MUSHY'S MOOCHINGS: HOT TIME, SUMMER IN THE CITY

Monday, June 16, 2008

HOT TIME, SUMMER IN THE CITY

Well, it wasn’t actually summer yet in New York City, but you couldn’t prove it by looking at the thermometer…record setting days in June with temps over 95 and Tennessee-like humidity!

However, we hit the ground running Monday morning and were eating a bacon, egg, and cheese biscuit in McDonald’s by 8 AM. It was all that was open within the first three blocks, and since we got in around 1 AM and it was too late to eat, we were all starved that first morning.

We then hustled on down to Times Square to see all the New York people celebrating New Year’s Eve…but, of course, they weren’t there, just a horde of “out of towners” in bright colored shorts and t-shirts – just like us! New Yorkers rarely go to Times Square, so you really don’t get to experience New York people or their various cultures by going to Times Square. It’s much like Gatlinburg in Tennessee, Honolulu in Hawaii, Daytona Beach or Disney World/Orlando in Florida! There is no one there but the visitors! A city, state, or country’s people and culture resides in its local neighborhoods or boroughs – in their backyards and hearts. Naturally, on a whirlwind 3-day visit, we experienced little of the “realNew York City.

After snapping a dozen or more shots of Number One Times Square, we wheeled around and headed for 49th Street and Rockefeller Center!

However, before we could get from the west side of the street to the east, we were stopped in the median strip by a TV crew filing shorts for a Canadian Kid’s TV show called YTV! The young man with the microphone asked Julie if she wanted to be on TV and, of course, what kid is going to say no?! They began taping her thumb wrestling the dude with the microphone, who pretended to be losing. I whispered to Judy that they were probably child pornographers! Anyway, the YTV part checked out.

Rockefeller Plaza and the NBC Studio area was the next tourist attraction that we just had to capture in digital format. Since we did not get up two hours earlier, we were relegated to the back rows of people ringing NBC’s Today Show, but, I did manage to get a couple “Mat Lauer” head shots. We then walked on over to the plaza.

Where’s the skating rink and Christmas Tree?” Naturally we were several months too early or too late, depending on how you look at it!

The “Rock Center Café” covers the skating rink area this time of year, and the only trees around are the locus trees that line the streets. However, it was a lovely area and we intended to return before leaving to view the city from “The Top of the Rock’s” observation deck. Sadly, we never made it back at night as we planned.

By this time, we had only two hours left to eat lunch and ride the subway over to “old” Yankee Stadium. Did I mention it was hot? Well, it was! Very hot!

Did I mention it was humid? Well, it was! Tennessee humid!

We hopped the “B Train” over to the Bronx and got off right in front of the stadium. We walked between the past and the future as we passed in front of the “new” Yankee Stadium and on into the “old” stadium. To me there is little difference in the look of the new stadium on the outside, but I’m sure it’s all very modernized inside.

Our seats were very high up in the stadium, but almost directly behind home plate. It was easy to see the little “ant” players swinging, spitting, scratching, hitting, and running around below us. Frankly, it took me several minutes before I ever got into the game, or even looked for the score. I wanted to take it all in…the people, the sounds, the smells, and most of all to feel myself sitting in an aisle seat and watching a professional baseball game – not just any ol’ game, but a New York Yankee’s ball game!

Finally, I was experiencing a truly New York cultural experience! Sadly, for the Yankee fans, they lost to the Royals 3 to 2 that day.

At the “seventh inning stretch” everyone stood and sang along to “America”. I choked…I could not sing more than 3 or 4 words; it was just too much for this ol’ fat boy! What a moment this is,” I thought, “I’m here and I am feeling so very blessed.” I looked out over the center and right field walls and on over into the Bronx and it was full of Americans…all kinds of Americans. Do they feel like I do? Do they realize how blessed they all are?”

Then, just as I succeeded choking that back, they began playing and everyone was singing, “Take me out to the ball game…

I looked out over crowd and wondered if they realized the tradition in the moment! “Man, just think of the people that have played in that stadium and who had watched them play…the luckiest people in the whole world. Thank God I’m an American,” I was thinking, “Why aren’t we all just blubbering around the stands and hugging each other, swapping hotdogs, and bumping plastic beer cups!?”

