19 February 2010

Wollman Who?

I went to Wollman Skating Rink in Central Park yesterday. I suppose this is a stupid question, but has Donald Trump no sense of decency? Trump, as you may recall, purchased and spruced up the rink—originally a gift to the City from Kate Wollman—in the 1990s. And to remind us all, he slapped his stupid, fat, ugly name all over the place. No, he couldn't be the big man and let the name remain Wollman Rink. It's now called Wollman Rink Trump Central Park, which on top of sounding awful, doesn't even make sense. It's like someone tossed the five words in the air and, however they fell to the ground, that was the order they were put in. Might as well be Wollman Central Park Trump Rink, or Trump Central Wollman Rink Park.

"Wollman is invariably in small, black script, and completely obscured by "Trump," which is in large, red, black letters. Except of for Zambonis, which only say "Trump." The man would put his name a pooper-scooper.

As for the skating experience itself, it was pleasant enough. It's hard to beat that setting. But it's also an unconscionable rip-off. Adult admission on weekdays is $10.25, for kids under 12 $5.50. On weekends, it's $14.75 and $5.75. (Weekend prices apply on Friday. And if you pay on Monday and Tuesday, you only get access to the rink from 10 AM to 2:30 PM.) And that's just to get in. Naturally, anyone who pays admission to a skating rink wants to skate; they're not there for the $3 pretzels. But to rent the skates you must pay more: $6.25 a head. And then, of course, you need a place to put your shoes, so you'll have to rent a lock for $10.50! For the use of a lock for a couple hours! But wait, there's more. Rink rules say you can't have a bag or backpack or camera on the ice. They say this is a safely measure. But I'm pretty sure it's to make sure you have to rent at least two lockers, as they're so tiny there's no way you could fit shoes and a bag in just one.

They do not accept credit cards, only cash, by the way. But they refuse to give cash refunds.

Once you've paid your $60 or so to get in, you're treated like a war prisoner by the militaristic, killjoy staff, who never tire of sarcastically repeating the rink rules over the loudspeaker. (I've never met a skating rink attendant who wasn't part Nazi.) No bags on the ice! No cameras on the ice! Do not sit on the railings! Do now touch or throw the snow on the edges of the rink! Do not skate inside the orange cones in the center! Do not skate the wrong direction! "You know who you are," they say as punctuation. "It's clear. It's English."

What do you expect for a rink run by a classless jerk like Trump? I suggest everyone go to the Wollman Rink in Prospect Park instead, which is not sullied by Trump's name, and only cost $5 for adults and $3 for children. (Skate rental is still separate and $6.50.)

And by the way, Don, I had a camera in my pocket the entire time I was on the ice, I touched the snow and I kept your goddamed lock.


Anonymous said...

You're locker claim is unfounded. They return almost all of that $$ when you return your key. It's a deposit.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Yes, but you still have to part with $10.50, $4.50 of it permanently, $6 temporarily. temporarily, for no good reason. All for the use of a lock that cost them fifty cents, and which they will sell over and over and over again. The lockers should be a free service included in the cost of entry.

Jill said...

I prefer the skating rink at 110th St in Central Park. It costs a couple dollars, never a long line, is in a beautiful location, and there is excellent fried chicken right across the street.

Belle Isle Home said...

LOL, Brooks. What is with that Txxxx guy anyway? Txxxx on the Zamboni? I say boycott! and I don't even live in New York.

Ed said...

I've glumly concluded that to do anything other than walk around in this city costs about $20 per person. If pay less than $20 per person you are getting a pretty good deal. So the costs here seem about right. Its also in the most overpriced area of the city.

I'm more put off by the fascism lite experience, eg the announcements. We get enough of that now on the subway as it is.

Old Skool said...

Who knew? Trump would put his name on a trash can if he could convince someone that it was an upscale trash can.

Elena DeRosa said...

The fees sure have skyrocketed since the last time I was there during a lunch hour in the 90's. What's the deal with a "spectator fee?" Say I just wanted to watch my kid but didn't want to break a leg by getting on the ice, would I have to pay that fee?

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Yes, you'd have to pay a "spectator fee" just to watch your kid. Advice: There are plenty of places alongside the rink, but not inside the rink, where you can watch your kid and not pay.