Remember Roller Skate Newington in New Hampshire?
16Let's go back in time to 2011.
Many great things happened that year, like the Royal Wedding, the release of the final Harry Potter film, and the Queen B herself, Beyonce, announcing her pregnancy at the MTV Video Music Awards.
But for many of us here in New Hampshire, it was the year we lost a beloved Seacoast area staple: Roller Skate Newington.
Originally called Happy Wheels Newington according to Forgotten Roller Rinks of the Past, the rink opened in 1983 and stayed open for almost 30 years until its closure in 2011.
This rink was the place to be. Not only was the floor spacious, but you could rent skates if you didn't have your own, grab pizza with friends, indulge in some fun arcade games (remember that creepy one with the zombies?), and host birthday parties.
So naturally, we were devastated when it closed.
Here's a POV video of one of the final skates.
Watching this feels like going back in time. Remember how freeing it felt to zoom around on a pair of skates?
How about the special skates they'd do, like the hokey pokey and backwards only? Could you keep your balance?
Remember skating up to the DJ, grabbing the counter to prevent a fall, and making song requests like Tik Tok by Kesha, Party Rock Anthem by LMFAO, Evacuate the Dancefloor by Cascada, and other hits from that time?
For some kids (including yours truly at the time), this was their first exposure to mainstream pop music, and it felt exhilarating.
Today, the rink's building is home to Habitat For Humanity ReStore, an organization that sells secondhand furniture and other home items. They also partner with different organizations to pursue their admirable mission of "eliminating poverty housing in Southeast New Hampshire".
But what's unusual about the current situation is that when Habitat for Humanity moved into the space, they didn't do much to change its interior.
So when you visit Habitat, the place still looks just like Roller Skate Newington but with a ton of furniture on the floor.
Entering the building is like journeying into a slightly-distorted time capsule, and for those who called the Rink home for so many years, it's a very strange feeling being there.
Everything from the walls to the floors remains mostly unchanged.
You can still see where the DJ's booth used to be.
In 2012, less than a year after the rink closed and Habitat moved in, these skaters returned to skate amongst the furniture in a mini 'flash mob' commemorating the past.
Whatever the future holds for the world of roller skating, Roller Skate Newington will always have a special, sentimental place in our hearts.
While we're taking a trip down memory lane, here are some tokens of nostalgia from Yoken's Restaurant in Portsmouth.