NEW YORK CITY TENNIS
Happy new year, everyone — and more importantly, happy new tennis season!
After a long, wet and frustrating winter, it's finally time to hit the courts, play some tennis and get some much-needed fresh air. So come hang out with friends both old and new, take in some truly beautiful scenery, and help us smack the felt off a bunch of fuzzy yellow balls!
We offer tennis lessons every week and we host social tennis meetups every weekend, we throw several holiday BBQs every year, and from time to time we have special events. Here's our current schedule of upcoming meetups.
SOCIAL TENNIS MEETUPS
We're at the beginning of the outdoor tennis season, so let's shake the rust off and have some fun!
• Saturday at 8:00am
• Saturday at 10:00am
• Saturday at 12:00pm
• Sunday at 8:00am
• Sunday at 10:00am
• Sunday at 12:00pm
• Sunday at 2:00pm
These meetups are for people who have at least some experience playing tennis and can sustain rallies for at least a few balls. If there's interest, we may explore setting up some dedicated beginners-only sessions down the line. Please let us know if you'd like that.
In the mean time, if you've never played tennis before, or if you need a little more work before you can reach that minimum level, don't despair, just check out our excellent and extremely affordable group tennis lessons. Tennis is a fantastic sport that can last a lifetime, and our instructor in residence, Russ Cormier, is friendly, supportive and outstanding at what he does.
GROUP TENNIS LESSONS
In addition to our regular social sessions meant for hitting and playing, we're extremely pleased to offer group lesson meetups with our friend Russ Cormier, a USPTA-certified tennis pro licensed by the New York City Parks and Recreation Department to be the sole provider of tennis lessons at the Fort Washington Park tennis courts.
• Saturday, March 30th at 11:00am
These lessons are fantastic opportunities to improve your game and get even more out of your time on the courts in the future.
The water fountains are off until the weather improves a little more, so you should bring anything you'll need to eat and anything you'll want to drink with you, as there aren't any stores, delis or restaurants nearby.
The courts are likely to be jammed by the time the session starts, so please help us, and more importantly, help yourselves, by arriving 10 to 15 minutes early. That's the best way to make sure that we all get as much playing time as possible.
And for new members, here's a brief overview of how the group works: we supply an abundance of tennis balls, we provide permits as needed, we try to match people up by ability, we hit, and for those who want to, we play friendly sets. We also have brooms and squeegees, spare racquets, a first aid kit, and plenty of other equipment and supplies to cover all sorts of situations as they arise.
If you want to keep hitting or playing with the people you start with, that's great, and if you want to switch around and get some variety in your tennis partners, that's great too. You can either introduce yourself to other members of the group and join them, or ask us to introduce you — it's all very casual, friendly and free-form. The main point is to have as much fun as possible!
As many long-time members know, this group generates a lot of announcement emails. We've found it necessary to send out those announcements because of the nature of the Meetup platform and the activities we host, but we also understand that the volume of email can be frustrating for some people who'd like to join us for events from time to time but who don't want to deal with all the email the group generates.
Strategies like using a separate email account for Meetup that you don't check on all devices or setting up filters or rules that will automatically move all announcements from the group into a dedicated folder are still useful, but Meetup recently introduced a new feature that should address your concerns if you want to opt out of receiving these announcements altogether. It's a very imperfect solution, but it's far better than nothing, and it's also not burdensome to us, unlike the only previous solution, manually building and maintaining a separate opt-in mailing list, which proved completely infeasible due to the size of the group. If you want to opt out of announcement emails, please drop us a line and we'll send you instructions.
RULES AND ATTENDANCE POLICIES
Because the courts do get crowded and because we don't want to be bad citizens and occupy too many of them, we do have to be serious about asking you to observe our 8-people-per-session limit.
Also, we must require that you respect our main rule:
DO NOT RSVP and then either cancel your RSVP after 3pm the day before or just plain fail to show up!
This is not just a matter of common courtesy, it's essential to the functioning of the group.
