Water, Water Everywhere

VITAL CITY—In the summer of 2021, fortified by a miraculous shot in the arm, I celebrated my emergence from the horrors that COVID inflicted on New York City by going to a matinee screening of “In the Heights.” A highlight of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s love letter to the vibrancy and resiliency of our city’s strivers and dreamers is the Busby Berkeleyesque spectacle at the Highbridge Pool, where seemingly everyone in the neighborhood gathers to cool off on one of the hottest days of the summer. Built to accommodate 4,800 people, Highbridge was one of 11 massive pools constructed in our city by the federal Works Progress Administration during the depths of the Great Depression.

The explosion of energy and enthusiasm in the scene perfectly expresses the sustaining value of that Depression-era investment and the reason why public pools remain essential centers of vibrant community life.

How do we build a city in which infrastructure like the Highbridge Pool gets treated not merely as a nostalgic memory or just as the backdrop for an exuberant dance scene, but as one of many essential building blocks of a well-functioning, democratic city?

Read the full article, written by Revson Foundation President Julie Sandorf, here.