By Kelly Rush
Where the children go, the schools follow. In a sure sign that Lower Manhattan is adding more families than ever (our residential population has doubled in the last 10 years), a new child care center and preschool has opened off Washington Street across from Battery Park City.
Just up the Hudson in North Battery Park City, Harry’s Italian has officially opened its doors, thus completing the restaurant row openings around the Goldman Sachs building. As usual, if you see any new retailers or spot changes to a longtime friend, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’ll check them out.
The Learning Experience Children’s Academy
20 West St. (Entrance at 28 Washington St., betw. Morris St. & Battery Pl.), 212-797-1110, thelearningexperience.com.
Mr. Bubbles the elephant roams the halls, walls are decorated in a fairy tale theme and everyone gets a nap. This is the blissful life of a child enrolled at The Learning Experience, a child care center and preschool for children ages 6 weeks to 6 years. The center will celebrate its grand opening May 19 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. with games, vendors, prizes and a ribbon ceremony. Center Director LaToya Dawkins said activities are play-based and teach children how to explore and learn from their natural environments. At each stage of development, children are preparing for the next level, whether they are just spending time on their tummy building strength, getting potty-trained or learning words in Spanish or Mandarin.
Though the academy has more than 100 locations throughout the country, the West Street location is the first in Manhattan. The academy has more than 30 years of experience in the child care and pre-kindergarten business, and developed The Learning Experience Academic Program (LEAP), which consists of three classes separated by age and developmental stage. Add in phonics instruction and curriculum that includes American Sign Language, and children will be as prepared as possible when they enter kindergarten, Dawkins said.
Harry’s Italian Pizza Bar
225 Murray St. (betw. North End Ave. & West St.), 212-608-1007, harrysitalian.com.
Chef Nick Angelis and restaurateur Peter Poulakakos are teaming up again, this time to bring a new pizza parlor to a community hungry for some more Italian. The restaurant features both round and square pies with toppings such as meatballs, prosciutto or broccoli rabe. Pastas include gnocchi, seafood linguine and manicotti. Or, enjoy an entrée such as chicken parmesan, veal saltimbocca or filet of sole. Harry’s also offers a variety of wines for the perfect pairing.
Delivery and takeout will be available throughout Lower Manhattan and a weekend brunch will be served on Saturdays and Sundays. This new venture is the fourth pizza bar and third outpost of the Harry’s Italian brand, said Kate Domaingue, who represents the group. Angelis and Poulakakos first partnered to create Adrienne’s Pizza Bar and later opened Harry’s Italian Family Style on Gold Street, as well as a location in Rockefeller Center.
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