Note From Jon


Thursday, April 3, 2008

National Mall and Nationals Park

Spring weather may not have arrived last weekend, but that didn’t stop the arrival of the Cherry Blossoms, the kite festival, Opening Night at the Nationals new stadium and (as I had to take metro to see all of those) the tourists.

At the kite festival the weather was colder and less windy than last year (not an ideal combination for kites), but Ann and I persevered and by some measure this year was even more successful; that measure would be the ability to fully unwind the kite string (with the kite in the air), which I accomplished twice Saturday vs. once in 2007. Despite flying last year’s model, I was happy to see my 3-D pirate ship kite received an ample share of compliments (it may be developing a bit of an ego).

Thanks to Joel I scored a ticket to the Nats opening night game on Sunday (as opposed to the game on April 7th that I bought tickets for thinking it was the home opener. Doh. Seriously who has a one game series on March 30th!?!). They rolled out the red carpet for us… to stand on while we waited in the metal detector lines (which had better have been a one-night deal on account of POTUS first-pitching). We explored the stadium and my initial impression was favorable, but as I’ve analyzed it I don’t know why (probably it was the atmosphere of being there for opening night). Nationals Park doesn’t have the unique touches of some of the new stadiums, or any interesting landmarks in the background—like the Bromo-Seltzer tower which used to be visible (bottom of link) at Camden Yards. The food and drink policy is the same as RFK where you can bring food and one sealed bottle of water in, but there are currently no vendors outside the stadium (at the metro entrance at least) which is a disappointment. And just like so many games at RFK, around the sixth inning I found myself futilely hoping that a pretzel vendor would walk by. Regardless it was an exciting night at Nationals Park, capped by Ryan Zimmerman’s walk-off HR. I was grateful to Joel to be there and I will give the stadium another chance on Monday with those tickets that I thought were for opening night!

Notes to Jon:
  • In case any of the random people who came up and asked where I got my kite stumble across my blog (or more likely so I have an answer when they ask next year). Ann found Whistle Stop Hobbies in Old Town Alexandria for us last year.

  • They did include local restaurants inside the stadium but the prices are marked up accordingly ($8.25 for a cup of—admittedly delicious—gumbo from Cantina Marina and $7 for Five Guys fries). That didn’t keep the lines from being out of control…until they cleared the area for fireworks. Rumor has it that Five Guys will be putting in a custom kitchen soon to increase efficiency and also lowering the price on the fries to $6. Hopefully Cantina Marina will increase the size of the gumbo cup.

  • George Washington won the first President's Race at Nationals Park (while Teddy abandoned the race to dance in Center Field)

  • Metro worked well for the game, we took the yellow line from Crystal City to the green line at L’Enfant. And most importantly we didn’t lose any keys!

  • Although it has nothing to do with this post, I did go to Jammin’ Java on Monday to hear Eva Castillo and I need someplace to make a note of how delicious the Sausage Tomatillo Chili is so that I remember to get a bowl of it next time I am there.

1 comment:

joel said...

good times indeed. Glad you could make it out and show your support for George Bush ;p Curious to see how your seat view is tomorrow. Upper deck? I'll never forget my first time at Camden upper deck how "close" I felt to the field as I was accustomed to Yankee Stadium nose bleeds.