40 Pools

Celebrating a Big Birthday with 40 Swims

#100: Kosciuszko Pool

Location: Brooklyn, New York

Configuration: 3 wide lanes of 100 feet in Early Bird lap swim area; pool is 230 feet the long way

Fee: Free

The prospect of pool number 100 hung over me all year. I wanted it to be local and special, a tall order given that I’ve spent seven years ticking off other pools that fit those criteria. Happily, Parks came to my rescue by adding a Brooklyn wunderpool to the Early Bird lap swim program.

As soon as I saw Kosciuszko Pool on the list, I asked four of my favorite pool pals — all of them with 40 Pools from the beginning — to join me there for 7:00 a.m. laps one Friday early in the season. In a summer full of unexpected health issues among this cohort and our loved ones, it was extra special that we all turned up that steamy morning ready to explore a “new” pool and check out a neighborhood spot for breakfast. Kosciuszko Pool, correctly pronounced with two sh sounds but known more easily as K Pool, was perfect for the occasion.

5 of us in swimsuits

Pool and the Gang: Amanda, Lisa Lisa, me, Janet, and Piezy sneaking some post-swim pics. That’s a nice-looking shade structure and the lap area off in the distance.

What’s more, Amanda agreed to be our designated photographer, Janet gamely composed a special workout for the occasion, and they both agreed to share their work herein. Thank you Lane 2 buddies!

Check-in was smooth and professional, with Lisa Lisa coincidentally getting card number 100 — a high count given that this was just the sixth day of lap swimming. Clearly, this addition to the Early Bird program was already well appreciated. The locker rooms were roomy with a larger bench area that we are accustomed to, and the lap swim staff and fellow swimmers were welcoming. No pool rage here. (My only significant criticism was that after the swim the showers gave us just a modest trickle out of each head.)

Unlike many of the city’s massive lap pools, this one dated not from the WPA era but the 1960s. Buh-bye brick, hello concrete! Despite the change in materials, the attention to detail was just as thoughtful as the pools from 40 years prior, with Modern play sculptures and a shade overhang incorporated into the design.

Pipes and pyramid

Architect Morris Lapidus designed this play space atop the locker rooms, but the slide he created is no longer in use.

The lap area is at the far end of the pool, and regulars told us it’s even available during the day. (As of this posting date, there are two days left of lap swimming and then one more week of outdoor pools, so get there stat if you want to see for yourself.) One challenge for Janet in her workout writing is that we didn’t know ahead of time what the distance would be. It turned out to be the “short” dimension, which is 100 feet across. Three wide lane-like areas were designated slow, medium, and fast, and the acquatics specialists kept a close eye on things to prevent collisions and misanthropy. More and more swimmers piled in as the session went on, and we gazed longingly at the vast empty water beyond the lap area.

Long view of pool and bleachers

The lap area is so small and far away that you can barely see it!

The week was steamy hot, making the water in my usual Early Bird pool cloudy and warm, but K Pool was amazingly chilly — too chilly for Piezy to even stay in but perfect for me. The biggest detraction was the remnants of a chicken dinner strewn across the bottom or our lane area. Really.

This superblock of a pool was the work of Morris Lapidus, an architect who designed resort pools full of flare in places like Miami and the Caribbean. An immigrant from Russia, he grew up in Bed-Stuy, so it’s fitting that the Parks Department commissioned him for a pool in that neighborhood. Riding my bike here that early morning and then to Queens afterward, I was struck by how quickly and dramatically the neighborhoods in Brooklyn shift. Immediately surrounding the pool are low-rise residences, a school, and not much commercial activity or greenery.

The pool’s namesake, Tadeusz Kosciuszko, an earlier immigrant from eastern Europe, has more than his fair share of structures named after him, including a New York bridge that reopened today. Janet incorporated colorful facts about both of these men into her commemorative workout.

With thanks again to my fellow pool tourists, here is Janet’s workout. And yes, I’ve continued to think about old Tadeusz whenever I try to do a good streamline.

Warmup: 400/533 yards (12-16 lengths). While swimming, streamline off of every wall, imagining your body as stiff and sturdy as the logs Kosciuszko used to dam rivers during the American Revolution. From Wikipedia:

The British advance force nipped hard on the heels of the outnumbered and exhausted Continentals as they fled south. Major General Philip Schuyler, desperate to put distance between his men and their pursuers, ordered Kościuszko to delay the enemy. Kościuszko designed an engineer’s solution: his men felled trees, dammed streams, and destroyed bridges and causeways. Encumbered by their huge supply train, the British began to bog down, giving the Americans the time needed to safely withdraw across the Hudson River.

