Archive Page 2

Pay Up: Journey to the Heart of Red Bulls Arena

Do you REALLY want to go all the way out to Red Bull Arena over in Bumfuck aka Harrison,NJ? And yes pretty much ALL of Jersey is Bumfuck (except possibly Hoboken, aka Yuppie Hell wth the exception of our beloved Maxwells where as a drunken, passion-filled youth I watched a drunken passion-filled Paul Westerberg of the Replacements swagger out gallons of sweat straight from HIS GODDAMN HEART…) and no, any other area of the Dirty Jerz is too dang far away to be cool so forget Red Hook or what have you.

Worth leaving Brooklyn for?

So really, when you think about it, the act of Leaving NY is quite a sizable litmus test to pass, in itself.

I mean, family gatherings, camping trips, the airport… there’s many perfectly acceptable reasons to cross a bridge or hop a train but unless the payback is deep and true… well myself and SuperDuperKid may have to pass. There’s just too damn much to do HERE.

SO…

Again, I ask, do you REALLY want to go to the Red Bull Arena?

Well, how much do you love soccer?

Because, you see, life is payment. And we pay in time, among other commodities.

So your payment for getting to the RBA is a 16-30 minute JMZ ride to the PATH train at 14th followed by a 40 minute or so ride to the Arena with a quick, cow-herd shuffle out the exit about four blocks to the stadium after which comes the short-lived but admittedly thrilling pizazz of stepping out the labyrinthine innards of the complex, where suddenly the sky opens up and the crowd is roaring and you can practically reach out and touch the excitement, so palpable and in your face it is until you suddenly find yourself in a loooooong sprawling line of equally deflated consumers waiting for a $4 hot dog and $7 cup of watery Coors to be served by weary, walking ads against over-eating and under-planning; living, breathing billboards against consumption of the very products you’re battling them to procure and by the time you get back to your seats your kid is gettting tired and Daaaaaad he wants to go home ’cause… ummm… well unless Pele, Beckham and errrm, well thats all we know, are out there performing stratospheric acts of gravity-defying genius with the crowd-pleasing showmanship of say, a Jordan or Ali… Well, soccer just ain’t all that to watch. And although that’s coming from a guy who admittedly was a life-long punk, a teenage counter-culture pipsqueak who gobbled up Abby Hoffman and Tom Robbins’ books, scoffed down Dylan, Clash and Husker Du albums, who spiked his hair and sneered at button-down jocks through the entirety of his high school career, he also eventually grew to identify and empathize with any man locked in mortal struggle, lunging forward with every spec of burning desire in his body to just, only, even if this once and never ever again…WIN!

Can't wait until I grow up and experience watery Coors...

So yeah I can appreciate sports and my kid LOVES soccer and in fact it was a momentous day marking SDK’s first ever goal (!), a major occasion for any kid, but nonetheless live soccer in is a different matter altogether. This particular game was not exactly a thrill-a-minute rev-em-up blowout and so the limited attention spans of many of the kids’ present  began to drift after the first twenty minutes or so.

So exhausted was the lad after the long journey back on the PATH that by the time we hit 14th street we had to grab a cab made even more pricey by my driver’s odd choice of route, cruising down 6th avenue all the way to Grand St to the Williamsburg Bridge, an inexplicable bypassing of the superior Houston St. method, in my opinion. The entertainment provided by his bizarre self-mumbling was little consolation.

How about the ol’ SuperDuperDad-mobile, I hear the peanut gallery wonder?

Tried it. Took that trip the previous year and traffic out the city to Harrison was not pretty but a walk in the freakin’ park compared to the patience-pummeling gridlock that one faces in the twisting, endless snake-like maze of the parking garage that empties in slow, syrup-like dribs and drabs at the game’s end.

Check the website for full ticket price. As part of the GWYSL, myself and the dozens of other parents who attended got a block discount but for ya’ll civilians you’re lookin at at least a triple-Hamilton beat-down for some nose-bleeders once those villianous fees are added in. And thats without the inevitable food and transport costs.

But as many of us know there are some things in life that justify their cost.

