Ashley Renee Thaxton
Ashley Renee Thaxton

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve had instability in my life in many ways, but the 14th Street Y has always kind of been the constant. I feel very lucky that, in all of the craziness, I’ve had a place – and a group of people, more importantly – that has just been that baseline."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Mia Yoo & Her Daughter Yuna
Mia Yoo & Her Daughter Yuna

East Village, New York, 2017

"Yuna being exposed to Jewish culture, which is a part of who she is, has been very special for us. Learning about one’s spirituality, and how one connects and see oneself in the world is invaluable. We are so fortunate to have this resource - the 14th Street Y is taking care of our most prized possession, our treasure."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Bubba Jo
Bubba Jo

East Village, New York, 2017

"This morning I worked out in the gym, I volunteered at the preschool, and then I took a Yiddish class. That’s today’s activity. I’m here Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and I have activities all morning and sometimes in the afternoon. This is my second home – I really feel that way. This is my main community and my second home."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Denise Parker
Denise Parker

East Village, New York, 2017

"Home will always be here, because everyone here is joyful. They come here to be stress-less, because they’re loved."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Zachary Elder
Zachary Elder

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve had instability in my life in many ways, but the 14th Street Y has always kind of been the constant. I feel very lucky that, in all of the craziness, I’ve had a place – and a group of people, more importantly – that has just been that baseline."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Louis & His Daughters
Louis & His Daughters

East Village, New York, 2017

"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."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Antonio Rodriguez
Antonio Rodriguez

East Village, New York, 2017

"I like helping kids see the potential that lies in everyone. As a child, I always wanted to be a superhero. I know I can’t run fast, you know, I’m not the Flash. I can’t fly, and I can’t save the world, but I can help save someone’s world. I can help them feel loved or help them feel a part of the community. That’s where a lot of my passion comes from in the work that I do."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

John & Alice
John & Alice

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve been living at this apartment on East 10th Street for over 40 years, and we’ve been married 32. He was just two blocks away when we met, so the East Village has been our neighborhood for a long time."

Read more: instagram

David Stallings
David Stallings

East Village, New York, 2017

"I actually got married here on the set of a play I wrote, to my husband, who was in the play. He and I had been artists in this building for four years and we exchanged our vows on that set in front of our friends and community. We chose the Theater at the 14th Street Y before I was working here, because it had provided us a home as artists for several years."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

John "Butch" Purcell
John "Butch" Purcell

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve lived in Stuy Town for 50 years. I know everybody there; they call me the Mayor of Stuy Town. I actually just got inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Brooklyn. I coached professionally – a lot of professional basketball players in the Summer leagues. Doctor J is one of the greatest players ever, and I coached him. The coaching was volunteer, the therapy paid the bills. I coached over 75 MBA players, and I worked with over 5,000 substance abusers in my career as a therapist."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Ashley & Ivy Cohen
Ashley & Ivy Cohen

East Village, New York, 2017

"The preschool program at the 14th Street Y put Ivy in a position where she is so confident in everything she does. I couldn’t have asked for more in how they’ve helped her see where her strengths are, and how to deal with her weaknesses."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Blair Davis
Blair Davis

Union Square, New York, 2017

"I was ostracized by kids my age and I found such comfort in the special programs that my parents put me in. I did theater programs and art programs, and those were the places that I really found solace because everybody was a little bit of a weirdo too. I’ve always loved children but I’ve definitely always had a soft place in my heart for kids who just need a little bit of extra support. For me, that’s where my passion for working with children with special needs came from."

 

Yonaton Israel
Yonaton Israel

Colson Patisserie, Brooklyn, 2017

"The 14th Street Y, for my family, has been a lot of different things. My youngest daughter now goes to the preschool. I think the 14th Street Y symbolizes what a great community space can really be, how it can serve a large group of different people in so many different ways. We need communities – we need spaces that can bring people together and open them up to new possibilities and things that they would not have been exposed to if they had not walked through the doors of that place."

