Location: East New York, Brooklyn
Configuration: 6 lanes of 25 yards plus bonus aqua exercise space
Fee: Free with seven-day trial pass
Total Fees to Date: $128.91
Space may be the final frontier for Trekkies, but it’s also something New Yorkers boldly seek out and explore right in town. In this episode, I am happy to report on a discovery of unexpected spaciousness at the Brooklyn Sports Club.
Please note that this club is unrelated to the similarly named New York Sports Club, and that this airy, light-filled facility could easily fit a half-dozen of those Midtown gyms. The pool is of course my main focus, but before I could get there I was blown away by the locker room, which is fully carpeted, includes a sauna and steam room, and has aisles as wide as Manhattan streets. Behold my locker, which even when loaded with my bike panniers stocked for a day-long expedition to pool, accountant, and lunch date has plenty of extra room. Realtors would call it as a walk-in closet.
Moving on to the pool, the luxury of space continues. For example, it’s got 5 extra yards on the other side of the bulkhead, for 30 yards total, meaning that lap swim need not be compromised during exercise classes. Should you want to exercise independently of a class, there is a lane for you. Bless this pool for spelling out the distinction and providing instructions (ahem, Shorefront Y):
I found myself enjoying this lovely place thanks to an invitation from Patricia. She works as a photographer when not
herding cats organizing CIBBOWS, allowing me the perfect trifecta of pool tourism: She arranged for my visit, provided a workout, and took the pictures! I am really getting spoiled. Because the pool was “crowded,” we shared a lane with each other (and no one else). The water was the perfect temperature, and nice and clear. The pool’s lining was rubbery like that of the Myrtha pool in Panama City Beach, and there was so much sun shining in to the natatorium that I almost felt like we were outdoors. That would pretty much be the case on warmer days when the doors open onto the adjacent sun deck, which beckoned with trees in full spring bloom yesterday.
Believe it or not, this pool owes its existence to the government. Brooklyn Sports Club is part of Spring Creek Towers, a 46-building complex housing more than 15,000 people, or half the population of my hometown. It was built by the federal government and opened in 1974, and you might know it as Starrett City, a former name. For their largest-ever subsidized housing project, the feds certainly did right by the pool.
The drawback for me is the long journey to get here. On my bike during rush hour, the ride took about an hour and 45 minutes. By transit, travel time from my apartment would be just a little shorter and involve two subways and a bus. It makes sense that the trip to this new dimension takes some time, but for everyday purposes, or even for another visit within my seven-day window, it is tough. Once you get here, though, as this little mural shows, you’ll be in an altered state of reality.