Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A little WWII era Florida in Queens

I meant to write about this sooner since it was something I went to this past weekend. But then I got busy. And here we are, Wednesday, and the only words I've added to the blogger annals in the last week or so are about my cat. But yes, Wednesday or not, I can't not post about this because it is something I did in Long Island City which is Astoria adjacent, and I so rarely do things that come close to approximating my blog's original non-mission-statement.

So yes, this past weekend a friend (a Brooklynite biker who doesn't shy away from cross borough travel) invited me to an event in Long Island City. It was called The Palms, and it was billed as an attempt to transform a parking lot and raw building space into a "1940s Boca Raton resort experience with music, spectacle, and hedonism." Also, there were dumpster pools.

Dumpster pools were a popular thing last summer when there were a handful of free ones in Manhattan, but I never got to try one. They are basically what they sound like: swimming pools created from fully lined trash dumpsters. I think I read that the dumpsters in question were never previously used for trash disposal, but that may be just a thing they tell you. Either way it was fun to take a dip in one of them!

Dumpster pools: bringing new meaning to the concept of "dumpster diving."

The Palms was essentially a parking lot with fake grass and fancy lounge chairs (sadly, all taken by the time we got there). There were some tunes playing and people dancing with hula hoops (which I guess was hedonistic by 1940s standards?). There was also a nice bar selling sangria and a truck selling lobster rolls at the very 2011 price of $18 a piece.

In terms of "spectacle" there was a man doing some sort of public art piece. He was laying in front of the bar wrapped in a carpet. A tip jar on the bar had a sign on it that said "Please step on me." He was very encouraging of people standing on him. In fact, when I accidentally made eye contact while questioning if he would mind being in a photo (this was directly before realizing my camera was out of batteries--hence why there are no actual photos of The Palms in this post), he kept gesturing at me to stand on him. Rather than assume I was abstaining because I didn't feel comfortable standing on top of a stranger, he thought it was because his sign wasn't facing outward enough. He even unrolled himself from the carpet to adjust it. I'm not sure what the statement he was making was exactly, but it did seem to add to a certain spectacle.

The Palms is open every weekend until Labor Day. My friend and I went in the afternoon, but apparently the party goes until midnight. Any Astorian readers out there should definitely check it out. Just remember to bring your own towel because they charge $15 for those. Also BYOWG (bring your own water gun) because for some reason they have those on sale for $65. $65! And they're plastic! Sometimes I don't understand New York.


  1. Are you sure the guy in the carpet wasn't a masochist hoping to make a little extra cash while having fun? Did people step on him?

    Did people buy water guns?????

  2. People did step on him. That's the point at which I attempted to take a picture and failed.

    I saw no one with water guns. I think people were spending all their cash (it was cash only) on lobster rolls.

  3. Great post! I got an email with a gallery of photos from what happened later that night after we left. I may have even spotted a water gun in use as well as way too many blow up animals in the pools. Nevertheless, it was a fun afternoon. Glad we went!

  4. I want to go swimming in a dumpster! That sounds so...New York. "Oh, since we have no space to actually build swimming pools, let's just use the dumpsters! We have too many of them anyway!" Hahaha. Sounds like an fun night!