The New York Times has an article today about private pools in the city that people pay to use, at hotels and the like and which run for as much as $250 for an afternoon. The accommodations at these pools are quite nice, with modern patio furniture, cocktails and a full pool staff. The article notes that “You may have a friend, or a friend of a friend, who lets you use that indoor in her high-rise, but a real pool with outdoor space to lounge in the sun takes a bit of searching.”
Actually, there are many real pools in New York City, that are run by the city’s Parks Department and are virtually free of charge. If you’re seeking summer water respite, the value of a public pool is worth a lot in New York. In Manhattan, where the article centers on, the Hamilton Fish Park pool is nearly Olympic size, as with the Crotona Park pool in the Bronx and others in the city. (A history of New York’s pools can be found here.) A recreation membership costs an adult $75 for the entire year, while Seniors pay only $10 and children are free. Likewise, in places such as Washington, D.C., all the pools in the city — both indoor and outdoor — are free of charge to District residents.
The posh surroundings of a private rooftop pool are surely enjoyable, but the penalty on the pocketbook is not for most urban dwellers. Another story by the New York Times on how pools are actually available to many citizens at a price they can afford would be more than welcome.