Hell, I dropped $400 on third row tickets for SDK and I to see Prince at the Garden not long ago. So, maybe live soccer is worth the cost for you.

Me? I’ll stick with Rasberry Beret and the L train.

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict:  It’s yer funeral, pal.

Details:  Parking at one of those ginormous complexes a couple blocks from the stadium is $7 – 10 but when all is said and done, train is easier/better experience since as stated in review it takes a LONG-ASS time to get your car out in the end. That said, it is apparently possible to find parking on the surrounding streets, as our (undefeated, hrmph) soccer coach did.  The PATH train though is still your best bet and is easily accessible from the 33rd St and 14th St subway stops in the city, among others. Games start on time. Get food/beer EARLY or be ready for the lines. Website states that a “modest” amount of outside food is allowed in as are water bottles though they remove your cap before entry for some reason. Check website FAQ for more.

Escape from Alcatraz... Whoops, I mean, Red Bull Arena!

Smorgasbord in Smorgasburg + East River State Park review

A foodies’ paradise…

 

*August 2013 Update*

Smorgasburg has grown exponentially since this review. It’s a pretty awesome food-related experience. GO!

 

It was Saturday afternoon in Brooklyn, NY and so came another triumph for the Mutant Gorillas, my son’s youth league soccer team. They are undefeated so far this year, a tad bittersweet for me since when SuperDuperDad was coach last season we were ummm… what’s the opposite of undefeated?

Eh, anyway, after his game we decided to follow his grandmother and step-granpa’s NY Times procured-advice and visit the newly opened Smorgasburg, a giant outdoor greenmarket/gourmet food emporium happening every Saturday in Williamsburg, down by that industrial graveyard-cum-condoville/park sprawl by the water. They had come all the way from the Upper East Side to see his game, so we wanted to be accommodating.

Not too many surprises here. In gentrified Brooklyn, top notch morsels are par for the course. Vietnamese crepes, organic grilled-cheeses, whole grain mustards, world famous gazpacho, hand-pulled mozzarella and even Harvard-educated organic lobsters (Okay, I made up the last one)…  Jeez, I tell ya. This goddamn food has accomplished more in its short life span than I have, and it’s probably earning more too. Basically, anything edible you can dream of is here, mostly being cooked before your eyes in the rows and rows of dainty lil’ stalls that the vendors occupy. And it’s all done with the skill and sophistication that one expects in NYC.

SuperDuperKid’s grilled-cheese sandwich from the good people at Milk Truck was a bit too “uptown for the tots” as Sideshow Bob once famously declared on the Simpsons, with the complex blend of cheeses leaving his simplistic taste buds overwhelmed. The vanilla milkshake, however, was obliterated in seconds as we sat on a bench in the sprawling promenade, admiring the gleaming, new condos and dreaming of a day when we could afford one.

My mom asked SDK about his mother being pregnant…

How was it going? Was he excited?

Now I was not here for this but she claims he seemed uncomfortable with the subject. “Something,” she said, leaning forward and taking on her Tone of Great Importance, “is bothering him about it.”

I shall leave my in depth look at some of these issues until later for my soon to be launched “personal” category on SuperDuperDad.com, but suffice it to say there’s always some drama going on with the Baby Mama, whom I am no longer with. We left in agreement that the concept of his mother’s pregnancy needed to be brought up with him again soon in the future and discussed more openly.

East River Park’ll make ya… Jump! Jump!

It was too nice a day for such dealings and we decided to hoof it a few blocks over to East River State Park. Oddly barren, but with a beautiful view of the water and some refreshingly unique playground fixtures, it’s definitely worth a visit.

There’s a giant two-kid see-saw styled rope hang that the lil’ ones find simply fascinating plus some interesting bouncy spring-boards and choo-choo train contraptions good for playing tag on. Info-boards line the walk to the water so one can learn about the area’s intriguing industrial history. In place of boat and train shipments with coal and other minerals, we now have kids, condos and bearded bicyclists of all shapes and sizes. And so time marches on for Brooklyn.

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict:  Eh, I could go either way, honestly. If you’re a foodie, you’ll be in friggin’ paradise. Park is fun but don’t sell your kidney to get there or anything.

