New York City is full of nostalgia and charm. It is filled with history, culture, and opportunity. Ari Kellen got to experience these characteristics firsthand as he grew up on the Upper West Side in Manhattan. Ari grew up as an only child, living with both parents. His father was a banker and his mother an editor for a popular city publication. Needless to say, his family was very wealthy and he was able to make the most of his childhood in the ‘Big Apple.’ With that said, Ari Kellen’s parents’ wealth never clouded their judgements when it came to their son’s needs.
In many wealthy families, especially in New York City, the parents’ jobs come first, as they are determined to bring home the bread for the family. Not in the case of the Kellens. Mr and Mrs. Kellen always made time for Ari and each other. Whether it was attending Ari’s sporting events, making a family dinner, or traveling around the country or the world, this family’s priority was each other. Ari Kellen spent most of his weeknights at piano lessons on the Lower East Side or at practice for whatever sport he was involved in that season. If he wasn’t taking a weekend trip with his parents or attending a sports game, Ari spent his weekends with his friends, exploring Lower Manhattan and the other boroughs. He was a very outgoing kid and made friends wherever he went. He made friends in school, in sports and in his neighborhood. Ari was never bored.
Growing up in Manhattan is much different from visiting or moving there for college or after. People who grow up in Manhattan learn the secrets of the city. They know all the hidden gems. Places to hang out all hours of the day, into the night. Restaurants that look like holes in the wall that are actually filled with authentic, cultural cuisine. Free activities, accessible rooftops with tennis courts, pools, and batting cages. Beautiful, historic underground spots that are off-limits. Many times, you have to know someone who knows someone to find the real hidden gems, but when you grow up in New York City, chances are you know lots of people who know “someone.”
While he was so set on finding the secrets of Manhattan and sharing them with his pals, Ari also did the more obvious NYC activities, such as ice skating at the parks in the winter and playing ball there in the warmer months.
Ari Kellen went to a private school in Manhattan from kindergarten to 8th grade. He then attended a boarding school in Connecticut for high school, where many city kids went. Upon his high school graduation, Ari moved down South where he is now a junior at a prestigious college. These days, when Ari comes home from college to visit his parents, who still reside on the Upper West Side, you can find him in Central Park with his guitar or with his old neighborhood buddies searching for new gems. His weekends home consist of live music usually in Manhattan and Brooklyn, both playing and listening, and checking out some top-rated restaurants with his family and friends.