Words by Gee & The Hotstepper
With a sizable line at the door, and fashionistas milling about everywhere, the debut of the SPiN New York ping pong club seemed more like a couture event than a sporting one. But with a sport championed by tennis pro, international playboy, and fashion tastemaker Fred Perry what else could you expect. Five gorgeous German ping-pong tables, complete with the Standard Hotel’s logo, stood in the middle of a cavernous room with beautiful wood-paneled ceilings and floor-length glass windows showing off the ridiculously dope view of the Hudson River. The crowd piled up on either side, anxiously awaiting the start of the tournament.
Over sixty contestants had signed up to try out their Chop and Drop shots (check your table tennis handbooks for more on what that actually means!). While most were just party-goers eager to smack a ball around for a few, we did spot some seasoned pros, including a granny who was rockin’ a table-tennis-ready outfit and had her own customized ping-pong gear in tote. After a brief speech by the SPiN club’s chairman, who gave special thanks to celebrity investor Susan Sarandon and props to the other celebs in the house (a very handsome Tim Robbins and Judah Friedlander, decked out in full hipster attire, were also in attendance), the tournament was underway! Back and forth, the balls were flying across the table, and in most cases across the room, since there weren’t too many seasoned pros on the courts. The Standard’s league did especially well, proving that fashionistas and hipsters weren’t as bad at ping-pong as one would have suspected.
Although there certainly are some table tennis clubs around the city where ping pong enthusiasts can enjoy a brisk game, SPiN New York is the first one that I’ve ever seen specifically built and marketed as a really cool place to go. The 13,000 square foot locale on Park Avenue in Manhattan’s Flatiron District offers Olympic quality cushioned flooring to go along with it’s 17 individual table tennis courts and stadium style center court. Patrons can make a day or evening of it in the social club’s unparalleled facilities, and satiate themselves with lunch and/or dinner, a bar and lounge, pick up a new pips out paddle in the Pro shop, and after a particularly rousing round of matches shower off in the locker room before heading home.
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