When I was a little girl I wanted to either be a ballerina or a figure skater. I took lessons in both and loved every minute of them. Today let’s talk about figure skating.
I think one of the things I liked most of all about skating was wearing the incredible costumes Mom made for me. Totally adorable, little skirts of felt or velvet with tops and little bonnets to match and, of course, I could wear colored tights long before we wore tights. the only time you wore tights in those days was either for ballet or figure skating, lucky me I got to do both! I thought I was totally cool!
Each Saturday, during the winter, Mom and I would take the El/Subway from Howard Street (we lived in Rogers Park in Chicago at the time) to the Grand Avenue station where we got the Grand Avenue bus East to Fairbanks and walked a couple of blocks to the Arena (which became the CBS Chicago headquarters). Daddy would often go with us and stop off at work and meet us or go with us to watch me skate. The figure skating classes were taught by professional skaters and I was crazy about mine. The classes were small and we had the entire rink to ourselves…the ice smooth as glass (I always had difficulty skating on outside ice, especially when used for hockey games, fairly rough compared to figure skating ice, yes there is a difference!) But the most fun of all was when The Ice Follies were in town and we got to skate on their ice which had exquisite colored patterns in the ice. We felt like we were The Ice Follies…and then we got to watch them perform at the Saturday Matinee….it was magical! We, of course also had The Ice Capades, but The Follies were my favorites especially since they shared their ice with me! I have searched and searched for a photo of the Arena’s rink to no avail, but did find a couple of fun illustrations from The Ice Follies.
A couple of programs I found on Pinterest.
I have never heard of this film, now a must-see on my list…..and she skated in it….amazing!
Often after class, we would go to The Hilton to the Boulevard Room for their ice show, I could have watched for hours. I would have what I thought was a grown-up cocktail, we didn’t call them Shirley Temples…Mom and Daddy, of course, had “real” ones and with a wink from Daddy to the waiter, mine was the “same” (these were the days of Old Fashioneds, Whisky Sours, Manhattans…each served in the proper glass!). From the book Vintage Cocktails Assouline
How in the world they skated on so tiny an area is still a puzzlement to me. It was truly amazing and wonderful, so glamorous!
Now, of course, we watch the Winter Olympics with the incredible skills of the skaters (by the way a new movie, I, Tonya, is now in release, mixed reviews but for all accounts an interesting film!) and are able to take advantage of the extraordinary outdoor skating opportunities our fabulous City offers us. Here are some that are worth a visit.
The McCormick Tribune Ice Rink at Millennium Park (you can, of course, rent skates) It is wonderful any time of the day but what can be more fairytale-like than at night!
Also in Millennium Park in Maggie Daley Ice Skating Ribbon, to be enjoyed by all, again the views are part of the experience. An ariel view of the rink.
The newest kid on the block The Rink at Wrigley, how fun is this!
Skate at the Lincoln Park Zoo’s Farm in the Zoo, remember this spectacular Zoo is one of the few in the world that is free! Yet another exquisite view of the skyline of our City!
Have you been to Navy Pier lately, if not you are in for a major treat it just keeps getting better and better. I love going in the Winter it has an almost magical charm, its calm, and totally beautiful with views of the City that you can only get if you are out on the Lake. For a special treat, you can skate indoors in their Fifth Third Bank Winter Wonderfest….
And this hidden gem at The Peninsula Chicago, complete with its own Chalet, for its guests to enjoy, could this be any more enchanting, I think not!Could there be a more romantic spot…no, there couldn’t!
Of course, there are many other ice skating venues in the City and indoor rinks to polish your hockey skills along with your pair dancing and singles savvy. Just grab your skates and enjoy!
The last three photos I took with my iPhone all others from Pinterest photo credits unknown.
Ready for Hot Buttered Rum…..
For 4 drinks from epicurious:
2 cups water
1/2 stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/8 teaspoon salt
2/3 cup dark rum
Bring all ingredients except the rum to a boil in a 1 1/2-to 2-quart saucepan over moderately high heat. Reduce heat and simmer, whisking occasionally, 10 minutes. remove from heat and stir in rum. Serve hot.