In the war years, due I think to a fire in the University Gym, the Baker Rink was commandeered for basketball. Growing up in Princeton, to use our skates we had no alternative but pond ice and Lake Carnegie. The joy of those years (from around 1941–52) was the fact that ice thick enough to skate on was a constant during the winter months. The Mathey Pond off the Great Road and the Patton Ponds beyond Bayard Lane were sources of skating delight even when Lake Carnegie wasn’t safe. But when it was, the joys of skating on that Lake’s ice, often the hard black ice that most thrilled skaters, was a special experience. Going under the overpass always a special treat. And when the weather got really cold, the river to the southwest of the Lake, feeding into it, would freeze enough to skate long distances. And, after getting thoroughly cold and fully exercised, the retreat to The Balt for a hot chocolate with whipped cream would cap a wonderful day of ice skating. These are pleasures now found only in the wooly memories of the ancients, like me.
In Response to: A Princeton Pastime Declines as Temperatures Rise