Any Miamian who was out of diapers by the early '90s took a turn around the rink at Hot Wheels, the city's infamous roller skating palace and adolescent pick-up joint. Even DJ Irie used to man its turntables.
And thanks to the Miami Foundation's Public Space Challenge winner Marcos Macias, it looks like downtown's Pepper Fountain at Bayfront Park will be bringing back the freestyle skating with Bay Skate Mondays.
Every second Monday night of the month, grown-ass Miamians will get a chance to strap on four wheels and hot dog like they did two decades ago.
Monday nights were the hotness at Hot Wheels, says Macias, and that's what he wants to recreate.
"We used to hit up Hot Wheels all the time. Monday nights used to be the night to go and it was amazing," Macias remembers. "It was a night to listen to great old school, freestyle music and get together with friends. It was just a lot of fun."
Born and raised in Miami, Macias has long been looking for ways to boost the action at Bayfront.
"My brother used to live in an apartment in One Miami at the corner of Biscayne and First. We would hang out on the balcony and look down at Pepper Fountain and think, it would be so awesome to have outdoor roller skating rink!"
Courtesy of Marcos Macias
"Being in downtown and seeing it start to develop, we would find ourselves trying to think of ideas on how to activate this space. For the most part, Bayfront is utilized a lot more as a big event space and it seems so underutilized otherwise."
"We want it to be fun. All of us are overworked and especially now I think we're expected to turn things around so quickly and work and make money -- that's so important that we sometimes forget to take a step back and have a good time and get to meet our community and go out and just have fun."
In addition to his own creative efforts, Macias gives props to Devin Cejas, landscape architect and partner-in-crime, and Maggie Fernandez with Sustainable Miami. "She's really been really integral in introducing us to the right people in the city to get them to buy into this idea," he says.
They're looking to launch the skate night in the fall and have it run through the winter -- a total of about six months. They'll shut it down in the summer and then reopen it (with any necessary improvements in place) the toward the end of the year.
"Hopefully we'll keep this going for a long time to come," he says.
"I know there are a lot of people that probably still have their skates collecting dust in their garages, Macias adds. "I'm sure they're dying to come out and show off their moves to show that they've still got something."
So what tunes does Macias suggest skating to?
"Some great freestyle skate jams are: 'Spring Love,' 'It's Automatic,' 'Planet Rock,' 'Jam On It,' 'Body Mechanic,' just to name a few," he says.
And what about for Couple's Skate? Watch and bask in junior high nostalgia, y'all.
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