Photos: Brrr-ing in the New Year

January 5, 2015 Anna Spivak
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New Yorkers braved the cold once again this New Year’s Day to kick off the year at Coney Island’s Polar Bear Plunge.

The icy tradition turned out thousands of bathing-suit wearing Brooklynites, ready to take the plunge into the Atlantic Ocean on the 39° day.

The club refers to itself as “just a group of people from all walks of life who deeply enjoy the activity of cold water swimming,” according to its website.

The gutsy group assembled at 1 p.m. on the Coney Island Boardwalk at Stillwell Avenue. Participation brought with it a suggested a donation of $20 to benefit Camp Sunshine—a retreat for children with life-threating illnesses and their families.

Domenic Lombardo, a Bensonhurst resident, said his family has kept the tradition for over 15 years, in memory of a family friend who never missed it before he died.

“It’s my 10th year, and it was about six of us,” said Lombardo. “It was really cold this year. It was warmer outside but the water was freezing.”

“It was very shocking to say the least,” said this paper’s own Christian Sorrentino, a first-time spectator at the plunge. “I didn’t think there would be that many people there but it was a nice way to ring in the New Year.”


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