Kosciuszko pool was designed by Morris Lapidus, the architect of the Fountainbleau in Miami Beach: “During an age when proper, refined American architecture was smitten by the big boxes and straight lines of such European internationalists as Walter Gropius and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, Morris Lapidus was drawing curves and installing cupids in his lobbies.” Be inspired by Lapidus’s curves:
Swim 4 x 1 length, alternating lane leader—play follow the leader, making your length as curvy as the pool/crowd permits.

More Lapidus inspiration, from the Washington Post [with emphasis added by yours truly]:

It was as if American design were dominated by something like nouvelle cuisine — stark portions of food artfully arranged on an otherwise empty plate — while Lapidus was serving up great, heaping, artery-clogging slabs of triple-chocolate cake. As he put it himself: “If people like ice cream, why give them one scoop when you can give them three?” His contemporaries said “less is more,” Lapidus recalls. “And I said, less is nothing.”

So — in celebration of both of triple layers of triple chocolate cake, topped with triple scoops of ice cream, and also in celebration of Hannah’s 100th pool, let’s do
3 x (3 x 100 (i.e. 3 laps)):
          1st set: easy 100, medium 100, fast 100
          2nd set: each 100 easy-medium-fast by length
          3rd set: fast 100, medium 100, easy 100

Now back to Kosciusko: At some point in 1777, Kościuszko composed a polonaise and scored it for the harpsichord. According to Wikipedia, a polonaise rhythm goes like this:
musical notations

Let’s see if we can do 2 x 1 length kicking to this rhythm in honor of Koko.

And finally: Kosciuszko has had monuments/bridges/pools/towns named for him all over the US as well as in Europe, including his native Belarus. Do you know who was born in Kosciuszko, Mississippi? Oprah Winfrey, that’s who! Be your best swimming self as you do 6 lengths perfect stroke warmdown.

nice landscaping outside the pool complex

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Iceland’s Westfjords Pools

Amanda and I loved exploring pools and cultural attractions in Iceland in 2012. I was thrilled when she asked about writing for the blog in advance of a return visit with her husband and two Icelandic friends last summer. As if we needed more convincing, her photo essay provides full evidence of Icelanders’ love for the pool. Stay tuned for a separate post about the pool in Hafnafjordur, outside Reykjavik, which was her favorite of the whole trip.

The (very short) list of “stuff” that we would need for our trip to the Westfjords of Iceland included this bullet point: “Swimming gear! Let’s hit every pool in every town. Goal.”

Photo of waterfall in distance behind fields

Water, water everywhere. A roadside waterfall on day one of our Westfjords road trip. Photo by César Martínez.

I was 100% on board with this plan. My first trip to Iceland in 2012 included visits to several of the pools featured among the original 40 of this blog, and I have since remained a big fan of the country and the people, due in no small part to their passionate pool culture. Since I had already volunteered to provide some guest posts for 40 Pools, I was grateful that my fellow travelers shared in my enthusiasm to visit local pools in the Westfjords.

Photo of green hills

A typical Westfjords view. Photo by César Martínez.

In fact, a pool was on the itinerary for our very first day of travel, with a planned stop at the pool where Einar’s grandmother learned to swim. Attached to the Hotel Reykjanes, this pool has two things that are remarkable: it is large (50m long and 12.5m across), and it is geothermally heated to quite a hot temperature. It was not difficult to imagine Einar’s grandmother, along with everyone else in town, splashing around in this giant “hot tub” while enjoying the spectacular views of the surrounding fjord.

Amanda underwater with bubbles

Taking a dip in the heated pool at Hotel Reykjanes. Photo by César Martínez.

Steamy fields and water

Geothermal steam rising from the grounds outside Hotel Reykjanes. Photo by César Martínez.

Spectacular views quickly became a theme as we continued to check Westfjords swimming pools off our list. I had planned to swim some laps when possible, but in many cases this proved difficult, as the pools were oddly sized and usually only had one or two lap lanes available. Not to mention that most were far too warm for a proper workout.

Sketch of pool

An example of odd pool dimensions from the public pool in Suðureyri.

