Monday, June 27, 2011

Yorkville Swimming Options in 1960

End of June, I spy a newly filled pool. My heart, a tom-tom drum.
Water! Water! Water!
Nothing was more important between late June and Labor Day. City pools were essential, they gave great comfort, but I wanted lakes, I wanted beaches and I needed adults with transportation for each. My conniving was bottomless. Mom could page a calendar in February and start sweating freely when she got to June, July, August. Dad welcomed heat like an old friend, in the Navy he slept under a steam pipe for two years. He needed persuasion. Mom was always hot, but she had psoriasis all over and hated the beach, but tolerated lakes. Dad loved body surfing and could be conned into a beach trip but only if the temperature was headed over 90. I’d watch the weather praying for a heat wave so we could get to Rockaway Beach by bus, or if some relative felt sorry for Rory and me they’d take us to Davies or Sparkle Lake.
In short, I craved hot days as a kid; I craved 90 degrees, because that’s what I needed to motivate an adult to leave the island of Manhattan and take us on a water trip. On hot mornings I'd closed the windows of our air-conditionless apartment praying the stuffy heat would drive my parents to the land of impaired judgment where decisions were loose and sloppy. My track record in this area was iffy but I won my share of bouts. I remember the beach and lakes with the kind of affection usually associated with first loves.
On my bike ride today, I passed Asser Levy Pool which is ready for action. Though John Jay was blocks away in Yorkville we used to bike down to Asser on 23rd Street for a change of pace. Here are some pix from today's ride.

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