institutions whose tireless efforts helping children and moms in need happen far from the spotlight of the fickle media. Take, for example, the United Nations, that ramshackle little non-profit with the ambitious name on the East River: their sole employee for helping the world's slightly-too-dark orphans is herself a single mom holding down two jobs, whose own childcare options are so limited, she's forced to take her adopted son Maddox with her to work. Why don't we ever hear about this woman, this unsung champion of children, Angelina Jolie?

While this Ms. Jolie contiues her work in obscurity, the Times Style section, the champion of the unjustly underpublicized, focuses on another worthy downtown organization, a small group of writers, which is already having an impact in the lives of families, even though it doesn't open for another six months: Citibabes.

One SoHo mom, the authoress Jodi Della Femina, is enduring a long, hairy summer in the Hamptons with her daughter. But after Citibabes opens in October, she will "no longer have to decide between a bikini wax and baby ballet."

Says another writer/mom, the co-author Jill Kargman, Citibabes will help get her through the "zombie zone," the four-plus-hour block of time after the sitter leaves and before her husband comes home. "I'll be there two to three times a week for singing with my daughter, and then there's that beauty bar."

Citibabes will be a 10,000-sf Haven on Mercer, a place for the tired and the poor who work for them to escape from the huddled masses, otherwise known as "every mom pushing a Bugaboo on Madison."

"Citibabes and the other clubs are a sign of the times, a cultural moment when affluent parents are raising children in big cities rather than moving to the suburbs," says the Times.

Because of course, it takes a members-only village to raise a child, But not a Village townhouse. Citibabes is for "that person who still wants to live in their downtown loft and have coffee at Pastis," says Citibabes co-founder Tracey Frost.

And besides, even though they're technically part of the Town of Southampton, Water Mill, Bridgehampton and Sagaponack are villages, so that totally counts.

Children, and Moms, at Play [nyt]
Citibabes, accepting applications June 2005 [citibabes.com]

PS. Oh, and there's Kidville and some place in LA, too, but they'll let in anybody whose check clears. NOKD. And dads? As they say, if you have to ask...


I didn't catch a mention of their policy on biters.

Wow. It sounds like something called a Community Centre. Only you have to pay big bucks to go? Don't they have community centres in NewYork?

I saw this article this weekend and wanted to hurl my breakfast. Hey, I want to stay in the city to raise my children too, but does that mean I have to be a member of 'high society' and pay big bucks to basically AVOID raising my children?!

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