Checking in on the East River Park Tennis Courts

East River Park. Photos by Sarah Sluis.

Tucked next to the Williamsburg Bridge, the East River Park tennis courts attract quite a few local players throughout the April-November tennis season. During the U.S. Open (ending Sunday), more people catch the tennis bug and head out to the courts. If you plan on playing this week, be prepared to wait alongside other would-be Serena Williams and Andy Roddick-types.

There’s no one better to monitor the ebb and flow of the courts than Heriberto Torres, who has been working for the NYC Parks Department for twenty-one years, sixteen of them at the East River courts. He’s a familiar sight at the check-in table, known for his strict timekeeping and good sense of humor. The hours are marked with whistles, and if you’re playing at the end of the day, Torres herds out the players so he can lock up at 8pm sharp.