Let me tell you: the West Side Water Park is where the heat gets beat. Beaten to a right sodden pulp by all the water the flows and splays and spritzes so freely. On the most torpid days, when the air is as thick as a brick and you could poach a three-minute egg in the gutter water streaming from the broken hydrant, the boys and I are regular customers of this little slice of hydrotopia on Pier 51.
Sure, it was once known as Shame On You Park, because Arnold Diaz once showed up to expose the grim fact that there was no barrier between the little kiddie geysers and the metal outer fence, and that a poorly attended child could have easily waddled over, slipped through the bars, and plummeted to a petrochemical grave in the Hudson River. But they fixed all that, and all is forgiven, and now Daddy routinely brings his boys over for a good round of Splopping.
Splopping occurs when a superbly aimed bucketful of water hits an oncoming chest and radiates majestically outward. For this little exercise, I had the bucket in my right hand and my decidedly non-waterproof camera in the other. And Robert, excellent sport that he is, kept coming at me until we had several really entertaining shots, like these.
After the photo session ended, Robert let me carefully return my camera to the baby bag before he grabbed a pail the size of a beach ball and soaked the bejeebus out of me. I might have water in my ears until Labor Day.