May 15th, 2012
Monday started with a 3:00 am alarm, and my friend David and I were on the road by four. We pulled into the $6 parking at General Mitchell at 5:00 am, and were in the airport by 5:07. We got through security a lot faster than I expected and we were the first people waiting at the gate by 5:30. We boarded the plane at 7:03 and were in the air by 7:30. We touched down at 10:17 eastern time and were in a cab shortly thereafter. It was my first experience with a New York City cabbie, and I can see why they get a bad reputation. He was weaving in and out of traffic, staying in exit lanes while we were in really slow traffic so he could cut 15 or so cars, and so on. We made it safely to Luke’s apartment by 11:15. Luke is a friend of David’s, and he’s also a Fort Atkinson grad, but before my time, I graduated in ’05, he in ’98. He lives in Brooklyn and works for Sports Illustrated, primarily SI.com. He’ll be going to London later this summer to cover the Olympics, and he’s a really cool guy.
After dropping our stuff off, David and I decided it was time for lunch. It was mainly because I had eaten breakfast at 3:05 am, and was getting hungry. We went to Calexico, is a mexican restaurant near Luke’s apartment. Going clockwise from top left:
1) Part of the menu. The Brewers had started a “Where’s Chorizo?” campaign on Mother’s Day, and I tweeted at Bernie Brewer and informed him that I found the missing sausage.
2) The cool lights they had hanging above the bar.
3) David’s beer on the left (Sixpoint’s Tiger IPA), and my beer on the left (Sixpoint’s Seasonal offering; “Diesel”). As you can see, Diesel was a fitting name for it, as it was quite heavy, but very flavorful.
4) My lunch; a Baja Fish (fried cod) Torta, which is a mexican style sandwich on grilled ciabatta bread with avocado, tomato, black bean spread, spicy slaw, and chipotle “crack” sauce. It also came with chile-cilantro fries. For $12, I’d say it was worth it.
After lunch David and I returned to Luke’s as he was finishing up an article for SI.com. We went to the roof of his building, and it provides a great view of the Manhattan skyline. This is looking west at downtown Manhattan, the tallest building in the middle is the Empire State Building.
You can also see the Freedom Tower (“One World Trade Center” legally) from the roof. It is under construction and should open in the summer or fall of 2013. The Freedom Tower is the tallest building in the distance, just to the right of the third smokestack (from the left).
We all took a nap (separately), and bummed around until it was time to go to the game. Another Fort Atkinson grad, Jessy, who is going to grad school in Albany, came down for the series as well. We all left for the subway at 5:45, and after transferring to the 7 train we arrived at the Mets/Willits Point stop at 6:25.
From the elevated stop you can see Citi Field, and after getting to the bottom of the staircase, it was about 150 feet to get to the best spot for game photo number 35. The Mets had this Home Run Apple at Shea Stadium (their old ballpark) and now have it on display outside of Citi Field.
I went to the player will call window and got my game ticket, which was in section 121. It just so happened that Luke, Jessy, and two of their friends also had seats in 121. There was some confusion and David thought that I was going to be getting two tickets, but he was able to get a ticket and sit with the other guys. I sat in my seat which was 13 rows behind them, but eventually moved down and caught the last few innings with them. We had also gotten a picture with the four of us in front of the Home Run Apple. From left to right it’s myself, Jessy, Luke, and David.
We went inside, and I took a bunch of pictures. The home plate entrance is called the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, and it’s pretty sweet. They pay homage to the man who broke the color barrier, and they do so (justifiably) in grand fashion. When you walk in you’re greeted with escalators right in front of you, and staircases going up both sides of the rotunda.
Behind the middle escalators there’s a giant number 42, with Jackie’s full name and some defining words in front of it.
Going up both staircases they have pictures and more defining characteristics above them. No need for descriptions on these.
From the top of the escalators, and looking back down and out of the rotunda provides a nice view. The rotunda was made to somewhat resemble Ebbets Field, and they did a good job.
On the way to my seat I made a pit stop at a concession stand, and picked up a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog. It was $6, but I’ll say it was at least close to being worth it. I got to my seat, and quickly devoured the dog before the national anthem. Before doing so I got the hot dog with the field in the background. They had ketchup, mustard, onions, relish, and jalapeños as condiment offerings. I put on everything but the jalapeños. I like jalapeños, but just wasn’t in the mood for a spicy dog.
The game got underway, and the Brewers quickly had a runner in scoring position. After Nyjer grounded out Lucroy singled, and advanced to second on Braun’s groundout. I had my camera and was zoomed in on Lucroy at second base when I felt a raindrop hit my forehead. Lucroy must’ve had the same thing happen as I was about to take the picture, because Lucroy began looking skyward.
The Brewers failed to score in the first, but the Mets didn’t, singling home a run in the bottom half. The game stayed 1-0 until the sixth, when the Mets added another run on a suicide squeeze. They added another in the eighth to make it 3-0, when Conrad (the Brewers second basemen), came home on a groundout. The runner on third stopped halfway, and got into a pickle, only to see Ramirez fumble away the ball, and the run scored easily. The Brewers made it interesting in the ninth, pushing across one run, and they had guys on first and second with only one out. Conrad struck out looking, and Georgie flew out to right, and the Brewers lost for the second straight day. Final Score: Mets 3 – Brewers 1.
The Mets didn’t hit a home run during the game, but they show the Home Run Apple in action during the seventh inning stretch. It’s certainly iconic, and the fans are happy that they brought the tradition over from Shea Stadium, albeit with a new apple.
We jumped back on the 7 train after the game, and went back to Brooklyn. Before heading back to Luke’s place, we all agreed that stopping for some pizza and beer was in order. Luke and David had told me about a bar (Lulu’s) where if you buy a pint of beer you get a free pizza. I thought they were messing with me but it’s no joke. If you want toppings (other than cheese), you have to pay $1 per selection, but it’s worth it. I had a wheat beer and then paid an extra $2 to get mushrooms and bacon on my pizza. The result was a pizza that I demolished in about five minutes.
We went back to Luke’s at around midnight, and returned to the rooftop because it was still nice out. I had nowhere to set my camera to get a (really) good night shot, but this will do. The green building is once again the Empire State Building.
It’s 3:00 am, and I’ll be up in about six hours to go to the MLB fan cave, so that’s all for now.