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Dumpster Diving on New York’s Park Avenue

Credit: Alan Miles NYC (Flickr Feed)

Of the many unique activities New York is known for, the most entertaining this summer involved closing roads and opening pools, specifically dumpster swimming pools.  

For the third summer in a row, New York’s Department of Transportation presented the Summer Streets program, closing almost seven miles of posh Park Avenue to motor vehicles from the Brooklyn Bridge to Central Park. Numerous residents and visitors came out to run, walk, bike, blade, play and even swim on the first three Saturdays in August.  

There were many free activities to choose from including attending concerts and theater productions, a group bike ride set to music, yoga, fitness and dance classes, and of course, pool parties in a dumpster. Wait, swimming in a dumpster? Who ever thought shipping containers used for trash could serve a higher purpose?  

The unique dumpster swimming pools, located near Grand Central Station, enticed New Yorkers to grab their swimsuits and make a splash in the streets. Three clean, unused, garbage dumpsters were repurposed into portable, code-compliant swimming pools. The 8-feet by 22-feet pools, 3 to 4 ½ feet deep, all had protective liners (with felt on the bottom) and their own built-in water filtration system. Even though the pools came with lifeguards and 5-foot wide wrap-around metal decks (with a nonstick rubber surface to prevent slipping) swim time was limited to 10 people a session. And just like permanent pools, there were even showers for rinsing, hammocks and bean bag chairs for lounging and stalls for changing underneath a colorful cabana. The dumpster pools were created by design company Marco-Sea and actually debuted last summer in Brooklyn. This year, the pools moved to Manhattan and drew more attention.  

Considering much of the Mid Atlantic and Northeast broke records with all-time-high temperatures this summer, dipping (because diving is actually prohibited) into a re-imagined swimming pool sounds like a mighty fine way to cool off 🙂

Some great photos of the dumpster pools can be found here.

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