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I Like Your Rack…et

July 29, 2009

398px-Leaping_the_tennis_netAbout a year ago, I played tennis three times a week. Then I moved to New York, where tennis fees look a little something like this: 


Summer permit-$100

1 hr. reservation ticket-$7

Number of public courts below Harlem: 3


1 hour of play: Your first born child

For a broke recent grad who had sold her soul to an office job, and was already without a tennis buddy,, these options were not options. But lo and behold, one year later, I leave New York for two months and free public courts appear. I knew there was something to be said for running away from your problems…

Open every day from April 1 to December 22, the three courts in the Hudson River Park are available from 6 am to 12:30 am, giving you ample time to watch and judge the runners/ rollerbladers/ bikers that fly by. They’re also conveniently located right next to the river, so if it gets really hot, and you’re not afraid of PCBs, DDT or chlamydia, then you can jump right in. Scared? Just take a break and make fun of the people kayaking in it.

My client/ friend, Dan, introduced me to the courts, and though they’re first come, first serve, we only had to wait about 30 minutes. Since I was making my comeback, we just volleyed for the hour. And by hour I mean 30 minutes. See, New york is hot. Like…really hot. I grew up in the South, where heat dictated my summer spots, but here, the buildings and the concrete and the repulsively humid, germ-ridden subways pulse under the streets and emit a heat that makes the city groan. Outdoor activity becomes disgusting, so unaccustomed to the heat and out of tennis shape, we had to take mini breaks so I didn’t repeat my infamous heat stroke of 2001. Dan–thanks for being such a trooper. I’ve been running outside and promise that next week, I’ll make it to at least 45 minutes. 

Last but not least, I also rediscovered the muscle between your thumb and forefinger. It is called the first dorsal interosseus muscle. And it likes to be exercised. If you haven’t played tennis in a while, just keep this in mind, and don’t schedule hot yoga for the next day. Trust me. 

All in all, tennis rocked. I really missed the sport–a relaxing, focused game that is kind of like hyperactive meditation. Since that is also an activity on my list of things to learn, I’m going to keep at it. Which hopefully means a new racket and a pair of no-slip sports glasses. Recommendations welcome. 


*From NY Department of Parks and Recreation

**This is not true. But it does average $100/ hr. If you’re so inclined, pick a court here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. July 29, 2009 5:26 pm

    To be fair, it was REALLY REALLY HOT . And most people aren’t in the peak physical condition I’m in.

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