Office sports season has officially started at the T.F. The paralegals are wielding their permits as they hijack the park, and the guys playing street hockey in gym shorts and yamakas continue to wish they were as cool as the under-40 Jewish basketball league. The paralegals haven’t called the cops yet, but they inevitably will, especially when key derelicts decide they don’t care if they get hit in the head with a softball while practicing switch mob flips.
What many casual T.F. patrons don’t know, is that there is an arguably superior slab of baseball diamond concrete on the other side of the island. It falls short of Tompkins from a cultural standpoint, but its amenities are unparalleled. They include a two-block skate from the best slice spot in Manhattan, a four-block skate to Mamoun’s and Gray’s Papaya if you’re poor, the former residence of the G-Man, and sightseeing benches that are vastly more fashionable than their eastside counterparts. (Many of Tompkins’ notable personalities haven’t left the East Village since ground was broken at the T.F. in 2001, so surpassing it in culture is next to impossible.) Tompkins may have one cone, but T.F. West has 1/3 of a sawhorse.
Below is a video by Xavier Veal that documents this monumental east-to-west journey, and the many hardships endured by those who dare to leave the East Village.