Volunteers of the Month:
Matthew Corey and Luis Roth
Ages: 28 & 27
Neighborhoods: Prospect Heights and Union Square
Occupations: Index Editor, Lawyer
T.A. Members Since: 1998, 1996
How was it stamped in the stars that T.A. would have Gemini volunteers?
LR: A pact to the death-realizing that the only the way we were going to
be volunteers of the month was if we banded together; we vowed to refuse the
honor unless the other person also received it.
MC: We were always laying out and editing the volunteer of the month
feature and got really excited about the prospect of it being us someday.
How did you get your start in T.A.?
LR: I've always had a car-phobia-disliking the noise, pollution and the
effect they have on cities, but didn't know what to do about it. I kept seeing
T.A. in the NY Times Metro Section, figured I'd give a call and join.
MC: Growing up in car-dependent Fairfax, Virginia, I knew, and argued
that people needed to get out of their cars. Nobody took me seriously. Then in
college, I met T.A. activist Paul Harrison. On our summer breaks, I would visit
him in NYC and volunteer at T.A. I finally joined in January, 1998 after I moved
to the city.
When you're not forming the backbone of T.A.'s incredible magazine editing
machine, what other volunteer activities do you participate in?
LR: Volunteer nights and marshalling for the Century Ride.
MC: The Bronx Zoo table at the Century, mailing parties, volunteer
nights. But I don't take any credit for those, because it's fun social time and
plus, I screw so much stuff up! I can't count zip codes!
What's your favorite volunteer activity?
LR: Volunteer night is the height of it all. In the midst of this
car-dependent country, you get to meet people who think that there are
alternatives, who bike around, who think about different ways to live. It's very
relaxing, warm and welcoming. Fun people-like Hal! [Hal Ruzal, entertaining
volunteer and bike mechanic extraordinaire.] Just not like anyone else I'd
MC: Definitely the magazine. We should be so proud of it-no other
non-profit puts out such a cool magazine that you would want to read even if you
had to pay for it.
Any downsides to Volunteer Night?
LR: I used to complain about the nutritious content. But thankfully,
fruit has been introduced, which used to be totally unknown unless it was
What would you like to see change in NYC, transportation-wise?
MC: There's a big problem with speeding cars-that makes things scary for
everyone. People need to know that just because a street is wide, it doesn't
mean it should be treated as a highway. These wide streets were designed as
promenades, but have become freeways complete with exit signs!
LR: I would like to see NYC give pedestrian streets a chance. Down around
Wall Street, they have freed up this great pedestrian space. I'd like to see
that also happen around Fifth Avenue and St. Patrick's, or Herald Square-the
sidewalks are overflowing!
Matt on Luis, Luis on Matt?
LR: Working with Matt is dreamy, he always brightens up the room, always
MC: Luis has calves like pythons, like coiled snakes. That's what brings
me back...Seriously though, I want to say that even if you can't find the time
to volunteer, and to be at place X at a given time, you do have the time to
write an email or to sign a postcard. So watch the magazine closely-those
opportunities are out there for you.