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I'm an Aussie who moved to New York for love. Join me as I work my way through all my other loves: Travel, Food, Experiences, Art, Fun, Life, Stationery, Design with a dash of Marketing.

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Sunday
Aug072016

Secret Pools in Forest Hills, Queens (NYC)

 

When I first moved to New York – I didn’t think I was going to get pools or beaches. In fact, I wasn’t even sure it would get hot enough to enjoy being in the water. And for most of the year, it’s not. But one of the things that makes New York bearable for me is the Summer. The three months of June, July, and August have never been sweeter, than when I experienced them living in New York City.

While my excitement of a hot New York Summer was at its peak, I visited as many beaches as I could find. There are surprisingly quite a few good beaches in the New York City area, and many of them are easily accessible by public transport.

But after spending most of my life on the stunning beaches around Australia, the beaches of New York quickly lost their appeal. Sure being by the ocean was good for my soul, but it was such an effort to get to there, and when I arrived I was regularly disappointed by the chilly water temps and the grey water color.

I started looking elsewhere for my summer water fix. Where there pools in New York City? After some cyber-sleuthing, I discovered the Central Queens neighborhood of Forest Hills and Rego Park have some fantastic outdoor private pools tucked away perfect for summer sun and a swim.

I made it my mission to try each of them for you and here are my favorite secret outdoor pools in Forest Hills, Queens. With a small investment (these aren't public pools) you can enjoy some water fun and sun during the glorious New York Summer (before it disappears). And you can get to them easily on the subway!

 

Birchwood Towers

 

 

Photo credit: MLSLIIn what seems like a hidden location between two tall apartment buildings, the pool at Birchwood Towers is the smallest but perhaps the cutest. An odd goldfish shaped pool and a smaller kiddy pool sit on the entry level and there is a separate sunbathing area on an upper deck. Similar to the Park City Swim Club, Birchwood suffers from a lack of direct sun in the afternoon, so if sunbaking is a priority, then go early.

Birchwood Towers Pool, 102-10 66th Road, Forest Hills, NY 11375. Enter on 66th Road in what looks like a side gate for the building.
Phone: 718 896 4343
Price for weekday visit $12 for children, $15 for adults, and increases on weekends to $15 for children and $20 for adults.
Open every day (10am-6pm) from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

 

Fairview Swim Club

 

 

A huge pool, with equally huge deck area and plenty of sun lounges (though some are reserved for the Summer in advance) are what you can expect at Fairview Swim Club. On the weekends this pool thumps, heaves, and grinds with many people seeking respite from the heat, but also to the beat of DJs who spin tunes and give this pool a real party vibe. There is also a concessions stand onsite, and outside food is not permitted. It’s a little further walk from the subway, but if you plan to get there early (before the line gets long and they start turning people away), it’s worth it.

Fairview Swim Club, 6120 Grand Central Parkway, Forest Hills
Phone: 718 592 0263
Open 11AM – 7PM every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Price for an adult day pass is $30, children is $10. Fairview also offers many options for seasonal individual and family memberships including payment plans. You can buy your day pass online, to avoid the line.
Amenities: concessions and drinks available on site, cabana rentals available, chairs available pending reservations.

 

Park City Swim Club

 

Park City Swim Club has a great location right beside shopping at Rego Center Mall (TJ Maxx, Century 21, Marshalls, and more) which could make a fun day out. There are two pools, Olympic sized pool and a round kiddy pool, both of which are now heated as of Summer 2016. They also have a sweet deal where entry is discounted after 3pm. Unfortunately this is around the time that the setting sun dips behind surrounding buildings, so if you do take advantage of the afternoon discount, you will have to deal with limited direct sun, but it really is the best time to go for a dip as many of the families have left by this time.

 

Park City Swim Club, 98-00 62nd Drive, Rego Park, NY 11374
Phone: 718 830 9634
Price starts from $13 for an adult, based on weekday, weekend/holiday, and discounts after 3pm. Park City also offers seasonal membership plans. Refer Park City Swim Club 2016 brochure.
Amenities: Rentals available for lounges ($7) and cabanas ($25).
Open 11:30AM – 7:00PM every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day, weekends and holidays open from 10:00AM – 6:00PM.

 

Westside Tennis Club

The pool at Westside Tennis Club is huge and gets full sun throughout the day, but it is part of the prestigious tennis club, and so entry to the pool requires club membership, currently sitting at over $2,000 for the year. If it’s in your price range, it’s certainly worth it to enjoy the junior Olympic pool and the smaller kiddy wading pool.

Westside Tennis Club Pool, One Tennis Place, Forest Hills NY, 11375
Phone: 718 268 2300
Access with annual membership, unfortunately no day passes.
Amenities: chairs, umbrellas, and shaded tents available, concessions/snack bar on site, children’s playground.
Open every day from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

 

Secret Pools - Mapped Out 

Find them mapped out on Google Maps here, most have easy access from the E/F/M/R subway trains:

 

As my quest for summer swim and sun adventures continue, I would love to hear about the secret pools in your neighborhood.

Share them in the comments below. 

Tuesday
Aug042015

Speaking on Employee Engagement and Intranets at ThoughtSummit 2015

Earlier this year I was super excited to jet off to Vancouver, Canada, to speak at ThoughtSummit 2015. Organized by the team behind social intranet software, ThoughtFarmer, ThoughtSummit brought together some of the best minds in employee communications, engagement, and technology. I had such a blast on stage that day, and I think from the pictures, it showed.

