Coney Madness #3: Lola Staar Roller Rink Redux
We have to say that the opening of Lola Staar's roller rink in the historic Childs Building in Coney Island on Saturday night was an event so nice we feel compelled to blog it twice. (Well, given that we posted everything on Easter Sunday, we thought we'd air it all out again on a Monday morning.) The inaugural staking event drew a big crowd to Childs and some celeb participants like Ashanti and Marissa Tomei (who turns out to be quite the roller skater). The enterprise is sponsored by Dreaming Tommy Hilfiger (a fragrance) and Glamour Magazine. (The campaign behind the fragrance is that it "inspires real women to go after their dreams.") In any case, you can check out our vid here and our big slideshow here.
Not to make something too serious out of a fun thing like roller skating, but we noted a couple of things on Saturday night. It was a wonderful thing to see a landmark given a new life. Like last year's Mermaid Ball, we were struck by the amazing potential of this much-loved building, which had a very workaday existence over the last fifty years after Childs closed in the 1950s, to be a premiere venue as a restaurant or club. It is a no brainer that someone will make a killing operating something there.
The other important point is that unlike another Coney Island developer, whose proposals and work has become embroiled in bitter controversy and who has alienated most everyone in Coney Island and beyond, Taconic Investment seems to have emerged as the Golden Developer of Coney Island, at least in a publicity sense. While it would propose to build very dense projects, the properties it holds are outside of the core amusement district and, therefore, have not been lightening rods for opponents. More importantly, Taconic seems to have played the PR and community relations cards just right. One hopes that they make every accommodation to allow the Childs Building to be used all year for Lola Staar's Dreamland Rink and other events that would work at the facility. To do so, would be a public relations bonanza and result in a flood of good will.
To see the Childs Building alive with music and fun and smiles after a half-century in hibernation is a spectacular thing. (The gentleman who own the building for fifty years--and is now in his nineties--was even on hand on Saturday night.) We hope and trust that all the i's will be dotted and t's will be crossed so that everyone can enjoy some summer nights there. Saturday night was a great start.
Labels: coney island