The city’s on a roll!
Roller-skating is having a resurgence with New Yorkers. Some have been wheeling around for decades, while others took up the hobby for socially distanced fun during lockdown and kept on grooving.
Across New York City, roller rinks are hosting lively themed events for all ages, and skaters are taking to the streets — and TikTok — to show off their skills.
And of course, the retro resurgence wouldn’t be complete without stylish ensembles as funky as disco-era duds.
Have a look at some of the most fabulous skaters The Post spotted out and about.
Mia Madden, a musician who skates at Tompkins Square Park, credits the sport’s popularity to TikTok and the fact that it looks great on camera. “People were taking lots of videos, just because it’s aesthetically pleasing to look at,” said Madden, 24, who lives in Alphabet City. “I think that just caught on — most things go viral if they’re pretty to look at.”
Tim Young, a singer from Brooklyn, only started skating in April 2020, but he’s now a regular MC at Dreamland Roller Rink in Prospect Park. That’s where he and his “skate gang” of 20 friends can be found every Friday night.
“To go from showing up there, not even being able to stand up, to then being the person in the center welcoming people and showing other people how to skate was just the perfect way to recover from the tragedy that was this past year,” the 34-year-old told The Post.
Take a knee
Romi Moors, 25, believes anyone can learn to skate. “People get scared because they think they won’t be able to do it, but nothing’s easy before you start,” said the native New Yorker, who is seen here at Dreamland Roller Rink. “There’s nothing to be shy about. Everyone’s bad at first, who cares?”
Fan the flames
Actress and pro skater Lynna Davis frequents Central Park Skate Circle every weekend. “It’s one of the best exercises,” said Davis, who’s been skating for 30 years. “The freedom, the self creation; certain things from the music will allow your body and mind to do certain things that you didn’t even know you could do. I think that freedom heals your mind, your body and your soul.”
You want a peace of me?
Chris Barreto, a visual artist who splits her time between New York and Brazil, recently decided to start skating again after a decade. In a spur of the moment decision, she purchased a pair of new skates and headed to Central Park for the Dance Skaters Association’s “Purple Rain” party. “I didn’t know anybody. So I just embraced the dance and started really rolling. One of the organizers just held my hand and said ‘OK! Come dance with me!’” recalled Barreto, who now skates every weekend she can. “It’s so weird that I feel like I know these people already.”
A recent theme night at Dreamland was “Lady Gaga vs. Madonna”, and Jasmine Padro, 43, won the costume contest, donning a pink leotard and a shaggy feathered hairstyle from Madonna’s 2005 music video “Hung Up.” “People looking for fun things to do outdoors has definitely heightened the skating thing,” Padro, who works as a hairstylist in Bay Ridge, said. She has been looking for lively skating rinks ever since the Roxy closed in 2007. She frequents Dreamland and RollerJam, but hopes more rinks open up in the future. “It just isn’t enough. There used to be a lot more,” she said. “I love dressing up, so it gives me a reason to be creative and get a costume together.”
Kick up your heels
Even before the pandemic hit, Aviya Fowler and Emanuel Rollins, a married couple from Paterson, NJ, were on a roll, often skating until 2 in the morning at rinks in New York and Jersey. “It’s the only time I feel free,” Fowler, 24, said. “I just forget about the world and I let go and I’m happy for four hours straight.”
Line ’em up
Rachel Montana (in aqua) first started skating in the early ’80s at the Roxy and went on to meet her current husband at the famous club. “Through my marriages, heartaches, heartbreaks, I never stopped skating,” she said. Montana now hits up Staten Island’s RollerJam USA with pals including Gail Battista, 52 (front). On Saturday nights, the beloved-rink is “adults only” with the ambience of a night club and a fully-stocked bar.
Friday night is “Roller Disco” night at Prospect Park’s Dreamland Roller Rink, and it’s all about retro costumes and special themes. “Soul Train” and “’90s Hip-Hop” are on the calendar for this summer. “It’s really a party,” said Moors. “People go all out.”
Get in the groove
Malik Alpha Ra-El, who works in sales in Newark, NJ, skates frequently on Saturday nights at Staten Island’s RollerJam USA to “relieve stress” after a long work week.