Friday, June 28, 2013

Pool Fail

Anna June had been asking to do one of the things on our Summer Bucket List, which was to visit our neighborhood pool.

Ben was incredulous that we rarely, if ever, visited this pool when we were kids. After visiting, though, I think he found out why. It's just kind of crummy.

We were the first people there, although the pool opens at noon, and we arrived at one o'clock. We stayed until after 2, when I started to sunburn again. AJ enjoyed showing off her new "bobbing" skills, and she practiced lots of the things she's been learning in swim lessons. She was eager to tell her teacher that she practiced. One of the main reasons we decided to even go was to help her gain the "confidence" she lacked that was pointed out on the progress report. Ben wasn't impressed with her progress, but I could tell a huge difference from when we were just in the pool on our trip to Florida. He spent more time in the ocean than I did with her, but I was in the pool with her both times, and he wasn't.

Crestwood park recently underwent major renovations. The deck of the pool was enlarged, but there is no furniture. People can "lay out" on their towels beside the pool, inside the fence, but that's it. City of Birmingham, we would have stayed a little longer if there was a place to rest.

Secondly - and this bothered Ben a lot more than it bothered me - the pool looks dirty. The water is clean, but the pool itself sat empty for a year or two, and evidently the scum that grew on the bottom left its mark. It was not repainted or's just kinda gross looking.

Thirdly, there were a bunch of strange rules, policies, and quirks.
1. You have to leave your stuff outside the gate. Everything: flip flops, towels, phones, etc. There are no lockers, but they will give you a hanging mesh bag. We declined this service as we had our own bag.
2. Showering before entering the pool - pretty standard, but the showers were in the restrooms. I thought most pools just had outside things that everyone used.
3. In the restrooms, there were no doors on the stalls. I neither want to watch someone or have someone watch me conduct my restroom business, thank you very much.
4. You can't wear t-shirts in the pool. The staff member explained that this is for safety reasons, because if a lifeguard needs to grab you it's easier to do without a shirt on. We spotted a family there, who, I swear, wore street clothes in the pool. I guess it's OK to wear a tank top if that is your swimsuit.
5. Profanity is strictly forbidden, although I distinctly heard a staff member swear. Well, I probably would swear, too, if I worked there.

Of course, it only costs one dollar per person to visit this pool. There were at least 5, possibly 6 staff members on duty when we arrived. Which means that, with all the visitors we saw, maybe there was one half of one of their wages covered by entrance fees.

On the plus side, the staff was friendly. The guy we talked to was grilling out, and he was happy to tell us that Sundays are usually really slow. He told us they have swim lessons at 10 and 11 am on weekdays, and they usually open more like 12:30 instead of 12, giving the staff a chance to rest and clean up before the regular customers come in. He said he has no clue why furniture is not allowed, though he was happy to explain the t-shirt/safety thing.

Ben vows to show me a "real" public pool in Milwaukee when we go. Nonetheless, I am glad that there's a functioning place in our neighborhood, affordable to all, where kids can go to get cooled off in this heat.


Anonymous said...

Wow! We will walk to McCarty Park and go to the pool there when you guys visit. They just replaced the lining, diving boards, and added huge covered sun-umbrellas.

They used to have furniture, although I can't recall if they do now. They took out the mini-slides, which also sucks, but it is a really nice pool, still!

There ARE also doors on the bathroom stalls and there were lockers, at least the last time I visited it, which was ages ago.

~Auntie Nonny~

Laura Gallitz said...

Sounds great! We'll add it to our must do list!

Anonymous said...

Hey! AT least it didn't have poop floating in it! ( as happened once in the worst pool I have ever been in.) Usually around here. the pools are so crowded that it is really hard to have any're constantly avoiding the rowdy kids. Give me a lake with its' mysteriously murky bottom of ]sand and seaweed and throw in a couple of fish nibbling my toes , any day!!

Laura Gallitz said...

Yeah, public pools are hard to love. Lots of people around here have private pools, and usually, when we were kids, we went swimming in those. But it sure did look tempting every day when we drove past Underwood Park or Crestwood Park and saw those kids having fun!