Evaluation: Chicago city officials Put up Ping-Pong tables round Town to Be Used by Anybody
In downtown Chicago this weekend, the Ping-Pong balls will soon be flying. Over a hundred contestants will take up paddles at a tournament of champions, the last occasion of Chicago Ping-Pong 2000. It started a month when town officials installed tens of thousands of Ping-Pong tables anywhere, from sidewalks to resort lobbies to general libraries. NPR's David Nelna gets the story.
DAVID Nelna reporting:
Ping-Pong 2000 has been the brainchild of Lois Weisberg, whose commissioner of Chicago's Department of Cultural Affairs. She states she had been under a great deal of pressure this season to think of something which could rival the painted Fiberglas cows that brought countless people to Chicago last summer. 1 suggestion was painted aldermen, however, Weisberg says she preferred a notion that was bouncing around in her mind for a while.
Commissioner LOIS WEISBERG (Department of Cultural Affairs)I thought,'Let us try the Ping-Pong tables. Place Ping-Pong tables within our spacious plazas, the interior of our buildings, in businesses, and see what happens.'
(Soundbite of Ping-Pong match )
Nelna: Together Michigan Avenue, near the Chicago River and out of the stately old Wrigley Building, a guy and a woman gamely volley a Ping-Pong chunk at a continuous breeze at a desk set up on a broad sidewalk.
Mr. GUY SCHAFFER (Truck Driver): '' I believe in about ten years you're going to be all set for a tournament. If you want to see how to setup ping pong table and net, read my blog please.
Nelna: Guy Schaffer, who is a truck driver from Hammond, Indiana, says he and his company hadn't ever thought about enjoying Ping-Pong in people until they see this table invitingly armed with paddles and balls.
Mr. SCHAFFERWe stumbled upon it, and I asked her did she want to play with a few, did she know how to perform? I used to play sometime, but not out in the general public. That is neat. I enjoy this.
Nelna: What about acting at the end here?
Mr. SCHAFFER: Oh, that is why I stated the chunk has, for example, have a head of its own within such an end. It is turning. I figure if you are a proficient player, it wouldn't matter. However, us being novices --but this really is the Windy City, therefore I do not think there would be a day we come down we would not be playing at the wind.
Nelna: Schaffer's Ping-Pong spouse is Terri Haus(ph), that possesses an escort agency in Nashville. She says it does not matter to her when it is windy. In this social, you can see more best ping pong paddle: https://enetget.com/bestpingpongrobot
Ms. TERRI HAUS (Escort Service Owner): As a matter of fact, it is better, actually.
Nelna: What's this?
Ms. HAUS: Because it feels really good outdoors and, you know, I do not want to sweat. I love to be cool and nice and comfy.
Nelna: Playing Ping-Pong out, particularly in the wind tunnels of Chicago, might not be good prep for the big leagues. Ben Nisbet heads USA Table Tennis, also a host of Chicago Ping-Pong 2000.
Mr. BEN NISBET (USA Table Tennis):'' It is Hard to play at the end. If you would like to play elite-level table tennis and then crush the ball in a hundred mph, you need essentially no air leak.
(Soundbite of all Ping-Pong ball being struck )
Person 1: Ahhh!
Person 2: Oh, which virtually put out an eye.
Person 3: It's only funny until someone loses an eye.
Woman: Oh, gee.
(Soundbite of laughter)
Nelna: At a glowing, glass-ceilinged courtyard in the Harold Washington Public Library, a few local radio disk jockeys wage a paddle conflict in front of a wisecracking crowd. It is among those numerous Ping-Pong tournaments which have happened in Chicago within the last couple of weeks. Bill Leff of WGN Radio ended up dropping this one.
Mr. BILL LEFF (WGN Radio)I have a Ping-Pong dining table in the cellar, and I am the only man I know that does not utilize it to get filthy clothes and newspapers and materials. All of the time and I play. But yeah, this really is a fantastic idea. I mean it blows off those cows from the water out of this past year. Visit us on Getpocket to read more about ping pong: https://getpocket.com/@holdpingpongpaddle
Nelna: Others disagree. A local newspaper columnist complained about what he called'those dumb Ping-Pong tables' City officials say will visit areas such as youth detention facilities and nursing homes. And, they say, anticipate painted Fiberglas furniture on Chicago's sidewalks. David Nelna, Chicago, NPR News.