Las chicas of Suburbia Roller Derby are intense on and off the hard oval floors they spin around. I learned this firsthand two Decembers in a row while celebrating my birthday with AWOL and her crew in Vernon, New Jersey. AWOL and I are both Sagitarians and along with a fervor for travel we enjoy celebrating our birthdays on the road in large groups. In 2009 and ‘10 we threw out an invite and rented a bunch of apartments by Mountain Creek, home to slopes when it’s cold and a classic water/adventure park during summer months.
It wasn’t the first time we’d joined forces to create a chaotic and memorable birthday extravaganza. When we were high school students in Clarkstown, NY we combined forces with our friend Dave and threw a bash which spilled out of AWOL’s house and onto the front and backyards. Her parents did not know what hit them as scores of cars pulled up their drive. They didn’t realize that we had plastered flyers (complete with caricatured stick figures) hyping the party all around school.
I felt the same way as her parents fourteen years later as I arrived at Mountain Creek for our updated celebrations. Derby girl after derby girl shimmied through the door hoisting huge pot-luck platters and assorted liquids. It reminded me of the scene in Revenge of the Nerds when they threw a mixer and the geeks were in shock as actual females filed through. For two and a half days I marveled at the stamina of both Suburban Brawlers and Bullies from the Backyard. They continued to party long after my friends called it quits. Just when it seemed they’d take a break they stripped to bikinis and braved frigid fall winds in outdoor jacuzzis. Their conditioning during practices undoubtedly readied them for ferocity on all team excursions.
If you are near the Westchester area this Saturday April 21st then skate your way to SUNY Purchase College for the Suburban Brawl’s match-up against the Bleeding Heartland Roller Girls. Witness the intensity of your local wheeled warriors. I guarantee they won’t be bringing trays of food or donning bathing suits for their opponents. They may, however, break some Heartland while delivering complimentary knuckle sandwiches and force their opponents to dress in bandages for their drive back to Bloomington, Indiana.
At the bout sample sweet cupcakes and inquire about student discounts. BYO cowbells or buy some there as you enjoy the comedic play by play of commentators Sam Handwich and Stu L’Sample. There will also be sword fighting at the bout.
Doors at SUNY Purchase’s large shiny gymnasium open at 5PM. A men’s match at 6 will feature New York Shock Exchange versus the Capital District Trauma Authority (hopefully they won’t be engaging in figurative sword fighting). After Shock Vs. Trauma the women’s matchup should start around 7:30. The venue is at 735 Anderson Hill Road in Purchase, NY 10577. Trackside seats are available but buy tickets soon to get up close. Parking will be plentiful and so will the brutality.