A Spin With My Son

A Spin With My Son

Play time at SPiN. (©Dennis Tanner)

Spending the day with my son is always a special treat: now that he was away in college, those father-son Saturdays don't happen as often as they used to. But being that he was in Rutger’s at New Brunswick, and I live in Philly, we decided to meet in Manhattan a few weekends ago, and the recommendation by a friend to check out SPiN was an inspired one: some of our fondest memories of playing table tennis go back to when Max was 8 or 9, and now the ping-pong table and paddles are sequestered away in Max's mom's garage until Max settles into his own place and opens it up yet again. SPiN, co-owned by actress Susan Sarandon, is a table-tennis lounge near Gramercy Park that was getting a lot of raves, so we decided to check it out.

When we got to SPiN, we found a huge, subterranean space, which, at night, are flanked by bouncers. Once we entered, I was hit with memories of the basement playrooms of families in suburbia, the hideaway place from adults where Max and his friends would sneak off to to play video games, watch TV and yes, beat each other in ping-pong. This was going to be fun.

Funky art is part of the charm at SPiN. (©Dennis Tanner)

About 20 tables covered the floor, along with a fully-equipped bar and dining area. Off to the sides were private party rooms that could be reserved. The walls were splattered with murals of NYC scenes, graffiti-like art, that only elevated the hipness quota of the space. Two more impressive things of note: you never need go running after a ball when someone misses. You just get another one from the buckets placed on either end of the table, while employees clean up the stray balls. There is also bar service tableside ad plenty of couches to add a loungey feel to the space. There are monthly tournaments, a live music calendar and other events taking place all year long. Filling snacks/light bites included flatbread pizzas, hot wings and “bigass” pretzels.

Seeing the sights of New York is always special, from the museums to the monuments. But a day playing ping-pong at an über cool Downtown club and bonding with my 21-year-old: priceless.

>> SPiN, 48 E. 23rd St., 212.982.8802