40 Pools

Celebrating a Big Birthday with 40 Swims

Suggested Pools

A working list of remaining pool opportunities. (See also the map, which has these along with pools already visited.) Add your suggestions in the comments, but be warned that these are binding. If you invite me to a pool, be prepared to go for a swim with me there.

Pool Location Comments Suggester
Borough of Manhattan Community College New York, NY Mary Nell
Chelsea Rec Center New York, NY Debbie
Dodge YMCA Brooklyn, NY Jen
Hunter College Brookdale Pool New York, NY chlorinated saltwater Stephanie
Lafayette Pool Jersey City, NJ new in summer 2012 Mara
Kwai Shing Swimming Pool Hong Kong five pools in one Suzanne
La Loma Altitude Training Center San Luis Potosi, Mexico training center for Mexican’s Olympians Laura
Lexington City Pool Lexington, VA Lovely bubble pool in the winter, outdoor pool with a view of the mountains in the summer Ellen
MatchPoint NYC Brooklyn, NY convenient to Coney Island Janet
Meadowbrook Baltimore, MD Michael Phelps’s pool Alice Ann
Nassau County Aquatic Complex East Meadow, NY Alison
Rockaway YMCA Rockaway, Queens, NY 4 x 25 yard lap pool and a bit smaller family pool with a slide Adolfas
Scarsdale Municipal Pool Scarsdale, NY Visitors allowed in the company of residents only David
Stevens Institute of Technology Hoboken, NJ Best enjoyed during sunset hours in the fall as it has a west-facing glass block wall that lets distorted sunlight soak the pool area. Mara
Yale New Haven, CT Yale Masters–coached workouts on Wed. and Fri. mornings, loosely organized on Tues. and Thurs. Amanda

45 responses to “Suggested Pools

  1. Alison W. says:

    If you have a chance to get out to Eisenhower Park in East Meadow (Long Island), the Nassau County Aquatic Center is awesome…or at least it was 10 years ago, when I had a very inexpensive membership there. And if you’re ever in the Albany area and need a (bad) pool to swim in, let me know and I can help you out!

  2. Zoe Waldron says:

    The pool at LaGuardia Community College, in Long Island City, Queens. It’s right across the street from where I work, so we could possibly meet before or afterwards : ). I like the facility because it is inexpensive and community centered.

  3. BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College) has a great pool, and we can swim there, and meet Andy Escobar too, the swim director. One quirky fact (or perhaps urban legend) is that the pool is a yard or so short of Olympic size due to contractor error. With a ribbon-cutting ceremony imminent when the building opened in 1983, administrators overlooked the measurement error, much to the dismay 20 years later of the NYC 2012 committee working to bring the Olympics here!

  4. jo says:

    Hi Hannah,

    I suggest you come swim at the Andrew (Boy) Charlton pool in Sydney (http://www.abcpool.org/)…it’s ace!

    x Jo ps- Happy New year and thanks for the card- when is your big 4 – 0?

    • Hannah says:

      That’s a great suggestion, and of course if I made it that far I would also have to check out some harbor pools and pools in Melbourne. I celebrated my big day on January 8 (with Elvis–RIP).

      • Jo says:

        Hi hannah congrats on your big four oh birthday- you dont look a day older than when i first met you spring chicken! Yesterday i did my first open swim at a beautiful beach called mount Martha- frank swam with me in case i freaked out but i was fine! Next swim tomorrow night at brighton beach!

        We were in sydney last week and you must consider swimming at north sydney olympic pool- with great views of the harbour bridge as you swim laps! It is a saltwater pool.
        The web link is….


      • Hannah says:

        I just took at look at that place and added it to my list and map. No wonder those Olympians swam so fast–it’s amazing!

  5. Dahlia says:

    LIU of course, Asphalt Green, Flushing Meadows, and I don’t know the policy to swim there but Lehman has a great pool.

  6. Elisabeth says:

    As discussed, I would like to officially “suggest” Laugardalslaug pool complex in Iceland, host of IGLA 2012.

    Looks amazing and I’m sure there are other pools in Iceland that we could add for the project.

    PS – I love the suggestions for Boy Charlton and North Sydney pools above. If you get to Oz can I also suggest :http://icebergs.com.au/facilities/pool/ . Fantastic pool at Bondi Beach.

    • Hannah says:

      The pool complex in Iceland is a brilliant suggestion, and I sincerely hope to swim with you there. Will also consider the Down Under pools for when I take a really big trip!

      • Elisabeth says:

        So happy we were able to enjoy Laugardalslaug together!! I guess our next stop will have to be all the great pools in Sydney.

    • Hannah says:

      OMG, that pool looks so amazing. Please pack me in your suitcase next time you return to Oz.

  7. Lisa says:

    I see that Hamilton Fish isn’t on the list yet! It’s in my old ‘hood, and I had some nice early morning swims there. The architecture firm I worked for did the restoration. It’s a little shallow, but a beautiful place!

    • Hannah says:

      Some pools don’t even need to be on the list, they are just going to happen as a matter of course. Ham Fish is definitely one of those; I end up there at least a couple times every summer–I love the pool and the outdoor showers. If you visit NYC this summer and plan to swim there, let me know. The crowding may be eased by the reopening of McCarren, which I’ve heard will have lap swimming as well.

