Table Tennis Club NYC
To purists, it's called "table tennis, " but to generations of suburbanites who grew up playing it in their basements, it's "Ping-Pong." Technically, that's a Parker Brothers trademark - but it's much more fun to say.
Now comes Pongtopia! a three-day festival that continues through Saturday in the grand Winter Garden atrium of the World Financial Center in downtown Manhattan. There you'll find a tournament, with experts showing off their technique, and an exhibit of cool graffiti-painted tables and paddles curated by street artist Billi Kid.
Got the urge to play? Here are five city spots to get your pong on.
WHAT Table-tennis fest with masters tournament, exhibit of graffitied tables (auctioned) and paddles (selling for $250 each; proceeds benefit Operation Design, a nonprofit bringing architects and designers together with kids in public schools), plus tables where the public can play or get topspin tips from pros.
WHEN | WHERE Friday, noon to 10 p.m. (public play, noon to 2 p.m.), Saturday, noon to 5 p.m. (public play, all day). World Financial Center Winter Garden, 200 Liberty St. (near Chambers St. subway stop)
2. SPIN NEW YORK
WHAT Clubby hot spot with 17 "courts, " plus bar, restaurant, pro-shop and VIP room. Keep your eyes peeled for co-owner Susan Sarandon.
WHEN | WHERE Monday, 11 a.m. to midnight; Tuesday and Wednesday till 1 a.m.; Thursday till 2 a.m.; Friday and Saturday till 4 a.m.; Sunday till 10 p.m. 48 E. 23rd St.
INFO $10 per half-hour before 6 p.m., $20 after; 212-982-8802, newyork.spingalactic.com
3. FAT CAT
WHAT A subterranean bar/cafe with live music, pingpong, billiards, foosball, Scrabble and more.
WHEN | WHERE Monday to Thursday, 2 p.m. to 5 a.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon to 5 a.m. 75 Christopher St. (at Seventh Avenue)
INFO $5.50 to $6.50 per player per hour; 212-675-6056, fatcatmusic.org
4. BRYANT PARK
WHAT Two outdoor tables at the northwest entrance, near the ice rink, holiday shops and Southwest Airlines' new "Porch" (with bar and Adirondack chairs).
WHEN | WHERE Daily through November, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. 42nd Street and Sixth Avenue.
INFO Free; 212-768-4242, bryantpark.org
WHAT Cozy Williamsburg bar with 22 beers on tap and a table in a back patio; small, yes, but free and comfy as your own rec room. Come cooler temps your serve better pack some heat - the patio's only partially heated.