Note: General swim at all outdoor public pools is limited to 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 4 to 7 p.m. daily, owing to the national lifeguard shortage.
For a Neighborhood Spot
Hamilton Fish Pool, Houston and Pitt Sts., Hamilton Fish Park
One summer, project manager Alexandra Gagné made it her mission to visit all of the city’s original 11 WPA–funded public pools. Finding Hamilton Fish was a revelation: She couldn’t believe that an Olympic-size pool existed just off Houston Street on the Lower East Side. Other people seem to have the same reaction to the pool. Hamilton Fish is “very empty compared to other pools,” Madden says. “It always feels like you’ve found this little hidden oasis.” A brick Beaux-Arts building that walls off the pool from the rest of the city adds to its tucked-away feel. “It feels like a country-club pool,” says Mabus — one that made a great spot for some of her first dates with her partner. Nora Cronin, who swims for Team New York Aquatics, loves that the swimmers reflect the community: “Folks from Chinatown use the facility alongside hipsters from the East Village. It’s an amazing way to be swimming next to your neighbor and to see the whole city come together in one public recreation space.”
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