From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome. Email him at scott[AT]borderstan.com.
As an around the clock sports enthusiast, a question that has often been asked of me is what is my favorite sport to play (to watch is a whole different discussion). Basketball and hockey are fast-paced and physical, while baseball is a bit slower, but more precise. But the sport that I look forward to the most has always been, even since I was younger, tennis.
I credit my grandpa for instilling in me a love for a game that is all about mental control and consistency, and has no clock ticking against you. The month of June always gets my tennis juices flowing with the French Open and Wimbledon being played at both ends of the month. There is a bonus this summer as the London Olympics will include tennis at the Wimbledon grounds, which will be cool to see players not wearing the usually required all whites.
If you haven’t played since last summer, dust off your racket, check the strings and get out there! There are plenty of people to play with and your friends may want to get back out there as much as you do. Here are just a few tips for hitting the courts and having a great time.
Know Your Level. Not to sounds too competitive, but how good are you? There is an official tennis rating system, but you should generally know how consistent you are. This is important in determining if your tennis date is just a good hit back and forth or a competitive set or two. The more you know your level and play with people around yours, the more fun you will have.
Be Friendly. This is not a high school match, and it isn’t the US Open final either. Some people tend to amp up their intensity in public due to the fans (people walking by) or the players on the court next to you (who are obviously judging you). Don’t be labeled as that intense player who argues about line calls or yells when they win a point (like I used to when I was a teenager). When you get paid to play tennis, then yell a little, but until then, relax.
Don’t Overstay Your Welcome. The catch with public courts is that it’s a first come, first serve basis combined with patience. On the nice weekend days, I have walked by courts and seen actual lines to get their turn. In situations like these, it’s the common courtesy move to play about an hour and no more. Remember what your parents taught you: share.
While tennis can sometimes be an “upper-class” sport meant for the country clubs, DC is fortunate enough to have a sprinkling of public courts all over the NW part of the city. Click here for a great interactive map of the city and where to find the nearest courts to you. All are free to use anytime and have no dress code. Then buy a new can of balls, get out your baseball hat and hit the courts on the days it’s not horribly humid.
Shout-Out!! I want to personally thank Borderstan owners Matty and Luis for an amazing DC Pride Parade experience. If you were out there last Saturday, hope you saw the Borderstan cars and I threw you some beads!
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
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There are lots of different types of fairs, carnivals, and street celebrations in the life of a busy city, especially one such as Washington DC. Last weekend our small corner of Northwest DC was host to what I think is one of the most fun and easy going around; the 32nd Annual Adams Morgan Day Festival.
For a place that can be generalized by most DC residents as just a “strip of bars and pizza” (not sure if that’s a bad thing or not), Adams Morgan I like to think is one of the truer neighborhoods in the district. I use Mr. Rogers’ word here in the sense that a general continuity of both the businesses and the regular day people who live in a space where most idiot undergrads try to use their fake I.D.’s.
As I have mentioned before, I live right in the heart of 18th Street and from my window have seen things that I can’t publish on this site, but suffice to say they are more graphic than my four years in a fraternity. This festival is a great way for DC to enjoy the area in the sunlight and freely move around the streets and enjoy plenty of amenities, without the usual nonsense. Some highlights…
Carnival Food. People from Minnesota will always tell you, food tastes better on a stick. 18th Street NW was overwhelmed with BBQs, tasty drink stands, and my personal favorite; fried stands with funnel cake and other treats. It always shocks me how these types of food tents aren’t more common, I mean we could all use more fried plantains in our lives.
Feel Good Art. I am not the most cultured person but I enjoy my fair share of art. Adams Morgan brought together a great variety of local artists on a side street and their stuff was great. Some were friendlier than others but all were happy just to be sharing their art with their fellow residents. Special shout-out to Michael J. Auger, love the cow.
Free Stuff!! The world needs more of it. Companies like Mellow Mushroom and Bolt Bus had raffles. PNC Bank gave away pens. I just love free stuff.
The Whole Family Sure I am in my mid 20s, but I still love two stages of music and ski ball as much as the next 10 year old (maybe more). There was a bouncy castle too but the line was a bit too long for me.
Overall, kudos to the people who put this one together. A great day of activities followed by one of the best and quickest cleanups I have ever seen on a city street. I overheard some grumbling from some local business people that actually most of it was done with people who don’t live around the area, but who cares. A great festival is a great festival.
Thought of the Week
Football season is here and I am always going back and forth with people on where is the best place to watch their team; their bed, couch, next door bar, huge sports bar, rooftop, etc. Over the next few weeks I hope to examine this issue quite scientifically so would love to hear some thoughts.
Where you do like to watch games and most importantly, why?
Links! Links! Ice Cold Links!
Breaking the glass ceiling, one sports video game at a time.
New Ben & Jerry’s flavor named after classic SNL skit “Schweddy Balls”.
Serena Williams lost in this year’s US Open final, and had this outburst.
From Scott Leibowitz. Find Scott on Twitter @Lebodome.
Live Tennis: Dramatic Theater or Actual Sporting Event?
Summer is great for so many reasons: the weather is nice, people are friendlier, clothes are lighter and slurpees taste better. However, one of my favorite parts of the summer is the week-to-week build up in this country to easily one of the best sporting events of the year. I am talking about professional tennis and the dramatic lead-up of small tournaments nationwide culminating with the US Open in New York City. As D.C. residents, for the last 40 years we have had front row seats to this build up with The Legg Mason Classic in Rock Creek Park.
Thanks to my grandpa, all my life I have had the pleasure of attending the US Open regularly, and for the past six years I have been attending The Legg Mason Classic to wet my tennis taste buds. For the second straight weekend, my girlfriend took me to a sporting event (she must really like me) and despite her very strong sports credentials, she could not see the fun in pro tennis. At first I thought maybe she just wasn’t a true fan and didn’t see the beauty in it. But then I thought to myself…