In what's sure to be the event of Summer 2012 (ok, maybe not), Mayor Bloomberg will be cutting the ribbon on the much-anticipated McCarren Pool and "Play Center" in just a few moments, re-opening the swimming hole for the first time in 28 years, and Curbed is on the scene. Will the renovation blow our socks off? Will we accidentally "fall" into the pool? Will Bloomberg dive in? Here now, an up-to-the-minute account of the event:
9:25: Big turn out! Lots of residents/excited people! Talk about a perfect day for a pool opening.
9:27: The water fountains look very tempting.
9:30: Kids are already swimming! So incredibly jealous.
9:32: Kid 1: "Oh, there's Mayor Bloomberg."
Kid 2: "Where?"
Kid 1: "Up there!" *pointing*
Kid 2: "What? Where the hell do you see him?"
Kid 1: "Right there! He's waving. He's just small."
Kid 2: "I want to dive in the pool."
9:35 Ceremony has yet to start. Pool is looking realllly inviting. To just about every single person here.
9:37 Lots of lifeguards on duty. All wearing bright orange shorts and tshirts. All looking very bored.
9:40: Overheard in the press box:
"I should have worn my suit! They might let us in."
"Bloomie's going in!"
"No, but Marty would do it."
"I should have brought a hat. This sun is really hot"
"So you think Obama is gonna get shot down today by the supreme court?"
9:41:Probably should have put on sunscreen. It is getting quite toasty while waiting for this show to get going. At least there is a breeze!
9:43 First lifeguard whistle heard! Not sure about what, as no one is in the pool...
9:45: While we wait for Bloomberg, some impressions: the pool looks very big, even with no people in it. The locker rooms look nice (hopefully that will last!) but we haven't made it inside yet. There are a lot of flags around the pool. Both of the American variety and the Parks Department variety.
9:50: Definitely way more American flags. You'd think this was a 4th of July celebration.
9:53: Finally! Starting!
9:54: Bloomberg: "We're going to make waves today!" "Soon we will splash down."
9:55: Bloomberg calls it "McClarren Pool." Someone in the crowd shouts, "It's McCarren!"
9:56: He says McClarren again. Loads of people shout "McCarren!" He looks confused. Someone leans over and says, "It's McCarren." Bloomberg says, "Oh, what'd I say?"
9:57: Bloomberg says there is still time for adults to sign up for lap swimming. "Who knows, this may be your chance to see Marty Markowitz pefecting his butterfly!"
9:58: Soon-to-be not-Parks Commissioner Adrian Benepe takes the mic.
10:01: Marty takes the mic, "Williamsburg-Greenpoint, we're showing you some love." He also tells Benepe they'll miss him a lot. "You've been just about the best we could ever dream about!" Awww, it's a love-fest all around.
10:03: Marty: "You already know Brooklyn is the coolest city on the planet because of GQ mag, and now we're going to swim laps around everyone else!"
10:05: Small child pokes at the water spout hole where the fountains will shoot up from on the "beach." Desperately asks his mom "why isn't this working?!" "Because everyone is standing here right now." Kid looks super sad, runs over to another spout and crouches near it. Sees no water, lets out a shriek, then starts running in circles around it. Continues shrieking & running.
10:08: There is a lot of talking & not a lot of swimming.
10:09 Naked child! Put some clothes on that baby.
10:10: Moving the cameras & press people to the other side of the pool for the jumping-in photo op.
10:13: And the swim teams are in!! So jealous of them.
10:17: Lots of camera anchors trying to get sound bites from kids. They have such insight as "It feels really great!" "It's colder than I thought." "Guys, I'm gonna go under!"
10:18: Didn't realize how shallow it is. The whole pool is only 3 feet 10 inches deep.
10:19: Kid talking to a camera lady: "This is the biggest pool I've ever been in!" Lady: "Have you ever seen such a big pool?" Other kid: "Never in my life!!!"
10:20: More press conferencing. Someone asks about Obamacare. Really? We're at a pool opening here. Not City Hall.
10:25: The beautiful scenery:
10:26: Put a toe in the pool! It feels awesome. Would really really like to dive in.
10:27: Pool tours are starting. Residents are allowed in.
10:28: It's going to be very hard to return to the office...
10:33: The spectators are clearing out, and more people are getting in the pool.
10:34: Oh, snacks!
10:35: Darn, just for the school kids & families.
10:38: Joined a tour! All the wood on the locker rooms was taken from the Coney Island Boardwalk.
10:40: And we're in air conditioning!
10:41: The rec center is free for kids under 17, but adults need a membership, which is $100 a year. There's a class room, computer research room, game room, fitness center, and weight center, all with brand new equipment.
10:48: They are giving out bricks from the old building. Hm, no thanks.
10:50: Heading out, the public is clamoring to get in. We're taking the stairs to the roof.
And here's the view!
10:56: Ok, Curbed out. Next time, we'll be back to swim!