Housing Complex

Pool Report: A Few Brave Souls (Gray Not Among Them) Kick Off the Summer Season

Mayor Vince Gray demonstrates a stroke from the safety of the lifeguard seat.

This is the first post in an occasional summer series on the city's public pools. Stay tuned.

It's time to take a dip in your neighborhood pool. So decrees Mayor Vince Gray. The weather gods disagree. You, presumably, do too.

Gray officially kicked off the summer pool season this morning with a press conference at the rain-speckled, windswept Harry Thomas Sr. Pool on Lincoln Road NE. Surrounded by a group of swimsuit-wearing children, shivering in the 57-degree rain, Gray proclaimed it "a beautiful day in the neighborhood" and announced the opening of 19 outdoor pools, four children's pools, and 11 spray parks beginning tomorrow.

As a goosebumped lifeguard's umbrella was toppled over by the powerful winds, nearly injuring her, Gray egged on the children and city officials around him. "We have two groups: those who will jump in, and those who if they hesitate too long will be pushed in," he said.

Then he hoisted himself up onto a lifeguard's chair and watched as the freezing children and a small group of his city officials—including the directors of the departments of parks and recreation, human services—plunged into the pool.

  • Will

    Funny, because if it was any other day on a DC public pool deck, Gray, and everyone else would have been denied entry to the pool deck for not having on proper swim attire. I think it's a decent policy up until the point where they tell a parent or grandparent they have to put on swimwear to be on deck while their children swim. I ran into a situation where someone I was with was recovering from recent surgery, and 1) wasn't going swimming, and 2) was self conscious about the scarring. The lifeguards told her she couldn't be on deck to watch her grandchild swim, which just about broke her heart for a moment. There was no observation deck in that pool either.

    DCPR needs to fine tune that rule to be a bit more flexible. Maybe allow adults that are supervising children only.