jane’s carousel.


while we were in dumbo a few saturday’s ago, we rode jane’s carousel. i started to read a little about the carousel while we were there, but didn’t get very far (which tends to be the case with everything these days) as samson has discovered the power in speed walking (with zombie arms extended front, naturally.) but anyway, i read more about the story behind it once we returned home and it is just the sweetest.

jane bought the carousel as a whole at an auction in the 1980’s so it wouldn’t be sold off piece by piece.  it was originally created in 1922 by the philadelphia toboggan company. after buying it, she then spent the last twenty-something years restoring it in brooklyn with her husband. they hand-scraped through 62 years of park paint to get to the original colors and wood carvings of the carousel and restore it to its original self from 1922! can you even imagine scraping 62 years of park paint off something by hand? i haven’t been on too many carousels in my life but enough to say this one is something else. the killer backdrop of the manhattan skyline with both the manhattan and brooklyn bridges in view doesn’t hurt the overall experience, either.

anyway, we look forward to many more rides on jane’s carousel. (even if the music was a bit too loud for eleanor’s liking. see the photo below where she and papa are both plugging her little ears. i swear someone will flush the toilet around here and she’s like, “too loud!” from the other room. haha. what a character.)


  1. what a wonderful, whimsical time!

  2. Bea

    You’re stunning!!!

  3. sweet family!

  4. Olivia

    The carousel is from a park in my hometown!! So lovely to see it restored!


  5. Emily

    Beautiful family! Can I ask where you got your skirt from? I’ve been looking for something similar!

  6. heather

    People never cease to amaze me. What an awesome story! Who is this wonder-woman, Jane?

    As always, you guys are a bunch of cuties. And so stylish, too!

  7. i love that name. Jane’s Carousel. it sounds so sweet. cute post.

  8. Lisette Wolter-McKinley

    I always think of it standing amidst all the water after Hurricane Sandy. picture of triumph!

  9. kendall

    what a cool story! x

  10. Diana

    love that story about Jane’s carousel! That is dedication! Eleanor reminds me of my Sophia when she was 2. She used to say the same thing about noise…well she actually still does and she’s 4! Love their little personalities ;)

  11. Damaris

    Hahaha love E strong personality :) and your comment about S zombie arms! What a great love story of Jane and her husband restoring the old carousel, did not know about it! Thanks for sharing.


  12. j

    you are drop dead gorgeous in your happy summer hair :) enjoy.

  13. Dee

    aww, i was just over there a couple of weeks ago. that place truly is special! next time i’ll have to go when they are open. :)

  14. Livi

    that’s awesome! I’ll have to try the carousel out this summer!

  15. Becca

    Wow! What a cool story! I’m a sucker for a good preservation story. The kids look like they had a great time!

    Ladyface Blog

  16. I love old carousels! I’m adding this to my list of Brooklyn to-dos :) Such cute photos.

  17. JM

    I love carousels. My mum has a beautifully handmade model one which we bring out at Christmas times. (I wrote about it here: http://lifeiswhathappensblog.wordpress.com/2013/01/04/the-carousel/ )

    I am not really one for amusement parks because I’m a total wuss and can’t go on any of the rides. So carousels are just about the only thing I can manage :)

    This looks like a lovely one! And Eleanor, as ever, has the cutest smile!


  18. maggie

    What a gorgeous story!

  19. Teresa

    Don’t you just love finding out little bits of history in the most random places?! I love this story about the carousel I’m sure now those who know about it and ride it would have a greater appreciation. Thanks!!

  20. That little picture of eleanor with her little pursed lips is just precious. Looks like such a good time!
    Leah Faye
    a clover and a bee

  21. Lee

    Charming! Where is your tee from, please?

  22. Cutest little top bun on Eleanor!

  23. Kelle

    so i realize your hair is probably just pulled back in that top picture, but it also works as proof that you could absolutely pull of an emma watson style pixie cut amazingly. so pretty. i work at a pre-school and i have a student who sounds a lot like eleanor! especially with the toilet thing – he constantly keeps his hands by his ears in case he will need to cover them in a toilet flushing situation haha. so silly and cute. :)

  24. Kelly

    The littles are adorable per usual and I will have to go check out this carousel!

    Sparkles and Shoes

  25. marie

    My son dislikes loud music too! And when someone speaks really loud, he will give his “disapproving” face to that person too. Haha!

    Btw cute photos of Eleanor and Samson. Love their outfits.


  26. Sarah

    I just love learning about people’s whimsical, joyful passion projects! It’s so wonderful when little pieces of history like this are rescued and preserved so we can all get a little glimpse of what life was like way back when!

  27. Noise sensitivity is often a sign of a magnesium deficiency.

    Vaccines contain ingredients that cause magnesium deficiency, so a good cal-mag supplement might really be the ticket, especially if you notice Eleanor being bothered by noise shortly after getting a vaccine.

    The health food stores have great supplements for kids, in liquid or gummy form.

