Go Find Alice all over NYC
by Nicole Caccavo Kear, Time Out New York contributor, 03/24/2010
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Tim Burton fans will find no better way to fall down the rabbit hole this month than to see the writer-director’s cockeyed re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland, in theaters March 5. But kids too young to appreciate Burton’s ruined fantasyland also deserve an all-consuming Alice experience—and we’re not just talking about the requisite trip to Alice’s Tea Cup (though we’re madder than the Hatter himself for the eatery’s scones with clotted cream). There are myriad ways to connect with Alice in the Big Apple; below are some of our favorites.
Alice in Wonderland Statue
Commissioned by George Delacorte in honor of his wife and dedicated in 1959, the richly detailed José de Creeft bronze piece is a hands-on gem and one of the darlings of Central Park. As they clamber onto huge toadstools, rub noses with a gigantic dormouse and finally make it up to sit on Alice’s capacious lap, kids will understand how Alice must have felt when she shrank after sipping from a bottle labeled “drink me.” East side of Central Park, near 74th St., north of the Conservatory Water
Sophie Irene Loeb Fountain
North of the Alice statue you’ll find a large, concrete drinking fountain with characters including Alice, the Queen and the Cheshire Cat depicted in relief. More than 40 years after its dedication in 1936, the statue was refitted with a sprinkler and moved to the James Michael Levin Playground, where it now works better than a pool of tears to cool tykes off on a hot summer’s day. James Michael Levin Playground, Central Park, enter from Fifth Ave. at 77th St.
Alice: The Way Out
For an underground adventure, take the 1 train to 50th Street to see mosaic murals featuring unmistakable silhouettes: the White Rabbit checking his pocket-watch, the Mad Hatter on the run and Alice herself peeking behind a curtain. Just glimpsing the murals as your car stops in the station will fill tots with the feeling that they have peered into an alternate reality. 50th St. station on the 1 line, uptown and downtown platforms
Madame Alexander Doll Company
Alice was one of the first dolls Madame Alexander created back in the 1930s. The company has crafted many Wonderland dolls since, including an oversized Alice with limbs protruding from the windows of the Rabbit’s house. The latest addition to the collection, which can be viewed on a free tour of the company’s gallery, is a Mad Hatter. 615 W. 131st St. at Broadway (212-283-5900)
For more places to spot Alice in NYC, visit Time Out New York.