CHELSEA — Academy Award-winning actress Susan Sarandon joined local kids, longtime roller-skaters and the High Line's founders Thursday to cheer the opening of the High Line rink at 30th Street and 10th Avenue.
"I'm a born and bred New Yorker, and I've never been prouder," said Sarandon, standing on the new roller-skating rink. "One of the reasons I've never left New York is it's full of crazy, fabulous, diverse, funny people, and I just love that.
"Look at this group and these costumes!" she added, gesturing toward the Central Park Dance Skaters Association, who were performing in purple tie-dye jeans, blue butterfly wings and pink zebra-print headscarves.
"It's just really fun," said Sarandon, adding that the High Line is one of her favorite spots. "I hope it goes on forever — they should build a new High Line that goes all the way uptown!"
Robert Hammond, one of the High Line's co-founders, explained that the idea behind the rink was "to do something you wouldn't expect to see on 10th Avenue."
He also emphasized that Uniqlo, the Japanese clothing company, had helped make the rink happen by providing both funding and creative ideas. The rink is located in "The Lot," the temporary public plaza underneath the High Line.
Ileana Adamos, 54, of the Central Park Dance Skaters, said the rink was a needed addition to the city.
"We have zero rinks now," she said. "It would be great if they could keep this rink open after the summer, but that's not going to happen."
Adamos said skating had been her go-to exercise for the past 30 years.
"This kept me healthy all my life," she noted. "Who doesn't like dancing and music — and unity? It's New York, and we're all together!"
For kids from the Hudson Guild, located near the High Line, the day couldn't be more exciting — albeit slightly nerve-wracking.
"I'm a horrible skater," laughed Jasmine Peters, 18. "I'm very nervous, but I'm just ready to have fun!"
The 800-foot outdoor rink will be open daily until September 26, with $10 admission for kids and $12 for adults.
It will be open Sundays through Wednesdays, from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., and Thursdays through Saturdays, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Skates are available for free to rent at the rink.