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Bob Burrow

#39 The YMCA Flashback

Flash back circa 1989 to the Vanderbilt YMCA in midtown New York City on 47th between 2nd & 3rd.  It was early morning as I stepped off the red eye from Los Angeles with two suitcases and hopped in a taxi to my new temporary home the Vanderbilt YMCA. At that tender age I was young ambitious and had a full head of hair and didn’t care where I lived as long as it was NYC. I checked into a small room with a shared bathroom and shower down the hall.  While I didn’t stay there long before I rented a very, very small studio with a shared kitchen (that’s better than a shared bath ) there were two things I remember from my stay at the Y. First a swimming in a pool in a subterranean basement where I was required to wear a swim cap. The second thing was a weekend morning where I was awakened by a knocking on my door asking if I needed a “spray”. When I asked a spray for what, I was told a spray for cockroaches!!!

Flash forward to 2013, I am now 50 years old, have no hair and my ambition is to swim in 50 swimming pools. This ambition is what took me back to the Vanderbilt YMCA. A lot has changed in 25 years and the lobby and the gym looked nice and clean. I didn’t get stay in one of the bedrooms (although I would like to relive it again) but I did get to swim in the subterranean basement pool but this time without a cap!

If I can make it here I can make it anywhere! 


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