In the last few months, I have noticed that Downtown Benicia is abuzz with baby strollers. On any given day, a growing number of moms and sometimes dads are transporting their children in strollers while they jog, walk or window shop. The baby strollers of today are completely different from what I pushed as a new Mother 39 years ago. In 1974, the ride of choice was the umbrella stroller that I learned to open and close with one hand and a quick kick, while balancing my newborn and diaper bag on the other arm. They were lightweight and fit easily into the back seat of the car, along with the play pen, car seat, and other "must have" paraphernalia for even an afternoon outing. Since there was little support in the back part of the stroller, the baby always seemed to be folded into the seat. Who knows how it may have affected the posture of a generation.
In 2013, parents can indulge their children's mode of transportation with high profile models from car manufacturers like Aston Martin and BMW. James Bond favorite, Aston Martin, just released an all leather stroller that sells for $3000. With automotive styling, the Maclaren BMW comes fully loaded with a 5-point harness and is made of aircraft grade recyclable aluminum. The company's logo is decaled on the wheels and sun roof, which screams status. The BMW buggy comes in black, blue or silver and costs $375.
Bugaboo is an international mobility (stroller) company based in Amsterdam that has worked with Italian designer Missoni, and Viktor&Rolf, who created the My First Car collection, which was inspired by the feeling of driving your first car. Their car stroller has a windshield for baby to peer out of and automobile upholstery interior.
Bugaboo is partnering with the Andy Warhol Foundation For the Visual Arts and will be introducing two collections this month. Warhol is one of the world’s leading figures in contemporary art and pop culture, with work that is iconic and recognizable twenty-five years after his death. Warhol’s innovative approach to art provided inspiration for Bugaboo. The collaboration celebrates the artist’s love for children’s inquisitive and creative minds and his ability to create timeless work that transcends any age or time period.
The “Flowers” Collection uses Warhol's Flowers, a print of red poppies on a black background, to cover the sunroofs and seats. The lesser-known "Cars" print is 1950's-era autos in black and white, which has a retro effect on the urban buggies. For $750 you can own a Warhol while adding to your art collection.
Babies are in, especially with the upcoming birth of William and Kate's royal child due in July. Kate has remained loyal to her famous tailored look (minus a belt) during her much-photographed pregnancy. She is still wearing high heels and chose a pair of three-inch black pumps with black opaque tights for a visit to the Underground recently. Her famous platform nude heels continue to be part of her "go to" footwear. For one public appearance she wore a £38 Topshop black and white maternity dress, which sold out just hours later. Much like Princess Diana, the fashion industry is watching Kate for inspiration to set trends for women who are dealing with what to wear for nine months.
Benicia is known as a family town with great schools, more than 20 parks (three along the waterfront), City-sponsored sports and learning programs, and community events that include parades, farmers market and Halloween and holiday activities.
Kids who grew up in Benicia are returning to start their families and recapture for their children what it means to be a Benician. Make way for the stroller brigade!