Skip to main content

A skate at the Winter Classic Community Rink

 Maggie and I at the Winter Classic Community Rink

In what has become a Christmas tradition for Maggie and I, we've gone outdoor skating in Pittsburgh.  Last year, we skated at the public rink in PPG Plaza.  But this year was different, and on a Christmas Eve that is typical of a Pittsburgh winter gray, overcast, and just cold enough to support a fresh layer of snow in the morning, we had a memorable experience at the 2011 Winter Classic Community Rink.  The rink, which was constructed as part of the festivities for the 2011 Winter Classic between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins, is located just outside of Heinz Field.

In the time span of five days, the parking lot that sits between Stage AE and Heinz Field was transformed into a regulation ice rink where public skating, youth, high school, and college hockey games will take place.  Sure it's not a Rockfeller Center, but you really can't beat skating outside with an entire city skyline as a backdrop!

IMG_0449

If you follow this blog or know me, you know that I am a big hockey fan.  So being able to skate at the Winter Classic Community Rink was an amazing experience.  The Winter Classic has in four short years become hockey's Super Bowl, an event that captures the interest of the hardcore and the casual fan.  What started out as a novelty on January 1, 2008 in Buffalo has become a staple of the hockey calendar and New Year's Day.

The goosebumps I felt while out on the ice and seeing and sharing the smiles and excitement of all that were on the ice that afternoon is something you don't see or get everyday.  Kids in their favorite Pittsburgh Penguin jerseys racing down the ice.  One child, who was a far superior skater than I, was making - or at least trying to - snow angels at center ice.  Fans and families who may not have tickets to the game taking photos on the rink as a souvenir from just being there.

IMG_0459

After spending some money on Winter Classic Memorabilia, which has been proudly added to our growing sports loft, we entered the rink when it opened to the public at 3 pm.  Maggie decked out head to toe in her Hurricanes gear attracted the attention of Pens fans and of the media.  We were both interviewed by KDKA-TV in Pittsburgh making the evening news.  We were also interviewed by Dan Rosen at NHL.Com.

As for skating, things started out rough.  We were on rental skates, but once we sat down again and tightened the skates, there was no trouble at all!  The atmosphere was entirely festive as more and more people began to make it onto the ice.  Even Santa stopped by - arriving on a zamboni!

IMG_0503

As for the Winter Classic, I am extremely excited about the event.  Throw in that it's in Pittsburgh and it adds that much more.  The game has become a celebration of hockey and its fans.  In an age where most big sporting events are more oriented to the corporate sponsors.  The NHL Winter Classic truly celebrates the roots of a sport that not only the fans love and enjoy the players do as well.

My entire Winter Classic Community Set can be found on flickr.

Comments

Frank Brosnan said…
Adam, You might want to check this out about I-74 construction in OH

http://www.bizjournals.com/cincinnati/blog/2011/01/809m-tagged-to-extend-i-74-through.html

Popular posts from this blog

The Abandoned New Stanton Interchange Ramps

For nearly 50 years, the Pennsylvania Turnpike interchange with Interstate 70 and US 119 in New Stanton has been a rather free-flowing double trumpet, grade separated interchange between the two freeways.  But for the first 23 years of the turnpike, this interchange was vastly different.  It was the only non-trumpet interchange within the system (excluding termini points) and featured very tricky and gridlock causing left turns within the interchange.  (See image on right).  With the birth of the Interstate Highway System in the mid-1950s, new freeways were built and in many cases the Turnpike kept the original interchange using local roads to connect to the new freeways.  Interchanges with what would become I-81, I-176, I-80, I-70 in Breezewood, and I-79 were left with the original design.

Meanwhile in the 1950's, the state began building a freeway that ran from New Stanton west towards Washington.  This freeway, signed PA 71, was built to connect those in the industrial Mon Valle…

Quemahoning Tunnel

The Quemahoning Tunnel may have never been built by the Pennsylvanina Turnpike Commission, but it still has a history unto itself.  Originally planned to carry rail along the South Penn Railway, the tunnel never would not see any trains until 1909 when a small line named the Pittsburgh, Westmoreland & Somerset began utilizing it.  The use was brief and by the end of 1916 the PW&S was no longer in operation and abandoned the facility.  Twenty-some years later, the newly formed Pennsylvania Turnpike Commission considered using the abandoned tunnel, in fact it was shown on some original plans.  However, the PTC decided against using it, and the tunnel remained empty.

The eastern portal of the Quemahoning Tunnel is easily accessible from the PA Turnpike.  The portal is located at mile 106.3 along the westbound roadway.  The tunnel is one of the many "What Could Have Been's?" of the Pennsylvania Turnpike.  Below, Bill Symons shares photos taken in late Fall of 1986 of …

Icelandic Highways & Byways (Part 2)

Continuing on our series on traveling in Iceland, we'll explore the Golden Circle, which is a popular tourist route in Iceland. The Golden Circle is easily accessible from Reykjavik and includes such must-see places like Thingvellir National Park (spelled as Þingvellir in the Icelandic language), Geysir, which yes, is a geyser, and the Gullfoss waterfall.So yes, the Golden Circle includes a little bit of everything that Iceland has to offer. For those of you playing at home, I drove the
Golden Circle in a clockwise fashion with an impromptu diversion towards the end of my loop, which meant that I missed the hydroponic tomato farm, but I discovered a few other neat things, so it all worked out in the end.

Thingvellir (Þingvellir) is actually situated within the rift valley that separates the Eurasian and North American tectonic plates, as the site where the Alþingi or Althing (in English), which is the Icelandic Parliament met between the years 930 and 1798. So as you can tell, the…