by Erik Hare
Gliding along the ice, the close shivers of winter are left far behind. All it takes are two skates and a lot of skill learned through years of practice. They say that if you don’t start as a kid it’s nearly impossible to pick up, but for those who learned it’s as easy as breathing.
Outdoor ice rinks are the latest thing in Saint Paul. Our Mayor, Chris Coleman, has been a big supporter of them for a number of reasons. For one, he remembers learning how to skate as a kid and wants to make sure that everyone has a chance to learn as he did. For another, it’s an excellent way to get people out and build community. For the most visible rink of all, next to the Landmark Center in Downtown, it’s also a relatively cheap way to bring people out to the winter playground that's been assembled in nearby Rice Park
This is Mayor Coleman’s one big thing, and every mayor has one. It’s not without controversy since the budget is tight and getting tighter; a lot of people think there are better ways to spend the same money But this is the Mayor’s favorite proposal. It’s one that he’s been willing to really push for, and it’s generally accepted just on that basis.
If nothing else, it’s all part of the image of the city that puts on a big Winter Carnival. This is a winter town, if for no other reason than that’s what we got. We might as well enjoy it, and what better way to do that than a nice outdoor rink groomed smooth and slippery. All it takes is a pair of skates and the skill and desire to glide for a while. Maybe Mayor Coleman is right after all.