Staying Cool in NYC for Free


Summer in New York City can be brutal. The trains are packed, the streets are congested and drops of water falling from the window AC’s just don’t make the cut when needing a cool down. When a large body of water is all you really want, head to one of these places and enjoy the FREE cool because staying cool in NYC is critical.

McCarren Park Pool

Multiple bag checks and ‘guards’ everywhere you turn, one would think you are passing through airport security just to take a dip in this Brooklyn Pool.

There are more dont’s than do’s at this public pool but with a little perseverance, dunking your whole body into the clean water is like a mini baptism as the heavens open up.

Thanks to all the rules and regulations, the pool and its surroundings are very clean which always makes it more pleasant. During school holidays, there will be children EVERYWHERE so do keep that in mind.

Now for the things you can bring in to the pool with you. This list is shorter than the can not’s. You may wear your bikini and shoes in to the pool area and carry your towel, sunglasses, bottle of (only) water in a clear container, and reading material. You may wear only a white t-shirt, if you require clothes as other colors run into the pool water. Camera or phone’s with any camera are a big fat no as well.

Once we passed the lengthy interrogation standing vulnerable in our swimwear, it was really nice to have water so close at hand as we sat in 110% humidity.

776 Lorimer St, Brooklyn, (between Bayard Street and Driggs Avenue)

Daily 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., 4:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m

RockawayRockaway Beach

Recovering well from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, this has to be the easiest way to get out of town without actually getting out of town.

Hop on the downtown A train all the way to Rockaway and find yourself miles away from any sight of Manhattan’s dream creating concrete jungle. The S train will pick you up from Broad Channel and take you along the beach all the way to 116th street.

If the lines all the way down the street and round the corner are any indication, Rockaway Taco’s is the hipster foodie place to be. If lines aren’t your thing, the pop up stalls at 96th street beach could give Ibiza a run for its money with a DJ pumping beats and a fully stocked bar.

After you spend the day on the sand, spend the afternoon and evening sitting back and chilling out at uber cool Rockaway Beach Surf Club surfer haven.

As for coming home, nothings better than hitchin’ a ride on the Jamaican party bus run by Alexis Van Line that takes you back in to the city for $6 complete with a TV tuned to reggae music videos.

Overall the day at Rockaway was a great day escape from city complete with beach vibes but for this Sydney girl who grew up on some of the most beautiful beaches in the world it will always be hard to live up to those treasures.

Central Park

My prime spot of choice is Sheep Meadow in Central Park. For New Yorkers, the city becomes their beach in the summer. It is not unusual to see locals laying out in bikinis on grassy knolls and green sanctuary’s within their urban zoo.

On the Street

One to tick of the bucket list is the prized photographic image of kids dancing around the outburst of water from an open fire hydrant cooling off from the sticky city summer.

Steph_profHerstory is a weekly column on women and travel by Steph Ridhalgh. Steph is a Sydney born; New York based television producer and travel blogger. Not one for being quiet for too long she simply loves talking about travel and lifestyle.

Steph is the founder of STEP(h) ABROAD, a travel and lifestyle resource for those who love to be in the know and know how.

Connect with her on the web, Facebook and Twitter.

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