Our January thaw was right on time this year, with nighttime temperatures in St. Louis close to 60 degrees on the evening of January 1st.
We decided to take the ten minute ride over to Steinberg Rink in Forest Park with a group of friends for some ice skating. When we arrived, the place was packed.
As far as urban St. Louis goes, Steinberg has got to be one of our most urban destinations. The huge outdoor rink is located right off of Kingshighway, on the edge of the largest urban park in the nation, and under the high rise towers of the Barnes Jewish Hopsital complex.
With last nite's unseasonably warm temperatures, the Zamboni was getting a workout. There was so much melting of the ice, they had to send the Zamboni out ever forty five minutes or so to mop up the water. In some places, it was over an inch deep. They could have erected temporary "no wake" signs.
As far as 2006 wishlist items go, an beautiful and functional upgrade to the Steinberg cafe space would be to add a new stone fireplace, similar to the one at the remodeled Boat House.
The cafe area is already much improved, featuring an expanded food and drink menu, and adding a large, 2-sided (possibly indoor/outdoor) stone fireplace would elevate the ambiance to resort-quality status and help warm the chilly toes of Steinberg's winter customers.