spotted in the city: game, svet, match…

The Clique Summer Collection Dylan - tennis Young adult novel

This week’s stop at our local Out of the Closet yielded this YA novel, The Clique Summer Collection: Dylan, by Lisa Harrison. Here’s the loopy (moonball-y?) teaser on the back cover:

Dylan and her TV-host mom are off to Hawaii’s Aloha Tennis Open. While Merri-Lee interviews tennis’s wild child Svetlana “Tennis the Menace” Slootskyia, Dylan lets the tropical sun melt away the memory of getting dumped by two guys at the end of seventh grade. But between avocado mud masks and poolside naps, she falls in love with a preppy, tennis-obsessed hawtie. Dylan soon realizes the only way to score a date with him is to master the game. Can she convince moody Svetlana to spill the secrets of her tennis success, or will she end up oh-for-three in summer love?

“Hawties”? “Slootskyia”?! Ohmigawd! We’re not reading this, JFTR. At least not yet. Maaaybe if we find ourselves absolutely bored and poolside somewhere with a break in between a poolside nap and an avocado mud mask. Only then would we consider flipping through this to pass the time.

(Photo Credit: TSF)

short balls: basketball on broadway, food as fashion, a high line book and more

Broadway magic? A new play is in the works for Broadway, set on the rivalry and friendship between NBA legends Magic Johnson and Larry Bird. The play is in its casting phase right now, which The Wall Street Journal noted was a blessing for the vertically-blessed. | And if you like your hardwood stories with a little bit of dance and song, Lysistrata Jones, a musical now in previews, opens Dec. 14.

Creative hunger. We’re in love with the Museum of Communication in Berlin and their current food and fashion exhibit. Move over, Gaga! This fella is donning some carb-inspired, pasta-and-ravioli threads. Yum.

High society. New York’s famed High Line park in Chelsea now has its own book, High Line: The Inside Story of New York City’s Park in the Sky. On Wednesday, Nov. 30, Coach is hosting a release party for the book along with New York magazine at the Coach store in Midtown Manhattan.

short(er) balls: Both Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova voiced their want for the WTA’s Season Ending Championships to move to London’s O2 Arena to join the men. The feasibility of such a thing happening? At least a few years off with contracts in place and the events still three weeks apart. | On USA Today, Bethanie Mattek-Sands writes of her improved shoulder, taking care of her dog at home and the first-ever tennis camp she’s hosting in Arizona next month. | The only golf and tennis shop in downtown D.C., Drilling Tennis & Golf, is set to close after over 30 years in business. | Beware, Martina Hingis! Tory Burch says she plans to eventually design yoga, tennis and golf lines for women. | IMG stalwart Teddy Forstmann, “one of the most powerful men in sports, fashion and media,” according to The New York Post, died yesterday at the age of 71. He had brain cancer. | Growing in popularity in Australia? That’d be polo. | The world’s largest jacket? Half the size of a tennis court, y’all!

(johnson/bird screengrab via official show website; museum photo via fox news; jacket image via world records academy)

short balls: good photos, gays and serena sings (!!!)


Snuggly and warm.
One of our favorite parts of Majors is that there are photographers — everywhere. It’s like the worlds of Kim Kardashian and President Obama have combined into one, and these photogs aren’t missing a thing! While the on-court shots can be dramatic and story telling and gripping all at once, there is something about the around-the-grounds photos that you really can’t match. Check out today’s batch from Roland Garros here. | More: All RG photos

Not Herstory, Queerstory. A new book, A Queer History of the United States, looks at the last 500 years of gay Americans. Didn’t think gays stretched beyond Bill Tilden and the roaring ’20s? Not the case. Michael Bronski pens the book which documents gay Americans at every turn of history. One misstep he says the gays made/are making? A push for marriage equality.

USA takeover. No, we’re not talking about the Americans in Paris! (Though, with what we had to start the tournament, wouldn’t you say we’ve had a fine showing so far? BMS, Mardy Fish, John Isner, Ryan Harrison and others have turned in a fine performance.) We mean the fact that USA Network (you know the one — is used to run the U.S. Open!) has taken over a special issue of the New Yorker, eating up the mag’s entire advertising space. The newsstand-only issue (when was the last time you heard such terminology?!) came out on Monday.

She is. Serena Fierce.
 Sometimes you just have to sit back and let Serena do her thing. We’ll never completely understand her, but we don’t think she wants us to. That would just un-glamorize ReRe. It’s been an active month for the inactive player: To start, a man was arrested for allegedly stalking Serena. Then, a week later, Serena posted a revealing Avatar on her Twitter account, only to take it down a week later after online outcry. But Serena has saved the best for the beginning of the French, where we know she would much rather be. How to ring in the third straight Slam that is Serena-less?? By singing Beyonce‘s (OK, Destiny Child‘s) “Survivor.” At karaoke. And putting it up on YouTube. ‘Nuff said. Click the image to watch.

More power ballads:
Remember Justine’s musical musings?

Find a ladder and climb it. We’re digging the new site, TennisLadders.NET — and not just because the NET is in all caps. The site caters to recreational players per their geographical location, pairing you up with a player in your area who is willing and wanting to play. Want to climb the ladder? Work your way up. While the site has a California-heavy following right now, it will eventually be national. Says the TennisLadders team: “We are home of the ‘quick challenge’ where users can challenge each other at the click of a button and report their score back on the site.  Your ranking is automatically adjusted as you report your scores and climb the ladder.” We love good, old fashioned competition. Join up, y’all.

(Ball kids image by FFT via RG.com; Serena vid screen grab via YouTube)

on the 1st day of giftmas: tennis lit

2010 has been a pretty good year for the tennis literary community (if you can even call it a “community”). There was an as-always this-is-what-my-tennis-life was (and is!) book in Patrick McEnroe’s Hardcourt Confidential, while Venus Williams put out a best-selling business book called Come To Win. Right, we said business book. We give you a few other selections that might fit well as fit-in-your-suitcase take-home gifts this holiday season.

Hardcourt Confidential might be the only book on this list that I’ve actually completed, and after a bit of skepticism to start, I surely appreciated it. McEnroe write with Tennis‘s Peter Bodo and Bodo’s signature phrases can be found throughout the book. But it’s still McEnroe’s voice that shines through and tells some good stories. The book follows a calendar format (Jan. to Dec.) instead of a biographical one, which grew on me as I progressed. A great read from – what a tennis friend recently told me – “one of the nicest guys in tennis.” | Hardcover on Amazon.com for $10.40

Come to Win is Venus’s take – along with a host of other “visionaries” – on how to rise above the rest in whatever you choose.”Every single story in this book is very motivating. Sports give you knowledge that you can take with you and apply into other fields,” says Mihaela Hagiu in her review of Come to Win on Bookstove.com. “Many people do not realize the benefits of playing a sport. The lessons that could be learned are too valuable.” | Hardcover on Amazon.com for $17.15

Doubles Agatha Donkar’s take on the book on the Art & Literature blog: “Taking the reader along for the ride as Slow tries to crawl out from this bottom that he’s hit, Doubles explores tennis, friendship, and love, and the truly strange lengths human beings go to in pursuit of those things — the idea that we’re all just muddling along, and there’s only so much indulgence you can take before you have to do something else.” | Paperback on Amazon.com for $11.41

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