Summer in the city with Kirsten Rickert

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel_Upper East SideOne look at her flower-strewn Instagram or eponymous blog, and you’ll notice that everything looks beautiful through Kirsten Rickert’s eyes. Artist, writer and photographer, Kirsten’s love for her children & the world we live in, shines through in everything she does. We asked Kirsten to document a day out with Maya & Elle on the Upper East Side in NYC.

Originally from Australia, we moved to NYC 6 years ago. When we arrived in Manhattan we spent the first month living on the Upper East Side. I have long been a fan of Caramel Baby & Child and Australia does not have a Caramel boutique (yet!) so it was one of the ‘must go to’ places on my list. Now that we live just outside of New York, I make a point of spending the day on the Upper East Side seasonally in order to re-visit favourite spots. With the children in tow, it really helps to know where to go and what to do, and alternate inhale and exhale activities to keep them interested and inspired to walk, walk, walk. An example of an UES outing for us, on this day was, The Metropolitan Museum, followed by Lady M Confections, stopping by Caramel, then off to central Park to play at the Alice in Wonderland Sculpture.

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel Summer_Store Madison

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel Summer_Shop 3

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel Summer_Shop SS14

irsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel Loves Summer_Shop

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel Summer_Shop 2New York can be a really intense city to visit, there is so much to see, and so much to do. Each borough is unique, and within each borough are individual pockets with distinct identities. It is really helpful to have a handful of interests and activities close to one another, so that there is an effortless flow.

Here is a list of things we like to do and see, while on the Upper East Side:

Alice in Wonderland Sculpture – Located in Central Park, it is a beautiful larger than life brass sculpture of Alice having a tea party with the Mad Hatter. Children are welcome to climb on the sculpture.

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel_Alice SculptureBilly Johnson Playground – An all-natural material playground in Central Park that has a tremendously fun slide!

Candle 79 -  An organic vegan oasis. Delicious, creative food fresh from farm to table. An Organic wine/beer eco-bar. Elegant, Local, Seasonal, Compassionate and Green! Lunch & Dinner.

Candle Cafe – Casual dining, serving organic vegetarian food, fresh from the farm to table. Sustainable eco friendly practices with compassion for animals. Lunch & Dinner

Central Park Zoo - A small and lovely city zoo, with great conservation and environmental practices.

Conservatory Water – A beautiful ornamental pond in Central Park that has remote control model boats sailing on it in warm weather months.

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel_Central ParkGourmet Garage – When you just feel like grabbing items and eating in the park, Gourmet Garage is the “shop like a chef” market to go to. Offering a large selection of local, organic, and specialty items, as well as anything else you may want. Prepared deli food available.

Guggenheim - An internationally renowned art museum and one of the most significant architectural icons of the 20th century. Children love to ascend and descend the internal spiral ramp of the Guggenheim.

Lady M Confections - The freshest and finest cakes and confectionary delights. Sophisticated minimalist elegance with exquisite baked sweets. This is a special occasion place, with sit down available.

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel_Lady M Confections

Loop of Loom - Creative mind, gentle soul…Loop of the Loom is the only SAORI hand-weaving studio which introduces the award winning SAORI method for children and adults as mindfulness meditative weaving. A beautiful studio to visit that offers amazing weaving supplies and classes.

Society of Illustrators  - A celebration of those that draw, a great place for the budding cartoon and comic strip artist to visit.

The Corner Bookstore - An intimate shop stocked with quality literature and staffed by friendly professional book people. They offer a thoughtful and well curated selection of children’s books.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art - An immense collection of Art and Artifacts that collectively represent the broadest spectrum of human achievement at the highest level of quality. You can easily spend days at the Met. (Insider tip, it is a ‘suggested donation’ entry fee, so pay whatever you wish). Children are free.

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel_Maya&Elle

The New York Society Library - The first public library association in New York City. A nice place to have some quiet time in the midst a busy New York day.

Sushi of Gari – Traditional Japanese fare as well as innovative contemporary combinations. The chefs serve up delicious creations with high quality ingredients. Ample seating so a good place for families to dine.

