What a legacy.
One day I will tell my children how I used to live down the street from historic Wrigley Field.
I will tell them how I could see the flags flying on game days and hear the crowd cheering from my back porch. I will tell them how I’d peek through the outfield gates in March and watch as the stadium slowly came to life.
I will tell them about walking to games, and how I would sometimes buy standing-room-only tickets in the 4th inning on a nice afternoon.
I will tell them about sometimes running into Ryan Dempster at CVS.
But I probably won’t tell them about the smell of stale beer that clung to the sidewalk on which I walked to work this morning, and about the dark spots in corners that might be something spilled, or might be vomit.
I don’t think I’ll tell them about the alternate route home I’ll be taking home tonight in order to avoid hordes of drunk people who whistle at you or walk straight into you or worse, walk straight into mailboxes.
It’s probably not worth mentioning the perfect storm of parking woes when construction meets street cleaning meets game day (happened twice this week).
And I don’t think I’ll tell them about the alley entrance to the Red Line that will smell like pee for the rest of the summer, especially when it rains.
But ah, the convenience of walking to the ballpark and being able to be back home playing bags with your neighbors before they’ve even finished playing “Go Cubs Go”…
Well honestly, I’d trade a few blocks to get rid of the perpetual pee smell.
And I’m off…wish me luck!
Before I forget – best bleacher moment so far this year for me came a couple weeks ago at a game with my roommates. We were sitting behind two rather large, slightly intimidating men in Cubs shirts. A fight broke out in the left field bleachers and one of my roommates got all excited about it. She poked the man in front of her and joked ‘you should start a fight in this section!’ The man, looking truly remorseful, turned around with big puppy dog eyes and said “I know, but I don’t want to miss any of the game!”
I’m a die-hard Yankees fan but still I loved this article by Jim Caple on the new Yankee Stadium: http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/page2/story?page=caple/090527&sportCat=mlb. Feels more normal than not, doesn’t it? Last time I went to a White Sox game I had to hide my Nalgene bottle in my coat sleeve like a weird second bicep so they wouldn’t confiscate it. (Like I’d throw my Nalgene on the field. As if! Those things cost like $20! Although now that we’re all going to get cancer from plastics…heave away!) My dad and I are trying to hit all the Major League Stadiums and we’ve been to some beauties: Skydome in Toronto is like watching baseball in your bedroom. In fact, you CAN watch baseball from your bedroom for the low nightly price of about $200 Canadian from the hotel in centerfield. At PNC Park in Pittsburgh we accidentally got tickets in the suite level, meaning behind the scenes we had access to an air-conditioned lounge, gourmet sandwiches with teensy field greens on the side, and I think I vaguely remember a foosball table.
This is all well and good…and shiny and pretty. But historically, baseball has rarely been shiny and pretty (Joe DiMaggio/Marilyn Monroe aside). This “bright copper penny” era of baseball stadiums roughly corresponds to the time the average fan began to only be able to afford 2 games a year and was quickly becoming disillusioned by rampant reports of players using drugs and steroids. (Steroids are bright-copper-penny. Spit-balls are glory-era.) So yeah, I’m excited to visit the new Yankee Stadium, and the Yankees will always be my team…but I currently live about 4 blocks from Wrigley and there’s no place I would rather have easy access to. The new Yankee Stadium, per the article linked above, has more security guards than Paris Hilton’s chihuahua. Wrigley let us bring in a bag of Swedish Fish. (yum!) The Skydome smells like landscaping and dippin dots. Wrigley smells like hotdogs and beer. Wrigley screams baseball. PNC Park screams ‘Pardon me, do you have any Grey Poupon?‘