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Sports & Recreation

  • Best Yankee

    C.C. Sabathia

    I could try to work this into a piece about how Derek Jeter's drive for 3,000 hits inspired the Yankees to hang close to a Red Sox team that, at first glance, seemed much superior. But I won't because it's obviously not true. I could make a case that Curtis Granderson, Robbie Cano, Mark Teixeira, and, of course, Mariano Rivera… More >>
  • Best Giant

    Antrel Rocelious Rolle

    Maybe it's because he has been in New York for only one full season. Maybe it's because this town is too fixated on Eli Manning to see that he's never going to be much more than mediocre, but I still get blank, uncomprehending stares from Giants fans when I tell them that free safety Antrel Rocelious Rolle is the best… More >>
  • Best Jet

    Santonio Holmes

    For once, Rex Ryan was understating the case about Darrelle Revis. Revis isn't potentially the best Jet player ever, he is the best Jet ever—with the obvious exception of Joe Namath at his peak. The problem is that Joe, because of his knee, was already damaged goods when he got here and had only three winning seasons in New York.… More >>
  • Best Knick

    Amar'e Stoudemire

    Amar'e Stoudemire by a hair over Carmelo Anthony. Really, we're happy to have both, and watching Anthony over a full season—not just the 27 games we saw him last year—might change our minds. But right now, even in consideration of the different roles they play on the team, the nod must go to Stoudemire. He averages about a point less… More >>
  • Best Net

    Deron Williams

    We were going to say Brook Lopez, not just because he's a good player but because there's something cool about guys who have prep-school-WASP first names and Hispanic surnames. But upon further speculation and even though he played just 12 games with the Nets last season, Deron Williams is currently the most valuable player on the team, besides being a… More >>
  • Best Coach

    Rex Ryan

    Let's admit it: Rex Ryan is the most entertaining football coach New York has ever had. He makes Bill Parcells seem like a mere drill instructor and Tom Coughlin like a junior college coach. And he's not a bad coach, either, putting Gang Green in line for the Big Game two years in a row. Yet there's a certain reluctance… More >>
  • Best Rookie

    Dillon Gee

    Really, there isn't much argument about who the best rookie in New York sports has been this past year. It's Met pitcher Dillon Gee. Barring some phenomenal performance by a new Jet or Giant, Dillon Gee-Whiz, as some of the signs at CitiField have dubbed him, has been heaven-sent. He finished 13-6, and if his 4.43 ERA seemed a bit… More >>
  • Best Run

    Van Cortlandt Park

    For our money, though it's a little out of the way, the best run in the city is in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx, which has long been a mecca for cross-country runners and high-level competitors. There's a flat 1.37-mile loop around the Parade Grounds, and a hilly 1.3-mile loop in the woodsy northwestern part of the park. High… More >>
  • Best Bike Ride

    Central Park loop

    The six-mile Central Park loop remains the best ride in the city, especially during its ever-expanding car-free periods. Sure, doing repeats on Harlem Hill, dodging clueless pedestrians, wayward in-line skaters, and the blockheads who insist on riding the wrong way can all get a little tiresome. But there are plenty of periods when the loop isn't all that crowded. Our… More >>
  • Best Place to Shoot Pool

    Ocean's 8 at Brownstone Billiards

    It might remind you a little bit of your best friend's basement back in the day where you'd go to get away from your parents, except the Ocean's 8 at Brownstone Billiards pool hall in Brooklyn is a lot bigger and, most notably, it serves beer on tap and lots of different types, too. Through the modest entrance and down… More >>
  • Best College Athlete

    Kemba Walker

    We saw Kemba Walker play in a AAU game as a high school senior in the legendary Gauchos gym in the Bronx, and he was fantastic even back then—lightning quick with some range on his jumper and the guts to go to the rack on guys seven inches taller than him. But who would have thought the 6-1 Walker would… More >>
  • Best Ranger

