The city chased away the summertime blues this week, declaring that the Douglass-Degraw Pool is no longer on the budgetary chopping block — despite attendance figures that were worse than the numbers that forced the closure threat in the first place.
“We have no plans to close any pools next season at this time,” according to Parks Department spokeswoman Meghan Lalor.
If true, it comes as a bit of a surprise, given that attendance was slightly off, despite a campaign to save the pool at Third Avenue and Nevins Street, an unprecedented initiative that included Facebook, rallies, petitions and even the “Hotties of the Double-D,” our weekly salute to the men and the women who make the pool worthy of salvation.
The city said that 37,511 people visited the pool in 2010, compared to 37,838 in 2009.
Making the data even more startling is that the National Weather Service declared the summer of 2010 the hottest on record in New York City.
So even with the city’s firm assurance, the numbers worry pool enthusiasts.
“I am surprised by it,” said Gowanus resident Sam Neely, who set up the “Don’t Close Double-D Pool” Facebook page to save the watering hole.
He was at a loss to explain the dip in numbers.
“The attendance seemed pretty high on the weekends,” he said. “I would have assumed that more people would have learned about the pool through our Facebook group. I didn’t think the upper middle class people of Park Slope knew about it, and I thought that by all these people getting active, they would have found out about the pool.”
Meanwhile, in a slap in the face of the Double-D, attendance was up at the larger Red Hook pool, from 93,365 last year to 94,737 in 2010.
Double-D lifeguard Luis Lecodet (who incidentally was one of our “Hotties”) said he has been too busy working to get caught up in a numbers game.
“I had my hands full,” he said. “I don’t have time to pay attention. Nobody got hurt this year, and hopefully, they will come back and enjoy it again next year.”