With winter anxiously waiting to descend on us, it’s time to spread the word about the cornucopia of THINGS TO DO INDOORS WHEN IT’S TOO DARNED COLD TO BE OUTSIDE. This is New York, so you can bet there’s quite a mix of indoor “sports.” All the boroughs have neighborhood favorites, but we’ll concentrate here on games in Manhattan, Brooklyn and then add further out. Good excuse to explore!
EVERYTHING you’d like to know, but here are some highlights. Can be out-of-date re closings and rates, please note.
Bowling has lost much of its old-fashioned allure as trendiness takes over, just as with almost everything else. Old favorite spots have disappeared with the city’s real estate grabs. But there are new outlets, too, with top line equipment and comforts. Still relatively easy on the budget for a fun time with friends.
LUCKY STRIKE IN HELL’S KITCHEN Classy Lucky Strike is hugh, fancy, with state-of-the-art lanes, classy “lounge” sofas, even a dress code. Special deals are offered Mon-Tue-Wed, with unlimited bowling and/or billiards and ping pong. $$Extras have to be part of the deal. In Midtown-West on 42nd Street.
FRAMES IN HELL’S KITCHEN Couches, $$ mixed drinks. Also a dress code for your group.It’s a really nice atmosphere, quite a good local following.
THE GUTTER Crossing into Williamsburg, Brooklyn, you’ll find two bowling sites. The Gutter will satisfy: elegant, a bit old-school still pricey compared to back-home. Bring your own food, if you like, no kids admitted. Just grownups who love Brooklyn and bowling.
BROOKLYN BOWL Definitely high-end. Just be careful not to count on this venue without checking first, as they often host music events. All kinds of specials, so see what fits your desires and schedule. Fried chicken (and other stuff) and nightclub-quality shows and DJs. So, it’s bowling at its best.
Also check the following bowling emporia–not Manhattan or Brooklyn–but not impossible. Great idea if you’re already wandering these locales for great memories:
WHITESTONE LANES in Flushing, Queens Bargain rates, open 24 hours.
HUDSON LANES Really a great choice, and with the PATH train, so close. Varying rates, lots of NJ locals, but not a second choice at all. And add another state to your NY memories!
Ping Pong is often part of a multi-choice stop, and it can be taken very, very seriously. And don’t forget, Bryant Park has open-air, FREE ping pong! Just mentioning two here, but Google “ping pong” and lots come up.
SPIN Here is true sport and entertainment in a designer-type setting. Day or Night, ping and pong in 17 courts. Restaurant/Bar, pro-shop. You have to be over age 21 after 9pm, but during the day it’s all-ages.
FAT CAT in the West Village More than ping pong, but good ping pong! Pool, live music, classes.
WANG CHEN ping pong is quite close to park 79 Hotel, on 100th Street & Broadway. Very serious ping pong! Very serious!
Billiards & Pool, so many neighborhood spots may feature a table or two, but here we’ll mention the highlights for this diversion. Some have a couple of TV screens for seasonal sports, others are TV screen theatres. It’s a great way to mix with locals, maybe make a new forever friend.
SPACE BILLIARDS 24 hour operation, in Koreatown on 32nd Street, in from Broadway and up a funky elevator. 14 tables (beautifully maintained) special lighting, And not just billiards–there’s Korean snacks and vast beer menu. KARAOKE! Hidden on the 12th floor of a typical, old Midtown building. But surprise and fun await! $17 per hour, $20 per hour if you have more than four people in your party.
EASTSIDE BILLIARDS is just a cross town bus from Park 79 Hotel, with many considering it the very best. Luxurious could be a description.
Soldier McGee is close to Park 79 Hotel, just a good neighborhood Irish bar with pool table. Always busy.
Darts are everywhere. Even a tiny neighborhood hangout can have a couple of dart boards. So here’s a BIG list for all over. Play Darts! Just too many to list, so this is a great guide and you can choose a location just right for your schedule.
Karaoke is taken very seriously by our Japanese-New Yorkers, but the love of this “sport” has become an epidemic…and a terrific one. Here’s a listing for some known and some hidden karaoke temples, even a few very close to he hotel. Perfect for a rainy night, a too-tired-to-do-much evening. KARAOKE TONIGHT!