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August  12

Their Pool Kicks Our Pools' A--

Cactus2No, this picture was not taken at some tony resort in Scottsdale, AZ. In fact it was taken less than eight miles drive from Baristaville proper in Maplewood. Color us green, or maybe pool water aqua. We've always heard rumors of a superior pool experience at the Maplewood Community Pool, but after reading in the Star Ledger that the pool now has a concession stand serving lobster rolls and crabcakes, we kind of lost it. We had to see with our own eyes, to believe this wasn't just some suburban legend. And see we did. The Maplewood pool is a sprawling complex with its own parking lot and four (count 'em!) four pools. The first is a huge toddler pool and play area close to the concession and changing rooms (curtained booths with adjacent showers -- how civilized!). Then there's another huge pool for younger kids. Then what may be one of the biggest pools we've ever seen for everyone else. Then a fourth pool for divers. The whole area is ringed with grassy hills, Adirondack chairs, trees and shade decks. To see more of the pool (and the lobster roll) that should be ours (hmm...would the old community hospital have been big enough?), read on. Then tell us, if you could build your dream pool anywhere in Baristaville, where would it be, whose food would be in the concession stand, would there be pool boys, etc...


Verdantpool_1 Umbrellas Alfrescoeats_2 Adirondack Redhats_1 Kiddiepool

August 12, 2005 in Our Favorite Diversions | Permalink


Yeah, but I bet they don't have THREE Certified Tree Experts like we do!


Posted by: Cary | Aug 12, 2005 11:30:39 AM

And the $64 question Barista - all this at what fee?

Enquiring minds, you know...

Posted by: waves2ya | Aug 12, 2005 11:30:39 AM

I envision large fake palm trees (but well-made), BIG lobster roll sandwiches and a Sushi bar serving lots of cucumber rolls and veggie food AND fish.

Certain town developers and slum lords would be forced to fan me with large palm leaves. And wait on me for my every need. Also ROC (Right of Center) would be my personal servant for any trivial errands.

Posted by: quaker-oats | Aug 12, 2005 11:32:47 AM

Just called -- $280 for a family membership and $180 for a single...

Posted by: Liz | Aug 12, 2005 11:35:35 AM

$280 isnt's bad for that at all.

GR charges $700 for a family, and has no palm trees!

Posted by: State Street Pete | Aug 12, 2005 12:20:39 PM

It makes Montclair's pool look like holes in the ground.

Posted by: gg | Aug 12, 2005 12:51:46 PM

Maybe their taxes are higher.

Oh wait; nope.

Posted by: Gonzo Journalist | Aug 12, 2005 12:58:33 PM

That is gorgeous!! And for $280 a family! What is Montclair's problem?

Last week we went to the West Caldwell pool with some friends who live there. While not quite as nice as the one pictured, it left Montclair in the dust-- beautiful big pool and large toddler pool, lots of grass and trees (not just a narrow edge of concrete), comfortable chairs, many umbrellas, a concession stand. Compared to Montclair, it felt like a country club. However, it was something like $450-480 per family, which I would think is out of the range of some Montclair incomes.

Echoing-- how does Maplewood do it?

Posted by: latebloomer | Aug 12, 2005 1:09:24 PM

How far is this pool?, Do they accept new members?, Why aren't we all going there?

It's better, cheaper, but further....hmmmm. tough one.

Posted by: grme | Aug 12, 2005 1:10:23 PM

Perhaps we should raise taxes for people who live "on the hill" to pay for nicer pools. Or maybe we could get big fat donations in exchange for the right to name a pool and put up a bronze bust.

Posted by: walleroo | Aug 12, 2005 1:19:00 PM

I posed a piece ripping the pathetic state of Montclair's public pools months ago. Ed. R. was quick to respond that an overhaul is "long overdue," or words to the effect, and that a study is about to start this Summer of where we go from here. Where I'm going is to the Beach Club hopefully. I'm sure the news pools will be lovely in 2015.

Posted by: montclair_is_crazy | Aug 12, 2005 3:27:53 PM

Why join the Maplewood pool when we can have it all right here in Montclair? 300$ sushi dinners...


Posted by: Marshall | Aug 12, 2005 5:01:14 PM

As a resident of West Caldwell, I would like to clarify that our membership for the town pool(s) is only $330 per family. The annual fee is for two town pools which residents of Caldwell and Roseland can join for slightly higher fees. The pools are nice and well maintained. Taxes are much better up this way as well!

Posted by: witchypoo | Aug 12, 2005 8:12:58 PM

Montclair only charges $50/adult, $35/child (under 18), $15/Senior Citizen and $150/family. The public should be able to afford public facilities. $280 is a little steep, $700 is outrageous.

They should also be open when the public can use them. Why can't Montclair keep one pool open until 8:00 during the week so that tax paying commuters can use it?

Posted by: Bitpusher | Aug 12, 2005 8:28:12 PM

All fine and dandy - yes, the grass looks greener (and the pool more blue) on the other side of the fence ... and then I see those last two pictures ... and I think that maybe too many lobster rolls and fries are being served ...

Posted by: Slim | Aug 12, 2005 9:09:50 PM

Surely I'm not the only soul out there who thinks that "Slim" was being a bit rough above. In a misguided attempt to be cutting. (Which should now lead to an extended discussion of "looksism," and to more above-it-all wheeze from Franklin.)

Posted by: cathar | Aug 12, 2005 10:54:48 PM

Wow, you're right, they really are porkers. Oops, sorry... What I meant to say is that I find those photos offensive, lacking in sensivity and cultural competence.

Posted by: walleroo | Aug 12, 2005 11:20:43 PM

We have talked a little about this topic. There is some agreement that the town does not need three public pools. Especially with private pools providing a good service for montclair residents. In addition to raising the fees we can develop two of pools into luxury condos and put the raised funds into one beautiful pool facility. It would be sound economic development. Frankly, we just do not have the money in the budget for three nice public pools that rival the pools you folks like.

A view from church street

Posted by: Sebastian | Aug 12, 2005 11:38:59 PM

What about all you guys "on the hill"? Have you forsaken us little folk? Why, a couple of you could get together over martinis and cigars and write the check like that! Where's some of that generosity we're always hearing so much about?

Posted by: walleroo | Aug 13, 2005 12:07:30 AM

Hey, how come you only posted pix of people wearing black bathing suits?...Isn't this just a wee bit biased?.../snark

Anyway, that looks like a gorgeous pool...love the cacti!

Posted by: Miss Martta | Aug 13, 2005 6:10:33 AM

Speaking of the cacti, how do they maintain it during the cold months?

Posted by: Renae | Aug 13, 2005 6:44:11 AM

Hmm ... more photos of UMBRELLAS!

Posted by: Chris | Aug 13, 2005 7:53:25 AM

Re the cacti: probably like beaches and bars on the Jersey shore always do with those palm trees you see down the shore, they dump them off come autumn and buy new ones in the spring. Which, I realize, is culturally insensitive to our cacti brothers. Thus calls for a seminar on succulent sensitivity.

Posted by: cathar | Aug 13, 2005 11:27:08 AM

"Thus calls for a seminar on succulent sensitivity."


Posted by: Surrounded | Aug 14, 2005 12:28:31 AM

What is the attraction of a community pool or pool club? We have a pool in our yard and I love it. If I/we feel like having company at the pool, we do. And when I feel like going in, all alone in the morning and enjoying the solitude, I can. The kids can swim at midnight if that's their desire (never closed for swim meets, etc).

Is it a question of cost, space, maintenance, socialization?

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