Shark Attacks Drive Swimmers To Overcrowded NYC Rooftop Pools

That bites.

Audrey Boys, 24, runs a TikTok restaurant review page called the VIP List and lives for the beach.

“I usually go to the Hamptons every summer, especially Montauk, at least a few times,” said the Financial District resident. “It’s my happy place.”

But this summer, Jongens refuses to set foot in the ocean.

“If the water isn’t crystal clear, if I can’t see the bottom, I’m not going in, given the shark attacks,” she said.

There have been at least six “Jaws”-type attacks in the region this summer, with numerous other sightings. For example, a dead great white washed up on Long Island, near Quogue, in late July. Rockaway Beach closed several times last month due to sightings.

Shark attacks on nearby beaches are driving New Yorkers to increasingly crowded city pools, from public parks to private hotel clubs.
Stefano Giovanninic

Shark sightings have put a damper on summer fun, causing frightened swimmers from New York City to scramble to the Hamptons to find places to cool off. And when they brave the waves, they look closely over their shoulders.

Boy said she hangs out on the sand when it’s not too hot, goes to beach parties at Gurney’s in Montauk, or sits around a campfire in the evenings. But because the ocean is a no-go zone, she’s now limited to her boyfriend’s pools in the Hamptons or the rooftop pools in the city.

The latter isn’t even a good option, as her favorite spots, like the rooftop pool and bar at the James hotel in SoHo, seem to be getting busier by the day.

“I don’t even really swim now,” she said. “I just put my feet in it because I feel like it”
many people are in the [pool]it’s a bit dirty.”

Audrey Boys, 24, by the ocean.
The beaches of Long Island’s East End are a “happy place” for FiDi resident Audrey Boys, or they were — this summer, she’s opting for pools, if she can find ones that aren’t overcrowded.

She jokes that to make the most of it, she will have to find a private oasis next summer.

“I wouldn’t be against having a private pool on my balcony,” she added. “That would be the dream.”

Stephanie Carino, 38, an office manager at a food technology company living in Astoria, grew up on Long Island and usually goes to Jones Beach or Robert Moses State Park a few times a month in the summer. This year she is completely gone.

“That would normally be the plan for summer weekends, but seeing all these news stories, I think people are even crazy to think about it,” she said. “I avoid the beach at all costs.”

Instead, she goes to pools in the city. “Some hotels don’t have entry, but I know which ones you can pay to get in,” she said.

By the pool at Somewhere Nowhere at the Renaissance Hotel on West 25th Street.
Somewhere Nowhere NYC at the Renaissance New York Chelsea hotel on West 25th Street on Sixth Avenue is a popular day club.
Stefano Giovanninic

ResortPass, a company that sells access to hotel pools, said the number of bookings in New York was up 207% in July from June. Offerings range from the stylish William Vale in Williamsburg ($150 for a half-day) to the flashy Margaritaville Resort near Times Square ($100 for a full day).

Sameer Qureshi, co-founder of Somewhere Nowhere NYC, a lounge and nightclub with a pool at the Renaissance New York Chelsea hotel, says he is inundated with requests from people trying to find alternatives to the beach.

“There are solutions. There are many ways to enjoy the summer anyway.”

Kat Colella-Graham, 52

“Having a pool in New York City is now the ultimate unicorn,” Qureshi said. “Friends of friends beat me up and ask if they can take their kids to the pool because they don’t go to the beach.”

The Summer Club, a new 24,000-square-foot day club at the Ravel Hotel in Long Island City with two pools, has reached capacity over the weekend, although it can seat 2,000 people.

“I never thought so many people from Manhattan would come to Long Island City, but 99% of my audience are Manhattanites,” says owner Seth Levine. “We are being flooded.”

Hayley Faber, a lifeguard at Somewhere Nowhere, a popular pool club in Chelsea.
Hayley Faber, a lifeguard at Somewhere Nowhere, a popular pool club in Chelsea.
Stefano Giovanninic

Some New Yorkers prefer to take their chances with the sharks – although they aren’t exactly careful either.

Randi Savron, who has lived by the ocean for more than 55 years, first in the Rockaways and now in East Atlantic Beach, said sharks are everyone’s top priority.

“They have been watching closely” [shark] drone activity,” she said. “They have closed the beach occasionally, up and down the peninsula.”

Her partner is a triathlete and usually swims laps a mile off shore, but this year they’re more concerned about their daily exercise, always paying attention to the dreaded fins. They both try to stay much closer to the beach, or completely out of the water.

Swimming pool at The Summer Club at Ravel Hotel.
Given the crowded alternatives like the Summer Club in Long Island City, some swimmers are taking their chances with the sharks.
Stefano Giovanninic

“We’re going to a private beach club around the corner with cabanas and an Olympic-size heated pool,” says Savron. “We also have an inflatable pool in the backyard for a quick cool down.”

James Mallios, the owner of Bar Marseille Rockaway, thought stranded swimmers should be cheered up. In late July, he announced that every time a fin was spotted, happy hour prices would go up. (Normally it runs from 3:00 PM to 7:00 PM)

“It sucks dragging all your stuff to the beach and then, all of a sudden, there’s a big white one, and you have to get out of the water,” he said. “At least they can come here and have fun.”

A great white swims off the coast of Mexico.
A great white—like the one that washed up on Long Island earlier in the season—swims off the coast of Mexico.
@euanart/ Magnus News

Cat Colella-Graham, 52, a human resources consultant living in Locust Valley, Long Island, is tired of hearing about the one topic her shoreline-loving friends seem to want to talk about: sharks.

“They say, ‘This is our beach. They’re ruining our summer, blah, blah, blah,'” she said. “But I’m like, ‘You’re an adult. There are solutions. There are many ways to enjoy the summer anyway.’ “

It is of course easier if you have your own pool. Colella-Graham had one built last year when shark sightings became more frequent.

“I love swimming. It’s one of the things I absolutely love to do, and now I can still do it,” she said. shark madness takes place. I also feel like I should leave the ocean alone and let the sharks have it. It’s their space.”

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