53 Public Pools Open Today (Suits Required, but No Phones Allowed)

Thursday: Nearly two million people enjoyed the urban oases last summer. This year, the pools are open until Sept. 7.

Comments: 21

  1. Seaver's dementia is very sad; so many bright and articulate athletes from the 60's seem to have come down with Dementia, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's etc. Folks like Seaver, Ali, Harrelson. They all but disappeared in late middle age, alive but unheard. We childhood Brooklyn Dodger fans recall Seaver appearing in NY, exactly ten years after the bums departed for the left coast. NL baseball fans first bona fide baseball star of our own. Now, 52 years later he is still the Mets only home-grown hall of famer. Both a testament to Seaver and to the Mets futility since. I usually scoff at street naming's, but this is good, and welcome. Met fans and the Seaver family can enjoy this.

  2. And just in case ... you might also want to take along a swim cap for your dip, it's requirement at some city pools (or at least it once was). Great photo!!

  3. Great piece! A question about this section: “the pools ‘help provide vacations for some people who don’t have the ability to leave the city in the summertime,’ said Liam Kavanagh, the first deputy parks commissioner.” Why must anyone stigmatize public pools, especially for a kid or teen reading this, whose family might not in fact have the means to leave the city during the summer? I know families at many different income levels who love our local public pool.

  4. @Roger Baxter What's stigmatizing about that? Some families don't have money and the public pool is their place to relax. This fact is more of an argument for creating as many pleasant public spaces as possible and maintaining them. People who are snobbish about public pools are going to be that way no matter what you do. I tell you what's stigmatizing: Me as a child responding to an invitation to participate in an activity that wasn't of great interest to me, to my surprise seeing a newspaper reporter and photographer, and the next day finding a photo of myself and other kids in the paper with the caption: "Underprivileged Children." That was not how I saw myself and I did not appreciate the newspaper's label.

  5. @Roger Baxter Why is that stigmatizing? It's the truth for some people, and even more reason for the pools to be nicely maintained.

  6. Is the colored shirt ban really enforced? I haven’t been in some time, but the last time I visited a city pool (maybe 5 years ago) I don’t recall any restrictions on garment color. I own very few white t-shirts, so this would have likely restricted my access.

  7. @Sean It is at our pool in Staten Island, and there was at least one incident where a woman was not allowed to wear a black bathing cap.

  8. So very glad to hear there is no charge to use the public pools. In so many areas there are charges for pools, children’s museums, etc. Even small fees, especially with multiple kids, are a bar.

  9. @Nancy When I was a child in the 60s, I remember having to scrounge for the 15 cents for admission. I didn't always have bus fare, so I walked the 1 1/2 miles each way. In the hot sun, that was tiring. This was in the era when children were more independent.

  10. @Lifelong Reader, just regarding: "the era when children were more independent." The path to walk to where you're going mattered a lot, too. When I was walking to school until I was 10 or so, they always gave someone older a few bucks to go with me, because a few blockx of the area was not Brooklyn at its best, and there was no avoiding that area. Yet going to the Midwood movie theater on Avenue J or to the library by the Avenue J station, or even taking the subway from Avenue H to the "big library" in Manhattan by myself (with no net yet, that was the only way to get old documents and primary sources) was not a problem as long as I got home while it was light out. It's hard to say whether we were actually safer then, or were under the illusion that we were safer.

  11. @Freddie The path one took was very important. A few times a year, I had an appointment in Alphabet City, which then was full of drug dealers. My mother, who was too lazy to take me, always cautioned me to walk down 14th Street, which had more people. When I reached Avenue C, I turned into the actual street. It's funny today to see the mix of grit and gentrification down there. I didn't say it was safer, I said children were more independent. They also were considered more competent. I knew that bad things could happen to children, although not too many details. By the age of nine, I was traveling all over New York City on my own by subway. I should add that I was a bright, cautious, skeptical, and assertive child.

  12. I trust the city to clean public pools effectively as much as I trust them to clean the subways. Not at all. To all those who plan on venturing into the cesspools, I wish your immune systems the best of luck.

  13. @asdfj Now that I'm an adult, it would take a lot for me to bathe in a public pool. I know the City works hard to keep them clean but with that many people using them...

  14. The city does not control the MTA. Rest assured the water in city pools is so high in chlorine that your only concern should be green hair.

  15. @asdfj In total agreement no way in a million years would I put my pinky toe in an an nyc pool As far as nyc cleanliness in general in the immortal words of Nelson muntz ha ha Pretty disgusting how everyone ignores the filth So many other places are cleaner and cheaper and have a far better quality of life What does nyc have to offer? Culture? Does that pay the bills at the end of the day? Yeah right And big bird wants to be president when he’s not qualified to be dog catcher

  16. "Indeed, it can be jarring to look up from sunbathing and see a police officer walking on the pool deck." It's going to be one of those days! "Blue Skies" is linked right there in the column, and I haven't been able to get "Blue Suits" out of my mind - yet instinct is telling me not to post it. :)

  17. Where we grew up in the 60's there were no public pools but we did sneak into the neighboring wealthy folks pool once in a while. I'll never forget the have and have nots since then. Our city pools here are minimal cost, well maintained, but I'd get rid of the floaties.

  18. You mean those who have and those who have less. If you grew up envying people with swimming pools and can never forget that sad lesson, then I am sorry for you.

  19. It's a shame that they close at 7pm on weekends. Imagine how great it would be to hang out by the pool on a Friday or Saturday night. They could run it like the concerts in Central and Prospect parks and collect a suggested donation. With a little imagination, the Parks Department could make summer in the city a lot more fun!

  20. At my local pool, K-pool the security is intense. It's like they never got the memo that we are not living in the 70's anymore. Regularly you are asked to put everything in your bag on a table for someone to sort through and are essentially treated like you are going into a prison. There will be one person doing security while a huge line of people wait. But once through that gauntlet, the pools, this one and others, are simply a joy. People are always in a good mood and having fun. Don't forget there's also free lunch for the kids. I love these public pools, I just wish they were open until 8.

  21. @SteffiK, regarding "But once through that gauntlet, the pools, this one and others, are simply a joy. People are always in a good mood and having fun." That's almost word for word my experience going to see Cher at Caesar's Palace! Except no free lunch on the other side of the security check. (And the grueling security gauntlet at Cher's show was democratic, it made no difference if you paid $1,200 or $90.)