Sports & Recreation

  • Best Yoga Studio

    Yoga to the People Brooklyn

    NYU students of the Lululemon aesthetic may dominate the St. Mark's flagship, but this branch of Greg Gumucio's egalitarian yoga empire attracts a more diverse crowd. Yoga to the People Brooklyn features a large, airy room with matte wood floors, hanging plants, and windows through which the spires of the Greek Orthodox church across the street are visible, resulting in… More >>
  • Best New York Met

    Matt Harvey

    Mets fans have gotten used to having their hearts broken, so when Matt Harvey strode onto the pitcher's mound at CitiField for the first time last year, they steeled themselves against him. He had the best start of any Mets pitcher and threw fastballs that broke 100 miles per hour, and still fans looked away when his face flickered across… More >>
  • Best Brooklyn Net

    Brook Lopez

    While the Nets often look more like a marketing experiment than a basketball team, the best player on a squad relentlessly promoted to appear "cool" and "hip" is a gangly, seven-foot-tall comic book nerd. Brook Lopez has the best offensive skill set of any center in the league, and the success of the Nets depends on their ability to work… More >>
  • Best New York Knick

    J.R. Smith

    If "Knicks player" were a quantifiable quality like height or speed, then J.R. Smith would be the most Knicks player. Last season's Sixth Man of the Year was equal parts exhilarating and baffling, providing instant offense, excitement, and questionable shot selection for a team that played fast and reckless. While other players may have been more instrumental in affecting the… More >>
  • Best Basketball Court

    William Sheridan Playground

    Playing streetball in New York is a rite of passage. The uneven, potholed courts and unforgiving, bent rims often reward toughness as much as skill. But rites of passage suck, especially when you're just trying to shoot some hoops. William Sheridan Playground's basketball court, near the waterfront in Williamsburg, is probably the nicest public court in the city. The fact… More >>
  • Best Long Bike Ride

    Day trip to the Rockaways

    So many New Yorkers bike for their commutes, it's easy to forget that you can use your wheels to go somewhere other than work. When looking for a long-distance bike ride in the city, most people suggest riding up to Westchester County or some winding Hudson Valley route. Those are nice, but you don't have to leave the five boroughs… More >>
  • Best Citi Bike Station

    9th Street and Avenue C

    Even Citi Bike's most ardent supporters couldn't have foreseen its biggest problem: The bike-share service is just too popular. In the East Village, most docks are empty after morning rush hour and filled to the brim after six, forcing bikers to search the neighborhood for an open space (negating much of the convenience). There is one, however, that seems to… More >>
  • Best New York Giant

    Victor Cruz

    For years, the one consistent thing about the Giants was their inconsistency. Now, you can add Victor Cruz to that desolate list. Whether the Giants are at their Super Bowl–winning best or disjointed, mediocre worst, the fourth-year receiver is a touchdown magnet. Cruz has a knack for somehow always getting open, which is all the more incredible given the fact… More >>
  • Best Team Owner

    Mikhail Prokhorov

    For some reason, sports columnists love criticizing flamboyant franchise owners who treat their teams like toys. If you're one of the few humans on Earth who is lucky enough to be able to afford a sports team, you should go hog wild. Sports are fun and occasionally silly, and your owner should both know this and embody these traits. Mikhail… More >>
  • Best New York Jet

    Muhammad Wilkerson

    If you think about the Jets, back before the butt fumble, before last season's repeated embarrassments and foibles, and even before they drafted Geno Smith to either replace or supplement Mark Sanchez (depending upon whom you ask), the team was all about defense. Say what you want about Rex Ryan (he certainly would if he were in your shoes), but… More >>
  • Best New York Liberty

    Cappie Pondexter

    New York fans are conditioned to cringe when they see someone wearing No. 23 light up Madison Square Garden with a relentless scoring barrage. That's slowly changing, however, as the city is getting used to the Cappie Pondexter Era with the New York Liberty. The little guard with the lightning-quick crossover has already won a WNBA championship with the Phoenix… More >>
  • Best Ping-Pong

