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Sports & Recreation

  • Best Coach

    Tom Coughlin

    It's hard to overlook Mike Woodson's work in bringing the Knicks together late in the season, or Joe Girardi's in repairing the Yankees pitching staff after losing several key pitchers. But they didn't win championships last season. Incredibly—and we say "incredibly" because we've ripped him as much as anyone else—Tom Coughlin did. We still don't know how. The Giants were… More >>
  • Best Giant

    Victor Cruz

    Of course, Eli Manning was the major force behind the Giants coming down the stretch and into the playoffs. And, of course, the quarterback deserves the major share of the credit. But Manning wasn't as good a quarterback as Victor Cruz was a receiver. Cruz wasn't just the possession guy, the one you went to on third-and-five. He was the… More >>
  • Best Jet

    Darrelle Revis

    Two seasons ago, the Jets' defense was just about the best in the NFL. Since then, it has steadily unraveled, with only one player who could be counted among the league's best defensive backs. Darrelle Revis was a first-team All-Pro selection last year, the third time he has been chosen and the fourth time he had made All-Pro at first… More >>
  • Best Knick

    Carmelo Anthony

    There really isn't much of a debate here. Carmelo Anthony was sixth in the league in points per game last year (22.6) and was even better in the postseason (27.8). He's a pretty good all-around player and became a much better one under Mike Woodson. It should be interesting to see how much better he gets this year with the… More >>
  • Best Rookie

    Matt Harvey

    In terms of impact, Matt Harvey didn't do much for the Mets this season. The Mets strictly limited his starts and innings pitched. Still, Harvey brought with him something better than a couple more in the wins column—he brought hope for 2013. "I don't want to jinx him," says Ron Darling, "but he's got mechanics as good as Tom Seaver."… More >>
  • Best Net

    Deron Williams

    No contest. Deron Williams was the biggest prize of the 2012 free-agent market and at 28 is at his peak. Now he's one of the best players in the history of Nets franchises. Mark Cuban, who wanted him for the Mavericks, called him "a great, great, great player." But when Cuban tried to justify not signing Williams because the Mavs… More >>
  • Best Yankee

    Robinson Cano

    Who's the best second baseman in Yankee history? Who's the best player on the Yankees right now? Dontcha know it's Robinson ("Please don't call me Robbie") Cano? A consistent .300 hitter with terrific power, Robbie—sorry, Robinson—has taken raw talent and worked it into the stuff superstars are made of. An inconsistent fielder in his first couple of seasons, he has… More >>
  • Best Met

    R.A. Dickey

    We wouldn't argue too much with anyone who picks David Wright, but for sheer value, sheer entertainment, and sheer inspiration—the entire package—the best and most valuable Met of the 2012 season is R.A. Dickey. If his second half wasn't quite as dynamic as his first (12-1), did you really expect him to have a .923 win-loss percentage for the entire… More >>
  • Best Sportswriter

    Alex Belth

    Sportswriting, whether in print or online, has become awfully balkanized to name a single writer as above the rest. That said, Alex Belth is good both in his long free-association pieces on his website, Bronx Banter, and reviewing books for Sports Illustrated. But as a website host, he truly excels. Bronx Banter goes far beyond the Bronx and baseball with… More >>
  • Best Team Owner

    Bill Maher

    Actually, minority owner. Unlike most social critics/comics, Bill Maher didn't sell out, he bought in. To the Mets. This is great news. For one thing, it hugely pissed off insufferable prigs like the New York Post's Andrea Peyser, who still has a bug up her butt about Maher's remarks 11 years ago that the 2001 terrorists weren't cowards. (Bravery, of… More >>
  • Best Horse Track

    Aqueduct Racetrack

    Best horse track is a no-brainer, right? After all, who doesn't swoon for Belmont Park's beautifully groomed infield, magnificent bleachers, and storied history? Still, don't rule out Queens' Aqueduct Racetrack, a perfectly viable mile-and-one-eighth that brings thoroughbred racing inside city limits, perfect for a casual day of relaxing, low-stakes gambling. If that eventually grows tiresome, you can always jet inside… More >>
  • Best Walk

    Kazimiroff Nature Trail

    If you live in Brooklyn or Queens, it will take a long subway ride or three to get to the Bronx's Pelham Bay Park. No worries, though, because all that sitting down and standing still will only leave you more eager to go for a walk along the park's Kazimiroff Nature Trail. One of the most beautiful in the city—so… More >>
  • Best Skateboard Park

    Pier 62 Skatepark

    It makes sense that Pier 62 Skatepark at Chelsea Piers, the best in the city, was designed by a California firm, Site Design Group, which is run by a skateboarder. The 15,000-square-foot skate park opened two years ago and features areas for beginners as well as those brave (or crazy) enough to try out the enclosed bowl with 10-foot walls.… More >>
  • Best Gym

