rollerskates.jpgCalling all children of the 80?s and anyone who missed that generation but would appreciate 80?s era fun. I think that includes just about everyone. At least it includes me, and I think I can speak for everyone.

The 80?s are alive and well and tucked away in a little haven of nostalgia in Florham Park. You could pass by the squat, white cement box of a building if you’re not looking for it, but you shouldn’t. Inside is a relic preserved, undisturbed, straight out of 1980.

When I opened the glass front door and pushed through the metal turnstile after sliding my $6.50 under the plexi-glass window of the admission booth, I walked right back into 8th grade. There before me was the painted-over cinderblock walls of my youth and within them the flashing multi-colored lights, sparkling disco ball, and oval roller rink of the darkened room. I was in heaven.

I sat on the circa 1970?s orange laminate bench the same color as the rubber wheels of my brown rental skates and started to lace up. My 8-year-old daughter needed help pulling on her skates, but I was too busy. “Evacuate the Dance Floor” was playing, and I had to get out there.

I jerked and skidded for a moment or two and then I was off. I felt the cool air breeze across my sweaty face as I zipped around and around the rink, attempting to break the roller skating speed limit. Not breaking my stride, I tore off my bulky cardigan and tied it around my waist. My daughter, sprawled on the rink floor, called to me, but I couldn’t stop. I was lost in the glory of roller skating.

The only detraction (a minor one) was the absence of 80?s music. I did not hear “Pac Man Fever,” “Mickey,” or “8675309? blasting from the speakers as I sped past, but Lady Gaga filled the void and was equally apropos of the venue and situation.

Life was good.

You can experience the 80?s with your kids too:
Roller Skating
Who: All ages.
What: Public skating.
Where: Florham Park Roller Rink, 192 Ridgedale Avenue, Florham Park, NJ. 973-377-0465
When: See here.
Cost: Morning and Afternoon sessions: $6.50. Evening sessions: $7.50. Skate rental: $3.50
for either old-school skates or in-line skates. Or bring your own skates (and save $3.50).
Photo by cwwycoff1.