The spirit of the roller boogie has arrived in New York, with the opening of Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace at The Rink at Rockefeller Center. Thursday night a VIP crowd including Mary J. Blige, Dr. Dre, Usher, Gayle King, Will.i.am, Jimmy Iovine, Jon Batiste, Patti Smith, Meek Mill, Bethenny Frankel, Ella Emhoff, Jeffrey Deitch, Alexandre de Betak, Hailey Benton Gates, Ruby Aldridge, Coco Gordon Moore and more took to the rink — once the rain had stopped, finally — to welcome the roller rink. The party was hosted by Flipper’s cofounders Liberty Ross and Kevin Wall; the original Flipper’s was founded in Los Angeles in 1979 by Ross’ father, Ian “Flipper” Ross.
“Flipper’s Roller Boogie Palace coming to New York City is a full circle moment,‘’ says Ross. “My father opened the original Flipper’s in LA with a true spirit of freedom and inclusion, and I’m so honored to bring that same ethos to New York, a city that’s all about community.”
To kick off the skating fun, Usher — who is a partner in the project — performed his song “U Don’t Have to Call” for the crowd before showing off his skating skills on the rink. Afterward, everyone made their way to L’Avenue at Saks for an after party (in do-gooding news, during the 2022 season at Flipper’s $1 of every skate rental is being donated to the Saks Fifth Avenue Foundation).
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