Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Indoctrination Continues

I missed a few days of blogging while I was down in the NYC area over the holiday weekend to take my son to Yankee Stadium. Here's the issue, I grew up a Yankee fan but I'm raising my son in Red Sox Nation. So, I need to make the occasional trip down to NY to take him to Yankee Stadium to properly indoctrinate him to the ways of the Bronx Bombers.

So far, it's been working. We went last year and he had a great time. However, this summer, he asked me what Fenway Park was. I gave him the straight dope...I told him it the stadium the Yankees play in when they play in Boston. Hey, I didn't lie. But it was enough of a wake up call to get me to bring him down to the Bronx for a game.

Since he's only 4 (4 1/2 he says), I up the ante by adding in a bunch of different transportation options that he doesn't get in VT. I give him the whole "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" experience.

First up is the ferry. We park in Weehauken on the Jersey banks of the Hudson River and take the NY Waterways ferry over to the 39th St. ferry station. Last year, we got the added bonus of watching a seaplane land in the Hudson while we waited for the ferry. No such luck this year but he was still excited bu the few helicopters that went by.

The cool part of the ferry is riding on the top deck. The view of Manhattan is beautiful from the boat.

Once in Manhattan, the next form of transportation was the bus. NY Waterways provides bus service to and from the ferry station throughout mid-town. So, we took a bus down 42nd St. to Grand Central Station. My son loved being able to sit in a seat and not be strapped into a car seat. And the view from the high seat on the bus was great for him.

From Grand central Station, we took the 4 train up to the stadium. Thankfully, this year, he didn't lick the pole in the subway car. I had the heebie-geebies for a week after catching him do that last year.

The benefit of taking the 4 train rather than the B or D is that it pops above ground before arriving at Yankee Stadium. You then get a split-second view of the green grass of the stadium through a small opening in the right-field wall. It's quick but it heightens you expectation of the stadium. I made sure my son was watching when we rumbled by it. The quick ooh-aah reaction on his face was great.

The street scene outside of Yankee Stadium is also quite eye-opening for a kid raised in bucolic Vermont. So much activity. The rumble of the trains overhead. The shouts of the scalpers. And Stan's Sports Bar, of course (although I'll wait a dozen or so years for his first trip to Stan's).

During our walk up the ramps inside the stadium, I started thinking about how much I'll miss the ramps when they build the slick antiseptic new Yankee Stadium. There's something about the ramps I love. It has to do with the dark crude filthy roughneck sensation that they leave you as you enter the stadium. It makes you feel like a warrior in the battle rather than a passive viewer of the game and ultimately adds to the atmosphere at the game.

Then again, when my son took a digger running down the ramp later on, I understood why they would be replaced with insurance-company-approved escalators in the new stadium.

Our seats were about 2/3rd of the way up the upper deck but right behind first base. When I bought the tickets on Stub Hub, I thought they would stink. But they actually were pretty good. It's not a bad angle to watch the game from and the seats are in the shade the entire game which helps with his endurance.

Plus, you get a nice view of the Bronx from the upper deck.

One nice part of our day was that Jorge Posada, my son's favorite player, had a big hit early in the game. That got him clapping and dancing. As much as I enjoy a well-pitched 2-1 thriller, the 10-1 Yankee win was perfect for holding his attention.

At the end of the seventh and 2 1/2 hours of ball, he had had enough. I was fine with that. The score was already 8-1 and he had made it as long as the typical Mountaineers game. So, for him, that was a full game. Plus, it gave us a chance to exit and get on a train going back to Grand Central before the masses made a crush for the exits.

While waiting for the 4, I saw the hole in the ground where they are beginning to build the new Yankee Stadium. Because of all the memories, I'll miss the old stadium but I'm glad my son will have had the chance to experience the old place before they tear it down.

1 comment:

Bob "Beltron" F. said...

Let's Go Mets!