Monday, July 21, 2008

I will remember this for a long time.

My BBF (best baseball friend) Max uttered those words to me after I took him with me to Craig Biggio's final game in an Astros' uniform. It was indeed a very moving and memorable day.

That sentiment is apt for my recent journey to NYC. Really, I do not think I could imagine a more perfect vacation. As I have begun describing it to friends and family, a recurring comment from others is "trip of a lifetime."

You be the judge.

Arrived to LaGuardia airport early Saturday afternoon. With directions in hand, I navigated NYC public transportation (translation--I rode the subway!) to arrive at Miss J.'s place. We then headed out together to a Belgian bar (I recommend the Delirium Tremens from Huyghe Brewery, should you have the opportunity to partake) before heading across the street to feast on Thai food. Then, it was off to the August Wilson Theatre for Jersey Boys! What a great show--I was captivated from the opening lines. And of course, got to see Times Square in both daylight and dark (not that it's ever exactly dark there!).

Sunday was filled early with touristy things--visiting landmarks and taking photos at Grand Central Station, Central Park, and the Esplanade at Battery Park, as well as visiting another brewery/bar (hmmm. . .beer). We also spent a bit of time at St. Paul's Chapel, which is currently serving as a bit of an impromtu Ground Zero memorial while the "real" one is under construction. It was very touching, more so than I think either of us expected. Then, the day was completed with a visit to Shea Stadium, where the Mets were hosting the Rockies.

Hate the Mets. Loved Shea, though. We had great seats and the weather was perfect, high seventies and clear.

Monday morning found us arising early to embark upon a journey by car (which by this time was seeming like a bit of a novelty, having taken the subway or walked everywhere) to Cooperstown, NY. It was an arduous and yet astoundingly beautiful drive to midstate NY to the home of the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, passing picturesque farms amid rolling green hills partitioned by crystal clear creeks. To drive down Main Street in Cooperstown was to feel that one was driving down such a street in the late 50's. While the HOF attracts fairly large crowds, the town itself hasn't succumbed to the drive to modernize. Its charm cannot be overstated, and I look forward to returning in 2012. The HOF and Museum proclaims to "preserve history, honor excellence, and connect generations."

Well said.

Tuesday morning found us returning to NYC, tired but anticipating the trip's piece de resistance, the MLB All-Star Game at Yankee Stadium. We considered trying to attend the Red Carpet Parade, but decided against it, heading out instead to the All-Star Fan Fest at Javits Convention Center. I was able to get basically all of my ASG souvenir requests filled here, which was very welcome as I did not want to fight the anticipated crowds at the gift shop at Yankee Stadium (also, as high as prices were at the Fan Fest, most were doubled at the stadium--crazy!) We then headed over to the House that Ruth Built, arriving as the gates opened at 5 p.m. The rest of the evening was simply taking it all in--first AL, then NL batting practice, preparation of the playing field, the lengthy but nonetheless lovely opening ceremonies, and the game itself. The game was actually a good one, going extra innings. After the 12th inning, nearing 1 a.m. local time (and having been at the ballpark for a full workday--going on 8 hours), me being the loser that I am, I lobbied to go ahead and leave. Miss J. graciously accommodated my request, and after a two-hour subway ride back to Brooklyn, I grabbed about three hours' sleep before showering and grabbing the subway for the ride back to LaGuardia and the flight home.

I'll post another day about the feelings this journey engendered in me as a baseball fan, but as I said before, I do not think I could imagine a more perfect vacation. Huge thanks and appreciation to redbirdbrain for making it possible!

Friday, July 11, 2008


I leave tomorrow for New York City! The slate is full, with a Broadway show tomorrow night, Mets/Rockies on Sunday, Cooperstown on Monday, and (drum roll please). . .

The All-Star Game on Tuesday!!

I was starting to freak out a little bit because I didn't receive the tickets until Wednesday of this week. The folks at StubHub were very nice every time I called. . . and I called alot. But the tickets finally arrived safe and sound, and I was very relieved.

Interestingly, redbirdbrain had almost an opposite reaction, as she didn't get excited until the tickets were in hand. Apparently, she didn't realize until I texted her, the day the tickets arrived, that we are actually going. To. The. Game.


Yeah. . . not sure how I failed to communicate the plan there, but at least she has something to look forward to now, other than dragging this ol' redneck around the big city. Yay!