Meet You At the Corner of 19th & Tennis Court

After I wrote about about the amusingly named Lois Lane in Staten Island, reader Brian K. wrote to me about another great one…


“Tennis Court,” in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Get it? Tennis Court? How are these slipping by??


The name actually stems from the Knickerbocker Field Club at the end of the block, an exclusive tennis club that has been in existence since 1892. Today, passersby only see a rollgate leading to a parking lot, surrounded by apartment buildings…


…But back in the day, the area looked quite a bit different:


Amazingly, the Knickerbocker’s beautiful Queen Anne clubhouse was in existence as recently as 1992; sadly, a fire in 1988 damaged much of the interior, and it was demolished in 1992 due to lack of funds for restoration.


Still, the five clay courts exist to this day, now surrounded by towering brick apartment buildings and the BQ train line:


The original founders might be surprised by how much the view has changed…

Photo courtesy the Knickerbocker Field Club – Click for the full site!

…but it’s nice to know the tennis courts of Tennis Court still exist.


PS – This post cost me $130, dammit! I was pulling out from in front of the club entrance and was literally clicking my seatbelt in when I heard a knock on the window. Turns out, a cop saw me pull out without my seatbelt on. Sigh…

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  1. In my hometown there is a similarly, though not as cleverly, named street: Tennis Court Road. One wonders if they ever considered the alternative and, if so, why they chose the duller option.

  2. I like how, in the last photo, there is a man on the left positioned almost exactly like the man in the center of the postcard.

  3. Staten Island has an Abbey Rd…and a Lennon Ct. They’re in the same development, of course.

  4. Ugh – sorry to hear about the seatbelt ticket. Same happened to me several years ago in Bushwick. I was moving the car one block, literally, and they got me. The ticket it one thing – watch out for your insurance rates. They consider seatbelt tickets to be a very serious offense for several years.

  5. Here in Lawrence, KS, the street that goes past a collection of car dealerships is “Four Wheel Drive”.

  6. That’s hilarious about the seat belt ticket (well, not hilarious, but you get it). NYPD is so good about the little stuff. You can go 65mph down any street in the outer boroughs, blow through stop signs, give the finger to pedestrians, but if you even LOOK at a parking spot during street cleaning, it’s your ass.

    Thanks for the post on the tennis club. My brother-in-law lives on Ocean down that way and I’d always wondered about the out-of-place roll gate.

  7. A fan of the television series “Star Trek: The Next Generation” had a hand in naming a group of streets in a Turlock, California neighborhood.

    The clever one is Warp Drive. There is also Picard Lane, Ryker [sic] Court, Crusher Avenue, Impulse Lane and Federation Court.

  8. I once got out of a speeding ticket because the officer recognized me from a pay duty gig he had done on a shoot for me the day before.
    It was a hot sunny day, so I asked if he wanted a drink and drove to a store to get him one. Least I could do considering the ticket was like $90.00

  9. Bruce Rubenstein

    If you looked across the subway tracks, from the tennis courts, you could have seen the back of a house painted a strange orange color. That was the house used in Sophie’s Choice. You were also just two blocks away from Kenmore Terrace & E21st St. where exteriors were shot for Arsenic and Old Lace.

    One last movie connection for that area: on the NE corner of Ocean Ave. & Beverly Rd. there is a rather ornate apartment building. A number of the actors who worked at the movie studio at Ave M lived there.

  10. @Bruce Rubenstein – I believe it was Mary Pickford who lived there. At least that’s always been the rumor I heard.

    Check out the intersection of Story St & Story Court the next time you’re in the neighborhood.

  11. That building behind the street signs is GORGEOUS.

    My favorite intersection (because I am 12 years old) is up in Inwood:

    I officially apologize to EVERYONE for that.

    • I knew it before I even clicked the link! We almost moved to this corner, and I was so disappointed not to be able to tell people we lived at the intersection of….

    • That is hilarious. Best corner ever.

  12. alright scout, my money is on you to get some really good pics of Huguette’s places, can’t wait . . .

  13. I pass that street every night for work and always chuckle. Anyway, just got a phone ticket that I got 3 blocks from there dismissed for me. Cost me $150, but no points on my record.

  14. Lousy bit of luck Scout, doesn’t the NYPD know what a great community service you provide??!