“I’m just skating around town, just basically trying to get my miles in. My goal is up to 14 miles. I think I’m at about 8 right now. So I’m going to take another lap around the city,” said Alex Scott, 26, on a Monday in the early afternoon.
“It takes me a couple of hours, depending on how I feel. I like to dance-skate while I’m doing it, so I’m doing twists and turns and dancing in the process,” she said. Though Scott defines herself as “more of a heavy metal, rock type of girl,” when skating she favors R&B and gets into “some SZA and Rihanna.” She added, “If the day gets really good and I want to do some quick moves, I start playing dubstep.”
Scott, who also goes by Onyx, has been skating since she was around six years old, but really started exploring the whole town on wheels during the pandemic lockdowns. “I used to skate all around town because the streets were empty, and I’m still doing it today,” she said.
Scott usually takes the 606 and then heads over to DuSable Lake Shore Drive. Once on the lakefront, she skates back and forth from Sheridan all the way to the South Shore. Skating makes her feel “very free, active, and creative.”
Scott prefers roller skating over rollerblading since with roller skates she can “get crazy with it and do every dance move you can think of.” Scott is “into the whole skating scene.” She told me, “I go up to Garfield Park, to their conservatory. They have their own roller skating event on third Thursdays [at the park’s gold domed fieldhouse from 5:30 to 8 PM, with skate rentals free of charge]. Then they have free roller skating lessons on the west side. And if you go over to the south side, we have two roller skating rinks. They’re the only two [indoor rinks] in Chicago,” she said.
Scott was referring to the only Black-owned roller rink in Illinois, The Rink (on the border of Chatham and Avalon Park) and the Chicago Park District’s MLK Park and Family Entertainment Center in Auburn Gresham. Scott adds that paved sports areas, such as the basketball court in Humboldt Park, and skate parks like the ones in Logan Square and at 31st Street Beach are also good options. She also, of course, appreciates skating on the 606.
When it comes to learning how to skate, Scott recommends lessons from the north-side organization Inspired by Flavor, or simply going anywhere there are skaters. “[Experienced roller skaters] are usually very open about teaching others. Facebook groups like HP Skate Meetup or Chicago Skate Of Mind are great for getting even more connected with roller skating events,” she suggested.
For buying new skates, Scott recommended online store Dolls Kill, though she got her funky leopard pair with red wheels from Impala Skate. They perfectly matched the groovy vibe of her outfit, which included eyelet bell bottoms and accessories she fashioned herself to honor Black History Month. “I made the colors black, red, yellow, and green to match with the Afro and gold hoop earrings. I’m a big 70s gal. I love Afros, I love the Afro culture. Basically just anything that has bell bottoms, is tight-fitting, and has goofy colors. I love it all.”
Scott’s modeling profile is at Instagram at onxyb.modeling
Garfield Park’s next Gold Dome Indoor Skate event in partnership with HP Skate Meetup is Thu 4/20, 5:30-8 PM, at the gymnasium, 100 N. Central Park, free, all-ages, more information at HP Skate Meetup’s Instagram