This meetup is very difficult and very demanding to organize, and space is extremely limited. Many people want to play, but there's only room for a few — especially this year. If you sign up and then don't show (and for purposes of this group, cancellations after 3pm the day before count as no-shows, because people who are on the waiting list or who would be interested in joining us need a reasonable minimum amount of notice in order to be able to attend if spots open up for them) you are screwing over the organizers, and you are screwing over your fellow members. We apologize for putting it so bluntly, but that's just the way it is.
People at the top of the waiting list are deprived of spots that should've been theirs. People who don't RSVP at all because they don't expect a spot to open up frequently lose out on opportunities to play. And members who do attend may well miss out on the best possible matchups with other players because we're waiting for more people to arrive and we're forced to make decisions based on mistaken expectations.
It's hugely unfair, it makes organizing far more difficult and aggravating than it needs to be, and it only takes a moment to change your RSVP or even to just send the organizer a text or an email, so please, don't blow off the meetup if you've signed up.
If you break this rule three times in a season, we'll unfortunately have no choice but to kick you out of the group. Seriously. We know, this sucks bigtime, and we really, really hate to do it, but it sucks even more when people don't get to play tennis because someone else grabs an RSVP slot and then doesn't use it — or cancels at the last minute, which amounts to the same thing.
Of course we'll make exceptions to the three-strikes-and-you're-out policy for genuine emergencies and bad weather, but short of that, all you have to do is to change your RSVP by 3pm the day before the event. Please help us make this group work for everyone and change your RSVP by then if you're not going to come. It really only takes a moment!
On a somewhat related note, if you come to the courts without having RSVP'd at all, we'll do our best, but we might not be able to offer you play time. We'll certainly try, but we hope you understand that people with confirmed 'yes' RSVPs get priority.
We hate to make any rules at all, but sometimes they're necessary to keep things running smoothly, and we're sure you'll agree that these rules are both reasonable and fair.
But enough with that — let's have a blast and snap some strings!
If you've never been to the courts before and you need a guide, please let us know beforehand, and we'll try to arrange for someone to meet you at the University Deli a little before the session, though this doesn't always work out.
Now for directions. There are four ways to get to the courts.
1. Walking or biking through the park — the Greenway stretches virtually all the way along the west edge of Manhattan along the river
2. Walking down along the river from 181st St.
Detailed Directions From 181st St. to the Courts
3. Getting off the subway at 168th St. and Broadway right by the University Deli
Because a small part of route #3 is very isolated, we STRONGLY RECOMMEND that any women traveling alone take route #1 or #2, as both are very heavily traveled.
Detailed Directions From 168th St. and Broadway to the Courts
4. Driving over and parking on Riverside at about 165th St.
If you drive, we suggest you park amongst other cars a little closer to 165th St. and the Psychiatric Institute, where your car will be safe. Cars parked up north under the overpasses, where there are no buildings, few cars, and very little foot traffic, have occasionally been broken into.
If you drive, park on Riverside just north of 165th St. in front of or opposite the Psychiatric Institute and then follow the directions from the deli linked to above in Route #3 starting at step 4.
Because the courts are hidden away and very hard to find, we strongly urge you to bring one of the detailed sets of directions with you either in print or on a phone or tablet if you've never been there before.
The 'A', the 'C' and the '1' trains stop right by the deli, and the 'A' continues to 181st St., but be sure to check for service advisories, because the MTA has been suspending some lines lately, usually on the weekends, for track and signal work.
Subway Service Advisories
You can also take a few different bus lines to get to the deli or up to 181st St.
Bus and Subway Maps
In case you are new and get lost, please bring your cell phones and our number!
Again, if you're new to the courts, we strongly suggest that you bring the directions for your preferred route with you, either on paper or on a phone or tablet, so that you can refer to them along the way. Nobody who's brought a copy has ever gotten lost, but many people who haven't have run into serious trouble finding their way.
WEATHER AND CANCELLATIONS
Here's the National Weather Service's Detailed 7-Day Forecast.
If bad weather forces us to cancel the event, we'll let you know by email as early as possible. And if you're wondering whether the meetup is still on, you can also call or text us at any time.
If you have any questions about the group, whether you're new or you've been a member for years, we've posted the beginnings of a group FAQ on the message board. And if you have any further questions, please don't hesitate to drop us a line!
Organizer, NYC Tennis