The East River Tennis courts on the Lower East Side are in lamentable condition. Court 1 features a filled in trench which runs the length of the playing area. Most other courts have cracks which are feet long, tripping players and affecting the direction in which the ball bounces. A couple of courts also have dead spots; two back courts have manhole covers by the base line; and court #5 floods regularly. After decades of neglect, the courts have been repeatedly patched over, but need a complete resurfacing. Also, swing gates between the three rows of courts, like the swing gate at the entrance, would help minimize balls from straying and disrupting games The courts also have no night lights. This is curious since prime time for the courts, when they are all in use, is 6 p.m., after work. The sun sets soon afterwards, making the courts unplayable The adjoining football field, on the other hand, has powerful new lights which remain on until 10:30 pm. Why the difference? The tennis courts should also have benches for layovers. The cranks on the metal posts holding up the netting are broken, resulting in sagging nets, particularly on court #9, whose netting is also torn. These courts, which require an expensive city permit to get on, contrast greatly with well maintained courts in other parts of Manhattan, including the free courts by the George Washington Bridge and the free courts on the Hudson River at Canal St. (which also have night lights). They also contrast greatly with paid permit courts on Riverside Drive and in Central Park. In short, these courts are third world courts in an otherwise first class city. A top to bottom upgrade and resurfacing over this fall/winter is way overdue.
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