Sports & Recreation

  • Best Yankee

    Robinson Cano

    Do you remember a season when the best Yankee wasn't Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, or Alex Rodriguez? Put another way: Did you—three or four years ago, or even last year—envision a year when the best Yankee would be Robinson Cano—and by a landslide? The Yankees persevered this year despite bad to mediocre first halves from Tex and A-Rod, largely because… More >>
  • Best Met

    David Wright

    David Wright has been regarded as superstar fodder for so long, and seemingly fallen short of that level for so long, that it's difficult for many Mets fans to realize just how good he really is. He can run, field, and hit. He still hasn't gotten over his psychological hang-up with hitting for distance at Citi Field. Once again, he… More >>
  • Best Jet

    LaDainian Tomlinson

    Granted that it's odd to pick a man who has never played a down in a Jets uniform before this season, and equally odd to pick a running back who's 31, an age when most veteran backs are considering assistant coaching jobs with their old college teams. But LaDainian Tomlinson is one of the greats, seventh on the all-time rushing… More >>
  • Best Giant

    Steve Smith

    Was there any New York Giant who wasn't a disappointment last season? Well, yes, there was one, and he came out of nowhere to earn the team ball—which was only fair because he caught so many of them. Wide receiver Steve Smith, a former USC star who got his big chance to play full-time thanks to Pistol-Packin' Plaxico, was about… More >>
  • Best Net

    Brook Lopez

    Writing about the best New Jersey Net last year (who proved to be point guard Devin Harris), we noted, "It's hard to make an impression on a 34-38 team." You think that's hard? Try making an impression on a team that went 12-70. The Nets' seven-foot, 260-pound center, Brook Lopez, may not have looked as if he made an impression… More >>
  • Best Knick

    Danilo Gallinari

    We didn't get LeBron. Or Wade. Or Bosh. Or even our planned consolation prize of Joe Johnson. But until we fully embrace newly acquired actual consolation prize Amar'e Stoudemire—he of the incendiary low-post game, injury-prone uncertainty, and newly embraced Jewish heritage—let's turn to an equally fraught question: Who's our favorite Knick now that David Lee is gone? We hereby submit… More >>
  • Best Coach

    Rex Ryan

    We're not saying New York Jets coach Rex Ryan has a weight problem, but on rainy Sundays in the fall, when he puts on a Jets raincoat, he looks like a walrus in a pup tent. Rex is twice the coach his father, Buddy, was. The problem is that he is also twice the coach Bill Parcells was—and that was… More >>
  • Best Rookie

    Isaac Benjamin Davis

    If you're looking for bright spots on the 2010 Mets—and you're either doing that or you've given up altogether—try Isaac Benjamin Davis. Ike has the youth (he's just 23), the pedigree (he's the son of an 11-year big-league veteran of the Yankees and Twins, reliever Ron Davis), and the swing. If you told the Mets at the beginning of the… More >>
  • Best Pro Sophomore Sensation

    Mark Sanchez

    It took Joe Namath three years to become Broadway Joe, but it took Mark Sanchez just one season to earn a guest appearance on SNL ("This is my husband," cooed Tina Fey, head on his broad shoulder, "Mark Sanchez of the New York Jets"). It was rough going in the first couple of months of the 2009 season as Sanchez… More >>
  • Best Team to Make You Feel Better About Your Own Pathetic Existence

    New York Knicks

    The New York Knicks. Oh, where to start? How about with the ridiculously high ticket and food prices? The nine consecutive losing seasons despite having one of the highest payrolls in the league? The failure to land LeBron James? Isiah Thomas, sued for sexual harassment, let go, re-hired as a "consultant," then let go again after the league nixed his… More >>
  • Best Youth Basketball Pickup Game

