Swimmers head toward the water at exactly noon on January 1, 2000, at Beach 145 street.
Twenty years ago, Peter Brady of Beach 145 street and Owen Quinn of Beach 146 street decided to take a New Year's day swim. Every New Year's day since that first chilly dip, they have kept the tradition alive by meeting at 12 noon at Beach 146 street and plunging into the icy water. Slowly over the years, they have been joined by more and more friends and relatives. Pete's boys, Matthew and Peter, joined him five years ago, and have started to recruit swimmers.
Beach 129 street neighbors Tom and TJ Barry, Jeffrey Hoinacki and Kevin Dolan were daring enough to take the plunge. Each year, more and more participants are showing up, joined by an army of supporters (towel holders) who shout encouragements.
This year a sign in sheet tallied a record of 64 swimmers, which is a high number for a non-publicized, word of mouth event. Of course, the unseasonable temperatures may have helped, but still it is apparent that the Brady/Quinn tradition is growing into a phenomenon…and the tradition will continue.