    Henrik Lundqvist

    Who else but Henrik Lundqvist, 29, the Swedish goaltender who has only been the team's most valuable player as voted by the Professional Hockey Writers Association for the past five seasons—more than any other Ranger, even Mark Messier. Old number 30 saved 92.6 percent of the shots fired at him last season and had 11 shutouts, the most of his… More >>
  • Best Boxer

    Zab Judah

    In a city that produced heavyweight legend Mike Tyson, Zab Judah might be the most well-known New York City–bred boxer these days. Raised in Brooklyn as one of nine sons to a father who describes himself as a black Hebrew Israelite, Zab has had an interesting career, winning five titles during his 16-year career and serving for a while as… More >>
  • Best Urban Hike

    Staten Island's Greenbelt

    For kids who grew up on Staten Island, the wilderness at the island's core is the home of Cropsey, their very own Blair Witch. The urban legend concerns a man who was killed by a Boy Scout prank gone awry and comes back years later to seek revenge on innocent children. In the 1980s, when a little girl went missing… More >>
  • Best Place to Take a Vigorous Walk

    Riverside Park

    If you don't like the concrete jungle, then move upstate. But when you crave being surrounded by leafage without being in fear of oncoming traffic, take a brisk walk through Riverside Park's long, skinny 40 blocks. Our favorite starting point is at West 125th Street, veering south through the bird sanctuary, and passing the skate park on 109th Street. It… More >>
  • Best Winter Escape

    The Roxbury Motel

    Concrete is no cure for cabin fever. But the Catskills are. The Roxbury Motel is the ultimate destination for those city dwellers who prefer to get close to nature while wearing comfy slippers and a cozy robe. The Roxbury, which calls itself a "boutique motel," stands out in this quaint woodsy town, thanks in part to its cool neon lights… More >>
  • Best Place to Train for the World Cup

    Upper 90

    Sure, it might be too late for you to ever play in the World Cup. (OK, it definitely is.) But if you think you have a young Mia Hamm or Landon Donovan at home, Upper 90 in Brooklyn is the place to take your little footballer. Opened in December of 2010, this 4,000-square-foot soccer emporium features a small turf field,… More >>
  • Best Workout

    Barry's Bootcamp

    Holy shit, we're on The Biggest Loser! Just kidding, but working out at Barry's Bootcamp certainly feels like it. More than 10 years since it launched in über-fit West Hollywood, Barry's Bootcamp is finally in New York, led by trainer and co-president Joey Gonzalez. Many celebs swear by this boot-camp method. The tactic here is a specific sort of training… More >>
  • Best Class to Get in Shape Enough to Be In a Lady Gaga Video

    DivaDance

    We've thought about trading in our 9-to-5 lifestyle and joining the extravagant Lady Gaga on tour as one of her backup dancers. The only problem is . . . we're not dancers. Here's DivaDance to the rescue! This class teaches you an entire routine once a week for a month, which means it's not your basic Zumba/gym dance class. It's… More >>
  • Best Shooting Range

    Westside Rifle & Pistol Range

    The right to bear arms is kind of limited in the state of New York to say the least—and for most of us. It's one the strictest states in the nation with regard to the purchase, possession, and carrying of handguns. Westside Rifle & Pistol Range makes the hassle of shooting a gun a whole lot easier. No, Westside is… More >>
  • Best Miniature Golf

    Randall's Island Mini Golf

    We like plaster dinosaurs and windmills as much as the next folks, but once in a while, it's nice to do your putting in peaceful pastoral surroundings. If you're like us, once a year, you want to bust out for that big miniature golfing gig—you know, the kind that Rory McIlroy might want to play on his day off—and the… More >>
  • Best Playground (Outdoor)

    Pier 6

    Tucked into the waterfront at the bottom of Atlantic Avenue, Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 6 has one of the newest playgrounds in the city. It's also the most ambitious. There are four main sections, each embedding state-of-the-art play equipment in a winding landscape surrounded by beautiful plantings: Slide Mountain takes its name from the 13-foot chute built into an artificial… More >>
  • Best Playground (Indoor)

