July 5th - New York City
I haven't mentioned this yet but on this trip I am trying to make it to the parks in time to walk around and "take in" the parks. I try and experience the park more that just getting a drink, go to my seat, go to the bathroom, leave. That's all well and fine at your home park, but if I'm going to a park I have never been to or may never go to again, I feel it's my duty as a baseball fan to do so.
The Yankee game was an afternoon game, and we had to wake up early to make it on time. We (I) like to get to the park about 1.5 hours ahead of first pitch to pay my respects to the baseball gods. NYC is only about 2.5 hours from Philadelphia, but we went toll-free and it was more like 3 hours. Well, after check-out, getting gas, and general traffic we ran a little behind.
That meant traffic was pretty bad. It took at least 20 minutes to go about 1 mile out in front of the stadium. Most of the roads around Yankee Stadium were blocked off in one way or another, except one and it was packed. After parking, which was $42, we made our way into the park.
Spoiler alert; I am going to talk about my not very happy experience at Yankee Stadium, so you can skip the next couple paragraphs if you don't want to read me bitch about it.
As we went inside, we had to have our bags checked. They did check them, but not well. Hummm concerning... When we made it inside, I had to find the route to the grandstands to take my panoramic (which you won't see until I get back). Lo and behold there is an older gentleman with a sign that basically said "Have questions? Ask me." Yeah! What luck. I explained where I wanted to go and the best information I could pry out of him was that I needed to head to the grandstands. Yes, I know that, but where? Not kidding there was some pointing up involved. The word "grandstand" was very useful after 5 minutes of wandering around I found the escalator to the grandstands.
After taking my panoramic, the Canadian anthem began so I stayed in the grandstands for the proceedings. I thought it quite appropriate to play both as the Yankees were playing the Blue Jays and I tip my cap to the Yankees and MLB. There were a decent amount of Blue Jay fans and many, if not most, were singing along, and rather loudly. Then the Star Spangled Banner played. One guy, kind of loud, sang with maybe 2-3 others joining in half heartily. The irony of our overbearing national pride and lack of general appreciation for it's foundation is pretty sad. There is no I in Canada, but there is in America. That's all I have to say about that.
The first three innings were good. It was a little warm, around 82 and sunny. A few clouds came out and helped cool it down, but they were sparse. In the third, we went and got an adult beverage, Gooseneck IPA, and when we returned, the seats next to us were now filled with, what I assume were, two 14 year olds, and a 19ish year old boy. The younger ones were closer to us and I would say that between the two of them, they probably said f&%# 10 to 15 times a minute. They also enjoyed the n word, but probably only at half the pace. If you have seen any movie that depicts stereotypical New York teenagers, then you have a pretty good idea. It didn't ruin the game, it was just distracting and somewhat rude in some of the comments they had. Even to Yankee players. They were exceptionally upset with Brett Garner for not through any warm up balls to them.
The game was a good one with the Blue Jays taking a early lead and then the Yankees coming back and taking the lead. It was nice to see the Blue Jays come back and beat the Yankees. I am the farthest thing from a Yankee fan, but I swear that I was, and am, trying to be objective about the Yankee stadium experience. I will talk more about the stadium after the trip is over.
After the game we went back to the car and waited for 35 minutes to get out of the parking garage. Why you ask? Two reasons. Only one exit and you paid on the way out but the attendant had to take your card, write something down, take your money, print out some paper, give change, and then done We had prepaid so we just had to hand the paper and we were out.
Next, we headed to the hotel. Now, New York City is pretty well known for their traffic. It took us 45 minutes to go 9 miles. There was an accident and some construction. Once we made it through the accident, it wasn't too bad. When we made it to the Ed Koch/Queensboro/59th St Bridge, (built in 1907-09 ) we were on the "outside" lane, which took us to the outside of the bridge. It was like we were driving on side of an outlay on a cliff. I would have taken a picture, but I'm very afraid of heights, and my eyes were not going anywhere other than the floorboard of the car. Sketchiest bridge experience ever. Even Bob was a little freaked out and he doesn't really get bother by such things.
We checked into our hotel in Queens around 7pm and parked the car in the "free parking." The reason why we chose this hotel was because of the free parking and wifi, but its a lot that holds about 20 cars. Now, you can park for free, but only if you don't block anyone in. Your other option is to park on the street from 7pm to 6am or across the street, under the bridge, after 10pm. We got the last spot in the lot. Hot! (Sorry for that)
Our hotel is average, with free WIFI that is pretty bad. It drops random devices every 45 minutes or so or buffers so bad that the app has to be restarted. It is definitely making this entree a challenge. They really bad part is that we are try to stream the Dodgers v. Dbacks game and it buffers and drops constantly. #firstworldproblems Good night.