image via gothamist
yesterday i took mccarren pool redux for a test drive. i anticipated there to be an insane amount of people there so i decided the best thing to do would be to get up early and arrive at the pool around noon. obviously the main reason for my going was to swim, but i was also intrigued by the idea of being in the middle of a complete fucking mob scene. sure enough, there was a huge line to get in. i think i waited for about twenty-five minutes, but it was okay because in that amount of time i figured out how to work the lock i'd just purchased. i have always had problems with locks with dials. i wrote my combination on my arm with a fat black sharpie, just in case.
when i FINALLY got in, i chose a locker and got changed. i love the feeling of wearing a swimsuit under your clothes, especially when people can see the strings of your bikini creeping out of your shirt. i think it is a look that says, "here i am! i am ready for anything!" i am contemplating getting a camp towel and a jansport backpack and carrying the towel, my swimsuit, and my lock around with me all summer. baller! anyway, the locker room was airy and didn't feel all gross and sweaty and disgusting like most pool locker rooms do. it was a bit small, though. however, i'll take a small locker room if it means more room for a HUGE FUCKING POOL! which brings me to the next thing...
...the pool! i have only been to one public pool in the city, and that was the one in sunset park, which is kind of an awful pool. crowded, and waaaaaaaaay to many kids. like, the kid to adult ration was probably 7-1 or something ridiculous. anyway, in its newly-pristine state, mccarren pool looks spectacular. the bottom is painted a beautiful cerulean shade, and the very sight of it looks refreshing. there is tons of room for both lounging and swimming. i found a really great spot on these things that resembled steps that were big enough to lay out and sunbathe on. later that day i managed to score a shady spot in the same area. there was even a little potted plant right next to me for some added ambiance! FANCY! also, i was shocked to see that the crowd was not nearly as big as i'd expected. it was a pretty standard amount of people for your average public pool, i thought.
anyway, i had two swimming sessions and then sat in the sun reading air guitar for the rest of the time. i contemplated going in a third time, but by then the sun was wearing me out and i was starving. i love swimming. i always have. when i was a child, i learned how to swim nearly instantly. i was always the last one out of the water, the one who always begged to stay at the beach a little longer. as i gathered my stuff, kids were going psycho all around me and the lifegaurds were constantly blowing their whistles at all of the stupid and incredibly fun things they were doing. i thought about how i could never be that way again. for a moment i was sad as i contemplated the amount of energy that leaves you as you get older. oh well. i left the pool and ate tacos from calexico in the park. one kind of fun replaces another, i suppose.
i was saddened to hear that hours after i'd left, a lifegaurd was assaulted by a bunch of idiot kids. in the past few years, mccarren pool has become a symbol for urban regeneration, both in its incarnations as a concert venue and now a swimming hole restored to what people hope will be its former glory. i don't think that the pool will become what it became at the time of its closing. chill, people! the security in that place is pretty fucking tight. i don't think anyone is going to be dealing crack to five year olds there anytime soon.
in other water-related news, i partied until dawn and then streaked through an open fire hydrant on my street. i realize that this was an incredibly stupid thing to do but it was really fucking fun and i do not regret it in the slightest.
in conclusion, i highly recommend the refurbished mccarren pool. i also highly recommend streaking through an open fire hydrant. however, if you are not looking to get arrested (or worse), the former option is probably best. A+!