Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Rink at Brookfield Place (World Financial Center)

Rink: Brookfield Place (at the World Financial Center)

Location: 250 Vesey Place, New York, NY 10017 / 200 Vesey St.
I am rarely in this area so the rink was a little hard to find, as part of Vesey street is closed to construction.  Walk west along Vesey, then turn left and walk south along North End Ave.  (Walking time from the World Trade Center subway station E line: 10 minutes.) The entrance to the rink is an unmarked tent.

Unmarked entrance to rink

When Visited: Feb. 17 (President's Day) at 1pm

Price: $15 admission / $5 skate rental (I brought my own skates).  Supposedly you can buy a season pass for about $200.

Having skated at half a dozen different rinks in NYC, this is the first one I've been to with such an abbreviated skating period - I was told officially that the $15 admission was good for only a single session, with sessions being 10-11:30am, 12-1:30pm, 2-3:30pm, 4-5:30pm, 6-7:30pm, 8-9:30pm.  The guy at the counter said that since I arrived near the end of one session, I could stick around for the next one.  So beware!

Locker Room and Locker: The locker room is tiny, basically a small tented area.  There are no lockers; you just leave your shoes and packages under the benches, so don't bring any valuables.  At least you don't have to pay for a lock or using a locker.

Inside the tent/"locker room" - there are no lockers.
Size of Rink: 7350 square feet (according to  It's fairly small, about 1/2 the size of the Bryant Park rink - almost square in shape.  When skating, you are almost always turning.

Crowd: There were only about 1-2 dozen people skating, which was wonderful; at certain times, there were less than a handful - primarily parents and kids.  Pylons were available for kids learning to skate.

Skate Guards: Perhaps because there were so few skaters, there usually wasn't anyone on duty on the ice.  People had their phones out and were taking pictures.

Music: Top 40 (Miley, Rihanna, etc.)

Overall Impressions: I loved how unpopulated the ice was so I could gain a little speed instead of spending all my time avoiding novice skaters with their flailing arms and legs.  The view of the Hudson was spectacular. But the steep admission price, 90 minute limit, lack of concessions, and remote location were a turnoff.  I don't think I'll be back unless friends want to try out this place.

View of the Hudson River
Ice after resurfacing

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