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swimsuit addict

Being a Pool Tourist

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Last night I joined up with three swim pals and ventured out to Staten Island to one of the citys WPA-era public pools. I have a teammate who arranges Pool Tourism outings during the summer, and this was well worth the trip. We had a gorgeous ferry ride over and back, and the Lyons pool was just a short walk from the ferry terminal. Heres a description of it the pool from the NYC Park Department website:

Joseph H. Lyons Pool, the largest public pool on Staten Island, was built in 1936. Constructed by the Works Progress Administration (WPA), the Lyons Pool was one of eleven pools that opened throughout New York City in a single summer during the Great Depression. The pools were among the most remarkable public recreational facilities in the country and represented the forefront of design and technology. The main pool measures 165 feet long and 100 feet wide, while both the wading and diving pools are 100 feet by 68 feet. The pool is designed to accommodate 2,800 bathers at a time; during the first summer, crowds averaged 5,707 people each day. The influence of the WPA pools extended throughout entire communities, attracting aspiring athletes and neighborhood children, and changing the way millions of New Yorkers spent their leisure time.
From 1984 to 1986, Lyons Pool underwent a $6.7 million restoration, which included reconstruction of the three pools and locker room facilities, and installation of new plumbing, filtration, and electrical systems. Lyons Pool is a symbol of Robert Moses' influence in park design.

Luckily, there were not 2,800 swimmers there last night. We shared the pool with just a handful of other lap swimmersIm not sure if that was because the evening had turned a little cool, or if this pool is just typically uncrowded. The pool had no lane lines; there were 13 black stripes painted on the bottom that extended all the way to the walls (no crosses at the end of the lines or on the walls, so flip-turns were a little tricky). We did a minimal, fun workout that involved lots of goofy swimming, then rode the ferry back after dark. It was a beautiful night to be swimming outdoors at dusk, and its always fun to swim in new pools!

This morning I went up to Riverbank State Park for a little solo taper workout. Heres what I did:

1000 lcm warmup

8 x 100 (50 FR / 50 BK) @ 1:50-2:00: FR = relaxed, BK = steady kick, desc. 1-4 and 5-8

100 easy

200 virtual IM w/ full-speed turns

200 warmdown

It was a nice, calm morning up at Riverbank.

Im ready for Zones to be here already!

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Comments

  1. tjrpatt's Avatar
    looked up some pics and it looks like an good pool. Who knew that there were pools in Staten Island? You learn something everyday.
  2. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by tjrpatt
    looked up some pics and it looks like an good pool. Who knew that there were pools in Staten Island? You learn something everyday.
    That's funny--I was originally thinking that with last night's excursion I could now say I've swum in pools in all 5 boroughs. Then I remembered that I'd actually played a polo match at Wagner College on SI several years ago, so Lyons was my 2nd Staten Island pool.

    I should rip off pwb's idea and start a list of NYC pools I've swum in! And maybe OW too--I've actually swum to or from "beaches" in all 5 boroughs as well.
  3. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by swimsuit addict
    I should rip off pwb's idea and start a list of NYC pools I've swum in!
    New York City pools I’ve swum at (asterisked = outdoor pool):

    Manhattan
    1. West Side Y (25 yd), W. 63rd between Bway and Central Park West
    2. West Side Y warm-water pool (20 yd?)
    3. Riverbank State Park indoor pool (50M), W. 138th Street on the Hudson
    *4. Riverbank State Park outdoor pool (25yds)
    5. Asphalt Green competition pool (50M), E. 91st and York
    6. Asphalt Green warm-water therapy pool (15m?)
    *7. Asphalt Green outdoor pool (25yd, now gone)
    8. John Jay College Pool (25y) 59th and 10th
    9. Baruch College Pool (25m) 24th and Lex
    10. City College pool (25y) W 145th and Convent Ave.
    11. Columbia University (25y) 116th and Bway
    12. NYU Palladium pool (25y x 25m) 140 E. 14th St.
    13. Vanderbilt YMCA (25y) 224 E. 47th
    14. Chelsea Rec Center (25y) W 25th between 9th and 10th
    15. New York Athletic Club (25y) Central Park South @ 7th Ave.
    *16. John Jay Park Pool (48y) E. 77th and York
    *17. Hamilton Fish park pool (50m) Pitt and Houston Streets
    18. Reebok Club pool (25y) 67th and Columbus
    19. Chelsea Piers (25y), W. 19th Street on the Hudson
    20. JJC pool (25y), 76th and Amsterdam

