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Opening Day at Astoria Pool Draws Hundreds of Residents

Omar, Leyla and Emma Derisevic come to the Astoria Pool every year.
Omar, Leyla and Emma Derisevic come to the Astoria Pool every year.
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DNAinfo/Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska

ASTORIA — Hundreds of Astoria residents came to splash around the Astoria Pool on Thursday, the first day of the city’s summer swimming pool season.

The pool opened at 11 a.m. and filled quickly with children and teenagers enjoying their first day of summer vacation.  They splashed each other, jumped into the cool water and drank sodas while sunbathing.

Amina Derisevic, who has lived in Astoria for 12 years, came with her three kids: Leyla, 7, Emma, 8, and Omar, 11. "It’s a gorgeous day and kids are very excited," she said. "We come here every year."

In the morning, she said, her kids would take swimming lessons at the pool, and in afternoon they would just have fun. "It’s great because a lot of our friends come here too, so we can all hang out," Omar said.

The public pool, built in 1936 by Robert Moses, is the city's largest and one of the biggest summer attractions in the neighborhood.

Jocelyn Wauri, 14, and Tiana Frazier, 14, also from Astoria, say they come to the pool’s opening day every summer.

"Today we came with a bunch of our friends," said Jocelyn, while one of their buddies was trying to splash Tiana with water. "We are going to stay here for a couple of hours and then we’ll all go out and eat something."

Local vendors, including a pool snack bar that had a long line, were also excited about the beginning of the season.

Heather McMurdy, 26, and Juan Garcia, 27, were sunbathing on the pool's edge. They moved to Astoria recently from Washington Heights.

"We love it here," the couple said.

"We took some vacation now because there is so much going on in Astoria that we don’t want to miss anything," said Garcia, who on Monday went with his girlfriend to the fireworks in Astoria Park.

"This is our first time at the pool. We are staying all day today and we’ll be back soon," McMurdy said.