Sometimes the opportunities to do something you’ve always wanted to do take months of planning and preparation.
Other times, the opportunity just kind of happens, almost accidentally.
Last weekend my wife and I had some friends in town, a great couple who’d never been to New York City before. So we showed them around on Saturday, went to the Empire State Building, Union Square, Washington Square Park (where as always, there were delightfully kooky street performers), the whole nine yards.
Sunday we went to Rockefeller Center and as we were walking I mentioned that the famous ice skating rink was open. My friend’s eyes lit up.
“Wanna do it?” I asked.
I’d never been skating at Rockefeller Center, but had always wanted to. It always seemed like such a “New York tourist” thing to do, but I always thought it looked cool. The rink is much smaller than it looks on TV, but
As a kid I never knew how to skate, so that was an obstacle, and then when I learned to ice skate as an adult, I just never had the opportunity. The rink was either always too crowded, or the people I was with didn’t want to, or I didn’t live in New York …. whatever, there was always a reason.
But Sunday it was 50 degrees, the ice was mostly empty, and I had willing participants in my wife and friends.
And so we paid the crazy-high fee for skate rentals and ice time, and I got to fulfill a small dream.
Couple things I learned:
— Not having skated for the past nine years means I was kind of rusty. OK, really rusty. I fell once and nearly fell a few other times. Fortunately, most of the other people on the ice had no idea what they were doing, either.
— Even when you do know what you’re doing, it’s a little dangerous skating there. Even though it wasn’t crowded, I still saw a whole bunch of near-collisions among perfect strangers who were slipping and falling. One guy fell and his cellphone flew across the ice about 20 feet like a hockey puck. Good times.
After less than a half-hour, I was exhausted. But happy. And definitely thinking I need to take some skating lessons again.
**Next up, Jimmy Fallon had Justin Timberlake on his show Friday night to cap his first week replacing Jay Leno, and so of course they did another installment of their “History of Rap.” These are always funny, though I can’t help but think Run DMC and the others think it’s weird that millions of Americans are watching two white dudes sing their songs on national TV, 20 years after they came out.
**Finally today, a small tribute to Harold Ramis, the 1980s movie comedy legend who died Monday at age 69.
Responsible for classics like “Ghostbusters” and “Groundhog Day” (along with the overrated “Caddyshack,” and yes I realize I just angered many of you with that comment), Ramis made us laugh for quite a while.
My favorite of his films was “Groundhog Day,” and so for your viewing pleasure, a little does of Ned Ryerson: