Thursday, January 7, 2010

Park Circle Roller Rink

I actually never made it inside this place which was across from the bowling alley. Any stories would be appreciated, hey, Patty D., how about one?

Ron

26 comments:

Pete said...

Actually, Ron, this is one activity that I took part in regularly that you didn't. In fact Paul McNally and his brother Steve (RIP) - probably my best friend at the time (we were probably 12 or 13)used to go to Park Circle Roller Rink every Saturday midday. We had to rent skates because they had special (I think wooden or clay) wheels. I specifically remember you had to go upstairs to rent the skates - all very cheap...skate rental and entry fee together were something like 50 cents in the late 60s. My Mom used to give me exact change. I remember that Paul & Steve used to hit on all the young girls (I was too shy). There was one character even YOU'LL remember - The Whistler - he was an older man who served as a rink guard, skating around whistling at you to keep moving and not standing along the rails. He lived in the private house on East Third and Beverly (the Ave C side of Beverly). Great times and great memories.

And to Will's point, I remember that we walked passed Hullabaloo every Saturday on our way to the rink and knew it was on TV, but it was a still a mystery to us adolescent rink rats.

Pete

Pete said...

One more comment - Patty was a rink guard in the 70's at Roll-A-Palace down in Sheepshead Bay. He may have gone to Park Circle, but I don't think he ever worked there...

Evelyn said...

I learned how to roller skate on the block (Ocean Parkway between Church and Beverly) when I was very young. We wore the metal clamp-on skates which you tightened with a key worn on a lanyard around your neck so it didn't get lost. I had a dedicated pair of saddle shoes just for skating. We would skate on Ocean Parkway and then around the block on East 5th street. This street was a rocky road as the tree roots had lifted up the blocks of pavement in many places.
My friends and I discovered the Park Circle Roller Rink which, compared to street skating, was a little bit of heaven. Imagine smooth, shiny wooden boards and "indoor" skates which you could rent each time for a very small fee. None of us owned our own skates (just like none of us owned our own bowling shoes), we were too poor to buy them.
You could spend the entire afternoon on Saturday at the rink, hanging with friends and skating as much as you wanted. There were special skating designations which were shown on a board as you went around, such as couples, males only, females only, reverse direction and such. There were no light shows or disco songs as this was the late '50's and early '60's when I was in junior high and high school.
When I went to the rink, I would dream of becoming a roller-derby skater one day. This didn't work out for me; but I still dream about it!

Patty "D" said...

Call me & I'll tell ya some duzys ... Paul & I used ta live there till they opened the Roller Palace .... The skates I use for hockey are from the old roller palace days ...LOL

big mama said...

I use to skate at both Park circle and roller palance back in the 70's and 80's. we use to go every night after work to Roller Palace and Saturday morning to Park Circle and skate to the man in the room upstairs playing he piano. Does anyone remember Ronie Rafanello..he use to be a guard at Roller Palace.... and use to live across from the bowling alley by Park circle.

Liz said...

I spent many a Saturday night at Park Circle skating rink in the early 60's...and on Sundays we were at the bowling alley across the street.

I remember arriving and checking our shoes and belongings...using tons of Aqua Net hairspray to keep our hair at full teased height and all wearing the same perfume!

YOUNG said...

I remember this place..Boy do I remember

In the late 70's to Mid 80's

Park Circle Rink WAS the place to be! Forget about Empire or United Skates over on 60st. This place oh man , I remember a lot of dancing took place here. I remember the B-boy and Uprock Battles in this place. Dudes would be waiting outside decked out in Lee jeans , Puma or Adidas Shell toe with fat laces, and the legendary Kangol. I can still hear "Planet Rock" or "Its Just Begun" thumping from those walls! The infamous bridge which led to the rink's Ocean Pkwy entrance, was a notorious stick-up spot. I know a couple of people who got robbed trying to get to the rink. Never mind the bad stuff..... Kensington had soooooo much going on in those days. Park Circle Lanes was also a great spot. Back when the stables occupied two buildings and also carried insurance. I remember they also gave kiddie pony rides in a little field next to the Bowling Alley. The old burger spot on the corner across from The Jeffers Funeral home, which is now a church. Caton Place was a hidden gem !!! I know someone must have pics of this place and the Bowling Alley. I was kinda young and Dad wasn't going to let me borrow the Insta-matic Camera. It sucked when they closed this place down and turned it into a warehouse. I can still see the old ramp. The remodeled the building in the Mid 90's. It also hurt to see the old Bowling Alley tore down. Remember the big bowling pin outside that read "Park Circle Lanes" ?!! It was something about the air over there, and not the air coming from the horses. Those buildings all complimented each other. Far more than any cheesy condo could ever accomplish. I recently tried to gain access into the old rink via requesting to use their bathroom. Came close but no cigar. I know someone has pics of this place! Till then I can reminisce of the Breakers breaking and the Fly Girls looking cute doing the Patty Duke. Does anyone remember the building around the corner from the Bowling Alley which was the site of many failed businesses, from sports clubs to food joints. Its no longer there.
Bring back the carnival at IHM !!!

