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Author Topic: Skating in NY  (Read 2402 times)

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Offline Feebee

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Skating in NY
« on: October 22, 2015, 12:21:53 PM »
Man oh man, I can't believe I'm doing this, but I am actually planning to move to New York (Brooklyn, specifically) in the next couple of months.

I am from Toronto, where there are literally hundreds of arenas, some private, many city run, tons of free ice time for adults during the day and plenty of cheap early morning sessions. I've been searching for arena's in and around Brooklyn, and it's pretty disappointing how few indoor arena's there are, and how expensive (omg) the freestyle sessions are.

So I'm basically looking for all the insider info I can get from fellow adult skaters in that region  :sweat - I know I kind of guard this information in Toronto, so if you don't want to post it publicly...can you send me a private message?

Anyone know of the best freestyle and public sessions available, and places to meet other adult skaters. I have so many skating friends here and only one there :S.

Thanks everyone!

Offline Jf12

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #1 on: October 22, 2015, 03:03:46 PM »
There are a lot of adult skaters at Chelsea Piers in Manhattan, but no session specifically for adults.  During the winter they have coffee club from 10am-noon weekdays, which is popular with adult skaters and is 2 sessions for the price of one.

Offline rd350

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #2 on: October 22, 2015, 05:46:52 PM »
Brooklyn is tough.  In the winter there is outdoor skating in Prospect Park.  I haven't been so don't know price or quality but it's "outdoor ice", which can get super tough to dig into when it's really cold.  There is Aviators that has 2 rinks and may have some freestyles that could work for you.  I've only skated there once, on public for $11, and did not like it at all.  Plus it's really out of the way of anything.  I think you'd need a car.

City Ice in Queens might be accessible to you, depending on the trains you will be near.  I don't know their freestyle schedule or if they have adult only ice but I'd bet they are not too busy during the day.  I haven't skated there.  I think they may have a Saturday adult bridge class?  Some off ice too?

World Ice Arena is Queens is good in the first half of the day but you would probably need a car for that too because it'd take forever from Brooklyn and I think you'd need to cut through Manhattan.

SkyRink at Chelsea Piers Coffee Club may be your best bet.  I think it's $27 for a double freestyle but you could buy a book (10 sessions) for less I think.  Would probably take you at least 45 minutes travel time each way, if you are close in Brooklyn.

Ice House in Hackensack, NJ is far form you and again, best with a car but they do have adult freestyles in the summer that are great.  Not too cheap though.
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Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #3 on: October 23, 2015, 02:16:22 PM »
One last note is that the Abe Stark rink in Coney Island offers indoor ice but it's also seasonal: October 31, 2015-March 27, 2016.

http://coneyislandfunguide.com/Attraction/Abe-Stark-Rink.htm
http://www.nycgovparks.org/facilities/iceskating/1

Mass transit is a good bet for transportation.

If you're working in Manhattan, skate in Central Park at the Wollman Rink (outdoor) or the Lasker Rink (seasonal, covered)

http://www.wollmanskatingrink.com/
http://www.laskerrink.com/

If you'll have a car, the two rinks on Staten Island are options, but the Verrazano toll is ridiculous.


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Offline Feebee

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #4 on: October 23, 2015, 02:47:32 PM »
Thanks everyone!

I will have a car. I've lived in bkln before, but that was very much pre-skating. I've skated at Aviator before and didn't mind it, @rd350, what did you not like about it?

It seems like the suburbs (particularly in NJ) have way more ice. I guess because real estate is cheaper?


Offline Isk8NYC

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #5 on: October 23, 2015, 02:54:04 PM »
I think it's more that the NJ (and LI) municipalities saw the rinks as a community center. Since those areas are very decentralized (unlike NYC,) they have more small rinks.  In 1950-1960 NYC, the Parks Department made an effort to provide safe ice skating, mainly to keep skaters off the ponds and lakes.

It's more common to have tax-supported municipal rinks in the northern parts of the US than other areas.  We have one community-owned rink here but it's run as a for-profit organization and they offer far more in terms of facility than other "parks" rinks.  Radically different approach than the Jersey City, NJ rink where there are very limited programming options and you get a discount if you show your city resident ID.
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Offline rd350

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #6 on: October 23, 2015, 06:19:33 PM »
I didn't like Aviators because the rink was small, the coned in area was literally loss than the middle circle, so cones more a hinderance than helpful unless you were just spinning and it was crowded.  Also just out of the way kind of in the middle or nowhere.
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Offline skategeek

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #7 on: October 23, 2015, 07:03:39 PM »
There are a bunch of good rinks in northern NJ… I've got at least 4 within a 10 mile radius of my house.  Maybe you could live in NJ and commute to Brooklyn?  ;)

Offline celia

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #8 on: October 23, 2015, 08:51:24 PM »
I skate primarily at Sky Rink but have been looking into Wollman Rink in Central Park before work.  Their website says they have an "adult academy" in the mornings. 
http://www.wollmanskatingrink.com/Default.aspx?p=DynamicModule&pageid=360071&ssid=268565&vnf=1

There is one free option in NYC that I know of and that is the Bryant Park outdoor rink (I think it's called the Pond).  It is tiny and horribly crowded most times.  There are no freestyle sessions.  But I've been there between 8am-9am weekdays before work and it is relatively okay at that time. 

Good luck!

