Interview Highlight Bookmarks
Alan Fine, who grew up in Flatbush, shares memories of summers spent at Washington Baths Annex with his family as a boy in the 1950s. "I knew everybody," he says of the popular bathhouse, which was located on the boardwalk next to the Childs Restaurant. It was there he first met his wife of 53 years, Helene, when they were 10 years old. Overlooking the pool and the athletic courts was a balcony, where his parents and their friends sat, while Helene's parents and their friends sat on the level of the athletic courts. "They always started with a game of handball, then a swim, and then Helene's folks always liked to play poker. My father used to join in the men's game," he says. "It was wonderful." Alan describes in detail the locker rooms, solarium, saltwater pools (at both the Annex and the main bathhouse), and the under the boardwalk exit to the beach, as well as some of the colorful characters who frequented the Annex. After Washington Baths Annex was demolished in 1973, Alan went back looking for the slab of concrete in which he'd once carved his and Helene's initials in a heart. "I couldn't find it," he says.