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Blog Posts by Subject: Recreation and Sports

A Morning Bike Ride in New York City

It was a plan to get out early and it was a plan I kept to. I carried my bike atop my shoulder down my stoop and I was on the streets of Brooklyn by 9:00 AM. The sun was shining; the air was fresh and sweet. The hot sun had not yet evaporated away the luscious morning air. It was a perfect temperature out. The light shimmered as it bounced off the buildings. I made my way through the quiet of Brooklyn, one neighborhood melding into another by way of asphalt ribbons.

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A Clue to a Cue

“I’m looking for a pool hall that used to be on 14th street on the east side. I’m not sure what of its name. It was open at least as late as 1989, and it was next to a nightclub. Can you tell me the name of the hall?”

This was an interesting reference challenge. Normally when one is faced with a business name question, it’s as simple as heading to the yellow pages or reverse directory (also known as an address directory) for the time period in question. Without an exact 

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Share the Fun at April 17th's Handmade Crafternoon

Get ready, because you are the star at this Saturday's Handmade Crafternoon!  We invite you, our attendees, to bring your own craft projects to work on in the company of friends.

Maura Madden, my favorite expert at creating crafty social gatherings, will lead the afternoon and will share some of her favorite projects and craft books. Don't want to BYOC (that is, bring your own craft)?  Between crafty things? No worries—we'll have craft 

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Endurance racing: Second Leg, Ultra-Marathons

My last post focused on an early example of endurance racing, the Bunion Derbys of 1928 and 1929. Lest you think that such unusual endurance races were one-time pranks typical of the fad competitions of the 1920s and 30s, I’m happy to be able to say that endurance running as a sport is alive and well. There is a vibrant American ultra-marathon community, with hundreds of “ultras” run in the United States alone.   What, ... Read More ›

Endurance Racing: First Leg, the Bunion Derby

Vacationers traveling in the United States usually do so by car, plane or train, but in 1928 (and again in 1929), approximately 200 runners signed on for the challenge of crossing the country coast-to-coast on foot. These were the runners in the Transcontinental Footrace, jokingly called the “Bunion Derby” by the newspapers. The race was used to advertise everything from foot products to the new Route-66 highway to Madison Square Garden, and was managed by a sports promoter of questionable character named C.C. Pyle, whose legal troubles added an additional bit of entertainment 

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Books about Puppets and Felt.

March 20th's Handmade Crafternoon was full of creative energy and happiness, thanks to all of you who came and got crafty, and also of course thanks to the felt and puppet inspiration offered by our special guest, Kata Golda.  And I was glad to hear from many of you that the books that I gathered with the help of two enterprising Library interns were a particular hit!

So, without further ado, here's the booklist from that day.


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Lady Drivers!

For symbols of the freedom of the road, you can't beat the wind in your hair, piles of crinkly state road maps at your side, and a whole continent of asphalt spilling out underneath your wheels. The devil-may-care excitement that goes with exploring the American continent has lured many a traveler since the invention of the automobile.

But would one ever call taking a road trip a feminist activity? I don’t mean Thelma and Louise on a tear in a Ford Thunderbird, shooting criminals and running from the law. 

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When the Game Was Ours

Love the NCAA basketball tournament? Read about two of its most famous alumni in When the Game Was Ours by Larry Bird and Earvin Magic Johnson. From he book jacket: "When the Game Was Ours is a compelling portrait of two inimitable players across three decades. It is also a rollicking ride through professional basketball's best times."

Fans of the early 1970s Knicks might object to that last phrase, but the book does take a look at the life and times of two great basketball 

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Hand-Stitched Mice at Handmade Crafternoon.

Don't worry! Our felt mice won't be frightening-- unless you want yours to be!Our next Handmade Crafternoon is in just two days, and my co-host Maura Madden and I hope that you will join us.  We've lined up a sweet special guest, Kata Golda, who makes extraordinary little toys and creatures out of felt  (and whose book Hand-Stitched Felt is a great guide to making your 

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Do It Yourself Fun, 1920s Style.

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s, this little book offered sage advice as well as entertaining distraction for those in England lucky enough to be able to be included in weekend getaways to the country. The Week-End Book was the work of Francis and Vera Meynell, who attempted to balance the competing interests of excellent book design and affordable production in the books they created for Nonesuch, their private press.

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My Favorite Team

If the Super Bowl is over and it is February and there is 12 inches of snow on the ground, to me that means baseball season is just around the corner!

