Yesterday, I quite literally had nothing to do except stare at my most recent bank statement wondering if somewhere in the Charles Schwab building there is a little room, marked with my name, with three pennies lying on the floor. My only alternative was trolling political forums about the healthcare bill, but that would have required coming up with hilarious pseudonyms like “Supreme C**ts,” and frankly who has the time anymore? So, I went down to the McCarren Park pool opening ceremony.
The sun roared above the pool that afternoon. The road was blocked off. Security guards manned the entrances. A long line of grotesque Gary Larson characters waited to enter the complex. They were sweaty and their once pristine bathing suits, newly outed from the winter clothes closet, had begun to sag. Their towels, once proudly heaved over their shoulders, hung limply from their hands, even trailing on the ground in some instances. I eyed the crowd, trying to guess which of these eager faces most desperately needed to go to the bathroom. Whatever sanitary chemicals they are using in that pool, it had better be the next step down from raw Drano.
After realizing that I was never going to get into that pool, I decided to walk around towards the back to see if I might glimpse the proceedings. The ceremony was much smaller than I had imagined, although to be fair, it’s just a pool in Williamsburg; I don’t know why I had expected more. The twin pools lay empty, blue and clear, with lifeguards in orange suits standing to attention before them, whistles at the ready. On this hot day, a horde of sweating boobs stood waiting to cool off, but still the ceremony dragged on, the good old boys slapping each other on the back for $50 million well spent. I struggled to find a sour note. I could not. Even the boobs seemed upbeat about future prospects of water and maybe even a chance to show off the results of their latest diet.
A couple of older men appeared beside me, gazing into the facility. It took one look to establish who they were: perverts. Yep, like flies swarming to the smell of blood, perverts were already swarming to the scent of sun block. They stood for a while, hoping to glimpse some pale flesh, exposed in all its glory to sun and eyes alike. Then they departed, right before a security guard came over to give us a good scowl.
Today or maybe this weekend, your Wburg and Greenpoint friends (and maybe even the Bushwick crowd) are going to be excitedly planning a visit to this pool. There will be talk of trying to sneak in some booze. There will be talk of hipster bathing suits, and tattoos. There will be superlative expressions used such as: “best summer ever.” People will start having fun. The thought of that makes me cringe, yet I cannot let my puritanical tendencies get the better of me. People have the right to have fun… I guess.
The pool is free. However, the indoor pools as well as any facilities within the complex (weights, cardio equipment, etc.) will cost you $150 a year. That’s even cheaper than the YMCA and by all accounts the best deal in town. Broke-Ass Certified Cheap.
So here’s the real question: will the pool become a scene? Can we expect a steady flow of trustafarians and the flatulently artistic crowd? Or will the magic dissipate once the hipsters inevitably realize that unlike Death By Audio, they have to share this space with the lumpen-proletariat in all its muffin-topped, butter-faced glory? Will we hear comments thrown around like: “it was so gross; I think I saw someone eating McDonald’s there yesterday” or “these assholes were just staring at me the entire time; it was really uncomfortable?” Probably.
But until that happens, I’ll be joining in on the fun… and maybe you’ll see me enjoying the summer sun and checking out the scene from a shady spot, down near the fence… with two old men who may or may not be sex offenders.
McCarren Park Pool
June 28th-September 3rd from 11am-3pm and 4pm-7pm
475 Lorimer St. (between Driggs Ave. & Bayard Street)
Photo Credit: NYCGovParks.org