In John Cheever’s classic short story “The Swimmer,” his protagonist, Neddy, uses his neighbors’ pools to swim his way home. He strings these man-made bodies of water together–a “river” in the wealthy outer suburbs of New York. Along the way, he drinks (heavily), talks (grandly), and swims (rather cavalierly). Each subsequent dip marks an increasingly peculiar passage of time, and reveals more and more about the life of our hero. As Cheever’s tale progresses, the sense of the surreal overwhelms. In the end, the journey is not at all what appeared at its outset.
Inspired by the themes and visuals Cheever so brilliantly presented back in 1964, producer/photographer Sam Bloom offered her own modern take–all on the grounds of SIXTY Hotels own properties. Our hero swims in our pools, drinks in our bars, rests in our beds. The series, in its sum, is sexy, boozy, and bittersweet. And, with summer official over September 23, it serves as our literary homage to the season’s end.
Below, just a taste of what’s to come in the next two weeks. Follow along at @SIXTYhotels, and absolutely read “The Swimmer” if you haven’t already. Standing at a short and swift thirteen pages, there’s simply no excuse not to. Catch it here.