Details:  C’mon… I can’t do ALL the work for ya! But YES for those asking it’s not too difficult to park outside along Kent Ave. Parking smack dab on N8th st. is a bit more challenging but Kent is close enough anyhow. It’s also about a 15 minute walk from the Bedford L stop.

Brooklyn, Jump off a Building: SLAM/STREB Review

Do these kids sense an oncoming shift in the cultural paradigm?!

Williamsburg, Brooklyn is far too cool for mere “dance” classes.

Ditto for your standard gym or acrobatics lessons.

Enter Streb Lab For Action Mechanics aka SLAM aka STREB aka a pretty damn awesome dance/acrobatics/trapeze spot for athletic folks of all ages. It’s the invention of Elizabeth Streb, a female Lou Reed look-alike who in fact embodies quite a bit of that same edgy NYC art-punk ethos. Unlike Lou, however, she has taken an industrial warehouse space by Billburg’s waterfront and created a hip scene centered on her forward thinking, avante-garde dance principles.

So what exactly happens at STREB?

Humans fly through the air from rocket-propelled springboards, flip over, under and around a perilously spinning ladder mounted on a ferris wheel-like axle, hurl themselves at breakneck speeds into clear slabs of plastic just inches from your face and leap again and again off 30, 40, and 50 foot high precipices, smacking satisfyingly onto glacier-thick mats. These are just some of the many scenes one can witness at one of their joyous and high-energy public performances.

It’s all done to spooky, funky audio and visuals, adding up to a kind of spectacle you haven’t quite seen before, one that values fun and experimentation as much as it does physical rigor and activity.

Even home improvement is fun and inventive at STREB!

Ms. Streb’s open-minded approach doesn’t stop with the actual dance routine’s either. Her talk of creating a new “cultural paradigm” extends even to the companies most basic policies. For example, the space is never closed to the public and, aside from the infrequent paid shows, anyone can pop in to watch classes or rehearsals at any time during working hours.

Things move fast at S.L.A.M...

The shows themselves are also pretty open-ended with plenty of whooping and hollering and general encouragement for the audience to have fun too. And the KIDACTION classes follow suit. SuperDuperKid has taken part on and off for years and just plain loves ’em. I’ve barely parked the SuperDuperDad-Mobile before he’s bolting from the back, shaking free his socks and sneakers to frolic with his friends on the giant mats laid out invitingly all over the space. His classes are every Thursday, and serve as a perfect avenue for him to let loose some post-school energy. Right as they end, the space starts filling with attractive young(ish) adults who take more advanced classes, each seemingly ready to shake off the stress accumulated from cubicles and offices throughout the day.

All rates and information are listed below as well as on the STREB website. At about $325 for 16 weekly hour-long sessions it’s pretty reasonable. The performances are also definitely worth catching, especially if you’ve never seen one before. It’s packed with energy, fun and plenty of visceral thrills, a true Brooklyn experience.

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict:  YAY!

Details: STREB is incredibly approachable in every way so feel free to simply pop in and check it out. You can ask an instructor questions to gauge the best class for yourself of your child.

Kid Class Info:

KID ACTION + KID FLY

KID ACTION reflects the high energy, fast-paced movement that kids experience all around them everyday, and this is why Elizabeth Streb’s work is of particular interest to young people, who are continually testing the limits of their physical universe. Based on the principles of POPACTION, young action engineers will be intrigued by the vigorous exploration of impact, velocity and the defiance of gravity through a combination of physical conditioning, daredevil stunts action, acrobatics and aerial arts.

KID FLY invites kids 5 and up to come develop their Flying Trapeze skills. All participants are evaluated individually, and are taught at their own pace by our trained instructors. For more experienced flyers, the ESPANA-STREB TRAPEZE ACADEMY allows you to work more intensively on specific tricks to master the ones you know, and learn the ones you dream of doing. Our team of instructors can help you achieve class goals by giving you tips and techniques to improve your form and personal style. The instructors have varied backgrounds but all are focused on safety and ensuring the students have a great experience.

