Time to hang out with the cool kids in Coney Island!
The People’s Playground’s Abe Stark Skating Rink opened for the 2013 winter season on Oct. 26 — and kids and parents came down to check out the newly refurbished icehouse.
Hurricane Sandy blasted the 43-year-old rink last year, filling it with five feet of water and bringing a good part of the beach indoors. The Parks Department got it cleaned up and re-opened, but the walls and floors still showed the damage for the duration of the 2012 season. But skaters got to see a spruced-up skating space when they hit the ice on Saturday.
“It’s a beautiful place to be,” said Ellie Caporale, head of the Steeplechase Skate Center, the rink’s resident skating program.
The city put in all new floors and ceilings, and replaced the barriers around the rink. Hockey leagues lease the space for much of the winter, but Caporale’s program — an affiliate of the Olympic Figure Skating Committee — offers lessons for all ages at 1 pm on the weekends. Caporale said that few came to the rink last year because of the generally devastated state of the People’s Playground post-Sandy — but said she hopes to see the rink become the cool place to be this year.
“We think we’re going to have a great season and see a lot of visitors,” Caporale said.