    PIPS

    On any given night, you can walk past the front window of this table tennis establishment and catch an all-out smackdown between a hipster and a Hasid while a trio of cigar-smoking men play Spanish guitar in lawn chairs outside. Call PIPS Williamsburg's rec room, the great unifier in an otherwise increasingly divided neighborhood. From six until midnight every evening,… More >>
  • Best New York Yankee

    Alfonso Soriano

    After several seasons with the Chicago Cubs, Alfonso Soriano made his return to the Yankees on July 26 and proved to be the extra offensive spark needed by a team in the conversation for the second American League wild card spot. While the clouds from Florida's Biogenesis clinic have hung over Yankee Stadium all summer, Soriano, a seven-time All-Star, has… More >>
  • Best New York Red Bull

    Thierry Henry

    He's arrogant, he's old, he doesn't play on artificial turf. When you're Thierry Henry, the Arsenal legend who now roves the midfield and left wing for New York Red Bulls, you can do what you want, because as the song goes, he scores when he wants. At 36, Henry is approaching the end of his career, but his first touch,… More >>
  • Best Way to Create a Family Atmosphere at a Sporting Event

    Cash for Crass

    Intricate and offensive chants are as much a part of soccer as diving to the ground with a fake injury. In America, land of the minivan and blandly good manners, the collective diss of choice is the direct and mild "You suck, asshole!" The unified shout comes on goal kicks, the crescendo following a rising, anticipatory, college-football-kickoff-style hum. But to… More >>
  • Best Boxer

    Peter Quillin

    In his first title shot, Peter Quillin knocked down WBO middleweight champ Hassan N'Dam N'Jikam two times in the fight's final 45 seconds. When the announcer declared the 30-year-old Quillin victorious by unanimous decision, the crowd went nuts. It was October 20, 2012, the first boxing card at the Barclays Center, and the locals had eagerly embraced Quillin, a Michigan… More >>
  • Best New York Ranger

    Henrik Lundqvist

    The Rangers are hockey's discount version of the Knicks, with a native gift for paying way too much for players whose best years can no longer be seen in the rearview mirror. But keeping them from falling into a Knicks-like abyss has been goaltender Henrik Lundqvist, the last line of defense. He's among the most fundamentally sound goalies in the… More >>
  • Best New York Islander

    John Tavares

    As a child prodigy in Ontario, John Tavares heard the ubiquitous question tossed at all teen scoring machines rising from the Great White North: Will he be the next Wayne Gretzky? The answer, of course, was no, since no one will put up those kinds of numbers again—unless the NHL returns to the defense-optional posture that marked the Gretzky Era.… More >>
  • Best Park Restoration

    Soundview Park

    A former landfill at the mouth of the Bronx River originally rehabilitated in the era of Robert Moses and Fiorello La Guardia, Soundview Park has undergone recent renovations that make its 200 acres look better than ever. While there for a Summerstage concert from local freestyle legend George Lamond this year, we saw kids playing baseball, soccer, and basketball, families… More >>
  • Best Golf Course

    Van Cortlandt Park

    Nearby Split Rock and Pelham Bay golf courses might be more challenging and home to nicer facilities, but ask us where we spent our summer Fridays, and nine times out of 10 the answer will be Van Cortlandt Park. The oldest public golf course in the country—NYC residents first teed off there in 1895—Vanny plays 6,002 yards from the back… More >>
  • Best Tennis Court

    Fort Greene Park

    At times, tennis in New York manages to be even more pretentious than tennis in the 'burbs, with clubs charging outrageous prices for access to their precious courts and guarded old-timers holding onto their knowledge of supposedly secret spots all the way up to that big tennis court in the sky. Not at Fort Greene Park, where six hard courts,… More >>
  • Best Bike Shop

    Bicycle Roots

    Before this full-service station opened in June, Crown Heights had not had a bike shop for 20 years. And with the new wave of gentrifying residents, the need for quick transportation on Nostrand Avenue was greater than ever. But that's not the type of crowd Brooklyn native Nechama Levy and local Joe Lawler aim to cater to. The owners of… More >>
  • Best Rockaway Hangout with Williamsburg Style