Talia Litman
Talia Litman

East Village, New York, 2017

"I always felt like I was maybe a bit more American than English. Although I visited the states a lot, it was really when I came to New York that I felt this boom of excitement and energy. I couldn’t think of anywhere in the world more exciting to be, so when I was 29, I thought “no time like the present,” and moved here! New York just inspires people to be the best that they want to be. All of things that you wanted to do, New York is the place to do them — and everyone you meet will encourage you, because life's too short."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Jonathan Riley
Jonathan Riley

East Village, New York, 2017

"It’s more than just basketball, and more than just a gym. There are people from all walks of life: lawyers, doctors, artists, models, actors, writers. That’s what’s really cool about the 14th Street Y – there’s a sense of creativity and a sense of just being. "

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Courtney Smith
Courtney Smith

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2017

"I love being part of the marketing team and being able to bring a voice to shows in our theater that a lot of people wouldn’t otherwise know about. The way that East Village theater can really grow and change is really exciting."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

 

Annie & Al Muzaurieta
Annie & Al Muzaurieta

East Village, New York, 2017

"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."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Ronit Muszkatblit
Ronit Muszkatblit

East Village, New York, 2017

"I think studying with the LABA fellows becomes a very special time in our daily life to have a place to meet artists who inspire you. When you study together, you’re removed from your daily actions. You have time to reconnect to inspiration."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Dr. Joseph Vasti
Dr. Joseph Vasti

East Village, New York, 2017

"The East Village is really a unique place – it has something for everyone. You can dress any way you want and look any way you want. You can go one block and experience probably nine different cultural types of food. I didn’t discover the East Village until my teen years when my grandmother, who came from the Ukraine, took us out to a Ukrainian Restaurant. There aren’t many of those restaurants left, but I do go to Veselka quite often."

Javier C. Winnick
Javier C. Winnick

East Village, New York, 2017

"Community is the opportunity to engage with the locals in your area, seeing each other for who they are and trying to be there for each other. Allowing for people to come together and share their differences and their lives, being able to find the love outside of your home that you wouldn’t find anywhere else."

Meghan Farrell
Meghan Farrell

East Village, New York, 2017

"When I started coming to the 14th Street Y, I started swimming. I had a knee injury at the time and felt it was the best kind of exercise I could do without having impact on my injury. I was kind of floored by all of the people who go to the pool, it’s a lot of women and old locals who have been in the east village. One thing I love about older people is they have so many stories to tell.  I would go to the pool, ready to mingle, just to talk to these older ladies."

Haruna Borg
Haruna Borg

East Village, New York, 2017

"Basically everybody at the 14th Street Y, whether they’re members, or they work here, they’re always welcoming and they know me. There’s this familiarity and sense of belonging and being welcomed, as a neighbor and a member."

Lewis & Sabrina with Kids, Tessa & August
Lewis & Sabrina with Kids, Tessa & August

East Village, New York, 2017

"We’re actually moving soon, and the kids were so anxious about losing their friends and their counselors and teachers here, but we’re actually going to keep bringing them to the 14th Street Y when we move out to Queens."

Anna
Anna

East Village, New York, 2017

"When I first came here I was so scared, but after I was here for a couple weeks, I just fit in perfectly. One of my After School counselors, her name is Miss Marion, she can make you fit in somewhere perfectly, and you barely even have to know her that well. She taught me a lesson, which was 'never judge a book by it’s cover,' and, 'Never look at someone from the outside, always look at them on the inside.' She can make someone laugh really well."

Sydney Ferber
Sydney Ferber

East Village, New York, 2017

"I find community from connection. Community can be as small one person– it can be as large as 10, 30, 40 people–but it's about the quality of the relationship. That’s community to me. When I’m in my gym classes, and we’re all invested in each other’s lives outside these four walls, and we’re asking about our families and my living situation and travel plans."

Priscilla, Armenia, Ethel, Vidya, and Sonya
Priscilla, Armenia, Ethel, Vidya, and Sonya

East Village, New York, 2017

"Being new in the community, I thought I would be so isolated. I’m so happy that I found a lot of friends. I feel so welcome. Now I feel like I know everybody here, and I don’t feel alone. Everyone is willing to help you, and then we do the same. When someone is bringing one child upstairs, we all step up to help take care of the other child downstairs. We all take care of each other here.”"

