What a Year We Had! Here’s Our 2022 Gratitude Jar

With 2022 in our rearview mirror, we wanted to reflect back on the last year and highlight our amazing members, partner organizations, and awesome contributors that have made Park Slope Parents’ network of over 7,000 families stronger than ever. 

HUGE thank yous to all of the folks that made PSP the great place it is! We're sure we’ve missed amazing, wonderful folks, but please know that you’re loved and appreciated!  

Families: Consider creating your own family “Gratitude Jar” this year, adding things that you are grateful for to look back on at the end of each month, season, or year to develop your kids’ (and your own) appreciation for the wonderful things in their lives. Here’s to a 2023 with even more to be grateful for!

COMMENDABLE COMMUNITY-BUILDERS


Members are the heartbeat of Park Slope Parents, and we want to give a huge shout-out to everyone who took time out of their busy schedules to organize a meet-up, volunteer at the clothing swap, share their experiences to help fellow parents, or otherwise spread connection and joy in the community. A list of every member who has helped make PSP stronger this year would be more than 7,000 lines long, so here are just a few who deserve special mention.

PSP 411 events: Our 411 events offer what you can’t get from a typical webinar, Instagram post, or “expert” talk. These events tap our “been there, done that” (BTDT) parents who share their first-hand experience and wisdom on various topics with the folks looking for other people’s ideas and opinions. We’re grateful to everyone who stepped up for these events:Sleepaway Camp 411 featured Ashley G., Jennifer S., Meryl B.W., Sarah B., Alyse D., Emily N., Elana G.G., and Betsy S. 

  • Our awesome Working Moms 411 BTDTs included Jennifer M., Jill S., Michelle B., and Julie E. 
  • Taking the lead on SDS 411/Roses & Thorns were Mitch A., Delia H., Mali M., and Jennifer S.
  • Lindsey L., Jenna M., Karolina K., Laura M., Phoebe W., Jess E., and Nadiya H. shared their birth stories with our Birth and Beyond 411 attendees. 
  • At College 411, Katie M., Amrita P.B., Jen W., Dave C., Elizabeth C., Rob T., Beth K., Simmi D., and Laurie M. helped assuage the fears of parents getting ready to navigate the college application process. 
  • For Career Change 411, the awesome Rachel Garrett moderated a discussion with Carrie T., Lilach S., Emily F., Jenna M., and Ellen H.

PSP GROUPS: PSP has over 100 Parenting Groups, Specialty Groups, and Career Groups that reflect a wide range of hobbies, interests, backgrounds, family configurations, and professional fields. As always, our members impressed in keeping these groups vibrant and active—and we even said hello to a few all-new groups this year, thanks to the efforts of our trailblazing organizers.

Folks in our 20+ Career Sub-Groups stayed extra-busy this year, juggling jobs, kids, and community organizing. Toral P.H. organized a Fashion Group hang-out, Tania T. planned a Finance Group meet-up, Adam P. brought the Law Group together, and Susan H. corralled the Tech Group. Our writers were prolific on the page and on the calendar, with Erin H. putting together a Writers’ Group Room Zoom and Faith M. creating an Aspiring Writers Meet-Up at Bar Toto. Alyssa organized the Academics (part of our Education Group), Mandi organized the Therapists (part of our Health Careers Group), Rebecca B. and Alizah S. dreamed up the Editors Group and made it happen, while the Green Careers Group launched as the brainchild of Jennifer K. Other meetups included our Architects Group and Summer Camp/After School group (thanks Peira!).

