Tag Archives: Baseball
December 8, 2010

Boston

Back in July we took a road trip through New England, first stopping in Hershey, Pennsylvania (yeah, I know that Pennsylvania isn’t New England, but hey – chocolate) and then driving through upstate New York and Vermont to Maine, with a final stop in Boston before heading back to DC. Despite living on the East Coast for ten years, this was my first time in Boston. And once we arrived in Boston, what was our first stop? The Samuel Adams Brewery, of course.

The tour was great, and I’m not just saying that because they provide you with a ton of free beer and a tasting glass to take home (OK, maybe I am).

We also walked the Freedom Trail and toured the USS Constitution, the world’s oldest floating commissioned naval vessel, launched in 1797:

The highlight, though, was seeing the Red Sox play the Texas Rangers at Fenway Park. I can now cross that ballpark off my list.

I had a great time in Boston (and the best clam chowder in my entire life) but I don’t think I could live there as it just gets too damn cold in the winter! If you live in DC, though, I would highly recommend a road trip up there. Boston flights out of National are pretty cheap, too, so if you don’t have the time to drive, that is another good option.

More photos here.

August 11, 2009

PNC Park

On Sunday, Laura and I drove up to Pittsburgh for the day to see the Pirates play the Cardinals and scratch PNC Park off of our list of ballparks to visit. And yes, we did just go to Pittsburgh for the day. It’s about 3.5-4 hours from DC, and everyone thought we were absolutely insane for driving that far for a baseball game. It was worth it, though. My one complaint about PNC Park, however, is that the hot dogs there are probably the most horrible ballpark hot dog I have ever tasted. They could definitely improve on those.


With a capacity of just over 38,000, PNC Park is a rather small and intimate ballpark. Also, the ticket prices are ridiculously cheap. View from our seats in Row T directly behind home plate. Cost? $27!

July 27, 2009

Philly

Despite living on the east coast for eight years, I’ve never been to Philadelphia, so I decided to drive up there this past weekend and visit Moira, one of my friends from LSE.

The first thing we did was eat a cheesesteak from Dalessandro’s. I forgot to take a picture of it, but it was gigantic and very delicious. After devouring our cheesesteaks, we toured some of Philly’s famous sites.


Rocky statue near the Philadelphia Museum of Art


Kids running up the Rocky steps


Independence Hall


American pose in front of Independence Hall


Liberty Bell


Elfreth’s Alley, one of the oldest continuously inhabited residential streets in the U.S.


Kind of odd to see someone flying the Union Jack…

After walking around the city for a few hours we had a few pints at the Dark Horse, a great pub in the Society Hill neighborhood. It reminded me a lot of some pubs we frequented back in London.

On Sunday afternoon we saw the Phillies destroy the Cardinals 9-2.


We are wearing leis because it was Shane Victorino day.

I had a great time up there and would definitely go again. Plus, I was seriously craving a cheesesteak all day today so I might have to run up there just to have another one.

August 18, 2008

NYC: The House That Ruth Built

I met my dad and brother in New York City this past weekend to see the Yankees play the Royals at Yankee Stadium. This was something I really wanted to do this summer, as Yankee Stadium will be demolished following the end of this season, and the Yankees will start their 2009 season in a new stadium currently being built across from the original stadium.

Despite my extreme dislike for the Evil Empire, seeing a game at Yankee Stadium is an incredible experience. Fans in the bleacher section chant each player’s name until he looks back and waves to them, and the cops are regularly called into the stands to eject fans or meditate disputes. The stadium was packed, with only a few seats vacant, and this was for a game against the Royals, who are currently in last place in the AL Central.

While I was a student at GW, pious Yankees and Red Sox fans (I can’t stand Boston either) would constantly complain about fairweather California baseball fans and how we always arrived to the game late and left early. Personally, I never do this, but whatev. So I was thrilled to see a ton of Yankees fans not only arrive during the second inning or later, but leave at the bottom of the ninth (during a tied game no less!)
Concessions were pretty basic. Near our section there was the typical fare: hot dogs, pretzels, peanuts, popcorn, dipping dots (WTF is with dipping dots anyways?!), and pizza. Miller Lite, the “beer” at the concession stand, was a ridiculous $7.50/9.50 depending on the size you ordered. The hot dog was nothing special (I’ve been spoiled by Ben’s Chili Bowl at Nationals Park), but the pretzel was pretty good.

