The Real-est Place On The Westside
08 Wednesday Jan 2014
The one-hundredth post on this blog will consider a different sort of education. It concerns the Culver Ice Arena which houses a wonderful skating school. The rink exemplifies the best and the worst of ‘running as hard as you can to stay in the same place’.
It seems the Culver Ice Arena is in danger of closing due to the exorbitant value of its land resulting in non-renewal of their lease.
As a New England transplant, this Angeleno land of incessant sun has never seemed quite copacetic. But there is a direct pipeline on the westside of Los Angeles back in time and space to a place where winter comes around yearly not as a season of rain but of cold and snow and icy-sports.
Just the smell of the Culver Ice Rink transports me 3000 miles and fifty years back. And the feel of its spongy mats underfoot as well as the feel of the side of the rink and its benches – all of it. It holds the smell and feel of a day and age past. For better or worse, it’s a “Leave It To Beaver”-kind of place; absolutely iconic. From the gruff “pro” lacing on skates to the point of pain and the lady at the ticket booth who knows exactly who’s inside the place to the high schoolers going round and round and round on a night-date to the elfin pixies focused on dreams of competition and achievement and star-success. It’s a 7-ring circus housed within one rink, at the least. The school runs like clockwork day in and day out with hundreds of kids zooming up and down and around their little strip of the rink. This place is an absolute jewel, a touch-point to the past and where one goes to patch together a stellar future too. They know how to teach skating, well; and they know how to foster the heart of a community too.
Whether there’s any way to save the place is unclear, but hopefully its closure is not a fait accompli. Please sign this petition – http://www.thepetitionsite.com/990/371/335/save-the-ice-rink-in-culver-city/ – in an attempt to aide those trying to save the place. Hopefully the Culver City Council will find some creative way to prevent this community focus from freezing in time. Please let them know it matters to you! Such a space of such tremendous importance historically as well as for our kids’ future, must not be allowed to melt away.