The Shoestring Catch

New York Part I
June 1, 2009, 3:42 pm
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Citi Field

Citi Field

We left Philadelphia around 10:00AM to drive to Queens for our 1:05 Mets game.  We have been relying on my TomTom GPS system for directions, and although she has a pretentious British accent and can be kind of mean, she had never steered us wrong… before today.  I should have checked the route, but I trusted her.  Instead of taking us across the Verrazano Narrows Bridge, up Staten Island and across Brooklyn, she decided we should take the Lincoln Tunnel, cut across Manhattan, and take the Midtown-Queens tunnel.  It took us the better part of four hours to make what should have been a two hour Sunday drive.  We got to Citi Field by the third inning, so it wasn’t too bad on that front, but it was a very stressful drive.

Something that the budget traveler needs to take into account that I forgot to consider is tolls.  We ended up paying around $30.00 for tolls for different tunnels, bridges, and turnpikes.  They might not be bank breakers, but they’re still unpleasant, especially when you aren’t expecting them.  Note: I did avoid an $8.00 toll for the Lincoln tunnel by accidentally taking an EZ Pass Only lane.  I’m nervous that this $8.00 savings will turn into a $100 expense if and when my ticket finds me.

Citi Field is the third fantastic ballpark we have visited in a row.  It is brand new, big, beautiful, and clean.  There are some great views of the city and the old world’s fairgrounds, and the huge scoreboards are easily visible from all parts of the park.  The bathrooms were not as clean as I would have expected for a park that has only hosted some 30 odd games, but this is my only complaint.  We had nosebleed tickets in left field for this game, but I spent most of my time walking around the park.  In fact, the park outshone the actual ballgame, which I ended up watching relatively little of.  The Jackie Robinson Rotunda is very well done and I got chills when I saw the huge ‘42’ in the middle of it.  It was very cool to see fathers and mothers explaining the significance of the Rotunda to their children.

Most of the beer served at Citi Field is your standard Bud Lite and Budweiser, but there is a beer stand behind center field called Big Apple Brews that has 27 different bottles including Hoegaarden, Tiger Beer, Redhook, Goose Island IPA, Honkers Ale, Harbin Lager, Widmer, and Beck’s.  All of these beers are available for $7.50.  So far it’s the best ballpark beer selection I have seen.

The Mets have a closer-like introduction complete with flashing lights and AC/DC’s Thunderstruck for their 8th inning set up man J.J. Putz.  I can only assume this is done out of courtesy to Putz who used to be a topnotch closer in Seattle.  However, it made it very awkward after Putz had to be pulled later that inning after giving up a run and leaving runners on the corners.  After Putz gave up the run, one upset Mets fan near us shouted, “we want Endy Chavez back!”  It was the meanest thing I have ever heard yelled at a ballgame.

Traffic after the game was atrocious.  Instead of battling it we sat at the car and had an after game applesauce and cashew tailgate.


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