PSP’s more than 15 Culture/Language/Heritage Groups are filled with members discussing everything from local language-immersion daycares to culturally specific resources—and, as this year proved, making time for in-person bonding. Malgorzata K. and Marynia K. planned drinks and get-togethers for Polish Moms; Anastasia N. organized meet-ups and even an Egg Hunt for the Ukrainian Group; and Virginia A. had fellow Vietnamese Group members over to her home. Representing the Italian Group, Elena T. pulled off the Italian Carnevale event at Harmony Playground. Holi was a hit for the South Asian Group, and organizer Janhvi P.K. was kind enough to send us photos, including one of a rainbow-colored dog!

rainbow dogHoli doggy

For the Spanish Group, Madeline L. and MC F. organized a Spanish language meet-up, while Esmeralda P. brought folks to hang out at the Picnic House. Naum G. hung out with the Hebrew Group at the Garfield Tot Lot; Ifeolu S. planned a meet-up for the African American Caribbean Heritage Group; and Lucy C. spearheaded a Brit Pack get-together. Representing the Russian Group, Natasha F. coordinated meet-up planning and Olga K. invited fellow members to her dance studio. Finally, special thanks to Brandi T.U. for taking the initiative to create a new Multiracial Families Group and hit the ground running with regularly scheduled meetings!

Viet Meetup 1 X3 copyVietnamese Group Meet-Up

Monthly and Yearly Baby Groups are the bread and butter of PSP, and this year, our members had some creative ideas to promote bonding for families with children of the same age. The number of people organizing meet-ups is too high to list them all, but here are a few standouts, especially on our Signal groups: Jennifer M. hosted hot coffee and cocoa for the 2021 Kids Group, while Liz T. organized a one-year birthday bash for July 2021 babes. Nadia A.R. and Shir C. helped the November 2021 group get together on weekends. Lucy C. organized a special holiday party for September 2022 babies. The November 2022 group found meet-up leaders in Nicole H. and Julie R., who also created a get-together for all of the Fall 2022 folk. And looking ahead to February 2023, Alie M. got the expectant parents together to enjoy tacos at King David.

But that’s not all! More hometown heroes included Andrea R. and Kate E., who organized the PSP Book Club; Jennifer J., who revamped the Grandparents Playdate List; and April R., who invited parents from the SDS Group to get together with the kids at the reopened Zucker Playground. Bobby M. shared a GenderOpen Meet-Up/Playgroup for the LGBTQ+ Group, while Christina S. brought the WOMBATs together. Standing strong for the PSP Dads were Andrew W., who planned a New Dads meet-up as well as Wednesday brewery hang-outs, and Ben M., who helped the Dads get their sport on with weekly Friday Futbol sessions at JJ Byrne and Force Soccer Studios. Last but certainly not least, Elise S. recognized everyone’s need to let off some steam and organized a Primal Scream at JJ Byrne!

When it comes to PSP events, we’re lucky to have so many folks in our corner helping to make it happen! Our historic Clothing Swap and Post-Swap Party returned twice this year in April and September thanks to our fabulous organizing team (Amyjoy C., Annie T., Paul B., MC F., Andrea R., Amy W.) and our tireless roster of volunteers. We were glad to be able to donate extras to local organizations including St. Mary’s, Little Essentials, and Camp Friendship. As always, special thanks to Kim and the Old Stone House for supporting us in making this happen. Look for another clothing swap in April as well as Toy and Book Swaps!

swap prep copyPrepping for the September Swap

Special shout-out to Ryan Delorge for, as always, heading up the Poker Papas group and leading the charge to donate throughout the year. Ryan and the Poker Papas once again helped fund Nanny Appreciation Day; filled welcome bags for the new Rosa Parks and Shirley Chisholm Women's WIN family housing; sent teddy bears to the Tommy Fund; and donated food for Thanksgiving, winter coats for our super-successful coat drives, and backpacks—so many amazing backpacks!

 

PRIZED PARTNERSHIPS AND AMAZING SPACES


PSP truly could not do what we do were it not for the fabulous parks, playgrounds, public spaces, museums, libraries, and organizations that welcome our members and contribute to the rich tapestry that is Brooklyn. There are so many wonderful organizations that we work with to help provide families with events to attend! From harvest festivals to outdoor movies, from reading kick-offs to touch-a-trucks and so much more, we love showing up, blowing bubbles, and spreading fun and crafts in the great outdoors to help families enjoy ALL of Brooklyn. Here are just a few of the many organizations we look forward to partnering with in 2023 and links to let you donate and show them your love as well!