The pool in Suðureyri was packed with local families on a beautiful Westfjords summer day, with plentiful sunshine and temperatures in the high 60s. It indeed seemed that the entire town was there, some splashing in the small swimming pool and others lounging in one of the three hot pots. Given the strict rules about bathing properly before swimming in Iceland, I was surprised to see the largest hot pot full of small children eating popsicles while their parents enjoyed miniature cups of coffee from a dispenser on the pool deck.

Pool view

Photo by César Martínez.

We discovered a true gem of a pool in Patreksfjörður. The complex was clearly recently built, with a 16.5m five-lane pool, complete with lane lines painted on the bottom, as well as the customary three hot pots, on a deck with truly breathtaking views of the fjord. We timed our visit to coincide with summer’s extended dusk and puzzled over the Lonely Planet’s description of the town as “unattractive.” A full gym is attached to the pool complex, with a number of trophies from regional swim competitions on display in the hallways, one of the only pools we visited that seemed to offer a competitive swim program.

Hot tub and scenery

Dusk over Patreksfjörður.

Twilight view

Dusk over Patreksfjörður. Photo by César Martínez.

Eerie black and white image

The moonscape on the drive between Bíldudalur and Tálknafjörður. Photo by César Martínez.

That said, we completed our circuit of Westfjords pools with a beautiful competition pool in Tálknafjörður, featuring five 25m lanes with painted lane lines and starting blocks. By the time we arrived at 8:00 in the evening, the shade of the setting sun was beginning to encroach on most of the facility, so we didn’t enjoy basking in the hot pots as much as we had in Patreksfjörður, but what this pool lacked in atmosphere and views it made up for with a spectacular water slide.

talknafjordur hot pots

Raudasandur beach

Iceland also has beautiful beaches. Here’s the photographer on Rauðasandur (“red sand beach”).

Snow-capped mountains in distance

On the Snaefellsnes peninsula, on the road back to Reykjavík. Photo by César Martínez.

Westfjords map

Iceland’s Westfjords

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#75: UC Berkeley Strawberry Canyon Pool

Strawberry Canyon pool

Location: Berkeley, California

Configuration: 5 lanes of close to 33 1/3 yards

Fee: Free with Cal Aquatic Masters

The Strawberry Canyon Pool has eluded me for years, so I was thrilled to finally be able to check it out during my recent trip to California. It’s open in the summertime only, and I’m usually out there at other times of year. This time around, it opened for the last three days of my visit. I made it there on day 2 of its season, last Tuesday, for the evening workout with a friendly, mellow bunch of Cal Aquatic Masters swimmers. Coach Jeremy was also the team scribe who steered me to this session.

Cal’s main training pool, Spieker, had closed unexpectedly–and is still closed–due to flooding and equipment damage, and another campus pool was closed that same week for routine maintenance, so I surmised that Strawberry Canyon would be overrun. I needn’t have worried: I ended up with my very own lane and also my own locker room, since all the other swimmers who showed up were men. Some 100 years ago, there was actually a “men’s pool” here, but the lack of women during my swim was simply a coincidence.

The pool is situated up a hill from Cal’s massive football stadium in a woodsy area well-used by runners and mountain bikers. Strawberry Creek runs through its eponymous canyon and on down through campus, straddled by redwood groves.

The Pool: Gift of Lucie Stern

end of the pool

The unevenness of the lanes is most easily seen with the custom pool covers in place.

The donor, Lucie Stern, was apparently a big fan of recreational swimming, because her trust stipulated that the pool be solely for that purpose. It’s roughly Z-shaped and kept at a warm temperature, with a handful of lanes along the diagonal of the Z. Each one is slightly different in length, making serious competition impossible. (Naturally, for practice, the fastest swimmers swim in the longest lane.) The arms of the Z are purely play spaces, one deeper than the other. Grassy fields with picnic space abut two sides, allowing for terrestrial frolicking.

The sun slowly dipped behind the trees during our workout, and after the swim we put the pool to bed by tucking it under its covers. Given the odd shape, the covers had to roll out in a specific order and be placed exactly right.

changing instructionsUnderscoring the openness of this pool to newbies, a sign in the locker room provided detailed instructions for how to change into swim attire. I do wonder if anyone who didn’t already know would be attentive enough to read and heed that sign, but I followed it to a tee.