Anyways, I’m glad I got to see the stadium before they demolished it. Maybe next year I’ll try to hit up Fenway or Wrigley Field. Now, on with the photos…










How could we forget?



View from our seats




Groundskeepers doing “YMCA”





New Yankee Stadium

June 26, 2008

Angels at Nationals, Game 1: Protesters, Nacho cheese fiasco, and a Presidential beatdown

nationals_stadium_angels.jpg

nationals_stadium_angels.jpg
Camera phone FTW

Monday night marked the first game of the Angels-Nats interleague series, so I dusted off my incredibly large Angels jersey (no really, it’s like really big. I bought it before they started making the women’s cut, so I swim around in the smallest men’s size) and headed down to Nationals Park.

A few highlights (and eh, lowlights while we’re at it) of the game:

- I went with Josh, a friend of mine from high school and fellow Angels fan who recently moved to DC for grad school. I haven’t seen Josh since I graduated from high school over eight years ago (uh, wow that was a long time ago), so it was great to catch up with him. He’s really tall now, and, like, a man. Crazy.

- Upon exiting the metro, I was greeted by several Greenpeace/CCAN/FOE/whatev protesters urging me to boo ExxonMobil during the 7th inning stretch. Yes, protesters at a baseball game. Welcome to Washington, DC. Instead, I cheered for ExxonMobil during the 7th inning stretch and made a mental note to wear an “I love Exxon” shirt to the next game.

- While I was waiting for Josh, a Nats employee who hangs out around the automated ticket machines and box office started chatting with me. He then offered to sell me tickets to the game that he personally had in his possession. Yes, a Nats employee was scalping his own personal tickets to the game. WTF?

- Hour long rain delay, but once the weather cleared, it turned out to be a perfect night for a ballgame.
- The service at the concessions stands is still horrible, or maybe I’m just cursed. At the last game I was at, Mike and I waited 20 minutes for our hot dogs. This time, Josh and I waited 15+ minutes for our nachos because the cheese was “cold” and needed to warm up. I asked one of the workers at the concession stand if they could give us our trays of chips, and then we could walk across the breezeway to the nacho stand there and ask them for cheese. The worker looked at me like I was an idiot, shook her head and said, “No, I can’t vouch for them.” WTF? You can’t vouch for the nacho stand 30 feet away? So we waited…and waited, until I finally said, “Hey, ya know, how about you just give us the cheese as it is? We don’t care if it’s cold.” (I’m thinking, how cold can this cheese possibly be?). Again, the worker gives me a “I can’t believe I have to deal with this idiotic customer” look, reaches for a tray, pumps a small amount of cheese into it, and tells Josh and I to dip our fingers in it to see if it was alright. And you know what? THE CHEESE WAS NOT AT ALL COLD! WTF!? Seriously, worst concession stands I’ve ever been to. Love the Ben’s Chili Bowl half smoke, but don’t want to wait 20 minutes for it.

- Later that evening, I went to the beer concession stand to grab us two beers. The old lady running the stand said to me, “You’re coming up on your third round. I’ve been watching you.” Actually, that was my third round, but still, WTF is up with the beer police?

- During the traditional 4th inning Presidents Race, Abraham Lincoln and George Washington proceeded to chase down Teddy Roosevelt and beat the hell out of him with sticks, LAPD style. No joke. It was kinda disturbing, yet hilarious.

- Attendance was really, really low. A few innings into the game, we had an entire row to ourselves, and several rows in front of and behind us were vacant as well.

- I’m always amazed when I run into people on the East Coast wearing Angels gear. It’s comforting to see fellow California expats in their jerseys and flip-flops.

- Sadly, my Rally Monkey is back home in California.

- ANGELS WIN!

- I think we thoroughly annoyed the Nats fans on our metro car on the way home (“Hey, who won that game?” “I think it was, uh, yeah, pretty sure it was the Angels.”)

Next month, I expect that Josh and I will watch the Angels take on the Orioles in Baltimore. Watch out, Camden Yards.

June 17, 2008

Shea Stadium: Home of the world’s largest Slip ‘n Slide

As I previously mentioned, the entire reason I took this trip to New York City was to see the Mets play at Shea Stadium. After NYPD gave us the go ahead to leave the scene of the accident, we caught another cab.

“Did something happen here?” our new cab driver inquired.

