D.C. Gigs: Running The Show At City's Newest Ice Skating Rink | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : Metro Connection

Filed Under:

D.C. Gigs: Running The Show At City's Newest Ice Skating Rink

Play associated audio
The Canal Park Skate Rink could be where future Washington Capital's hockey stars get their start.
Jocelyn Frank
The Canal Park Skate Rink could be where future Washington Capital's hockey stars get their start.

Nancy Butler is the general manager at Canal Park ice skating rink in the Navy Yard neighborhood of Washington, D.C. It's an area of the city that used to be best known for the Arthur Capper/Carrollsburg (hyperlink http://www.dchousing.org/default.aspx?docid=311) low-income housing project and subsequent redevelopment effort. Among the many changes in the area include the brand new Canal Park ice rink that opened on Nov. 16, 2012.

Butler remembers those early days. "I felt like a construction worker, and here we are a month and a half later, and I'm general manager, so I'm very proud of myself," she says.

Butler was born in the District and grew up in the Capitol Hill neighborhood. She learned to skate at the Fort Dupont indoor rink at a time, she says, when everyone wanted to be like the award winning American figure skater Dorothy Hamill.

"My dad took me to the ice skating ring," he says. "He wouldn't get on the skates himself, but he would sit there as I would make it around."

These days, Butler finds herself again working hard on the ice, but in ways she never imagined when she was first gliding on two skates. She laughs as she talks about one of her most notable responsibilities — she gets to drive the Zamboni.

"I drive a Honda in real life, which only cost me a couple of thousand [dollars], but for my day job I get to drive a $140,000 Zamboni, bright red."

Each day, Butler works alongside a team of local D.C. youth. About 40 employees, most of them coming from low-income housing, help run the skate shop, take admission fees, and demonstrate to new skaters how to find balance and gracefulness on the ice.

Standing rink-side, music plays out over the loud speakers for the skater to enjoy. It's an accompaniment to the percussive sounds of ice skates on ice. Nancy Butler marvels at the many people who've come downtown to enjoy an afternoon of skating out in the sun.

The Canal Park skate rink is open Monday-Friday: 12 to 9 p.m., Saturday: 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday: 10 a.m. to 7p.m. Adult Admission - $8 Children (under 12)/Seniors (55+)/Military Admission - $7 Skate Rental - $3


[Music: "Working for the Weekend" by The Brown Derbies from We Deliver]

D.C. Gigs: Canal Park Ice Skating Rink

NPR

Tracking The World's Famous Most Unread Books

NPR's Tamara Keith speaks to Jordan Ellenberg about his part-serious, part-playful Hawking Index, which is an e-book-era mathematical measurement of how far readers get into books before giving up.
NPR

What If The World Cup Were Awarded For Saving Trees And Drinking Soda?

We thought you'd get a kick out of seeing how the four teams in the final World Cup matches stack up in global health and development.
NPR

What Could $100 Million Buy You — Besides Campaign Ads In Kentucky?

Spending on the Kentucky Senate race might reach $100 million. So what else could that get you in the Bluegrass State? NPR's Tamara Keith finds out when she calls up some local business owners.
NPR

Tech Week: Google's World Cup Play, Amazon Sued And Kids Tracked

Also in this week's roundup, a tech company that may not exist, using sensors to keep your plants alive and what the debate over sandwich taxonomy teaches us about innovation.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.