Saturday, September 12, 2009

Quick thoughts on DC

Got at the Reagan National Airport at 5:00am. flight doesn't leave
until 11:00am. Got no headphones or magazine/books to read. All I have
is my iPhone, what a good time to blog. Why did I get here so early?
Had to drop off the rental and drop Gabe and Mark off so they can
catch the Amtrak to Baltimore.
I loved DC! Just the architecture and sculptures it has all over the
city. My favorite has to be the sculpture of Neptune(God of the Sea)
in front of the library of congress. Not just because of the nymphs
sitting on horses the way Jupiter sent them to this earth. Something
about the whole sculpture just seems so powerful. That's how DC felt
for me.
Gabe, Mark, and I had time before we had to catch the bus to New York
to check out DC for a min'. We started off with Union Square thinking
it was Dupont Circle(where the bus was to pick us up). We saw the
Capital building down the street, so decided to take a walk. Got up to
the capital, took our pics and decided to just keep walking. We
probably hit all the buildings and sculptures surrounding the capital.
My last day for my vacation we were able to tour DC again. We started
off with a personel tour of the capital from the best tour guide....
DC Dan. My cousin works for DHS and got us in the underground entrance
to the capital. It was awesome walking through and not having to wait
for a tour guide and the 20 people they have to take through. One word
that I can describe the capital is Amazing. History has always been my
favorite subject in school, so I found everything fascinating. Did you
know that Brigham Young is in the Nations Capital? Well he is, as one
of Utahs statues.
After the capital we stopped by a few of the Smithsonians. The first
museum we stopped by was the Air and Space Museum. This was the museum
that we heard a lot about, so we wanted to check it out. The second
and my favorite was the American History Museum. They have a lot of
cool objects from sports, movies, and history. My favorite object had
to have been Grand Master Flash's Turntable. I wish we had more time,
but we got there about a little less than an hour of closing time.
We then decided to walk to the Washington Monument. We have seen the
monument the whole trip, got a lot of pictures but never walked up to
it. After the Washington I had to go to the Lincoln Monument in honor
of my dad. Growing up I always remembered my dad as a Lincoln Fan.
This monument lived up to my expectations. It was the only monument
that was packed with people.
We were about to catch the Metro back Virginia, but remembered.... The
White House! We could not visit DC and not visit the White House. So
we did another walk and came up to the White House. Or what we thought
was the White House. Good thing we googled imaged it and came to the
conclusion that it was not the White House. So we walked about
another 50 yards and finally got to Obamas House. All we got was a
small view from the fence. I don't know if there is anywhere closer
you can get to the White House, but security was tight because it was
Sept. 11. My favorite part about the White House was the snipers on
top of the roof.
DC was a really cool city. Good city to visit if you are a history
buff. A place I would like to take my kids to someday. This has been a
well deserved trip. Good and relaxing even after the miles and miles
of walking. Thanks Gabe and Mark for the company. And thank you Teela
for setting everything up for us. I love you!

Citi Field

Like I said in my Yankee Stadium post, I was not too excited about
about seeing Citi Field. Yes, the Mets are my National League team.
Yes, I've heard that Citi Field was the nicer of the two new stadiums
in New York. But this whole season has been one big disappointment for
us Mets fans. Ok I think it started way before this season with them
blowing the last two seasons and missing the playoffs. This season was
different however. Injuries! I bought my tickets the early parts of
July. Knowing my favorite current baseball player Jose Reyes is out
with an injury. Knowing Carlos Delgado just had surgery. But they
still have Wright, Beltran, Santana, Castillo. Reyes been out since
May with a pulled hamstring, he should be back by Sept. right? Mid-
July Beltran goes out with a leg injury making a diving catch. Three
weeks to go to the trip and Wright gets beaned right in the dome, out
with concussion. Around the same time Castillo is walking into the
dug-out, slips and sprains his ankle. One week to go and Santana needs
surgery on his arm. Reports that Delgado will be back by late
August... Failed! Turns out Reyes hamstring was more serious than
they thought and will need surgery. Finally the Tues. before the trip
Wright is back in the lineup. So were on the 7 as we pull up. It's
beautiful, from the Jackie Robinson Rotunda through the whole park.
Now the fans weren't as crazy as the "creatures," but this is the way
I enjoy baseball. I know a lot of people find it boring, but I've been
able to sit through full games since I was a kid. I guess that what I
get for being raised by a baseball dad. We get in our seats in left
field. Much closer view than our Yankee seats. I get the best news all
day, Beltran returns to the Mets lineup. It was a pretty good game, a
part inside of me cheered when Hanley Ramirez blasted a homer that
missed the 2nd deck by a couple of feet. The real excitement came in
the 7th. Bases loaded and 1 out, down by 2. Who's at the plate? David
Wright.... Strikout. Seriously? You couldn't just fly out for a
sacrifice? Make this a 1 point game? All these questions running
through my mind. We got one more shot though, Carlos Beltran. Crack,
he hits a shot out to right. This ball is gone if it just stays fair.
The righfider is at the wall and makes the catch. This was the highest
and farthest ball I have ever seen and it still didn't make it out of
the field. If this was at Yankee Stadium, it would have been 16th row
back easily, perhaps even farther. Just like that nothing else happens
the rest of the game and Mets lose 4-2. Although they lost I still had
a lot of fun and hope I can make many of returns to Citi Field. I got
my souviner baseball with inagural Citi Field Season insignia on it.
So I went back to the hotel happy. Hopefully the next time I see them,
they will all be healthy and win.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Yankee Stadium

