Tennis Anyone?

This title has been a long time coming.   I belong to a tennis club in Brooklyn,  The Knickerbocker Field  Club.   (      There is a lot that can be written about the history and nature of the club, but that’s not what this is about.  By viture of this blog -not my tennis- I have a bit of a following at the club.  Often, when I’m there, someone (actually it’s usually the same person) will suggest I blog about something that has taken place while I’m there.  For a few reasons, that doesn’t appeal to me.  First of all, I don’t much care for the use of  “blog” as a verb.  It sounds a bit like I’m vomiting on someone.  I much prefer “write”, almost as if I’m someone who IS a writer.  And secondly, I  try and be very selective about the subjects that I bore you readers with.   So this offering has not much to do with my club but does have something to do with tennis.

 A guy I’m friendly with who recently took up the game told me that he had come across a photo of me on the internet.  He was looking for places to play in Brooklyn and Googled, “tennis in Brooklyn” and  somehow or other a picture of me appeared.  Apparently, I’m a lot more popular than I think I am.  I had a number of disparate reactions to this….I was kind of exhilarated by the thought that I might be famous in  some way (which means I can give up this blog) but I was also a bit put off….that somehow I had become so available, so accessible to the general public.  I’ve grown accustomed to and sort of enjoy my anonymity.  It’s my security blanket….something I thought I could count on.  It helps me sleep at night.

In any event, I wanted to see exactly what my friend had seen, so I Googled the same term…”tennis in brooklyn”.  I selected “images’ on the Google toolbar.  I was shocked to see what I found.  Page upon page of photos of Andy Roddick’s wife, Brooklyn (yes, Brooklyn) Decker. (I’d say Google has some work to do on its algorithms…but that too, is for another time…and for someone who actually knows what an algorithm is.)  Ms. Decker is a swimsuit  model, so almost all the photos were of her half-naked.  I was looking for a picture of me and I got a naked babe.  Something seemed wrong, what happened to the alleged sighting of ME?  So, after spending two,three,  maybe four , at tops five, hours scanning the photos of Brooklyn (just to make sure my face was not somehow in the background of some bikini shot), I gave up.  No Me.

And then, as often happens,  my mind started wandering.  To places that it has no business visiting.  Trying to imagine how Ms. Decker’s parents came up with that name.  Did they try out all the boroughs?  Was “Staten Island Decker” given a fair shot?  And didn’t they think  “the Bronx Decker”  had a certain  panache to  it?   As usual,I’m probably being way too concrete in my thinking about this.  There are countless reasons for choosing “Brooklyn” as a name.  Maybe Ms. Decker is of Dutch descent and her parents  simply anglicized the old Dutch name for this borough.  Or maybe they were huge Dodger fans…or maybe bridge  afficionados. (The span, not the card game, kind) I can imagine that anything is possible.  And after all, who am I to judge.  I was born upstate in Kerhonkson, NY.    Maybe my parents toyed with the idea of an unconventional name but  went for something  much more traditional.  But I have to tell you, today I wouldn’t mind having that name…Kerhonkson Stein.  Very, very cool!   Almost as good as Brooklyn (Double?) Decker.


Not sure but I may be waaayy in the background

Not sure but I may be waaayy in the background


4 Responses to “Tennis Anyone?”

  1. maria Says:

    Hi Neil,
    Wouldn’t you know this was the first of your blogs I decided to read with Max? Especially enjoyed the photo at the end…..
    (Can you put a parental advisory on it next time please?)

    PS We thought that was you in the foreground!

  2. 1 aidualc Says:

    thanks for depressing me so early on a sunday morning.

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