Recurse Center

What is the physical space like?

In March of 2020, the Recurse Center made a speedy transition to remote operations due to the COVID-19 pandemic. We've been operating online ever since, and we don't yet know when we'll be able to reopen our physical space. When we do, it's most likely that we'll run both online and in-person RC batches. This page documents how we operated our physical space before the pandemic. Its no longer accurate or up-to-date given that the space is closed, but we're leaving it here to give you a sense of what RC feels like.

397 Bridge Street

The Recurse Center is located at open to current batches with key fobs 24 hours a day, 7 days a week (except as otherwise announced on Community, e.g., during certain special events). Alumni are welcome to visit RC on Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, as well as off-hours (before 11am and after 5pm on Mondays-Wednesdays).

We don't have assigned seats. You're welcome to work wherever you like throughout the day and the duration of your batch. If you need a standing desk or another type of set-up because of health reasons, please let us know and we will accommodate you.

If you'd like to give a talk or host a seminar, we recommend you use Hopper, Sammet, Turing, or the main presentation space. Sammet is equipped with a video conferencing system, so that Recursers can join in on a video call and participate in your event from anywhere in the world.

RC is a shared space

RC is shared space intended for becoming better programmers together. This requires both relative quiet (so that people can focus) and talking (so that people can collaborate and form meaningful relationships). The 5th floor is reserved for relatively quiet work, whereas the 4th floor can accommodate a mix of individual work, collaboration, events, and socializing.

What does “relative quiet” mean? Not as quiet as a library (which aims for total silence) but quieter than the typical coffee shop. We’re all responsible for maintaining an appropriate volume: First by not being loud ourselves, and second by kindly letting others know when they’re being loud.

We expect all members of the community to take responsibility for their use of our space and share in its upkeep. For example, please:

  • Put your dishes in the dishwasher, or wash them and put them in the drying rack. Don't leave them in the sink, on desks, or on the kitchen counter.
  • Put books back in the library, and board games back on their dedicated shelves. Please don't use books as monitor lifts—we have yoga blocks you can use instead.
  • Make sure the tops of cubbies and desks are neat when you leave. If you're a current Recurser and would like to keep a few items in the space, you can choose a cubby to store things in on your first day.
  • Let us know if we're running low on something. We order soap, paper goods, coffee, tea and milk regularly—let us know if we're almost out and we'll order more. Also, if there's something you think would be a useful addition to the space, tell us!

Donating things to RC

If you have something you'd like to donate to RC (books, electronics, equipment, art), please ask first. You can email us at faculty@recurse.com. If we think it would work well and be a positive addition to the space, we'll happily accept it. If not, you may advertise it on Community - New York to give away to another Recurser, but please do not leave it here.

More about the space

  • There is a printer on the 4th floor near the kitchen that you are welcome to use. It is available over Bonjour/Zeroconf. The printer shows up as HP OfficeJet Pro 8720. If you have trouble with network printing, there is also a USB cable attached to the printer that you can plug into directly.
  • There are computer monitors, headphones, and peripherials available on the 5th floor for general use. Please remember to return them when you're done using them.
  • Naps are fine. Sleepovers are not. We have beanbags and couches throughout the space, and you're welcome to take a quick nap at any time. Do not sleep overnight in the space. Let us know if you're having trouble finding housing, and we'll do what we can to help.
  • Your key gives you 24/7 access to the space. Please don't lose it. If you do lose your key, let Rachel know immediately so she can deactivate it.

To see what's going on at RC, or to host an event yourself, check out our calendar. If you're interested in hosting an event but don't know how, check out the event hosting guide on our wiki.

If you host an event, or are here late at night or after an event and the space is messy, please help us out by moving tables and chairs back to their original places, by bagging up any garbage, by making sure there aren't dishes in the sink, running the dishwasher for the night, and clearing any food or pizza boxes that are lying about.

The front section of the 5th floor is reserved for administrative and ops work for RC employees.

The RC network

The RC network is an educational resource for you to use. Please familiarize yourself with RC’s Acceptable Use Policy. If you can’t access the AUP, you may need to authenticate with GitHub first.

Guests

The short answer to "Can I bring a guest?" is no.

Our goal is to create a safe environment that is conducive to learning. Having unfamiliar people coming and going makes that harder.

