Great Skate #40: Bryant Park, New York City

The rink at Bryant Park doesn't have the same "I saw it in the movies" cachet as the rinks at Central Park and Rockefeller Center, but it is pretty spectacular.

The rink is the centrepiece of Bryant Park's Bank of America Winter Village. Chalk up a point in favour of corporate sponsorships: admission to this rink is free. (I did pay for a lock to secure my locker though.)

The amenities include a spacious changeroom, a snack bar and skate rentals. Also, a platoon of penguins and snowmen that unsteady skaters can use to keep their balance.

There were lots of good things about this Great Skate, but here's what I got excited about: the skating direction was clockwise. Skating clockwise is a very rare thing on public ice rinks.

I asked one of the staff members if they always skated clockwise. He said that the skating direction was counter-clockwise in the mornings, and clockwise in the afternoons. So sensible.

On a Friday afternoon, the rink was busy but not crowded. There were lots of beginner skaters, but plenty who knew what they were doing too. Something I didn't see: the contingent of tiny Wayne Gretzkys that are so familiar on Canadian rinks.









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