 

The Old Stone House
Park Slope Parents members enjoyed so many events hosted by the Old Stone House this year, including our outdoor clothing swap; Jack & Friends concerts with BPL, Lalo, and Suzi Shelton; Dads soccer and basketball; babywearing events (look for more of those!); the Halloween Costume Contest; and more. Please give generously to support this wonderful space as it continues to grow!

 

Prospect Park Alliance
We had our Summer Fridays in Prospect Park, SHOWTIME® movies under the stars, and so many wonderful picnics, meet-ups, and walks. Donate to help them remain a wonderful oasis in the urban jungle!

showtime movies copySHOWTIME® Movies in The Park

Fort Greene Park Conservancy
How many times did our baby/toddler groups meet up in this great space? 200? 500? What a great urban jungle to meet up and bond with other parents. Give back to keep FGP thriving!

 

Brooklyn Bridge Park Conservancy
Donations to BBPC help keep their great programming flowing, including their Harvest Fest, Summer Movies, Education parties, Winter Fests, exercise classes, and so many wonderful family events!

Harvest Festival 2022 John Eng 025 X4Brooklyn Bridge Park Harvest Festival, courtesy of John Eng

Green-Wood Cemetery
What can we say? We love Green-Wood, and their Stroller Tours helped new parents get out into the fresh air in a beautiful location. We also partnered with them on a How to Talk to Kids about Death webinar, Battle of Brooklyn events, walks with families, and tours. Special thanks to Joe Charap, who did two guided tours for PSP this year! Your donations help support Green-Wood’s great programming!

tree and leaf tour copyFamily Fall Tree and Leaf Tour at Green-Wood

Brooklyn Public Library
We have the Brooklyn Public Library to thank for the Spring Jack and Friends concert series, the Screens, Teens, & Rattled Parents co-sponsorship, and the BPL Grow at BPL outdoors event we attended in May! Give to support all of their awesome programming!

bpl outdoorsCoordinating hand stamps at BPL Outdoors

Myrtle Avenue Brooklyn Partnership
From their amazing Touch-a-Truck event to the Summer Nights where we blew our giant bubbles, the Myrtle Ave BID is a fantastic force in keeping small businesses going and breathing new life into a great space. Donate here!

touch a truck copyTouch a Truck on Myrtle

5th Ave Business Improvement District
From Open Streets to turning 4th Street into a play street (great for teaching kids to ride a bike) to helping with the PSP Halloween Costume Contest to the amazing Tree Lighting, thanks to Joanna Tallentire and Erika Clark from the Park Slope 5th Avenue BID! They’ve helped businesses stay open, encouraged people to shop local, educated all of us on what was open when, and generally celebrated the greatness of New York City’s “other 5th.”

 

BRIC and the Celebrate Brooklyn Concerts
For the 15th year, PSP was happy to join in the annual fun at the Prospect Park Bandshell during the summer months. BRIC has some amazing events all year round at their downtown location!

bric stitchBRIC Celebrate Brooklyn!

 

Brooklyn Community Pride Center
We worked with the Brooklyn Pride Community Center on some wonderful events—the Brooklyn Pride Potluck and the Parents of Queer T(w)eens Meet and Greet. They are nearing their donation goal, so please support this great organization

pride potluck copyPride Potluck and Storytime

The Carroll Gardens Nanny Association and the Care Forward Team: These folks help guide us in treating our nannies with respect and dignity, advocating for fair pay, good communication, work agreements, and reviews. They also helped with the Nanny Appreciation Day in April!

 

WEBINAR WIZARDS AND SUPPORT SUPERHEROES


We’re once again thankful to our educators and experts for all the help they gave us on parenting, career, life transitions, and so much more this year. Joyce Szuflita from NYC School Help calmed our nerves with school talks, as did Dana Szarf from Casa Parenting. When it came to college, Deena Maerowitz helped us prepare for the journey.  

