LAST WEEK’S RECAP | Dec 31 – Jan 6, 2013

RING RING! It was great to ring in the New Year with old and new friends. They brought their holiday spirits and smiles for the celebration!

Our holiday parties are not complete without a special touch from Dwight and his son, who graduated at the top of a French culinary school in Manhanttan. They put out a great spread, starting from a fancy salad to mussels and shrimp cocktails, from chicken francese to lobster-crab ravioli topped with authentic French cream sauce, to Italian staples of lasagne and penne with broccoli rabe, amongst other dishes.

The general comment from players is that they liked everything from the food to the tennis. One player from Clifton said he really liked the food but quickly added – And the tennis, too!

Last year’s first-time New Year’s Eve party-goer from Basking Ridge said she had such a nice time playing a lot of tennis with different people that she and her husband wanted to join again. They invited another couple from Somerset to join them this year.

The Somerset couple just got married a week prior and continued their honeymoon at the New Year’s Eve party. Interestingly, their mothers were college friends, who later moved to different states, AZ and NJ. Fate brought them together again when the now-wife moved back to the East Coast 5 years ago and the rest is history. Their baby photos could probably be consolidated into one album since they were in the same pictures; they’re months apart in age.

Other fun-loving players included singles, couples, mothers, daughters and sons. This diverse group came from NYC, Valley Cottage, Clifton, Fair Lawn, Guttenberg, Hackensack, Hampton Township, Hawthorne, Hoboken, Little Falls, Mahwah, Montclair, Morristown, North Haledon, Palisade Park, Rutherford, Somerset, Teaneck, Woodland Park and Wyckoff.

The celebration culminated in a midnight champagne toast to the traditional ball drop in Times Square on TV.

Two players from Cliffside Park and Englewood chanted to each other – “This is the one” – the one point that they were going to win, to win the game. It had such a nice tune to it that I borrowed the chant for Sunday night tennis and it brought the same laughter effect, which caught on and another player repeated the chant later.

There were a lot of great matches going on amongst some very experienced players. I look forward to watching more matches on different tennis nights.

It was a very festive party with lots of bright colors – bright yellow, orange and green colored shirts. You could say Friday night players are loud, with their colors, that is.

A few friends who hadn’t seen each other in a while got together to play. A player pursuing his MBA in Boston met up with his former Stevens Institute of Technology friend for a little tennis, while visiting his girlfriend in NJ. The NJ resident said that he was his first friend at college. Another ex-college player from Parsippany and his friend from Clifton are starting up their tennis reunions.

A young old timer from Hoboken brought 2 friends from Morris Plains, who know almost half the people on the Saturday night roster. Hmm I shouldn’t print out the roster a day early to make players’ minds wander to the next night.

Four players were having too much fun on the court. The player from Newark shanked an overhead for a winner. The opponent from Parsippany said “You have to hit at least 3 strings or it doesn’t count.” Later the player from Morris Plains hit an overhead, smiled and said – “What? That was out? But it felt so good.” At the end she said “We won the last point, so we won.” Everyone laughed; they are the essence of what tennis parties about – just for fun.

I couldn’t pass up the chance to play with 3 Cubanos, 1 of whom has just met the other 2 tonight. It brought back memories for me when I met my best friend in a bilingual class, Aniuska, a Russian descent from Cuba. Thus, was the beginning of my quest for learning the Spanish language.

A couple from NYC celebrated the New Year’s at Lisbon “but missed our friends….” They returned to join another friend at the Friday night party, shared a couple of tennis games, a meal and a few laughs before bidding farewell until next weekend’s party.

A newcomer who moved to NJ 3 months ago from Houston, TX made quite an entrance with her great energy and enthusiasm. Needless to say, she met quite a few people tonight.

A 2nd-time newcomer from Caldwell stayed until the end of the party. I told her she can now say that she plays the same amount of tennis as her avid-player husband. She replied – not quite, he plays 5 times per week and she’s a tennis widow LOL.

“Happy new year! I wish you have a good holiday with your family and friends. I’m now enjoying Japanese style new year celebration with my family.” – player from Weehawken

One of my best parties advocates from Hoboken told a friend from East Orange to join, saying “Great … will be fun…. Bring your appetite … food is good too!” Thanks for the endorsements!

The father-son team from Long Island continues to enjoy the Saturday night parties. We enjoy having them while they can attend!

It was a decent turnout and a really fun night.

When a player from Fort Lee signed up, I started recruiting for more players, from NYC, Harrison, Parsippany and Randolph. They had a blast saying that the Fort Lee player had really nice volleys, able to hit any ball, soft, hard, high, low and able to put it with the same back spin. The Fort Lee player said that thanks to my party, his game has improved. Actually thanks to him, a lot of players get to play up, mainly because he doesn’t mind to play any level. Other players are no chop liver – they played just as zealously.

A player of only 2 years, from Kennelon, has some ground strokes, fits right in with the group of players on her court. With her athleticism and fun attitude, she will do quite well, tennis- and social-wise, in this group.

I had a chance to play with a newcomer from Montville. He told me that it was his first time playing doubles and that it seemed weird to see so many people on the court. After thinking about it, it did look a little crowded to me. Forgetting that he’s a singles player, I ran for some of the same balls. After a few run-ins, I finally realized that he’s very quick and I should let him take the balls out of my reach. He sweated so much from all the running, so it was just like playing singles. He said had so much fun tonight that he would come again. I hope so!

Comments are closed.