    Brooklyn
    1. LIU—Brooklyn (25y) Flatbush and DeKalb
    2. St. Francis College pool (25y) Brooklyn Heights

    Bronx
    1. Lehman College pool (50m)
    *2. Van Cortlandt Park pool (50m)

    Queens
    1. Flushing Meadows Corona Park pool (50m)

    Staten Island
    1. Wagner College pool (25y?)
    *2. Lyons pool (50m)
    Updated August 15th, 2010 at 07:44 AM by swimsuit addict
  4. gigi's Avatar
    SUmmer Pool Tourism? Great idea! Lifetime NYC pools list? V. impressive! You get around girl! Do you remember which suit you wore to each one?
  5. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by gigi
    Do you remember which suit you wore to each one?
    unfortunately not. Maybe I should start a pool journal, similar to some wine journals I've seen. There could be places to record weather conditions, what suit you wore, water quality, character of swimming companions, wildlife spotted, etc!
  6. pwb's Avatar
    This is a great list and a great description. I'm going to use this list to try to find a place to swim on the evening of Labor Day. I land @ JFK @ 5pm and want to try to get an evening swim in before heading down to NJ. It looks like Asphalt Green will be closed then and I imagine many city pools will be closed for the holiday.

    Any recommendations? Working out with a team would be great, but even something solo is fine.
  7. Ahelee Sue Osborn's Avatar
    Ohhh... if you haven't yet, try to get over to Astoria Park Pool in Queens!

    Olympic Trials 1960 & 1964 (I believe) and huge!
    Lap lanes are 50 meters and that is the width. The length is actually shallow the rest of the way... 180 meters long.
    Art Deco old classic. Sits right on the river - only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
    Masters swim is early in the morning - and free.

    God only knows how long until they rip it out but I hope they never actually do it.

    Nice outdoor running track right next to it for a post swim run.
  8. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by pwb
    This is a great list and a great description. I'm going to use this list to try to find a place to swim on the evening of Labor Day. I land @ JFK @ 5pm and want to try to get an evening swim in before heading down to NJ. It looks like Asphalt Green will be closed then and I imagine many city pools will be closed for the holiday.

    Any recommendations? Working out with a team would be great, but even something solo is fine.
    Thanks for the original idea, Patrick!

    Cool that you'll be coming through NYC for a swim. Asphalt Green will indeed be closed (they reopen the next morning, alas), but I think you'll be in luck with some other facilities. Labor Day is the last day the city outdoor pools are open--the only question is whether the 7-8:30 pm lap swimming session will be held on the holiday. I've made inquiries, and will let you know when I hear back. If it is, you'll have your choice of any of the dozen or so pools that have adult lap swim hours. (Lap swimming is free, but they'll undoubtedly make you fill out a card for the "season" even though you'll be coming to the very last session.)

    Riverbank will also be open--they're due to shut down the day after Labor Day for their annual cleaning. As with the city pools, the question is whether they'll be having their regular lap swim time on the holiday. I'll ask next time I swim there. If there are lap swimming hours, Riverbank is probably your best bet for a serious workout, since it has lane lines and backstoke flags and pace clocks. (The city parks pools are huge and have history and charm, instead.)

    If nothing else, I think the West Side Y will be open and suitable for working out.

    I don't think any of the masters teams here will be having workout Labor Day evening--if I hear of any, I'll definitely let you know.

    I'm not sure if I'll be in town for Labor Day, but if I am, I might want to come join you for a swim!
  9. swimsuit addict's Avatar
    Quote Originally Posted by Ahelee Sue Osborn
    Ohhh... if you haven't yet, try to get over to Astoria Park Pool in Queens!

    Olympic Trials 1960 & 1964 (I believe) and huge!
    Lap lanes are 50 meters and that is the width. The length is actually shallow the rest of the way... 180 meters long.
    Art Deco old classic. Sits right on the river - only open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
    Masters swim is early in the morning - and free.

    God only knows how long until they rip it out but I hope they never actually do it.

    Nice outdoor running track right next to it for a post swim run.
    Thanks Ahelee. Astoria is definitely one of the pools I want to swim at--making my list made me realize how many beautiful NYC pools I haven't gotten to yet!

    I didn't realize there was a running track there. That's good to know--perhaps I can convince Mr. Addict to come with me and do a track workout while I swim.