P.S. Does anyone know of a sports team or gang called the Assassins. There used to be big blocks letters and a skull sign in the baseball/football space in Greenwood park. It survived till 1992 when the park was remodeled. Any info?????

DJ 360

Rocking Kensington since '81

Anonymous said...

skated at park circle for number of years.i remmember the floor guards Jack,George,Eddie,Mike sometimes I would fill in on the floor and downstairs in the coat room
Jerry

Anonymous said...

I couldn't help wondering if there was a site like this so I took a chance and here it goes.....I used to skate and hang at Park Circle in the 70's and was part of the Transition from the original organ music (which was dated, but still cool) to DISCO music....I recall skating around the rink floor counter clockwise and sliding into the bathhroom and crashing into the partition because the floor was wet....after I recovered ...Bam...another guy slammed into it after me...sometimes there was a pile-up at the bathroom door from guys heading to the bathroom to "Re-UP"....BAM.... into the toilet the partition (thank God the door was open or somebody was comming out)...you could take a leak and get a "contact" from the smoke at the same time.... as YOUNG commenyed earlier this was definitely the place to hang....Alex, Flaco,Angel,Terry,Dixon,Blinky, Shorty,Chino,Tommy,Monk,Mongo,Stephanie,Lugo,Jessy, Dawn and her sister Rocky,Carlos and the Bushwick crew....the names and hits keep comming....We all got along, different ages, races, colors, occupations, and sexes...Williamsburg, L.E.S., Bushwick, Redhook, Bedstuy, Canarsie, the south Bronx, Queens, even Staen Isand was represented by someone who was part of "La Familia" as we were known...skating...bowling...drinking...smokeing...dancing at the WOODEN NICKLE...or going into the city to the Orange Peel...Starship...Ice Palace,..Bonds...The Gallery...Cork and Bottle...Ipanema....THE LOFT..., or the old "SALSA" club on Myrtle and Brodway....and I can't remember ever having a fight or a problem... I don't know what folks are doing nowdays EXCEPT ..Dixon Rochet's on facebook and might have some pics...I got a hold of some great Black and white stuff that Jessy shot from Back in the Day...,you can probably find folks thru facebook somehow...those were great times when we were young and changed the world in our own way..( hopefully for the better) ...For those who are still around like Terry P said "cherish the moments at the rink and the alley cause you can't get that time back"....we did a lot of Crazy and Fun stuff and some of us are still here to talk about it...and some are not...I'm sending my pics to Dixon so maybe that's a good place to start....I had a chance to stroll by there in August2010 and could barely make out the entrance, but sat there for a few and said a silent prayer to myself giving thanks for the smiles, the music and the people I met back then...Every summer I run into someone from Park Circle at the Free House Music Party on the Boardwalk at Coney Island near the Aquarium (West 11th or West 12th and the Boardwalk) during the summer....take a trip back in time with the music and the dancers (and the old school Hustle moves) on the Boardwalk...Fridays and Saturday Sundays afternoon thru the night during the summer hosted by the "Coney Island Dancers"...they got a web site and Pics too...so Folks...Thanks for the memories and have a safe and prosperous New year...

lad said...

Hey anonymous we must have crossed paths before. You mentioned all the people I used to hang out with and all the clubs I used to go to.I hung out in Bushwick Park in the mid 70's and I used to be a terrible trio I still keep in touch with my brothers. That was a time that can never be duplicated. the 7 to 7 nights. the music. It would be nice to do a reunion by central park where they skate and play music. There is a facebook site, park circle skating rink. Nice reading everyones blog about the rink. Great memories Angel

Anonymous said...

Hello everyone this little Michael Fournier my dad Joe was the manger of the rink my mom Ann Marie ran the pro shop. And my sister Denise and and I grow up in park circle rink. We move out to California in 1978. We sure miss everyone back in Brooklyn ps look me up on Facebook Michael j Fournier or email. Mjfournier1503@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

From Nan, now 89 years old: I used to roller skate at Park Circle Rink in 1940 when I was 18. A man with a rule would come over and measure your skirt; if it was too short, you had to leave the floor. We danced in singles, pairs, triples. Those were the days.

Anonymous said...

I went there all the time in the late sixties. I used to wear my bell bottoms over my skate tips (very cool). I was in the neighborhood yesterday (first time in 40 years) and I forgot exactly where the rink was. Can someone help me here and tell me what ever happened to the bldg?

JERRY said...

I skated and worked at the rink during the sixties both floor and coat room somtimes skate room.
our crowd use to go to archies the dinner on CONEY ISLAND AVE .
DOWN FROM THE RINK AND RIVERSIDE MEMORIAL CHAPEL .
THE FLOOR GUARDS WERE Jack,teddy,george ,harold,al,helen,
eddie.
some of the crowd were john and larry derosa,richie aka treetop because of his height and manny manny others .
Jerry HOPKINS

Linda said...

