Tennis, squash, Ping-Pong. It's all here. You just have to know where to go.
Besides the City of New York Parks and Recreation tennis courts, which are a relative bargain, there are a few others in Manhattan that are open to the public. One caveat: Be prepared to pay. Just how much depends on where you play, what day, and what time.
Here is the rundown on public tennis courts in Manhattan:
The Central Park Tennis Center
Twenty-six clay and four hard courts open from April to November. Andre Agassi, Jimmy Connors, Bjorn Borg, and John McEnroe are among the tennis greats who have played in Central Park. Tennis has a long history in the park as most of the open meadows were used for temporary lawn tennis courts in the summer months in the 1880s.
In 1930, the permanent tennis house was built, and tennis has thrived ever since.
Situated on the West Side between 94th and 96th streets near the West Drive, the courts are accessible from both the Upper East and Upper West Side. Central Park courts are open 6:30 a.m. to dusk; prices for seasonal permits: junior permit, under 18, $10; 18 to 62, $200; 62 and older, $20; 212.316.0800, www.centralparktenniscenter.com; additional Parks Department courts in Manhattan at East River Park, Randall's Island Park, Riverside Park (at 119th and 96th streets). www.nycgovparks.org.
Other places for tennis
Sutton East Tennis, 488 E. 60th Street, 212.751.3452; $80 to $195 per hour depending on day and time; www.suttoneasttennis.com.
Vanderbilt Tennis Center, 15 Vanderbilt Ave., 4th floor, above Vanderbilt Hall, Grand Central Terminal, 212.599.6500; one full-size tennis court, $75 to $225 per hour; one practice court, $45 to $75 for practice court; seasonal court time holders often book a year in advance; weekly bookings for hours not booked by seasonal court holders; www.vanderbilttennisclub.com.
Yorkville Tennis Club, 1725 York Ave. at 89th Street, New York, 212.987.0301; two indoor, climate-controlled DecoTurf courts inside a luxury, doorman apartment building; open to the public, no membership required; rates per hour, $105 to $210 depending on day and time; book up to seven days in advance; cancellations not made by phone 24 hours in advance charged full amount; www.yorkvilletennisclub.com.
Roosevelt Island Racquet Club, 281 Main St., Roosevelt Island, 212.935.0250; 10 doubles courts, one singles court, one teaching court; summer rates begin May 25 and are slightly lower than winter season; www.rirctennis.com.
Midtown Tennis Club, 341 8th Ave. between 26th and 27th streets, 212.989.8572; www.midtowntennis.com.
Where to play Ping-Pong in Manhattan:
Bryant Park Ping-Pong: Just bring yourself ; paddles and balls are provided free of charge. Look for The Tables located near 42nd Street and 6th Avenue; sign up with an attendant in the park to reserve a time slot. Hours 11 a.m. to 7, April through September; 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., October and November; for information on upcoming tournaments and special events, call 212.768.4242; http://www.bryantpark.org/.
Table Tennis Nation: An organization founded two years ago for amateur Ping-Pong players who recall playing at camp or at a friend's house, this is not for professional players; for information about events, 646.481.8861.
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