Ice skating in New York: A vintage photo of the city’s favorite vacation pastime for decades

While New York City may be known for its constant struggle to reach the top of the heap, there is one place where everyone is always on a level playing field – or at least a perfect level: the Rockefeller Center ice rink.

Located in the heart of Manhattan, the roughly 7,000 square foot expanse of ice has been sculpted by New Yorkers from all over the state, tourists from all over the world, and with them a number of celebrities, occasional statesmen, and professional athletes. same.

Among the upper echelons who frequent ice skating in New York City are the Kennedy family – including Jackie O – who performed for years at The Rink in Rockefeller Center, along with the Bedford Stuyvesant ice rink in Brooklyn where Robert Kennedy’s family holds their annual skating party. to remember him after his assignment.

The Rink Arena at Rockefeller Center was built in 1936 as a temporary installation, but after its soaring popularity it soon became a permanent fixture.

Another popular place for New Yorkers to skate is in Central Park’s frozen pool in winter, which people have been carving since the park was completed in the late 1800s.

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis stands steady on her roller skates at the Rockefeller Center ice rink in New York City, 1970

Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis stands steady on her roller skates at the Rockefeller Center ice rink in New York City, 1970

Ethel Kennedy, wife of Robert Kennedy, marches around the Rockefeller Ice rink with a group of children in 1960

Ethel Kennedy, wife of Robert Kennedy, marches around the Rockefeller Ice rink with a group of children in 1960

Kerry Kennedy (left), Ethel Kennedy (center), and Courtney Kennedy (right) skate in the Brooklyn rink at the Bedford Styvesant Restoration Center during a party for the center

Kerry Kennedy (left), Ethel Kennedy (center), and Courtney Kennedy (right) skate in the Brooklyn rink at the Bedford Styvesant Restoration Center during a party for the center

Robert Kennedy's entire clan skated on The Rink in Rockefeller Center while he was a senator-elect in New York just before Christmas in 1964. From left, are sons Michael, 6;  daughter Courtney, 8;  his wife Ethel;  daughter Kathleen, 13;  son David, 9;  and son Joe, 12;  and Robert

Robert Kennedy’s entire clan skated on The Rink in Rockefeller Center while he was a senator-elect in New York just before Christmas in 1964. From left, are sons Michael, 6; daughter Courtney, 8; his wife Ethel; daughter Kathleen, 13; son David, 9; and son Joe, 12; and Robert

Robert Kennedy took his wife Ethel on a tour of the ice rink at Rockefeller Center in January 1968. The two of them were dressed impressively as usual, with Ethel wearing a matching fur coat and hat, leather gloves, and white roller skates.

Robert Kennedy and wife Ethel at The Rink at Rockefeller Center in January 1968

Robert Kennedy took his wife Ethel on a tour of The Rink at Rockefeller Center in January 1968. Both were dressed impressively as usual, with Ethel wearing a matching fur coat and hat, leather gloves, and white roller skates.

Ethel Kennedy spins a young girl around the ice at the rink in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, in 1974, during the annual skating party the family throws in memory of Robert, who was assassinated in 1968

Ethel Kennedy spins a young girl around the ice at the rink in Bedford Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, in 1974, during the annual skating party the family throws in memory of Robert, who was assassinated in 1968

Not quite ice skating, but close enough: Robert Kennedy Jr.  skate with Shaquanna Chriswell, 5, of Brooklyn, NY (L) and her cousin Natania Pilgrim, 8, at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn in December 1989 during the 24th Annual RF Kennedy Memorial Skate Party

Not quite ice skating, but close enough: Robert Kennedy Jr. skate with Shaquanna Chriswell, 5, of Brooklyn, NY (L) and her cousin Natania Pilgrim, 8, at the Bedford Stuyvesant Restoration Corporation in Brooklyn in December 1989 during the 24th Annual RF Kennedy Memorial Skate Party

A girl falls onto the ice and asks her friends for help, but they are more interested in the camera.  The three of them were skating in Central Park in 1960

A girl falls onto the ice and asks her friends for help, but they are more interested in the camera. The three of them were skating in Central Park in 1960

A view of the Rockefeller Center ice rink filled with skaters during the Christmas season in December 1969. A line of people waiting their turn is seen flowing up the stairs to Fifth Avenue.  Crowds were also seen lining up at The Rink

A view of the Rockefeller Center ice rink filled with skaters during the Christmas season in December 1969. A line of people waiting their turn is seen flowing up the stairs to Fifth Avenue. Crowds were also seen lining up at The Rink

A quiet day at The Rink at Rockefeller Center in December 1969. Santa Claus himself is seen helping a girl

A quiet day at The Rink at Rockefeller Center in December 1969. Santa Claus himself is seen helping a girl

Peggy Fleming, 20, carves the ice at the Rockefeller Center ice rink.  Fleming is a three-time World Figure Skating Champion, and the only US skater to earn a Gold Medal in the 1968 Olympics

Peggy Fleming, 20, carves the ice at the Rockefeller Center ice rink. Fleming is a three-time World Figure Skating Champion, and the only US skater to earn a Gold Medal in the 1968 Olympics

Figure skaters carve melting ice on a warm day at the Center Park ice rink in 1961

Figure skaters carve melting ice on a warm day at the Center Park ice rink in 1961

Skateboarders flock to the Rockefeller Center arena as a large traditional Christmas tree is put up

Skateboarders flock to the Rockefeller Center arena as a large traditional Christmas tree is put up

Skaters dressed in all colors at Wollman Rink in Central Park in 1989

Skaters dressed in all colors at Wollman Rink in Central Park in 1989

A man stands on his hands as fellow skaters view the rink in Brooklyn in 1923

A man stands on his hands as fellow skaters view the rink in Brooklyn in 1923

Four skaters strut their stuff on the ice in Central Park in 1952

Four skaters strut their stuff on the ice in Central Park in 1952

Competitors in the 220-yard take-off race at the rink in Central Park in 1931

Competitors in the 220-yard take-off race at the rink in Central Park in 1931

A mother, father and daughter hold hands as they skate across a frozen pond in Central Park in 1938

A mother, father and daughter hold hands as they skate across a frozen pond in Central Park in 1938

A group of girls helping each other along a skating rink in Central Park in 1955

A group of girls helping each other along a skating rink in Central Park in 1955

A girl takes a spill in the first round of the middleweight Silver Roller Skate Derby in Central Park, year unknown

A girl takes a spill in the first round of the middleweight Silver Roller Skate Derby in Central Park, year unknown

Two skaters get down to business during a race through the Central Park rink in 1900, as spectators on skates watch

Two skaters get down to business during a race through the Central Park rink in 1900, as spectators on skates watch

A group of warmly dressed New Yorkers adjusting their skates on a bench beside a frozen pond in Central Park in 1895

A group of warmly dressed New Yorkers adjusting their skates on a bench beside a frozen pond in Central Park in 1895

A husband and wife work together on ice in a frozen pond in Central Park in the 1880s, shortly after the park opened

A husband and wife work together on ice in a frozen pond in Central Park in the 1880s, shortly after the park opened

New Yorkers in suits and dresses on the ice in Central Park in January 1981

New Yorkers in suits and dresses on the ice in Central Park in January 1981

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