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30,000-Square-Foot Roller Rink Opens in Manhattan 8th Ave 59th Street New York City

roadskater's picture
While researching some roller and inline topics last night I came across a wonderful news item about the first night in a new skating rink about to open. With 30,000 square feet of rolling space, this place would hold a ton of skaters for a fad sweeping the nation. In December of 1884. Almost 125 years ago! See...the article intro in text and full piece in pdf... http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9805E0DE1F3BE033A25754C2A... http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9805E0DE1F3BE033A25754... Other stories of interest or amusement or horror! 1,092 miles in six day skate race at Madison Square Garden...and the death of the 19-year-old winner...April 11, 1885 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=990DE5D71030E433A25752C1A... http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?_r=1&res=990DE5D71030E433A... Early skates, perhaps, and an inevitable accident, with an early Woody Allen image in my mind... http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9404EED91131EE3ABC4952DFB... http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9404EED91131EE3ABC4952... 3000 attend skate races...April 1885 http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9404E1DB1238E033A25752C2A... http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9404E1DB1238E033A25752... An early death and quotes on huge numbers as skating mania takes over... http://query.nytimes.com/gst/abstract.html?res=9F04E4D91F3BE033A25755C2A... http://query.nytimes.com/mem/archive-free/pdf?res=9F04E4D91F3BE033A25755... I'll be wearing my helmet, thanks. I hope you like these stories! I had a great time looking them up and reading them.


United States
40° 46' 6.0744" N, 73° 58' 57.2016" W


eebee's picture

Language Evolution

Interesting article about the 30,000 sq ft skating rink! Particularly fascinating is the use of language and how it has evolved since 1884. Some sentences that struck me: "Tossing off a mighty beaker of lemonade at the refreshment stand, he proceeded to spread himself over the entire space." UK readers might do a double take on that one. And who knew 'dude' was used back then?: "Up went his legs, and Nature's great law, which grants no exceptions even to dudes, brought his heaviest part to the floor, while his forehead smote his trousers as far up as it could reach." Such foreign-sounding language from the good ol' USA, a mere 125 years ago! Makes me think that the original Shakespearean play audience must've understood exactly what everybody on stage was talking about a whopping 400 years ago. Back to the skating rink and the politically incorrect "...solitary fat man, who sat in the gallery...": these days poor old Thomas the Tank Engine and Ringo Starr aren't even allowed to call Sir Topham Hat the Fat Contoller any more here in the USA. Later at the 1884 skating rink, ladies filled the gallery wearing 'seal skin sacques'. These days they'd get sacked themselves for wearing those out in public. Did people really say '10.30 o'clock'? Whatever happened to the 30,000 sq ft skating rink, I wonder?

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