Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Banneker Pool report: there's shade, and they're checking IDs more strictly

The city's outdoor pools opened this weekend, and being a big pool fan, I hit Banneker Pool at Georgia and Euclid. 

The first thing I noticed was that there's shade! The city added two blue awnings over parts of the south end, which is great -- in previous years there was no shade at all, and you're not supposed to bring in umbrellas. The pool was crowded, so spots under the awning were at a premium, but hey, it's a start.

In addition, they're checking IDs a lot more strictly than before. In previous years, they'd take any kind of mail with a DC address, but now they said they'd only do that the first weekend, and that you'd need to either get a DC license or go the 441 4th Street NW (One Judiciary Square) and get a city-issued ID card, which costs about $5. The guy at the door said he'd take a utility bill (not cell phone) at first, but beware if you aren't a DC resident. Personally, I think this is a good thing, as the place can get crowded.

But as usual, the pool was a blast. They played a boombox, the large lifeguard did some funny dives and got applause from the crowd, and I didn't get too sunburned. A solid weekend.

There was also a Caddyshack moment, however, as at one point the pool was evacuated because somebody threw up in it, but you take the good with the bad.

Pools are currently open Saturday and Sunday from noon to 6 pm, and starting June 18 they'll be open on weekdays too.


  1. I saw in the Examiner this morning that they had to shut down banneker yesterday because some people got out of hand? Can't find the link on their site, but it was in the paper. Any word?

  2. I heard that but don't know much else

  3. It was a mess and dangerous usual. No adults in charge, 45 minutes waiting outfront, pool closed for 1 full hour once inside, vomit in the water, police called because of hooligans... all that after waiting in the hot sun outfront...

    And what is with the 50 person limit in the pool and please tell me what is the difficulty with their shift changes. Dupont's pool is smaller and always has more than 50... who's lying?

    We left Banneker and went over to Dupont, got right in, no fights, and no throw up, chairs, and an open pool. And someone in charge... Banneker is a embarrasment.

    Oh and by the way, after the pool closed we spent money on dinner in Dupont, not in our neighborhood.

  4. Having to wait in the hot sun is unacceptable.

    It was 90 degrees. I walked a mile to get there with three kids in tow. They were all excited to swim and then had to wait and sweat while they checked the cotton content of people's clothes and the processing of credit cards. We had to wait just to wave our driver's license.

    The shade is an improvement, but still inadequate.

    The "adult swim" every 45 minutes is ridiculous. THey kicked kids out of the kids pool for adult swim. Someone needs to explain that better or junk the policy.

    Despite all that, we had a great time at the pool. THe fat guy doing stunt jumps was pretty entertaining.

  5. Trying to make it work in PetworthJune 4, 2012 at 11:29 AM

    I've lived in Petworth for 10 months as part of a year-long volunteer program. I am a young adult without a lot of extra money to spend, but when I do, I try to stay in the neighborhood and support local business. As part of this volunteer program, my roommates and I all receive either stipends, used/broken bikes, or SmartTrip cards to get around the city, so none of us have a car and none of us have any reason to get a DC license since we're not sure if we'll be able to find jobs to stay in DC after our volunteer year (though we'd like to!!)

    Since we also have very limited funds, my roommates and I cannot afford AC this year, so going to Banneker is something we would LOVE to do as part of the community. It's really discouraging, though, to have lived in the city for 10 months and be given a hassle about a DC ID! I literally didn't make enough money this year to pay DC taxes, but I would have gladly done so.

    Point of the story: This Banneker nonsense about DC IDs is very indicative of the reason DC has trouble attracting long-term residents like myself who want to invest in the city; we are made to feel not welcome even if we want to participate in some aspects of community.

  6. Any ideas for what we can do to help get this pool up to par?

  7. Talk to Jim Graham, I guess. I haven't noticed these problems, but maybe I've been lucky so far.

  8. Really why do ppl come here an expect not to have the same qualifications apply,they make changes for permanent citizens just cause its so many different nationalities here,really TGIF outta here.


Please don't advertise in the comments, and please enter some kind of name when you comment instead of being anonymous.

If the post is more than 28 days old, your comment must be approved first.