at the Place de l’Hôtel de Ville, every winter, it’s possible, and lovely too, to rent a pair of cheap ice skates, brave the winter weather, and faire de la patinage sur glace. in the Marie, the 4th Arr., the backdrop is of the Seine, thousands of last-minute Nöel shoppers, and the myriad tourists armed with cameras. so, yes, it’s been years since i’d attempted to ice-skate, and truth be told, i was a bit rusty. but for all intents and purposes, i’ve relatively few bruises, no broken limbs, just sore muscles and the uncanny feeling of impending older-age.
i thought you might find this video entertaining, and i’ll post a few more in the next few days. if you look carefully, you’ll see the speed-skaters–a gang of about 15 teenage would-be break dancers, or b-boys, who make a sport of skating as fast as possible around the rink, using the slower plebes, like myself, as ski-moguls of sorts. tricks performed include coming to a dead-stop, after racing full tilt, inches from large groups of slow moving girls, flicking snow off skates at friends–one guy who cleared an area in the rink’s center to perform, with his friends, moves i’ve only ever seen in clubs or in the street on cardboard boxes.