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Pool Play

“OK, so the play was called ‘The Unicorn’ and she was the unicorn so that means that the star was my babysitter.”
–Dar Williams, “The Babysitter’s Here

Pool Play set

Last night I supported the arts and attended a drama performance in a pool! I’d heard about the production from my friend Jen, whose daughter’s babysitter was in the cast. I felt like the little girl in the Dar Williams song when said babysitter stole the show with a beautiful solo rendition of “Nightswimming,” lights dimmed and all.

Of course what we really care about is the host pool, Waterside Plaza Swim & Health Club, in the 40-year-old mini city of skyscrapers. Were it not for this play, you would not be reading about the pool here, because it is stunted in length at about 14 meters. With 8 lanes, its overall square footage is respectable, but the dimensions are wrong for lap swimming–a serious miscalculation on the part of the designers. Otherwise, it’s got a lot going for it, with East River views, poolside plants and lounge chairs, and a retractable roof. We donned ponchos and dangled our feet in the water for the 70-minute show.

A collection of skits examining people’s connections to the water, the play had both serious and lighthearted moments. My favorite scenes included water aerobics chit-chat about the foolishness of building a pool in a middle school (pay no attention, Poughkeepsie), a first-person account of segregation at public pools (true to this book reviewed here previously), and a waddle of penguins trying to muster the courage to jump in. (Having just seen the real thing in Australia, I was impressed by how realistically the actors portrayed penguins.)

Pool Play was the brainchild of a theater company that works outside traditional performance venues, and I’m glad to see this genre taking off beyond the Pink Flamingo competitions that my team often dominates. Thanks to Jen and Trudy for going with me to the show, which continues through March 8.

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#63: Temescal Pool

Temescal PoolLocation: Temescal, Oakland, California

Configuration: 6 lanes x 33 1/3 yards

Fee: $5

If you blindfolded me, spun me around three times, and dropped me into an outdoor, 33-yard, saltwater pool, my first guess as to location would be California. These delightful features seem to be concentrated here, and lucky me is able to enjoy them this week during a Thanksgiving vacation.

20131126_temescal_pool_wiki

The Temescal Pool is just a few blocks from where my brother lives, so I strolled over here on Monday for the lunchtime lap session. The lanes were well used, with four to six people in each, and everyone was very courteous. Noticing my NYC Swim cap, a lane-mate mentioned that he used to live in New York, and after a bit of chatting we realized that he used to work for my employer. Small world.

The Temescal District is a diverse, lively part of Oakland, and the pool’s uses reflect that. It serves an adjacent high school, and as the lap session was wrapping up, a CPR class was getting started. There’s also a USMS team here that I swam with once a few years ago. The lifeguard paced around the pool, a big improvement from the sitting/sleeping/texting posture that is common where I usually swim.

If only it were so easy as spinning around three times with my eyes closed, I’d be a regular here.

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#60: Thomas Jefferson Park Pool

lap end of the poolLocation: East Harlem, New York

Configuration: 30 meters lap area with ample lane space. The pool is 97 feet (aka 30 meters) x 239 feet.

Fee: Free

1936 view

The pool’s thoughtful architectural details were more in evidence in 1936 than what’s left today.

Massive by most standards, the Thomas Jefferson Park Pool is smaller but no less transformative than many of its 1936 siblings. It’s also one of the least utilized pools in the city’s early bird lap program, making it a wonderful break from my always-crowded John Jay Park Pool that is even more packed due to Asphalt Green‘s annual two-week closure. (Why so many pools close in August remains a mystery.) I traveled up the avenue to swim here yesterday morning with Piez and Lisa Lisa and will likely return before the week ends and lap swimming disappears, Brigadoon-like, until next summer.

Lap swimmers commandeer the easternmost portion of the pool, all the better to watch the sky over the East River light up with the rising sun. Amenities here include a few black stripes on the bottom with matching Ts on the wall and lane ropes here and there. There were so few swimmers that “lane” sharing was completely voluntary. It would, of course, be nice to swim long ways, except during my butterfly laps, but 30 meters isn’t bad.

During the day, the pool can be a tough place, and at least last year it led the city pools in “episodes of disorderly conduct.” Situated at a crossroads of ethnic and racial boundaries, it historically excluded many locals in favor of white Italians. Fortunately, there seems to be absolutely no animosity among lap swimmers, who greet each other with familiarity and pause to chat between rounds.

rec center entrance with buzzer location circled

Ring the buzzer to the left of the door for early bird entry.