Spring Class rates (now past, but give you a good idea.)

 Each class has 16 sessions.

Baby Action & Kid Action: $325
Tuesday Advanced: $325
Friday Advanced: $424

Kid Company: $456
Trampoline: $430
Kid Fly:$430
Kid Fly Team:$556

Drop-In’s: $11 per class with enrollment in any class or $21 per class for KidAction class and $26 for KidFly class for non-registered students.

A deposit of $150 is required to hold your child’s place.
10% discount on two or more classes per family.
For more information about classes, contact education@streb.org or

Tears & Emasculation: Shape Up NYC Review

James Dean, The Fonz, Johnny Depp, Jay-Z…

I don’t care who you are.

There’s not one male icon of cool, living or dead, who can look like anything but a boob while prancing around in one of those aerobic, girlie jump-about exercise programs.

Nevertheless, I decided to try something different (the opportunity to run into some athletic young Williamsburg ladies being no small factor) and headed down to the Metropolitan Recreation Center for one of the free Shape Up NYC classes that the city is sponsoring.

Minutes later, a large group of us were standing in stunned shock in front of “Dyan,” our pretty, charismatic instructor, as tears poured down her cheeks.

“I cry a lot,” she had warned before diving into a heartfelt soliloquy about the challenges in her life and how she refused to settle any longer. “I just can’t do this anymore!” she implored, reenacting a discussion she’d had with her boss earlier in the week.

As a modern urban hetero male I was of course torn between being horrified and driven to uncontrollable laughter. I looked around at the sea of empathetic women, their big eyes welling up with tears of understanding (there were two other men in the class besides me- One who smiled adoringly in my direction and the other, the token black dude who watched impassively.) Was I the only one who found this to be reminiscent of a hilarious scene from a Woody Allen film?

Soon, though, Diane was imploring us to “shake it all out,” and know that we were strong and bellowing loudly that nothing could stop us, and we could do this, and we were worth it, and so forth.

“I can do it, I WILL do it… I”M HAPPY WITH MY LIFE!”

Rhyming exhortations were parroted back in rhythm from the bobbing, lurching class, in a military style, as our tireless leader barreled on only semi-audibly over the blaring techno-dance soundtrack about overcoming struggles and battling the hardships of (presumably) being a young woman in New York City.

YOU can DO IT!

It was great fun. I found it particularly relevant as I was just beginning to deal with a new set of issues regarding my return to the music biz and I really wasn’t sure I could pull off what I needed to. Plus, I’ve always been a fan of all that “positivity” schtick so integrating it with movement and exercise made perfect sense.

By the end of the workout I was surprised to find myself dripping with sweat. The lunges, swivels and dance moves didn’t feel so strenuous on their own, but the overall program definitely seemed to pack a punch.

And at free hundred dollars, it’s a pretty sweet deal. In a related aside, the Metropolitan Rec Center’s membership is a paltry $75 for an entire year of swimming and indoor gym use, among other perks ($50 without pool.)
It’s unbeatable in New York City. But regardless, the Shape Up NYC Programs are completely free ane one needn’t be a member of the facility hosting it to take part. Hunt down the program nearest you and try something different today. You’re strong, worth it, and you can DO IT!

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict: YAY! YAY! YAY! YAY!

Details: Check link above but details are scarce: It’s fun and free is all you need to know.

NYC, go to the Doctor! Beth Israel Pediatrics review

People who liken The Waiting Room to Hell have clearly not been trapped in a Chilean mine, never had a bullet removed from their abdomen with just a rag to bite into for pain relief and never had to sit through a discussion about commitment with my son’s mother.

And sure,  waiting is not all that fun…

But, well, some things in life are worth waiting for.

Wait, scratch that. Good things come to those who wait. Ehhhhh…

What I mean to say is, basically, that substantive, meaningful action takes time. And life often consists of deciding what we’re willing to trade for our time and effort, what this time and effort is REALLY worth.

Could this be what Hell looks like?

Is there anything more valuable than the health of our little bundles of life itself, the very living, breathing reasons we drag ourselves out of blissful slumber each day back into war with exhaustion, greedy and stupid landlords, heartless, soulless bueracrats, and (lately, especially) relentless, merciless armies of pollen?