Here is what Jill Purse, ThoughtSummit’s conference producer and ThoughtFarmer’s marketing manager, had to say about my contribution to the event:

"Tarley was one of the strongest and highest-rated speakers at ThoughtSummit, our thought leadership conference on social software and employee engagement. Not only does Tarley possess impeccable presentation skills and a lively personality, but what really resonated from her presentation was her innovative use of technology tools to make a big impact with a small team. Even though we make intranet software, she shared some ideas we'd never thought of (one of which we went on to implement on our intranet)."

In my lightening talk I shared my top 3 “You’d be crazy not to…” secrets for awesome intranets and employee engagement (more on that later).  I then joined the ThoughtFarmer Champion Panel in very good company with Christi Millar from Osum Oil Sands Corp., Lisa Grant from Vancouver Public Library, and Vanessa Millar from MD Financial Management. Together the four of us fielded a variety of questions from our interested audience.

The speaker line-up at ThoughtSummit varied from inspirational and forward-thinking, to strategic and technical. And I think I landed somewhere in between, with a blend of practical tips and big ideas, very much rooted in reality.

Thanks for having me ThoughtSummit, until next year.

Monday
Jun292015

Celebrate with Pride: Facebook Makes It Easy to Show Support for Marriage Equality

 

You guys know how much I love all of the colours of the rainbow. I've doused myself in colour twice in the name of The Color Run after all. So when I saw the opportunity to add a rainbow to my Facebook profile pic, I jumped at it.

What I love about this, even more than the coloured stripes, is what it stands for.

Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court affirmed the right of same-sex couples to marry across America, becoming the 21st country to do so.

And that rainbow dancing over my face, celebrates the growing drumbeat of countries around the world sanctioning marriage for anyone who has love for another person. Marriage equality for all, regardless of sex.

So with national monuments lit up in rainbow colours, why shouldn't our faces be too?

Facebook's 'Celebrate Pride' tool makes it super-easy for users to add a rainbow overlay to their profile picture. Millions of people are just two-clicks away from taking part in armchair activism and celebrating same-sex couples in their community. My heart warms when I scroll through my feed and see a giant stream of rainbows, from many other supporters of marriage equality.

It's only a matter of time before #LoveWins everywhere, right?

Thursday
Jun182015

6 Tips For A Brighter 5K Color Run

After doing The Color Run, not just once, but twice, I’ve got some tips and tricks up my sleeve on how you can make the most out of the event and make your 5K run even more colorful.

  1. Take a before AND after photo. Although the memories will live on forever, the pictures are going to get the Insta-likes. Take lots throughout the race, but definitely take a before and after.
  2. Get there early and plan to stay after the run. Make sure you pick up your event packet before race day so you don’t have to worry about lines in the morning. Plan to arrive between 30-60 mins before the published start time so you can take in the energy around you. It’s a fun run for a reason so make the most of the music, crazy costumes and dancing before, during and after the race. Not to mention the color throws and dance party post-run.
  3. Bring as little as possible with you.  My kit contained a disposable bottle of water to drink on the way there and then put in the trash, a small armband pocket containing my house key, a credit card, ID, $20 in cash, and of course, my phone, essential for documenting the fun.
  4. Protect your scalp!  If you don’t want to spend the next few days scrubbing colored powder out of your center part, wear a cap or a wig (in white of course!) It’s a great way to look the part, but much easier to get clean in the days afterwards.
  5. Get as much color as possible. Keep your arms down and twirl as you move through the color throws to get a more even color placement – yes there is a strategy involved! You might want to hold your breath and close your mouth at the same time to avoid taking in too much powder.
  6. Finish line smiles. Position yourself by the Flo Foto camera as you cross the finish line and show the world just how happy you are to be done! Then around two weeks later don’t forget to look up your photos online to purchase a copy.

 

Have you done a similar fun run?

Share your tips in the comments>>

Tuesday
Dec022014

Sydney in Summer....*sigh*

It's really simple. Even after living in the Big Apple for 2.5 years, there is still nothing better than Sydney in Summer. Actually, we could even narrow it down to January. Sydney in January is bliss.

It starts with a bang with fireworks on the Harbour Bridge on New Years Eve, then the momentum continues with Sydney Festival and culminates in Australia Day. It seems as though everyone is on summer holidays, at the beach, eating chocolate Paddle Pops, day trippin' on the Manly ferry, and spending the balmy nights at Opera Bar or the many open air cinema's that pop up around the city....

Yep, that's my city in Summer. And she still has my heart.

Watch this snappy timelapse video featuring a few of my favourite spots (Boathouse Palm Beach, Shelly Beach, and Hugos Manly) and then tell me you don't feel the same.

 

Saturday
Aug092014

4 big ideas from the 2014 Content 2 Conversion conference

Earlier this year I attended the Content 2 Conversion conference in New York City to get the buzz on content marketing and lead generation. It’s not often you get to take a day out of the office to mingle with the best content marketers in the business (cue Pam Didner from Intel, Lee Odin from TopRank and Jacky Saayman from Open Text, winner of two Killer Content awards) and eavesdrop on how to drive greater lead generation from content.

Here are the four big ideas I took away with me:

1. Repurpose, Reuse, Refresh.

A whitepaper or webinar is a huge undertaking on their own. They are meaty, lengthy, and rich in depth and detail. But once published it it would be a waste to leave them in their static, stand alone form, waiting for downloads.

Click to read more ...