Last year a group of youngish New York hispsters (and actress Susan Sarandon) opened what appears to be the world’s first nightclub devoted to the sport of ping pong. SPiN, located in Manhattan, ensures exclusivity by having a niche group of members who pay $650 per year individually or $900 for a family to be afforded access to the club during special member-only nights. Non-members can also book tables and use the club during weekly open-house hours. According to their website,
SPiN New York is a 13,000 square foot table tennis social club on Park Avenue in Manhattan’s Flatiron District. The club offers unparalleled table tennis courts with Olympic quality cushioned flooring and 13 individual tables, including a stadium-like center court. In addition, SPIN New York houses a pro shop, lounge, bar, private room … and over a dozen internationally known professional coaches and players who are available for private and group instruction.
One of these coaches is Wally Green – a 20 something, freestyle rapper and ping pong savant. He is one example of how the profile of ping pong has evolved from that of the bow tie wearing Forrest Gump to a new breed of young, hip urbanite. Although some of the old pros like Marty Reisman (pictured above) still chew up the tables, you are more likely to run into the likes of the Beastie Boys or model Verionica Webb tossing back a martini while hitting the ball back and forth in their Vans and Manolos (respectively).
Image of Marty Reisman (table tennis champion) by Tyler Askew of Maround.com.