New York Pools
Pool: McGill Center at Alfred University
The Good News: Fa-reee, baby. 25 yards, cold water, pace clocks, kickboards etc.
The Bad News: Noon to 1: 15 only.
Details: The Saxon Hotel gave me a pass, but nobody checked for it, so I'd advice non-Saxonians to walk right in like you own the place and start swimming.
Pool: The Binghamtom YMCA
The Good News: Indoor, 25 yards, four lanes.
The Bad News: The water's warm at this YMCA. Surprise surpise surprise. And Binghamton should be closed and its residents spirited to a more cheerful place, like the Soviet Union in 1975.
Details: The city of Binghamton ought to sue The Deer Hunter for copyright infringement. Is this really America? Broken windows, dull buildings and no jobs? Vietnam's looking better and better all the time.
Pool: Ken-Ton YMCA
The Good News: Indoor and 25 yards, nice lifeguards, paceclocks at both ends, free if you have a Y card.
The Bad News: Four lanes and one lane rope, so if it gets crowded, you have to circle swim down one lane and up the other.
Details: The otherwise cool lifeguards listen to a preprogrammed syndicated ALICE radio station, which means every five hundred yards you're likely to hear a Hootie and the Blowfish song. Hootie, Hootie, Hootie...Gag. I think my bulimia is coming back.
- Pool: Tonawanga Aquatic Center
The Good News: Indoor fifty meter pool. Synchronized clocks, kickboards, cool water, jacuzzi, empty lanes, reasonable showers.
The Bad News: Bulkhead splits the pool into 25 yards and 25 meters. Nearly seven dollars to swim.
Details: I hate the East Coast. All the good pools cost at least seven dollars, unless you are a resident of the pool's impossibly small and upscale village or town, and then it's practically free. This is a way for white suburban elites to keep out poor people, minorities and comedians. Hello, Columbine High! Six dollars and seventy five cents, and not even to swim in Buffalo, but a suburbof Buffalo, for God's sake. I don't care if the pool water is kegged in from Lourdes, a swim shouldn't cost more than three bucks. Buffalo, please.
- Naussau County
Pool: Naussau County Aquatic Center
The Good News: The Goodwill Games Pool!
The Bad News: Ten dollars to get in, it's always bulk-headed into a 25 yard pool, and it's always packed.
Details: It's deep, it's fast, it's expensive. See my rant above- it applies to this pool too. The Weyerhouser Aquatic Center, another Goodwill games pool in Seattle, is three dollars. And it's better than this one. Everything the West Coast rappers say about the East Coast rappers applies to swimming as well. Do you think Suge Knight will read this page and strong arm a few aquatic directors for me?
- NYC- Brooklyn
Pool: Metropolitan Pool
The The Good News: 25 yards, a year's membership costs only ten dollars, kickboards, pull buoys, a few lane ropes here and there, and water is not too warm.
The Bad News: Crowded with people who aren't by nature what we call lap swimmers. Only three lanes and no pace clocks.
Details: Well, I feel guilty criticizing this pool, because it has heart. It wants to be your everything. But I must speak freely- on any given day the fast lane is likely to be crowded with Italian hippies trying to sneak a smoke while the lifeguard isn't looking, Chechnyan rebels performing handstands in the shallow end and the Polish. in fact, I think a great way to clear a lane would be not a five hundred butterly but instead a hearty yell of, "immigration."
The lifeguards are sweeties. They love to time me. They'll pull out a stop watch in a moment's notice and give me a set. Then they'll cheer like nobody's business. Third seeds at the Olympic Trials don't get the kind of enthusiastic screams that I do on a set of 5 x 100's on the 1:30. One good thing about being the only swimmer who can do flip turns is that no matter how crappy you feel, no matter how off your timing, and no matter how bad you are sandbagging it, someone thinks you are the most talented athlete they have ever seen and they'll tell you all about it in a broken, valiant English. Oh yeah, poor it on, Sasha baby, I'm lonely.
- Pool: Prospect Park YMCA
The Good News: A paceclock, so you can watch your life pass before your crying eyes, kickboards and pull bouys.
