Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Yankee Stadium '09

It was bittersweet: walking around The House That Ruth Built to get to the new Yankee Stadium. With the newness, fortunately, came an incredible ease at managing security. If you don't remember the trials we faced trying to get into Yankee Stadium with Duncan last summer, please revisit that post. We were better prepared for this trip, to be sure. We didn't even attempt to take in a diaper bag. Duncan's spare clothes were packaged in individual Zip-Loc bags, and remembering having our spray-on sunscreen thrown away last year, we took wipe-on sunscreen in individual, disposable packages. Everything was contained in a disposable, plastic grocery bag in case we had to surrender it. Happily, it was all easy. Sure, we had to turn on our cell phones and cameras to get in, but the security staff was quick, efficient, and pleasant.  

Yankee Stadium is notorious for its ticket prices, which have only increased with the move across the street. Our seats were pretty high up because that's what we could afford, but those seats are not as steep as the old stadium, and they are grouped in smaller sections. The end result was that I was only slightly uncomfortable being so high up because I could only really envision myself falling down 10 rows. The last time we sat that high up I wouldn't leave my seat. We sat high up once for a subway series and once for a game we attended with John and Kathy. When we were that high, I wouldn't even get up to go to the bathroom. Luckily, we also sat on the end of the row, which came in handy as we took Duncan on walks to keep him from getting bored. It was furiously hot up there, but we were only steps away from the concourse, which is covered but open, creating a nice wind tunnel that dropped the temperature at least 10 degrees. 

Concession stands were plentiful and lines reasonable. One of my favorite features of the new ball park is the calorie count listed next to all the food products. It turns out that a hot dog is about one of the lowest calorie items you can buy at a ball park at about 275 calories. A soft pretzel tops in at abut 600, slightly more than ice cream (530 - 590, depending on flavor). Some people are probably finding this excess of information disturbing; I find it comforting. I like knowing exactly what damage I'm doing to my diet. I liked thinking that ice cream was a better choice than a pretzel. Another feature I appreciated was the garbage. No, really. Yankee Stadium composts. No joke. Each bank of garbage bins has one can for trash, one for recyclables, and one for compost. They could use some signs to explain what people can compost, but it's a great start. I happened to notice that my plastic cup was compostable as well as the cardboard try they put our food in. I've been told that the new stadium is a fairly green structure, right down to the low flow toilets, and I was happy to hear it. But composting at Yankee Stadium...who would have thunk it.  

Duncan had a lot of fun. Granted, he told us later that his favorite part of the day was the train ride, and he did need to wander quite a bit during the game, but we made it through six innings, double how long we lasted last year. There was plenty for him to watch, and he enjoyed clapping and cheering with the crowd. He told us he was a Blue Jays fan, which is a step up. Last we knew, he supported the Red Sox. I don't think any of us watched much of the game. I watched Joe Girardi get ejected for contesting Jeter being called out stealing third when there was no tag. Jamie and Duncan were out walking. I missed some big action too while Duncan and I were walking down the ramps and up the stairs, but we enjoyed the atmosphere.

I'm not sure when we'll get back to Yankee Stadium again, probably not until Duncan will remember and appreciate it, but we're proud to say he saw the old stadium in its last season and the first season in the new one. The old and the new, the young and the old; life is good.  

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