Sorry, sorry for that…I let my emotions run a little over half throttle…I’ll rein it in some.

Did I mention it was hot? And Tennessee humid? It was…very! But so damn American!

CLICK HERE FOR MORE NEW YORK PHOTOS!

18 comments:

Lin said...

Hey, you certainly covered the good stuff - especially the old stadium! What a slice of classic American life! I would have been blubbering, too, but you know what they say "don't what what they've got 'til its gone." At least you are wise enough to know the difference and enjoy it for all it's worth. Good on ya, babe!

~Fathairybastard~ said...

Sounds like you had a blast. That baseball game would be a huge blast. I'd a been choked up too. It's amazing how little it takes to get me goin' now. The picture reminds me of my folks taking me to see the Cardinals, my dad's team, in StLouis back in the late 70s. The team they were playing got a double play and mom, not knowing what was up, responded to the beauty of it and said something like "Ooooh, that was pretty!" Dad and I just looked at her and I said something to her about rooting for the wrong team. She was unfazed. Just thought it was pretty. A true judge of skill, without prejudice, my mom.

catscratch diva said...

Love NYC. Love it. And it sounds like you did too!

Did you happen to see the Naked Cowboy?

Jose said...

When the BOB was first open here in Phoenix my brother in law whom grew up watching baseball over at Dodger Stadium came to visit. We took him to a game and upon entering the stadium all he kept saying was "This is not a stadium, this is more like a mall". I feel the same way when I go to L.A. and catch a game over at Dodger's Stadium. Now stadiums do look like malls and have stupid names like Chase Ball Park, or Jobbing.com Arena.

Old Soldier said...

Looks like ya'll had a good time. Think the new yorkers new you were out of towners..? I was there once back in 1967. Man that place is big.

Mushy said...

Did not see the "cowboy" Diva...otherwise, my wife would have taken over the camera work!

Diva said...

Awwww. You missed a real sight, then!

I'm doing a Tennessee picture post a day on my new page. Come see me, Pweeeeze.

http://tnvolfan.wordpress.com/

Jerry said...

Great NYC photos, Mushy! Did you take a ride in a NY cab? That's always better than a roller coaster. Glad y'all had fun!

Mushy said...

Nope, Jerry, we used Gray Line tours and the subway. Much cheaper!

Talking about a roller coaster...the ride from Newark to the hotel was a hoot...I've ridden on gravel roads that were smoother!

BRUNO said...

Ugh!!! Way-y-y too many people! People SCARE me---especially those damned HUMAN-ones!

Does the fast-food taste as equally nasty "up-there", as it does "down-here"?

Hot, Humid, and PEOPLE!!!

I'll take my chances with the damned tornados and earthquakes, and remain BORED, thank you...!!!

Drowsey Monkey said...

Love the photos! :) I'm envious, I've always wanted to visit NY ... someday I hope!

Looks like y'all are having a fine time !!! (notice I said y'all, eh?)

pat houseworth said...

Have not been to NYC is years(and really have no desire to go back), but those are great stories and photos none-the-less....you still keep painting those pictures.

Thanks......

Scott from Oregon said...

Great that you got to a game.

Olga, the Traveling Bra said...

Great post Mushy...ya got me all misty-cupped there at the end though...

Carol said...

I didn't want to love NYC, but I did. I loved every minute of my week there this past February. Did you do any shopping in Chinatown? Despite their reputation, all the New Yorkers I met were as friendly as could be.

Ron Southern said...

What an all-American weirdo! Send you to New York and you're ready to bump bellies with the riff-raff in the cheap seats! I wasn't there.

Becky said...

I absolutely love NYC and fortunately, Ted's sister lives there so I know we'll be going back there sometime soon:) I was last there in September and was amazed at how hot/humid it was. Looks like you had a lot of fun, but how can one not in such a great city!

Suldog said...

Took me a while to get to this, Mushy, but I'm glad I finally did. Every so often, we have those moments when we realize just how fantastic we have it here. I am constantly in a state of thankfulness to God that I was born where I was and live where I do.

(Of course, the fact that you had such an epiphany in *shudder* Yankee Stadium *shudder* doesn't do this Red Sox fan any good, but I'll let it slide. For now.)