Throwback Thursday: A Fresh Dip in Central Park


Photographer unknown / Museum of the City of New York. X2010.11.1405.

Way back in the day, people would take a dip on a hot day in the swimmin’ holes in Central Park. This photo from the Museum of the City of New York was taken in 1910. It’s not clear from the picture exactly which of Central Park’s seven water bodies is depicted.

These days, the best place to take a dip is at Lasker Pool. You’re less likely to encounter a Central Park snapping turtle there.

See other Throwback Thursday posts here.

HISTORY, OUTDOORS | 8 comments | permalink
    1. LAS says:

      The photo was taken of the rocky area just slightly north of the boathouse.

      • Peter says:

        Yes, I think you nailed it. (But you mean west of the boathouse, right? North would be up into the Ramble.)

    2. Billy Amato says:

      WSR I know it’s Central Park, do you know what area of the lake?
      I was thinking West 77 Street/ near Lady Pavilion?
      Awesome knickers on the boy… reminds me of my rock group The Young Rascals.

    3. dannyboy says:

      My Father-in-Law swam in the East River as a boy.

      • UWS_lifer says:

        There is a brilliant George Carlin rant about how he and all the kids in the neighborhood (he grew up in Morningside Heights, W 121 St.) used to swim in the Hudson River and that’s why no one ever got Polio or other diseases of the time. Their immune systems were super powered because they were exposed to literal raw sewage, etc.

        It’so funny and the language is MUCH more graphic in true Carlin style. I highly recommend it to everyone. He was the best!
        RIP George.

        If anyone is interested….start it at 2:45.

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X29lF43mUlo

        • dannyboy says:

          “What we have now is the feeling, the illusion, that what we want is to trade away our freedoms for the illusion of security”

          WOW!

      • AT says:

        Kramer : Well, my swimming pool problems are solved. I just found myself miles and miles of open lanes.
        Jerry : What is that smell?
        Kramer : That’s East River.
        Jerry : You’re swimming in the East River? The most heavily trafficked, overly contaminated waterway on the eastern seaboard?
        Kramer : Technically Norfolk has more gross tonnage.
        Jerry : How could you swim in that water?
        Kramer : I saw a couple of other guys out there.
        Jerry : Swimming?
        Kramer : Floating, they weren’t moving much. But they were out there.

    4. geoff says:

      Is nobody aware that people still swim in local waters, just like the old days?

      There’s a famous cliff jump up in Inwood, and you can watch some kids jumping here:

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HAA1uixZJFI