Mon-Fri, 5:30am-10pm; Sat-Sun, 8am-8pm
4, 5, 6 at 86th St.
$35 day pass, $20 seniors, $10 children under 17
American Express, MasterCard, Visa
This state-of-the-art exercise facility and community center opened in 1984 in the former Municipal Asphalt Plant. Initially, the city had planned to raze the building in order to make way for a high-rise development but the community fought back and won. The dome-shaped structure was designated an historic landmark, and its current occupant was allowed to lease it (and the adjoining astroturf field) for free. The condition? At least 30 percent of the organization’s resources had to go to community outreach. Today, Asphalt Green hosts free football, basketball, softball and soccer leagues and works with New York City Public Schools to offer swimming lessons to low-income students in an unrivaled setting. The adjacent Aqua Center, added in 1993, houses a 50-meter Olympic-standard pool with moveable bottoms that allow various depths to accommodate all swimming levels and therapeutic exercises. It's also the home of a top-notch competitive swim team that has sent five members to the Olympic trials. Even swimmers with more modest goals can meet with a coach who'll comment on form while viewing an underwater analysis. The gym is similarly high-tech, with TechnoGym equipment which features a Wellness System that monitors your speed, reps and form. From martial arts to tumbling for tots and from Pilates instruction to triathlon training, the Asphalt Green has something for just about anyone at any age.