New York City's juggling community has centered around the Carmine Street Gym (now the Tony Dapolito Rec. Center) for two decades. Before that, the city's jugglers practiced together at Brian Dube's loft space on Park Place, at New York University, and elsewhere throughout the city until in 1984, Bill Wachpress asked the management of the Carmine Street Gym, where he played volleyball, whether they would open one night a week for juggling.
Since then, the group has evolved into an eclectic and revolving bunch, averaging 20-30 participants each week and regularly drawing twice that. All levels of expertise are represented from the three-bag novices to five-club experts on slack rope, from occasional hobbyist to full-time professional.
The NYC Jugglers (aka the Carmine Street Jugglers) meet at the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center (formerly the Carmine Street Gym), which is a public facility run by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department. The juggling club does not charge any fees; however NYC Department of Parks & Recreation annual gym membership fees apply for gym access:
- Child/Youth (under 18) Free
- Young Adults (18-24) $25
- Adults (25 through 61) $150 (six-month membership available for $75)
- Seniors (62 and up) $25
Half-year memberships are available for half price.
Memberships are processed at the Center, and the fee can be paid by credit card, check, or money order (they do not accept cash, business checks, starter checks, or checks from banks outside of New York).
Gym membership includes full access to the pools, fitness rooms, and other services in most city gyms.
Jugglers are expected to abide by all Center policies, including, but not limited to, the following:
- Bring a lock. You must have a lock to enter the facility.
- Wear or bring gym clothes and rubber-soled shoes.
- No personal belongings are allowed in the gym. You may bring in your prop bag only. You are required to lock up everything else, including winter coats, while in the facility. Locker rooms are available; bring your own secure lock. The gym is not responsible for any lost or stolen property.
- Please be respectful to the gym staff, other members, and other jugglers.
- No photography or videography is allowed in the building.
- No food or glass bottles are permitted. Beverages in closed plastic bottles are okay.
- No drugs, alcohol, smoking, gambling, weapons, violent acts, profanity, or otherwise disruptive behavior will be permitted at any time. Violation will result in automatic suspension of membership privileges.
For more information about the Tony Dapolito Recreation Center, please see here