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Midday at the Oasis: 1959

August 19, 1959. "Linden Woods [Lindenwood Village] Swim Club, Howard Beach, Queens. Pool to clubhouse from diving board." Our second visit to this chlorinated watering hole. Gottscho-Schleisner photo. View full size.

August 19, 1959. "Linden Woods [Lindenwood Village] Swim Club, Howard Beach, Queens. Pool to clubhouse from diving board." Our second visit to this chlorinated watering hole. Gottscho-Schleisner photo. View full size.


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Today’s Top 5

Street vs Avenue

Tobacconist is wrong about the ad in the previous post - it gives the location as 153rd *Avenue* and Cross Bay Blvd. Very significant difference. In Queens, "Streets" run roughly north/south, numbered from the west; "Avenues" run east/west, numbered from the north.

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Too Much Of A Good Thing

It looks like someone had too much sun or water as they're being attended to by some ladies on the far right.

Re: Observing body types

I found myself observing the people not as body types as OTY was doing, but rather noticing -- in contrast to the pre-war Shorpy photos -- the alarming post-war chubbification of America, already well underway in this photo.

Swim Clubs

Having lived my first few years in the South (West Virginia), I wondered in my first year after moving up north to New Jersey why we had to join a swim club to go to a pool, as public pools where anyone could swim were the norm where I was from--amongst the masses at least; I suppose the rich went to country clubs. My mother informed me, rather sardonically, that this was because they didn't want, God forbid, someone black jumping into the pool. I always found this reality, and pictures like this, rather ironic...

Bringing Back Memories

I remember those awful rubber bathing caps they used to make all the girls, but none of the boys, wear in swimming pools. They had embossed designs in them such as sea horses or flowers or stripes. But they were always ugly. Hated them.

They said the reason we had to wear them was that our hair would clog the filter that circulated the water in the pool. Though how the filter could tell short girl hairs from long boy hairs always escaped me.

Some time in the 1970s or '80s filters must have gotten better because I no longer see them in stores or in the pools where I have been.

No more belly flops

The ad in the previous post shows the main cross streets of Lindenwood Village as 153rd Street Avenue and Cross Bay Boulevard. According to a 1962 lawsuit, the pool was located at 89th Street and 151st Avenue.

The period photo shows the cars—including that Good Humor truck and driver in which the ladies seem so interested—on 89th Street. As seen below, the pool and pavilion were replaced in the early 1970s with walk-up apartments. Another pool and an air pressure dome indoor tennis structure were similarly replaced in the early 1980s.

Large portions of Lindenwood are managed by the Cross-Bay Co-operative, which incorporated in May of 1956. The Co-op started with the four-unit red-brick buildings seen here, then branched out into garden-apartments, and six-story brick apartment buildings—such as the building behind the trees straight at the end of the double yellow line below, which is the one under construction in the period shot.

As for the lawsuit—one of the tenants alleged that the Co-op was making a profit on the fees charged to members, rather than assessing fees on a nonprofit basis, as stipulated in their certificate of occupancy.


Observing body types

When looking at an enlarged picture like this, one can't help noticing examples of the contrasting genetic body shapes. It is particularly noticeable smack dab right in the center of this picture standing at the pool's edge. The boy standing behind the lifeguard is an extreme Ectomorph, very thin, small boned, difficult to gain weight and rather fragile while the boy on the right (to his left) is noticeably an Endomorph, built round or pear-shaped, gains weight easily (but difficult to lose), soft-muscled. The "just-right", athletic, well-postured are Mesomorphs and others are assorted combinations thereof. I just found out about these different body type names recently even though I am very old and I was called an Endomorph (darn). In other news, my mom never would use a public pool, she called them 'people soup', but she did let us use them. I'll shut up now, sorry for rambling.

'Twas Ever Thus

Kids in the pool, moms on the lounges - with a few mostly ankle-wetting exceptions. The Good Humor truck makes it about perfect.

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