Central Park used to be the hottest place in Schenectady during the coldest time of the year.
The park’s giant pond — frozen for January, February and into March — attracted hundreds of ice skaters. Hills around the park became private property for boys and girls with Flexible Flyers — wooden sleds with metal blades.
Teens used skate time to hang out and see friends. Parents helped smaller skaters lace up and watched them glide around the ice. On busy days, the challenge was finding a part of the pond that wasn’t crowded.
Large groups of skaters left the park years ago. But the hills remain, and snowfall can convince people with sleds to once again slide into decline.