Sports & Recreation

  • Nick Swisher

    Best Sports Figure on Twitter

    Nick Swisher

    Even those who have dedicated their lives to loathing the Yankees (ahem) occasionally find a dude on the roster to grudgingly tolerate, even admire, even (gasp!) root for, like, hmm, let's see, uh . . . well, at least they've got one now. Nick Swisher just seems a bit more volatile, excitable, rambunctious, and human than his pinstriped brethren—even his… More >>
  • New Jersey Nets\' Brook Lopez

    Best Rookie

    New Jersey Nets' Brook Lopez

    New Jersey Nets seven-footer Brook Lopez was the team's first-round pick last year, but the mastodon from Stanford still exceeded expectations. Do the numbers: He played in all 82 games, averaging a solid 13 points and eight rebounds in only 30 minutes a game. Not a great athlete, he still blocked 1.8 shots a game, leading all NBA rookies and… More >>
  • Rex Ryan

    Best New Coach in Town

    Rex Ryan

    Is that a cannonball in Rex Ryan's stomach, or is he just glad to be a head coach in New York? Everyone loves a fat man (except for the blubbery but tightly wound former Jets head coach Eric Mangini, who was fired). Now you've got to give it up to Tom Coughlin, who won a Super Bowl with the Giants—but… More >>
  • Mark Sanchez

    Best Impersonation of Brett Favre

    Mark Sanchez

    A thrill one minute and a heartbreak every other—that's veteran football QB Brett Favre's operatic career in a nutshell. And when Favre abandoned New York after only one year, the Jets found the perfect successor: Mark Sanchez. Giving away the farm for the right to draft the USC quarterback was a big gamble, but it started paying off from the… More >>
  • The Price of Success

    Enjoy your baseball. (Attendance not required.) By Allen Barra

    Going to a ball game was a big deal when I was in high school. It started with my father getting a schedule a couple of months before the season and circling the best games—well, the best games you had a shot at going to. Forget the really good games with traditional opponents, but against some second division patsy, maybe… More >>
  • Best Giant

    Chris Snee

    It's difficult to make a statistical case for an offensive lineman, but every yardstick points to right guard Chris Snee as the best at perhaps pro football's toughest position (almost certainly the one that takes the most intelligence to play). Snee, a Boston College grad, was the Giants only first-team All-Pro selection, and he was the linchpin of the most… More >>
  • Fuck the Apocalypse!

    Preparing for the second coming . . . and the third...and the fourth..., By Sharyn Jackson

    Don't you just find complete and utter destruction of life as you know it totally sexy? Admit it, your DVD of The Day After Tomorrow has treasured placement in your collection alongside Deep Throat. You fantasize about the horny cannibals in Cormac McCarthy's The Road. Isn't there a reason every generation thinks it will be the last? The End of… More >>
  • Putting Lot

    Best Mini-Golf in Bushwick

    Putting Lot - CLOSED

    Scratch that—it was definitely the only mini-golf in Bushwick, but it's the best thing to have happened to an empty lot this year. This summer, the collective of artists behind the Putting Lot turned a desolate stretch of Wyckoff into a full-fledged sculptural installation and game site. For just $5, golfers had access to nine individually designed holes—each made with… More >>
  • Mark Teixeira

    Best Acquisition

    Mark Teixeira

    A power-hitter who is also a Gold Glove first baseman, Mark Teixeira has been a star wherever he's played—Georgia Tech, Texas Rangers, Atlanta Braves, Los Angeles Angels. No surprise that the Yanks gave the 29-year-old $180 million over the next eight years. Earlier this year, he was named 17th on the list of the 50 best current players. Jesus, the… More >>
  • Leon Washington

    Best Jet

    Leon Washington

    Versatility in pro football doesn't seem to count much in an age when rosters allow for so many specialists, but Leon Washington is an extra-specialist. Last year, he was second on the Jets in yards rushing with 448, but was the team leader in yards per rush, 5.9, and scored six TDs in just 76 carries. He was also the… More >>
  • Best Way to Watch Smutty Movies