I’ve been a New York Mets fan right since the beginning in 1962. I was 11 years old, and I have a very strong, and good, memory of going to the Polo Grounds in upper Manhattan with my father and brother during that first season. We bought tickets at the park and got seats about 10 rows behind the 

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Program with New York Times Sports Columnist George Vecsey at the Mid-Manhattan Library on Wednesday Nov 18 @ 6:30 on the 6th Fl

I hate to say it but the sports pages, I generally don’t read them. I like to watch sports but often the columns talk about sports in a way that makes it hard for me to understand. I often don’t know who they are talking about or I don’t know enough about sports so that a writer’s discussion of the minutia of a game will be completely over my head. Hence, this is the reason why I stay away from the reading the sports pages.

The writing of George Vecsey is something different. I am not sure exactly when I began reading Vecsey’s columns but I remember the first time, 

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World Series warm-up: historic New York-Philadelphia baseball images on Flickr

The 2009 World Series brings together two cities uncommonly rich in baseball history. Though you might guess which team NYPL is rooting for this year, we've posted a selection of images on The Commons on Flickr representing a variety of New York and Philadelphia ball clubs of yore.

Some of the game's earliest years are chronicled in over 500 photographs

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Its That Time of Year Again...A Race Like No Other: 26.2 Miles Through the Streets of New York

Almost 30 years ago, my husband and I stood on a corner in Brooklyn, to watch the New York City Marathon. We were essentially alone watching the runners on that cool fall day so long ago. We watched, as a trickle of runners became thousands of runners, coursing through the streets of New York City, eventually to the large fanfare that would greet them in Manhattan along 1st Ave, Central Park South and in Central Park itself at the finish line.

Since that day, I have watched a lot of NYC marathons. I live on a street that is steps away from 4th Ave, the long stretch the runners 

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June Is Bustin' Out All Over

So the song goes. But may I ask—are you bustin' out all over? If so, it may be time to get moving. Even if you’re smooth, sleek and at your fighting weight, exercise is always a good thing and doing it with others multiplies the enjoyment.

This past Saturday I spent an energizing few hours walking from Manhattan to Ward’s Island, then to Randall’s Island, north to the Triborough Bridge (recently re-named the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge) and over it, back to Manhattan. If you didn’t 

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Jack Kerouac, Fantasy Sportsman

Ever wonder what Jack Kerouac was doing at ages fourteen, fifteen and sixteen? Competing, for one. The author played on a neighborhood baseball team and was skilled enough in high school football that he was offered scholarships to play at both Boston University and at Columbia (he later accepted the New York school’s offer, a choice that ensured his path crossed with William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, and Neal Cassady, among others here).

As a teenager, Kerouac was also at work inventing his own fantasy field of dreams. In his free time, the young writer founded a 

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Fitness: Always in Fashion

Dozens of organizations with information about free and low-cost fitness opportunities have been congregating at the libraries over the past few weeks. The reason? The 50+ Fitness Fairs. Think of them as a combined celebration of:

beautiful mid-Spring in New York City Earth Day Physical Fitness and Sports Month ... Read More ›

Time to Get Fit: 50+ Fitness Fairs at The Library

Spring beckons: warmer weather teases; suggestions of summer intrude; promises to self to get out and exercise are made.

Yes, this is the year to start seriously walking, even hiking, maybe camping! And how about trying some bicycling, tennis, or canoeing...

I’ll do it—I’m going to the library! Whaaat??? Who thinks of the library when they decide to get some exercise? Well, you should...

Allow us to be your friendly guide for your forays into fitness. Over the next four weeks the New York Public Library will be hosting four 50+ Fitness Fairs, at 

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How Not to Fall: Getting Fit and Standing Straight in Any Weather

Early morning New York City—it’s 27 degrees out there. Brrrrr. And though the thermometer is inching up, prospects for above-freezing temperatures over the next five days don’t look good. Water in the parking lot behind my apartment building has pooled and frozen, creating a scarily shimmering scene—an ice skater’s delight but a treacherous trap for the rest of us.

Recently I heard a physical therapist speak on the topic of preventing falls, and he gave some serious food for thought. For instance, falls account for 87% of all fractures for adults 65 

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Wisdom and Wii at the Public Library

By three methods we may learn wisdom: First, by reflection, which is the noblest; Second, by imitation, which is the easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest. —Confucius

The New England Lifelong Access Libraries Leadership Institute took place in Newton, Massachusetts on December 1-2, 2008. Over 40 librarians from throughout New England attended, with the goal of getting tools, resources, and ideas to help them enhance public library services for older adults in their communities. I had the opportunity to attend and have written more extensive notes which you 

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