Andrea F

Archive for the ‘NYC Sports and Recreation’ Category

Day 90: A Day at the Races

In Horse Races, New Jersey, NYC, NYC Sports and Recreation, things to do in NYC on August 29, 2009 at 11:48 pm


Unless you’re up for spending the afternoon at OTB (and chances are, that’s not likely) it means a car-ride. But a day at the track is worth the effort it takes to get there, and not just for the sake of winning a few bucks. There’s the beautiful horses and colorful jockeys, the hot dogs and beer, and of course, the thrill of the gamble. It’s one thing to catch the footage on the tube, but to stand at the mile-long track with only a fence between you and the thoroughbreds, bets placed, tickets in hand, the grandstands full of fans chanting the names of their favorites and the rumble of hoofs in the dirt, the action’s so thick you can taste it. With at least a half-dozen New York/New Jersey venues in close proximity to the city, it’s an easy day away. If you don’t consider yourself to be one in the know, find a friend who’s familiar with the game and tag along under their direction, or breeze through a program for the basics of betting and give it your best shot. Worst case, pick the names you like the sound of, like say, Koka Kola Kitty and cross your fingers they finish first. As long as you keep it for fun, it’s no sweat if you don’t win. But if you do…that wad of cash will feel really nice in your hands.


Day 87: Batting Cages at Chelsea Piers

In Chelsea, NYC, NYC Sports and Recreation, things to do in NYC on August 26, 2009 at 11:48 pm


Up for a little sweat? Some good old-fashioned fun? At this point hopefully you’ve realized you’re not gonna make it to the big league, and that you’re never gonna be Babe Ruth. That doesn’t mean you can’t have a good time dreaming. For a dose of something different, head over to the Field House at the Chelsea Piers for a session in the batting cages. A pocket full of tokens buys you an hour of fun, and to boot, gets your heart pumping and gives you a chance to work on that hand-eye coordination that needs improvement. Great for a casual first date, the typically dreaded ‘team-building exercise’ with co-workers or just goofing off with your pals, you can’t go wrong. For beginners, it’s best to start slow. Then if you’re feeling confident, work your way up to the faster pitching cages (and stand there in awe as balls whiz by you.) Be forewarned: you might be a spectacle to onlookers at the nearby soccer fields. But hey, if they laugh, laugh with them. Why not embrace the fact that you’ll never be pro?

Day 79: Lasker Pool

In Central Park, NYC, NYC for free, NYC Parks, NYC Sports and Recreation, Summer 2009, things to do in NYC on August 18, 2009 at 11:46 pm


On a hot summer day there’s nothing quite like jumping in a pool and then resting in the warmth of the sun. Mention the pool in Central Park to people and most of them will say they didn’t even know there was one. That may be because it’s nestled mid-park all the way at the top, between 106th and 108th Streets just next to the Harlem Meer. During winter months it’s Lasker Rink where you’ll find ice-skating and high school hockey games, but at summertime it’s the oh-so-inviting Lasker Pool, opened in 1966 thanks to the generous donation by the wealthy Lasker sisters. In its off hours, the glassine, bright blue oval set amongst the trees creates a serene waterscape that passersby can admire from afar, but once the crowds arrive, it’s all fun and games as children laugh and play, and splash about. Bordering the pool itself is an arc of concrete ‘bleachers’ where crowds sit, and sunbathers bathe. Remember to bring the essentials – proper swim attire (including flip flops!), a towel, a lock and of course the sunblock. It’s a great escape without even leaving the city, and best, it’s free!

11am – 3pm, 4-7pm daily, through September 5.

Day 72: Trapeze School NY

In NYC, NYC Sports and Recreation, Summer 2009, things to do in NYC on August 11, 2009 at 11:54 pm


Ever wish you could swing on a flying trapeze but know joining the circus is out of the question? No need to run away from real life—instead find circus-style fun at Trapeze School New York. Of the two locations in the city, only the outdoor facility at Pier 40 (Houston Street and the West Side Highway) is open only during the summer, so head over quickly. Whether you go for a session in the morning or afternoon, it’s a chance to stand up high in the sky and almost literally, fly through the clouds. During a two-hour class, you’ll hang from your knees, do a back-flip, and if you’re quick enough to catch on, you’ll do a trick where you get caught by an instructor. It may seem a bit daunting at first, the open air and the height from the platform to the ground below, but once you’re broken in, you’ll realize what all those childhood daydreams of life under the Big Top were all about. In the school’s own words: “Forget Fear. Worry About the Addiction.”

