Roller discos take to the streets around the globe
In Tel Aviv, London, Paris and New York City, people take to the streets for roller skating parties.
The 1970s-style roller rink disco is far from extinct – it thrives throughout world in a different setting: city streets.
From Tel Aviv to Paris, in the bright light of midday or in the glow of street lights, multitudes of roller skaters take the party outside for a few hours of fun every week.
People take to the streets at Pari Roller. (Photo: Gisle/Flickr)
Perhaps the largest outdoor roller skating group is Pari Roller, which has hosted a weekly skate (weather permitting) since 1994. Streets are closed every Friday night at 10 p.m. for a three-hour glide. It's a delightfully unusual way to experience Paris. And anyone can join in – as many as 35,000 skaters, in fact!
Pari Roller was started as a way to encourage people to roller skate for fun, to meet new people, and to get from Point A to Point B.
But other skating groups have been formed for different reasons. Not long after Pari Roller was started, an independent group formed in Tel Aviv. Aside from social and health motivators, Tel Aviv Rollers founder Alik Mintz had another cause in mind.
"From the beginning we had [an] environmental vision of having less cars and traffic and more use of the streets for non-polluting traffic," Mintz said.
Every Tuesday night, roller supervisors close the streets for a 15-mile skate for participants of all ages, from 15 to 60. Malik said the group has 25 routes to choose from, so it's different each week. The best routes? Malik touts the downhill streets near the beach promenade and Tel Aviv University.
When the skating is done, the fun doesn't stop – lots of folks continue the party at local bars and clubs.
People gather in Central Park for a huge roller dance party. (Photo: Jessica "The Hun" Reeder/Flickr)
On warm weekends in New York City's Central Park, roller skaters get their groove on – live DJs and all. The Central Park Dance Skaters Association has taken over an avenue they've dubbed the Skate Circle, which (despite its name) welcomes dancers in any type of footwear.
Central Park is the stage for talented dancers to roll through. (Photo: eric wittman/Flickr)
It's a blast for the skaters and onlookers alike.
In London, outdoor skating parties take place not once but twice a week. The London Friday Night Skate is a 10-15 mile route around the city while the Sunday Stroll takes place every Sunday at 2 p.m.
People skate through the streets of city at the London Friday Night Skate. (Photo: duncan c/Flickr)
Skaters never use the same route twice. It's a fun challenge for even the most experienced rollerbladers. The group also hosts other free skate events throughout the year.
With folks interested around the world – impromptu meetups take place in 83 cities across 20 countries – it's no wonder these events have gained such popularity. After all, why be constricted to a rink when you can take over the streets of your favorite city?
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