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December, 2010

  1. Vintage Roller Skating: A Trip Down Memory Lane

    December 26, 2010 by 16stone

    Anyone who knows me personally, knows that roller skating has been one of biggest passions. I barely remember not knowing how to skate. My earliest memory was going to “The Rink” on 87th street in Chicago at 4 years old. I had yellow plastic Cabbage Patch skates with Velcro straps across the front. I don’t even think the wheels really moved, lol. I used to run across the rink on those cheap things.
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    By age 5, I had graduated to my first real pair of roller skate. They had a black leather boot and I wore it with the boot tongue hanging out and tied down. That was the style back then and you were a lame if you didn’t wear it like that. By 5th grade I was good skater. My skates were fresh. I had “Sonya” spray painted on the side with glitter. Rhinestones decorated on the felt part of the front. Also, having black and white plaid checkered shoestrings was the in thing too. The look of your skates were very important. Nobody even took you serious if you had on the lame and ugly brown rental skates with the orange wheels. I wouldn’t be caught dead in those things!By high school I was an expert skater. I was what they call in Chicago an “JB Skater.” Meaning I got down to James Brown music. Everyone at “The Rink” had a staple partner they did skating routines with. Everyone knew the deal: You get there early and get on the practice rink and work on your routine. During “All Skate” you got with your partner (or group) and showed off your routine on the side facing the crowd. It was the biggest honor to come up with a complex JB routine and pull it off. The key to making it look good was to choreograph your foot movements to his voice. Sometimes it would take weeks of practice to pull it off.
    This video below is the perfect example of JB skating I grew up on. CLICK LINK

    Later in the night they would separate it into “Ladies Only” and “Fellas Only.”  While us ladies represented, we were hardly show offs like the guys. JB men skater were aggressive. They skated with speed and agility. They would do flips, cartwheels, big wheels, and crazy routines driving the ladies who cheered them on crazy. The floor was always packed and everyone raced for a good spot around the edge of the rink to see them get down. They never disappointed. Each week they came with brand new and even more complex routines than the week prior. It was a real show stopper every single time.At end the night there was a “Couples Skate.” The chance to skate with your current crush of the moment. I wouldn’t even be bothered with a guy if he didn’t know how to couple skate. He had to know when to cross at the right time and how to turn around and skate backwards while holding my hand. I can remember many romantic skates to Isley Brothers songs. Feet in unison as we glide across the floor together. Holding my breath nervously with his hand around my waist. *sigh* Those were the days…

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    One of the best and most legendary skater at The Rink on 87th is my own father. Today at 56 years old he still is one of the most popular skaters in the whole city. He was known for skating in a suit and hardly breaking a sweat.  I guess that’s where I get it from! *wink* Although he frowned on all that couple skating I did, lol.To this day, I still get a warm feeling inside my soul whenever I walk inside The Rink. It has a distinct smell that is directly correlated to my childhood. From age 4 to 23 I spent almost every Friday and Sunday there doing what I love. Writing this makes me homesick. I’ll be packing my skates next time I go home for sure.
    *skates away on a cloud*
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  2. 16 Stone Vintage December Pop Up Store

    December 13, 2010 by 16stone

    Hey there fellow Brooklynites!
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    16 Stone Vintage is pleased to announce we will be participating in the Artists and Fleas Holiday Market this weekend. This is your chance to shop our vintage goodies in person and try on items. Come down and support December 18th and 19th to the pop up market on N 7th st and Wythe in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Can’t wait to see you all!

    For more info visit the Artists and Fleas website:
    http://artistsandfleas.com/brooklyn-holiday-bazaar

     

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