    CineKink NYC

    If you're wary of catching an Xtube virus and are looking for cleaner digs than whatever's left of Times Square's naughty picture joints, CineKink NYC is there for you. Each February, this festival provides the means for you to ditch the laptop and the privacy of your own home, and enjoy kinky film the way it's meant to be enjoyed—in… More >>
  • Best Erotic Bloodletting

    Lesbian Sex Mafia

    They host classes on spanking, master/slave relationships, and mummification, but one of Lesbian Sex Mafia's most intriguing workshops to date was on temporary piercing. Workshop leader Xray Aims was drawn to the craft by "the fight between beauty and pain," a concept that seems to guide much of LSM's programming: Lolita Wolf's "Wax to the Max" gave women the tools… More >>
  • Best Met

    In bad seasons, Mets fans like to pick an underachieving player and ride him mercilessly, but the team's lineup suffered so brutally from injuries this year that it was hard to find anyone to ride. So a cry went up to fire sophomore manager Jerry Manuel. Some said he overworked the bullpen; others said he let weak starters pitch too… More >>
  • Mariano Rivera

    Best Yankee

    Mariano Rivera

    We all know who the best Yankee is, and has been, since 1996. Mariano Rivera is the greatest closer in the history of the game, the best pitcher in baseball over this career span, and the most valuable Yankee in that period—Derek Jeter not excepted. The Yankees' fortunes since 1997 (when Mo, who had been the setup man the season… More >>
  • David Lee

    Best Knick

    David Lee

    The Knicks have been a cruel joke for longer than anyone—Spike Lee, especially—is willing to admit: an endless procession of anti-charismatic, poorly motivated, underachieving me-first yahoos stumbling all over themselves while the Madison Square Garden faithful look on in abject horror. The team's official plan now is to sacrifice multiple seasons (including this one) in the not-at-all-assured quest to lure… More >>
  • Best Net

    Devin Harris

    It's hard to make an impression on a 34-48 team, but 26-year-old point guard Devin Harris, despite two shoulder injuries which kept him out of 13 games, became the New Jersey Nets' only All-Star, leading the team in points per game, assists, and steals. If a team with a .414 win-loss percentage can have a season highlight, it occurred on… More >>
  • Best Ranger

    Sean Avery

    Technically, we suppose, Henrik Lundqvist should be considered the Rangers' best player—the Swedish goaltender has had more to do with the team's improved fortunes in recent years than anyone else on the squad. Ah, but what a narrow definition of "best" that would be! No, our version of "best" also involves notions like grittiness, on-ice energy, and the ability to… More >>
  • Best Make-Out Spot

    Doyers Street

    What's in a kiss? Location, location, location! A wonderful thing about living in New York is the magical quality that kisses take on with the cinematic city backdrop. But for the best setting for smooching, look beyond the landmarks in every tourist guide: For our money, no really good macking is going to happen above 14th Street! Here's our suggestion:… More >>
  • Best 24-Hour Pool Hall

    Space Billiards

    Why do some of the best things in the city often involve the possibility of dying on a sketchy elevator ride? Tucked away on the 12th floor of a nondescript Koreatown building, Space Billiards is your prize for braving such an elevator (do you feel it tilting to the side?). Here is a clean, comfortable pool hall that's rarely crowded… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Your Goat

    Staten Island Zoo

    In 1776, a British soldier wrote of Staten Island: "Surely this country is the Paradise of the world. . . . The inhabitants of this Island are tall, thin, narrow shouldered people, very simple in their manners, and each house has a good farm." Alas, the fifth borough's farmland has long since ceded to suburban development (and its residents are… More >>
  • Best Sports Book

    The Complete Game

    When most former major leaguers write memoirs, you wonder why they bother; with Ron Darling—Yale graduate, former New York Mets and Oakland A's pitcher, and current Mets broadcaster—you wonder why it took him so long. The Complete Game is the best first-person ex-athlete autobio we've read this decade. What other former athlete could write a sentence like this even with… More >>
  • Green-Wood Cemetery

    Best Creepy Stroll

    Green-Wood Cemetery

    In the late 19th century, Brooklyn's Green-Wood Cemetery rivaled Niagara Falls as a popular tourist attraction: Families arrived in throngs to enjoy picnics, carriage rides, and the multiple statuaries. These days, the graveyard is no longer such a fashionable destination, but it still offers plenty of wholesome activities—like lectures, trolley rides, Revolutionary War re-enactments—and at least one decidedly unwholesome one,… More >>
  • Best Place to Watch Wildlife

    Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge

    An hour-and-a-half-long nature walk that's almost entirely in nature—and in city limits. Yes, it exists. On a crisp Sunday morning this fall, take the A train to Broad Channel (or rent a Zipcar—it's much faster) to the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Refuge. Commissioned by highway-loving Robert Moses to be a sanctuary for displaced fauna and avian species, the refuge is actually… More >>
  • Best Coaching Export

    Steve Spagnuolo

    Steve Spagnuolo isn't the best coach in New York, but he was the best coach in New York sports until January 17 when he took the head coaching job for the St. Louis Rams. The former Giants defensive coordinator was regarded by his contemporaries as the most imaginative coach in the league. He was also—and this may only become apparent… More >>
  • Best Way to Reincarnate Your Two-Wheeler

    Recycle-a-Bicycle

    Before green initiatives and riding lanes, NYC bikes had a second-class reputation and were left in building hallways or on the street to rot. Fifteen years ago, nonprofit organization Recycle-a-Bicycle was born, partly to address this sanitation problem, but also to get New Yorkers biking. As part of their efforts, some 1,200 bikes a year are donated to RAB's two… More >>
  • Best Corporate-Sponsored Beach

    Water Taxi Beach

    We already thought the Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City was cool—who doesn't love an excuse to lounge with a cocktail under the sun and feel like you actually made it out of the city for once, even if you didn't? But let's face it, Queens can be a schlep. So to further simplify New Yorkers' imaginary tropical non-escape,… More >>
  • Best City Stroll

    Riverside Park

    There are plenty of great walks in this bustling town, but take our word for it and start your next trek in Riverside Park at 123rd Street, where General Ulysses S. Grant is entombed (not buried!) next to his wife, Julia. Across the street is the beautiful Sakura Park. Named for its cherry trees ("sakura" means "cherry blossom" in Japanese),… More >>
  • Best Place for a Picnic

    Gantry Plaza State Park

    We see squatters claiming just about any patch of green grass in this town for picnicking, and we really can't blame them. But for a better and more scenic experience, head to the Gantry Plaza State Park in Long Island City. Plan for an evening feast so you can take in a luminous sunset and witness the Manhattan skyline light… More >>
  • Best Bridge to Bike Over

    Williamsburg Bridge

    There's almost no contest here—the Williamsburg Bridge is the clear winner. The Brooklyn Bridge is way too crowded; all attempts to bike across it are certain to be thwarted by foreign tourists, who stop anyone in their path and demand that you take their picture against the Manhattan skyline. The Manhattan Bridge is more efficient, but it's lonely and also… More >>
  • Best Campsite in City Limits

    Floyd Bennett Field Campgrounds

    Tucked alongside Jamaica Bay and hard up against an abandoned military airplane hangar and a baseball diamond lies the Floyd Bennett Field Campgrounds. This little-known spot—built on the site of New York City's first municipal airport—is a winner by default: It happens to be the only legal campsite in the city. It's named after Floyd Bennett, a decorated aviator who… More >>
  • Best Place to Spot Cute Nerds

    Blackbird Parlour - CLOSED

    The Blackbird Parlour, open only about a year, filled a certain niche that was missing in the Bedford Avenue Williamsburg scene. The saloonish café has a European flair, the teas and sandwiches are ridiculously overpriced, and yet, for whatever reason, lone, attractive nerds frequent the place. A lot. Could it be that these greasy-haired guys have an acquired taste for… More >>
  • Best Park for a Serious, Out-of-the-Way Waterfront Meeting

    Canarsie Pier

    Canarsie Pier, the 600-foot-long jetty that juts into the waters of Jamaica Bay just west of JFK Airport, isn't your ordinary park. For one thing, there's barely a tree on this narrow slice of the Gateway National Recreation Area, only a thin row of spindly hardwoods lining the blacktop lot where the fishermen park their cars. But you don't come… More >>
  • Babeland