    Playland Motel

    You know Playland Motel is going to be hip before you even step inside. After all, the front door—located at Beach 98th and Rockaway Beach Boulevard, one block from the beach, one block from the subway, and immediately off the Cross Bay Veterans Memorial Bridge—is barely visible, and the backyard music, if you can hear it from the street, is… More >>
  • Best Horse Track

    Aqueduct Racetrack

    If there are no longer enough specialty boutiques and tapas bars in Williamsburg, where can the hip individual rid himself of all that disposable income? Gambling, of course. The 119-year-old Aqueduct Racetrack has not only been utilized for rabid betting and pony-baiting, but also as an especially cheeky way to spend ma and pa's cash. The influx of new, young,… More >>
  • Best Summer Hoops Tourney

    Entertainers Basketball Classic

    If this city's ridiculously rich basketball history has a home, it's the single court across from the Polo Grounds Towers, underneath the Harlem River Drive in hallowed Rucker Park. Just about everyone you've ever heard of has taken part in the Entertainers Basketball Classic: Kareem, Tiny, Dr. J, Kobe—they've all made appearances, as have the streetball legends The Goat, Pee… More >>
  • Best Sports Rivalry

    Knicks vs. Nets

    Easily outdoing Jets–Giants and Mets–Yankees, the National Basketball Association's budding Knicks vs. Nets rivalry has developed into a serious arms race. The Knicks get Carmelo and Stoudemire, develop Shumpert and Felton into stars. The Nets move to Brooklyn, get Deron Williams, mold Brook Lopez into a star, and then land Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, and clutch killer Jason Terry. The… More >>
  • Best Urban Pond

    Morningside Park

    Two decades ago, 118-year-old Morningside Park was among the most dangerous parks in the United States. Thousands of empty crack vials littered the forested pathways. Decrepit buildings lined Morningside Avenue. Columbia University warned students not to enter the park after dark. (In 1968, Columbia had attempted unsuccessfully to turn the park into an athletic complex.) Things, as they say, have… More >>
  • Best Boat Club

    North Brooklyn Boat Club

    You won't find Sperry footwear or Nautica gear at the North Brooklyn Boat Club. Nope, only industrial waste and rumored hepatitis. But that's precisely why founder Dewey Thompson's collective of rowers is so indisputably badass. The club proudly calls Newtown Creek, one of the most polluted waterways in America, home. For three years now, these renegade kayakers, canoers, and sailors… More >>
  • Best Zumba Instructor Who Doubles as a Comedic Healer

    Lisa Tawil

    One of the first things that Lisa Tawil asks when she enters a class is, "Who's gotten divorced, married, broken up with?" It's not that she wants to know your business; she just likes to know people's mindset before she starts. See, besides making you sweat, her main objective is to make you feel good. A reincarnation of a Solid… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Paley Park

    One of the most special spots for a picnic, quick lunch, or romantic dinner in the city is Paley Park. Surrounded by midtown buildings, this space is known as a "vest-pocket park" because of its small size (only 4,200 feet). Dotted with trees, it features two side brick walls that are covered with English ivy and a picturesque 20-foot waterfall… More >>
  • Best Gym

    Reebok Sports Club

    Ready to sweat? A lot? Not just a gym, the Reebok Sports Club offers a new way of thinking about health and fitness. With impeccable state-of-the-art equipment and more than 170 classes each week, including Zumba, yoga, and spin, plan to be at Reebok for more than your standard 45-minute workout session. Their Columbus Circle location has two basketball courts,… More >>
  • Best Place to Camp in Brooklyn

    Floyd Bennett Field

    If you're itching to pitch a tent in the great outdoors, but don't want to drive for hours to get there, the campgrounds at Floyd Bennett Field is the spot for you. Back in 1931, the field, which is at the edge of Jamaica Bay, was an active airport until it was closed and reopened as a naval air station… More >>
  • Best New Workout

    Aquacycling

    The Cronut was a revolutionary idea because it combined two delicious pastries into one. Along those same lines (but far, far healthier) is Aqua, a new indoor cycling studio in Tribeca that blends our two favorite things: a spin workout and swimming. Much more challenging and fun than a typical spin class, each Aquacycling session (depending on the instructor) incorporates… More >>

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