Posts Tagged ‘New York City beaches’

The swimmobiles that cooled off a hot city

June 5, 2014

Bathhouses, beaches, community pools, floating pools docked off the East River—you can’t say New York hasn’t made an effort over the years to keep residents cool on hot summer days.

And for those who couldn’t get to a pool, the city brought a pool to them. These were the “swimmobiles,” pools attached to a truck which could be parked on a street all day and conveniently towed away at night.

Swimmobile1960s

“‘Swimmobiles’ began during the Heckscher administration [1960s-1970s] that literally took pools to the streets to underserved areas,” says the Parks Department website.

A 1976 New York Times article stated that the city owned five mobile pools, which were towed from Randalls Island to different corners of the city. Looks like fun, no?

A packed city beach on a hot summer day

April 9, 2012

Call it the other South Beach—not the one in Miami notorious for its topless bathers but the less posh South Beach on the eastern shore of Staten Island, featuring bathers sporting wool suits in this 1920-ish (?) postcard.

Back then, it was a jam-packed resort with hotels, an amusement park, beer gardens, bathing pavillions, and a general Coney Island-like vibe.

A century later, it’s a quieter place renamed Franklin D. Roosevelt Beach with a much thinner crowd and a view of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge (not seen here, as it won’t be completed until 1964).

A fine day for a swim at Coney Island

June 26, 2009

And a pretty crowded day too. I’d guess this photo was taken in the final years of the male one-piece, chest-covering swimsuit.

Bathing suits for men and women back then were made of wool. Supposedly this was because it would reveal less of a person’s body shape when wet. It just sounds soggy.

Coneyislandswimmers20s

Any idea why this part of the beach is roped off? The water doesn’t appear to be any deeper or have more wave action than the rest of the beach in the background.