A couple months ago I told Teela that were going to visit every current
(of the time whenever we make the trip out to that city) MLB baseball
stadium. To my suprise she agreed. Teela hates baseball(but she
admitted to me it's because she doesn't understand it), but she loves
to travel. So that's her way of traveling with me. We were headed out
to DC and she tells me there is a bus that goes up to NY from DC. I
look up the dates and what do you know? Both the Mets and Yankees
will be in town. I can get two stadiums off my list pretty fast.
Unfortunately Teela could not make it up to NY, because of bridesmaid
duties. She is always putting others before herself. So I dragged Gabe
and Mark along with me. I knew they would be interested in the cities,
but both weren't baseball fans. Yankee Stadium was first on our list.
Now, originally I only really cared about seeing the Mets and was
going to go pretty cheap on Yankees tickets. But....... There is soooo
much history with this franchise you don't have to like them, but you
gotta' respect them. So I spent a little extra and got some decent
seats. About a month to go for the trip and I found myself wanting to
go more to Yankee Stadium than my beloved National League team's Citi
Field. I knew I had to get there early so I could catch Monument Park.
Due to that this was the 2nd game of a double header, Monument Park
was closed. The 2nd biggest disappointment of the New York trip(1st
was that the Mets lost the game I went to). Just walking up to the
stadium you could feel the hype from the fans. Even Gabe felt it, he
really got into it and was asking questions the whole time. So we get
to the stadium and recieved mini replica stadiums for being the first
so many people through the gates. I need a souviner from every park I
visit, so I decided to go with baseballs with the team logo. Seeing
how this was the new Yankee Stadiums first year, the ball had the
inagural new Yankee Stadium symbol on it. We get to our seats, a
little more in to right than right center. They were pretty decent
with the view, but were awesome with the crowd. We were right in the
middle of the "Bleacher Creatures!". These guys were ridiculous! They
started the game with a roll call of every player on the field, and
would continue until that player who they were calling would
acknowledge them back. Johnny Damon had the best one as he pulled a
"Hulk Hogan" type of point back to the creatures. These creatures
were ruthless as they would egg on the opposing team and my favorite
"Box Seats Suck!"
The crowd would go off for Derrick Jeter chanting his name and "MVP"
as Jeter was only 4 hits away from breaking Lou Gehrig's all time
Yankee hits record. Even though Jeter didn't get a hit the rest of the
Bronx Bombers lived up to thier name beating the Rays 11-1. Texiera
went yard twice. I left happy because the only Yankee I really care
about "Godzilla" Matsui went 2-3(don't quote me on that). All in all
I had a real good experience at Yankee Stadium catching all that
history and fanaticism, it really sucks you in. *note- if you ever go
to Yankee Stadium. Never wear another teams hat. Especially if your
sitting with the Bleacher Creatures. Poor mets fan got it bad(no I
wasn't dumb enough to wear my mets hat there). Also if sitting with
the creatures.. Do not leave before the end of the game. You get booed