“Yeah, our cab driver hit just hit a pedestrian. As far as I’m concerned, if you get us to the hotel without incident, I’ll consider you the greatest cab driver in the city.”

We arrived at the hotel, checked-in, and headed down to the bar to have a few pints and watch Russia beat Greece in the Euro2008 tournament. The weather did not seem very conducive to an evening of baseball, as it had been raining sporadically, but we figured it would clear in time for the game.

Not quite. We arrived at Shea around 6:15pm and the rain started to pick up. We bought tickets for seats in the covered upper reserve area and waited for the storm to pass. Our seats were pretty good, and we were definitely surrounded by some, uh, entertaining New Yorkers. Shea Stadium was pretty disappointing, though. There was nothing special about it (might as well have been back at RFK stadium) and you could tell they had really skimped on maintenance for the past few years. Most of the rows weren’t even lettered, so it was amusing to watch people attempt to find their seats (“This K?” “No, this is J.” “What? I thought this was L.”). Citi Field, which is being built right next to Shea and is due to open in 2009, looks like it will make an excellent ballpark, though.

Game time rolled around, and conditions were still too poor for play. The announcer came over the loudspeaker and told us that the National Weather Service predicted the storm would pass in half an hour and the game could begin afterwards.




Wrong. Another intense storm rolled in. Thunder, lighting, and heavy rain. Huge puddles formed in the outfield and along the edges of the infield tarp.

Laura mentioned that it would be fun to slide across the wet tarp that blanketed the infield, like a giant Slip ‘n Slide.


Apparently the Texas Rangers had the same idea, because several of them emerged from the dugout, ran full speed towards the tarp, dove headfirst, and then slid across the tarp on their stomachs. The crowd LOVED it (frankly, anything at that point was entertaining).





Here’s a video I took of the Slip ‘n Slide action:

With the fresh batch of storms rolling in, an announcement went out that the game was canceled and that we had a year to use our tickets for another Mets game.

“Ugh, we have to come back to this city?!”

So, yeah, between the incident with our cab and the rainout at Shea Stadium, this weekend jaunt to New York kinda, well, sucked.

June 12, 2008

Isn’t there a war going on or something?

Or maybe the economy kinda sucks? Our nation’s infrastructure crumbling? Something? Anything but this?

Congress wants to hear more from Major League Baseball commissioner Bud Selig and players’ union head Donald Fehr about their 2005 testimony on steroids in the sport.

Reps. Henry Waxman, D-Calif., and Tom Davis, R-Va., the leaders of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, wrote letters to Selig and Fehr on Thursday, saying that information about drug testing in the Mitchell Report “raises questions about your assertions in the March 2005 hearing.”

Priorities, priorities.

September 23, 2007

Houston, revisited

Galveston oil rigs

Top ten reasons why Houston is better than DC:
1. Abundance of cheap Mexican food
2. BBQ. Like, reeeeal BBQ.
3. Apparently you can surf in Galveston…sometimes. That’s what I’ve heard, anyways.
4. Average temperature for the month of December is 53.5ºF, which is still considered “flip-flop weather”. Washington, on the other hand, is 35.4ºF. (I’m from SoCal, OK? I can’t stand cold weather)
5. Number of self-important assholes is significantly lower
6. If you are stuck in a fire, these dudes rescue you
7. It’s a few hours closer to California (but Continental please bring back year-round service to Palm Springs!)
8. My SUV fits in very well. Actually, compared to everyone else’s vehicle, mine is small.
9. There are lots of parks and trees, and stuff.
10. Cost of living is ridiculously cheap compared to DC. A one bedroom apartment with all the amenities, located in a neighborhood where 14 year olds aren’t killing each other, costs less than what I pay now. Whoa.

I compiled this list last Sunday, on my return flight from IAH to DCA. Laura and I flew to Houston to visit Ann, who recently moved there to start a new job. I know what you’re thinking…”What the…who visits Houston for fun?” Well, I’m always looking to get away from DC as often as possible, and I had a great time last year when I traveled there for work and stayed over for a weekend with a former LSE classmate. So what the hell, why not visit again?

Galveston oil rigs

We went to Galveston. There are lots of oil rigs and stuff there, and really good peanut butter. I was, however, disappointed when I walked into a “surf shop” and there were NO SURFBOARDS. Huh.

Minute Maid Park

Later that night we watched the Astros beat the Pirates at Minute Maid Park, which is still the most bizarre ballpark I’ve ever visited. Great chili cheese dogs, though.

