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Author Topic: Outdoor Skating in NYC  (Read 2965 times)

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Offline alejeather

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Outdoor Skating in NYC
« on: October 17, 2012, 10:28:42 AM »
Hi skaters!

I'll be going to NYC in early November and I'd like to skate outdoors on one of the seasonal rinks for the fun of it. I was wondering if anyone who's been has any recommendations?

Thanks!
"Any day now" turned out to be November 14, 2014.

Offline jjane45

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #1 on: October 17, 2012, 11:18:27 AM »
I am more curious if the outdoor rinks are open yet in early November around NYC.

Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #2 on: October 17, 2012, 11:30:01 AM »
I am more curious if the outdoor rinks are open yet in early November around NYC.
Yes, the typical opening date for outdoor rinks in NYC is late October.  If there's a heat wave or technical problem, that might delay the start of the skating season, but that's uncommon.

Are you going to Manhattan?  If so, the rinks to investigate are Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Wollmann and Lasker in Central Park. 
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Offline alejeather

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #3 on: October 17, 2012, 11:49:20 AM »
Yes, the typical opening date for outdoor rinks in NYC is late October.  If there's a heat wave or technical problem, that might delay the start of the skating season, but that's uncommon.

Are you going to Manhattan?  If so, the rinks to investigate are Bryant Park, Rockefeller Center, Wollmann and Lasker in Central Park. 

Yes, I'm going to Manhattan. It seems the Rockefeller Center rink is already open, and Wollmann and Lasker open in November, according to their websites. Those are the three I've been considering.

To be more specific, I was wondering if anyone knew if one were better than the other in terms of ice upkeep or crowds or general pleasantness to skate on.
"Any day now" turned out to be November 14, 2014.

Online davincisop

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #4 on: October 17, 2012, 08:45:21 PM »
If you skate on Rockefeller it's going to ve just to say you did it. The ice is chewed up from the number of people and depending when you go you will be waiting in line. I don't think you're allowed to so more than basic skating. But someone correct me if I am wrong. :)

Offline alejeather

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #5 on: October 18, 2012, 10:34:43 AM »
Thanks, davincisoprano! That is the kind of information I'm looking for. I'm a little worried that it's like that at all the outdoor rinks, but I was wondering if any were less so than the others. I partially want to do it just to say that I've done it, but I'd like to optimize the skating experience of it as well, if possible. I think I'm leaning towards the Wollman rink. Might also depend on whether my travelling companions want to skate or not.
"Any day now" turned out to be November 14, 2014.

Online davincisop

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #6 on: October 18, 2012, 06:14:22 PM »
If you get the chance skate at sky rink in the studio rink. It's indoors but it overlooks the Hudson River. :)

Offline jamesleo629

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 06:07:43 AM »
I am always much keen of outdoor skates rinks if its going to be open it would be an amazing adventure.

Offline Kitten23

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 12:58:00 PM »
Wollman Rink does a pretty good job of cleaning the ice.  Used to skate an early morning freestyle there.  Lasker Rink, before Donald Trump decided to renovate it, was my favorite place to skate because it was empty and in the summer it was a pool, so it was HUGE!!!  But then Trump decided to "fix" it, so he cut it in half, gave them an old beat-up Zamboni and  never did the upkeep on that rink like he did with Wollman. 

Bryant Park is usually in need of a resurfacing, all the time.  Rock Ctr is a tourist trap, and crowded.

This native New Yorker says "Welcome to my city.  Please walk with some speed; I have to get to work." ;)
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Offline alejeather

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 02:59:18 PM »
Great information! Thanks, Kitten23!
"Any day now" turned out to be November 14, 2014.

Offline Willowway

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 07:22:03 PM »
Check to see if the Bryant Park Rink is up and running when you're here. It's an annual, not permanent, installation in the lovely little park behind the NY Public Library (between 41 and 42nd at 6th Ave). So pretty. 


Offline blue111moon

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #11 on: October 24, 2012, 09:19:06 AM »
I've found that the seasonal rinks are pretty much there for the casual tourist or public skater to enjoy the atmosphere, rather than for serious skaters to actually skate.  Rockefeller Center is small and crowded on the public sessions but you can spin and do little jumps in the center if you want to show off and have people ask you if you've been to Olympics.  :)  Bryant Park is not a full-size rink either and the lines were really long every time I've been there.  The quality of the ice varied with the heat of the day and the number of people who had been there earlier.  Wollman is the biggest but oddly shaped and when I was there they had a giagantic portion of the middle coned off for group and private lesson so all the public people could do was go around the outside in circles.  The guards discouraged pulbic skaters from doing "fancy" skating but a few of us found a side corner that we played on for a bit, dodging leaves and sticks.  But the atmosphere was fun and we took some nice photos with the NY buildings in the back.  I wouldn't bother hauling my skates down just for that though, unless I had a bunch of friends who wanted to go just for fun.

