I just joined the Cityview Racquet Club, a relatively new club which boasts 7 Har-Tru clay tennis courts, 3 singles squash courts, and 1 doubles squash court. Not too long ago the venerable Printing House squash courts were torn to smithereens by uninformed jackanapes who double as executives at a fitness club chain. Long may they burn in hell.....
But I digress.
A goodly chunk of the Printing House players eventually gravitated over to the CityView club. As for me, I was looking for a club. I met one of the immigrants, who told me about it. I grew curious. I signed up.
There is lots that is great about CityView. They have an active tennis program, which helps fund their nascent squash program. (There is a locker with an "A Roddick" nameplate, you dig?) The pro also happens to be John Musto, not only a great player but, more important, a very good pro. (There are a lot of clubs out there that have great players as their pros but many fewer clubs with great pros who are good players.) The touring pro, by the way, is the stylish Egyptian Wael el-Hindi, currently ranked #13 in the world.
The club is artfully designed, really a beautiful club. It is also one of those clubs that knows how to have fun, with kids whose squash rackets are half their size running around excitedly swinging away, even before they get on court. I've been to plenty of clubs where the stiff-upper-lip attitude would never countenance a gang of young ruffians wreaking havoc. And that is much to their discredit.
The club also has an absolutely gorgeous lounge with a mesmerizing freestanding fireplace and great bar. You can hang out there and have a great time when the squash is over. And, during the summer, you can head on out to the huge balcony where, you guessed it, there is a great view of the City.
That's right, the view is so great of Manhattan because this terrific club is not in Manhattan, which is why it remains a bit undiscovered. It is actually only a few stops on the #7 subway line into Queens. I timed it; it's less than 10 minutes to travel from Grand Central Station to the CityView stop.
I just played a 4.5 squash tournament there and did well, considering my balky knees had to play 3 full and difficult matches in one day. The toughest match was the first, in which my opponent and I played one another to near exhaustion, but after about 70 minutes I finally won the match in 5. I was extremely lucky; my opponent had already played his first match so his energy finally ran out in the fifth. My next match was just an hour away and I felt thoroughly depleted, so went down ignominiously 0-3. My opponent later noted that I was tied with him in each game to about 6-all, when suddenly I started going for the cheap shot, which of course didn't work. I then had a 3-hour wait till my next match, which allowed me to rest up, and I won that contest by 3-0. Not bad, I thought, as I limped homeward.
Check out this club if you are in the New York area; it's damn good.