No, of course there is nothing more valuable.

But Sweet Jesus on a mother-loving popsicle stick will the waiting room at Beth Israel Pediatric Associates test your mettle.

First of all, it is a pediatric waiting room so of course it’s pretty much required by law that there be at least 2-3 toddlers screaming bloody murder as their oblivious parents stare into their ubiquitous little screens. And secondly, it is a medical center so nothing is ever on time (totally understandable, I’d say- we’re dealing with human beings here!) And third, well… that says enough, really.

After skimming over the online reviews of the place I still don’t think that to wait for something so damned important is all that bad.

Some toddler-screeching and time-killing is no sweat in exchange for medical attention that feels warm, thoughtful, attentive and perhaps most importantly, skilled.

Over the years I’ve seen quite a variety of doctors here (Dr. Brescia, Dr. Marcantonio and most recently Dr. Guha all after our original MD, Dr. Neuspiel took leave) and I’ve never been disappointed. Each was painstaking and personable and made me feel like my son was getting the best treatment possible.

My years of experience with Beth Israel makes me take pause at some of the mixed reviews it has garnered online. The patient demographic is indeed erm… mottled. With a mom spectrum of gum-chomping Latinas dressed like Lady Gaga perched next to Dolce Gabbana-pursed UWS blondes tapping away at their iPhones, it is indeed heavy with some gully-ass folks sporting crappy-ass manners. In short, they lack patience and understanding where it is clearly required.

True, it gets fairly crowded but just this week I was able to call at 8:30 AM on a Monday and get an appointment the same day when SuperDuperKid was suffering from catastrophic allergy attacks. (The prescriptions Dr. Guha sent us away with led to our first peaceful night of sleep in almost a week, thank Bejeezus.)

Yes, on this subject you can certainly trust SuperDuperDad’s estimation over the din of winging crybabies on the world wide whine-a-thon. Year after year, Beth Israel Pediatrics has provided my little family with superb medical treatment. Now you can get the same. Just bring a hefty book and a good bit of patience.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict: YAY! (Though I of course avoid going at all cost.)

Details:  Obviously one should always call ahead as far as possible and it’s also good to get there earlier than your appointment. See below for more.

………………………………………………………………………………………………

Beth Israel Pediatric Associates10 Union Square East
Suites 2J and 2H
New York, NY 10003
212.844.8300
Mon, Wed, Fri 8am-5pm; Tue, Thu 8am-8pm; Sat 9am-5pm

Specialty: General pediatrics, newborn-adolescent

Practice structure: Group practice

Dr. Andrea Brescia 212.844.8316

Dr. Anita Guha 212.844.8322

Dr. Niloufar Gidfar 212.844.8315

Dr. Robin Jacobson 212.844.8337

Dr. Camille Senzamici 212.844.8308

Hospital affiliation: Beth Israel Medical Center

Insurance Companies: ABC, Aetna-US Healthcare, Allied, America’s, AmeriHealth, Anthem, Beech Street, Bronx Health Plan, CenterCare, ChoiceCare, Cigna, Empire, 1199, First Health, Galaxy, GHI, HealthFirst, HIP, Horizon, MagnaCare, MCI, MediChoice, Medicaid, MultiPlan, One Health Plan, Oxford, PHCS, PHS, Questmore, SelectPro, Unicare/Qualcare, United

All pediatricians are board certified

Some special interests of these pediatricians include breastfeeding, international adoption, complementary medicine, and sleep and behavioral problems. Email contact with the doctors is available through the practice website.

Parents may contact any doctor above for an interview.

Note: Urgent care phone is 212.844.8330

The Deadly Mission of Gen. Quasar vs. the Fresh Fanatic & the Five Borough Bike Tour

………………………………………………………………………………………………

It was hopeless. He was gone for good.

I watched his lifeless, broken body lie motionless, a good fifty feet below us.

He’d paid the price for his carelessness and now it was up to us to extricate him – literally- from the life threatening jaws of defeat he was now locked in.

