Their First Home
The Spielmans started their life as a family in their Hillman apartment – now it’s time to move on
by Frances Madeson
If the name Sara Spielman seems familiar, perhaps it’s because you’ve read it in these pages. For the past year, Sara has been this magazine’s public affairs reporter, covering Community Board 3 and Civilian Police Board meetings, alongside events like the annual pickle festival on Orchard Street. She has passed the baton to a new writer (also named Sara) because she’s returning to her roots, moving back to Crown Heights, Brooklyn.
“I’ve loved living on Grand Street for the last three years,” she says. “Our apartment in Hillman was my first home with my husband, Meir; it’s where we brought our daughter Malka home from the hospital; and it’s where I’ve spread my wings as a journalist and freelance writer. But as a family, being near our parents and relatives in Crown Heights will be very convenient.
Sara and Meir grew up on the same avenue in Crown Heights, but they met as young adults in Bryant Park, where mutual friends gathered to watch the summertime Monday night movies.
Sara, a graduate of Stern College for Women, with a degree in English and Communications, was engrossed in reading The Great Gatsby, while waiting for the film to begin. Meir, a graduate of Oholei Torah, a Brooklyn yeshiva, has an abiding interest in American literature; he loves the works of Hawthorne, Steinbeck, and, especially, F. Scott Fitzgerald.
After marrying, they moved to Grand Street because Sara says they “wanted to live in a Jewish neighborhood that was in the city, but close to Brooklyn.” Sara’s uncle knew Jacob Goldman of LoHo Realty who told them about Co-op Village. “When I thought of the Lower East Side, I thought of it as an historic neighborhood,” Sara explained. “I didn’t realize there was so much to see and do, especially so many kid-friendly activities.”
Sara has taken art classes with her daughter at Henry Street’s Abrons Art Center, baby yoga classes on the Bowery, and mommy and toddler music classes at the Educational Alliance. “Even when I began working for GSN, I’d put Malka in her stroller and take her with me on interviews.” Her subjects thought it was adorable, and Sara often gave her daughter paper and pencil, so she could be “Mommy’s little journalist in training.”
“Working for GSN gave me the chance to learn even more about the neighborhood,” says Spielman, “its everyday issues, politics, history, problems and solutions. I’ve gotten to know the local business people and have loved every aspect of it.”
Meir is an Account Associate at IGPC/ Ideal Stamp, located on West 34th Street near the railroad yards. If you’ve ever sent or received a stamp from Antigua, Liberia, or Palau, chances are it originated at IGPC, which performs a whole range of philatelic services for small countries.
“Elvis is always a big seller for us,” he says, “as is Princess Di. Now Prince William appears on a lot of stamps.”
Meir also enjoyed local entertainment events. He was a big fan of the open mic at the old Surf Reality. “As an audience member, not a participant.” He’s also an avid rollerblader. He and Sara love going out for family walks to SoHo and the East Village, or down to the Seaport. “We’re really sad about leaving,” Meir admitted. “While everyone makes a home that is unique to them, we hope that whoever the new apartment owners are, that it will be as good a home for them as it was for us.“
The Spielman’s positive experience purchasing their apartment through LoHo, made their choice for a broker to sell it quite obvious.
“We’re not saying goodbye,” Sara said. “We’ll be back, especially for the pickle festival!”