Brooklyn’s most beloved public pool is open for the season — and it’s a serious splash!
Within the first 48 hours of city pools opening, more than 1,700 people — enough to fill the Bell House three times — cooled off at Gowanus’s Douglas and Degraw pool, lovingly known as the Double D.
The cool respite for thousands of inner city kids, found on Nevins Street between Douglas and Degraw streets, opened on Wednesday, much to the excitement of neighbors who warred with the city after it threatened to shutter the pool last summer.
“I am so happy it reopened!” gushed Sara Wyse on the pool’s Facebook page. “Yay!”
And to think the pool was once on the city’s chopping block.
Last June — a few weeks before a record-breaking heat wave hit — the city said it would close the cherished swimming nook to save $1.4 million, citing the pool’s low attendance figures (even though numbers later emerged showing the pool had 37,000 visitors in 2009).
Residents from both nearby housing projects and across Brownstone Brooklyn were furious, claiming that the city had hung them out to dry.
But after a few hard-hitting Brooklyn Paper articles, several rallies and even a 570-member “Don’t Close Double D” Facebook page emerged, residents and elected officials including Councilman Steve Levin (D–Brooklyn Heights) were able to convince the city to re-jigger the budget and spare the pool.
The Double D was funded again this year — and it looks like city administrators are beginning to see what everyone else does after a refreshing dip.
“[It’s] an oasis in an otherwise gritty industrial area,” admitted Brooklyn Parks Commissioner Kevin Jeffrey, who worked with the mayor to keep the pool filled.
The Double D — which is open daily inside Thomas Greene Playground from 11 am to 7 pm — will celebrate its summer opening this afternoon with live music from the jam band Omar’s Boat, a barbecue and face painting for the kids.
Double D pool opening celebration [Nevins Street between Douglas and Degraw streets in Gowanus], July 2, 2:30-5 pm. Free.