Wanderlusting: The Rink at Rock Center
“Skating has given me so much that it’s priceless.” ~ Michelle Kwan
Festive Time of Year
While Mother Nature has decided to keep her hot flashes going, that has not stopped the city from getting into the spirit and preparing for when Jack Frost will finally swoop in and freeze us all out.
This really is one of my favorite times of the year to be in the city. Everyone seems to be joyful and their is so much cheer, that Santa would be proud. (Yes I am talking about Santa already!) Aside from dazzling window displays, I always get giddy when I see the rinks being put up.
Once a skater girl always a skater girl
I have always loved skating outside, despite my coach’s antipathy, (you’ll kill your blades!) their is nothing like hearing the cut of your blades echo through nature. My first glides were taken on an outdoor rink nestled amongst the mountains, and my love affair with skating was forever cemented. While city rinks are different from the more rustic ice of my early toe-picking days, there is something equally majestic and awe inducing skating with skyscrapers in the foreground and the hustle and bustle of the Concrete Jungle.
The Rink at Rock Center
Disclaimer: I admit I much prefer the rink at Bryant Park and am anxiously counting the days until it opens (November 1 peeps, November 1!) but that does not mean that Rockefeller does not have its nostalgia factor. It is an iconic piece of real estate. A place that is visited by millions of people every year, with thousands of people itching to take a twirl on the minuscule rink.
Constructed in 1936 after outdoor refrigeration systems were invented, It is one of the most famous rinks in the world with thousands upon thousands of visitor each year. It is always the first to open in the city, and on warm days, when the need to strap on my skates is calling, I can not help but pay it a visit despite it being one of the most touristy spots in the city.
Their are cons, because of its’ tourist landmark stature, it is the most expensive place to skate at twenty-five dollars for an hour and a half. It is also ridiculously tiny, even thirty people on the rink gets to be overwhelming. As a skater, two strokes and I am at the other end and jumping is hairy at best.
Yet, skating next to the famed Prometheus fountain with the flags waving above, and people looking down, really does give me all the feels. The rink at Rock Center is where every skater wants to skate at least once in their life. It is has been graced by such famed skaters as Michelle Kwan, Scott Hamilton, and Charlie White and Meryl Davis (who opened the rink only a few weeks ago) as well as other Olympians. For years I would see skaters performing there and it represented dreams. You had made it, if you were skating at Rock Center.
Even now, years later, it still holds that nostalgia factor. Of skater girl dreams, and Christmas in the City. It might be a tad overrated, but at the same time we all need those dreams to help us remember our youth and push us with our future.
Have you skated at Rockefeller Center? Where is your favorite place to skate?