html xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' xmlns:expr='http://www.google.com/2005/gml/expr'> Lounging at the Waldorf: Poolside

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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Poolside

I
Often, Northern Californians take issue with Southern Californians. Case in point: when a NorCal friend of mine was in the third grade, there was a particularly bad drought. So that the kids could better understand the water shortage, his teacher taught the class that “if everyone in Los Angeles were to drain their pools, we could have enough water to take showers.” I grew up in LA with a single mom in series of small apartments yet he believed this statement into well adulthood until I asked, “So everyone in LA has a pool?” 



II
To pass the swim test at summer camp, we had to do two laps and tread water for a minute. Even though I grew up frolicking in the ocean, halfway through the second lap, I stopped. I was 10 or so and filled with utter certainty that I was not going to succeed. So I paused mid stroke, stood up, and lamely coughed. I said, “I swallowed water.” I’ll never forget the look of the lifeguard’s face when recognized my anxiety. “Weren’t you here last year?” he asked. 



III
Some time ago, I went to a Halloween party in an art filled West Village townhouse built in the 1800’s. The hostess was in her 20’s and dressed as Roller Girl, the day dreamy porn actress from the film Boogie Nights. In the movie, the character never removes her skates. The hostess didn’t, either. There was a pool taking up most of the backyard so these omnipresent roller skates were just a strange idea. Another strange idea was throwing a party as she didn't seem to have many friends. Out of the 20 people there, the majority were hired staff standing around with nothing to do. 



IV
I love when the world disappears under the blue quiet. 



V
The game goes like this: you run down the diving board and jump in the air. As soon as your feet leave the board, someone yells out a category and you must answer before landing in the pool. It’s fun. It’s nerve wracking. Most breathtaking moment: Molly runs down the diving board, jumps, then begins her ascent as Kathy yells, “Fashion designer!” Molly, while doing a backflip, calmly replies, “Yohji Yamamoto,” before effortlessly slipping into the water. 



Image credits
Lelong Bathing Suits - George Hoyningen-Huene, 1929
Duet Wins Gold Medal - Anne Knudsen, 1984
Poolside Gossip - Slim Aarons, 1970
John St. Clair Swimming - David Hockney, 1972.
Palm Springs Fashion No. 8 - Lawrence Schiller, 1964

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