Today, I spent the day walking around Central Park, visiting museums, and taking in New York City. But as the sun started to go down, and we drove towards the Bronx, the anticipation started to build. We pulled around River Avenue and I saw both the old Yankee Stadium and the new, and they were both beautiful from the outside.
I've been going around, just absorbing the ambience of the city, and the area around Yankee Stadium is electric. There are so many hot dog stands and apparel shops, but the most amazing thing to me was the amount of people around. Everywhere I turned the people were wearing Yankee hats, jerseys, t-shirts, and you knew that these fans, who have been around since 1901, are there for their team.
The stadium, which I expected to exude history and ooze a feeling of being back in time, was a lot more modern than it looks like on television. Don't get me wrong, it's a place where so many greats have played, and so much history has happened, but I sat in the bleachers, and was unaware that you can't walk around the stadium.
So, just to clarify, my experience at Yankee Stadium was incomplete. I saw Monument Park from the back, and I basically only saw the bleachers where I was sitting. It was much different than going to a game on the West Coast, at least the ones that I've been to.
The game was a blowout, and the Padres played terribly. But there were still fans there in the last inning, and they were cheering just as loud in the ninth as they were in the second and third. I went with the intention of booing Jason Giambi, but he hit two homeruns, both of which I missed.
A-Rod also homered, but for some reason it was always when I went and got food. What they say is true, by the way: New York hot dogs are better than anywhere else. The food definitely didn't have the "meal" quality that San Francisco does, but it did the job, and I really felt like I was at a ballgame.
The Yankees know how to make it feel like the real thing, and I hope to be able to visit the new Yankee Stadium before too long.