‘The Roller Wave’ is a callout to the golden age of disco and judging by its wildly popular reception, many of us are ready to go back in time.
Founded in 2016 by Brooklyn-native Harry Martin, the pop-up roller skating event series has continued to sell out, largely due to its grass-roots revival of a classic New York pastime with a few modern twists. The fun is housed at the Atlantic Terminal Mall and will run until June 4, 2023.
Roller Wave has become a favorite on social media with nods from celebrities including Alicia Keys, Didi Richardson, Janelle Monae among others.
“Mid-century black Americans laid the groundwork for the evolution of roller skating,” said Martin in a statement shared with ESSENCE. He launched the series based on his childhood experiences in Crown Heights at former local Empire Skating Rink.
As CriterionNow.com’s Rosalio Marenco points out: Roller skating became an outlet for Black individuals to skate freely despite discrimination and became a popular pastime during the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s.
“We are very excited to put the spotlight back on the Brooklyn community, and Atlantic Terminal Mall is the perfect epicenter to celebrate the community in an authentic and innovative way.”
The pop-up event is held in a 9,000 square-foot rink within the 24,000 square-foot space and will feature regular guest spots from DJs and musicians, and refereshments from Buds 2 Roses Café.
“We are thrilled to welcome such an exciting and nostalgic experience back to the heart of Brooklyn,” said Ehud Kupperman, head of Madison International Realty’s New York City Urban Retail Portfolio in a news release shared with ESSENCE. “We are proud to be hosting The Roller Wave at our center and look forward to the fun and enjoyment it will bring to the local community.”