HIGH LINE: SECTION I
What it is: The former elevated freight railroad track of the West Side
Line, preserved and rebuilt into 1.5 miles of benches and greenery.
Know before you go: “The Sundeck [between 14th and 15th Sts] has the best wide-open view of the Hudson,” says Katie Lorah, media and project manager of Friends of the High Line. And it always will: According to a city rule, no buildings may go up on the block lying west of that section of the High Line. Soak up the sun on lounge chairs equipped with wheels that roll back and forth along the old railroad track.
Bonus: Good news for you and your pea-size bladder: Bathrooms are located near the southernmost entrance (Gansevoort St at 16th St), so no holding your privates as you walk-run to the nearest Starbucks.
What it is: Stiff competition for the Gutter, located just two blocks away in Williamsburg. This new alley offers 16 lanes, a luxe lounge, a performance space big enough to accommodate you and 599 sweaty strangers, ten projection screens and snacks courtesy of the folks at the infamously delicious Blue Ribbon.
Know before you go: “The key to a strike is twofold,” says Mia Sladyk, the alley’s talent buyer for live music. “Keeping your arm straight, swing it like a pendulum parallel to your body and release the ball with your thumb pointing straight into the air.” She also recommends eating greasy foods with your nonbowling hand.
Bonus: This new joint is greener than the St. Paddy’s Day beer that made you sick last weekend: The compound is fully powered by wind energy; the pin spotter is energy efficient; the stage is covered with recycled truck tires; and eight new trees were planted outside the space. 61 Wythe Ave between North 11th and 12th Sts, Williamsburg, Brooklyn (718-963-3369, brooklynbowl.com. Prices TBD.
SPIN NEW YORK
Coming: May 23
What it is: The space holds 15 Ping-Pong tables (plus two in a private room) and boasts Olympic-quality flooring and player-friendly lighting. With a full bar and free-to-watch nighttime matches, the owners want to make Ping-Pong the new clubbing. “We’re going to be the finest Ping-Pong club and the hottest bar, all in one,” promises cofounder Jonathan Bricklin.
Know before you go: Think it’s hard to get a table at the Waverly Inn? It’s harder to get one here if you’re not a member. To reserve tables in advance, you must snatch up one of the club’s 300 founding memberships ($600 annually, plus $10 for every 30 minutes of play).
Bonus: Susan Sarandon is an investor. Random, we know, but the movie star can rack up points faster than she can drive off a cliff. “It’s important to breathe,” Sarandon reminds us, noting how people often hold their breath during bouts. “Bend your knees for a better perspective and watch the ball until it hits your paddle.” 304 Park Ave South between 22nd and 23rd Sts (212-982-8802, spinyc.com). Half hour for nonmembers $15.
In other news...
West Harlem Piers With the completion of this park, bikers will no longer have to brave the traffic on Riverside Drive as they pedal to 135th Street. A fishing dock, kayak launch and ferryboat are all on deck. (Punny!) 125th and Marginal Sts at the Hudson River
Crotona Park The redesign of Indian Lake’s shoreline and the completion of a 700-seat amphitheater make the Bronx a worthy destination for concertgoing and gorging (there are also two new picnic and barbecue areas). Crotona Park East at Charlotte St
Washington Square Park After a year of demo, the gates on the west side of the park are finally coming down; unfortunately, they’re going up on the east end. But thanks to the fountain shifting, the size of the grassy area has increased by 20 percent. Washington Sq North at Fifth Ave
GREAT BALLS OF FIRE!
Spin New York is giving away an hour-long Ping-Pong lesson with two-time Olympic champion Atanda Musa. For a chance to win, e-mail email@example.com with your best sports-related sob story and we’ll consider your case.
See more in Own This City >>
It starts with a simple question: Got any old maps of Brooklyn? An hour later, I’ll still be poring over a stack of them, losing track of time, as it’s so easy to do in the Lionel Pincus and Princess Firyal Map Division.