WPA project pool opened in 1940 on the East River
John Jay Pool brings back many happy memories of a city girls summer retreat. (June 2, 2011)
This is one of the city’s fifty-some outdoor municipal pools. It is at the end of my block. Though only open for two months each summer, it is an oasis, and I have been visiting this pool even longer than the twenty years that I’ve been in my apartment. On some summer days, it is so busy that we have to wait on line to get in. Those who are waiting, and those who will join us in the pool, are among the most diverse crowd of New Yorkers that I come across in my daily life. People of all races, creeds, ages, who come together to cool off, enjoy a swim and some sun. On other days, generally near the end of the summer, or when the weather is not so good, there are only a few of us at the pool. And the pool is like our own private oasis.
I am very sad because, as per Mayor’s budget cuts and health concerns, this and all city pools are slated to be closed this summer. John Jay Pool is such an important part of my summer life and so many of my neighbors (both close neighbors and those who live much, much further away). I miss it for the swimming and cool refreshment, and for the community that the pool provides. I realize that, with COVID concerns, the pool could not operate at full capacity this summer; I just wish that the city would find a way for us to share the pool -- with proper social distancing.
Hopefully this year’s budget cuts/closings are for this year only. Would be heartbroken to see our pools closed for longer.
(added April 2020)