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Children Are Up In Turtle Bay

Longtime residents are remarking on an amazing phenomenon in Turtle Bay. Ambling around the neighborhood it is difficult not to notice the numbers of babies and young children in carriages or strollers, back packs or front packs, being ferried around by mothers, nannies, or even sometimes by fathers.

Turtle Bay had for many years been populated largely by adults, many of them single working people, and the sight of a child was an anomaly. Usually the parents were diplomats or connected in some way with the United Nations. In recent years, however, there has been an influx of young families to the area, driven partly by the vicissitudes of the New York real estate market, and partly by the convenient midtown location and charm of the neighborhood.

In spite or perhaps because of the hustle and bustle, parents are generally pleased with their choice of residence, and especially with the fact that their numbers are increasing. One mother, who lives with her husband and four-year-old son in Tudor City, says they were the first young family in their building when they moved there a few years ago. Several more young families have moved in since. Her son enjoys the available parks and playgrounds and attends The Family School on East 47th Street. They have considered moving to larger quarters but decided to stay put because their son has made so many good friends.

Another mother whose baby daughter was born in June, is delighted to have the new Dag Hammarskjold Plaza Park available. She made good use of it in the summer and fall, and now her six-month-old is enrolled in one of the many programs offered for young children at the Vanderbilt YMCA on East 47th Street.

The presence of children is creating a more vital atmosphere in Turtle Bay. One of the most welcoming residential buildings is Dag Hammarskjold Tower at the corner of Second Avenue and East 47th Street. The numerous children living there even have their own playroom (a great perk for parents) and a special swimming program at the building's pool.

The Family School, founded 25 years ago by Leslie Haberman (who still runs it), is a non-sectarian private school for children from 18 months old through the sixth grade. The school is based on many of the principles of Maria Montessori, but structured freedom is the by-word here.

The Turtle Bay Music School on East 52nd Street also has programs for children.

There are no public or parochial schools in Turtle Bay. The nearest public school (#59) is on East 57th Street near Third Avenue, and there is another one in the low 60s (#183). Perhaps the new parents in the neighborhood will join forces to remedy this lack.


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The Turtle Bay Association is a nonprofit (501c3) community organization.

224 East 47th Street, New York City 10017
(212) 751-5465
Fax (212) 751-4941


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