I also skated there during the time that Jerry was there and remember those days as if it was just yesterday... We had some great times and remember how we use to torture the poor staff at Archie's afterwards..... But they loved us...

I always wondered what happened to Terri Puglisi and Linda Prast??? If anyone out there knows who I am talking about would love to hear from you.....

Anonymous said...

I grew up down the block and around the corner from Park Circle- Kermit Place and East 8th- me and my friends Eileen, Mary ,Margaret, Theresa, and Laura would go skating on the weekends. The skate rental was upstairs and of course was a piece of cake going up with shoes on but coming down with the skates - that was a challenge. There was one guard there who would whistle LOUD at you if you were commiting some sort of roller rink mortal sin-- skating too fast, cutting off people,even the ones who could'nt skate and were hugging the rail were whistled for not going fast enough. Once I found a change purse with money in it in the girl's room and turned it in at the rental area- hey, I was 11 yrs old and a product of IHM - Catholic guilt kicked in -and they told me to come back later and if nobody came to claim it , it was mine. When I returned my skates I asked about it, no one claimed it and believe it or not, the rental guys gave it to me- you wouldn't see that nowadays- first off some schmucky kid turning in the money in the first place and second off the workers giving it to the said schmucky kid and not keeping it themselves. The next day went up to Deal Town on Church Ave. ( up towards Flatbush, but not as far- across the street from Lamston's- any one remember those???) and bought a game with the booty called Green Ghost-TOTALY big waste of money- the kind of game that looked great on TV but was another story when you took it out of the box-too many pieces and insane directions to play the game that Einstein could'nt figure out.

jem3 said...

Been doing some research into my skating background and found pics my stepmother and Dad skating dance competitions there inearly 1969

Anonymous said...

Wow, Park Circle was it back in the day. 7 to 7 sessions, the dancing,hustling, the crews, Wow. Met someone there by the name Lefty wish we could catch up with his friend chavito.

















































Abdo Ades said...

What a great place! I first remember my dad taking me, my brother Joey and a whole car-load of cousins there one saturday in the last 1950's All I know is that I couldn't stay up on those skates, but that didn't deter us from making it one of our regular activities. I particularly remember the electric sign that said" COUPLES" or "REVERSE" or "ALL SKATE" Sometimes they cleared the floor so that professionals could display their moves. My downstairs neighbor Marty Lachs became their organist in the late 1960's This was just another wonderful part of growing up in Brooklyn Abdo A. Ades

MaryAnn Cardona said...

Hi my name is MaryAnn, I grew up at this roller rink could be because my grandfather ran this place Mike. I remember going upstairs and patty would help me get my skates on I was so little like 3 or 4 when they closed I got so many sets of skates it was awesome. I remember guys would skate around and pick me up as they skated by and then put me down not ever breaking their stride truly amazing. I miss those good ole days.

Anonymous said...

Hey Brooklyn my name is Alex. I remember this rink from the 70's and early 80's. I use to sneak out of my house on a school nite down the fire escape to make it to the 99 cents wendsdays to practice my moves and learn new moves from the top skaters. Although it has been more then 30 plus years since i was there. Those were the best times of my childhood growing up in Brooklyn. The roller rink, bowling alley, arcades, horse stables, pattle boats, tennis courts, bowling green and the checker boards as we called it and just hanging out in and around Propect park or Caton park (Parade Grounds). Im from Westminster Road and Caton ave. I remember the consession stand and the DJ booth way up to the far rite of the rink. It was great to see everyone dancing in the middle of the roller rink practicing thier moves. I also recall Mike the owner being such a great guy to all the neighborhood kids. Brunie from my neighborhood and from the the Bonnies Boys Club is my sisters godmother and she and the owner Mike were very good friends. So mush memories but i would have to document this on paper. Those were the days!! I still have dreams about the good ole times i had in that neighborhood.

Wow! :)

Anonymous said...

I remember mongo he was one of the guards

Arline said...

Not many if any pictures from there. The whistling floor guard was Jack Bryerly I think. Mary Gaudy played the organ. I skated in the figure and dance club. This was in the early to mid sixties. Started at Empire and moved to Park Circle when partnering in Novice Dance with Jackie Clark. Pros were Alan and Noni Simon then Everett and Betty Magbus. I started under Donald and Beverly Maddaloni at Empire. Wonderful memories. Would like to find folks from those times. Park Circle has a Facebook page.
Arline

ACbutch Poker said...

check a this of Park Circle Skating at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BrooklynTales/

ACbutch Poker said...

Park Circle Skating Picture at https://www.facebook.com/groups/BrooklynTales/

Anonymous said...

Hi everyone I use to skate with a crew name HELL ON WHEELS there from 1977-1979 ...wonder if anyone has pictures joshguy01558@gmail.com