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Anne Taylor
Anne Taylor

Lower East Side, New York, 2017

"I worked in mental health and I started doing yoga to help with my own stress. I decided to do a yoga training, then I dropped out of graduate school, and I started teaching yoga to my patients. I ended up deciding I couldn’t do that job anymore, so I got a job teaching."

Ellen Varady & Yoshimasa Osato
Ellen Varady & Yoshimasa Osato

East Village, New York, 2017

"He’s been practicing Aikido for more than 30 years. We met in martial arts school, so exercising together is really an extension of that. We practiced martial arts together for many, many years. We got married in a martial arts school! Really, only because it was a nice location and the instructor was legally allowed to marry us. It wasn’t for religious reasons."

Katelyn Belyus
Katelyn Belyus

East Village, New York, 2017

"I run a supper club in the east village, which means that I run sort of an underground restaurant out of my house. I get to create a menu and bring in people who may or may not know each other to sit around and eat a four-course meal with me. We all talk about whatever we want, laugh, and sometimes argue, and have really wonderful conversation."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Shana Brady
Shana Brady

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve found happiness in both my life and my work with physical activity. It’s what a teach at the 14th Street Y and what I go there to do. I’m an introvert. I need a physical stimulus in everything that I do. I don’t really like going to bars or being on the spot. Since I was in high school, I’ve always liked going to rock shows. Just jumping around at a show is a very stress-reducing experience, and everyone else is there to enjoy the same music, so it creates a really great energy."

Maxine Skurka
Maxine Skurka

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve lived in New York all my life, except for 2 years when I lived in Israel. Basically, I started coming here myself since I was 65, because I had never really exercised in my life. I never had to, I never wanted to. I realized that if I didn’t start, I would become a very creaky old lady."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Portraits of the 14th Street Y

Video created to introduce the campaign on social channels

Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director
Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director

Opening Reception of "Portraits of the 14th Street Y"
14th Street Y Gallery, New York, 2017

Ellen & Yoshimasa with their Children
Ellen & Yoshimasa with their Children

Opening Reception of "Portraits of the 14th Street Y"
14th Street Y Gallery, New York, 2017

poster.jpg
Ashley Renee Thaxton
Mia Yoo & Her Daughter Yuna
Bubba Jo
Denise Parker
Zachary Elder
Louis & His Daughters
Antonio Rodriguez
John & Alice
David Stallings
John "Butch" Purcell
Ashley & Ivy Cohen
Blair Davis
Yonaton Israel
Talia Litman
Jonathan Riley
Courtney Smith
Annie & Al Muzaurieta
Ronit Muszkatblit
Dr. Joseph Vasti
Javier C. Winnick
Meghan Farrell
Haruna Borg
Lewis & Sabrina with Kids, Tessa & August
Anna
Sydney Ferber
Priscilla, Armenia, Ethel, Vidya, and Sonya
Anne Taylor
Ellen Varady & Yoshimasa Osato
Katelyn Belyus
Shana Brady
Maxine Skurka
Portraits of the 14th Street Y
Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director
Ellen & Yoshimasa with their Children
poster.jpg
Ashley Renee Thaxton

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve had instability in my life in many ways, but the 14th Street Y has always kind of been the constant. I feel very lucky that, in all of the craziness, I’ve had a place – and a group of people, more importantly – that has just been that baseline."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Mia Yoo & Her Daughter Yuna

East Village, New York, 2017

"Yuna being exposed to Jewish culture, which is a part of who she is, has been very special for us. Learning about one’s spirituality, and how one connects and see oneself in the world is invaluable. We are so fortunate to have this resource - the 14th Street Y is taking care of our most prized possession, our treasure."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Bubba Jo

East Village, New York, 2017

"This morning I worked out in the gym, I volunteered at the preschool, and then I took a Yiddish class. That’s today’s activity. I’m here Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and I have activities all morning and sometimes in the afternoon. This is my second home – I really feel that way. This is my main community and my second home."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Denise Parker

East Village, New York, 2017

"Home will always be here, because everyone here is joyful. They come here to be stress-less, because they’re loved."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Zachary Elder

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve had instability in my life in many ways, but the 14th Street Y has always kind of been the constant. I feel very lucky that, in all of the craziness, I’ve had a place – and a group of people, more importantly – that has just been that baseline."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Louis & His Daughters

East Village, New York, 2017

"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."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Antonio Rodriguez

East Village, New York, 2017

"I like helping kids see the potential that lies in everyone. As a child, I always wanted to be a superhero. I know I can’t run fast, you know, I’m not the Flash. I can’t fly, and I can’t save the world, but I can help save someone’s world. I can help them feel loved or help them feel a part of the community. That’s where a lot of my passion comes from in the work that I do."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

John & Alice

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve been living at this apartment on East 10th Street for over 40 years, and we’ve been married 32. He was just two blocks away when we met, so the East Village has been our neighborhood for a long time."