We want to give a special shout out to Let Grow and their team for partnering with PSP on a number of webinars to help us navigate the wonderful world of giving our kids (and ourselves)  independence and resilience. More and more, we are learning that giving kids agency in life will create happier young people, and Lenore Skenazy—as well as Nancy McDermott—spelled out all the ways we can help that happen. Give your 5+ kids a bit of freedom every week using their Let Grow Project to guide the way!

In the area of health and mental health, we know that the long-term effects of the pandemic are still with us, and we’re grateful to the experts who are helping us care for ourselves and our families. For teens, Fara Jones was able to calm us and remind us that we can connect with our kids and help them socialize and get through anything. Dr. Philippa Gordon, our longtime medical liaison, has retired, but she remains with us as a wise and reassuring presence. Small Brooklyn Psychology and the team (including Mandi White-Ajmani and Sam Jeannite) helped us manage our own anxiety so that we don’t pass it on to our children as well as guiding us on diagnoses our kids may receive.  

Paige Bellenbaum from The Motherhood Center continued to prepare expectant parents for all the changes that come with new parenthood. Heights and Hills helped our sandwich generation caregivers navigate our journey with our older parents, whether it be family dynamics or direct caregiver support. Finally, Traci Maynigo joined us for a webinar on Supporting Healthy Relationships, which covered common challenges that couples face as parents and the best ways to navigate them.

We were able to deliver lots of valuable programming for expectant parents and parents of young children this year, covering a wide range of topics for the early years with the help of our experts. We partnered with the Center for Parental Leave Leadership to provide guidance on planning parental leave while continuing to grow professionally. Lauren E. Stewart, MD, FACOG, let us in on the secrets of caring for one’s pelvic floor in the postpartum period and beyond. For nanny employers, HomeWork Solutions offered a primer on paying a nanny on the books, while Claudia Henriquez and Katherine Greenberg gave us a 101 on being legal, respectful, and mindful as a domestic employer. We were thrilled to partner with NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist for two Lunch and Learn sessions: First Foods & Beyond 101 and Creating Great Sleep Habits From Birth through Three Years. And we’re always grateful for our partnership with Anna of HRP Mamas, who offered PSP members discounts on valuable events like Toilet Training and Raising Emotionally Resilient Boys.

More superstars who stepped up to educate our community included Shannon P. McNulty, J.D., LL.M., who laid out what we need to know about wills and estate planning; Alan Stein, who shared intel on landing a job in tech; Brooklyn Wild, who taught us how to keep kids warm and toasty for winter play; Janet Li, who kept us moving with Pilates; and Eve Rodsky, whom we were thrilled to host for an evening devoted to creativity, self-care, and finding your Unicorn Space.

 

BRILLIANT BUSINESSES


In 2022, things were a little more business as usual, and we got to get out and enjoy some of our favorite haunts. Venues welcomed PSP members with open arms, providing spaces for our baby and specialty groups to gather and enjoy the bounty of food and drink that abounds in our borough. We’re still dealing with COVID variants, RSV, and the flu, so it will be interesting to see what the winter brings, but for now let’s shout out the awesome businesses that helped us bond. 

Oh—and remember to order takeout directly from local businesses (rather than apps that take a big cut and clog the streets with e-bike delivery folks), and skip Amazon and buy local! Now—as always—is a great time to shop, eat, and sip local!

Sip & Play and Brooklyn Game Lab played host to our tabletop game nights, giving parents a place to unwind and play the old-fashioned way. The Dads Group found (and lost) its home for Dad 411 at Lizzie King’s, as well as bonding over German cuisine at Black Forest or beers at Chilo's and Rullo's. Working Moms and Dads + Babies Meet-Ups also thrived at Ciao, Gloria, OvenlyFranklin Park, Cena, BlueBird, Bee’s Knees, Names, Ogliastro, and Pig Beach, who helped us have some fun outside of being parents. Big shout out to Winemak’her, Names, HiHi Room, Ottava, Kos Kaffee, and Krupa for making a splash and helping us out this year!

