Thursday, May 14, 2009

Radio City/i Field

Rare and fortunate set of circumstances had me inside two New York City landmarks (one old, one new) over the last couple of days - Radio City Music Hall and Citi Field, the new home of the New York Mets. Squeezed off a few iPhone photos along the way.

I've always loved Radio City, from the sign outside to the meticulously preserved retro interior, the history of the place really comes through, it's almost like walking back in time, to a night out in the city 60 or 70 years ago. Seems like from an aesthetic perspective what you're getting inside today is basically what you would have gotten back then, despite the changes (some good, some bad) that have taken place on the other side of the doors. I saw Radiohead there on the OK Computer tour - probably my favorite live show ever - and that band in that venue alone provided something of an anachronistic masterpiece.

I was excited to take in a game at the new Citi Field and the experience did not disappoint. Yes, as many before me have observed, they need to find a way to inject more "Mets" into the space, hopefully it's something they'll address over time. Not to take anything away from Jackie Robinson or his achievements, but as a lifelong Mets fan I'd gladly trade part of his historic pavilion for a little bit of Jesse Orosco's victory collapse of 1986, Mookie flying down the first base line in the direction of some guy with a "B" on his hat, something of Tom Terrific before he was banished... hell, I'd take a Bruce Boisclair bench stuck in a corner somewhere at this point.

But it's an amazing place to see a game, a huge upgrade over Shea, which we were happy to visit with the girls in its closing moments. Citi Field feels wider and more spread out, it's amazing how open the place is, you can leave your seat and wander up to the concession stand and not miss a thing, no more long concrete tunnels as barriers to the action and staring up at a bad video monitor to track the game while waiting for a hot dog or $7.50 beer. It's beautifully done and unbelievably fan friendly. Cool breezes flowing through the place, motion-activated water, soap and hand towels in the rest rooms, what more could you want?

My first game there was a 12-inning loss to the hated Atlanta Braves, after significant excitement along the way, a home-team grand slam and other incremental highlights that did not pan out in the end. Basically a microcosm of more than four decades following the team, and a perfect christening of the new address.


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