How Long Has Roller-Skating Been ‘a New York Thing’? Take a Look

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One of the coolest nights of my life was getting to roller skate at the old roller disco mecca, The Roxy. It was a true last chance disco moment, as a few days later the building would be well on its way to becomming a hip art gallery. It was then sold to a real estate developer a couple of years later. A classic New York tale if ever there was one!

When you think 70s and 80s NYC, you invariably imagine at least one short-short clad roller skater whizzing through the backdrop of your fantasy.

This fun piece from The New York Times explores just when roller-skating entered NYC life, and how it’s fared on the cultural landscape since.

They came to Brooklyn from as far away as California, dressed in cutoff shorts, sequins and cowboy hats. It was September 1980 — the last days of disco — and Donna Summer thumped on a boombox in Prospect Park. There, 800 people had gathered to compete in what was billed as the first roller-skating marathon on the East Coast.

Read more.


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