After moving to NYC in 1997 fresh out of High School I discovered that one of the benefits of living in a city known for never sleeping is that you can pretty much get anything, go anywhere, and do anything you want, whenever you want. The world is kind of on call 24 hours a day to us city dwellers making the convenience of city living often hard to think about being without if we were to ever (GASP) move out of Manhattan. As you can imagine, this way of life leaves New Yorkers wanting for very little however in 1997, to my dismay, I did long for one thing that I could not find anywhere in the Big Apple, mini golf. Being from Washington State I could not understand how this was possible and if you don’t understand why this was such a huge deal, then you clearly have never been to the Pacific North West. Sure there are majestic mountains for hiking, rivers for fishing, and lakes and beaches for swimming pretty much around ever corner in Washington State but it also rains there, a lot, making indoor activities a pretty crucial part of every day life. Bowling is clearly the activity that reins supreme as far as optimal indoor fun in the outer areas of the Emerald City, and in second place there is a tie between go-carting and mini golf.
I am happy to report that today Manhattan no longer suffers from the mini golf drought it once did when I first moved to here 15 years ago. There are several places to strut your putt around the city now and this past weekend I was delighted to partake in a little mini golf expedition with the amazing and talented students of the New York Cares Urban Adventure program. After a summer sans Urban Adventures my boyfriend John and I were more then ready to help kick off the school year of monthly Urban Adventures with a day of mini golf fun at Pier 25. When we arrived at Pier 25, we discovered that there were other large groups there that day also getting their mini golf on so we had to break up into smaller groups of 4-5 people (2 students, 2-3 volunteers) and ended up having to take turns mini golfing.
While the first of the five groups hit the mini golf course the rest of us partook in some fun and folly playing tag with the other students and volunteers in a playground nearby. It became such a successful game of tag that other kids who were not part of Urban Adventures also started to play with us turning it into one very awesome game of freeze tag which kept us busy for an hour until it was at last our turn to hit the green. Clubs in hand we headed towards the 18 holes of mini golf fun. After about the second hole it became clear that keeping score was probably a mute point, so we cast our competitive natures aside and decided to just play “for fun.” There were some lost balls and a few close calls (one of our golfers that day was a first timer and greatly underestimated her strength when it was her time to putt) and after about an hour we completed the last hole, turned in our clubs and headed back to their school in East Harlem
Next up on our Urban Adventure program is a day of fun with magic as a magician (who we saw on the last trip of last year) will be paying a visit to the students at their school for their very own private show. We will also be doing a sort of pot luck for the kids that day, still deciding what treat I want to bring, I can’t wait:)