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GW

Thanks for posting; that's sad and scary. I found this Village Voice article about the roller rink...apparently it was once "the studio 54 of roller skating": http://www.villagevoice.com/news/0015,kamber,14025,1.html

Ed

That roller rink needs to be CLOSED or relocated, along with that Club Tropicale (or whatever it's called) across the street. These are PRECISELY the kinds of places our neighborhood does NOT need. They may seem like nice ideas, but in reality, they merely facilitate adolescents and young adults (w/ hormones raging) to do stupid things on a regular basis.

Here's a question: how many shootings, fights, drug transactions and unwanted babies are the result of an evening out at the roller rink or that nightclub on Empire Blvd?

Is all that fun and frivolity worth it? CLOSE IT!!!

Nativegal

Just because you're too scared to go there doesn't mean Empire Roller Rink needs to be closed. People like you would have thrown up gates and cemented over Prospect Park when it was a high crime site.

I'm glad to have them in the neighborhood. I used to attend Empire when it was the "Studio 54" of skating and I have great memories of the fun and camaraderie of my fellow skaters. It was those memories that made me take my pre-schooler a few times last year. We had a wonderful time, even though she can't skate and I could use a refresher course on stopping. We look forward to going for years to come.

Instead of agitating for Empire to close, more people in the neighborhood should drop by and check it out. For those who lament the lack of indoor play spaces for children, Empire is defiantly a fun, inexpensive option. Much like Prospect Park, the more decent, law-abiding citzens use the space, the less appeal it will have to those who aren't.

Ed

"Just because you're too scared to go there..." What kind of crap is that? That's exactly the juvenile mentality that keeps so much of this neighborhood in the gutter. Let's be real - there is no glory in frequenting high crime zones and getting shot. And those who don't care to be associated with them are not deficient in some manner. They're smart. The recent events only prove that.

Yes, perhaps rehabilitating the Empire Roller Rink would be nice for the neighborhood. But please, let's not compare an enormous, historic public park like Prospect Park with that fluorescent green warehouse.

Here's another point - how will that rink ever improve with Ebbets Field looming over it?

babs

If "people" hadn't been "not afraid" to go into most areas of "gentrified" Brooklyn (and other places) those areas would never have become what they are today. And do you remember Prospect Park back in the day, Ed (or how about Central Park, even)? Few people cared (or even knew) that those were historic places -- all they knew was that you didn't want to go there. Those places were frightening and frequented by criminals!

The only way anyone is going to give criminals the message that their presence is no longer welcome somewhere is precisely to frequent that place. Otherwise they've won and you've given up.

I am all for Nativegal's suggestion -- even though I've never roller skated in my life and am terrified at the thought. Didn't PLUS have a skating party there a while ago? How about an ATP party? I promise I'll come -- even if I make an a** out of myself trying to skate!

babs

And one more thing -- according to my boyfriend, this was not a young crowd, which is precisely what makes the occurrance so strange. I don't know how he knows this, just repeating what he said.

And actually, I doubt most of the rink's patrons come from Ebbets Field -- more likely from further away.

Ed

Silly me. Let's all go to the roller rink! It's a lovely landmark, worthy of restoring to its former glory. How could I have confused it with being inferior to Prospect Park?

Ed

p.s. - it's OFFENSIVE to blame residents who don't want to be involved with SH**TY neighborhood venues as being afraid. Like we should all want to be caught amid gunfire? It's downright offensive! Let's get some damn standards here, OK?

PeaceLoveNap

I see ads on the subway that possession of an illegal handgun is now a minimum of 3.5 years in prison.

I have heard more gunshots at night in the last year than in the past five. I don't understand what the 71st precinct is doing lately.

Ed

p.p.s. - Babs & Nativegal, make a plan to salvage rink. I'll give you a good six months to turn it around. If not, at that point, I'll start organizing something to shut it down and redevelop it into something else. Is that fair?

Nativegal

What is truly offensive is your designation of any place that you don't chose to frequent as being shitty or not deserving to exist in the neighborhood. If you don't want to go to Empire Roller Rink, then stay away. It's your loss. Obviously there are plenty of people who feel differently and will continue to keep them in business.

Not fond of Ebbetts Field, I doubt you have any invitations to visit anyway so not a problem. Scared to go to Nostrand Ave.? Well if the rest of you is as flabby as your thinking, then the walk to the banks in Park Slope are something you'd be in dire need of anyway. Might as well kill two birds with one stone.

Nativegal

It was PLGNA not PLUS that had 2 well attended neighborhood events at Empire Roller Rink last year. That was what prompted me to take my child the first time. I met quite a few neighbors who had never been there and were pleasantly surprise to discover this "Jewel" in our midst.

adwred

Nativegal - thanks for your insight, good stuff. That's how we need to approach community involvement, emphasizing community, not destroying it.

