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Teenagers in Turtle Bay
BY TERRI HEVERAN

In a recent issue we noted the influx of babies and young children to Turtle Bay in the past two or three years. We found that there are good facilities for them - parks, playgrounds, YMCA programs, etc.

When they get older, what does our neighborhood offer for older children and teenagers? Of course they have the entire city of New York, with its unsurpassed museums, entertainment, theaters, and recreational facilities at their disposal, courtesy of the 49th Street crosstown bus. The buses on First and Second Avenue make the Village, South Street Seaport, and Battery Park accessible, to name a few destinations. Closer to home, the Vanderbilt YMCA is still the best resource for children from 12 to 18 years of age. Saturday nights are reserved for them, and from 7:30 to midnight there is basketball and instructional swimming, as well as parties, dances, poetry workshops, a life-skills workshop, and game room activities.

The Leaders Club, a national YMCA program, offers teens a chance to plan and implement programs and activities that will positively affect other teens in the community. In summer, a day camp is offered for ages 12 to 15, and includes, for those interested, a "Counselors-in-Training" program. Most of the time, however, is spent on trips, picnics, and learning projects.
Parents of teenagers in the area tell us that their children do indeed make good use of the "Y." The Saturday evenings are popular, not only for swimming and basketball, but for the social time afterwards at the International Cafe on the ground floor.

The parks at 41st and 42nd Streets east of First Avenue are also popular for tennis, basketball, and baseball. For snacks, they enjoy the Japanese food at the East on 44th Street. Schools, of course, supply many extra-curricular activities that keep the youngsters busy. Some attend Hunter College High School at 94th Street and Park Avenue, others the United Nations International School, a private school on East 23rd Street.

For those who are musically inclined, Turtle Bay Music School on East 52nd Street has a long history in our area of providing opportunities for musical learning and enjoyment. For today's teenagers there are special classes as well as private lessons. Practice rooms with pianos are available to students at a modest rental. There are opportunities to perform at the concert hall, where the school stages concerts several times a year. New to the curriculum this year are classes in songwriting and in composition for all ages.

Turtle Bay residents can sample the school's performances during the summers, when it traditionally gives free concerts at the UNICEF Plaza on East 44th Street.

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

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