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Blog Posts by Subject: Recreation and Sports

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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Velocipede Mania!

While riding the subway over the past weeks I couldn’t help but notice the posters promoting the month of May as the month of the bike. Since 1990, May has been officially designated as Bike Month NYC, celebrating cyclists, bicycles and generally, all things bike, by sponsoring bike tours, rallys, and other events. Every May I see thousands of bicyclists pedaling through my neighborhood in the Five-Boro Bike Tour (which sold out rapidly this year) and every year I’m 

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Staten Island Yankees

Spring has sprung, and for many of us that means the beginning of the baseball season. A few years ago, a ballpark, named Richmond County Ballpark at St. George, was built right next to the Staten Island Ferry terminal. It is the home of the Staten Island Yankees, a Class A minor league team of the New York Yankees. They play a short season (this year from June 17 to September 6). Prices for tickets are cheap; in past years they have been in the $10 range for the best seats. Food prices are cheaper than the major leagues, but not as inexpensive as one might hope, at least in my 

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Spalding Baseball Photos Online at The New York Public Library

Souvenirs of Atlantic victories (display case with a collection of balls)Nostalgia for the past is what leads many of us to pour over our old pictures. Recently The New York Public Library posted several thousand old baseball pictures on its website. Known as the NYPL Digital Gallery, the website contains millions of digital images of pictures taken from books and archives found throughout the vast collections of the NYPL.One of the more recent image collections to go live in the NYPL 

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Team photos and the press

At first glance, this picture looks like it has seen better days. To a trained eye, it looks like a remarkable survival.

Which is it?

This picture of the Atlantic Base Ball Club in 1869, from the Albert G. Spalding Collection, is an albumen photographic print, mounted on thin paper board.

Two words come to mind, “fugitive materials.” Because of the albumen photographic printing process, the image will fade every time it is exposed to light. Imagine how many times this picture has been viewed since it was printed in 1869! The

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Carib II Sailboat

I went to the Tottenville Pavillion, which is on the extreme southern tip of Staten Island, to watch the arrival of the Carib II along with members of the Tottenville Historical Society.  The boat was actually built in 1924 (not in the 30’s as I mistakenly wrote in another post) at the now closed A.C. Brown Shipyard in Tottenville.  It was escorted by 8 small boats, with sirens going and even a cannon shot.  About 30 people were there to welcome the boat, which unfortunately didn’t have it’s 

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