    Best Sex Tutorial

    Babeland

    Sex workshops? Color us puritan; even the more adventurous among us might prefer taking the remedial class behind closed doors to learning black-belt moves in front of smirking strangers (though they give new meaning to "getting up in front of the class"). But there are some seminars that specialize in information, not just titillation, and Babeland still offers the best… More >>
  • Best Sportswear Soon to be a Collector's Item

    Manchester United AIG Fleece Suit

    Looking for the perfect gift for your child—and one that can only appreciate in value? Try the Manchester United AIG Fleece Suit. Only $15, and, oh, baby! What a name! And it comes only in red, perfectly matching the red ink of giant insurer AIG. Manchester United, the world's most popular sports team, inked a sponsorship and advertising deal with… More >>
  • Best 'Re-Creation' Recreation

    Take Me Out to the Ball Game 1864

    Interpretive history isn't just for kids sent on school trips to Colonial Williamsburg or Waterloo Village. Some serious sports fans turn out for the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum's vintage baseball match, Take Me Out to the Ball Game 1864. In what is turning into an annual Father's Day tradition, two Long Island–based amateur teams—the New York Mutuals and the New York… More >>
  • Fetish Retinue

    Best Fetish Party

    Fetish Retinue

    Everyone loves bubble wrap. Some people just . . . love it. It's no wonder that this was one of the most popular themes of a Fetish Retinue party in recent memory. The long-running (longest-running, according to promoter and latex fashion designer the Baroness) monthly East Village party shakes up the concept of a fetish club every first Thursday by… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Spanking

    Submit

    Have you been bad? Deserve a potch in the tuchus? Don't abide by common gender constructs? Call up promoters Felice Shays and Red to find out the ultra-secret locale of their long-running monthly Submit party, and in no time, you'll be whipped right back into shape. This queer BDSM play night is a favorite among exhibitionists and voyeurs for the… More >>
  • Espana/Streb Trapeze Academy

    Best Way to Fly

    Espana/Streb Trapeze Academy

    Ready, hep! That's trapeze-talk for "Let go." You'll learn that and so much more—like what it's like to have your feet flip over your head while flying through midair—at the Espana/Streb Trapeze Academy at SLAM (Streb Lab for Action Mechanics). Choreographer Elizabeth Streb joined forces with a sixth-generation circus family to create the ultimate training ground for her gravity-defying dancers,… More >>
  • Best Way to Spend Independence Day

    Invasion of the Pines

    Fire Island consists of three very different parts—the gay Pines, the more lesbian Cherry Grove, and the straight rest of it. (Although not involved in the following legend, the straights do still manage to turn out every Fourth of July for the Invasion of the Pines.) As the story goes, in 1976, a drag queen from the Grove visited the… More >>
  • Best Reinterpretation of an Old-Lady Activity

    Monday Night Bingo

    Ever been to bingo at a church hall with mean old ladies who bring their own ink blotters? It's intense. There are barely any voices or sounds heard—just the emotionless drone of the caller, the spinning of the ball cage, and the shuffle of tennis-ball-bottomed walkers on the wood floors. That's not what it's like at Murray Hill and Linda… More >>
  • Ring of Honor

    Best Place to Watch Straight Men Get All Homoerotic

    Ring of Honor

    The legions of black-T-shirt-, black-jeans-clad wrestling fans in this world might take offense to what we're about to say, but here goes: Wrestling is gay. That's not an epithet (like we'd ever . . . ). It just is, literally, gay. When a man in ball-outlining shiny undies wraps his crotch around another man's head, flexes his muscles, and grunts,… More >>
  • Best Sexy Theater

    Stage Left Studio

    The Off-Off-Broadway theater world is known for showing a little more skin than the family affairs on the Great White Way (minus the occasional disrobing of a stunt-cast celebrity), but Stage Left Studio and its director, Cheryl King, are in a class all their own. King, a former topless dancer and an acting coach on All My Children (go figure),… More >>
  • Cuddle Party

    Best Grope-Fest

    Cuddle Party

    Not that intimate touch can't happen organically after a night of heavy drinking with friends, but organized cuddling with strangers while sober does have a nice ring to it. The founders of Cuddle Party wanted to create a "safe space for adults to explore and practice affectionate touch without sexualizing it." And so the event, which takes place internationally, is… More >>
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