In its third year of existence, HepsTrack.com has grown. The traffic has remained fairly consistent during the peak periods surrounding the Championships, but the off-peak visits have exploded. During 2011’s non-Championship months, we are getting four and five times the traffic we got during the same months of 2009.
And the traffic is largely centered in New York City. At least one-third of the visitors to the site come from within an hour radius of the City.
So since moving here, I’ve had this thought running around in my head that the Heps Nation should have a gathering outside the field of competition. An environment that is equally inviting to the biggest thrower and the tiniest of distance runner. A place where an fine art major from Brown can meet an investment banker from Princeton or Wharton and find common ground.
So I now look at places on my City walkabouts and think, “Is that a place where the Heps Nation could gather?”
For selfish reasons, I have identified two spots that could be such a place. One is around the corner from where I live, the other around the corner from where I work. The question is: “Would the Nation come?”
I am definitely asking for feedback here. I am not tied to either of the places I will identify below. If you want to have a Heps Nation gathering, say it in comments below. If you think that an place is better, speak your mind.
The first place is Coogans Restaurant, located on Broadway between 168th and 169th Streets. The good news is that it is the best track & field establishment in the country, largely because it embraced its neighbor, The Armory. It serves a wide ranging clientele, basically serving as the gathering place in Washington Heights.
Now, many would consider the drawback being that it is way up there. But I take the ‘A’ train every day and it really doesn’t take long on the express. From Penn Station, the ‘A’ stops just four times before 168th (42nd, 59th, 125th and 145th). And once you get to the stop, you pop up to street level a half-block from Coogans, which is on the west side of Broadway.
The other place is Coopers Craft & Kitchen, a relatively new venue on the northwest corner at the intersection of 2nd Avenue and 5th Street in the East Village. The place is kinda big, but also kinda unestablished (at least when I have been in). Lotsa beers. Free wifi. Clean. Decent food (not a huge selection though). One of the things I like are the large windows in the front that offer a panoramic view of 2nd Avenue, which can be quite the people-watching show in the evening.
Not a hard ‘get to,’ the ‘F’ is a few blocks to the south, the ‘N-R’ a few blocks to the northwest at NYU and the walk from the PATH or even the ‘A-C’ line (the West 4th stop at Washington Square Park) is not much more than say 1,200 meters.
Anyway, I await your response to see if pulling together the Heps Nation is a worthwhile venture. If you want to be the NYC social chair or if you own a bar and want to host a Heps shindig, now is the time to speak!