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Lower East Side Ping Pong Championships

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by Joann Jovinelly (subscribe)
I'm a freelance writer/photographer living in the East Village neighborhood of New York City.
Ping pong—it's like tennis for hipsters. Besides, little else beats the wintertime blahs than filling your social calendar with oddball nightly entertainment.

The Lower East Side Ping Pong Championship is brought to us by Grand Opening, the off-beat, artsy folks behind unusual, temporary "pop-up" projects, such as Drive-In and Wedding Chapel.

For the last few months, downtown types in faded plaid shirts and scruffy haircuts have competed to win a chance to go against their peers in an all-out ping pong bloodbath. The list of champions has now been narrowed to 18. But who will win? (Clue: Our best bet goes to two-time winner Andy "Pupa" Fontanez.)

Stadium seating is provided so nobody misses a beat of the hardcore table tennis action while sipping complementary beer and listening to a variety of guest DJs. Live commentators help you keep score while the last of the remaining hipsters goes down in a blaze of glory. Don't say we didn't warn you.
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Why? Because hipsters and ping pong go together like peanut butter and jelly.
When: Saturday, January 23rd, 7:30-10:30 (After party 10:30-4AM)
Where: Clement Soto Velez Cultural Center, 107 Suffolk Street (and Rivington)
Cost: $10, tickets required (see Grand Opening Website)
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