Okay Steve, when you lived in New York, where was the best place to sunbathe?

(Soundbite of laughter)


On a rooftop, I suppose.

MONTAGNE: Exactly. You remember what they called them?

INSKEEP: No, just...

MONTAGNE: Tar beach.

INSKEEP: Tar beach, okay, there we go.

MONTAGNE: So when we're listening to this next story, we can think of what to call the latest rage in swimming holes in Brooklyn. Three garbage dumpsters on an industrial lot there have been converted into swimming pools. Reporter Jon Kalish put on his bathing suit to go for what will probably be a refreshing dumpster dive.

JON KALISH: A clue in an online video enabled me to figure out where the dumpster pools were located. So I headed out to the neighborhood of Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn.

(Soundbite of sea waves)

KALISH: The pools were behind a chain link fence but the gate was open. So I walked in, and there with three dumpster pools, a stone's throw from an old polluted canal. There wasn't a soul in sight, so I stripped down to my bathing suit.

(Soundbite of splashing water)

KALISH: Ah, it is really nice.

But it turned out that I did have an audience. Video of my unauthorized swim was watched at the office of the Manhattan real estate developer called Macro Sea, which describes itself as committed to projects it finds interesting. Not surprisingly, the guy in charge of the dumpster pools project is a skateboarder named Jocko, who I met the next day.

(Soundbite of splashing water)

KALISH: Jocko Weyland is 42. He has a shaved head. And he constantly fidgeted with his iPhone as he showed me the pools.

Mr. JOCKO WEYLAND: It's a dumpster. It's not trying to pretend it's not a dumpster, you know?

KALISH: Weyland says his company got the idea from a rock musician in Georgia. The Brooklyn dumpster pools are in an H-formation with a wooden deck built around them. They are 5 1/2 feet deep. There is also a kiddie dumpster pool. The insides of the dumpsters are lined with thick sheets of plastic. And the water is as clean as an in-ground pool.

Twenty-two-year-old Isabella Hill and her friend scored an invitation to the pools, which they initially thought were an art installation.

Ms. ISABELLA HILL: I didn't really hear the exact details of it being a dumpster, and we just like walked over here and there's all these, like, warehouses, junkyards, and like industrial stuff. I didn't know what to expect. We live in the neighborhood. And so I'm not going to like trek out to the beach for like an hour...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Ms. HILL: ...when I can just sit around all day and watch TV and then go to pool.

(Soundbite of laughter)

KALISH: The pool at this urban country club has tent cabanas, barbecue grills and a dozen plastic beach chairs. Developer Jocko Weyland hopes more people make these DIY pools.

Mr. WEYLAND: We wanted to show that this is not that hard. If you've got a dumpster, donated or found one, or stole one, you could do it for under a thousand dollars.

(Soundbite of music)

KALISH: Then throw a party and invite your friends.

For NPR News, I'm Jon Kalish in New York.

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