Read more: instagram

David Stallings

East Village, New York, 2017

"I actually got married here on the set of a play I wrote, to my husband, who was in the play. He and I had been artists in this building for four years and we exchanged our vows on that set in front of our friends and community. We chose the Theater at the 14th Street Y before I was working here, because it had provided us a home as artists for several years."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

John "Butch" Purcell

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve lived in Stuy Town for 50 years. I know everybody there; they call me the Mayor of Stuy Town. I actually just got inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in Brooklyn. I coached professionally – a lot of professional basketball players in the Summer leagues. Doctor J is one of the greatest players ever, and I coached him. The coaching was volunteer, the therapy paid the bills. I coached over 75 MBA players, and I worked with over 5,000 substance abusers in my career as a therapist."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Ashley & Ivy Cohen

East Village, New York, 2017

"The preschool program at the 14th Street Y put Ivy in a position where she is so confident in everything she does. I couldn’t have asked for more in how they’ve helped her see where her strengths are, and how to deal with her weaknesses."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Blair Davis

Union Square, New York, 2017

"I was ostracized by kids my age and I found such comfort in the special programs that my parents put me in. I did theater programs and art programs, and those were the places that I really found solace because everybody was a little bit of a weirdo too. I’ve always loved children but I’ve definitely always had a soft place in my heart for kids who just need a little bit of extra support. For me, that’s where my passion for working with children with special needs came from."

 

Yonaton Israel

Colson Patisserie, Brooklyn, 2017

"The 14th Street Y, for my family, has been a lot of different things. My youngest daughter now goes to the preschool. I think the 14th Street Y symbolizes what a great community space can really be, how it can serve a large group of different people in so many different ways. We need communities – we need spaces that can bring people together and open them up to new possibilities and things that they would not have been exposed to if they had not walked through the doors of that place."

Talia Litman

East Village, New York, 2017

"I always felt like I was maybe a bit more American than English. Although I visited the states a lot, it was really when I came to New York that I felt this boom of excitement and energy. I couldn’t think of anywhere in the world more exciting to be, so when I was 29, I thought “no time like the present,” and moved here! New York just inspires people to be the best that they want to be. All of things that you wanted to do, New York is the place to do them — and everyone you meet will encourage you, because life's too short."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Jonathan Riley

East Village, New York, 2017

"It’s more than just basketball, and more than just a gym. There are people from all walks of life: lawyers, doctors, artists, models, actors, writers. That’s what’s really cool about the 14th Street Y – there’s a sense of creativity and a sense of just being. "

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Courtney Smith

Williamsburg, Brooklyn, 2017

"I love being part of the marketing team and being able to bring a voice to shows in our theater that a lot of people wouldn’t otherwise know about. The way that East Village theater can really grow and change is really exciting."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

 

Annie & Al Muzaurieta

East Village, New York, 2017

"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."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Ronit Muszkatblit

East Village, New York, 2017

"I think studying with the LABA fellows becomes a very special time in our daily life to have a place to meet artists who inspire you. When you study together, you’re removed from your daily actions. You have time to reconnect to inspiration."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Dr. Joseph Vasti

East Village, New York, 2017

"The East Village is really a unique place – it has something for everyone. You can dress any way you want and look any way you want. You can go one block and experience probably nine different cultural types of food. I didn’t discover the East Village until my teen years when my grandmother, who came from the Ukraine, took us out to a Ukrainian Restaurant. There aren’t many of those restaurants left, but I do go to Veselka quite often."

Javier C. Winnick

East Village, New York, 2017

"Community is the opportunity to engage with the locals in your area, seeing each other for who they are and trying to be there for each other. Allowing for people to come together and share their differences and their lives, being able to find the love outside of your home that you wouldn’t find anywhere else."