Minute Maid Park train

So there’s this train, right? And when the Astros hit a home run it chugs down this length of track. Totally cute. I will not disclose which member of our group stated, “Ohhhh, I just realized why the train is filled with oranges.” One wonders what the train was filled with when the ballpark was named Enron Field. Probably cash stolen from the citizens of the Great State of California. But I digress…

Minute Maid Park scoreboard

Seventh inning stretch and sing along to Texas propaganda

Minute Maid Park with mini helmets

I realize ice cream sundaes in mini helmets are for 5 year olds, but I can’t pass them up…come on, it’s ICE CREAM in a MINI HELMET, how effin’ sweet is that?! This is also the only photo you will ever see of two die hard Cardinals fans (Laura and Ann) wearing any sort of Astros gear.

Minute Maid Park Halliburton ad
We don’t have these signs at Angel stadium

On Sunday we met up with Cindy for some BBQ at Hickory Hollow. We were roommates back at GW, and she now works in The Woodlands (yeah, capital T or whatever, just like The George Washington University).

Hickory Hollow BBQ
Yes, it was delicious

at Hickory Hollow
Me, Laura, Ann, Cindy

Overall, it was an incredibly relaxing weekend of baseball, reconnecting with old friends, and clogging my arteries with excellent food. I admit that I am still rather conflicted about the possibility of moving there, though. While I was waiting for my return flight to DC, my mom called me to see what I had been up to lately.

“Nothing much, just waiting for my flight back to DC.”

“Oh, that’s right, you’re in Houston. So are you going to move there?”

“I dunno, I don’t think so…I like it here a lot more than DC, but it’s not California, ya know.”

Then again, nothing ever will be.

September 5, 2007

Holiday From Real

Oceanside

Oh, California in the summer…friends, family, cheap Mexican food, shrimp tacos from Rockin’ Baja, margaritas, guacamole and Coronas on the patio, sun…

A few photos from my short trip to California last week:

Oceanside
Oceanside. Used to spend the entire summer here when I was a kid.

Oceanside surfboard
Hello, old friend. It’s been awhile

Oceanside In-N-Out
Enjoying a double double on the beach…can it be any more perfect? (El Capitan, this one’s for you)

Petco Park

Petco Park, home of the Padres. My family covers the spectrum of SoCal baseball with my dad and brother rooting for the Dodgers, my mom for the Padres, and I, of course, being the Angels fan. Padres beat the Dodgers, 7-0 and I left Petco Park with a new Padres hat. Great place to watch a baseball game.

Petco Park
Friar Tuck, “Beat LA!” (and beat LA they did)

Petco Park
The beach in the outfield, for the ankle biters

Petco Park Diego Dog
“Diego Dog” (bratwurst in a Kaiser roll-like bun topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, and mustard)

San Onofre

Wanted something a little different than Oceanside, so I spent half a day at San Onofre State Beach, north of Oside on the 5. Very crowded in the lineup, but everyone was chill. Lots of families surfing together. Water wasn’t too cold. Everyone jokes that it’s due to the nuclear reactors situated on the beach. Since visiting Chernobyl I’ve found nuclear power a bit spooky, so it felt bizarre to sit in the lineup and look over your shoulder at those massive domes. But it’s safe, or whatever.

San Onofre
You take your car to work. I’ll take my board

San Onofre
Tandem surfers and a crowded lineup

San Onofre

A lot like last year, more regrets that I moved back to DC. I think there will be a change of location in ’08.

“I hope you want the same thing I want, freedom to live and ride nature’s waves without the oppressive hang-up of the mad, insane complex that runs the world and this sick, sick war. These are incredible times. Thank God for a few free waves.” – Miki Dora, 1960s. Apropos.

September 7, 2006

It’s been so long since I’ve seen the ocean…I guess I should

The smell of surf wax and neoprene. A double-double from In-N-Out. The taste of salt-water. Homemade tortillas at the Old Town Cafe. The sound of crashing waves. Joe’s Crab Shack at Oceanside harbor. Tanned, happy people. Wiping out.

Oh, God, I never realized how much I missed all of it until this weekend.

