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View Full Version : Just back from NYC -- Yankee & Shea stadium reflections


Baby Fisk
10-06-2004, 11:03 AM
Hey all,

Just back from a week in NYC. It was great to see the Cubs fullfil their true destiny once again, to the bewildered chagrin of the legions of idiot Cub fans.

I'd never been to NYC before. It is huge and bustling and the subway is a gothic urban nightmare (compared to the comparatively pristine public transit system of Toronto). On the first day, I was lost and frustrated. Within a week, I was barging from one train to another with zen-like efficiency and actually giving directions to the locals. It helps to survive in a place like this if you have a decent sense of direction. The inner compass saved me many times.

Anyway, here's the goods on the ballparks:

YANKEE STADIUM. So I'm there in Monument Park, looking at the flower-garden surrounding the retired numbers, and strolling past the stone monuments and wall plaques before the game, with a "Yankeeography" film about Whitey Ford playing on the big screen, and I says to myself: "Jeez, this organization should really commemorate its past a little better."

The near-deification of past Yankee superstars and historic teams is relentless in this park. Here more than anywhere else, they have ample material to choose from.

I had bought cheap tix for the upper deck behind home plate, but was able to roam freely throughout the park. I sat most of the game on the lower deck 3B line, and was barely glanced at by any of the ushers (who wear blazers and neckties). The stadium is a sea of blue seats embracing the seemingly-elongated checkerboard-cut grass. The upper deck is steep, but close enough to the field that it doesn't really take you away from the game. Every time the Yanks score a run, they play a pumped-up version of the Westminster Chime over the PA system, which struck me as odd. No fireworks for home runs either. The fans were boisterous and loud, not needing any PA prodding to begin some "Let's Go Yankees" cheers. These people are, however, ridiculously spoiled. The Yanks were trailing the Twins in the 7th, but the top of the order scored several runs to put them back on top. Everyone cheered when the Yanks scored, but there wasn't much emotion to it. I guess a lot of cheering and winning and championships can make the fanbase a little complacent (not that anyone here would know what that's like). Kosher hot dogs were decent. I like the slogan for Hebrew National food company: "We answer to a higher authority." ha ha.

SHEA STADIUM. Who was the visionary urban planner who decided to build a stadium next to LaGuardia airport? The stadium is buzzed by low-altitude aircraft every few minutes, drowning out everyone and the PA system. It's nuts! I had 2nd level home plate seats for this one, which offered a great view of the whole park. The big scoreboard in RF is great, providing loads of details about every game being played elsewhere. The stadium itself is a big semi-enclosed bowl with few quirks or oddities to see, although the Mets celebrate their history with huge mural-sized photos of historic moments and players from the past.

There was an odd smell to the place, which I couldn't place. Some kind of combination of stale food, stale beer, and the stale hopes of the fanbase, perhaps.

The atmosphere was more upbeat than at Yankee Stadium even tho the Mets lost to the Expos. It's an OK experience, plus I had decent seats surrounded by witty, sarcastic fans, so there wasn't much to complain about.

I'd recommend anyone travelling to NYC take in a game at both parks if possible. :cool:

Fenway
10-06-2004, 11:08 AM
I know WS fans fondness for 1060 W Addison but Shea is the true urinal

Whadda expect tho it is in FLUSHING

Shea came to be by one Robert Moses
http://www.brainyencyclopedia.com/encyclopedia/r/ro/robert_moses.html

Moses more than anyone caused Walter O'Malley to move to LA as he rebuffed the Dodgers plan to build in downtown Brooklyn. Moses told O'Malley that he could build in Flushing Meadow in QUEENS.

Robert Moses (December 18 (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/December_18), 1888 (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/1888)–July 29 (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/July_29), 1981 (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/1981)) was the master builder of 20th century New York City (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/New_York_City). As the shaper of a modern city, his only peer is Baron Haussmann (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Baron_Haussmann) of Second Empire Paris (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Paris). Although he never held elective office, Moses was the most powerful person in New York City government from the 1930s (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/1930s) to the 1950s (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/1950s). Moses literally changed shorelines, built roadways in the sky, and turned vibrant neighborhoods into slums. His decisions favoring highways over light rail formed modern Long Island (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Long_Island). Moses displaced hundreds of thousands of people, contributed to the ruin of the South Bronx (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/South_Bronx), the departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Brooklyn_Dodgers), and the decline of public transit (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Public_transit), but Moses' projects, were, in a way, necessary. Moses' mistakes were in believing "cities are for traffic," and "if the ends don't justify the means, what does?"
From the 1930s (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/1930s) to the 1960s (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/1960s), Moses was responsible for the building of the Throgs Neck (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Throgs_Neck_Bridge), the Bronx-Whitestone (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Bronx-Whitestone_Bridge), the Henry Hudson (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Henry_Hudson_Bridge), and the Verrazano Narrows (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Verrazano_Narrows_Bridge) bridges. His other projects included the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Brooklyn-Queens_Expressway), the Staten Island Expressway, the Cross-Bronx Expressway (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Cross-Bronx_Expressway), the Belt Parkway (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Belt_Parkway), the Laurelton Parkway, and many more. He was the mover behind Shea Stadium (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Shea_Stadium) and Lincoln Center (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/Lincoln_Center), and contributed to the United Nations (http://www.wordiq.com/definition/United_Nations) building. Los Angeles is considered the freeway city, but New York actually has more miles of highway. (Picture of the Belt Parkway (http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Canvas/2228/bp/phbp7mb.htm)) (http://www.geocities.com/SoHo/Canvas/2228/bp/phbp7mb.htm))

Baby Fisk
10-06-2004, 12:35 PM
Thx, fenway. I didn't realize that Shea was another product of Moses.

One other thing about Shea vs. Yankee stadium is the ushers. While you can roam freely throughout Yankee stadium (unless you happen to sit in someone's seats and they show up), Shea is populated by a platoon of ticket nazis. It's a bunch of white haired men who swarm every person who enters the seating areas, demanding to personally inspect your tickets. The entire time I was on the second level, I didn't see them miss anyone. Skydome is the same, except the ticket nazis in Toronto are all teenagers. You'd think Yankee stadium would have fanatical ushers and Shea would be totally unpoliced, but it was the opposite.