Written by Joey Rodriguez
Before the sun rises, before the coffee is brewed, before New York City and Queens have hit their daily stride, the Flushing YMCA opens. The larger of the two pools on-site is adjusted for temperature, the deck cleared of any obstructions. Lifeguards ready their whistles and safety equipment and prepare for the dedicated swimmers to keep their hearts pumping and their bodies strong, no matter their age. Front desk hospitality agents restock towels and towel tokens, organize the lobby and make sure announcements are posted clearly for those who call the YMCA their home.
As the sun finally yawns, nearly a hundred towels have been distributed, the fitness center is bustling with runners and bikers, and stretching has begun for upcoming calisthenic classes. Only a few hours later and children arrive for school, the free Pre-K For All program teaching fifty-four students each year about fundamentals, art, math, science, and reading, preparing them for kindergarten and the rest of their educated lives.
At the same time, senior citizens are arriving for their 10 AM class in the gymnasium, their placement and seating sometimes cutthroat, but always cordial. The thwack of ping-pong balls echoes down the adjacent corridor, as masters of the game compete in single and double matches nearly all day long.
Guests who have stayed overnight at the accommodations on the third floor begin their checkout, a simple process for them, but already a buzz is beginning behind-the-scenes. Maintenance cleans the room and prepares it for the next check-in, fixing any issues, and keeping the floor humming. The staff prepares for the wave of new patrons that will be occupying the rooms, double- and triple-checking online listings and receipts to prepare for the day.
Immigrants to the city are engaged in English as a Second Language (ESL) classes, free to all, as new towels are brought to the front desk. Lunchtime slows the flow of Members, but Family Swim classes are on the horizon and a host of eager children will be lining up to get special wrist bands to join their siblings in a fun afternoon. Off-site programs begin their after-school programs, providing clubs and enrichment services that keep kids learning and having fun after the bell has rung.
Those caught in the hustle and bustle of the working day finally hang up their caps and drop off their younglings at the Child Watch room, an engaging play area for children to unwind while their parents enjoy one of the handful of free classes offered each night. They mingle with personal trainers, get together for a pickup basketball game, or simply relax in the steam room or sauna. All the while, the staff is checking in on accommodations and keeping amenities fresh and updated.
New guests for the night arrive and relax after long plane rides and adventures. The manager on duty that night assists guests and Members with issues and transactions, making their rounds around the building to check on the night swimmers and those hoping to catch a quick workout before the end of the business day. Though the building closes to Members, guests enjoy around-the-clock staff should something unexpected happen during the night.
As the moon sits over Flushing, it waits patiently, knowing that the next day will begin long before it trades places with the sun.
The Flushing YMCA is more than just a gym featuring state-of-the-art exercise equipment and two indoor pools; our sports teams, immigrant services, and comprehensive childcare create a community committed to helping you achieve your goals. An institution of the Flushing neighborhood, the YMCA provides financial assistance to families who cannot afford to pay for membership and summer camp, pledging to never turn someone away due to the inability to pay. We partner with the community to bring spectacular events and helpful information to those seeking fitness and a healthy lifestyle. Pre-K For All and ESL classes are offered for free as well as membership perks such as Weight Loss programs and access to over 80 classes a week.
We are located at 138-46 Northern Boulevard, just a few blocks from the Main Street stop on the (7) Subway line. For more information about becoming a Member, please visit ymcanyc.org/Flushing or talk to one of our helpful Hospitality Agents at (718) 551-9350.