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11 August 2003

"Oh, let's walk..."

I amazed myself at how that seemed a no-brainer. Of course we'd walk.

We had taken BART from Orinda to San Francisco and our ultimtate destination was Pac Bell Park, and the Giants-Phillies game. We were meeting people from the Lamplighters tech crew, like we did a year ago.

They were announcing in the BART station that you could get one-way transfers to the Muni which would take you from BART to the stadium and you could buy discounted tickets to get back to BART after the game.

Walt said we could take the Muni, or we could go up to the Embarcadero and take the classic street cars, or we could walk (a little over a mile walk, though we didn't calculate that until we got home--it seemed longer).

"Oh, let's walk," I said unhesitatingly.

There were two reasons I wanted to walk. First, I have relatively new walking shoes that I paid a not insignificant sum for and have hardly used. I suddenly realized that I'm going to be wearing them to walk around Australia and it would be nice to get them broken in before I leave (so far I'm lovin' them!)

But the second reason was to check out this bizarre sculpture that I saw when I met some friends for lunch in the city a few months back. We were having lunch at a restaurant which overlooks the waterfront. I was looking out the window at the familiar sights--the bay bridge, Treasure Island, the bay itself and all the ships and suddenly there was this....thing. Where in the world had that come from? I asked. One of my lunch companions told me it had been put up within the previous month. So today I wanted to see if I could get some information about what it is...and why it's there! it is...and here's the sum total of the information that is posted about it:

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I don't understand it either. But it sure is weird.  And very, very big. (Here's a link which talks about it--thanks to Lise for the pointer!)

But we took pictures, and we ended up at Pac Bell Park about half an hour before the game started. We got ourselves lunch (garlic fries and an Italian sausage with a diet coke. So much for losing weight this week. The garlic fries were worth setting me back a bit this week!--check the picture.  It was good.), and then we joined the group sitting up in the last couple of rows in the "view section."

One of our group turned to me at some point during the game and said "You know, I never expected to say this about a ball park, but I love this park."

I understood what she meant. There was a time in my life when I was really an avid baseball fan (in the Willie Mays, Willie McCovey days), but I'd gotten out of the habit of watching baseball on TV. I did attend my share of games at Candlestick park and they were fun, in a way, but in the years of my hiatus from attending games, the whole atmosphere has changed. Maybe it's the "sit-com'ing of baseball" and I'm sure that die hard baseball afficionados may look askance at the new "fun stuff" that happens in a ball park, but I'm with my companion--I love this park.

First of all, Candlestick, even on a good day, would end up being very cold at some point. It was stuck out in the middle of nowhere, so you were either stuck in traffic or trying to cram into a city bus just to get back into town. None of this choosing the metro or the street car or walking. It just wasn't practical.

But PacBell is terrific. Of course I've only been there a couple of times, but it seems to be sheltered--no more biting wind on clement days. It has a view to die for. Even if you hate baseball, you can sit and watch the sailboats glide by on San Francisco bay.

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I love the audience participation that they get going. Last time we went it was "dog day" at the park, and people were invited to bring their dogs and parade around the field before the game started, and prizes were awarded for dogs in the best costume. Today was trading card day. We were too late to get in on it, but they gave out 20,000 sets of trading cards, one for each member on the team, only each deck had 7 duplicates, and you were supposed to trade with other people in the stadium in order to complete your deck.

tradingcards.JPG (31415 bytes)Amazing how much interactions between fans that brought up. There were people trading cards all over the place, adults and kids alike.

We all cheered when the scoreboard welcomed "the Lamplighters tech crew" (along with dozens of other groups).

There were contests, a little kid got to introduce 3 players during the 5th inning. At the end of the game, they let little kids go on the field and run the bases.

It was a real feel-good day at the park.

Oh--and yeah, there was a baseball game too...and it helped the "feel good" atmosphere that the Giants won.

When it was over, we had the same choices--public transportation, or walk. We walked. It took long enough that by the time we got to BART, the crowds had thinned and it was a pleasant, uncrowded ride back to Orinda and the car. It was pleasant to realize, as we pulled into the driveway and I got out of the car, that I didn't feel like I wanted to chop my feet off. They were quite comfortable. I could have walked it all again.


A hot dog at the ball park is better than steak at the Ritz.

~ Humphrey Bogart

Today's Photo

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See?  There was a game!

For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog

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