Offline twinskaters

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2015, 08:32:13 AM »
My rink on LI has 10am publics during the week that are very lightly attended--like 10 people would be a crowded day. I think the non-resident fee is $7.50 so it could be worth the hour's drive, no tolls!

Offline twinskaters

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #10 on: November 20, 2015, 10:25:02 AM »
Can I pile in here instead of starting a new post? I think this year we may suck it up and fulfill the bucket list "Skating in Rock Center" item with my girls. But I'm stuck on logistics. Obviously we would all bring our own skates, but then what do we do with them the rest of the day? I suppose we could drive in and then put everything in the car, but that's a pain in the ass any time, but especially once the tree is lit. Not to mention we'd probably be in a garage, and it's hard to get back to your car usually. But there aren't lockers that would hold four pairs of skates without costing arms and legs, right?

Offline celia

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #11 on: November 20, 2015, 12:34:07 PM »
Unfortunately I believe that lockers at Rock Center are only available for season pass holder.  Wollman and Bryant Park have lockers for free if you bring your own lock but I suppose that won't help you  :(  I believe there is a bag check but I don't know the cost.

Offline twinskaters

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #12 on: November 20, 2015, 10:56:31 PM »
That's kind of what I figured. Gah. I am actually working for a client a stone's throw from Rock Center but I work primarily offsite and we'd be most likely to skate on a weekend so I don't think I could stash our stuff there. And it would be a pretty ballsy move for a freelancer.

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #13 on: November 22, 2015, 09:18:36 PM »
What is the best rink to skate outdoors in Manhattan or Brooklyn on Thanksgiving morning?  Is it true Wollman is bigger than standard size?

Offline rd350

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #14 on: November 23, 2015, 12:17:21 AM »
Wollman is quite big but you can't skate in the center and you aren't even allowed to go backwards.

I don't know what rinks would be good day after Thanksgiving.  They will probably all be pretty crowded.
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Offline celia

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #15 on: November 24, 2015, 09:18:16 AM »
What is the best rink to skate outdoors in Manhattan or Brooklyn on Thanksgiving morning?  Is it true Wollman is bigger than standard size?

If you want to skate freestyle at Wollman in Central Park on thanksgiving morning (or Friday) there is a freestyle from 6:30 am to 10 am.  I was there this morning and they confirmed the sessions are on.  They are pretty empty in general relatively speaking.  $25 and bring your own padlock for the lockers.

Offline rd350

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #16 on: November 24, 2015, 04:47:41 PM »
Oh freestyles there sound good.  How's the ice now?
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Offline tstop4me

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #17 on: November 24, 2015, 05:46:58 PM »
If you want to skate freestyle at Wollman in Central Park on thanksgiving morning (or Friday) there is a freestyle from 6:30 am to 10 am.  I was there this morning and they confirmed the sessions are on.  They are pretty empty in general relatively speaking.  $25 and bring your own padlock for the lockers.

How big are the lockers?  Are they just cubby holes, or can you fit a gym bag in one?

Offline celia

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #18 on: November 24, 2015, 07:23:02 PM »
How big are the lockers?  Are they just cubby holes, or can you fit a gym bag in one?

They are cubby holes.  I bring 2 locks and use 2 lockers :). You could probably fit a gym bag if it were half empty.

And the ice is decent right now, though hard.  Though I hadn't skated on outdoor ice in over a year and it was a bit of a rude awakening.

Offline nicklaszlo

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2015, 11:43:26 PM »
Thanks cw_skater!  Excellent information.  I already have my locks ready.  I am not sure if I can wake up early enough to make it there before 10 AM, but if I do, I'll come skate clockwise with you.

Offline celia

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #20 on: November 25, 2015, 12:36:14 PM »
I won't be there tomorrow, but enjoy! Happy Thanksgiving!

Offline rd350

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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #21 on: November 25, 2015, 09:30:32 PM »
The ice is hard?  Yuck.  Rethinking doing a lesson there next week.
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Re: Skating in NY
« Reply #22 on: November 25, 2015, 10:01:58 PM »
Cross post about skating show Dec 1 in NYC.

http://skatingforums.com/index.php?topic=6904.0
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Offline nicklaszlo

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Wollman Trump Rink
« Reply #23 on: November 28, 2015, 07:45:39 PM »
OK, time to report back on Wollman.  I went on thanksgiving day.  Owing to the parade, I was not able to get there in time for freestyle.  One person told me that I should take a helicopter to the park.  When I asked a police officer for directions to the park, she said "which park?" which was a clue she had no idea what she was talking about, then she told me all of central park was closed.  In reality the entrance was right outside the train station.

The staff seemed a little confused by a patron showing up on time for a public session.  I was glad I had been advised by the internet to bring cash and locks.  I only needed one lock for all my stuff, but my bag did not fit.  The view was great.  This is the main reason to go there.  The ice was indeed quite hard, even though it was a very hot day.  The ice surface is slightly large and triangular.  I tried out doing some dances modified to have three patterns per circuit (instead of two) to fit the shape of the surface.  It was mildly dirty.  They have two resurfacers and use them both.  Some people were skating in the center.  The staff were polite when they told me to stop skating backwards.  Most of the ice tourists were well behaved.  It was not crowded.

The music was tasteful, icedance-able Christmas songs at reasonable volumes.  It was a big contrast to the last public session I went to in Philadelphia (average age of patrons: 10), which was blasting "She's Dancing Like a Hooker" at maximum volume.  Incidentally, you can do rocker foxtrot to "She's Dancing Like a Hooker."

Offline celia

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