- A mock up of the backyard
As NYC urban dwellers, the fierce adoration we share for our city is rivaled only by our desire for greener pastures—literally, some nature to play in. The Participation Agency is working to address that with the city’s first “timeshare backyard.” That’s right, starting this weekend, a patch of suburbia can be all yours for an afternoon on the Lower East Side, on Ludlow Street, between Orchard and Rivington. The yard is rent by-the-hour, and includes all the necessities: BBQ grill and coolers, hammocks, lounge chairs, hula hoops, and of course, squirt guns (duh). You could split the $100 hourly fee among your 30 guests and have yourself a pretty sweet little Saturday.
The McCarren Park Pool was one of the eleven massive public pools built as WPA projects during the Depression; it opened in the summer of ’36, with a capacity of 6,800 swimmers. The pool declined with its neighborhood in the postwar years, closing in 1984, but the massive vacant space was rediscovered by enterprising Williamsburgers in the mid-aughts. It’s been featured in movies, and hosted them (it was the original venue for Summerscreen), as well as summer concerts (and dodgeball and waterslides). After a $50 million renovation, begun in 2009, the swimming pool will reopen with the rest of the city’s outdoor pools on June 28, after the end of the school year.
On a recent sweltering afternoon, we stood on Bedford and North 7th,
and asked passersby: Are you excited? Will you actually go?