Meredith Craig de Pietro

Articles by

Meredith Craig de Pietro

Meredith is an ex-television producer who has worked for Style Network, E! Networks, and “America’s Next Top Model.” Currently, she spends her days exploring Brooklyn as a freelance writer, and has published in The Classical, Vice and XOJane. You can usually find her visiting museums, cleansing her chakra, throwing extravagant dinner parties or at a playground with her husband and son. Follow her on Twitter @meredithcraigde

05/01/17 2:38pm

It’s finally spring! The flowers are blooming in the window boxes and the sidewalk cafe seats are being hosed down. When your umbrella isn’t flying down the street ready to impale someone on a broken spoke, you can actually enjoy the weather. Here are 10 ways to make the most of the month, including a few inspired ways to celebrate Mother’s Day.

This new neighborhood bookstore has a great children’s section, with secret nooks for reading, and knowledgeable staff full of recommendations. Photo: Books Are Magic

  1. GO: Support The Magic. There’s no better way to celebrate May Day than with a good book. Today, May 1st, Books Are Magic officially opens for business. Annaliese Griffin wrote about it in tour May Culture Essentials, but it’s so exciting, I’m including here too. We’ve been chomping at the bit, peering in their windows and stalking them on Instagram, so we know they will have an amazing kids section complete with tiny nooks to curl up with a good book. Also, on May 16th from 4-5pm, celebrate all things tacos with Adam Rubin and Daniel Salmieri and their new book Dragons Love Tacos 2. Books Are Magic, 225 Smith St, Cobble Hill 

    This play is Brooklyn Based suggested, Albert Einstein approved. Photo: Miller Theatre


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04/11/17 9:00am
An awesome example of rocking the full unicorn. Photo: Anya Krotova

An awesome example of rocking the full unicorn. Photo: Anya Krotova

You’ve probably noticed unicorn everything these days, whether you’re drinking your unicorn latte or sporting a unicorn manicure. For a deep dive into the history of this unicorn beauty trend, I recommend reading this article in Racked about how it came to be. If you’re scrolling through your Instagram feed wondering how you could possibly rock a rainbow mane, we talked to Anya Krotova, a stylist at Exhibit Salon, a self-described unicorn factory. She gave us the scoop on how to avoid looking like unicorn poop. (more…)

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04/05/17 9:52am
Is the Tilt Festival worth checking out? Oui! There's still a few events throughout April/ Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

Is the Tilt Festival worth checking out? Oui! There are still a few events throughout April Photo: Meredith Craig de Pietro

If your family hasn’t yet checked out the second annual Tilt Kids Festival, presented by The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF), there’s still time! This Saturday, April 8, celebrate storytelling (for free!) with Fanny de Chaille: The Teens Library, a living library where a teen will tell a story to your family one-on-one. On April 11-16, enjoy The Seven Fingers, a food themed circus from Montreal. Tickets are $45-$99. Plus, the Hervé Tullet exhibit (reviewed below) continues through April 22. My 7-year-old son and I have been having a bon temps with the international artists and events. If you still need convincing. here are the highlights, so far.

Hervé Tullet Kids Opening

The closest things kids have to celebrities are beloved book authors. That would explain why families turned out in spades for the opening of This Isn’t Trash, the first New York exhibition of work by Hervé Tullet, the wildly imaginative artist and children’s book author. Kids know and love Press Here, and this family-focused opening at The Invisible Dog Art Center on March 4 explored his signature style with colorfully painted, torn, taped, creased and reassembled sheets of paper that were hung from the ceiling. Kids were invited to wade through a box of scrap paper, and find their own torn paper for inspiration, which was my son’s favorite part. A never ending line of fans queued up to have the artist sign copies of their favorite book, while the author beamed merrily from his perch behind the table. The show is on display until April 22. (more…)

03/31/17 10:01am
It's springtime in Brooklyn, which means time to get out there and enjoy the warm-weather offerings. (Bring your umbrella!) Photo: @brooklynbotanic via Instagram

It’s springtime in Brooklyn, which means time to get out there and enjoy the warm-weather offerings. (Bring your umbrella!) Photo: @brooklynbotanic via Instagram

Although the weather may not be warm yet, the signs of spring are everywhere. The daffodils are planted in the window boxes, falling ice is dripping off the skyscrapers, and frozen rats are revealed in the melting snow. Pull out the rain boots and get ready to make a splash all month long with activities ranging from a remarkable miniature spectacle to the grandiose cherry blossom festival. (more…)

03/23/17 10:15am
37 Problems is a new bingeworthy web series that deals with fertility and ambivalence towards motherhood. And it's funny!

