My editor was kind enough to take Elysha and me to a Mets game last week, and though I am a Yankees fan, I love baseball and was looking forward to seeing Citi Field for the first time.
It didn't disappoint.
Citi Field is a beautiful ballpark with a small, almost minor league feel which suits its almost minor league team well. Our seats were spectacular and gave us access to an air-conditioned lounge with an all-you-can-eat buffet and bar. And as expected, the company was superb. My wife, my editor and her assistant and I enjoyed a perfect day at the ballpark.
A couple observations from the day:
1. I received a surprising amount of flak from Mets fans and parking attendants for wearing my Yankees jersey to a Mets game.
I found this cute.
Yankee fans tend to spend a lot less time thinking about the Mets, since they so rarely pop up on our radar. A subpar team across town is hardly worth our time or attention. But Mets fans seem to possess a genuine disdain for the Yankees.
This reminds me of the Red Sox-Yankees fan relationship. No Yankee fan likes the Red Sox, but you can attend a Yankees-Blue Jays game and never hear a single mention of the Red Sox.
Attend any Red Sox game, regardless of opponent or standings, and you will eventually hear a “Yankees suck!” chant, even if the Yankees are beating Seattle on the west coast 39-0. And you’ll tee shirts referencing the Yankees in a variety of negative ways being worn and sold throughout the stadium.
The Evil Empire has apparently entrenched itself in the minds of Mets and Sox fans, which I find both amusing and a little sad.
2. New rule: I no longer drink anything if I am headed into New York City. For reasons that I do not understand, there are no viable exits for restroom breaks once you cross over from Connecticut to New York, so if you haven’t remembered to stop on the border to use the restroom, you’re doomed.
On Wednesday, this meant almost peeing my pants after a two-hour drive to the game turned into four-plus hours thanks to construction on the Whitestone Bridge.
It became a serious situation. Desperate to avoid me arriving to the game in pee-stained shorts, my wife actually handed me a cup and insisted that pee into it.
I realize that men can pee against a tree (and many other things) with relative ease, but to pee from behind the wheel of your Honda CRV into a cup while in traffic with your wife sitting next to you is a feat even I am incapable of achieving.
For a minute, I considered climbing into the semi-private backseat and attempting to use the cup, but we had arrived at the tollbooths just before the bridge, and my wife doesn’t like to drive over bridges. I decided to get us over the span and then trade places with her so I could conduct my business in the backseat.
But as we approached the base of the Whitestone Bridge on the opposite side, I spotted a small copse of trees and brush wedged into a triangular shaped hill of dirt between concrete barriers. I pulled into the breakdown lane, exited the car amidst the concerned protestations of my wife, leapt the jersey barrier (almost peeing in my pants as I did so), and scrambled up the hill.
Then I selected one of a half a dozen small trees and proceeded to relieve myself in front of three lanes of stopped traffic.
Like I said, I’m never drinking a thing before heading into the city again.