(Aka Betting on everything)
No, I didn’t go to Las Vegas this weekend, I just tried to find a song that could be the right blend of retro style and give the idea of today’s topic: sport. You may say that Viva Las Vegas is nothing about sport, but wait to see where this is going before judging. Today I want to talk to my friends that play sports other than soccer, but still outside and in company. Although I recognize darts as a noble sport and I admire the perseverance of chess players, I will focus on real sport, not bar stuff.
In my long quest for the sport I was talented into when I was I kid I practiced almost every kind of activity involved movement and some kind of athletic preparation. As I writing on a blog about this, you can recognize how this didn’t go in the predicted direction. I was talented in nothing. I could barely walk on a straight line and I was just too lazy. I hated my father for bringing me to soccer games, for throwing me in the water, for making me wear a ridiculous karate outfit. I share a wall of my house with a tennis field inItaly, and I basically grew up between red clay and bouncing yellow balls that every day invade my garden. Kids hit balls too hard and they fly into my garden, I think I would have something like one million balls if I didn’t bring them back every day by now.
Anyway I couldn’t play tennis either, and finally my father gave up, he allowed me to go down my way. I regretted so much this decision, sometimes I think how good I could have become if I had trained hard when I was a kid. Probably I would have been no better than how I am now, and I do suck, believe me. Maybe not very much at soccer, but still one of the lowest levels. During a discussion in a bar with a dear friend of mine, where I was showing all my misogyny and my unmotivated willingness to start an argument not really meaning it, I have been challenged by this girl to play tennis. I bragged about the fact that when I was eight I had thirteen classes of tennis and, since I am a man, I clearly had the victory in my hands.
Later that day I found out she was something like an NCAA champion and I had difficulties to even move my arms. Not a good sign for the challenge. The bet was not just about the glory that would have come after the victory, not about the infinite glory and respect that the winner would have earned by slapping the opponent, but something extremely tangible. If I lose the bet, I will have to dress up like Super Mario (stereotypes at go-go) and run acting like him (so jumping, breaking bricks, sliding into pipes where possible) from central park to 42nd street and Broadway,Times Square. That is actually full of weirdos, so I don’t care so much, but the stain of the lost bet will remain forever. If I win, which everyday seems a less likely scenario, she would have to prepare lunch, clean, dinner, clean again the whole house for twenty-four hours. My house is hyper clean but I will figure out something.
InNew Yorkto play outdoor sports you basically need a permit. You can obtain permits in three ways: by visiting the website of NYC Parks and Recreation, and submit you request through their forms (fifteen bucks for an hour); in this way you can sit on your ass as most of New Yorkers like to do and wait around twenty days to receive it. I totally don’t recommend you this solution, you will wait forever to get it and probably you won’t be in the right mood after waiting more than three weeks. The second way is to go to their offices in Upper West and take the permit right away and the last one is order them by mail which in 2012 is the equivalent of sending the request through smoke signals or leave your message attached to a pigeon.
I give you a tip they don’t give you in the site: inCentral Parkfield they have a stand that sells the permits, just go there with your stuff and ask for a permit, this will save you time and you will probably have the chance to play right away. And another tip, if you live next to Chelsea neighbourhood go next to Pier 40, the tennis fields next to that are free of charge and don’t require a permit to play, they work on a first come first served basis. There are just three fields and they are unbelievably crowdie during the weekends, but it’s worth a try, especially if you go after work.
The bet was on in April, and yesterday it was the day. The appointment was at noon at the fields, and she got there with a half an hour delay on the schedule, clearly trying to make me nervous, she got scared of me, I am sure. When she came there was a long line and doing our calculation we saw we would have needed to stay more than two hours there before the first field, and we decided, sadly as I was ready to smash some feminists, to move the bet another day, probably tomorrow after work.
Ah check out the article a friend of mine wrote about the (apparently) existing permits business. I have seen how this is happening, and i don’t appreciate it not even a bit. (click)
Anyway if you want to play tennis go here and you will find all the fields and the permits informations, same thing if you want to play soccer go here. I will keep you posted on my future and on the bet, which is disturbing my nights: what will I ask her to prepare me?
(Permits management it’s too complicated, I want to go back to the origins, the old fashioned and traditional grass field with no borders)