Sunday, January 15, 2012

Week Three: Ice Skating at the Empire State Plaza-Albany, New York

When the high temperature is only in the teens, I like to stay inside.  But today, I went ice skating at the Empire State Plaza skating rink.  Since I’ve lived in Albany, the ice skating rink has been closed.  I will soon be moving out of Center Square and wanted to go ice skating when all I had to do was walk down the street and put on my skates.  That meant that I had to go skating today.  I just wish it hadn’t been so cold.
This is how cold I was

Mr. Free Albany and I used to go ice skating all the time at SUNY Oswego when we were undergrads.  There was an ice rink in the center of campus and we used to meet between classes and skate to some sweet tunes.  There, I mastered skating backwards and the hockey stop.  I hadn’t been skating since then and was a little nervous about going again.

We arrived at the skating rink at a little after 11:00am so the ice was still fresh.  It wasn’t too crowded, which was probably because it was so cold outside.  At first I felt a little tentative but was amazed that my feet remembered how to move across the ice.  I didn’t crash into any children trying to master the art or hit the wall plastered with advertisements.  In fact, I didn’t fall at all, and once I was comfortable enough, I even skated backwards and tried the hockey stop (granted, not very well). 

The rink is small but there is enough room to skate without feeling cramped.  There is a skater’s lounge with vending machines, restrooms, lockers (25 cents to store your belongings), and skate rentals.  Rentals are$4 for adults and $3 for children 12 and under.  Mr. Free Albany and I had our own skates, so it was free for us.  If you’re looking to get your skates sharpened, you can have it done for $7.  There was also a sign indicating that there was reasonably priced grilled food, although we did not try any. The rink is open daily from 11:00am-3:00pm and 4:00pm-8:00pm.  I would suggest getting there around 11 when the ice is fresh or at 4 when the rink reopens and the ice is once again smooth.  If you live in the area this is definitely something you need to try (even if you don’t know how to skate!).  The rink will be open until early March and I plan on going several times this year.  I’ll just make sure I go when it’s a bit warmer.

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