Oh, one thing I noticed, especially at Rock Center, the people who were wearing skating dresses or elaborate rink wear (in effect, shouting "I am a SKATER") weren't very good.  The better skaters were wearing jeans and being very casual about the fact that they could skate paragraph loops around everyone else.  So I'd advise dressing "down" if you go, unless you really want people people staring at you.  :)

Offline Kitten23

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2012, 03:33:40 PM »
Oh, one thing I noticed, especially at Rock Center, the people who were wearing skating dresses or elaborate rink wear (in effect, shouting "I am a SKATER") weren't very good.  The better skaters were wearing jeans and being very casual about the fact that they could skate paragraph loops around everyone else.  So I'd advise dressing "down" if you go, unless you really want people people staring at you.  :)

I had forgotten about people dressing up at Rock Ctr.  It HAS been a long time since I skated there.

If you don't mind getting up early, there's a daily freestyle/ice dance session at Wollman Rink.  It's in Central Park (62 or 63rd Street park entrance) and while you do have to walk through the park to get there, you can see the rink from the path and there are lots of people in the park walking their dogs.  The session starts at 7:00ish, or daybreak; whichever comes first.  They do a good job cleaning the ice. 

If that's not your cup of tea, there is always Chelsea Piers (23rd & 12th).  Take the bus ($2.25 coins or MetroCard) rather than a cab because you'll need the money for the session.  It's a lovely facility, but rather expensive.  But then again, it is Manhattan.  The ice is maintained very well (I know all the Zamboni drivers - nice guys) mostly because someone will complain if it isn't.  FYI: there are freestyle sessions all morning until about 12:30.

Don't know how much you know about traveling through NY, but if you aren't opposed to taking a bit of a trip, you could skate at City Ice Pavilion.  I don't really know their schedule (because they keep eliminating their evening freestyle sessions! >:() but I think they have morning/afternoon sessions.  Take the #7 train from Grand Central Station or Times Square (depending on whether you're on the east or west side) to 33rd & Rawson.  If you need further directions, send me a PM.

Or if you have access to a car, you can go to World Ice.  Take the Grand Central Parkway to Exit 9P and follow the path through the park to the HUGE grey building that houses a rink AND a pool.

All of these rinks do an excellent job of maintaining the ice.  The two rinks in Queens (City Ice and World Ice) are a bit cheaper, but you do have to travel to get to them.  I've been told Hackensack is an easy rink to get to, but I beg to differ having gone out there to watch North Atlantics.

The people in most of the rinks are pleasant.  If you skate a World Ice freestyle, the parents are so standoffish you would do best to ignore them.  I do.  Also, at World Ice, if you're used to the normal rules for a session (spin in the center, jump in the corners) be forewarned; you'll be the only person doing that.  I learned that the hard way. 

Welcome again to NYC.  Please don't walk 3 people across (2 max); the sidewalks aren't that wide. ;D
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Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2012, 05:28:53 PM »
If you want to skate in a really nice, tourist-free outdoor rink, go to Staten Island War Memorial rink.  Take the ferry from downtown Manhattan and then catch the Victory Blvd bus.  It stops right near the rink.  Bring guards, the flooring isn't great.  The rink is nestled between a wooded hillside and a picturesque lake/park.
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Offline alejeather

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #14 on: October 29, 2012, 09:51:15 AM »
Thanks all for all the wonderful tips!

I'm leaning towards Wollman, and I'm thinking about going for a freestyle in the morning. If I go for that, I may wear skating clothes, otherwise, I think I'll just wear whatever warm everyday clothes that I can move the best in.

At this point, I'm just hoping that there are rinks standing after the storm moves through! Stay safe, all my northern friends!

And Kitten23, I promise not to walk three across on the sidewalk  ;) I've lived in walking cities before and know how annoying that is because I'm a very fast walker, according to those who have had to walk with me!
"Any day now" turned out to be November 14, 2014.

Offline Kitten23

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Re: Outdoor Skating in NYC
« Reply #15 on: November 03, 2012, 02:38:36 PM »
Thanks all for all the wonderful tips!

I'm leaning towards Wollman, and I'm thinking about going for a freestyle in the morning. If I go for that, I may wear skating clothes, otherwise, I think I'll just wear whatever warm everyday clothes that I can move the best in.

At this point, I'm just hoping that there are rinks standing after the storm moves through! Stay safe, all my northern friends!

And Kitten23, I promise not to walk three across on the sidewalk  ;) I've lived in walking cities before and know how annoying that is because I'm a very fast walker, according to those who have had to walk with me!

Hoping you're still safe at home.

Sky Rink is closed.  Not sure about Wollman or Lasker.  City Ice is open.  World Ice is not.

NY is still cleaning up.  Hopefully everything will be back to normal (whatever that is) soon.

And thanks for promising not to walk 3 people across  ;D  that drives me crazy, especially in the theatre district.  I visited Washington, DC and everyone wanted to know why I was "running" everywhere.  Really??

Enjoy your trip.
Courage doesn't always roar.  Sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day that says, "I will try again tomorrow."

http://competitiveadultfigureskater.blogspot.com/