Location: East Village, New York
Fee: $10 guest pass with member accompaniment
Configuration: 8 lanes of 25 yards (or 25 meters in the other direction)
Total to Date: $50.33
Today’s swim was exciting for many reasons. It was the first time since starting this project that I visited a pool I’d never been to. My swim buddy was Lance, who I’ve swum with at the beach and in the Hudson and had the pleasure of watching during some amazing races, and who filled in as crew for my Ederle Swim attempt after a last-minute date change a few years ago–but who I’d never done a pool workout with. Plus, Lance is coached remotely by Patrick, who Piez and I swam with at a training camp in Florida two years ago, so by proxy I had him as coach again today.
I really enjoyed both the workout and the pool. The
pool natatorium is below street level in a building that’s named after a famous nightclub that stood on the site until the late 1990s. Although I never went there, I remember hearing about it. For some reason I thought it had a different kind of pool–billiards–but I haven’t found any substantiation of that. Anyway, that got demolished and NYU built a new dorm and athletic facility in its place, and that’s where we swam today. They seem to have been smart about hydrodynamics in the construction, as my times were fast today, and Lance agreed that it’s a fast pool. The water temperature felt chilly after the warm outdoor pool in Florida, but actually it was just right–high 70s. We had a lane to ourselves the entire time.
The ceiling is illuminated by thin bands of light all the way across, and I really liked the way they made Art Deco-esque patterns in the curved windows looking down on the pool, which you can kind of see in this photo taken from the diving area. Other things I liked: the locker rooms (spacious and well equipped on two floors), the views (basketball courts at pool level, reflecty windows up above), the music playing, the width of the lanes, the lifeguard who kindly snapped the top photo, and the chance to watch some speedy swimmers in the two lanes reserved for team members. (NYU is a member of the University Athletic Association, a D-III conference of major urban research institutions, meaning that swimmers may travel as far as Cleveland or Rochester for meets.) The only complaint I’ll lodge is about the metal rim that goes pretty deep around the edge of the pool; it is very slippery to push off of, resulting in foot cramps.
Use of the Palladium Athletic Facility is only available to NYU students, alumni, employees, and their families–and NYPD/FDNY, including Lance. The rest of us are allowed in with members for a fee but can’t join in our own right. When I told Lance about my 40 Pools project, he immediately offered up this pool, and I jumped at the opportunity. Many of the other suggested pools are new to me as well, and I look forward to knocking them off throughout the year.