    Happy Warrior Playground

    The four modest full courts at "Goat Park," a/k/a the Happy Warrior Playground, at 98th Street and Amsterdam Avenue in Manhattan, offer skilled competition for all ages. Sure, the men's games get a little chippy, especially late in the day, but the kids' games are pretty good. The court is named after playground legend Earl "The Goat" Manigault, and late… More >>
  • Best Oligarch

    Mikhail Prokhorov

    We're sorry that recent Russian émigré Mikhail Prokhorov couldn't sign LeBron James, even though he was rich enough ($13.4 billion) and tall enough (six-foot-eight) to look the hoops star in the eye. But give the guy a break: The owner of the New Jersey Nets (soon to be the Brooklyn Whatevers) is still the world's second richest Russian, the tallest… More >>
  • Best Hair on a Basketball Coach

    Steve Lavin

    The best slicked-back style this side of a young Pat Riley belongs to new St. John's coach Steve Lavin. The poor Johnnies have languished for many years, despite being in the middle of a metropolitan area that is brimming with unbelievable basketball talent. Lavin should take care of that, and not sell his hair short—or cut it, God forbid. For… More >>
  • Best Disabled Athlete

    Carlos Beltran

    Man, this is one special ballplayer. So special, at least in his own mind, that we never even see him on the diamond. Mets outfielder Carlos Beltran shocked the club when he chose surgery before the season even began and didn't even rejoin the team until mid-July. His weak-ass performance since then prompted the mediocre Mets to shop him and… More >>
  • Best Jewish Athlete

    Amar'e Stoudemire

    Dynamic power forward Amar'e Stoudemire wasn't wooed by the Knicks from the Phoenix Suns because he has Star of David tattoos (which he does), but because he is fierce and can play basketball. Nevertheless, it turns out that Stoudemire's tattoos really do have significance—in a surprise to most to us, he began exploring his own Jewish roots and even has… More >>
  • Best Sports Nickname

    Revis Island

    Jets cornerback Darrelle Revis spent last season shutting down some of the best wide receivers in football, rendering highlight-reel monstrosities from Randy Moss to Chad Ochocinco frustrated, isolated, neutered, pass-starved castaways on . . . Revis Island. Yes, the best alias in certainly Jets and quite possibly NFL history is a place, not a person, a theoretical Bermuda Triangle of… More >>
  • Brooklyn Boulders

    Best Urban Rock Climbing

    Brooklyn Boulders

    For most of us city slickers, the highest thing we might dare to climb is the stairs of a five-story walk-up . . . and even then, that's pushing it. But after a lesson with the expert instructors of Brooklyn Boulders, the largest rock-climbing gym in the city, you'll quickly be on your way to scaling the Brooklyn Bridge like… More >>
  • Sheepshead Bay

    Best Place to Look at an Underwater Shipwreck

    Sheepshead Bay

    Brooklyn is probably not the first place you think of when you think of scuba diving. But a large number of submerged ships, sunken accidentally and intentionally, just offshore from Sheepshead Bay, give New York City some interesting wrecks to look at underwater. Don't expect bikini-clad hotties or modelesque dive masters if you go out on one of the regular… More >>
  • Best 3.1-Mile Run

    Coogan's Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K

    A couple of weeks before St. Patrick's Day, on one of those weekends that could feel like winter or spring, the New York Road Runners host their most neighborhoody race of the year: the Coogan's Salsa, Blues, and Shamrocks 5K. The run is a trip through Washington Heights, beginning at the Armory on West 168th Street. The race takes you… More >>
  • Williamsburg Bridge

    Best Bridge to Run

    Williamsburg Bridge

    The minuses generally outweigh the pluses for running on the city's East River bridges. The Brooklyn Bridge is beautiful, but so unbearably crowded that you'll either mow down a tourist trying to run or slow down to a crawl. Running in the exhaust of the Queensboro Bridge (except on Marathon Day) will make you feel like you've smoked a pack… More >>
  • Best Skate Park

