Raise Your Paddles This New Year's Eve

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Susan Sarandon isn't the only gal with a thing for small balls and a knack for good volley. While it's none of our business whether or not she left Tim Robbins for a 31-year-old ping pong pimp, we've noticed New Yorkers are quite hot for the paddle too. Oh, and Judah Friedlander, the self-proclaimed ping pong world champion.

Clearly, ping pong isn't just a passion of Forest Gump and the Chinese (Think: Nixon and ping-pong diplomacy). Between ping-pong tourneys, high-school ping-pong leagues and ping-pong halls popping up in empty store fronts, it's obvious that the lazy man's tennis has emerged as the Olympic sport for the hipster set. Players range from die-hard enthusiasts to drunken douchebags. It's easy to be fashionably chic while getting your pong on. We suggest American Apparel-esque gear: those sweat bands are exceptionally stylish when you can master playing hard without ever breaking a sweat.

Here are a few ping pong halls to get your game on in New York:
+ Spin, at E. 23rd Street and Park Avenue is where Sarandon turned her pick-up game into well, a pick-up game. Spin is throwing a no-cover NYE bash with a free open bar from 9pm-10pm and free table tennis all night tonight. Their tagline: What is one ball dropping compared to hundreds flying about? Plus, if Sarandon shows, maybe she will let you play with her balls before midnight. Check out the video where she put on her game face for the ladies of The View.

+ Pong on Grand Street at Suffolk Street is a single-table ping-pong parlor that is part of a three-month pop-up store front initiative. There are pick-up games for newbies. Members can compete to win the L.E.S. Cup in a tournament on January 23, 2010.

+ Fat Cat at 75 Christopher Street attracts more of the boozing baller than the undercover Ultimate Ping Pong Champ. The dive bar with it's seven tables does however host monthly tournaments on the second Sunday of every month at 3pm.

What's nice to know is that ping pong doesn't discriminate. While Sarandon and most players prefer white balls, they come in all colors. The milk chocolate ping-pong balls are our fave.
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