Al, Annie & Kids: Portraits of the 14th Street Y


We moved to Stuyvesant Town and were looking for a place to take classes and meet other parents, and a neighbor recommended the 14th Street Y. We started with our oldest daughter, taking music classes, parenting classes, and then went right into Two X Two and the Preschool. One of my favorite memories was Preschool graduation. It’s impossibly cute and sweet, and you’re nostalgic before you even leave the room. I have lifelong friends who I met in the Preschool here. As you get older, it can be hard to make new friends. Children provide this built-in opportunity to make new friends. Being so close to the 14th Street Y makes a great community.

I grew up attending a community center and going to the gym, but nothing like this. Everyone comes here for a different reason. Here, you interact with people of all ages, which is a really nice and an important experience.

The teachers here are some of the greatest teachers we’ve ever encountered in our kids’ lives. I really like the reggio approach to preschool. It’s a very unique experience for the kids, because you have this great rooftop, a world-class pool, and the kids are interacting with older people, students, everyone who comes in and out of this community center. It’s a nice environment for them to explore and be a part of. There’s also a fantastic gym. It has tremendous facilities, and I think in combination with the staff and amazing teachers, it makes for a really well-rounded preschool experience. A very important part of our experience at the 14th Street Y has been the beautiful & wonderful teachers in the Preschool. They hold a very special place in all of our kids’ hearts because they all went to school here.

It’s also great that this place is right in the East Village. The kids get to field trip around here. We love this neighborhood–people know the East Village as “all are welcome here.” You see all kinds of people, and I love that. What a great value to give to your children.

“I have a confession! I will be disguising myself as a little kid so that I can go to preschool here,” said their oldest daughter.



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.