37 Problems is a new binge-worthy web series that deals with fertility and ambivalence towards motherhood. And it’s funny!

What does it even mean to “have it all?” 37 Problems, which describes itself as “a raunchy new series about fertility and growing up” explores that well worn question with welcome hilarity and a considerable edge.  

A 37-year-old screenwriter (played by creator and director Lisa Ebersole) has Sundance dreams and wants to borrow $10,000 from her mother to finish her project. Her mom gives her the money, but wants her to use it to freeze her eggs instead. Panic and hijinks ensue, with a cast of eccentric characters like an elderly ex, her father’s ghost, a charming yet slightly sleazy fertility doctor and a kooky editor who lives in a garage with his daughter. Ambivalence toward parenthood permeates throughout.

In an extremely crowded webosphere, Ebersole is an emerging talent worth getting to know. While she’s already an award-winning playwright and filmmaker, 37 Problems is her first web series, and it’s been selected for the Austin Film Festival, Brooklyn Web Fest, and the Hollyweb Festival. 

You can binge watch the entire NSFW series on 37 Problems and on Vimeo. In the meantime, Ebersole took time out of her busy schedule to answer some questions about Lena Dunham, fertility and Obamacare for us.

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03/16/17 10:59am

We all spend a lot of time in the bathroom, managing (what might be seen as) embarrassing fluids, hairs and smells. Here’s a roundup of items to make your personal daily and monthly rituals more convenient, productive and all-natural. You might be surprised by the updates to your favorite bathroom gadgets and products, and how they’ll simplify your life and de-stigmatize what happens behind the bathroom door.

This toilet stool will change the way you poop, although it won't make unicorn flavored ice cream. Photo: Squatty Potty

This toilet stool will change the way you poop, although it won’t actually deliver a unicorn to your door. Photo: Squatty Potty

Squatty Potty ($29-$99)

One of the best things about the squatty potty is the commercial. The ad wiz who came up with this campaign compared a good bowel movement to soft serve unicorn ice cream. (Genius!) They claim that this toilet stool will change the way you poop. I was interested, but dubious. I ordered the basic 7” Ecco model ($29), and was immediately happy with how space saving it is; it fit snugly around the toilet when not in use. In terms of aesthetics, there are upscale models to match any decor including a $99 clear ghost version, but I’m happy with the basic white.

In terms of actual use it’s not like you need a flexible yoga squat to make this work. Just like a little foot stool for your throne, the squatty potty helps to correct your form for that important daily delivery. At first my family was bewildered, but within a few days of use, we all quickly came to love it. After you’ve finished your business, you actually feel cleared out. The stool works, and begs the question: how have we been living without it for so long? And who designed toilets anyway? A converted friend of mine says she refuses to go without one. When she’s in a public restroom now, she has “to kick over a garbage and put my feet on it.” There is a $29 travel version, should you become as completely converted and refuse to vacation without a plan for efficient evacuation. Once you’ve had the best poop of your life, it’s impossible to go back. (more…)

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03/01/17 3:00pm

Spring is in the air…but so are the snowstorms. If the weather has you completely confused on how to spend your time with the kids (or just plain confused), you’re not alone. Here are a few suggestions for either enjoying the balmy weather by going out, or holing up inside your house during the deep freeze. Climate change is real, and my only advice is to dress your family in layers and get ready to change plans on a dime.

IF MARCH COMES IN LIKE A LAMB, GO OUTSIDE:

This art opening for children's book author Hervé Tullet's new work is just for kids. Photo: TILT Kids Festival

This art opening for children’s book author Hervé Tullet’s new work is just for kids. Photo: TILT Kids Festival

GO: Bonjour March! Even if you can’t book tickets to Paris for your kids’ spring break, you can soak up some French culture at the 2017 TILT Kids Festival from March 4 through April 16. This second annual festival is put on by  The Cultural Services of the French Embassy and the French Institute Alliance Française (FIAF) and includes art exhibits, performances and interactive events. (Last year included this memorable kid-friendly art show.) Many of these are totally FREE. Highlights include: a children’s art opening of famed author Hervé Tullet at The Invisible Dog Gallery featuring hundreds of pieces with some as tall as eight feet tall. (Saturday March 4 4-6pm FREE) Also of note, a Philosophy For Kids Class led by author, philosopher, and New York Times columnist Simon Critchley at the Brooklyn Library. (Sunday March 19 FREE) Or get your groove on with Stéréokids, presented by French DJ Pedro Winter (aka Busy P), known for his work with Daft Punk and founder of the Ed Banger record label. (Saturday March 25, 2-5pm FREE.) Some of these events require an RSVP, so check the website for further details. (more…)

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02/21/17 10:33am
Photo: Brooklyn Scouts

Photo: Brooklyn Scouts

Let me introduce you to the 5th Brooklyn Scouts, where their motto is “traditional scouting for everyone.”

