Whenever I've brought visitors to New York to the esplanade at Battery Park, they're always surprised to see there are outdoor pool tables there. You provide ID at the nearby NYC Department of Parks & Recreation office and they lend you the balls and sticks.
Now a company called Henge is producing concrete ping pong tables that are also seeking uptake by NYC's DPR. Both Roosevelt Island and Fort Tryon Park have orders in for the tables, and Henge has donated one to Tompkins Square Park.
The tables aren't light—they weigh from 2,300 to 2,800 pounds—and are shipped, unassembled, from their production site in Michigan to their final destination via truck, train, and/or ocean freight. Not exactly an easy product to make and seel, but Henge is on a mission with social goals that trump financial ones:
We see the table as a singular way to bring a vigorous sport that's already well-loved to parks, schools and public spaces, as well as backyards. The table promotes fitness and social interaction. But it can also channel private resources to financially challenged parks and schools. HENGE helps corporations, organizations, and individuals donate tables to parks, schools, and other institutions.
[The table is intended to serve] both as a bridge for new capital and a way for generous donors to show how their involvement and interest in their own community. In other words, parks and schools get free tables. Kids and adults of all ages get to play a fantastic new outdoor game. And a community reads a plaque that names a donor—whether corporation or individual or in between—for their distinctive, engaging, highly original support.