Every January 2, the photos that grace front-page newspapers baffle us: Folks, young and old (in swimsuits), having a hoot in Coney Island’s freezing water. Normally, we’d have second thoughts about entering those murky waters even in the summer, but something about swimming in shivering temps makes it seem very liberating. Each year, mobs ready to take a dive in the Coney Island Polar Bear Swim continue to grow because word spreads that hypothermia won’t be biting you in the ass. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club emphasizes that with the proper swimwear and by following their useful tips, the only thing that’ll be dead-cold are those watching from afar. (Bring your bathing suit, surf boots, or old sneakers and warm clothes).

Thu., Jan. 1, noon, 2009

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