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The New York Experience

New York, New York big city of dreams.... BIG DREAMS! I found that
out the first night in Time Square.
"Hey Chief, where you from"?
Coming from the next big Hip Hop star(riiiight).
"Oh (expletive) I love Utah. John Stockton to Karl Malone. Yo, I'm
trying to be the next big thing. What's your name"?
"J-money(as he signs a cd). I'm just looking for any type of donation
to help me out."
I love music! As an aspiring DJ and Bassist, I thought I could help
another wannabe musician(like myself) out by donating a couple of
bucks. Biggest mistake of my life. I didn't know every New Yorker was
a rapper. Soon as I pulled out some money, I swear evey single rapper
on Manhatten could smell it.
"How bout mines? And mines."
I spent about 15 dollars on cd's I will probably never like and listen
to more than once. The worst part about it all is I can't take them to
FYE and trade em' in. I learned my lesson after that. No more
donations! About another 20 rappers came up to me and instead of
CDs, we got told to visit 20 myspace pages(because of no donations).
Time Square is crazy and it's only worse at night. We got the the city
about 7:30ish, and as soon as we stepped off the bus you enter the sea
of people. You can't walk anywhere without rubbing shoulders with
anyone else. It was dark and we had no clue on where we were going.
We decided to follow the big bright lights we saw a couple blocks
down. On the way there we saw every type of drum set you can think of,
spiderman, bboys, and an epic battle between Michael Jackson and
Batman. We finally hit the bright lights and you swear it was day again.
My whole life I've heard that New Yorkers were rude and they did not
dissapoint. I can't say all New Yorkers are rude, actually most were
pretty nice. If we had questions with the subway, everyone we asked
was pretty helpful. I would say the only rude people were the cops and
the ones working in retail. As long as you mind your own business,
they will leave you alone.
It was 11:00pm and I got a headache and no hotel for the first night.
We all thought it's the city that never sleeps and I can pull an all
nighter no problem. Everything changes when you have a headache.
Especially when a bottle of 20 ibuprofen cost 5 ducks! So I popped
some pills and thought to myself this is going to be a long night. We
decided to get tickets and chill at the HA Comedy Club. Best decision
of the night. Out of 5 acts there was about 2 1/2 funny people, but it
took us to 2:00am and my headache went away. Everything after that was
downhill. Time flew by the rest of the way. Tried to get on Good
Morning America, but the damn people from Texas and their big signs
(even the homemade signs are big in Texas) got in the way of my face.
That took us to 9:00am and we decided to try our luck with the subway.
The iPhone made our trip a whole lot easier. It mapped out every
subway we needed to take and didn't fail is once.
Check in wasn't suppose to be til' 1:00pm, but we were exhausted and
tried our luck to get an early check in. Money talks and for an extra
$35 we got our room around 9:30ish. By 10:00 we were all out. Woke up
by 4:00pm and headed to Yankee Stadium(I'll have my own post for the
baseball games later).
We get back to Brooklyn about 11ish and it's dark. I'm feeling a
little uneasy bout the walk back to the hotel. You see all the films
and hear songs about New York and it's neighborhood "stoops". You all
know what goes on on the stoops too. That is no myth, we had crowds
whistling and hollering at across the street. We didn't pay attention,
but I think we started to speed walk a little. Next night was a lot
easier cuz' we had some girls behind us and they got all the
hollering. Something about the East Coast I've noticed is that I don't
think there is an ugly girl to an east coast guy. They check out
everybody. Girls who don't even register on Gabe and Marks number
system get whistled and looked up and down like they were a 4 piece
spicy chicken meal with some sides of red beans and rice, mash
potatoes, and coleslaw from Popeyes.
Besides baseball we just walked and experienced the metropolitan city
life. We got to see ground zero. It wasn't what I expected in a sense
that I was hoping for a better view. Couldn't see much because of the
fcnces and construction of the new tower. However it was very touching
and flashbacks rolled in my head of Sept.11,2001. A senior in high
school, a day I'll never forget. We were there the 9th of Sept. Almost
8 years to the date it happened. Crazy! As of New York..... I loved
it, I love city life. I don't know if I could living there, but it's a
place I can see myself visit again and again. Which was suprising to
me. I always wanted to visit beacuse it's New York. I just thought I
wouldn't really care or enjoy it. My mind has changed and it's up
there as one of Justins greatest cities in the USofA.