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Uptown (Pool) Boy

5 April 2022

Much as I do love the electric energy and vibe of New York City, it's a challenging place for a traveling swimmer: there are not enough pools for the population and those that do exist are often inaccessible to the visitor (e.g., no daily access pass options) or priced very high. I'm told that the swim scene changes considerably in the summer when many outdoor pools open, but it seems I never come to the Big Apple in the summer.

This morning, though, I once again got the benefit of the great and welcoming attitude I've seen from the swimming community time and time again. I had actually chosen a hotel in the East Village that was proximate to my business meetings and two pools used by the Red Tide Masters team, a team that I had almost dropped in with years ago on a prior business trip. As last weekend unfolded, though, I started messaging them and learned that, thanks to COVID restrictions, they no longer had morning workouts at those pools. Over the course of many messages, though, it came to pass that I was able to head uptown to the Bronx ...

... to grab a very fun 3,400 yards in this pristine six lane, 25 yard pool ...

... at Hostos Community College, a long Babe Ruth home run ball's flight away from Yankee Stadium.

Beyond the wonderful workout, what was most special to me was the extra effort that one of the swimmers made to help me get here. Not only did she coordinate with the coach over the weekend to ensure that having drop-in visitors would be OK, but she sent me subway directions (multiple options) and even a version of this picture above to tell me exactly which building to walk into to find the pool (it would not have been obvious to me otherwise). Especially when you're traipsing through an unfamiliar part of the city around 6am, it's really nice to have crystal clear guidance on where to go.

Thanks, Leslie: you made the start of my Tuesday absolute perfection!


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