Eric Bennett and his daughter Sophie enjoy a drink at Water Street
bar in DUMBO, the first Brooklyn restaurant to provide babysitting
service on demand.

The war between childless bar-goers and the so-called stroller Mafia has
ended at one restaurant: the eatery is offering on-site babysitters to
watch children in a separate room while their parents — and everyone
else — dine and drink in peace.

Jeffrey Rodman, the owner of DUMBO’s Water Street Restaurant and Lounge,
has contracted with a Manhattan company called Parent Play to provide
babysitting during dinnertime at the restaurant, which is between Main
and Dock streets in the increasingly kid-populated neighborhood.

“Anything’s better than having screaming children in a restaurant,”
said Rodman. Kids and bars. It’s an issue that has gained traction as
more and more establishments have banned the stroller set (hello, Union Hall?)
despite the risk of losing parents as customers.

Rodman’s solution was to bring in Parent Play. Brian Kaplan, who founded
Parent Play with his wife a year and a half ago, said the service was easy
to use: Parents call the company to make both a dinner and babysitter
reservation. At the restaurant, the babysitter, equipped with toys and play
mats, gives the parents a “security card” — to prevent the child going home
with the wrong adult — and then the babes go play while the parents eat.
There’s even a “curriculum” to help guide play-time — from music lessons to
Spanish lessons to building blocks. Why shouldn’t your kid learn his “uno,
dos, tres” while you’re having your first, second and third drinks?


Love bites

By Adam Rathe and Linnea Covington for The Brooklyn Paper


Water Street Restaurant

At this bi-level DUMBO institution, chef Reggie Taylor will be serving an
incredibly romantic meal at a rock-bottom price. For $100, couples can enjoy
a four-course meal, a bottle of red wine, complimentary flowers and music
from a live pianist.

“We’re a neighborhood restaurant, and we want to give the best service and
food to our local customers,” said owner Jeffrey Rodman. “And we have incredible
rustic ambiance, so it’s very romantic.”

After finishing a meal with options like sweet pea, spinach and mint soup,
baked acorn squash, prosciutto-wrapped halibut and herb-scented Cornish hen,
diners even get a complimentary box of chocolates from the neighboring Jacques
Torres shop to bring home.

©2008 The Brooklyn Paper

  Fans adorn Leonardo DiCaprio's wax
sculpture at the Tribeca Film Festival
Family Street Fair on May 3.

Where in the world is Leonardo DiCaprio?

Saturday, May 03, 2008

Supermodels, a billionheiress, a music executive and...a movie star?
They are not the cast of the new Gilligan's Island. They are among
the attendees (and one non-attendee) at last night's International
Renewable Energy Organization (IREO) Diamond Awards for Renewable
Energy presented by Paolo Zampolli and The Friends of Climate Change
at the United Nations in New York.

I would like to thank Kahraman Halisçelik of Kanalturk (a news
organization from Turkey) for inviting me to this ceremony. I met
Kahraman earlier this week at the International Filmmaker Press
Meet & Greet at the Tribeca Film Festival. I was intrigued by this
event for several reasons. First, I am always interested in learning
about ways to sustain our environment through renewable resources.
Second, I had never been to the U.N. before. And third, the invitation
mentioned that Leonardo DiCaprio would be amongst the guests. Alas,
Leonardo did not make it to the reception. Low and behold this morning,
I finally found Leo down at the Tribeca Film Festival Family Street Fair,
though it was only a realistic looking wax sculpture of the actor
courtesy of Madam Tussauds.

Fans adorn Leonardo DiCaprio's wax sculpture at the Tribeca Film Festival
Family Street Fair on May 3.

Supermodels and Goodwill Ambassadors Naomi Campbell and Petra Nemcova were
among the honorees at last night's awards, along with Roc-A-Fella Records
Co-Founder Damon Dash. Also spotted was Ivanka Trump.

As I was leaving the event last night, I met Jeffrey Rodman, owner of the
Water Street Restaurant in Brooklyn's DUMBO neighborhood. Jeffrey mentioned
to me that his restaurant had been rented out during the shoot of the
environmental documentary The 11th Hour, which DiCaprio narrates.