It’s summer. It’s humid as a malarial swamp. Your apartment is about as unpleasant as the sweat lodge my uncle Marty built in his backyard when he “found his spirit guide.” Fear not, reader- you can get wet without coaxing R. Kelly into your bedroom with a video camera. The Scene has searched long and hard for ways to combat the thermometer and enjoy D.C.‘s hidden swimming treasures.
1. Public Pools The D.C. public pool system is fully operational, with nine large outdoor pools open 1-8 p,m, on weekdays and noon-6 p,m, on weekends. The full list is available on the Department of Parks and Recreation’s Web site. The closest to AU is at 34th and Volta, a few blocks from Georgetown University. If you want to avoid the hordes of Capitol Hill interns that could clog the waters (see “Things to hate about D.C. summer,” page 5) try the Upshur swimming pool in Petworth at 14th and Arkansas.
2. Silver Spring Fountain If you dare to venture into the Disney-like death trap that is “Downtown Silver Spring,” be sure to wear your Aqua Socks. The self-described “entertainment village” is host to an interactive fountain that could be easily turned into a sprinkler party for you and your friends. The children of Silver Spring’s shopping elite usually hog the jets, but don’t be afraid to push. These kids need to learn now that life is hard.
3. Jacobs Fitness Center Recreational swimming is offered weekdays 11 a,m,-1:30 p.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. and weekends from 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Inflatable rafts and “Free Willy” promotional accessories encouraged. OK, not really. Just don’t tell the receptionist we told you.
4. Six Flags America- Hurricane Harbor That Metro slogan isn’t far from the truth. Metro opens doors this summer to Six Flags’ Hurricane Harbor. Just take the blue line to Largo Town Center, use the Addison Road exit and take the C21 bus directly to an E. coli infection. $40 will get you into both the amusement and water parks. Water slide names that could be construed as double entendre include “Hammerhead” and “Bamboo Chutes.”
5. Wham-O Slip ‘N Slide Triple Racer These timeless symbols of summer have been keeping the suburbs of America cool since the 1960s. They’ve also been skinning stomachs and leaving scars since roughly the same time. The U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission found the Wham-O unsuitable for adults and teenagers in 1993, citing potential for neck injury and paralysis. If permanent spinal cord injury is worth the $29.97 price tag at WalMart, then The Scene highly encourages your investment. Just don’t come crying to us when you spear yourself in your front yard.
6. Hilton Washington Swimming Pool 1919 Connecticut Ave. NW Two words, one hyphen: Olympic-sized. This swimming pool offers not only a chance to take a dip with the best and brightest of the D.C. tourism community, but also practice your breaking-and-entering skills. The pool is complimentary for hotel guests, but closed to the public. Try the “My grandparents are checking in as we speak” line, or just make a mad dash for the deep end.
7. Great Falls Park Great Falls, for which the Virginia town takes its name, is where the Potomac crashes through a series of jagged Mather Gorge. Open daily from 7 a.m. until dusk, the National Park Service doesn’t permit swimming, wading or hunting. The Web site says that one of the best outdoor activities the park offers is “Falls and River Viewing.” We take this to mean swimming, wading or hunting.
8. Reflecting Pool Remember that scene in “Forrest Gump”? The one where Forrest gets ushered onstage during the anti-war rally and the microphone cuts out but then, in the silence, Jenny yells out “Forrest! Forrest!” They rush into the Reflecting Pool of the Washington Monument and hug, and we cry. The tears flow from us like a river from the rock; like after years of bottling up our feelings inside, we crack in two and weep. Really, we just wanted to relive that movie moment, but you could also try jumping in and seeing if you get arrested.
9. District of Columbia Aquatics Club A member of both the International Gay and Lesbian Aquatics Association and the United States Masters Swimming Association, the DCAC is a swim team for the city’s gay and lesbian community. The club was founded in 1988 by the Washington Wetskins, the world’s first gay water polo team. Membership for an entire calendar year is $35, but the first two trial swims are free. Check out their site at swimdcac.org for more information
10. Swimming pools filled with iced beer cans A summer barbeque staple, but also a potentially thirst-quenching way to cool off on a hot summer day. Better yet, how about a swimming pool just filled with beer. Someone get some crazy straws!