There is just one secret beyond the normal rules that you need to know to get in: Ring the buzzer. I circled it in red in the photo at right, lest you find yourself standing on First Avenue wondering how to access the swim paradise inside. Also keep in mind that there is no night owl lap swimming here; mornings are it.

Summer 2015 update: Buzzer no longer necessary. The front door is off limits. Instead, enter and exit through the locker rooms–women on the north side of the building, men on the south.It’s actually easier as long as the locker rooms are opened on time.

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Almost a Pool: Barton Springs

Barton SpringsWhat I wouldn’t give to be in Barton Springs RIGHT NOW. Of all the special swim spots we visited in Austin, this one stands out on many levels: length, recreational options, and underwater views especially. Not quite a lake and not quite a pool, this eighth-of-a-mile swim spot remains a consistently cool temperature year-round (high 60s/low 70s), even during Texas’s scorching summers, attracting all manner of swimmers and bathers to its banks and waters.

As I’m starting to expect from springs based on this and my Florida experience, the deliciously clear water makes it easy to appreciate the lush underwater vegetation and sea life. Most notable here were the fishies, big and small. They’d let you get pretty close before darting away. Also of note were the ducks–fake ones to section off the diving board area and real ones to keep you on your toes. Sorry to say (or maybe not), I did not see any Barton Springs salamanders.

group photo by Barton Springs

Richard, Hug, Devon, Bruce, and Lance

I swam just eight lengths here and appreciated different things each time. You can do a flip turn at the solid wall by the deep end, or perhaps stop to look at the waterfall on the other side. On the shallow end, the bottom gradually approaches the surface, so there’s no wall to push off when you turn around. The not-a-pool is surrounded by grassy hills that call out for sunbathing, including nudists perpetuating the “Keep Austin Weird” slogan. The only down side is that eating is not allowed here, allegedly due to an ant problem. Up the hill is a lovely open-air yet private, grassy courtyard that is in fact the locker room.

All this for just $3, or even for free at certain times of the day! We came here in the middle of our first full day in Austin and intended to come back for more luxurious laps and a diving competition, but somehow we didn’t make it. As mentioned previously, we have plenty of incentive to return to Austin for more swimming.

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#56: Deep Eddy Pool

Deep Eddy

Location: Austin, Texas

Configuration: 12 or so lanes of 33 1/3 yards plus large wading area

Fee: $3

We’ve seen how remarkable the year 1936 was for pools in New York, and it turns out to have been good to Texas, too. The state’s oldest pool, Deep Eddy dates to that same year and owes its existence to the same pot of WPA money. It made me feel right at home during a recent swimcation, when I joined a bunch of  marathon swimmers converging in Austin three weeks ago.

Would I be able to swim the same afternoon we arrived in town, I wondered? Sure, we can always swim, our co-host and tour guide Leslie reassured me. We made our first pilgrimage here shortly before closing that night and came back two other times during the weekend, basking in the cool, spring-fed, unchlorinated water that reminded me in color only of John Jay College Pool.

Deep Eddy takes its name from a deep eddy in the nearby Colorado River–visible in the top of the photo above–which was the local swimming hole before a proper pool was created. It’s a refreshingly cool temperature even during the hot Texan summers thanks to the springwater, which is drained out and replaced a few times per week.

We all loved swimming here. The 33-yard length didn’t feel that much longer than 25 yards, and yet the yardage racked up more quickly. The lap area is deep and spacious, and the staff and other swimmers were all very friendly.

View from the shallow end.

View from the shallow end, with the lap lanes way off yonder.

indoor-outdoor locker room

One of my favorite things here was the locker room, which managed to be both private and open-air. From the showers, you could admire the trees.

Circle swimming in this lane - sign

Texas is so big that swimmers don’t usually have to share lanes. According to Leslie, people usually queue up for a lane rather than sharing–except in a few specially designated lanes for those in a hurry.

John "Waldo" by the mural

An elaborate mural by the shallow end relates the history of the pool and park.

H&H

H&H, photo by Devon.

