The buzz promised a “skate-up bar,” downtown’s only ice rink and spectacular views into the World Trade Center construction site. The Downtown W was installing a seasonal skating rink on the roof and I had to check it out: On the roof – check! The outdoor area of the fifth floor Terrace Bar is hosting the “Skating in the Sky” rink. Spectacular views – check! Now that the construction crews are working round the clock on the WTC, the W roof rink offers amazing views during the day, and especially at night, of NYC’s emerging landmark. Ice rink – only half a check on this one. I know space is tight in NYC and most of us are used to living in a fraction of the square footage our suburban counterparts enjoy, but this rink is Lilliputian tiny. At just 400 square feet, smaller than my super small West Village apartment, the rink is limited to 15 skaters at a time, and even that would be tight. Another thing – it’s not ice at all but a faux-ice polymer plastic on which I’m not going to risk my skate blade edges. Lastly, you can’t skate directly up to the bar, but you can toddle over a few feet in your rented (let them worry about the blade edges) skates to the “ice bar,” also made out of whatever this stuff is that looks sort of like ice but isn’t even cold. Rockefeller Center and Wollman Rink don’t have to worry about being forgotten by NYC skating enthusiasts anytime soon, but the Downtown W’s Skating in the Sky gets an A for effort and creativity in use of urban roof space during the winter season.
Next time, we’re heading way out to somewhere in Queens – at least I think it was in Queens – to a roof that warms you up during the chilly months.