I have always been curious about what is at the end of east 23rd Street. It seems like a world away from the usual NYC. Well, curiosity has been met and here is a brief look at the far side of 23rd Street at the East River. It is not a glamorous view of the city but is functional area that serves the community.
I was surprised to find such a massive building as the Asser Levy Public Baths which is a historic building located at the corner of Asser Levy Place and East 23rd Street in Kips Bay, Manhattan.
The baths were an important part of the drive to alleviate sanitary problems in the city. Many New Yorkers, especially immigrants living in overcrowded tenements, had no place to bathe – an 1896 survey found that there was one bathtub in the Lower East Side for every 79 families – and progressive social reformers pushed for the construction of publicbathhouses modeled on those of saunas, massages and relaxation therapies. Members of the society considered it as a place to meet and socialize. Public bathing could be compared to the spa of modern times.
One of the entrances to the bathhouse, which were once divided by gender
The building now houses two swimming pools, one outdoors for use in the summer, and one indoors for the rest of the year, and a public health club. It is part of theAsser Levy Recreation Center, which also includes the Asser Levy Playground next door.
Today the bathhouse offers a gym with weights, workout machines and treadmills; classes in yoga, aerobics, pilates; basketball, handball and indoor and outdoor pools. But the modernized East 23rd Street Bathhouse retains the monumental quality so sought by the City Beautiful committee.
The fees for adults is $150 a year and for seniors and young adults only $25.00 a year. Quite a bargain, wouldn’t you say?
I could not take a picture of the inside pool but the outside pool looks in good shape.
I walked over to a parking garage and a boat terminal. I think they also fly out of this area as well. Other than a nice view of the Queensboro Bridge and Queens there isn’t much of interest to capture.
I will do my best to describe the area.
You may not be able to imagine yourself living in the Peter Cooper Village… there must be over a thousand people living in just one building.
Also, I don’t think I have ever captured the Empire State Building from this far east.
This are is part of the East River walkway – not at all like the West side parks. However, it looked like it is well used fro running, walking and sitting.
Lastly, I remained fascinated by the ditch windmill on the railings. I have seen these in few places but cannot find out the origin or history of them
Now you know what the ordinary “New Yorker” sees everyday.