We had good intentions of rising at 7am, picking up a rental car, and going somewhere outside the city. Most New Yorkers generally can't wait to get out during the summer weekends. But not me. There's almost a relaxing hum that permeates the city, allowing those of us who've stuck around to enjoy. And summertime belongs to kids. So, when my daughter was up until 11pm on Friday night, and we decided to sleep in Saturday, I wasn't particularly stressed about hanging out.
Maybe I should have checked out the weather forecast (the heat index would have had me sweating just reading it). Maybe we should have brought our wall unit air conditioner up from the basement. But that relaxing weekend hum had been replaced by a sticky, heavy air and it quickly became obvious we were going to need to find somewhere to stay cool. All of the sudden it became clear. We were Red Hooked.
What better way to stay cool than heading to the Red Hook public pool! We could take public transportation to the massive pool, hang out for the day, and eat at the popular "Mexican Food Market" that was opening for its first day of the season at the ball fields across the street.
The pool itself holds quite a bit of history. Fun Park Fact: Legendary gangster Al Capone began his criminal career at Red Hood Park. It was originally built in 1938 for the families of dockworkers and it's located by the Red Hook Houses--the first high-rise public housing complex constructed in the city. Perhaps as a result of its location, they keep some, um, very stringent rules. But I'm getting a bit ahead of myself.
We called one of my daughter's best friends and her parents, and asked if they'd like to join us; Emma, and her Mother, Jessica, were game and they headed our way. We all then set out to catch the B61 Bus, as we don't own a car, and it appeared to be the mode of transport that would get us closest to the pool.
As we stood in the sun, watching a mess of B60 buses pass us, finally, a B61 appeared. But on the front of the bus where the final destination usually flashed were written the words, "Next Bus Please." Not an auspicious beginning. Just when we were ready to throw in the towel (we did actually have towels to throw!) the bus stopped a few feet away and the driver yelled out, "B61--hop on board!" We climbed on, and as I tried to pay our fares, the driver said, "Don't worry, just keep on moving!" When does that happen in New York?Continued on the next page