The NEW McCarren Pool: Is the ‘Hood Ready for This?

Most of us PAs have lived in the fine neighborhood of Williamsburg, Brooklyn for quite some time now (I’m coming up on my 9 year anniversary!). It’s not the most beautiful ‘hood in the city, but it’s convenient: nearly all of our friends live here and there is a ton to do and see and  MANY amazing restaurants. Those of us who have lived here for a while have seen this neighborhood through massive amounts of change, both good and bad. And now the pool, THE POOL is reopening! We had fun partying there for concerts and outdoor movies in the summers of 2006-2008, but now we may swim where we once drank beer and watched Deerhunter, TV on the Radio, and Ted Leo for free.

The state of the pool has risen and fallen with the fortunes of the neighborhood, and tomorrow the people will be swimming once again for the first time since the early ’80s (read a history of the park and pool here and check out the architectural plan and renderings here). The pool was the only one of the 11 enormous WPA-era pools — built by that holy terror Robert Moses — not to be renovated in the 1980s, despite being one of the most utilized pools in the system. Check out this recent NYT article for pics… it looks pretty gorgeous.

I’ve been following the reconstruction of the pool over the last 5 years, from the tempestuous conversations about usage at Community Board 1 meetings, to actually watching the construction take place onsite. I’m really just dying to know what the facilities will be like and how much the pool will be used. Can our neighborhood’s awful transportation infrastructure support the thousands of daily visitors the pool will surely attract? Will it be quiet enough during morning hours to actually use the pool? Can I ditch my expensive gym membership in exchange for a $75 per year park membership and use the (potentially) fancy new gym at the pool? What will the additional programming at the pool entail? (Last time I checked, community events, concerts, and public gathering spaces were a huge part of the plan). Also, ICE SKATING during the winter? Intriguing.

It really has the potential to be awesome, or just plain awesomely crowded. June 28th, friends! I’ll report back!

 Photo above via J. Eric Fisher at Curbed. Even more photos at Gothamist