The Life of a New York City High Chair

Guest post by Jennifer Rivera.  We met Jenny when my husband was in a production of the Barber of Seville with her in California  way back in 2008.  Jenny and husband Michael welcomed a baby boy into their lives a few months back.  A baby is not a small life changing event for anyone, let alone living in New York and spending a lot of the year on the road.



Living in New York City with a baby certainly has it advantages – there are playgrounds every few blocks which are constantly filled with children for him to interact with, museums filled with dinosaur bones and aircraft fighter jets, and people of every age, gender, size, shape, and style for him to meet and make smile with his two toothed grin But it can also pose some logistical challenges. Space is at an absolute premium – even the wealthy tend to live in apartments with only a few rooms – and so every item that comes into your apartment must be adequately vetted to make sure it is both stylish and useful. There is simply no extra space for clunky chunky baby stuff. And when you buy a piece of furniture, it has to be something that you can disassemble and store quickly and easily – although when closet space is also at a premium, the best choice is something that is stylish enough to be left out and find its place among your existing décor.

Which is why, after much research and Internet surfing, I finally decided on phil&ted’s poppy high chair. I had already been drooling over many of phil&teds products because I travel for a living, and they make pretty much everything you might need if you’re going on the road with a baby. Ironically, the first product of theirs I ended up buying was something for my time at home. But I’m pretty sure it’s going to be the first of many purchases.

I live something of a double life. There’s my life as a travelling, working opera singer, and then my life as a stay at home mom. When you are an opera singer, you can be on the road between 6-11 months out of the year. Since my son Jackson was born, he has come with me to Berlin, Paris, and Central City, Colorado, and the in the next year we’ll travel to Washington D.C., Omaha, and Boston just to name a few places.  However, when I’m not on the road performing with an opera company, I’m at home with Jackson, while my husband works at his “normal” 9-5 job. At home in New York City with a baby means daily trips to Riverside and Central Park, long walks down Broadway with my “car” (how I now refer to my stroller, since living in NYC without actual wheels, your stroller becomes your mode of transportation), and meet-ups with other moms, dads, and their babies. I study my music when Jax is napping (when he DOES nap, that is. Sigh).

I guess one main differences between living in NYC and more suburban places  –other than the blindingly high cost of living — is that I walk to the grocery store nearly every day to buy ingredients for dinner, and now more recently, fresh organic produce for Jax.  After the hectic pace of a New York City day, my family enjoys sitting down at the dinner table together. One of the reasons I chose the Poppy is that it seems like a real chair (probably because it IS an actual chair – it converts from high chair with tray, to high chair that sits at the table without the tray, to toddler chair) both in the way it looks and the way it is made. It’s light, doesn’t take up a lot of room, is easy to assemble and disassemble, but is so cool looking that I actually haven’t wanted to put it out of sight. And everyone who has come into my apartment has asked me where I found that cool high chair. The things my baby loves are the big, wrap-around tray that allows him to have all his toys at once (before he proceeds to throw them all on the floor one by one, of course), and the neoprene chair cover, that he loves to turn around and bite as his little teeth come in. He also likes the feeling that he is sitting in a chair at the table as opposed to being strapped into some kind of old timey baby contraption. The things I like about it are the fact that it is fabulous to look at, incredibly easy to clean, easy to get him in and out of, and that it just looks like it belongs at my table.

And my son looks so freaking cute sitting there in his sweet, mod high chair, I could just eat him up. Even when he’s covered in avocado banana with cinnamon. Especially then!

About the author:

Prior to becoming a traveling opera wife and full-time mother, Ann Hinckley Stucki studied socio-cultural anthropology as an undergraduate and went on to receive her master’s degree in social work. She has worked in a variety of fields from health education, mental health/community/school social work, geriatrics, childbirth labor support, and disease prevention in Latin America. Her research pursuits have taken her from a Costa Rican/Nicaraguan border dispute to London, England to present graduate research at a Medical Anthropology conference. Additionally, she is an award-winning photographer and enjoys portrait work. She also teaches fire breathing. Brian Stucki has been singing professionally full-time for more than six years, taking his family on the road with him. He has sung with companies and orchestras from coast to coast and on three continents. Highlights include The Pearl Fishers with Seattle Opera, Così fan tutte with the New Israeli Opera, Haydn’s Creation, with Boston Baroque, The Barber of Seville with the Compaña Nacional de Mexico in Mexico City, and The Fall of the House of Usher with the Polish National Opera..