Friday, September 4, 2009

The last days at the Double-D pool

"Hey honey, you look like a million dollars."
I smile tightly, thinking Oughta get back to guarding lives Mr Life Guard and narrowly avoid crashing into a kid practicing handstands in the shallow end. It's all shallow end at Gowanus' 'Double-D' public pool. Maybe that's why the lifeguards can afford to be so cocky.

Other things you should know before you get your feet wet.
1. The moniker is misleading. Call me dirty-minded, but I was expecting a poolside crammed with buxom beauties, like the girl I saw coming out of the subway whose GIRLS JUST WANNA HAVE FUN tee got edited by her curves down to the more enigmatic GIRLS FUN. But so far, so very little like an MTV Girls Gone Wild shoot.

2. It's an institution, like a prison is an institution, with certain shared features. Expect to be checked for wetness before you're allowed in the pool area. Cue unpleasant flashbacks to enforced showers at school.

3. Beware the velvet rope. The sectioned-off lanes at the end of the pool seem to be VIP lanes that you can only get in if you're wearing a whistle. If you attempt to gatecrash be ready to cover your ears. If your name's not down, you're certainly not coming in without a cacophony...

But the dog days, the salad days and the summer are coming to end, and on Tuesday the Double-D pool will be drained, the bulky shower-room attendants moved on and the life guards released back into the wild. And dusty Gowanus, with its garages and corpse-clogged canal will be a sadder, quieter place for it.

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