Eight Wheelers


Despite numerous closings of roller rinks and dance skate club nights in New York City over the past few years — like Skate Key in the Bronx, Empire Club in Crown Heights and The Roxy in Manhattan — several local spots where you can roll all night have recently opened. So we asked Sweet Action Skate Club member and roller derby hopeful Jane Gish to share her skate sense with us.

Crazy Legs Skate Club, Bed-Stuy
If you’ve never seen line dancing on roller skates, you haven’t been to Crazy Legs. Started by “Skate Guru” Lezly Ziering, Crazy Legs Skate Club takes over the wood-floored gym at Bedford-Stuyvesant’s Salvation Army every Wednesday. There is no skate rental, so the crowd comes prepared. A majority of the regulars are serious dance skaters from the old Empire rink in Crown Heights, and they have killer moves to match the dance music. For the uninitiated, Lezly is hosting skate lessons at 6:30 each Wednesday before the open skate begins at 8pm. site>>

Lola Staar’s Dreamland Roller Rink, Coney Island
Located on the western end of Coney Island’s boardwalk, the crowd here is a mix of amateur and experienced skaters all circling on the sport court. Skate rentals are available, as is Coney Island-themed memorabilia from Lola Staar’s eponymous ship at the back of the Childs Building. Friday and Saturday nights are themed (recent evenings have included “Moulin Rouge” and “Xanadu”) with reduced admission for dressing accordingly. Despite Astroland’s recent shuttering, the rink is still packed on Friday and Saturday nights, with a more low-key crowd during the day on weekends. (Think parents teaching their 8-year-olds to skate.) site>>

Down & Derby, Greenpoint
This retro-themed dance party is held intermittently throughout the year at Studio B, which officially reopens Oct. 17. Resident and guest DJs spin everything from disco classics to synthpop to ghettotech. Skate rentals are available, but they often run out, so get there early to roll with the best of them. Attendees also take every opportunity to dress to the disco-70s-roller nines: striped knee socks, sweatbands, and short-short gym shorts. site>>

Fort Greene Park
Fort Greene Park holds a special spot in the hearts of the Sweet Action Skate Club. This all-female skating club was founded in 2006 by two Brooklyn ladies who wanted to relive the fun they had roller skating as kids. Club members adopt skate names, like Our Lady Mess and Abby Synth, and stick to a dress code of skate skirts and knee socks in signature colors. These intrepid women practice (some for dance skating, some for roller derby, all for the fun and love of eight little wheels) in Fort Greene Park, tackling the hill near the tennis courts, skating along Washington Park, and practicing turns at the triangle south of the Prison Ship Martyr’s monument. The club also takes field trips to area rinks, and skates (in costume) in Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade. site>>

Sweet Action Skate Club members also hit up the following spots for eight-wheeled adventures in Brooklyn:
*The McCarren Park Track, where breakdancers compete for space
*Prospect Park near Bartell Pritchard Circle, where you can twirl like Julie Andrews in “The Sound of Music,” minus the Alpine backdrop
*DUMBO’s Brooklyn Bridge Park, for awesome Manhattan views and troublesome cobblestone navigation
*The Shore Road Promenade and 69th Street Pier in Bay Ridge, to pick up serious speed on the straightaway and gape at the incredible Verrazano views

Sent by Jane. Photos from top by Karen Chin, Holly Neil, and Marisa.

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