21 February 2007

Music Island to Rise Again?

I know its a Robert Moses creation and replaced the by-all-accounts sublime Music Island, but I have a kind of soft spot for Kate Wollman ice rink in Prospect Park. This, I admit, is mainly because I taught my young son how to skate there.

But I am willing to put personal feeling aside and cheer the news revealed today in The Daily News that the 46-year-old rink will be replaced by two new rinks, one recreational, one for hockey. This is pleasant news. But the topper is that the site where the rink now sits will be restored "as part of the original lakefront as envisioned by famed park designer Frederick Law Olmsted,"
which could mean The Return of Music Island, funding permitting. (More here.) The whole thing will be completed by 2010.

Music Island was a small islet with a stage facing the audiences in the Concert Grove. Apparently the accoustics weren't so hot, but it must have been idyllic to sit in the Grove and watch the musicians across the water. Moses—whose career I, for one, refuse to reevaluate, in spite of recent trends—in one of his more stupid, bullheaded moves, filled it in. The Concert Grove is little frequented these days. The unvisited busts of Grieg and Weber et al stare out dumbly at the weekend skaters and stop their stone ears from the sounds of Coldplay and Joe Cocker playing over the rink speakers.

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