Whitney Museum of American Art – The Whitney Biennale is on every second year, showcasing America’s top contemporary Artists. There is also a permanent collection that presents a full range of twentieth-century and contemporary American art, with a special focus on works by living artists. They offer a great free audio tour for children and our girls enjoy the headphones! Child entry into the Whitney is free.

Click on the link to download and print our Illustrated Caramel Baby & Child Upper East Side Map.

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel_Maya's Manhattan Map

Kirsten Rickert_NYC_Caramel_ Maya's Manhattan Map


Caramel_AW14_Preview CampaignAW14_Caramel Lookbook_GirlsAW14_Caramel_Lookbook_BoysAW14_Caramel Lookbook_Baby knitwearAW14_Caramel Lookbook_Baby accessoriesCaramel AW14 Preview

Not a world away from those that found their own world through the doors of a wardrobe, three siblings spend a dream-filled day, in & around their London townhouse. Evoking the particular elegance of the literary child, Caramel’s Autumn/Winter collection reworks classic shapes in fresh tones & textures. Soft knits are colour blocked and paired with swing skirts and low slung, corduroy trousers, while exquisite English fabrics are cut into timeless party dresses. Babies keep warm in quilted jersey and classic wool rompers, and children layer jumpers and leggings in an exclusive diamond knit under tailored overcoats.

Five minutes with Emily Ulmer

Emily Ulmer Caramel SS14 Peafowl Dress pink Emily Ulmer Caramel SS14 Peafowl Dress Dusky Pink

Drenched in light, Emily Ulmer’s images are something quite rare. Capturing children just as they are, there’s a poignancy about them that never oversteps the mark. After a day’s shoot in a Brooklyn brownstone with some of Caramel’s SS14 collection, we take a moment to ask Emily a few questions.

Emily, we love your photos! Can you tell us a bit about what first got you hooked on shooting kids?
Thank you! And sure! When I began photographing kids, I didn’t know how much I’d fall in love with it. As I started shooting more kids, I quickly found how rewarding it was, challenging myself to capture youth in a natural and unforced way. It was exciting to explore such a new territory and once I did I haven’t looked back.

You must have so many great memories of shoots gone past. Could you share one of your favourites?
One of my favourite memories is from a shoot I did last summer with two best friends, Lulu and Nina (ages 8 and 9). I’d been photographing the two girls over the course of a couple of years, documenting their friendship. They’d both moved to Los Angeles at the same time with their families so they were the new kids in school together. Nina was from Ireland, and Lulu from Australia. Lulu was moving back to Australia and I photographed the two of them together for the last time a few days before she was leaving. They wouldn’t be seeing each other again for some time. As I shot them, you could just see how strong of a bond that they shared and it was so beautiful to be able to capture. At the end they hugged and there were tears… from everyone! It was one of my most special shoots by far.

We’d love to know your top tip for photographing kids.
The best photographs of kids are the ones where they don’t know they’re being photographed. If you tell a child to smile, they will, and 9 times out of 10 you’ll get the most unnatural smile imaginable. I’ve never once asked a child to smile during my shoots! I love when they do smile, but if it’s not natural I won’t even take the picture. So my top tip for getting the best photos of your children is to just have your camera on you while you’re playing with them or watching them play and try and capture those unposed moments. You’ll come away with beautiful and real images.

Do you have a dream place you’d love to shoot?
I have so many dream places where I’d love to shoot but at the moment I’d most love to photograph some amazing kids on a small island in Spain or Greece. Trying to make that happen this summer!

Speaking of summer, we’re all about it at the moment! What would be your perfect summer day?
My perfect summer day would be going to the beach – usually Malibu – with a close friend or two. Bringing food for a picnic, we’d just spend hours there, not doing much of anything.

You live in Los Angeles, can you share one of your ‘summer in the city’ top tips?
In the summer we have Saturday night movie screenings at an old cemetery in Hollywood:  Hollywood Forever. People bring picnics and blankets and they show old favourites such as “The Muppet Movie”, “Chinatown”, “The Shining” etc. It’s one of the best parts of living in Los Angeles in the summer.

Finally, we love the shoot you did with Caramel – do you have a favourite piece from the collection?
Yes, I’m in love with the pale pink eyelet dress!

Thank you Emily!

(Styling by Molly Kennedy)

Emily Ulmer Caramel SS14 Peafowl Dress Dusky Pink

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