Don’t be fooled by the word “traditional.” Part of the Baden-Powell Service Association (BPSA), an all-inclusive scouting organization that has been in existence worldwide since 1907, the 5th Brooklyn Scouts is not the gender-segregated experience that you remember from being a Cub Scout or a Brownie, and does not have the same history of discrimination against gay and transgender children and leaders. (Last month, The Boy Scouts of America finally announced that they would allow transgender boys to join.)

Just as importantly, Brooklyn Scouts seamlessly blends the joys of forest school, the community service of a social justice club, and outdoors-focused field trips, all for $180 for the entire year. Children spend a lot of time outside, and learn real skills.

The Brooklyn chapter speaks openly about their challenge to diversify in their Park Slope enclave, which is a focus for their organization this year, as well as a historical value of the organization. “Scouting has even transcended and risen above racial divisions and prejudices in the movement’s past,” says scoutmaster Jillian Tate. “Our founder, Lord Robert Baden Powell, refused to allow racial segregation in scouting until his death in 1941–even in countries like South Africa and India where the ruling colonists attempted to create all-white organizations.” (more…)

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02/03/17 10:56am
This book dispenses common sense money advice for parents to pass along to their kids. Photo: Simon & Schuster

This book dispenses common sense money advice (like “don’t raid their piggy banks!”) for parents to pass along to their kids. Photo: Simon & Schuster

Last year when I was complaining about the cost of getting my car towed, my young son said, “Don’t worry! I can pay for it. I’ve got a cash register full of money!” I quizzically watched as he pulled out his Learning Resources toy register hidden under a pile of stuffed animals and old Lego pieces. Although we bought that toy for him in hopes of teaching him about the value of money and learning about interest through imaginary play, he had actually just assumed this was real money collecting dust in his bedroom. Epic fail.

Make Your Kid A Money Genius (Even If You’re Not), a new book by Beth Kobliner (author of New York Times Bestseller Get A Financial Life) is here to hold parents hands as they wade into uncharted conversations about cash with their kids. Beyond just receiving early entry to Stern Business School, financial talks can prevent spoiled behavior, build charitable leanings and set kids up for secure futures. Kobliner divides the book into chapters ranging from “Insurance”, “Giving Back” and “Saving for College” and further divides her chapters into age ranges. Talking to your preschooler about investing will look different than with your teenager, but from the start you can build some pretty strong scaffolding for the importance of financial security. (more…)

02/01/17 11:46am

February is historically the month of love. So, even if there are government acts to stand against, executive orders to roar about, racists to take down, and protests to march your weary legs in, make time this month for self-care. Hug your little ones close and remember to find time for art and humanity. Look for the heroes. Join a community of activists. Reach for tolerance. And whenever you need to, escape for a while into a museum or film to recharge your heart. Remember, love will always trump hate.

Show kids that making a statement doesn't have to be done on paper. 1) Charles Eisenmann (1855–1927). Nora Hildebrandt, ca. 1880. Albumen photograph mounted on cardboard. Collection of Adam Woodward. 2) Samuel O’Reilly (1854–1909). Eagle and shield, ca. 1875–1905. Watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper. Courtesy of Lift Trucks Project

Show kids that making a statement doesn’t have to be done on paper.
1) Charles Eisenmann (1855–1927). Nora Hildebrandt, ca. 1880. Albumen photograph mounted on cardboard. Collection of Adam Woodward. 2) Samuel O’Reilly (1854–1909). Eagle and shield, ca. 1875–1905. Watercolor, ink, and pencil on paper. Courtesy of Lift Trucks Project

GO: If your kids are already interested in getting some tats (or at least interested in looking at yours), let them find out more at Tattooed New York at the New York Historical Society. Highlights of the exhibit will include Thomas Edison’s electric pen and early tattoo machine, sideshow banners and lots of modern and historical tattoo art. This isn’t an interactive exhibit geared toward children, but you can easily find parts that your kids will enjoy. Bring a pocketful of temporary tattoos for your kids to choose from sothey can get in on the fun (in a less permanent way). Feb. 2 through April 29 Tattooed New York- NY Historical Society  170 Central Park West at Richard Gilder Way (77th Street), Tuesday-Thursday, Saturday – 10am-6pm, Friday – 10am-8pm, Sunday – 11am-5pm, Monday – CLOSED; adults: $20, students: $12, kids (5-13 years old) $6, kids 4 and under: free. (more…)