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Thread: Rockefeller Center Ice Rink Opens October 9

  1. #1
    SkateFan4Life
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    Rockefeller Center Ice Rink Opens October 9

    The Rockefeller Center Ice Rink opens this week - October 9 - for another season of outdoor ice skating. Usually, the opening session features world famous skaters or up-and-coming skaters. In past years, Sasha Cohen, Elaine Zayak, JoJo Starbuck, Scott Hamilton, and others have performed at the opening of this ice rink. And, of course, it's highly featured at the annual Rockefeller Christmas tree lighting ceremony. It's also been the sight of skating for televised Radio City Christmas show programs. In the early 1980s, Peggy Fleming and Robin Cousins taped a segment on the ice rink between the hours of midnight and 6 a.m - bitter cold and windy. Ah - there's nothing like skating outdoors!

    Of course, the rink is a magnet for countless locals and tourists who want to say "I skated at Rockefeller Center". The line for the hourly public sessions sometimes extends a block - all the way towards St. Patrick's Cathedral on Fifth Avenue.

    The rink is located in a sort of "canyon", and the public can stand over the railing and look down at the skaters. There are restaurants on the rink level, so you can also eat and watch the skaters at eye level.

    Here's a link to the rink:

    http://www.therinkatrockcenter.com/

  2. #2
    On my best behavior
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Posts
    115
    I know it's an institution, but IMO, it's really not worth the time or effort. As SkateFan said, the lines are horrendously long, the rink is extremely crowded, and the quality of the ice is horrible. If you want to experience skating outdoors in NYC, you're much better off going to Central Park. JMHO.

  3. #3
    Custom Title
    Join Date
    Sep 2003
    Posts
    1,094
    I grew up in NYC and learned to skate at Rockefeller Center and the Wollman Rink in Central Park.

    The main problem with the RC rink is it is very small. It wasn't that crowded when I was young (but then I went there only on Sunday and weekday mornings when I was off from school, when it was least crowded). At least the skaters there were polite.

    The Wollman rink is at least 4-5 times bigger than the RC rink, but believe me, even when I was a kid, on weekends you had to stand out in the cold for 1-2 hours to get in and skate for at least 1/2 hour before the ice got all chopped up. Once you got on the ice, you had to have eyes on the front, back and sides of your head to look out for all the 'cowboys' who flouted all the rules and delighted in making other people fall down. Learning to skate there was truly a trial by fire. I quickly became expert at changing directions quickly to avoid trouble.

  4. #4
    SkateFan4Life
    Guest
    Quote Originally Posted by BittyBug
    I know it's an institution, but IMO, it's really not worth the time or effort. As SkateFan said, the lines are horrendously long, the rink is extremely crowded, and the quality of the ice is horrible. If you want to experience skating outdoors in NYC, you're much better off going to Central Park. JMHO.
    Yes, the Rockefeller Ice Rink is postage-stamped size, compared with Olympic sized skating rinks. However, it is a New York City institution, and it continues to draw legions of skaters. The ice quality isn't the best, as you wrote, probably because of the huge crowds of skaters who pack the rink, and the fact that the Zamboni can't be run after every hourly public session. It's a place to people watch - to see and to be seen. It's a wonderful place to hang out during the holiday season - get a mug of coffee and watch the skaters fly across the rink.

    Central Park's Wollman Rink is another case. It's so much larger, and the views are fantastic. Of course, like many outdoor rinks, it's often packed to the rafters with exuberant cowboys on ice who zip around the rink. Oh, well, the price one must pay to skate outdoors!

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