Swimming in the Interim Period
May 15, 2013

Swimming in the Interim Period

To right this wrong, we recently trekked up to Riverbank State Park, the only state park in Manhattan and one of seven in New York City. Located between 138th and 145th Streets and Riverside Drive, Riverbank sits—incongruously enough—atop a waste-treatment facility. But thanks to the stunning Hudson River views, tree-covered landscapes, numerous ball fields, playgrounds, community garden plots, and an Olympic-sized indoor pool you would never know it. The rooftop concept comes from similar facilities in Japan where urban space is as precious as it is in New York.

Pools: Remember the Rules

Before plunging back into the city pool scene, revisit the rules as posted on the web because there’s no shortage of them. At Riverbank and all city-run pools (whether indoors or outdoors) swimmers must wear a proper bathing suit and cannot bring more than a towel onto the pool deck. Bring a padlock to safeguard your clothes, shoes, devices, and all other personal belongings in the locker room. Flotation devices and water toys are also prohibited, even kickboards for swimming practice. No matter the restrictions, going swimming is always great fun. 

With that out of the way, it’s time to ease into the water and enjoy!  When Riley and Halina last had swim lessons in the fall, they both had coordinated kicking and arm movements, and they were comfortable floating on their backs. Not so the other weekend. Initially they were both holding onto the sides of the pool to shinny along the perimeter. They were having great fun doing this, but since the idea was to restore and build skills, we integrated kicking, then arm movements, and finally we helped them do laps up and down the length of the pool.

With all of this, an hour flew by!  Initially Riley and Halina were the only children in the water, but by the time we left around 2 pm, there were about ten kids splashing around.

Logistics

Family swim at Riverbank is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturdays, and 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sundays through June 27. The pool complex is located on the western edge, overlooking the Hudson River, behind the enormous soccer field that is in the center of the park.

Purchase tickets in the recreation building, located behind the domed ice rink, diagonally across from the pool complex heading northeast. Entrance costs $2 for people 16 years and older, $1 for children between ages 5 and 15, and is free for children 4 and under.

The city Parks Department maintains five indoor pools in Manhattan, one in the Bronx, two in Brooklyn, and two in Queens. You must be a Recreation Center member to use the facilities; membership is $150 per year for adults and children under age 18 are free.

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