McCarren Pool may be located at the epicenter of hipsterdom on the border between Williamsburg an Greenpoint, but its reopening has brought on a strange, unfamiliar feeling in such environs: an earnest, completely unironic, swooning kind of love.
“The tide of consensus has turned,” Charles Graeber, a 42-year-old freelance writer who attended the pool’s opening yesterday told The New York Times. “People are really rather proud. This is a very hopeful, grand, Great Society gesture. Williamsburg is famously hipsterish, sneering and ironic, but there’s nothing ironic about this.”
Could McCarren Pool finally usher in the era of earnestness—heralded by Miranda July and Lena Dunham and all the other painfully genuine, genuinely in pain young artists—that has been burbling below the surface of hipsterdom for so long?
Although some locals bristled at the announcement of the restoration—the empty, WPA-era pool had, after all, become a popular concert venue in the last few years—it seems that no one can resist the feelings of affection for the expanse of sparkling blue, awakening long-dormant emotions among many perpetual naysayers. The strange sensation has caused more than a little discomfort in some.
On Curbed, a commentator who was clearly unaccustomed to saying something nice, managed to twist his joy into a familiar diatribe:
“It’s a shame it took so long to re-open MC Carren pool. I left Greenpoint in 1977. Though I went back to visit many times. I always stopped at Mc Carren park to reminisce on my childhood summer days in that pool. I miss the Pool and the old neighborhood. I do not like all the building of huge apartment building and coop’s. It’s ruining that great neighborhood.”
On Brownstoner, the commentators embraced the opening with more ease.
“All 11 WPA pools are back in service. That’s astonishing. This project is so symbolic of the improved fortunes of the Borough. Only a great city could build something like this and then refurbish it beautifully seventy years later,” wrote one.
“Bloomberg will be recorded as the greatest Mayor this city has ever had,” gushed another in what we honestly think was a genuine tone.
In fact, the only really nasty thing anyone could think of to say about the pool was this: “no baby pools here though it seems :(”
But people will complain about anything. And guess what? The Parks Department also offers swimming lessons.