NYPD Uses Pepper Spray In McCarren Pool Melee

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We told ourselves we were going to take a break from posting horror stories about the McCarren Park Pool after it’s first week of long lines, fights, theft, increased police presence, and feces. But the pool made news again hours ago when the NYPD had to use pepper spray against bathers before shutting down the site.

The Daily News has video of the incident, but not a whole lot of details. Apparently around 6:15 p.m. unruly teens began forcing their way into the pool, which was at capacity. Both lifeguards and police tried to stop them, to no avail. That’s when things got ugly. A police officer may have tried to forcibly remove a teen, causing his cohorts to “come rushing in.” The cop responded with pepper spray.

Three arrests were made and the incident gets added to the list of reasons why no one is happy about this pool.

These Summer Camp Movies Will Get You In The Mood

When you finish school and start working a 9 to 5, it becomes harder to tell when summer begins. Now that July 4th has come and gone, here are some sleepaway camp movies to help kick things off and remind you of that time when summer was more than seasonal beers and leaving work early on Fridays.

1. Wet Hot American Summer: It’s everyone’s favorite movie about a group of counselors on the last day of camp. The team from The State/Stella is at their funniest, plus it’s set in the ’80s. There don’t seem to be any local WHAS parties happening this year (correct us if we’re wrong!), but it is streaming on Netflix. Plus there’s also the recently-announced prequel to look forward to.

2. Heavyweights: This mid-’90s movie sometimes gets overlooked because it’s Disney, but it was co-written by Judd Apatow and his “male misfits” theme foreshadows Freaks and Geeks, Undeclared, The 40 Year Old Virgin, and plenty more. It follows a group of kids at a fat camp taken over by Ben Stiller’s Tony Perkis. It’s also got All That-era Kenan Thompson.

3. Friday the 13th 1 and 2: Counselors are the victims in the classic slasher series. These movies have everything – mommy issues, the legendary Jason Voorhees, and a shaggy haired Kevin Bacon. We’ve only seen the first two, but 8 of the 9 movies are streaming on Netflix.

There’s bound to be a ton we’re forgetting. Meatballs? Camp Nowhere? Leave your favorites in the comments.

Police Swarm McCarren Park Pool After Rough First Week

A Walk in the Park

Today marks a week that the newly renovated McCarren Park Pool has been open and boy oh boy what a week it’s been. In response to the attacks on lifeguards, assault on police, and theft –  not to mention the bad press – police have moved in with full force. A Walk in the Park reports that twenty officers were on site on Tuesday, as well as more park security personnel.

Despite Tuesday’s increased police presence, two more lockers were broken into that day. Tensions also flared when certain individuals were denied entry.

While we doubt the rocky start will mar the $50 million project, we can’t help but think back to the violence that caused the pool’s shutdown in 1984. Here’s how The New York Times described the site in 1990 after it had been closed for some years:

“Now it sits crumbling, a huge and lonely bulwark against the Manhattan skyline, devastated by neglect, vandals and drug addicts who regularly breach its walls since the pool was closed seven years ago…

Renovation was to have begun in 1984, but was halted by the objections of residents living near the pool, who wanted it closed for good. They contended that the pool had become overrun by thousands of teen-agers and had become a haven for drug dealers and prostitutes.”

There were also at least two drownings, one in 1969 and one in 1977.

Violence Continues At The McCarren Park Pool

A Walk In The Park

On Sunday we told you about how the McCarren Park Pool was off to a rocky start, including an incident in which teens attacked a lifeguard who told them not to do backflips. Well it looks like that was only the beginning. Another fight went down yesterday and this time the NYPD was called in and two officers were sent to the hospital.

According to Gothamist, police responded to a call around 5:15 p.m because of another dispute between lifeguards and bathers over doing backflips. A brawl ensued and one officer got punched in the face and another injured his/her wrist.

Sources speculate that the M8-13 MS-13 gang may have been involved. The police arrested three people and charged them with assaulting an officer, disorderly conduct, and inciting to riot. According to city parks blog A Walk In The Park, there are just two police officers per shift for 1,500 swimmers. Four lockers were also broken into on Monday and at least one woman’s purse was stolen.

People, please follow the rules and be nice to the lifeguards. Or maybe just avoid the pool all together.

Endless Lines, Lifeguard Attacks, And Why You Won’t Be Going To The McCarren Park Pool

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It’s been four days since the McCarren Park Pool’s big reopening and things have gotten off to a rough start. Thursday’s event featured a well-intentioned ceremony by Mayor Bloomberg, but he kept referring to the park as “McClarren” and only mentioned its location in Williamsburg, not Greenpoint. The pool should have opened at 11 a.m., but reports say it didn’t open until 1:30 p.m. Lines stretched forever and were excruciating because of the heat and small children.

Perhaps one could have expected Thursday’s opening to be chaotic with everyone wanting a piece of that first swim. But conditions on Friday grew even worse when teens attacked lifeguards over a dispute about doing back flips. The incident resulted in an early closure for the pool.

Things seem to have quieted down this weekend, but we’re guessing that once people see the rules for the pool (the same for public pools all over the city), they may think twice about going. Here are some of them:

-Only bathing suits can be worn on the pool deck (white tee shirts over suits are ok)

-No one with bandages is allowed in

-You must shower in the locker room before swimming

-No electronic equipment – including cell phones – is allowed on the pool deck (you must lock in a locker and bring your own lock)

-No alcohol

If you’re ok with ditching the alcohol and iPhone for a few hours – which might not be the worst thing – check out our McCarren Park Pool site for more info.

Williamsburg Park Starting To Look More Like A Concert Space


A lot is changing in the neighborhood today – not only is the McCarren Park Pool open for business, but construction on the stage at Williamsburg Park is officially underway. Concert series organizers posted this photo to Facebook today. The space looks different than it did the last time we saw it, but still looks mostly like a parking lot.

Checkout our Williamsburg Park Concerts page for more info on this summer’s series.

Here’s A Site Like Kickstarter, Minus The Worthwhile Projects

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Last week we told you about a group using Kickstarter to help fund a major city art project. But if you want to give your hard earned dollar to simpler causes – like buying someone 50 lunches – then check out Indiegogo. The site seems to have blown up over night thanks to blogs jumping on a story about Karen Huff, a middle school bus monitor who was mercilessly bullied by students in a video that went viral. Someone got the bright idea to put together a fundraising campaign to give this woman a vacation. “She doesn’t earn nearly enough ($15,506) to deal with some of the trash she is surrounded by,” the campaign’s creator wrote. “Lets give her something she will never forget, a vacation of a lifetime!”

But Karen’s going to get a lot more than just a vacation. The goal was $5,000, but in two days people have donated $387,399. Thatsuh lotta cake. The guy behind the campaign promises that all the money will go to Karen. And now someone has started their own Indiegogo page to raise money for the guy who started Karen’s campaign.

There’s nothing in the Indiegogo mission statement that encourages dumb projects. But it does emphasize the ease at which pages can be created, “no matter what you are raising money for.” The site has been around since 2008, as has Kickstarter. Of course Indiegogo has important projects also, and Kickstarter has dumb ones, but Indiegogo makes it easier for anyone to post anything, and people will pay up.

Does everyone just have all this extra money to throw around?

Now You Can Get Drunk At Smorgasburg

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In case you needed another occasion to drink, Smorgasburg will be selling alcohol beginning this Saturday. Gothamist has the pricing: beer for $6, wine for $11, booze for $12. Grub Street has more info: there will be a roped-in area – SmorgasBar – that features a changing lineup of local alcohol producers like Brooklyn Brewery, Kelso, and Sixpoint.