The sweltering heat is killing me just like everyone else. I’ve spent a disproportionate number of hours with the AC running, much to my annoyance. But there are two things in particular that have given me solace this summer: the weekly lobster feasts at Rocky Sullivan’s pub in Red Hook and the Double-D pool.
Lobster no doubt speaks for itself. What’s not to love about a fresh Maine lobster cooked by the Red Hook Lobster Pound crew and dished up with corn, a teeny container of coleslaw or potato salad, a bib and a mound of napkins for cleanup – followed by a whoopie pie for dessert – all for $25. With a Sixpoint Ale at hand and a table of friends outside on Rocky’s sprawling rooftop you really can’t go wrong. This weekly dinner – lobsters are Friday and Saturday nights only – are a great way to get together with people and include the kids. Who doesn’t like lobster- especially when you can crack and suck and gnaw out in the open without worrying too much about the clean up?
The other almost daily destination that has saved many a scorching day is the local pool. Not some fancy country club or beach house out East, but a New York City public pool, one that came distressingly close to being closed because of budget cuts before the swim season even started this year. Thankfully Mayor Bloomberg and co had the sense to keep open the Double D, so named because of its location between Douglass and Degraw Streets, and Nevins Street and Third Avenue. Its dubious position, nestled amongst derelict industrial buildings and just across the Gowanus Canal, has helped keep it a bit of a secret watering hole for as long as I’ve lived in Carroll Gardens.
The first time I took my children there a summer ago, we embarked on an adventure, strolling down the street in just our swimsuits and towels, past the old men huddled outside C-Town and across not-so-salubrious streets into something of a wasteland butting the Gowanus, the now Superfund site-and aspiring Venice of Brooklyn. The pool is not in the prettiest spot, and it’s not easy to find unless you’re willing to venture outside your usual zone. The rigid rules that go with a City pool can also deter a lot of people – from only allowing white tees and hats to banning cell phones in the pool area. But traveling light (swimsuit, towel, that’s it) and going early all make it worthwhile. It really is a neighborhood oasis.
We’ve been to the pool at least every second day since school ended, sometimes for a full four-hour session and other days for just a quick dip before dinner. It’s worth knowing that children can have a free, school-style lunch, too, if you are there through lunch hours. It’s usually a sandwich, fruit and a carton of chocolate milk – not especially appetizing, but enough to tide waterlogged children over until they get home.
The Double-D pool is open daily until Labor Day. There are two swim sessions: 11am-3pm and 4pm -7pm. For pool rules and information ring 718 625 3268.
Rocky Sullivan’s is at 34 Van Dyke Street, at Dwight Street, 718 246 8050. If you can’t make it to Rockys but still want lobster, head to the Red Hook Lobster Pound at 284 Van Brunt Street, 646 326 7650.