So the thing about summer is that it’s hot. And the thing about summer in New York is that it’s hotter than hot. It’s hot as hell. New York in the summer is hell. But since hell is where all the good stuff happens, there isn’t really much point in complaining. No, instead of complaining, we’ll all just need to adjust to the heat by finding good ways to cool off. And what’s the best way to cool off that doesn’t involve drinking one icy cold gin and tonic after another and lying as still as possible in bed with a fan directed right at your overheated body? Uh, well, going to a pool, of course. I mean, nothing even approaches the awesomeness of lying in bed and sweating out all the gin you’ve been drinking, only to have the breeze from the fan dry your gin-scented sweat so that it becomes part of your skin and you forever smell like juniper and lime and all good things, but if there were something that approached that level of summer awesomeness, it would definitely be swimming in a pool.
Lucky for us, New York has no shortage of public pools where we can cool off without suffering the indignities (namely, an asscrack full of sand) that occur when going to the beach. Now that the weather is finally heating up, it’s important to have a game plan in place so that you can know which public pool to visit when you just can’t take the heat anymore. New York City public pools open for the season this Thursday, June 27, so mark your calendars, because I recommend attempting an urban version of John Cheever’s “The Swimmer,” wherein you spend your summer days swimming across Brooklyn as you visit each of these public pools. Of course, “The Swimmer” is a pretty depressing story and is about the emptiness of life and the relentless passing of time and decay and desolation, but then, those are all things that summer is about too, in a way. Summer, F. Scott Fitzgerald wrote in This Side of Paradise, “is a sad season of life without growth.” So we might as well try and forget that by swimming in these pools.