I left DC Friday evening on a direct flight to San Diego, and arrived in “America’s Finest City” at 8pm. My family picked me up and we headed straight to Old Town San Diego for Mexican food. We have been frequenting the Old Town Cafe since I was a kid, and the place hasn’t changed much since then. They might have added another dining room or two, but the “tortilla ladies” are still there, making fresh tortillas while tourists watch through the windows. After dinner we drove down to our place in Oceanside. It’s a small place, but all you have to do is walk out the gate and you are on the beach. It doesn’t get any better than that. We’ve been coming to Oceanside since I was born. I know the place pretty well, and have seen it change a lot over the past 24 years. The last time I was in Oceanside was two years ago, before I left for London. I was a bit disappointed to see that the city is now becoming indistinguishable from its northern Orange County neighbours. The new townhouses are beautiful, but where did Robertito’s Taco Shop go?!

I hit-up Surfride boardshop the next morning to buy some surf wax. I also decided to purchase a neoprene top because I heard from reliable sources that the water temp was dropping. When I got in the chilly water I was amazed at how warm I was. I should have purchased one of these years ago! I spent the day surfing, bodyboarding, and frolicking in the waves (yes, I was so happy to be in the ocean again that I will admit to actually frolicking). By the end of the day my arms were KILLING me from all the paddling. (I need to work on my upper body strength or something…maybe lift weights? I don’t have a pool here in D.C. so any suggestions on how to get the arms back to strength would be appreciated.) Later that night we met up with some family friends for dinner at Joe’s Crab Shack. Joe’s Crab Shack is incredibly tacky and cheesy, but I love that place.

We were up early the next morning for the drive home to Palm Desert. My grandma hasn’t been doing well health-wise these past few years, so I went for a visit. I was in PD for maybe an hour and a half. Went home for a few minutes. No dog. New fountain thing in the front yard. New artwork. One of my walls was painted a maroon color. I picked out two books and a pair of soccer shorts and left. Back to the beach.

Sorry I didn’t tell any of you guys I was back in town. I was in a bad mood that morning anyways, so it was probably for the better. On the way back to Oceanside we stopped at In-N-Out. I devoured my burger and fries in less than 5 minutes. More surfing in the afternoon and a BBQ with some family friends that evening.
Monday was my last day in California, so I went to the beach for a few hours and then we went down to San Diego. That evening, before my 10pm flight, we went to a Padres game at Petco Park. I hadn’t been to the Padres new stadium yet and wanted to cross it off my list of ballparks to visit. The stadium is beautiful. If you visit, be sure to have a “Diego Dog” (bratwurst in a Kaiser roll-like bun topped with cabbage, pico de gallo, and a sauce with a hint of mustard). Also, check out the little kids playing wiffleball on the mini-diamond behind left-field. With the addition of Petco park, the revitalization of the Gaslamp Quarter, and the new condos and apartment buildings, it appears that downtown San Diego is actually turning into an area worth living in.

My flight left at 10:20pm. Redeye. Didn’t sleep at all on the plane – I never really can. Landed in Dulles at 6am. Welcome back to a rainy and cold Washington. It took me over two hours to get home using the bus and metro. I took a quick shower, ironed my shirt, and was out the door and off to work. It was pouring rain, and there were pools of water half a foot deep collecting on the sides of the streets (typical DC incompetence). My pants and socks were soaked with putrid gutterwater. “Oh Lindsay,” I thought to myself “you made a terrible mistake coming back here.” Why, why, why did I move back to this goddamn hellhole swamp city?! It’s no secret that I despise this city, but I’ll be here for a few more years at least. Maybe I’ll go back to California after that, or overseas, or maybe even Houston. Who knows, it’s not really worth pondering right now.

This trip to California was exactly what I needed, but now I’m hurting for some more time in the water. I want to continue surfing, and I want to get better. I was really sucking it up this past weekend and it’s clear that I need a lot of practice. Therein lies the problem, however. The nearest beach is a 3+ hour drive and oh yeah, I don’t have a car. So, I’m going to start looking into purchasing a vehicle so I can take some weekend trips to Ocean City or Virginia Beach or the Outer Banks or wherever the hell the east coast surf is. I’ll probably buy some sort of gas-guzzling SUV, because didn’t ya hear, Chevron found all this oil out in the Gulf! Pretty sweet, eh?

Second, I’m looking into taking a surf trip to Costa Rica next summer. I know, I know…Lindsay might actually visit a country that wasn’t part of the Eastern Bloc. I’m about as surprised as you are.

So in a few months I guess we’ll find out if I’m a) going to buy a car; and b) going to Costa Rica.

New Baku post will be up in a few days.