Thursday, August 23, 2018

Missing the US Open in Forest Hills

Nice essay in the NY Times about the Forest Hills and the US Open:

This is just a theory from an old Queens boy: Deep in the mosh pit of the current United States Open, there is the gentle living Ghost of Tennis Past — another time, another place, only a few miles away in the borough of Queens.

At the National Tennis Center in Flushing Meadows, paying customers inhale psychological oxygen — like air pumped into shopping malls — evoking the green, green grass of the West Side Tennis Club, where this great and very-New-York event was nurtured.

Fans breathe deeply and transport themselves to that green and pleasant land of good manners and pitty-pat applause for a lovely swooping backhand return.


Anonymous said...

Does anybody know when tennis crap starts? I want to walk around and go rowing before all the shitheads, USTA sponsors & cops come and take over every dam thing in the park.

Anonymous said...

The residents who live in the old quarters of forest hills would never allow the event to come back. No one wants the large crowds and garbage that comes along with hosting a huge sporting event. Then again, they could do a one day celebrity tournament featuring veterans and newbies. A one day event would not chaos too much chaos.

TommyR said...

That was a nice article, truly - it's valuable to remember past memories without sugar-coating or being overly nostalgic. But here is a more informative excerpt from the article's commentary:

"The trigger for confrontation was the dilapidated condition of Forest Hill’s facilities and amenities. “Almost insultingly shabby,” wrote one reporter. Billie Jean King in 1974 described the club as “rinky-dink” with “bad” grass courts and the dressing rooms “a mess. And those pompous U.S.L.T.A. officials were prancing around everywhere.”

The stands were rickety, with aisles and walkways too narrow; parking was an unpleasant challenge with fans forced to cruise around Forest Hills looking for residents hustling to “rent” their driveways; locker rooms for the players were grossly inadequate, which, combined with the haughty attitude of club members, prompted the ATP to complain that a poll of 215 men players found the U.S. Open at Forest Hills “the least favorite” men’s tournament. Players were not allowed to use the clubhouse, only the cramped locker rooms. There was a good deal of weeping and gnashing of teeth by those with a romanticized image of Forest Hills, with grass courts (clay as of 1975), lovely faux-Tudor buildings, walls covered with ivy, and a visual gentility that harkened back to bygone days.

But as dozens of news articles pointed out, those days were gone.
Taken from my history of the USTA: Raising the Game."

Ultimately the FH facilities were too small, and not really fitting to the event. It makes far more sense with it is now, in terms of accommodation, layout, and accessibility.

BTW you can still see some of that "bidness sense" (renting driveways etc) when a particularly popular act rolls into the new Stadium. The toffs along 71'st private roads don't care for it, but such is the push-pull between the have-alot's and the have-even-more in Whitepot.

Anonymous said...

Still the three flagpoles at Shea and Perimeter roads are bare. Most of the lighting is out so breathe deeply as you pass the the noisy auxiliary diesel powered lights. What a shithole!

Anonymous said...

They still use the stadium for other stuff

Anonymous said...

" I want to walk around and go rowing before all the shitheads, USTA sponsors & cops come and take over every dam thing in the park"

What an educated point of view...

Anonymous said...

I don't give a shit about tennis the only time the LIRR stop is active without suffering the misery of sharing a LIRR car with ballgame or concert animals.
Train in walk around park, hit King of Corona, the bars and have a nice ride back home without some mob of son of bitch sports fans ruining your night.

Note IMPORTANT: When they punch you ticket on the train DO NOT LOSE IT OR THE RECEIPT! You will need to show it upstairs to leave cattle roundup. The city has a $$ sucking scam using the police to force you to buy a full fare ticket upstairs. You must show a punched receipt or produce a ticket for the MTA-LIRR train you just exited when you get upstairs.

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