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Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Coney Island Roller Derby Actually Going To Happen

coney island roller derbyFor decades, Brooklynites have grown accustomed to being dazzled by pie-in-the-sky drawings heralded as Coney Island’s second coming, only to be disappointed when they collect dust along with the others. Lola Staar entrepreneur Dianna Carlin’s dream of installing a seaside temporary roller rink didn’t make such ambitious claims, but does promise to add some pizzazz to a place that’s changed little over the years besides the occasional clearing of another lot.

In a recent conversation with Carlin about an upcoming red carpet party to “save Coney Island,” she told the Eagle details are being finalized to install a temporary roller rink near the boardwalk. She double promised her partners she wouldn’t divulge their names or the location until the big announcement, expected within the next few weeks. But it’s totally going to happen.

The surface would either be paved or portable, like a massive roll of linoleum similar to what the Gotham Girls Roller Derby team has been using since the city’s last roller rink shut down. Now, they don’t have to lug it around with them everywhere (one Derby girl said it takes three hours to set up), they can come to Coney Island. While not “the most fantastic roller skating surface on Earth,” the rink would likely make up for irregularities with kitsch. The closest interior design reference to the hot pink boardwalk boutique Lola Staar would probably be Yaffa’s in the East Village, but with brighter colors.

The “Save Coney Island” event is planned this Saturday at Southpaw in Park Slope, 125 Fifth Ave. between Sterling and St. Johns. Burlesque dancers and hot rodders will be on hand, helping to promote awareness of the city’s (controversial) plan to convert a portion of Coney Island into a park, leased to a single amusement operator. Borough President Marty Markowitz and Coney Island Development Corporation President Lynn Kelly are expected on the red carpet. Dance party DJs, burlesque performances and “never-before seen slide shows” await inside.

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