But how? The only tools at our disposable were a couple lines of string, a small fish hook, a magnet and some half-chewed Trident.

Amazingly, despite the failure of our initial scheme, my son’s out of the box thinking yielded the triumphant plan of snagging not the injured soldier but the entire wormhole he was trapped in (AKA our laundry basket) with multiple ropes and gradually hauling him up to the safety of the planet surface (the top of his bunk bed.) General Quasar lived to see another day and we were heroes, Saviors of the Universe.

You'll live, General Quasar...

So ended one of our patented, fun and fantasy-filled Lego Missions.

Some parents can’t shut it all off and submerge in this world of make-believe as they used to. Not SuperDuperDad. In fact, some might argue it’s my forte.

Before one of these “missions” I will often hide some injured troops, write up some garbled secret code (for SDK to painstakingly decipher) and lay out a general storyline.

Sounds ridiculous, no? But man, does the little guy love every second, including the many minutes of preparation as we build our spacecraft, hone battle skills and test weapons systems in advance of these critically important voyages.

The other day, SDK was more than mildly disappointed when we had to postpone a mission we’d been building up to since the previous night. Basically, Jaba the Hutt had to be transported in a small convoy of ships to the ummm… National Justice Association for Re-Education and there were quite a few spies and other unsavory types casing out the prep site and… well, anyway despite all our preparation the night before we awoke to a gorgeous Sunday afternoon and I decided we should hop on the turbo-cycles (bikes to you mortals) and I would finally show him my running route.

Despite his whiny declarations of hunger, we soon arrived at one of those oddly quiet stretches of road where Williamsburg meets the water to find police cars and barricades. We were mildly confused. But what luck! I’d forgotten it was the day of the Five Borough Bike Tour.

They're a comin' ...

After watching the first wave of cyclists careen past, we joined the hopped-up throng and biked a mile or so until we hungrily circled back towards Fresh Fanatic, that bastion of luxurious gentrification on otherwise still-grimy Atlantic Ave. This vast market/café has pretty much everything any discriminating gourmand could ask for, from organic dried fruit snacks and Gimme Coffee to a whole host of all-natural synthetics! (Haha… OK I made that last one up.)

Fresh Fanatic: Just choosing what water you want is exhausting...

SDK’s bagel with egg, cheese and bacon was big, thick and satisfyingly greasy, a man-sized meal indeed. (I was too busy working through my extended Passover no-carb-o-thon to try it, sadly.) My omelette was also quite good though the real winner was the excellent iced coffee, made from superb Stumptown beans. It was far darker and richer than I’d thought it would be, coming off the downtrodden sidewalks of Atlantic. Afterwards we headed over to the pleasingly sprawling Commodore Barry Park to play some handball, soccer and to time each other’s best seventy-yard dash.

It was a beautiful day with a not-too-blazing sun and a cool breeze balancing each other out perfectly. Between activities we sat motionless, reflrecting for several minutes at a time, just soaking in the quiet interspersed with the sound of the endless bikers whizzing past.

All in all, it was a superb Sunday morning. I was reminded again, as I have been so many times about the resilience of a child’s sense of fun and curiosity. You don’t need to plan a major interstellar mission, spend sixty-five bucks on Broadway tickets or travel two and a half hours to the ocean to make a kid smile and enjoy himself. Children have a built in sense of joy and fun ready to be activated in them at any time. Up to that nine or ten year old level in particular, they can find anything and everything fascinating, especially when it’s presented in the right way.

It’s my belief that this ability is somehow part of the natural order of things, the same way that a baby is made so damn cute that we have no choice but to nurture and take care of it despite it’s exhausting needs and requirements. This built-in ability to be entertained and involved is what makes kids so easy to raise, to invent with, to entertain, time and time again. And they give back as much as we give to them when we’re reminded to explore, imagine and be kids again ourselves.

Cursing and shooting on Staten Island: Cousins Paintball review

…..

Don’t lie.

