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Ping-Pong in The Park: “A Dream Come True”

 

Ping Pong in The Park: A Dream Come True

[vimeo http://vimeo.com/21426469]

Some of you may have caught an earlier post where I mentioned outdoor ping-pong tables and the possibilities for some of our public spaces. This video of a new table location in the Manhattan’s East Village captures the excitement (DNAinfo) and interest (The E. Village) that tables can bring.

The table in this video is made by Henge Tables which manufactures them out of Alpena, Michigan and sells them worldwide. I’ve met with the president of Henge, Alan Good, last summer. He has connections to Traverse City and would love to see us install 2 or 3 of them. I haven’t championed them aggressively, but I have planted the idea around and have thought about locations. I’ll keep those back for now, but would be interested if any readers have ideas for locations–please leave a comment.

Any Ping-Pong Champions Out There?

Photo by Emily Bert for the NYTimes

The real local problem will be finding the funding. Tables cost between $3,000-$4,000. On City property, the City could be asked to put 1-2 tables into the capital improvements plan, but who knows when that would be funded. A table or two could also be squeezed into the Bayfront Plan at Clinch, something I will explore because of the multiple uses of the tables and the main benefit of how they can give more reasons for people to come together, even if they don’t play. The tables are built to be more than just for table tennis; they are built to be appreciated, sat on and even danced on.

Good said it well in a New York Times article about the East Village table:

It’s more about the people who come by and just hang out, and watch each other. It slows down passers-by. It makes for a little lingering spot where you pause what you’re doing, linger, talk with a stranger. The random rubbing of shoulders: that’s how I put my table forward.

The article includes a nice description of the craftsmanship that goes into each table and Henge’s website provides a lot answers to all of the questions that will be asked about installation and care.

The quickest way for Traverse City to install a Henge table is through a generous donation from an individual, coalition of table tennis enthusiasts or corporate sponsor.

What do you think? Have some ideas? If you do or if you are interested ins sponsoring a table, send me a message and I will help facilitate.

In the meantime, alley ping-pong season is here…if you have some game, let me know.

__

  1. kirstin stiebel
    April 14, 2011 at 10:12 am

    YES ! how about the open space ? or F&M ? or … the LIBRARY ! yeah. the library.

  2. james b
    April 14, 2011 at 10:20 am

    At the very least, we should do a ping pong tournament fundraiser.

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