The East Village Mamele

It’s a Small World After All

By Marjorie Ingall

I know I’m supposed to make fun of Disneyland. I am an edgy, postmodern, anti-consumerist person of bohemia. It’s what we do.I know that Disney is a giant ultra-clean behemoth, controlling vast swaths of American culture through its television networks, sports teams, real estate holdings, shopping centers and cruise ships.Read More

Teaching Teshuva: An Almost-2-Year-Old Learns To Say ‘I’m Sorry’

By Marjorie Ingall

Josie is talking up an official blue streak. She saw me putting on lip gloss and said excitedly, “Is that nail polish for your mouth?” She yells, “There’s a fly! I’m scared! Hold you!” (She’s still unclear on the whole “you” versus “me” concept. The other night she woke up and really, really wanted a bottle, which she calls a “baba.” After whining “baba, baba” for a while, she finally looked me in the eye and said, “Can I get you a baba?”) When the astronaut in her bedtime book “Hush Little Alien” slugs the alien who’s trying to kidnap him (um, this is less violent and disturbing than it sounds, okay?), Josie screams, “No hitting! Boy needs a timeout!” This is accompanied by the Supremes-sanctioned “Stop in the Name of Love” outstretched palm gesture.Read More

Farewell to a Mom’s Haven

By Marjorie Ingall

The oldest birthing center in the country just closed. And I’m bereft.The Elizabeth Seton Childbearing Center, aka the ESCbC, was the focus of my life when Josie was teeny. Back when I was sleepless and isolated and convinced that I was accidentally going to drown my unearthly slippery infant in the tub because I was the most inept…Read More

Who’s That Girly-Girl?

By Marjorie Ingall

I’m not exactly butch. I’ve got a weakness for nail polish and peasant blouses, and I’m far more familiar with the oeuvre of Isaac Mizrahi than that of Isaac Bashevis Singer. But chas v’chalila, vey iz mir and any other ptui-ptui-ptui-oriented Jewish expression you can come up with, I have no idea how I managed to spawn…Read More

Viewing Pop Culture (And Life) Through Baby-Colored Glasses

By Marjorie Ingall

I knew becoming a mother would change my life. I was ready for the sleeplessness, the proliferation of tacky stuffed animals, the Old Faithful-esque lactating unpleasantness. What I was not prepared for was the way my entire outlook, even on non-baby-related things, changed. Suddenly, my cultural filter was fogged with babyness. I viewed the worldRead More

What’s in a Baby’s Name? Parents’ Hopes and Dreams

By Marjorie Ingall

No one who’s ever pondered naming a child believes that a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. If Josie were named Feygie or Jemima — well, to be honest, I could no more imagine her being named Feygie or Jemima than I could imagine her fox hunting with Princess Anne.A few weeks ago, journalist Peggy Orenstein wrote a story in The New…Read More

The Village Green: A Big City’s Small-Town Vibe

By Marjorie Ingall

A couple of years ago, I got stuck on the M14 crosstown bus at rush hour. This is because I am an idiot. But it gave me ample time to chat with my seatmate, an elderly Jewish woman who, as it turns out, had lived on my street as a child. She laughed out loud when I told her where I lived. “My family worked so hard to get out ofRead More


By Marjorie Ingall

I’m working really hard on saying “Independence Day” without smirking. To me, it’s not a holiday; it’s the name of a movie that started the whole cynical tradition of opening big, dumb, “Oooooh, explosions!” gazillion-dollar summer blockbusters. (Okay, so “Independence Day” is the first action flick to feature Judd Hirsch and theRead More

Keeping Score In Babyville

By Marjorie Ingall

We Jews are a competitive people. We are high achievers. We have major expectations for our children. And we’re invariably convinced that every one of our kids is spectacular, brilliant, extraordinary. As my father, a psychiatrist, likes to say, “Jewish children are all either gifted or ‘special needs.’ There are no averageRead More

The Truth About Tatele: Fatherhood Is Very Sexy

By Marjorie Ingall

Jonathan owns bedtime. The ritual’s always the same. He holds Josie upside down so that she can pat the kitty good night. He changes her diaper and puts her clothes in the laundry bag. “What’s this?” he asks as he holds up her yogurt-stained shirt. She proudly yells, “Launny!” Then he puts eczema cream on her rashes and moisturizer…Read More

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