Ed

We're not talking about destroying the community. We're talking about improving it by examining the questionable value of a particular roller rink in PLG.

Frankly, I suspect the roller rink is bad news because it's (a) aesthetically ugly and (b) a well-known crime hot spot. That's reason enough for me to shut it down. Call me nuts, but I don't advocate keeping high crime entertainment venues open just because I feel nostalgic like others do. My advice - wear a bullet-proof vest.

Meanwhile, a bigger issue is being raised here. Why is it so difficult for some members in the greater PLG community to accept that, like any neighborhood, there are problems which need to be addressed, and that everyone may benefit from the change? Instead, certain bloggers tend to rely on nostalgia and hubris whenever standards are called into question and lash out aggressively. This self-serving response creates an unnecessary distraction from making the neighborhood better.

Ed

If most roller rink patrons are not from the neighborhood, then that's all the more reason to shut it down if it's a high crime spot.

Why should PLG be dragged down by others?

Ed

"What is truly offensive is your designation of any place that you don't chose to frequent as being shitty or not deserving to exist in the neighborhood."

I decide not to frequent places BECAUSE they are "shitty," not the other way around.

Jardinsbklyn

I agree, but what about all those gunshots? I hear them way too often, and it has been REALLY scary to hear so many guns go off at midnight in PLG on New year's Eve...I think one of the big challenges for our precinct is illegal guns around here. It is a real, scary issue.

Jardinsbklyn

Actually, I was agreing with Nativegal and adwred, not with Ed's that ended up being previous post to mine. My post got delayed because of the new system I guess.
I think the problem is NOT the skating ring here, but the guns.

Ed

Gunshots? What's all this talk of gunshots going off in the neighborhood? I never hear them.

Anyway, if you do hear them and it causes you concern, call the cops. Do it regularly. Don't assist those who mistakenly choose to glorify a gangster lifestyle by letting them get away with dangerous and juvenile behavior. Let them come to terms with the repercussions of their foolishness and their mindless aggression.

I've said it before and I'll say it again - it's time to take out the trash!!!

tom

I think the gangstas get a free pass on New year's eve. This year while walking to the park to see the fireworks, some guy on Maple and Flatbush unloaded about 5 shots around 11:55pm. When I turned the corner on Lincoln to go into the park, there were two cops just standing near the subway entrance. I know they heard the shots and the many that followed at midnight. They were completely aloof.
anyway I am not cool with the guns being fired like little toys. They are dangerous as hell! what goes up must come down...

rutlander

Ed, where do you live?? Gunshots go off all the time. And of course people call the cops. And the cops...well, the cops do the same thing as when people call to complain about large groups on the sidewalk playing music at 2:00 am. Nada.

ATP, I despise this censorship delay system.

PeaceLoveNap

I have found 911 and the precinct to not be overjoyed when you call and say you hear gunshots and then can't give them less than a 5 block radius. And the way the gunshots echo, that's generally the problem with calling them in.

I hear a tremendous number from the residences bordering the subway tracks along Ocean and Flatbush.

Bob Marvin

But, whenever the question of gunshots comes up at a public meeting, PD representatives urge us to ALWAYS call 911 when we here gunshots--i think it's important to do so.

BTW, the police were VERY responsive to calls about a loud party on my block that spilled into the street at about 4:30 AM on New Year's Eve--NOT something you'd think they'd do on that night.

charles

Just tell them where you are calling from and what direction you think the shots came from. I don't know how they expect any better precision than that. If you think the shots are more than 5 blocks away, you probably didn't hear gunshots. For once I agree with Ed - I think a lot of people hear gunshots far more often than guns are actually fired.

But Ed, you keep calling things that other people frequent and enjoy "shitty" and "dangerous" and say they "need to be shut down." Your response to everything is hyperbolic and extreme ("Hey Enduro, your name sucks and you need new tables! Shut down until you get a renovation!" "Empire Roller Rink is an ugly war zone and must be closed today!" "Nostrand Avenue might as well be in New Jersey!") Are you really that surprised that people don't respond to your call to arms?

Nobody is afraid to confront the issues here in PLG. But I, for one, find your comment ranting distasteful enough that I'm not sure I'd want to confront the issues here with you.

Also, ATP, the post title here is a little flip for reporting on people who were shot, don't you think?

Ed

Like I said, it's time to take out the trash. How many times do I need to say that? Roller rinks aren't inherently dangerous, but there's a correlation with this one and gun violence, so let's be sensible.

OY!

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