Sunday, April 22, 2012

Phillies


I left Boston kind of late in the evening.  It takes about six hours to reach Philadelphia and by the time I got there I was pretty tired.  This was another one of those times where getting a hotel really didn’t make much sense.  So I did what any normal person would do, I found a hotel parking lot, parked in the way back, and took a nap.  I woke up pretty early in the morning because I got cold and decided to start my day.  I looked up local YMCA’s on my phone and decided to head towards one so I could take a shower.  When I arrived there it was in what appeared to be a shady neighborhood and there was no parking.  I decided to forgo the shower and just wear a hat all day.  My next stop was a Starbucks.  I was hoping to get some writing done and post a new blog.  Starbuck did not have an internet connection so I just stayed there and did some writing.  My next step for the day was getting some food.  I couldn’t be in Philadelphia and not get a Cheese Steak.  I made my way over to the cheesesteak corner and went with Genos.  Everybody I talked to said I should go to Genos instead of Pats so that’s what I did.  I liked the feel of this place and it was really busy.  All over they had signs thanking military and police.  One sign in particular that made me laugh said if you can’t speak English get out of the line.  I ordered a cheesesteak with provolone and everything on it.  Every time I go to a new place and try something I try it just the way it’s intended.  It was pretty good.  A lot different than a Philly Cheesesteak from Subway.

I was still kind of tired so I decided to make my way to one of the parking lots in the arena district and take a nap.  I found a parking lot that cost $10 so I went in and parked there.  I took a spot that was un-crowded, tilted my chair back and fell asleep.  When I woke up there was full on tailgating going on all around me.  There were beer pong tables, hillbilly horse shoes, and corn hole being played everywhere.  Off in the distance they had a food tent, a ying-ling beer tent, and a band.  I sat there for a while and realized I was pretty thirsty.  I made my way over to the beer tent and realized that everybody and bracelet on their wrist showing that they were of age to drink.  I walked over to a table and asked a lady how I could get one.  She informed me that the tailgate was actually a fundraiser for fallen fire-fighters.  She told me I could purchase a bracelet for $95 and that included all the food and drinks from the tailgate plus a ticket to the game.  I told her that I already had a ticket to the game and I just wanted something to drink.  Just a bracelet to par take in the tailgating was $45.  There was no way that I was going to be able to get my money’s worth on that deal so I declined.  I’m all for supporting good causes but that was a little steep for my blood.   

I walked towards the park and walked around for a little bit.  I took pictures of the statues and people watched.  On feature I like about the outside of the park was all the sitting space.  If you are waiting for somebody to meet you at the game you have plenty of areas to take a load off your feet.  I made my way into the park and found my seats.  I was pretty early so there weren’t very many people in the crowd.  My seats were four rows up in left center.  It was a pretty good view and I enjoyed sitting there.  The people were interesting and entertaining.  The crowd filled in and I was in a sea of red, wearing my “cheers” t-shirt I picked up in Boston.  The beer guy for that was section was friendly and seemed to know everybody. 

One thing I noticed as I watched the game was how quiet the fans were.  There were a few people who would yell out something but for the most part it was pretty quiet.  When I expressed this to the gentleman next to me he said it was because they were mad at the team.  Apparently they’re only loud when their team is doing well.  I’ve heard how crazy Philadelphia fans are and I was kind of disappointed I couldn’t see it first-hand.  When I was in Pittsburg and saw the Phillies play the Pirates the Phillies fans were louder. 

The 7th inning stretch came along and I said goodbye to my new friends from that game.  I walked up to the corridor and met Andrew Van Cleve and the Ultimate Sports Baby.  The baby isn’t even two years old yet and he was attending his 60th Professional Baseball game.  It was his 135th professional sporting event.  I haven’t even been to that many sporting events.  I couldn’t even tell you how many games I’ve been to in my life.  The baby sat there and played with his hot wheels and me and Andrew discussed sports traveling. 

I walked around the park one last time.  I honestly wasn’t too impressed.  It was a nice park, very clean, large corridors.  It just wasn’t a park that stood out amongst any of the others.  After the game I made my way back to the parking lot and hung out while traffic died down.  My next game was going to be in the Bronx and I was looking forward to it.  

Keep On Smilin- It's Baseball Season

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