You'll occasionally see non-Recursers in the space (e.g. maintenance workers sent by our landlord, employees of our partner companies, etc.). We do our best to announce guests ahead of time, make sure they're here only as long as necessary, and make sure they know our social rules to minimize disruption. We will make exceptions, but only under unusual circumstances. We consider folks who haven't yet started their RC batches to be guests in the space; please don't invite them to the space outside of +1-friendly events.

If you're a current Recurser you are welcome to give your immediate family or significant others a peek at the space, so long as this happens during off-hours, is brief, and doesn't disrupt anyone's work. Please accompany your guest at all times.

This might sound heavy handed, but it's not meant to be. If you have any questions about the policy, please let us know.

Alumni

Alumni are welcome to program, chat, host and attend events on Virtual RC all day, every day!

Alumni are welcome in the space to program for all or part of the day on Thursdays and Fridays, as well as any time other than 11am-5pm on Mondays-Wednesdays, which we reserve for current RC Retreat attendees.

Alumni are also welcome to host and join social events in the space on Saturdays, Sundays, and after 5pm on Mondays-Fridays. No guests are allowed unless the event is specifically advertised as open to guests. Whether an event is open to guests is at the discretion of the faculty and will be announced ahead of time. There will be at least one faculty member at any social event that is open to guests and all guests must agree to follow the social rules.

As we ask of everyone at the Recurse Center, we ask that you work on open source software while you're here (i.e., don't work on proprietary code or code that you couldn't pair on or share with others). We also ask that you introduce yourself on Zulip so that other Recursers know who you are.

Additionally, alumni in from out of town are welcome to visit on other days. If you're an alum and have an upcoming trip to New York, let us know! We'd love to have you back.

Most alumni do not have keys to the space. A small number who have agreed to take on additional responsibilities to the Recurse Center community have access to keys.

Family

If you are in one of the current batches and would like to give your immediate family or significant other a peek at our space, you may do so during off-hours. Please keep the visit brief, be conscious of the other people in the space, and accompany your guest at all times.

+1-friendly events

We occasionally host evening events that Recursers are allowed to bring guests to (i.e., everyone is allowed to bring a guest as a +1). We'll note specifically on event announcements whenever events are open to guests.

When you bring guests to +1-friendly events, please make sure they wear name tags and are familiar with our social rules. Please stay with them during the event, and either see them out of the building before you leave or leave with them.

Exception for RC employees' families

We have an exception to our guest policy for RC employees, who are allowed to bring their immediate families (including significant others and children) to RC even during events that are not otherwise open to guests. Attending evening events on a regular basis is part of many RC employees' jobs, and this exception makes it a little easier for RC employees with families to attend.

Family-friendly policies

These policies are intended to make RC more accessible to parents and caregivers of kids of all ages. If you are a current or prospective Recurser, and curious about how your family responsibilities might fit in with your time at RC, don’t hesitate to get in touch. Zulip, our internal chat system, also has a parenting stream, so feel free to join, participate in discussion, and reach out to other parents in the RC community.

Events

We are committed to hosting social events that better fit into a family schedule. Specifically:

  • For all official RC events, even if the event isn’t +1 friendly you are welcome to bring your child/children, and to bring another trusted adult as well to help with child care at the event.
  • We have added more social events to our regular retreat schedule that are either earlier in the evening or on weekends, such as daytime picnics, trips to museums, and early evening art nights.

Children at RC

RC is typically closed to non-Recursers, except for specific events. However, if you have a child, you are welcome to bring them in to RC during the daytime under the following circumstances:

  • On school closure days (e.g. holidays, snow days)
  • If your infant is under 6 months old

We expect you to stay with your child while they’re at RC, and to take full responsibility for looking after them, as we aren’t able to have childcare providers on staff for Recursers or childcare on the premises. Please avoid the areas designated as quiet/silent work areas, and feel free to use Lovelace, the lactation room on the 5th floor, if you need. Please let us know in advance to be expecting you.

Wellness Room & Facilities

We have a small private room that can be used for lactation. It can also be a space to use when you need a quiet moment with your child (e.g. to feed them, or calm them down if they’re upset). This room has a mini fridge, a couch, curtains, and is equipped with some basic cleaning supplies and toiletries. It locks from the inside.

The priority for this room goes to nursing/pumping, and to parents with kids at RC. If you’re in the room and a parent needs it for some reason, please make it available to them. Other than lactation/child care, this room can be used by individuals on a short time-frame (less than 1 hour), for things like meditation. Please do not use this room for programming, work, phone calls, sleeping, or eating.

We have a changing table in one of our 5th floor restrooms (closest to the lactation room).