Before I identified as a New Yorker, during my salad days on the North Shore of Massachusetts, I fantasized about moving here—the exhausting summer days, narrated by the superfluous chit-chat of haute-as-hell socialite-types over Negronis at Locanda Verde and the half-baked sales pitches of the drained and destitute; not to mention the nostril-stinging stench of the boiling hot city air. From above, in the summertime, the streets of New York look like grill marks on a massive hunk of meat.
It’s hotter than the devil’s smartphone in New York between the months of June and September, and with a population of nearly nine million people, the need for some damn relief is pretty huge. New Yorkers can cool off in one of 34 outdoor pools, 19 outdoor mini-pools and 12 indoor pools in the New York City parks system. They’re all free and open to the public throughout the summer until Labor Day. The day I went to visit Archie, Jeff, and Dong at PlayLab in Brooklyn, it was sweltering. Beads of sweat were dripping down my face, my balls were stuck to my inner thigh and I felt like I was suffering from an unending series of mini strokes because I stubbornly refuse to wear shorts. Ever.
Luckily, PlayLab is cooled by a bootleg AC unit that looks like a robotic anteater. We chilled there for a while, ate some tortas, and had some laughs before heading down to Brooklyn Bridge Park to check out a possible location for Plus Pool. After we got their, the dudes alerted me to the fact that they'd been booted out of the park before for filming, despite the fact that they've worked closely with the park over the last year. Inspired by this irony, I decided I had to pull some Herzogian shit to get them kicked out of the park on camera to make the piece for VICE more badass. Eventually, the park fuzz did show up but much to my chagrin they didn't give a damn that we were shooting at all. They just parked their little police car thing near us and took a stroll. Oh well, next time.
Watch the first episode of Motherboard's new series, Futurestructures featuring Plus Pool here.