Assuming you’re male (not to prejudge ALL women, but our penis-less friends generally don’t seem as interested in shooting things although they are of course fairly impossible to fathom and I wouldn’t even begin to try and enter the labyrinthine psyche that is Womanhood) and assuming you’re heterosexual (again, not to stereotype -he says while doing so- but there seems to be a great dearth of your common homegrown USA-style bullshit machismo in our limper-wristed, better smelling brothers)…


Well, then assuming all this, my male hetero-brethren, you KNOW you’re dying to go tromping through the mud blasting stinging balls of toxic goop at the groins and faces of your family members and loved ones.

I sure as hell knew my little guy would be. He’s fairly obsessed with executing soldiers of all shapes, sizes and nationalities in Call of Duty on Xbox (yes, I’m highly torn about this… don’t get me started!) but doing it at least semi for-real is of course a whole different matter.

We went to cash in our $50 of Groupon at the Staten Island branch of Cousins Paintball on that gorgeous last day of our public school’s spring break, what with me wanting to give the lil’ guy a special treat he’d really enjoy before returning him to the grueling rigors of Brooklyn Public School. The mood that morning, I imagined, held something different than the standard busy weekend-morn would have. There was a laid-back almost mid-summer vibe as the blinged out, hip hop-lite kids of Shaolin filled up the peaceful backyard staging area before entering battle.

Of course, urban outer-borough teens ranging from 7-16 years of age (Groupon’s 10 year old minimum requirement is apparently enforced by the same people who enforce the “No Ice Cream Truck Music while parked for 20 minutes Outside Your Building” law) means several things but one major thing in particular: Language. And when I say “Language,” I mean, “LANGUAGE.”

Uh... sure you can skip your homework tonight, son!

I mean, SuperDuperKid’s mom could make a drunken sailor blush, seeing how she teaches in a rough school just south of Broadway in the non-trendy section of Williamsburg. Still, there’s something about teens just beginning to open up and explore all the far-reaching nooks and crannies of their newfound world of profanity that rendered their particular slant on it new and intriguing for SDK.

It was definitely an “oy vey” situation, especially for a dad like me who is often heard to blurt out, “Son of a mother-loving birch!” rather than curse in front of my son all the time. I just don’t like admonishing him to do something while I repeatedly do the opposite, even though I feel that of course there is a place for cussin’ in the adult lexicon.

Still, it should be noted: Every single kid was courteous and pleasant, one 12 year old even inviting us to sit with his family when he saw we were not with a group.

To the meat of the matter: paintball at Cousins, as the kids put it, is “mad fun.”

Although I left with multiple welts, not realizing until it was too late that one was supposed to exit after being shot, I had a great time ducking, dodging and strafing 14 year olds with the blistering pellets. And of course, SDK was in heaven, traipsing about the makeshift war-zones, strewn with bunkers and shelter, as he fired round after round at complete strangers.

The only thing to mar our visit, and it was no small matter, was that Cousins’ ran out of the CO2 the weapons use to propel their ammo. The rag-tag assemblage of employees claimed a new shipment was arriving any minute (probably, possibly, supposedly) but after several hours of hanging out enjoying the lovely weather (and the not-so-lovely porta-johns), we were told, along with dozens of other customers, to get a refund and return another day.

To their credit, the mostly personable and not-as-gormless-as you’d expect post-teens who run the place were genuinely apologetic. Nonetheless it was disappointing to play a few games and then end so soon. We were given back our Groupons, which meant we’d essentially been given two sessions for the (half) price of one, not a bad deal.
And next time we’d be veterans, battle-hardened and strategically primed.

So after placing a call to insure the Co2 level is up to par, I can highly recommend you hop onto the BQE and head on over to Cousins for some thrilling paintball. I really can’t think of any more enjoyable way to blend pleasure and pain (in a kid-friendly way, that is.)

You’ll have a foul-mouthed blast! Unless, of course, you’re a woman or gay.

Official SuperDuperDad Yay or Nay Verdict: Definite yay but you should absolutely call first to confirm they’re fully stocked with Co2!

Details: Kids will want to wear at least one thick layer of clothing all around to protect from the stinging paintballs. It can cause welts and is certainly more painful than a snap by a rubber band, despite what one employee claimed.
Also it’s supposedly better with large groups.



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