“Roller skating was the most free form of expression that we had outside of music, because most of my friends were not musicians. When we would go skating, it was our transportation, it was our recreation. It was a certain type of artistic freedom, especially in the Black community. It was a certain rite of passage, almost like a peacock spreading its feathers, only to show how cool you were” - Nile Rodgers of Chic
There’s a roller skating revival going on in this city and we are here for it. From Central Park to Prospect Park and even the Rockefeller Center have opened up their rinks for the summer and have an impressive musical program to go with it.
The Skate Circle at Central Park has been operating on and off since the 1970s. This Summer they have jams almost every Saturday and Sunday with a rotating list of DJs mixing classics and cutting edge deep and soulful house music to keep you rolling all afternoon.
Flippers Roller Boogie Palace has taken over The Rink at Rockefeller Center for the season. It’s a revival of the LA skating institution where people like Prince performed and people like Cher, Madonna, Nile Rodgers and Basquiat skated. They’re open nearly every night of the week with DJs Thursday-Sunday. Their programming features a number of NY legends like Louie Vega, Marley Marl & DJ Spinna (as mentioned below) as well as local up and coming talent.
Other notable rinks that have opened include Lola Star’s Dreamland Roller Disco at the LeFrak Center in Prospect Park. Open every Friday from 7pm-10pm, skaters are encouraged to dress up for an immersive roller skating experience that will transport you into a retro roller disco dreamland. The Standard, The Highline, has opened a 60s themed rink with a calendar that includes silent disco skate nights, disco parties, burlesque, and drag shows.
NYC Nightlife 5/25-5/28
Bringing together legends of the skating scene with legends of the house, hip hop and R&B scene, NY Skate of Mind is the new Thursday night party at Flippers Roller Boogie Palace. The things these skaters can do will leave you with your jaw on the floor. We’re not even kidding. And while they’re at it, Marley Marl and DJ Spinna will be providing the soundtrack this week. Queens native Marley Marl revolutionized hip-hop when he pioneered the practice of sampling drum sounds and creating his own proto-boom-bap rhythms, while Brooklyn hero DJ Spinna is a a world-renowned DJ, remixer, artist, and producer who connects the dots between rap, house, funk, soul, and jazz.
Midnight Magic is a cosmic disco ensemble with a desire to make you, the listener, and the rhythm, become one.
Back before Brooklyn was a thing and there was a club on every corner, Rich Medina was responsible for some of NYC's best parties in the 2000s. His Lil Ricky’s Rib Shack party had a nine year run at APT, he started the first party dedicated to Nigerian icon Feli Kuti, JUMP N FUNK, and in 2005, hip-hop legend Q-Tip chose Medina to be his partner for a Friday night weekly called Open, at Santos Party House. Medina’s latest party, HOME, gives a new generation of dancers an opportunity to experience his sonic journeys. The monthly party at House of YES is a tribute to the Paradise Garage, celebrating the best of the old New York club scene while reigning in the new.
Seeing Danny Krivit play is like getting a masterclass in the art of DJing. He’s been a member of the NY dance music community for 50 years, after starting DJing at his Dad’s bar in the West Village when he was just 14 years old. Since then he’s amassed thousands upon thousands of records, which he plays for our listening (and dancing) pleasure. He’s the resident DJ at 718 Sessions, which has been throwing jams around the city and Brooklyn for the past 20 years. This Sunday they’re launching their summer season at the Knockdown Center and we expect the house heads will be out in full force to celebrate Memorial Day Weekend.