Location: Midtown, Manhattan
Configuration: 6 lanes of 25 yards
Fee: Free via Fitness Passbook
Fees to Date: $191.87
The Vanderbilt Y was my very first pool in New York City. My first job was three blocks away, and I joined the gym and ducked out to Body Conditioning class at lunchtime, it being the early 1990s and all. The pool was my destination regularly but less often during those three or so years as a member, and I have since returned from time to time using Fitness Passbook passes.
It’s a solid pool: six lanes, 25 yards, cool temperature, shallow the whole way across. A separate teaching pool allows this one to have endless hours of uninterrupted lap swimming. Towels are available free of charge, and there are showers right on deck. The Y has changed a lot in the intervening years, but it’s still a welcoming hub of activity for all ages.
Back when I was a regular here, I knew no other swimmers, but now I recognize plenty of people. My yoga classmate Hank was my official swim buddy when I came here two Saturdays ago, and there in the next lane was Kenn training for his swim around Manhattan.
I didn’t take any pictures because supervision was tight, so here are some from the masters group for your enjoyment. (Also check out these more recent pool pics that Capri was able to sneak.) If I still worked nearby, I’d be glad to use this pool.