As was first reported by the New York Times, the famous ice skating rink at Rockefeller Center will be be open for the holidays this year, but it will be a much abbreviated season. The rink will open a month later to give more time to restaurants currently using the plaza for outdoor dining, and it will close several months early on January 17 to begin work on a major revamp that was approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission in April.
Photo courtesy of The William Vale
In the warmer months, the 23rd-floor rooftop of The William Vale is one of the hottest spots for an outdoor drink, and now the hotel has introduced a fun way to take advantage of those skyline views during the winter. Vale Rink is a public ice skating rink, as well as a tented lounge that offers hot chocolate and other treats. Admission is $20 for adults and includes your skate rental.
Central Park, Conservatory Water, ice skating race, published Manhattan Parks Dept. Annual Report, 1928. Courtesy of NYC Parks.
It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, but New York is already a winter wonderland. How do we know? The skating rinks are open. If you choose to glide through the holiday season on ice, taking a spin anywhere from Central Park to Coney Island, you’re sliding into a New York winter tradition that includes the nation’s first organized ice rink, a decade of “Icetravaganzas” that drew millions, a glittery trend of hotel ice gardens throughout midtown, and even the a relationship to origins of baseball. So lace up, and read on for a history of ice-skating in New York City.
Photo courtesy of The Howard Hughes Corporation
Ice skating in New York City is a must during the winter, with spots like the festive rink at Rockefeller Center, Bryant Park’s winter village, and even newbie Runway Rink at the landmarked TWA Hotel. But there’s only one NYC ice rink where you can “skate the skyline.” Returning for a second season, The Rooftop at Pier 17 in the Seaport District opens this week, promising an even more spectacular season of skating as the city’s only open-air rooftop rink.
As New York City’s many ice skating rinks start to open this month for the season, two Central Park arenas will debut a slightly updated look. The Trump Organization has removed President Donald Trump’s name from Wollman Rink and Lasker Rink, marking the first time the business has voluntarily distanced itself from its owner, according to the Washington Post. City officials told the newspaper that the president’s company informed them about the plan to remove the signage this past summer but provided no reason behind the change.
Before it’s even truly felt like fall, winter is coming to New York City. Ice skating rinks and holiday markets will open this month, giving an early taste of cold-weather activities. The Bank of America Winter Village at Bryant Park, which includes holiday vendors and 17,000-square-foot ice rink, officially opens on Oct. 31, letting you trade trick-or-treating for shopping and skating. The iconic skating rink at Rockefeller Center will open on Oct. 12 for the fall and winter season and Lasker Rink in Central Park will open sometime later this month.
Skaters at Sara D. Roosevelt Park, 1935. Courtesy New York City Parks Photo Archive
6sqft’s series The Urban Lens invites photographers to share work exploring a theme or a place within New York City. In this installment, we take a look back at New York City’s ice skating history just days before the Museum of the City of New York’s “New York on Ice” exhibit opens to the public. Are you a photographer who’d like to see your work featured on The Urban Lens? Get in touch with us at [email protected].
There are few New York winter activities more iconic than ice skating. The rink, the blades, the gliding people attempting to balance – the elements of the pastime are minimal, and so the pictures of it over the centuries are not so very different despite the decades.
On view this Wednesday through April 2018, the Museum of the City of New York will be hosting an exhibit titled “New York on Ice: Skating in the City” featuring many of the images below of ice skating in NYC from the 1800s to the present day. In addition to paintings, postcards, and vintage photographs, the exhibit will also showcase costumes, posters, and more.