    New York Health & Racquet Club

    In an era when boutique gyms and outdoor boot camps seem to be sweeping us off our feet, it's nice to know there's still one place where we can get a variety of workouts that won't result in a deflated bank account. New York Health & Racquet Club has come a long way from the days of basic aerobic classes… More >>
  • Best Gym Trainer

    Keoni Hudoba

    Let's be clear about one thing: Keoni Hudoba is more than a gym instructor. Yes, he works at a gym and leads group-workout sessions, but Hudoba embodies an enthusiasm for a better, healthier life that is inescapable. The Hawaii native, who's a group instructor at Barry's Bootcamp, Reebok Sports Club, Equinox, and 24 Hour Fitness, to name a few, knows… More >>
  • Best Zumba Instructor

    Julia Hubara

    Working out is hardly tolerable, but when you break a sweat on the dancefloor, well, now that we can handle—and that's why Zumba is so enjoyable. However, an average aerobics instructor just won't cut it, as they need to secure several key elements to make a Zumba class effective. They obviously need rhythm and the skill to pull off cumbia,… More >>
  • Best Hike

    Bear Mountain State Park

    Just an hour away from our chaotic metropolis, there's a remarkable antidote for what ails you. Bear Mountain State Park is situated on the west bank of the Hudson River and boasts lush mountain terrain with more than 235 miles of trails. And that includes the granddaddy of them all: The Appalachian Trail is especially good for both inexperienced hikers… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Rhinebeck

    Some of us aren't rolling in the dough and don't own country homes, but we still yearn to dip into that way of life at least once in a while. Luckily, our weekend escape awaits only two hours away. Rhinebeck is a relaxing village located near the banks of the Hudson River and served as the wedding destination for Chelsea… More >>
  • Best New Workout Trend

    POUND

    Whether you're musically inclined or not, giving the ol' drums a go is a thrill that just about anyone can enjoy. Kirsten Potenza and Cristina Peerenboom have created a rare opportunity to play the drums and work out at the same time with POUND. This intense routine is as serious as boot camp (cardiovascular interval training) and adds the discipline… More >>
  • Best Basketball Court for Players

    Goat Park

    We've played on a lot of courts across the city—indoors and out—and Goat Park, named after street-ball legend Earl "the Goat" Manigault, is pretty good, whether you're a college player, an old-timer, or a kid shooting hoops with your dad. There's an annual tournament in Manigault's name, and the top teams from the summer pro leagues stage a final throwdown… More >>
  • Best Park Revival

    Morningside Park

    There was a time when this park was thought to be among the most dangerous in the country. We remember way back in 1992, you literally could not walk through its winding, hilly paths of the park without stepping on crack vials. Thanks to time, the ebbing of crime, and an infusion of city money, Morningside Park is now in… More >>
  • Best Mini-Golf

    Bushwick Country Club

    Grab a $3 tallboy, a basket of Cheetos, and your sticks (for free!) from behind the bar, and head to the backyard of Bushwick Country Club, where you'll find a six-hole homemade putt-putt arena. Illuminated by Christmas lights year-round, some holes feature mazes or obstacles, like the Devil's Doorway, a contraption that sucks and spits your ball out. Unlike your… More >>
  • Best Free Sporting Event

    Hoops in the Sun, Nike Pro City, Entertainers Basketball Classic

    Two words: summer hoops. The city bulges with top-level basketball play through the summer, and there's no charge to watch the games. Whether it's Hoops in the Sun at Orchard Beach, the Nike Pro City at Baruch College, the Entertainers Basketball Classic at Rucker Park, or the West 4th Street League at the Cage (a/k/a Minetta Park) on Sixth Avenue… More >>
  • Best Amusement Park

    Luna Park

    Some of the downright sketchiness of Coney Island is gone, sure, and that's a real loss, but developers of the new Luna Park have added a bunch of new rides there to stand alongside (or a few blocks down from) the venerable Cyclone, including a go-cart track, the Sling Shot (a contraption that rubber-bands you way up into the air),… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts

    Riverside Clay Tennis Association

    The clay courts at Riverside Park near 96th Street were lovingly grown out of once-awful, weedy dirt courts by fundraising and maintained through the efforts of volunteers with the Riverside Clay Tennis Association and staff. An irrigation system was added in the late 1990s. Play costs just $15 for a day pass. A season pass is $200 for adults, $10… More >>
  • Best Batting Cages

    Baseball Center

    Ah, batting cages, the perfect place to kill some time, throw out your back, and brag to your pal about that time you supposedly made a girl meow, right? Not at the Baseball Center, the 15,000-square-foot training center that has something to offer everyone, from youngsters looking to get an edge up on their Little League opponents to old-timers looking… More >>
  • Best Sports Venue

