Freedom isn’t free…but the pool is!

Sorry I’m slacking so much on posting. I feel like I need an editorial calendar or something. Or at least a certain day that I HAVE to post every week.

The truth is, it’s been unbearably hot here this week. And NYC, while a very interesting and forward city, lacks central air in a lot of places. Like old residential buildings. Like mine. We have a window air conditioner, and that makes it almost tolerable…. when I’m sitting at the desk, which is directly in front of it. I bought some temporary paper shades (basically, big pieces of sturdy, fabric-like paper that are accordian folded and had adhesive on one end and clothespins on the other to hold them down.) Putting those up in the windows in our living has helped block sunlight/heat, which has also helped. We might get actual blinds or curtains eventually, but these were $5 each and super easy to install. Win.

To beat the heat last weekend, we decided to go to Astoria Pool on Sunday, July 4- the first day of what turned into a 5 day heat wave.  We got sandwiches at a deli, ate them in the park, and then walked over to the pool (which is conveniently located IN the park across the street from our apartment).

This pool is HUGE.  Like, Olympic sized. It was used for the qualifying events for the 1936 and 1964 Olympics. When we got there, there was a long line. There was a booth with a guy selling swimsuits, and an employee yelling at people in line who didn’t appear to have acceptable swimsuits. We got through the line, and saw a sign that said there were two sessions: 11-3 and 4-7. They evacuate the pool in between the sessions. Amazingly, admission to the pool is free. We got there around 1:40, but decided to stay anyway, because neither of us is really all that likely to want t be in the sun more than 2 hours anyway.

This is the point where things got a little weird. And kind of prison-like/concentration campy. (Note: I obviously have never been to prison or concentration camp, and I don’t mean to make light of either.)

We were herded to separate locker rooms (okay, not so weird). There were pool staff members yelling rules at everyone. YOU HAVE TO SHOWER BEFORE GETTING IN THE POOL. (okay…) YOU HAVE TO LOCK UP YOUR STUFF (okay, maybe…but this isn’t optional?) YOU CAN’T BRING CELL PHONES OR ANY ELECTRONICS IN THE POOL AREA (really? no iPod?) BOOKS AND MAGAZINES ARE OKAY, NEWSPAPERS ARE NOT (what?) YOU CAN ONLY BRING A TOWEL AND SUNSCREEN. NOTHING ELSE (whaaaat?)

None of the lockers had locks on them. We didn’t bring one since we didn’t know about it (my plan had been to just keep my stuff in my tote bag, like ANY OTHER POOL would allow..).

I stuffed everything in a locker and left it unlocked. I went through the shower and finally made it out of the scary locker room. I eventually found Andy, who had found out that only white t-shirts were allowed in the pool area, so he had to lock up his grey t-shirt.

We sat in the sun for a little bit. I went back to the locker room and got my phone, wallet, and keys, (hidden in my towel), because I really didn’t want them stolen. I went in the pool for a few minutes, and then Andy took his turn. There were HUNDREDS of people there, and we didn’t want to leave our stuff out in the open. After we had been at the pool maybe 25 minutes, Andy noticed an NYPD officer walking up to a lifeguard and pointing at something in the pool. Suddenly, all the lifeguards were blowing their whistles, and an announcement came over the intercom telling everyone they were evacuating the pool due to unsanitary conditions. No other details or explanation.

They herded everyone out -back through the locker rooms- only this time, it was hundreds of people going at once. I tried to ask one of the police officers what was going on, and all she would tell me was that they were re-opening at 4.


So we went home, and I took a nap while Andy played video games, and then we cooked yummy kababs and corn on the cob (but it wasn’t as cheap or good as from Indiana…). Later, we attempted to watch the fireworks from the park, but they wer eon the other side of Manhattan, so we could only see the top of them. After a few minutes, we just went home and watched them on TV.

So, that’s how we spent our first NYC 4th of July. I had wanted to go to the Statue of Liberty, but that seemed unrealistic with the heat and crowds. Sometime soon though.

The heat has really been unbelievable. I lived in Texas for 11 years, and I’ve spent a lot of time in Las Vegas (btw, I’m going there in August with Sarah, Rob, and Rich! Hooray!), and I know those places have 90+ degree weather all summer long. But in those places, you’re always in either a car or building with central air conditioning. I hate being completely drenched in sweat just walking to the subway – at 9 am- after taking a COLD SHOWER. And then spending the day in freezing air conditioning at work- it’s amazing I haven’t gotten sick. It’s difficult to pick out things to wear to work. I’ve been carrying a cardigan in my purse and wearing sleeveless shirts and skirts, but it’s still uncomfortable.
I guess that’s just the price we have to pay for living in the best city in the U.S. and Canada. 🙂

One last thing- I walk past Bloomingdale’s every day because it’s right next to my work, and they have a fall fashion preview window. I’m very much looking forward to boots, leggings, thick skirts, and coats. Remind me of this in February when I want summer.

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1 Response to Freedom isn’t free…but the pool is!

  1. Pingback: Never thought I’d be on a boat… « Start spreading the news.

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