Meghan Farrell

East Village, New York, 2017

"When I started coming to the 14th Street Y, I started swimming. I had a knee injury at the time and felt it was the best kind of exercise I could do without having impact on my injury. I was kind of floored by all of the people who go to the pool, it’s a lot of women and old locals who have been in the east village. One thing I love about older people is they have so many stories to tell.  I would go to the pool, ready to mingle, just to talk to these older ladies."

Haruna Borg

East Village, New York, 2017

"Basically everybody at the 14th Street Y, whether they’re members, or they work here, they’re always welcoming and they know me. There’s this familiarity and sense of belonging and being welcomed, as a neighbor and a member."

Lewis & Sabrina with Kids, Tessa & August

East Village, New York, 2017

"We’re actually moving soon, and the kids were so anxious about losing their friends and their counselors and teachers here, but we’re actually going to keep bringing them to the 14th Street Y when we move out to Queens."

Anna

East Village, New York, 2017

"When I first came here I was so scared, but after I was here for a couple weeks, I just fit in perfectly. One of my After School counselors, her name is Miss Marion, she can make you fit in somewhere perfectly, and you barely even have to know her that well. She taught me a lesson, which was 'never judge a book by it’s cover,' and, 'Never look at someone from the outside, always look at them on the inside.' She can make someone laugh really well."

Sydney Ferber

East Village, New York, 2017

"I find community from connection. Community can be as small one person– it can be as large as 10, 30, 40 people–but it's about the quality of the relationship. That’s community to me. When I’m in my gym classes, and we’re all invested in each other’s lives outside these four walls, and we’re asking about our families and my living situation and travel plans."

Priscilla, Armenia, Ethel, Vidya, and Sonya

East Village, New York, 2017

"Being new in the community, I thought I would be so isolated. I’m so happy that I found a lot of friends. I feel so welcome. Now I feel like I know everybody here, and I don’t feel alone. Everyone is willing to help you, and then we do the same. When someone is bringing one child upstairs, we all step up to help take care of the other child downstairs. We all take care of each other here.”"

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Anne Taylor

Lower East Side, New York, 2017

"I worked in mental health and I started doing yoga to help with my own stress. I decided to do a yoga training, then I dropped out of graduate school, and I started teaching yoga to my patients. I ended up deciding I couldn’t do that job anymore, so I got a job teaching."

Ellen Varady & Yoshimasa Osato

East Village, New York, 2017

"He’s been practicing Aikido for more than 30 years. We met in martial arts school, so exercising together is really an extension of that. We practiced martial arts together for many, many years. We got married in a martial arts school! Really, only because it was a nice location and the instructor was legally allowed to marry us. It wasn’t for religious reasons."

Katelyn Belyus

East Village, New York, 2017

"I run a supper club in the east village, which means that I run sort of an underground restaurant out of my house. I get to create a menu and bring in people who may or may not know each other to sit around and eat a four-course meal with me. We all talk about whatever we want, laugh, and sometimes argue, and have really wonderful conversation."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Shana Brady

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve found happiness in both my life and my work with physical activity. It’s what a teach at the 14th Street Y and what I go there to do. I’m an introvert. I need a physical stimulus in everything that I do. I don’t really like going to bars or being on the spot. Since I was in high school, I’ve always liked going to rock shows. Just jumping around at a show is a very stress-reducing experience, and everyone else is there to enjoy the same music, so it creates a really great energy."

Maxine Skurka

East Village, New York, 2017

"I’ve lived in New York all my life, except for 2 years when I lived in Israel. Basically, I started coming here myself since I was 65, because I had never really exercised in my life. I never had to, I never wanted to. I realized that if I didn’t start, I would become a very creaky old lady."

Read more: 14Y Blog | Instagram

Portraits of the 14th Street Y

Video created to introduce the campaign on social channels

Shira Koch Epstein, Executive Director

Opening Reception of "Portraits of the 14th Street Y"
14th Street Y Gallery, New York, 2017

Ellen & Yoshimasa with their Children

Opening Reception of "Portraits of the 14th Street Y"
14th Street Y Gallery, New York, 2017

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