So last night marked the final Summer Screen. And I don’t just mean “final” as in the last one of the summer, although that is the case. I say “final” because it seems that soon enough, the McCarren Park Pool will be filled with something other than hipsters—agua. I suppose this is just as well, considering pools generally have water in them, but there was something so great about this empty rectangle. Most likely my fondness for this space was due to the fact that for once in my life, my feet were able to touch the bottom of a pool! And it was ok that my swimming abilities don’t exactly go beyond a pretty fancy doggy paddle.

Public pools and I go way back. Growing up in the suburbs on Connecticut, we belonged to a town pool club, but my positive memories of our membership seem to be of pretty much everything except the pool itself. I loved going to the pool because it meant there was an ice cream cookie sandwich in my future. The ice cream truck was very reliable, probably because it had to be. If you think about it, the ice cream man (or woman, although let’s be real, it’s never really a woman, is it?) holds the power to break so many young hearts. Kids love ice cream. They love it in all forms—sandwiches, popsicles, cones, sundaes, even tiny little balls (personal shout-out to Dippin’ Dots: The Ice Cream of the Future). And if the ice cream man decides to take a little vacation, or even a day off from reporting to its child-filled locales, there is going to be a bit of a problem. How easy is it to look into a child’s eyes, so melancholy, so dejected, and say “I’m sorry, Frankie, guess there’s no ice cream today…”? Well I could do that quite easily considering I’m less than fond of children, but for others, this could be difficult.

But Although I was down with the ice cream truck at the pool club (this was before lactose intolerance decided to slap me in the face), the excitement I felt after my mom’s announcement of a trip to the pool was more game-related than food-related. As you could probably tell from my last post, I’m also pretty down with board games, and going to the pool meant packing up the special “pool game bag.” Filled to the brim, this bag held treasures fit for use only at the pool. It just wouldn’t be right to play Connect-Four on a surface other than a wet towel. After Sylvie and I had exhausted dropping plastic chips into the yellow “chip cage” (for loss of a better name), we took out the cards for a few rounds of UNO. Don’t even try to tell me you don’t like UNO. That’s just not American. Actually the name implies it’s Spanish. Hmm…

So maybe the returning of the original McCarren Park Pool ain’t so bad. If I can block out the sound of screaming children I might even pack up a tote with a towel and my old box of Connect-Four, although the kids might not recognize it considering their generation probably plays it online. Or a strip version.