Friday, December 7, 2012

St. Lucia goes to the ice rink

Although St. Lucia Day is actually on the 13th, the first half of the month of December is given over to St. Lucia here at Diarist HQ.  For those not of Swedish decent more about St. Lucia and her day can be found here.  Your diarist was pressed into service last Saturday to schlep an electronic keyboard, stand, bench, etc., etc. to/from the car and to do other important tasks such as standing guard over St. Lucia's and her attendant's shoes during the procession.  This particular procession was actually a two part event.  Part one took place at the Swedish Embassy (aka: House of Sweden) while part two took place a few steps away at the newly opened Washington Harbour Ice Rink.  The ice rink is a fountain in the summer months and was having it's grand opening as an out door ice rink that day.  The venue is in the Foggy Bottom neighborhood of Washington right by the Potomac River, just a stone's throw upstream from the Watergate Hotel and the Kennedy Center.

They claim this rink is larger than the open air rink at Rockefeller Center.  I don't know about that but at least it doesn't have that corny statue of Prometheus.  That's another one of those mysteries of figure skating--why did Rockefeller choose Prometheus as a symbol for an ice rink?  An odd choice since Prometheus gave mankind the gift of fire not ice...
Being a beast of burden for this outing, not only did I not get to watch my wife's Swedish Song Group (Svenska Sånggruppen) perform the Lucia thing but I also missed seeing the Bowie ISI mini-synchro team do their thing down at the rink.  So diarist-generated photos for this post are few.  However photos of the day's action can be seen here.  Those interested in viewing a typical St. Lucia procession can take a look at the one from last year at the Embassy (yes those are actual lighted candles on top of Lucia's head):

As for the ice rink, my take is that it's an OK venue for date nite but it was super crowded--at least last Saturday during the opening day.  On a crowded weekend evening don't expect to do more than slow, forward perimeter skating while holding your honey's hand (assuming (s)he is steady on blades).  Also, it's a bit spendy at $9.00 (plus $5.00 if you need to rent skates).  However for your nine bucks you get a wrist band and once banded you can skate from opening time at 10 am until 10pm, assuming your legs can go that long.  Oh, Geezer diarists, active military and little kids get two bucks off. Lessons are available (one of the coaches from Bowie moon-lights there).  Perhaps after the novelty wears off the skater density will drop a bit. The rink is surrounded by a number of pleasant bars and bistros where skaters can go to warm up over a suitable beverage/snack.  On a nice day or a not too chilly evening, the views of the Potomac while skating would be a plus.  There is at least one parking garage within easy walking distance of the rink.  For those not familiar with DC the address is 3000 K Street NW and the web site for more info is:

Finally--a pix of a Zamboni legitimately using its headlamps!

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