Rules are a small price to pay for swimming at 3rd & Fairmount.

I don’t have an air conditioner, I never have and I’ve survived every hot and muggy Philly summer so far. This summer is the toughest.

Of course I could easily run out to Target and pick up a window unit of cold air heaven, but at this point it’s more about my ego than anything else. I’ve made it 27 years with the help of some old school box fans, so what makes this summer any different? The obvious answer would be 101-degree heat waves, global warming and my old, unventilated house with full carpeting throughout; but my hard-headed, stubborn self won’t let me take the easy way out. I work at night and I have to be creative with where I spend the daytime hours so I don’t die from a heat-induced illness.

Public Pools have been my saving grace this year; in fact, I’m pretty much a public pool connoisseur. Last year, only about half were open, but thanks to some pretty wealthy and awesome donators, this summer, all 70 are filled and ready for doggy paddling.

Yes, you will be among preteen day camp children and yes, if you want to get your sunbathing on, you will have to lay out on concrete; but you get to go swimming in the middle of the city when it’s a million degree’s outside, so you have to take the bad with the good.

The official pool list is here. Make sure you call first; most of them have atypical days of operation, but trust me, the effort is well worth it.