    Jenny Hatch

  28. Susie

    These pictures are so cute! And your kids are adorable! I’ve recently been trying to photograph my 1 year old nephew and it is near impossible most of the time—i swear that he went right from crawling to running!

  29. so sweet — and look at that little muffin samson! and e just gets more and more darling :)

  30. What a cutie pie : )

  31. giulia

    i now have the goal to make my life become such a sweet story:)
    you are gorgeous and your entire family is adorable!!!

  32. Amy

    Beautiful story and photos. And so brave to be wearing white with two young children! xx

  33. Tanja

    I love that carousel! it reminds me of the carousel in “The thief lord” by Cornelia Funke. Your beautiful kids are too young for the book, but it is great.
    This one has a soft spot in my heart because I was planning a theater in the old warehouse walls right next to it. but it was just a fake project unfortunatelly. being in that place instead of being at home in Germany felt magic!!

  34. We have a similar carousel in North Carolina. I love taking my daughter. The ride is only 75 cents a person and it feels like a trip back in time.
    Dentzel Carousel

  35. how adorable! you all look extremely happy!

  36. amanda

    Looooove that carousel. Remember that photo of it completely engulfed during Sandy? So glad they were able to fix it.

  37. Awh, this is just the cutest!! Love your hair by the way!


  38. Beautiful story! Will definitely have to check out that carousel sometime! And Eleanor and her daddy are seriously the cutest papa-daughter team out there!

  39. looks like so much fun! I love dumbo, it’s my favorite neighborhood in the city.

  40. What a sweet story about that carousel! I can only imagine how much work Jane and her husband put into it, especially scraping off all of the paint layers by hand! Your pictures are adorable!

  41. Loulou

    How gorgeous that carousel is, complete with its interesting story. It’s quite amazing what some people dedicate their time to in such a loving/giving way.

  42. just read about the carousel… hope to take my olive there to ride it one day!

  43. Mónica

    That past. Here this kind of carousels only put them at Christmas, but if you go to the capital cities there is almost always one fixed, are gorgeous. Kisses and happy weekend.

  44. Taylor

    So precious! I love carousals. Luckily I still have an excuse to hop on one since I have a 5-year-old little sister!


  45. So great! I was just thinking on my drive home yesterday that I’d like to take a spin on the carousel by the Smithsonian :)


  46. Your blog is amazing! I am a 24 year old pursing the same dream, just to put my many thoughts and life into words. I would love your advice on it! Hopefully some day I can get to your level!

  47. Tessa

    Love your blog. What camera do you use? Where do you edit your pics? photoshop? thanks

  48. Kelly

    Where are your daughter’s shoes from? I’m dying over them… so adorable!

  49. Tiare

    Fun! Carousels are childhood magic.

    Since you’re nearby, have you ever took a spin on Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn? http://janescarousel.com/

  50. Sandra

    I just wanted to leave a comment to tell you, that I really like the blog. Looking at the beautiful pics of your adventures always makes me smile. Keep your lovely family safe and sound. You’ve got something wonderful there.

    Greetings from Germany!

  51. Des

    its been a few months since I discovered your blog and I love it. I live in long island but im seriously considering moving to the city. I love how much you love it and it seems like you never run out of things to do over there! Love, Des

  52. Franny

    Aaaaawwwww, soooo cute :D

  53. Angela

    I walked along London’s Southbank the other day and I thought of this post as I walked past the carousel. Lovely.

  54. Samantha

    That carousel is so special to me! It was from Idora Park, of Youngstown, Ohio. My hometown!

    It was my very first ride and I got to ride it again this past April when my mom and aunts and cousins took a girls weekend trip to NYC. It was so sweet how my mom and aunts shared stories of growing up with an amusement park in their neighborhood. Such a special moment!

    Thanks for showcasing it in your blog. I really enjoy reading about your special moments with your family. :)

  55. Sinead

    There’s something so lovely and quaint about carousels, you guys look so happy on it!

  56. Sara

    It is so great to look for someone smile:) Specially so loving family. Love your photos and….the wheater ! Hi from Poland :)

  57. Thanks for finding beauty in the everyday things. I love your style and perspective.

  58. Lo

    Love Eleanor’s shoes!! Where are they from?

  59. These pictures are beyond adorable! Carousels are so magical.

  60. Charli

    Such a lovely family – and you’re always doing such fun things!

    I just found this blog, and I’m so glad I did.

    Charli X

  61. Elizabeth

    You guys are too adorable. If I might ask, how far apart in age are Samson and Eleanor? And did you have to buy car seats just for this trip!?!

  62. Elizabeth

    woops for some reason this landed on the wrong post!

  63. Lisa

    Will you tell me where you got your shirt? Love it!

  64. Vanessa

    I always love knowing a back story to something! This one is great and, of course, the photos are adorable!

  65. Bella'smom

    Love your photos!! I know you get asked lots of question so i hope you won’t mind if I ask want camera is used to take those awesome photos.

    Thank you