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#53: UC Berkeley Hearst Memorial Gymnasium North Pool

Hearst Pool deep endLocation: Berkeley, California

Configuration: 33 1/3 yards x 4 double-wide lanes

Fee: Included with RSF day pass purchased for Spieker Pool

Fees to Date: $208.87

I wish I had an underwater video camera in order to share with you the experience of swimming in the Hearst Gym North Pool. Envision a Roman bath to get in the spirit. Imagine following an inlaid-marble black like along the bottom and coming up to an all-black marble wall in the deep end. As you breathe from this elevated vantage point, admire the classical statuary to one side and to the other the campus Campanile, which chimes every hour and is the closest thing to a pace clock at this beauty. My pictures don’t do it justice, so take a look at the photos here and here for more views.

Campanile from HearstThe North Pool is the largest of three pools at this gym, which was built in the 1920s for Cal’s women and now plays host to most PE classes. Like Spieker, this pool had no backstroke flags and warmish water, but here the grand setting distracted me from these quibbles.

Knowing the pool’s history makes it even more interesting. For example: Until this pool turned co-ed in the late 1970s, the school issued “one-piece flapper-style swimsuits” to all bathers and kept the pool clean by having the suits boiled between uses! (Two photos of the swimsuits in action appear in this document.) Subsequent to my visit, I learned that the building has a women-only clothing-optional sundeck adjoining yet another pool–something to look forward to during a future visit.

Hearst shallow endBernard Maybeck and Julia Morgan share credit for the design of this building, which was intended to adjoin an arts complex for which the pool decks would doubles as terraces and outdoor promenades. Morgan is of particular interest to pool tourists, having also created pools at the Berkeley City Club and Hearst Castle.

The Bay Area has a number of other pools that are 100 feet, aka 33 1/3 yards. I haven’t yet figured out why this is the case and welcome theories or explanations.

In addition to Spieker and Hearst, Cal has two other pools on campus, but one is closed for the winter and I didn’t have time for the other. There are plenty of reasons that I’m looking forward to returning to this part of California.

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#44: Lasker Pool

Lasker Pool by Janet

Thanks to Janet for this picture.

Location: Central Park, Harlem, New York

Configuration: Oval with lap crossing of up to about 60 meters. The max width and height are 190′ x 240 ‘.

Fee: Free

Fees to Date: $181.74

Lasker Pool has been torturing me all summer. I pass it on my way to work as I bike down the big hill in Central Park toward the park exit. There it is, all blue and sparkly, beckoning me to come swim. Fortunately, at the time I pass by the only activity allowed is children’s lessons, so the fantasy of stopping for a dip is not a possibility in reality. Other times of the day are fair grab, as it has a busy early bird and night owl lap scene, and there’s usually a lap lane open in the middle of the pool during daytime and weekend general swim sessions.

pool view from the Loop Road

Hannah, come swim here, the pool beckons as I pass by on my way to work.

Piez organized a Pool Tourism Club visit to the pool last Friday for early bird lap swim. Joining us were Janet, John, Kent, Joe, and birthday-boy Larry. We marked the occasion by seeing how far we could get in 58 strokes and estimated that the lap area we chose was 58 meters across–suitable for a 58th birthday.  Afterward, Kathleen met up with us at Piez’s for breakfast. It was a great combination of swimming and socializing.

In fact, Lasker seemed to serve a large social function, with much more talking than swimming among all users. We were lucky to get a spot in the pool with lane lines nearby and a black line on the bottom. On the way across, a perpendicular current in the middle of the pool provided an interesting challenge to navigation, likewise the curved metal walls, which test the mettle of even the most dedicated flip-turner.

phone, anyone?As I learned thanks to Van Cortlandt, this pool was the only oasis built by the city Parks department between the WPA era and the 1970s. It opened in 1966, and I’d like to think that the circular shape, which is mirrored in the bathhouse, is a nod to that time period’s grooviness. The bank of phones in the bathhouse also seemed very 1960s to me, though it’s quite possible they came later.

Kathleen, Janet, John, Piez, me, and birth-day boy Larry at brunch. Photo by Kent.

Kathleen, Janet, John, Piez, me, and birth-day boy Larry at brunch. Photo by Kent.

While the Flushing Meadows pool is housed in a complex with a skating rink, this is the only pool I’ve been to that actually turns into a skating rink in the winter, for a time period much longer than swim season, I might add. In other words, if I liked ice skating, I would be tempted to stop off here for a quick spin on my way to work in the chillier months. Instead, starting next week, I’ll just long for the pool to start torturing me again.

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