Day 66: The Putting Lot

In Brooklyn, NYC, NYC Sports and Recreation, Summer 2009, things to do in NYC on August 5, 2009 at 11:47 pm

putting lot

It’s summer time—days out of doors, jean shorts and flip-flops, feeling like a kid again…if only there was a place to put-put. Guess what! There is—for the rest of the summer anyway—thanks to Bushwick’s coolest new neighbor, The Putting Lot. Hop on the L train (and stay a while past your usual stop) to Jefferson Street, where around the corner, nestled in between two buildings, behind a fence at 12 Wycoff Avenue, you’ll find this parking lot turned putting lot, the result of a group of friends wanting to do something creative. As if nine minds came together and each did their best at unconventional-sustainable-cool, the [9-hole] course, built with random objects like water bottles, a car door and used furniture to name a few, illustrates the undeniable fact that in New York, anything goes. Come for a five-dollar game, or just a moment to relax (for free); take a minute and appreciate the little things that make this city the great place that it is.

Day 46: Kayaking in the Hudson

In Kayaking in the Hudson, NYC, NYC for free, NYC Sports and Recreation, things to do in NYC on July 16, 2009 at 11:54 pm


There’s nothing better on a hot summer day than cooling off in the water, even if it is the Hudson River! Every weekend from mid-May to mid-October, and on weekdays currently and through the end of August, the New York City Downtown Boathouse runs free kayaking for anyone looking for some fun in the sun and a little splishing and splashing. The all-volunteer run organization’s goal is to share the Hudson with everyone, thus all are welcome, and equipment is provided, assuming you follow a few of their simple guidelines. It’s a perfect summertime activity, whether going it alone for some quiet time in the open water or pairing up with a friend to work on communication skills! Looking at the city from a kayak in the Hudson—it’s an interesting view, and one you definitely can’t say you get very often.

Day 40: Free Bike Fridays on Governors Island

In Governors Island, NYC for free, NYC Sports and Recreation, Summer 2009, things to do in NYC on July 10, 2009 at 9:35 pm


Feel like taking a bike ride but lack the wheels with which to do so? Take the ferry over to Governors Island, a centuries-old former military base that lies a half mile south of Manhattan’s Southern tip. Just off the boat take a left to the bike tent where on Friday’s you can rent a bicycle and ride free for an hour on over five miles of car-free rode. The perimeter of the island offers views of Manhattan, Brooklyn and the Statue of Liberty of course, but inside the island, turn off on side streets for a closer look at old Army and Coast Guard buildings including two 19th century fortifications, Fort Jay and Castle Williams, historic homes along Colonel’s Row, two chapels, even a movie theater. Ferries depart Manhattan every hour beginning at 10am, but go early. The later it gets, the bigger the crowd.

Day 23: Yoga in the Park

In NYC, NYC for free, NYC Parks, NYC Sports and Recreation, things to do in NYC, Yoga in the Park on June 23, 2009 at 11:50 pm



If you’ve never done a sun salutation looking past the trees, up to the sky, the opportunity has arrived. Tuesday mornings from 10-11am in Bryant Park, Lululemon Athletica hosts a morning that makes you feel, not only at one with your body’s energy, but also at one with the nature surrounding you and the city beyond. Welcoming yogis of all levels, it’s an hour of downward dogs and warrior poses chock full of good vibrations– never mind the onlookers. And if yoga in front of a crowd is not for you, the city has plenty of unpopulated parks with blankets of grass and shady trees where you can practice solo. Namaste.

NYC Department of Parks and Recreation

Day 21: Bowling at Lucky Strike

In NYC, NYC Bowling, NYC Sports and Recreation, things to do in NYC on June 21, 2009 at 11:52 pm


Bowling doesn’t have to mean a dingy alley with fiberglass chairs, fluorescent lighting and pitchers of cheap beer. No! Though it might seem a strange setting for what’s typically thought of as a casual recreational activity, neon lights, modern, upholstered furniture and artwork on the walls is the norm at Manhattan’s Lucky Strike. With twenty-six lanes for play, a bar and lounge area, a DJ and a menu that includes coconut shrimp, mac & cheese bites, sliders and cookie shooters, it’s a glamorous night at the lanes. Yes, there’s a dress code and yes, you might find a line at the velvet rope and have to wait for a while once inside, but then again this isn’t your average bowling alley. Cocktails, music and people-watching, before you know it you’ll be slipping off your stilettos going for the strike. Hopefully it’s a lucky one.