By Rob Abruzzese
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
It didn’t matter that she didn’t know how to skate. As soon as Erica Purcell heard that a roller skating rink was opening at Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 2, she said she made plans to check it out.
“I love coming to Brooklyn Bridge Park so when I heard about this rink I had to bring my 5-year-old Ma’Teo,” Purcell said. “It’s a great thing to do with the kids and it doesn’t matter if we can’t skate because these are going to be memories that he’s going to have for the rest of his life.”
The rink, which officially opened on Friday, is the final piece of Brooklyn Bridge Park's Pier 2 that also includes courts for basketball, bocce, shuffleboard and handball as well as picnic and physical fitness areas, a swing set and a turf field.
“Pier 2 is finished and this is the cherry on the top in terms of active recreation,” said Brooklyn Bridge Park’s President Regina Myer, referring to the new rink. “This is the park that people wanted. We opened up the entire planning process to the community and people came out and told our designers exactly what they wanted. It has been totally community driven.”
It’s no rinky-dink rink either. Operated by New York Skating LLC, it features full hockey boards and boxes that will provide opportunities for roller skating, roller hockey and roller derby events.
The rink can also be rented out for private events including birthday parties, camps and corporate events. There will skating lessons available and adult skating times on Tuesday and Sunday nights.
“We're interested in bringing the community together and getting people back outside and being active,” the rink’s Operations Manager Crystal Sperling said. “It's a great family thing to do together where adults can bring their kids and it's great for adults to have fun by themselves as well.”
It wasn’t that long ago when skating rinks looked like they might disappear from Brooklyn altogether, but this rink now gives the borough three spots. There is also a rink in Prospect Park as well as another, the Crazy Legs Skate Club, in Bedford-Stuyvesant.
“People seem to think that roller skating is a thing of the past; but it’s still here and, judging by the amount of people that have already come out to check us out, it isn’t going away anytime soon,” Sperling said.
The rink in Brooklyn Bridge Park is open every day from 10 a.m. until 10 p.m. save for Tuesday and Sunday nights when adult skate goes until 11 p.m. Prices range from free to $8 and skate rentals are $6. There is also skate mates available for small children to learn how to skate for $7. Check out the website, www.BrooklynBridgeSkating.com, for more information.