Anyway - reactions to the place. I preface this with a few things. I don't think the place is 100%where they want it to be so I don't want to jump them too badly. Today was the first of 3 dress rehearsals so where the park will be in a few weeks will be different than today.
Getting off the subway - it was jarring walking down that ramp and not seeing Shea. There was a physical and emotional jolt not seeing it there. I hate comparing things to 9/11 for obvious reasons but when you went downtown after it happened there was a hole in the sky where the buildings were. You saw them there for so long, they were so big, you'd never imagine them not there. So coming down the ramp and seeing nothing?? Very strange and that will I think be something a lot of fans will have to get used to.
Getting in - kind of seemed like Shea! Long lines, check your bag. Everyone looking up instead of ahead. Long line at main gate for obvious reasons - 1st day, everyone wants to go in the main door. There are other entrances so for future games I'll go to more seat specific gates.
Rotunda - very nice, still not finished, looks like they are going to hang some more pictures of Jackie up. Huge #42 behind the escalator will be a photo op for a generation of kids. Huge Mets Clubhouses shop right behind the escalators.
At top of escalator we went in and made a left, nice wide concourses. Felt it was kind of dark in there, lights looked to be there but not set to go yet. Bathrooms, concessions all there. Spotted pics of Ebbets Field and saw the Ebbets Club entrances are on that level. You keep walking and then boom on your right, concourse opens up to the field. Looks great, grass is green, dark green seats etc. Seen pics of it but to see in person for the first time was great.
Kept walking along and headed up to the promenade. Let me tell you the trip wasn't half as long as it took to get to the uppers at Shea. Quick trip, could have taken an elevator if I wanted.
The promenade is great. Huge upgrade over Shea. You feel much closer to the field. The upper deck is split in half so you can walk down or up. Lots of room to stand around and watch the game. No more craning your neck to see a TV to know what's going on, just turn your head and the field is right there.
Pepsi Porch - cool. And there is tons of space behind it to hang out, eat, drink etc. There are going to be tons of homers hit up there. Under the big scoreboard there's tons of space too but its fenced off. This is where I saw they had a chance to add some more seats - I have a problem with only 42.5k. This is NY, you need more seats, bottom line.
Big Apple seats - now Osh41 is of the middle class. He is an upper deck/bleachers guy. I would sit in these Apple seats in center ahead of 95% of the park. They are fantastic. You're right behind the pitcher, its like watching it on TV. You walk out behind you and you have the food, drinks etc. I didn't know anything about the Shake Shack until the past few weeks but their burgers are terrific. $5.75 for a great cheeseburger - I didn't feel violated on the price either. I think I ate 1 burger in 30 years of going to games at Shea - for a reason - they were awful. This stand is going to be mobbed every night. They should use half the parking lot as a grazing field for cattle because they will need to keep the beef coming.
Out of town scoreboard - looks great, if you're in left field you're going to have a problem seeing it. Didn't sit in the seats that look to be obstructed by it.
Bathrooms - very big, waterless urinals - no dividers though - they should have sprung for them. Some folks are going to be have some stage fright issues which will cause delays.
126th street!!!!!!!!!! Holy Cow! The chop shops - I always knew they were there and have even patronized some of them. But the view of the area from the park never existed at Shea. It's crazy having this brand new park on one side of the block and this hell hole on the other side. There were pot holes filled with water over there that looked like the reservoir in Central Park.
Let me tell you - Fred Wilpon's mission in life - after pissing on the grave of Bernie Madoff - is to get that whole 'Iron Triangle' leveled and redeveloped into something, anything more aesthically pleasing than what's there now. This park here is going to get that plan moving. I think Bloomberg's phone is ringing right now with a call from Fred about it.
Things I noticed that I hope is something that is being worked on - as you walk around there are no pictures inside the park of any Mets! You wouldn't know what team plays there. In Shea there were the big banners and pictures all around. Mr. Met was on the signs saying 'Thanks for coming' 'Thanks for eating that knish etc.' . Mr. Met wasn't anywhere in signage as far as I saw. I loved seeing the big pics of Tug, Keith and Tom hanging there. This could be something they are working on for the real opening in a few weeks.
Lux boxes, Acela club - I really don't care because I will probably never see the inside of any of those places. There is a definite caste system for the park. The wheat and the chaff are seperated in no uncertain terms.
ALl in all - I think they did a good job. I'll never be happy until I see a statue of Seaver and them wearing hats and uniforms with no trace of black on them. But for the ballpark - it really is nice and the fans should really enjoy it - and trust me on the burgers............................