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Poor kids used beef ribs as skates Previous | Next


"My grandfather had ships that went to Holland and he brought skates home to his children, and they used to skate on the Canal that is now Canal Street and on the pond where the Tombs is now, and my mother says that the poor people used to get a rib of beef and polish it and drill holes in it and fasten it on their shoes to skate on."

- Catherine Elizabeth Havens, b. 1839, Brooklyn

Central Park skaters, the Dakota in the background
1895: Central Park skaters in the shadow of The Majestic and The Dakota
(Photo by Byron, Museum of the City of New York)

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Taken from City Play, copyright ©1990. Used with permission by Streetplay.com.

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