They say Astoria is where you go to have it all: great food, more space, cheaper rent. But it’s the Astoria pool that really seals the deal.
This gem sandwiched between Astoria Park and the East River offers that lovely, lazy, classic day-at-the-pool day, right here in New York.
Kids scream playfully in Spanish and English as they fail to escape in games of tag. Adults splash gently through the lap swim lane. A rainbow of towels brightens the pool’s edge.
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And the pool din is punctuated by short, reprimanding whistles of orange-clad lifeguards keeping a watchful eye as their off-duty colleagues flirt on the sideline.
Even the snack bar is the stuff of memories: Get hot dogs or hamburgers made to order, or go straight to the ice cream case for a rock-hard ice-cream cookie sandwich or the pink-pebbled Strawberry Shortcake bar. There’s also coffee — phew.
Good thing they’ve got all the goodies because you can’t bring in your own food. That’s high on the long list of rules on what you must and must not carry with you when visiting any city pool.
Musts include a bathing suit, to be shown at entry, and a combination lock to secure your other belongings within the vast, dank changing rooms. For the unprepared, locks, suits and more are available to buy at a stand outside.
The list of contraband includes glass bottles, newspapers (we broke this rule) and, amazingly, phones and other electronic devices.
The technology-free zone forces you to keep track of your people analog-style. Inevitably this leads to intercom announcements like: “Laura, please come meet your boyfriend under the clock. He’s waiting for you.”
You know what else is waiting for you? Summer. And it won’t stick around for long.
Off you go.
All public outdoor pools open for the season on June 27. The Astoria pool will then be open seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.