It may not feel like it right now, but a sizzling heat wave will soon be on our doorstep, and there's a good chance that you'll walk straight out of work on Friday into a 95-degree blast of hot air. You might then remember that you still haven't installed your air conditioner, and as you step into an inexplicably sticky subway car you'll wonder how and when you lost touch with that one college friend who always rented a house in Fire Island house this time of year. (If you're reading this, Jared, it's not too late. I can be there in two hours.)
Still, it's not all bad news for those of us sticking out the summer's first real hot spell in the city. Because as of yesterday—the last day of public school, and thus the real start of summer—the public pools are open for business. Hear that? That's the sound of pool-loving teens everywhere texting each other: [splash emoji] + [cannonball emoji] + [woman dancing emoji].
For the next three months, New Yorkers of all ages have access to 55 outdoor pools scattered throughout the five boroughs (here's the list). They're open daily from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and 4:00 p.m. to 7:00, with a one hour break for pool cleaning.
If you are the type of person who likes to talk about how the public pools are unclean, or insists on bringing up some of the local basin's darker moments, save it. The last time a biochemist checked, fancy rooftop pools were filled with waste-borne coliform bacteria, while the water in the city's public pools was "pristine."
Beyond the joy of plunging into a tub of cold water alongside other staycationers, some New Yorkers can also look forward to the city's "Cool Pools" program, which will bring eclectic makeovers to one underserved pool in each borough. This year's Cool recipients are: Douglas and DeGraw Pool in Gowanus; Fisher Pool in East Elmhurst;
Mapes Pool in East Tremont; Sheltering Arms Pool in Harlem; and the West Brighton Pool on Staten Island.
Finally, it is our sodden duty to remind you of some pool rules. Namely, bring a padlock and a white T-shirt. Do not bring a different colored T-shirt. Also do not bring beach toys or beach chairs or newspapers. And no running, unless, apparently, you are the boss of the pool.
If you're not making it to the pool this weekend, there are plenty of other great ways to beat the heat this weekend. See? We didn't need Jared after all.
(Jared, call me.)