New York heat waves highlight climate inequalities

“We don’t own cars, so we can’t drive to lakes, beaches, etc.,” said Jesse Amaro, a home health aide, outside the Crotona pool in the Bro...


“We don’t own cars, so we can’t drive to lakes, beaches, etc.,” said Jesse Amaro, a home health aide, outside the Crotona pool in the Bronx. It was one of the hottest days of last summer, and the line to get in stretched far down the sidewalk by early afternoon.

She surveyed the sunny line of would-be bathers, their only relief being a spray of mist from a hose wrapped around a sign. It would take her and her little girl an hour to get in, then at 3 p.m., when the pools closed for an hour for cleaning and staff breaks, they either had to end their swim or brave the line a second time to re-Enter. Ms Amaro, 46, decided to do without. They returned home.

These struggles contrast with the glamorous ambitions of 1936, when the city opened its 11 largest swimming pools. They were designed as extravagant bathing palaces for the masses, symbols of civic pride and public investment. During the New Deal, the federal government helped build these large, elegant spaces for poor New Yorkers — mostly white at the time — whose children often drowned trying to cool off in rivers.

But many New York City pools, like others across the country, have remained segregated. Some have claimed that Robert Moses, the powerful parks commissioner, deliberately built them in the heart of white and black neighborhoods, not on the edges, creating de facto white and black pools.

To deter unrest during the racial tensions of the late 1960s, the city began opening dozens of small swimming pools in underserved and overheated black and Latino neighborhoods.

Draconian policies, enacted decades ago in response to pool violence, continue to restrict what bathers can take onto pool decks, imbuing the pools with what Ms Amaro called “a courtroom mentality.” jail “.

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Newsrust - US Top News: New York heat waves highlight climate inequalities
New York heat waves highlight climate inequalities
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