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Pool Picks

It's a hot, muggy Saturday, and everyone's left town. You could curl up with your air conditioner and think of bad things that happen to people who spend weekends at the beach—or indulge in some sun and cool water yourself. Pack sunblock, a suit, and a lock for your locker and head to one of these day-rate dunks.

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Updated June 2005

Asphalt Green Aqua Center has a 50-meter Olympic-size pool—a glass-enclosed swimmer's dream. When you tire of laps, check out classes or the juice bar. A rooftop sun terrace overlooks the river—how's that for a view? $25 for adults, $15 for seniors, $8 for kids under 17. Closed on weekdays, 3-8 p.m.
1750 York Ave., at 91st St. (212-369-8890).

Asser Levy Recreation Center Hit the pool first thing in the morning for early-bird laps—or stop by after work (it's open until 9:30 p.m. on weekdays, 4:45pm on weekends). For a day of frolicking, pack some sandwiches and spend the day splashing around with neighborhood youngsters who congregate at this city-owned pool in the afternoon. Best part: it's totally free!
E. 23rd St. and Asser Levey Dr. (212-447-2020).

Carnegie Park has a cute, quiet fifteen-yard pool, huge windows, and a glorious sundeck and lawn. They don't sell food or drinks, but it's a top place to relax and take in some rays (and a post-sun sauna or steam in the particularly swank locker room). Members only, but bring in this page over the summer and you can try it once for $12, $6 for kids under 15.
200 E. 94th St. (212-423-0300).

Chelsea Piers The fee is a little stiff here—$50 a day—but it gets you access to all of the Piers' world-class facilities: For starters, there's a six-lane, 75-foot pool; an indoor sand volleyball court; a quarter-mile indoor track; and two sundecks overlooking the Hudson River.
West Side Hwy at 22nd St. (212-336-6000).

Le Parker Meridien A full day of relaxation at this luxury hotel's pool-spa complex will cost you $50, but you'll get your money's worth taking in the rays, and views of Central Park, from the sundeck above the glass-enclosed pool. Guests have full access to the 17,000-square-foot fitness center and poolside food-and-beverage service.
119 W. 56th St. (212-708-7340).

Manhattan Plaza's bustling 25-yard pool also has a retractable roof; on sunny days, it goes alfresco. Hot tubs, steam rooms, saunas, a poolside shower, and a sundeck with café service make for a fab spa day. Members only; bring this page to try it once for $35, Monday through Friday only.
482 W. 43rd St. (212-563-7001).

Riverbank State Park Perched 69 feet above the Hudson River, this spot features panoramic views of the George Washington Bridge and the Jersey Palisades, as well as an indoor Olympic-size pool. Bring the family, and make a day of it (kids under 4 years are free, under 15 years are $1, seniors, 62 and over are $1, and adults are $2).
679 Riverside Dr., at 145th St. (212-694-3600).

Sheraton Manhattan Hotel's twenty-yard glass-enclosed pool and sundeck area are nothing fancy, but you can't beat the location for a lunch-hour dip, tan session, workout, and sauna. Surrounding skyscrapers limit sunlight except at midday. $40 for adults, free for kids under 18.
790 Seventh Ave., near 52nd St. (212-621-8591).

Tony Dapolito Recreation Center From June 25th to Labor Day, this 65-by 25-yard outdoor public pool is the best of its kind. It's on one of the leafiest, brownstone-iest blocks in the West Village. You can leave your wallet at home (it's free), but don't forget a towel and a lock for your locker.
1 Clarkson St., nr. Varick (212-242-5228).

Waterside Swim & Health Club, a country-clubby, kid-friendly place, has a twelve-yard lap pool, saunas, and a weight room. Snacks for the sundeck can be bought at a restaurant in the building. Bring your own towel. It's usually $20 for adults, $10 for kids 6 to 17, no charge for kids under 6 (one visit per person—after that, you have to join).
35 Waterside Plaza, FDR Dr. near 25th St. (212-340-4225).

See also:
Rooftop Pool Guide


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