Today was so hot and humid that the sidewalks radiated a kind of stenchy stink that couldn't be escaped. And down on the subway platform, forget it, you needed a gas mask. Crowded elevators were not a good place to be today. People I guess couldn't help it, but there were many absolute stinkeroos.
In light of that, I propose a tour of the best sparkling, cool, clean swimming pools I've been able to find in Manhattan. I've done many a lap, many a flip turn over the years, and these have been my personal favorites. Please let me know of any others. I like to keep tabs on this kind of thing.
1. London Terrace apartments in Chelsea. I found this pool while subletting in the '80s when it was run by a woman who had won a medal in the 1936 Berlin olympics. She had her medals and yellowed newspaper clippings on display in a glass case. By then she was all knotty and half blind, but she ran that pool like an SS officer. She let me swim for five bucks but I had to shower first, with soap. This was the cleanest pool I had ever seen in New York. The water was so deep it was hard to see the lines on the bottom to keep in a straight line, which made me feel like I was in the ocean. There were never any lights on like you see in the picture above. The only light was coming from the windows. The showers were dark too. It was weird and perfect.
2. Parker Meridian Hotel roof top on 57th st. I lived at this hotel while working on a movie--It might have been Love Hurts, with Jeff Daniels and Judith Ivey. I was supposed to be in NYC for one week to prep but got stuck for six weeks, working in the Brill building with no chair (ice chest with bubble wrap, seriously, thanks so much producers Doro Bachrach and Eva Fyer) before finally escaping to Waxahachie Texas for the shoot. The pool room has a nice view of Central Park, but size of a postage stamp when compared with #1.
3. The JCC pool on the upper west side. Could be really nice, but too many kids. An occasional loogey floating in the water. I can't deal.
Extra bonus, Not New York: Here is the pool at 500 Bel Air Road in Beverly Hills. I house-sat there one summer. This mansion had (allegedly) once belonged to Cher and (in another era) Mario Lanza. Skinny dipping here is what I will think of tomorrow when I am a sardine in the elevator.