SHARED by: Leigh Goldman, Gymtime Mom

Sometimes we don’t realize that what we need – or crave! – is right in front of us. That’s because we’re rushing around to play dates, work, family events, birthday parties, date nights (remember those?!)…often with eyeballs transfixed on the tiny screen of a hand-held device (more about parenting and texting at a later date!).

Busy living our lives in the real world and the digital one, we sometimes miss fabulous resources and businesses in our upper east side neighborhood. That’s where this blog comes in. Read on.

Maison Kayser
French master baker Eric Kayser wants to make sure you’ll always have Paris on Third Avenue. With 25 of his namesake Maison Kayser bakeries already in France, plus 80 locations throughout the rest of Europe, Africa and the Middle East, Kayser has finally brought his fabulous artisanal breads and pastries stateside. Maison Kayser is both a café and boulangerie and follows proper French tradition while adapting to today’s tastes and requirements (He uses liquid levain rather than yeast, preserving the bread’s flavor and giving it a light and airy crumb). Kayser’s eclairs, tartes, croissants and crème brulee are already drawing quite the crowds. If you didn’t spot the M101 outside, you’d think you were in a bustling café in Paris, 3,600 miles from the 10021 zip code. And the place is kid-friendly (translation: high-chairs and large restrooms with changing tables). Even better, guests can watch the bakers do their thing through the windowed kitchen.
1294 Third Ave. between 74th and 75th Streets, 212-744-3100

Subway Savvy
The one thing you probably haven’t missed on the UES is the Second Avenue subway construction.  After five years, we’re no longer fazed by the massive equipment, blockades,  traffic or explosions. The big questions are: How far along is the project and when will it ever be finished? You’ll find answers to these questions plus details on current blasting hours, shot rock load-outs, structural steel delivery, street closures, air quality monitoring and so much more at
*For some incredible background information on the history of the Second Avenue  subway project, the guys building it (“sand hogs”) and some tweet-worthy photos, check out this story that appeared in the New York Times Magazine back in August.

Love Laura Gifts
If you love the convenience of one-stop shopping, if you love the idea of a personal shopper, if you love discovering quirky new gifts, then you will love Love Laura Gifts. An UES institution, Love Laura is by appointment only, save for periodic trunk shows. It’s stocked with tween and teen accessories, hostess gifts, camp paraphernalia, party favors, invitations and personalized stationery (you can personalize just about anything here!), new mom must-haves, presents for dads, and even baby gifts. Co-owners Laura Theodoros and Jodi Zgodny work closely with customers to make sure their shopping experience is one with minimum (or no) stress and maximum productivity. You can easily find gifts here for everyone on your holiday list.

Sedutto (Ice Cream and Frozen Yogurt Delivered!)
In New York, if something exists, it can be delivered. Call it retail existentialism. While the rest of the country may be content with pizza and Chinese food showing up at their doors, we’re not the rest of the country. The beyond-amazing, chocolate- peanut-butter-chip (more like chunks) hard frozen yogurt and other palate-pleasers can be at your place – still frozen and not a soupy mess – in less than half an hour. Pretty close to instant gratification.
1498 1st Ave (between 78th St & 79th Streets) 212-879-9557.

Leigh Goldman was the former New York editor of and spent years working as a television producer covering parenting topics.  She is the co-author of the book “The Journey to Parenthood: Myths, Reality and What Really Matters.”  Leigh currently runs the corporate website for a Fortune 500 beauty company and lives with her two children in New York City.