The Bad News: Three lanes, twenty yards long, at least five swimmers per lane, all of them pissed at one another.
Details: I have combed through the dark spots in my life, looking for clues. What could I have done to deserve this? The only affordable pool in my neighborhood (the others are an hour each way on the subway) is this twenty yard, three lane, overheated YMCA pool. What did I do? Was I a Nazi in a past life? A slave owner, perhaps, or a comedy club booker? I am so sorry God! Please let me off the hook. Find me an affordable lap pool that is close to an F-train stop, and hurry it up or I will become one of those women who swim breaststroke without getting their hair wet.
Pasty White Skin Review10. If only chlorine could fade the blue in varicose veins like it does in swimsuits. Oh well.
Pool: Vanderbilt YMCA
The Good News: Indoor and 25 yards,six lanes, cool water, ropes, bouys, kickboards and towels are provided.
The Bad News: Seven dollars, even with a Y card, and at noon the place is packed. Lots of circle swimming goes on.
Details: This pool is on 47th and 2nd, and a thirty minute walk from where I was staying. I realize this means nothing to you, but for once in your life think about someone other than yourself. The showers are poolside, so you can shampoo (and I am assuming you shampoo), dry off and trudge back up to the locker room. One day I forgot that I was poolside and, to the delight of a man in lane one, began to remove my suit. A sign prohibits activities such as swearing, swimming with open sores and nose blowing. Two red lines highlight the phrase 'nose blowing', as if nose blowing in the pool is an especially pervasive problem. Yum yum yum.
- Pool: Riverbank State Park
The Good News: Indoor fifty meter pool, outfoor 25 yard pool, 2 dollar cover charge
The Bad News: Habla espanol? Ustedes estando en Harlem.
Details: White New Yorkers hated David Dinkins' mayorship, but he's the one who got this ROCKIN' pool built in Harlem instead of the Upper West Side, which is full of rich people who can afford Chelsea Piers and that other place in the '60's. I only discovered this pool after I moved to the 150's, and it's a honey. In fact, I don't want you to know about it because I always have a lane to myself and I don't need you jumping in and messing my shit up, bitch.
You shouldn't come uptown at all, come to think of it. Stay away from this pool- you'll be raped and left for dead in the locker room. Don't think I won't do it, I'm very protective of this gem of a pool just ten minutes' walk from my bedroom. Go away.
- Pool: West Side YMCA
The Good News: Indoor and 25 yards, kickboards, paceclocks, free with a Y card, towels provided.
The Bad News: Four heavily monitored lanes, no gutters.
Details: The fast lane is a wall lane and if you have to split the fast lane, (and you will since four lanes total accommodate twenty million New Yorkers), your workout will consist of long axis strokes only. By the way, a sign over the fast lane says "front crawl swim OK." For those not raised on a Mennonite farm, that means freestyle. Step on up to the twentieth century, West Side Y. When I decided to kick, the lifeguard told me that kickboards are a no-no in the fast lane, so kicked without a board, which was slower (breaststroke with hands behind the back), and that was ok. Too many rules. Blech.
- Pool: YWCA- NYC Rating: B
The Good News: Indoor, 25 meters, there's a master's team too.
The Bad News: Unless you live nearby, what's teh point? A YWCA membership doesn't help you get into any other pools. But if you're visiting New York, and staying on the East Side, it's fine.
Details: My ex-boyfriend coaches some of the masters workouts- he's the gorgeous Russian with a hard on for stroke drills. Hands off, ladies, just because I can't have him doesn't mean you can!
- Pool: Asphalt Green Aquatic Center
The Good News: Fifty meter indoor facility. The works, I imagine.
The Bad News: Fourteen dollars for a swim, nearly nine hundred for a year's membership.
Details: Well, this review is done under speculation, as the cover charge is too high. If my swimming career were the movie "American Gigolo," this pool would be Richard Gere's character: handsome, just the right length but way too expensive. Instead of spending seventy bucks for five days worth of swims, I'll save my money, buy a real gigolo and get a workout I'll never forget.
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