New Yorkers are accustomed to finding amenities in the most unusual places. Virtually every piece of real estate is utilized and maximized. In Little Stuff, I wrote of New York City's very broad range of products and services, including those things providing the everyday needs most visitors rarely notice and often ask about, like gas stations and supermarkets (see American Express here).
Many of the services and establishments catering to residents that do not need prime real estate locations are sometimes located off the beaten path and shoehorned into whatever space works. They become destinations and they can be found here and there, if not everywhere.
The most challenging services to provide are activities which require a lot of SPACE to be utilized by a few at one time. Like tennis.
There actually are 500 public tennis courts across the five boroughs run by the City of New York, and the costs are extremely nominal. However, demand is great and permits and scheduling are necessary. Using them requires patience, planning, and the ability to deal with limited times/availability and the occasional disappointment.
Money buys convenience, and for those with lots of money, there are a handful of private tennis clubs in Manhattan (rates can run $100 per hour.). One of the largest facilities in the city, shown in the photos, is the Sutton East Tennis Club at 488 East 60th Street. An inflated bubble encloses the club and is located under the 59th Street Bridge - see additional photo here. The courts are open year round, 7 days a week, from 6AM to 11PM.
Lest we forget, New York City is also home to the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center at Flushing Meadows–Corona Park, Queens, the world's largest public tennis facility and also the official venue of the U.S. Open. Everything considered, and in spite of the relative invisibility of all the tennis facilities the five boroughs has to offer, it would not be unfair to say that New York is Tennis Country :)
Note: Thanks to Sutton East Tennis Club for their graciousness in allowing these photos to be taken. For their website with information about the club, classes, rates, etc., see here.