Monday, November 25, 2013

McCarren Park Ice Skating Rink Opens - For Now

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More than 5,000 skaters have laced up their blades in the highly anticipated McCarren Park Ice Skating Rink   since it opened nine days ago, it remains unclear how how long it will stay open.  Instead of running the facility themselves the city is relying on a so called "public/private partner."  (Photo: Debbie Egan -Chin/New York Daily News ) 


More than 5,000 skaters have taken a glide at the shiny new McCarren Park ice skating rink, but its chances of staying open much beyond the holidays remain on thin ice, according to the New York Daily News. 

The highly anticipated, 60-foot-wide rink in the middle of the newly renovated pool opened nine days ago. 

“It’s been great,” said Ed Janoff, executive director of Open Space Alliance for North Brooklyn, which runs the rink in the Greenpoint park.

 But, he added, it’s still too early to decide whether there will be enough traffic to keep the rink open past early January. 

Last year, the Alliance beat out one other unnamed group that pursued the contract to run the rink, according to the city Parks Department. 

Under a 12-year deal, the Alliance will pay the city $1,000 the first year, $2,000 the second year and $3,000 the third year. The payments increase to $17,000 in the 12th year or 10% of gross receipts, if that sum is greater.  

 Temperatures dipped to the 20s on Sunday, but that didn’t seem to keep people away.
  (Photo: Debbie Egan -Chin/New York Daily News ) 

The opening earlier this month was even welcomed by Geoffrey Croft, the city’s most vocal gadfly on any parks-related matter. 

“New York City has so few ice skating rinks and North Brooklyn definitely needs one,” said Croft, head of NYC Park Advocates.

 The oft-quoted Parks Department critic noted that the rink’s 7,200 square feet of skating area — it can accommodate up to 300 skaters — is on the small side.

 “But,” he said, “I think it will be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.”  

Indeed, North Brooklyn has been quick to lace up its skates. 

 “A lot of kids go to school in this area so the ice skating rink is ideal," said Victoria Palosinski, 13, who zoomed around with some of her school friends Sunday.

 "Sure Central Park is bigger, but the lines are no longer there too. There is no wait here.” 

As for McCarren, the pool re-opened last year for the first time since 1984, following $50 million in renovations. Residents scotched an earlier plan to repair it, complaining that it was attracting hoodlums and other unsavory types. 

More than 5,000 skaters have taken a glide at the shiny new McCarren Park ice skating rink
There  are several proposel to turn pools into ice-skating rinks during the winter months.
For several summers, McCarren served as a hot summer venue for concerts and other hipster gatherings, and the problems returned last summer, when officials reported a spate of arrests during an early July heatwave. 

Turning pools into ice-skating rinks during the winter months is becoming the coolest thing since the automatic ice maker. 

The city plans to install a skating rink on the kiddie pool in Highbridge Park, in Washington Heights, and a Queens lawmaker suggested last week that putting the freeze on the Astoria Park pool would be a most welcomed addition. 

Williamsburg resident Patricia Grecco, 32, said she would usually trek to Long Island City or Central Park to skate two with her sons, Leo, 3, and Jase, 2. 

"Brooklyn is just a way cooler spot to go ice skating,” she said.

 “I’m freezing, but it is awesome for the kids.” 

Brooklyn has two operational indoor rinks, and one on its way. They are the Aviator Field, in Mill Basin, and Coney Island’s Abe Stark Rink. 

A shiny new outdoor rink in Prospect Park is scheduled to re-open next month after $74 million in repairs. 

The rink is open seven days a week from 11 a.m. until 10 p.m. Admission costs $8 for adults, $5 for students and $4 for kids. Skates cost $5 a pair. Visit   

Read More:

New York Daily News -  November 25, 2013  - By Tanay  Warerkar And Reuven Blau 

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