Tivoli resident Christine Kurlander tightens the bindings on her son Jack’s shiny skates. Her younger daughter, Daphne, scoots around on the ice with tentative determination. The sun is out, but the afternoon air is chilly enough to keep the ice from melting, so if kids fall down, they won’t get wet. In fact, a couple of little boys are lounging against snow piled up along the rink’s sides, seemingly without a care in the world. A red ball light tops the wooden centerpiece. This and lights dangling all around will be turned on at sundown to give the whole scene a bit of magic.
It is magical, this pop-up ice rink built in the park on Pine Street, between the Tivoli Community Garden and the water tower. You crunch across the snowy path to a bench on the sidelines where no one is “in charge.” You’ve brought your own skates. There’s no skate rental, no entry fee, no vendor snack bar. You think you’re back in the 1950s, when kids were free to wander down to the local pond or frozen-over tennis court to skate and play on their own – until, that is, you see a parent pull out their cellphone to shoot a few pictures.
A demonstration of communal teamwork, this first-year endeavor fulfills Greater Good Dynamic’s mission to “nurture collaborations and connections between people and their environments.” The not-for-profit organization’s website boasts work that is “intergenerational with an emphasis on children. Arts, culture and recreation are essential for building community, nurturing health and well-being and providing opportunities for children to be engaged, self-motivated and confident individuals.”
Opened to the public on January 20, the rink will be in situ until the end of March, if the weather holds. “We’ve been working on the project since September,” says Jennifer Ryan, CEO of Greater Good. “It was actually envisioned and rendered several years ago, but the idea to have an ice rink was shelved. Recently, we decided to get a pop-up going to engage interest in a more permanent project. That’s when Greater Good founder Robert George said, ‘I have renderings I did for a temporary ice rink in Tivoli!’ We approached the mayor, Joel Griffith, and the board. It’s been great working with them, and it’s great for the village.”
To prepare for the rink, locals dug up the sod and erected a wooden frame to contain the water. “We like to create spaces and venues and events that help bring people together for shared experiences. All costs for the ice rink have been shouldered by the organization, thanks to significant donations by Hotel Tivoli and Corner Restaurant, Dutchess Creamery, Williams Lumber, Migliorelli Farm and many others. A lot of Tivoli businesses close for a month or so in winter, so this is an opportunity for economic development for the village. We’ll offer some special programming: performances, classes. We’re still fundraising in order to restore the location after the season. Then hopefully we’ll reuse the kit next year.”
But for now, the light posts surrounding the perimeter are hung with shovels for impromptu snow removal by anyone who’s willing to do it. Although a lot of organization, volunteer work and monetary contribution has gone into creating the rink just this year, Tivoli on Ice looks like it has always been here – maybe even since the 1950s. Grab your skates and come check it out.
– Ann Hutton
Ice skate swap on Friday night at Tivoli library
There will be an ice skate swap this Friday, February 8, at the Tivoli Free Library from 6-7 p.m. Bring your unwanted-but-in-good-condition figure or hockey skates and swap them with someone else. There will be free hot cocoa and treats served at this East Room event. The library is located at 86 Broadway in Tivoli. For more information, call (845) 757-3771.
“Ridge & Tower” exhibition in New Paltz to benefit students
Roost Studios and Art Gallery in New Paltz presents “Ridge & Tower”: our local iconic landscape through the eyes of 32 local artists. Working in various media, the contributing artists pay homage to the iconic Shawangunk Ridge and Mohonk tower to benefit students in the New Paltz schools and the New Paltz Amphitheater project. The “Ridge & Tower” show runs from February 7 through March 3, with an artists’ reception on Saturday, February 9. Regular gallery hours are from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. Admission is free.
“Ridge & Tower”
Saturday, Feb. 9, 6-9 p.m.
Roost Studios & Art Gallery
69 Main St., New Paltz