  8. Elaine says:

    You have to come visit us in Boston and come swim at the gorgeous MIT facility! It’s enormous and bright, clean, and most importantly the water is never warmer than 80 degress. There are several other good, servicable pools in the area we can crash as well. Of course, this pool suggesstion comes with a gold-letter engraved invitation to crash on our couch, too. And drink some beers.

    • Hannah says:

      Elaine, that sounds too good to resist–I’ll add it to my list. Is that the Zesiger Center? I think I went to a water polo tournament at MIT when I was in college, but that was probably a different pool.

  9. Andrew says:

    I don’t see enough NYC Parks pools on your list. What about the “cozy” little Metropolitan pool in Williamsburg? It is big enough to do laps although not big enough to do laps for more than an hour without getting frustrated. Plus, it has character that those big modern pools lack. Even for those Brooklynophobes out there, it is well worth the (9 minute) trek out of Manhattan.

  10. Bikirl says:

    The Larry Walkup Aquatic Center in Los Alamos, New Mexico is “known internationally for providing High-Altitude Training to swim teams in our Olympic size pool at an altitude of 7,245 feet above sea level.” Elsewhere I read that it is the highest altitude Olympic pool. Unfortunately I didn’t get a chance to swim here during my recent trip to NM, but I could definitely be talked into going back for one in this beautiful mountainous/desert area.

  11. bikirl says:

    Bikirl and Zoe W. are the same person. I would love to swim in NM with you sometime!

  12. GarbageBarge says:

    Check out the Teachers College pool at Columbia: “The venerable Teachers College Aquatic Center, one of the oldest functioning indoor pools in the country…” I used to lifeguard there. It’s occaisionally used as a movie set. The John Jay Park pool on 77th & the FDR overlooks the East River and is also pretty cool.

  13. Mara Lemos Stein says:

    This list won’t be complete if you don’t visit the pools in the so-called Sixth Borough, aka Jersey City. A new outdoor pool sprung up last year in the Communipaw area of JC and – alas – it is 25 yards long and has 8 lanes. It is only open during the summer months, and lap swim starts at 7 AM. What do you know, there is usually more than a handful of lap-swimmers out there! Another one of my favorite pools this side of the Hudson is at the Stevens Institute of Technology, best enjoyed during sunset hours in the fall as it has a west-facing glass block wall that lets distorted sunlight soak the pool area. It will be my pleasure to be your guide to these aquatic journeys into Jersey.

  14. Mara Lemos Stein says:

    Lafayette Pool, it’s on Johnson Ave and Van Horne St, check it out on g-maps, it shows the 8 lanes very clearly. Hope to see you out here soon!

  15. Michael Goldring says:

    Hannah, someone recently told me about the Van Cortlandt Park Pool. It is in the park, near the 242nd St. terminus of the #1 train. Former TNYA coach Izhar Harpaz was spotted there with his kids. He lives in the neighborhood.


  16. The pool of my childhood– that my parents helped lobby to build — is the public pool complex in Scarsdale, NY. You have to go with a resident, and on weekends the guest list gets tricky, but next summer I can try to connect you.


    While you’re out there, a Westchester Resident can get you into the Saxon Woods Pool, where we swam before the Scarsdale complex was built.

  17. Hannah says:

    Thanks David! I peered at the empty Saxon Woods pool from a parking lot just the other day.

  18. Laura Picardo says:

    Red Bank YMCA in Red Bank, New Jersey.

    A 12 year-old Laura slammed the door to her family’s Ford Windstar, and loudly proclaimed to her mom, “I am never swimming here again! Ever! I hate swimming!”

    Well, Laura now swims there whenever she goes visits her parents in Atlantic Highlands, NJ.

    Beautiful digital pace clocks, 6 spacious lanes, lots of equipment, wave dampening gutter system. High tech to the max!

  19. Elana says:

    Help! I’ve moved from the UK and used to open water swimming in rivers and the sea all year round. I’m in Bed Stu/Clinton Hill area. Where’s the best place to swim??


  20. Rob says:

    I love this blog – changing NYC neighborhoods I’ve found this to be an invaluable resource! many many thanks, am looking forward to trying out some of the ones mentioned and seeing what fits… and btw I loved Eriksdalsbadet and think you missed the pleasures of MSAC in Melbourne… but each to their own! would love more olympic sized pools in NY… is there a political lobby group for this?

  21. Christy says:

    Coleman pool on Seattle’s Puget Sound. Salt water Olympic size. Beautiful,with rich history as a dirt swimming hole in its beginning. Outdoor summer only with Masters and club team workouts. Great views of the sound and mountains.

  22. Merely wanna say that this is extremely helpful, Thanks for taking your time to write this.

  23. andrea says:

    St. Sebastian Parish center located in woodside, 6 lane 25ft pool. Facilities are a little older but the pool is nice and clean.

  24. Zach says:

    Would love to hear your thoughts on either the Flushing YMCA or the Long Island City YMCA! I’ve been dropping into the LIC YMCA for the last month or so while I prepared for my college alumni meet last Saturday and hopped in a workout with the LIC YMCA Masters team. They’re a relatively new program and they’re SUPER welcoming to anyone who stops by!

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