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September 3 2014

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3 posts tagged "ping-pong"

Blasblog: Is Ping-Pong The New Poker?

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A few years ago, when that whole poker trend started to take off, I felt kind of left out. All the men’s magazines were suggesting that the cool thing to do was to sit in basements, chomp on cigars, and play cards. Then suddenly, whenever I couldn’t sleep, I would turn on the TV and the only thing still on would be some fallen celebrity at a VIP Vegas championship. Still, I never knew a full house from a royal flush.

It’s why I was rather excited when I began hearing that Ping-Pong had pushed old poker face off the Trendy Sport du Jour pedestal. Not only do I boast some raw athletic ability (don’t laugh: I was Missouri’s 2000 Scholar Athlete), but I also have the advantage of years of beer pong played as a Midwestern youth. I tested these skills last night at Stuart Weitzman’s first annual Serve to Save Ping-Pong Tournament, which supports ovarian cancer awareness. And I’m just going to say it: I got moves. My partner and eventual competitor Joy Bryant had better moves, though, as she ended up knocking me out of the competition. But her rally didn’t last long. “I’ll go easy on you,” Weitzman himself offered, before he walloped her. Not that it was a fair fight by any means. Who knew that Mr. Weitzman was a serious Ping-Pong-er who even competed in the Jewish Olympics in Israel? I leave you with another fun fact: Susan Sarandon is a major Pongaloonie as well, and even part owner of the club, SPiN, where the tourney took place.

Stella, Gwyneth, Madonna: Just A Regular Girl’s Night In

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Stella McCartney and Gwyneth Paltrow welcomed Madonna back to London yesterday with a girl’s night chez Madge. The boys (Guy, Rocco, and David) were off at the other estate, and Madge’s minions were busy unloading the gigantic framed Steven Klein picture of herself that she likes to travel with. Seriously.

Shortly after parting ways with Kate Hudson, Lance Armstrong started dating low-profiler Anna Hansen. Turns out the two are now expecting, a feat close to impossible, given the cyclist’s cancer battle. Oh Lance, you sly devil!

Shoe guru Stuart Weitzman wants to beat you in Ping-Pong. At stake: a lot of shoes, and your pride.

follow the bouncing ball

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With the Beijing Olympics over and reckoned a triumph, it seems like the right time to ask: What’s the deal with ping-pong? There’s Naked Ping-Pong, played not-nakedly out of a Tribeca loft; there are the nightly no-joke matches in Chinatown; there’s the string quartet that accompanies the skip of the ping-pong ball on Tuesday nights at Fat Cat in the West Village. The sudden popularity of the sport suggests that China’s cultural hegemony over the West has begun in earnest. Either that, or ping-pong is, you know, the new bocce. “It’s bigger than bocce,” says Opening Ceremony’s Humberto Leon, a confirmed ping-pong fanatic. “Ping-pong has some of the same appeal, because it’s a game you can play over drinks. It’s social.” According to Leon, his interest in table tennis was rejuvenated a few years ago on a trip to Berlin, at bar called Mr. Pong. “It’s like the Max Fish of Berlin, only with ping-pong tables. That piqued our interest—we wound up ordering a table for our office. And then, once we had our radar up, we started seeing ping-pong everywhere.” Leon and his Opening Ceremony co-founder Carol Lim have faced off in friendlies against fellow enthusiasts such as Rogan Gregory and Vogue editor Jane Herman, and a ping-pong tourney took center stage at the store’s 72-hour shop-a-thon earlier this month. Leon and Lim’s passion for the pong runs so deep, in fact, that for Spring ’09 they’re introducing a ping-pong sweater. Their friend Alexander Wang is getting into the act, too. Sort of. Wang is having his fashion week after-party at the New York Table Tennis Federation space downtown, and rest assured, partygoers will be working up a sweat. “We’re moving all the ping-pong tables out,” Wang says, “so there’s room to dance.”

Photo: Bert Hardy/Getty Images