    Skate Park at Astral Fountain

    A gift to the city from the Maloof brothers, the brand-new Skate Park at Astral Fountain is a skate kid's dream. The 16,000-square-foot course, designed by pro skaters Chris Cole, Geoff Rowley, and Steve Rodriguez, re-creates skating highlights from the city's five boroughs. In one place, skaters can ride elements from the Union Square stairs, One Police Plaza, and the… More >>
  • Best Boardwalk for Running

    Staten Island Boardwalk

    You don't have to fly to Florida to go to South Beach. The two-and-a-half-mile Staten Island Boardwalk, the fourth longest in the world, runs along Staten Island's own South Beach, one of the city's most pristine and underutilized waterfronts. The boardwalk is great for running, especially for those trying to get long runs in with a change of scenery. It's… More >>
  • Best Mom-and-Pop Gym

    Iron & Silk Fitness

    When you think of New York City gyms, your mind likely veers to the ubiquitous, giant chains with their high-school-size locker rooms, packed-to-the-gills classes, and impersonal efficiency. Or maybe you think of the smaller, bare-bones places where you'll join for spare change but never, ever take a shower or linger for a lengthy conversation. There's also the requisite array of… More >>
  • Best Place to Rent a Bike

    Hudson Urban Bicycles

    One of the greatest places to ride your bike in New York City is the West Side Highway greenway, which features protected, off-the-street paths with amazing views running most of the length of Manhattan (not that that's an excuse not to wear a helmet!). And for proximity and convenience to the path, we love Hudson Urban Bicycles, a shopping and… More >>
  • Best Streaker

    Stuart Calderwood

    No, New York Road Runners senior editor Stuart Calderwood does not run naked. But he has been running every single day for the past 23 years, making him the longest "streaker" in the five boroughs and the 76th longest in the nation. Nothing stops him from getting in a daily run of at least 1.25 miles (usually more), which is… More >>
  • Best Age-Graded Runner on the Planet

    Ginette Bedard

    Running has a standard called "age-grading," in which runners can compare their times accounting for gender and age. Using this metric, the best runner in the city—in fact, the fastest woman on the face of the earth—is 76-year-old Howard Beach resident Ginette Bedard. Bedard is one of only a few people in the world to get more than 100 percent… More >>
  • Best Running Stadium

    Icahn Stadium

    New York has lots of great places to go running, but, like everything else in our town, they often bear the marks of our city: cracks, uneven ground, broken glass, the occasional needle. Icahn Stadium on Randalls Island, built on the site of the former Downing Stadium (where Jesse Owens qualified for the Berlin Olympics), is a first-rate facility designed… More >>
  • Best Person to Thank If You Ride a Bicycle

    Janette Sadik-Khan

    Next time you find yourself whizzing down some of the city's nifty new toothpaste-green painted bike lanes—like the ones on Allen Street, Ninth Avenue, and Kent Avenue—safely buffered from the flow of traffic by a row of parked cars, take a moment to thank Janette Sadik-Khan. Since her appointment in 2007, Sadik-Khan, the city's stylish, guerrilla-bureaucrat transportation commissioner, has added… More >>
  • Best Yoga Deal

    Kula Yoga Project

    A few blocks from City Hall, through a nondescript doorway tucked behind an African music CD vendor's stand, is one of New York's best-kept yoga secrets: the Kula Yoga Project. On Monday afternoons, you can take Kula's "pay-what-you-wish" community class for an hour and a half of ass-kicking, fire-breathing, blissed-out yoga. Kula classes are normally pricey, but the studio also… More >>
  • Best Bronx Bike Ride

    Old Croton Aqueduct Trail

    The Old Croton Aqueduct Trail follows the path of the Old Croton Aqueduct, New York City's major source of clean drinking water until 1959 (we now get most of our water from the Catskills). According to the city, when water began flowing along the aqueduct, on June 22, 1842, it took 22 hours to travel 41 miles, from the Croton… More >>
  • Best Little-Known Park