    Funtasia

    Nothing like a jungle-themed indoor playground for the ultimate birthday party! At Funtasia, of course, there's a jungle gym, and the Beach Bouncy House is a riot. There are also sensory games, a stick-hockey table, and, for the kids who really need video, Xbox and Playstation games. The party room can accommodate up to 30 kids and boasts a dance… More >>
  • Best Public Golf Course

    Van Cortlandt Park's golf course

    You might not associate the Bronx with golf, but then again, you probably didn't know that Van Cortlandt Park's golf course is the oldest in the country, and it's the only golf course in America that you can reach by subway. Van Cortlandt has always been one of the favorite courses for New York celebrities, including Groucho Marx, Babe Ruth,… More >>
  • Best Ice Skating

    CitiPond at Bryant Park

    There are a lot of good places to ice skate in the city, but most are heavily booked with classes and hockey leagues, so hours for the general public are limited. We like CitiPond at Bryant Park because it's pretty much for leisure skaters; the pond is state-of-the-art and good-sized (100 feet by 170 feet), and it's free! If you're… More >>
  • Best Spectator Sport

    The Standard Hotel

    People-watching (without letting people know you're watching them) is a sport in this town that you can play almost anywhere. But one of the best places for, let's call it, "next-level people-watching" is a peek at The Standard Hotel from the Highline, which is open from Gansevoort Street to 30th Street between 10th and 11th avenues on Manhattan's West Side.… More >>
  • Best Place to Play Pick-Up Soccer

    Sarah Roosevelt Park

    There might be bigger fields in New York that have real grass, but the best place to play a competitive match of pick-up soccer is at Sarah Roosevelt Park on Chrystie Street and Stanton. Sure, you're essentially playing footy on puke-green carpeting, but you can find a solid eight-a-side game even on weekday afternoons. Someone usually brings colored bibs as… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Asbury Park

    The closest you can get to some breathing room—let alone fresh air—might be when you stumble upon the East River. Let's face it: You need to get away more often. A perfect weekend escape that allows you to take in a fresh ocean breeze, the bluest of skies without those looming skyscrapers is Asbury Park. And no, it's not that… More >>
  • Best Play-by-Play Guy

    Mike Breen

    Sportscasters have a knack for ruining a game by pumping their phony gravitas and see-through sentiment into every play. That's why Mike Breen is so refreshing. He doesn't force faulty narratives on you, just exciting play-by-play with a "BANG!" or two peppered in here and there. His style is reminiscent of Marv Albert at his best, and he adds a… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Sheep Meadow

    If there's one communal spot in New York, it has to be Sheep Meadow in Central Park. You'd be lucky if you could find a patch of grass to mark as your own during the summer, it's that crowded, but thankfully, there are many great patches of grass. So what makes a picnic there so special? It feels as if… More >>
  • Best Convenient Beach

    When we head out to a beach, it looks something like this: Long subway ride, transfer to another train, then a shuttle ride to a ferry, then, finally after a few hours, you're there. But there's a good ferry on your side—one that will pick you up in Manhattan and take you directly to Sandy Hook, a beach only 40… More >>
  • Best Met

    No contest. José Reyes has finally become the player everyone always said he was. In truth, except for injuries, he has been there for some time. What in the world do you want in a ballplayer that this guy doesn't give you? He's one of the best shortstops in the league, he might be the best base runner, and he… More >>
  • Best Place To Walk A Dog

    Hudson River Park

    Next to stuff for your kids, this might be the most personal category of the Best-ofs, not only because it's your best friend you're walking, but also because if you walk your dog the same time every day, you get to know the other dogs and their owners as well as the pet-friendly stores along the way, so the act… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley

    Melody Lanes

    What Sunset Park's legendary Melody Lanes has that other great lanes don't is a special man named Peter Napolitano. A mutton-chopped showman who has manned the alley's bar for nearly two decades, Mr. Napolitano is a character to end all characters: He dresses nightly in suspenders, a tuxedo shirt, and a red bow tie and expounds nightly on everything from… More >>
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