Louis: Portraits of 14th Street Y


I’m a stay at home dad, so taking care of the girls is my full-time job. My wife calls it “daddy boot camp.” We spend a lot of our time at the 14th Street Y. We love the pool, and we really love PAUSE/PLAY. It’s great because of all the activities for both the kids and grown-ups. A lot of their friends from the “Two x Two” and “Now We are Three” programs are there too, so when they go back they can see a familiar face. Even though they graduated from those programs, they still connect with everyone that they met there.

The 14th Street Y is such a big part of our community. The girls have friends there, things to do, and activities. Every time we go there, there’s always a familiar face saying “Hey Tilly, hey Ivy!” Sometimes there’s even a little girl, a friend of theirs, that they like to have ice cream with. There’s always something different going on here and they look forward to it because there’s always someone they can connect with. They can enjoy the experience and have fun in the neighborhood.

The staff at the 14th Street Y make it really welcoming and fun for everyone. It’s so friendly, and we really go there for that… and the challah on Thursdays. We’ve been able to do everything together as a family there. We’ve had a lot of special time together that we probably wouldn’t have had if we didn’t have the 14th Street Y.


Portraits of the 14th Street Y is a photography project by Bridget Badore that tells the stories behind the many faces of the 14th Street Y community, including members, staff, teachers, trainers, artists, caregivers, families, and local business owners. Each year, the unique stories of more than 20,000 New Yorkers is woven into the fabric that makes the 14th Street Y a Downtown home for all.

Learn more about this exciting photography series here. You can also follow along and support the Downtown Stories on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.