Best Place to People-Watch

Outdoor Aquatic Center at the YMCA Carondelet Park Rec Complex

Taut twentysomethings and rotund retirees are here in various states of undress at the Carondelet YMCA's outdoor pool — and they are an eyeful. More than half of the eighteen-and-up crowd have some wicked tattoos on display. So sometime between Memorial Day and Labor Day, plunk down your white plastic lounger next to the lazy river and watch the ink parade float by in endless loops. The guy with "TOOL" etched on his bicep: a homage to the band, or an early-warning system of sorts? The sloppily drawn rose planted on a toned thigh: a mistake from a bygone spring-break trip, surely? And what to make of that cryptic five of clubs playing card? The spindly tree straight out of a Tim Burton flick? The eagle's wings that span the width of some dude's entire chest? There are stories behind every inch of ink here at the pool, but the ones you conjure are infinitely more interesting — and a fine way to pass a languid summer afternoon.

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