What skating rink is complete without a coffee shop next door? I recall skating the 6:00 AM session in the deep winter months. Those are the months that even though hours pass between entering and exiting the rink the sky outside remains a solemn dark hue. Mornings like those necessitate coffee and therefore a good coffee shop nearby. Sadly, the rink I skated at lacked a nearby caffeine hub. Instead I lived off of McDonalds breakfast sandwiches my mother picked up from a nearby fast food haven. The thought of McDonalds every day for two years makes my skin crawl these days, but there’s no denying the fact that after skating hard that early in the morning most of us will eat anything.
So when did I finally learn the importance of the coffee shop? The year I left Colorado for New York the skating rink had a coffee/smoothie shop move in. Needless to say I was annoyed. Even so, I had no idea how wonderful this combination was. Indeed it was not until working in downtown Poughkeepsie, NY for several years and frequenting the wonderful Alex’s Restaurant for coffee, milk shakes and hot chocolate that I began to realize how much the character of a rink improved with some quality hot beverages around.
Now, I’m surround by lovely coffee shops within a five second, or five minute, walk from the ice rinks where I work and skate. Skaters are a far happier crowd with their proper caffeine intake, which is rather high when they’re skating the 5:45 session and plan to attend an eight hour school day. I’ve passed by my school days, but I still enjoy a good steaming Chai after program double run throughs or freezing rinkside teaching. Without a doubt, coffee shops make skating rinks better places.
<3 Ms. Twizzle <3