    Barclays Center

    Nothing is as significant in the field of New York sports construction in the past few years as the introduction of the Barclays Center to Brooklyn's downtown scene this fall. The venue—from a conglomerate of a British bank, Jay-Z, and a host of other bankrollers—is the equivalent of Madison Square Garden in the outer borough. (Its construction created much controversy… More >>
  • Best Water Sport

    New York Kayak Polo Club

    Curious about a rather exotic sport that you probably didn't even know existed? Try the New York Kayak Polo Club, which has shuttled around different West Side piers to play from year to year, but has been a steadfast group since 2002. Women outnumber men, and players tend to be from many different countries. Games consist of two 10-minute halves,… More >>
  • Best Rowing

    Harlem River Community Rowing

    Although New Yorkers usually think of our surrounding water as a slimy place to avoid, some uptown sports enthusiasts don't let it scare them off. Not-for-profit, volunteer-run Harlem River Community Rowing isn't meant for kids or beginners (though it offers intermediate classes), but if you're a good swimmer, can do a good knee bend, and can haul 30 pounds overhead,… More >>
  • Best Old-School Sporting Club

    New York Croquet Club

    Granted, it's not the late 1800s anymore (even if the GOP wishes it were), but the genteel English sport from that time still has a home in Gotham. Established in 1967, the New York Croquet Club gently knocks balls through small hoops in Central Park's Mineral Springs area. NYCC is 90 members strong. Its free weekly introduction clinics bring in… More >>
  • Best Police Sports League

    NYPD Youth Cricket League

    In 2008, one of the NYC Police Department's outreach units found that many South Asian schoolkids weren't up on the after-school activities being offered. To fill that gap, and also to create some goodwill with the Muslim community, the NYPD Youth Cricket League was formed (brainstormed by Commish Ray Kelly himself) to capitalize on the sport's popularity in that demographic.… More >>
  • Best Intramural Basketball League

    New York Knicks Corporate League

    Some people play intramural basketball to stay in shape, for the love of the game, or to make friends. Others play for glory. If you fall into any of those groups, the New York Knicks Corporate League is the league for you. It offers four levels of competition, from "mostly average players" to "competitive," and games are held after work… More >>
  • Best Basketball Team

    Brooklyn Nets

    The Knicks will let you down. You know this, and still you drag your sorry ass to three games a season, every season, so that you can scream and curse and cry and then say you were at the game when the Knicks clinched eighth seed in the playoffs. That's no way to live. Now, though, you have options. Now… More >>
  • Best Soccer Sports Bar

    Nevada Smiths

    The fanatics—the European hooligans and the overzealous, faux-enlightened American ex-study-abroad kids—call it "church." Its motto is "Where Football Is Religion." It's Nevada Smiths, and it's a world-renowned bar made famous for its incredible atmosphere during soccer games. There aren't many seats at all, but there wouldn't be space for them anyway—the place is packed. With more than 100 games showing… More >>
  • Best NFL Sports Bar

    Croxley Ales

    With the season now well into swing, you might be looking for an upgrade on your regular NFL haunt. Try out Croxley Ales, an unassuming hole in the wall tucked into Alphabet City that provides for your every football need. Croxley's has ample bar seating if you plan on watching alone or with a couple of friends, and also a… More >>
  • Best Active Date

    Kayaking on the Hudson

    You met her working out. Or you met her at that seedy bar three hours after that free happy hour. Whatever. The point is, you want to impress with what an active, outdoorsy kind of guy you are in this concrete jungle. Also, you're broke. This is what you do: Take her to Pier 40, Pier 96, or 72nd Street,… More >>
  • Best Basketball Courts for Spectators

    Cage at West 4th Street

    If you're looking to watch some top-notch pickup basketball, or if you think you're good enough to run with some of the city's best, New York's most legendary court is unquestionably the Cage at West 4th Street. Half the size of a standard court and so tightly crammed inside its chain-link fence that the out-of-bounds line is ignored, the court… More >>
  • Best Garden

    A Small Green Patch

    There are plenty of beautiful, well-established gardens in this city, from the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx to the Chinese Scholar's Garden in Staten Island. But if gardens are places that bring communities together and, more importantly, where new things are growing, this award should go to three connected plots on Bergen Street in Gowanus called A Small… More >>
  • Best Paintball Park

    Cousins Paintball

    New York is great and everything, but there are times when the city grinds you down, carving all the generosity and fellow-feeling out of your heart to the point where all you want to do is shoot somebody. When you reach that point, we urge you to scratch that itch with a round or two of paintball. You'll save yourself… More >>
  • Best Shooting Range

    Westside Rifle & Pistol Range

    Truth be told, when it comes to selecting the best place to legally discharge firearms in New York City, there aren't a lot of options. For nearly 50 years, Westside Rifle & Pistol Range has been one of those few. Located in Chelsea between a high-end home-furnishings store and a strip club, it offers firearm virgins and expert marksmen alike… More >>
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