Families in North Brooklyn enjoyed meetups at The Clonard, while members of our PSP Career Groups were happy to network in person again. They met at Lizzie King's, Parklife, Bar Toto, Ottava, El Patron, HiHi Room, and Whisk & Whiskey. Logan's Run gave our Book Club a cozy place to meet, and the Grandparents group came together every month at Posto Italiano for lunch and connections.

FancyFree and Alta Calidad earned rave reviews from our 2022 Babies group leaders—thanks to these venues for not only being super accommodating and lovely but also providing heated dining sheds and lots of sidewalk space for strollers. Ample Hills (RIP), Blue Marble, Casa Azul, and Wild East Brewing served as wonderful meet-up spots for the 2021 and 2022 groups during these crucial months of pre-baby and early-parenthood bonding, as did the Brooklyn Conservatory of Music and Ovenly, which gave our new-parent groups a place to gather over music or coffee and treats.

Finally, a huge thank you to all of the businesses who bought advertising to help keep our staff and our initiatives going strong. Remember: When you support our advertisers, you support Park Slope Parents.

 

MARVELOUS MAESTROS


Suzi Shelton
was once again a source of joy for kids and parents alike, and we were thrilled to partner with her for Summer Fridays, the Jack & Friends Playground Family Music Series, and Lalo-palooza in the Park, presented by Suzi along with Lalo and the Old Stone House. Check out “Mama's House, Daddy's House,” a song about blended families released earlier this year by Suzi and Albert Iturregui-Elias!

 lalo copyLalo-palooza in the Park

Hopalong Andrew continued rootin’ and tootin’ this year, joining us for Summer Friday as well as bringing us on as media sponsors for his Family Concert series. Follow his Instagram for the most up-to-date info on upcoming concerts!

hopalong copySummer Friday with Hopalong

Our list would not be complete without these folks


Many thanks to Marc Goldberg for all the awesome photos—you helped us make beautiful memories to hold onto for our kids and nannies at the Nanny Appreciation Day. Also a special thanks to Justine Cooper, who made us look amazing at the PSP Halloween Costume Contest.

halloween for jarHappy Halloween!

 

THE CREW THAT KEEPS THE PSP BOAT AFLOAT


As always, a special shout-out to the Park Slope Parents Team. Did you know that Park Slope Parents has a member-to-staff ratio of 1,200 to 1? Our team of six continued to go above and beyond this year to create the best possible experience for our community, and for that we’re eternally grateful.

Dorothy deftly handled in-person and Zoom events, taking last-minute sign-ups in stride, sharing venue recommendations with members organizing meet-ups, and providing personalized attention to the many amazing folks who presented with us in webinars and workshops.

Colleen kept a pulse on the wants and needs of our baby and specialty groups, offering compassionate support to parents raising newborns, toddlers, kids, tweens, and teens alike.

Sean was a troubleshooter extraordinaire for all things membership, helping new sign-ups get where they needed to go and creating a seamless experience for all.

Talya lent an editorial eye to emails, social media, and online content, maintained PSP’s homegrown Yellow Pages (our Reviews section), coordinated media sponsorships with local orgs, and lent a hand to the events and membership teams on various initiatives.

Rachel continued to persevere through tragic circumstances to keep members and businesses connected. She also tirelessly approves messages on the Classifieds and Advice Group, helping everyone get great deals and have great exchanges. Rachel is so grateful for all of the support from PSP community members in 2022.

The PSP Anonymous Post Moderator helped members tackle all sorts of issues in 2022, including job decisions, marital decisions, medical support, legal help, covid navigation, bed bugs, behavioral issues, rehab program referrals, vaping, and so many more super private issues that our members were faced with.


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