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Beat the heat in the city’s public pools

Summer fully and truly came to New York City last week as the season’s first major heat wave reached the East Coast. Temperatures bordered on 100 degrees early in the week, with temperatures remaining in the 90s well into the night.
The city issued a heat advisory for Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, and also asked that individuals try to limit their energy usage to prevent blackouts.
So besides air conditioning, what can Brooklyn and Queens residents do to beat the heat?
Answer: go to one of the boroughs’ many public pools.
A great number of city parks feature pools that are free and open to the public. However, there are a few things that you should keep in mind before heading to one of these outdoor oases.
All pools in New York City parks are open every day from 11 a.m. through 7 p.m., with a break for pool cleaning between 3 and 5 p.m.
Visitors are encouraged to bring a combination lock along with them if they hope to store their valuables in one of the provided lockers. Storage lockers are free, but fill up quickly on a first-come, first-serve basis.
The Parks Department also asks that visitors limit the amount of wrapped food, paper, and other potential litter that they bring with them to the pool.
Most importantly, bathing suits are required. This means that on-duty lifeguards will not allow plain-clothed individuals to enter the water. Nude swimming is also prohibited…for obvious reasons.
Throughout the summer, the city also offers free swimming lessons for people of all ages. This includes classes for toddlers (1 1/2 to 5 years old), children (6 to 17 years old), and adults (18 years old or older).
Some pools provide additional classes that focus on specific swimming techniques, so be sure to check out the Parks Department website to see what your local park is offering.
Brooklyn parks with pools include Betsy Head Park (Brownsville), Bushwick Playground (Bushwick), Commodore Barry Park (Downtown Brooklyn), Fox Playgrounds (Canarsie), Thomas Greene Playground (Gowanus), Gleenwood Playground (Canarsie), Howard Playground (Brownsville), Kosciusko Pool (Clinton Hill), Lindower Park (Mill Basin), McCarren Park (Greenpoint), Red Hook Pool (Red Hook), Sunset Park Pool (Sunset Park).
Queens parks with pools include Astoria Park (Astoria), Fisher Park (Flushing), Fort Totten Park (Bay Terrace), Detective Keith L Williams Park (Jamaica), Marie Curie Playground (Bayside), Lawrence Virgilio Playground (Sunnyside).

Car/pool issues

Dear Editor,
Astoria Pool will open on June 26. That’s good news, but not for everyone. Unfortunately, many seniors will be denied enjoying this summertime pleasure.
The steep stairs and steps at the main entrance to the pool on 19th Street are too difficult for many seniors to negotiate. So for many years pool management has allowed seniors to enter the pool at a rear gate on Shore Boulevard.
Now with the closure of Shore Boulevard to vehicles, seniors will not be able to park there. The lot in the park is not viable as there is a steep hill from there to the Shore Boulevard gate.
I know of one senior who recently suffered a serious leg injury and will be unable to swim in the pool unless parking is available on Shore Boulevard. After more than 50 years of enjoying Astoria Pool, she will be shut out.
Many seniors will be unable to take part in the senior swim program and other activities at the pool.
This is just another example of how our senior population is becoming increasingly isolated as the city continues to close more and more streets, eliminate parking spaces for bicycle lanes and racks, and allow restaurant kiosks to proliferate in the streets.
I urge the Department of Transportation to reopen Shore Boulevard to automobiles, at least during the pool season.
Sincerely,
Richard Nebenzahl
Astoria

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