    Inwood Hill Park

    At the north end of Manhattan, you'll find 197-acre Inwood Hill Park, which, we're told, has the largest stand of old-growth forest and the last salt marsh on the island. You can also see evidence of Ice Age formations—caves, valleys, and ridges—and now it has hiking trails, the usual ball courts, fields, barbecue pits, and playgrounds. To get there, take… More >>
  • Best (Secret) Quarter-Mile

    Washington Street

    The majority of New Yorkers live nowhere near Central, Prospect, or Van Cortlandt parks. Out of the 29,000 acres of public space our city has carved out for recreation, most are not conducive to exercise. Walking to your nearest green space or busing it to a waterfront footpath in order to jog is equivalent to taking the elevator and getting… More >>
  • Best Sex Shop (on Staten Island)

    Nitecap Video

    Located in the shadow of the Goethals Bridge, next to an empty field where you can easily imagine the Sopranos burying bodies, Staten Island's Nitecap Video is the largest porn shop on the East Coast. How does the enormous warehouse survive in this faraway corner of the five boroughs, and who the hell goes to porn stores when there is… More >>
  • Best Way to Meet Sex Workers (for Free)

    Red Umbrella Diaries

    When blogger Audacia Ray got her start in sex work, she learned that she had to find her niche. After a few tries, it turned out that her most special ability was pretending to be asleep—after all, there's a fetish out there for everyone. Ray's story about being fake-smothered with chloroform for a "sleepy" porn is one of the hilarious… More >>
  • Best Ear Porn

    Lady Jane's Salon

    Who says publishing is dead? The romance fiction industry, which peddles novels at an average of five bucks a pop, took in $1.36 billion in 2009. Sure, most of the people snatching up these books don't like to admit it publicly, but more and more diehard readers come out of the closet each month to attend the romance reading series… More >>
  • Penthouse Executive Club

    Best Striptease Lesson

    Penthouse Executive Club

    We're so tired of the girlie stripper classes found at local gyms. Take Crunch, for instance: "Show some skin . . . and don't forget to bring a pair of your sexiest heels!" to its "Pole Dancing" class. Strip Bar is touted as "the happy hour of sexy, hot cardio." Seriously, aerobics disguised as fake sexy dancing? Real stripping shouldn't… More >>
  • Best Story Hour

    Naked Girls Reading

    They say you can't judge a book by its cover. But they also say that clothes make the man. So what if you're reading a book and you're not wearing any clothes? Answer that, Mark Twain! Naked Girls Reading is luckily an aphorism-free event that juxtaposes the perception of beauty with the appreciation of great literature. Or it's just a… More >>
  • Best Fast and Cheap Hook-up Room

    Karaoke One 7, U2 Karaoke Lounge & Suites, Karaoke Boho West 4

    When your current flame isn't special enough to warrant the $900 Mad Men suite at the Pierre—she's no Joan Harris—but your office couch isn't exactly available (meaning you don't have one), take her to a private karaoke room. Plush couches, drink service, and all the Celine Dion tracks you need to set the mood await. (You'll have to be creative… More >>
  • Best Post-Macy's Fix

    Rick's Cabaret

    Would you like tits with your burger? Holiday shopping can be famishing, so after combing the racks at Macy's (or JCPenney, if you're into that sort of thing), you'll want to recharge your batteries at a fine Herald Square eatery. And we've got the one. "You ladies are aware that we are a gentlemen's club. And a steakhouse?" the door-girl… More >>
  • Best Sex Blogger

    Audacia Ray

    Sinclair Sexsmith's Sugarbutch Chronicles may wax rhapsodic on the joys of riding crops, and the Debauched Domestic Diva may continue her witty transformation from repressed Stepford Wife into complete exhibitionist, but no New Yorker scribbles about sex better than Audacia Ray, the brains and beauty behind Waking Vixen. The adjunct professor of sexuality at Rutgers University and program officer of… More >>

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