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RIP Marty Resiman, legend, hustler, friend.

Lara and marty25_2198567_n

Last night, we lost a great in the tennis table world, Marty Reisman at the age of 82 due to heart and lung complications. He lived life on a large scale. Marty was many things, jetsetter, entrepreneur, legend, famed ping pong hustler (he won over 20 major table tennis titles) and to the lucky ones we got to call him a friend. He was so dapper and the kind of man that could pull off sunglasses and a Panama hat indoors and carried himself in a way, that you knew he was one of the greats. And he was.

I had the honor of meeting two table tennis legends Marty Reisman and Dick Miles.

In 2008 Matthew Broderick was on the David Letterman show and reference the legend and how he could “supposedly put a cigarette on a table and hit it with a ping pong ball and crack it in half, that’s how good he was.”  Lettermand then surprised Broderick with Reisman and a table where he performed the trick — until that moment the two had never met him. Broderick wasn’t the only one to meet Reisman that night.

The evening that episode aired, I was at a party in Tribeca, of which Marty was the celebrated guest. When the Letterman Show came on, the room became still and over a projector we watched together as Marty (always so stylish), triumphantly cut that cigarette in half. Later that evening we were introduced and I remember being so taken in by his very cool and calm demeanor. We talked about

Check out my balls…

I'm very proud of my balls!

As most of you know I’m a big ping-pong fan. In addition to the great exercise it offers, it’s possibly one of the most enjoyable social sports to do while having a beer and catching up with a friend. I usually go to SPiN New York for all of my booze-and-playing whims, however last week, my best friend Mike introduced me to new ping-pong/art gallery space in Williamsburg, when having his birthday party at Pips.  It’s a very non-intimidating, down-to-earth table tennis club that houses 3 tables and offers a very chill environment to hang out in and play. Plus they have beer…

Check out my custom balls!

It was there that I was introduced to the Egg-Bot ($195)! Mike bought it to create the ultimate birthday party favor… custom ping-pong balls! Naturally, I wanted two–one that said my name, “Lara” and the other my blog, “Pretty Connected”. The machine hooks up to your computer to and works to decorates any spherical or egg-shaped object ranging from the size of a ping-pong ball to that of a small grapefruit. We’re talking golf balls, ornaments, eggs, light bulbs, mini-pumpkins… So for all you DIY make-your-own eggs at Easter or Christmas ornaments the Egg-bot could be an investment. In fact if I was a elementary art school teacher, I’d probably be regularly breaking this out for kids crafts. Lets face it, the Egg-bot is the coolest!!!

I for one am in love with my balls… now all I want to do is play with them!

This is Your Brain on Ping Pong

Susan Sarandon, Jonathan Bricklin, Rob DeSalle, and Will Shortz at the Museum of Natural History

On January 19th at the American Museum of Natural History, Susan Sarandon, Jonathan Bricklin, Will Shortz, Rob DeSalle, and Wendy A. Suzuki lead a panel discussion appropriately called ‘Your Brain on Ping Pong’, on what’s so great about the sport and the effects

You’re Invited 1/19: Susan Sarandon, SPiN & American Museum of Natural History

This time last year I was playing ping pong @ The Four Seasons in Kona, Hawaii. Sigh

For any regular Pretty Connected readers you’re probably aware of my love for ping pong and specifically the table tennis social club, SPiN New York (and their handsome owners). In fact I’m the first member of their club (I have a card that says ‘001’ and everything!). And as their biggest fan I’m passing on an invitation for an event they are hosting tomorrow night!

When: Wednesday, January 19th, 6:30PM
Where: Museum of Natural History Milstein Hall of Ocean Life on the first floor. (Enter the Museum at 77th Street.)

As part of their crusade for endless ridiculousness (all in the name of ping pong) and places they aspire to play the sport consider yourself invited to come play with them at the American Museum of Natural History under the 94-foot Giant Blue Whale. It will be an evening focused on the science and skill of ping pong and to discover how the brain benefits from our favorite game.

Improve your skills with instruction by our SPiN Pros during free, open play and partake in a conversation with aficionados, including Susan Sarandon,  puzzle master Will Shortz, Wendy A. Suzuki, Professor of Neural Science and Psychology at NYU, and a few ranking champions in a short discussion moderated by Melanie Stiassny, Curator of Ichthyology at the American Museum of Natural History.

This event is free and open to the public with a cash bar. Click HERE to learn more.

Happy 1-Year Anniversary SPiN New York!

By now some of my avid readers have probably noticed I have thing for ping pong. Unlike most table tennis players, the obsession doesn’t come from a table in my basement or game room in my college dorm, but from a few friends.

With SPiN Owners Franck Raharinosy and Jonathan Bricklin at SPiN Hollywood Opening Party

Once upon a time these friends, filmmakers Jonathan Bricklin, Franck Raharinosy and Bill Mack all lived together in fabulous loft in TriBeCa and bought a ping pong table. They started playing, didn’t stop, friends would come over, more tables we’re bought, more friends would come over and eventually they started throwing a weekly party/tournaments named Naked Ping Pong. While no one was actually naked, the parties attracted everyone and anyone from  jocks to hipsters to nerds, artists to celebrities and everything in between; creating a diverse environment that was effortlessly fun. In those days I didn’t play, but I wasn’t the only one, and it didn’t matter. The mix of great people and music in such a social atmosphere made it still one rockin’ party.

With all the press they we’re receiving and popularity of the parties they decided to take their idea to the next level. Together with investors Susan Sarandon and Andrew Gordon they opened SPiN New York; a 13,000 square foot table-tennis social club complete with a gourmet restaurant, Ducks Eatery and bar.

Spin and the City

Susan Sarandon may have played a Queen in Exit the King, but off stage she remains on her thrown as the Queen of SPiN.  Susan, alongside owners Bill Mack, Franck Raharinosy, Jonathan Bricklin, and Andrew Gordon welcomed guests to their 13,000 square feet table tennis social club this past Thursday to their grand opening hosted by Vanity Fair and Hermes.

The celebration and space was nothing short of pure magic. In fact it was out of control AMAZING. With a 30 ft bar and lounge that looks into the 23rd street subway station and 17 ping pong tables on Olympic caliber flooring, it’s like nothing I’ve ever seen (and after 8yrs in NY, that’s rare).

The room was filled with members, celebrities, heartthrobs, models, nerds, hipsters, fashionistas, Olympians, legends, reporters, artists, bankers, – oh and Spider-Man. No matter your status, age, or playing ability, Spin offered an equal playing field and allowed us to be kids again.  They gave us game time on their courts and served gourmet popcorn and grilled cheese compliments of their restaurant, Ducks.

It's an honor to be photographed with stylish table tennis legends Marty Riesling and Dick Miles
Lara Eurdolian with stylish table tennis legends Marty Reisman and Dick Miles

Guests played dress up in Hermes scarves while waiting for their turn to be photographed. Not only did the full size pictures print out instantly, but it also allowed you to enter your email address to have the images sent to your account.

I clearly had a lot of fun with this feature.


Later on the party continued in their private Fred Perry room.