Rumble in the Bronx

Rumble in the Bronx

It’s late. I’m tired. Don’t let the time stamp fool you, it’s really around a quarter after two in the morning, but if I don’t write down my thoughts now, I’ll never be able to remember them, so on with the show.

You know, whenever you travel people always ask you how your hotel room was. Usually, I mention that it’s not the nicest, but at least it’s clean. Well, this hotel is something else. In addition to smelling like an ASHtray, it is also small as well. Then last night I took a shower and the darn tub wouldn’t drain. I felt so bad…not because I broke the tub, but because John-John still had to shower after me and since we had traveled for like 18 straight hours and then we still had a full day, we were pretty dirty. So instead of making John bathe in my wastewater, he decided to shower in the morning. This is what greeted him in the morning.

Whoops, sorry about that John…

Also our toilet had some pretty permanant stains (it wasn’t as bad as the toilets at Yankee Stadium though)

Pretty gross eh?

Sorry if I ruined any appetite, but if I told you about the Yankee Stadium toilets you’d probably retch so I’ll just leave that one alone.

But anyway, despite our hotel room, the trip is wonderful. For the most part getting around has been pretty good as well although I gotta say, the subways in Japan are much easier to navigate than the subways in New York. You can’t tell what’s a local line and what’s an express. They don’t announce the next stop so unless you’re by a window you can’t really tell where you are. The maps aren’t very clear and it smells…just like everything else in New York (we discovered a new smell while we were waiting with a thousand of our closest friends in a subway station without any ventilation or cooling system in the Bronx). But still, they are the easiest way to get around.

He kind of blends in doesn’t he?

So far probably the highlight of the trip was taking a tour of Yankee Stadium. It’s kind of a behind the scenes thing. We entered the stadium through the press entrance and were greeted by this sign:

Look, God answered two of Joe’s prayers (the other being his marriage to Marilyn Monroe)

But we got to walk through the stadium before anyone else was there. Very cool. The first place they took us was to Monument Park. This is an area behind the outfield that is a tribute to past players and other dignitaries that have visited Yankee Stadium. They even have a few plaques commemorating a few masses that a few Popes have done.

This is where the players can come to relax

The Babe

Yogi Berra and his mentor, Bill Dickey, both wore the same number

Casey Stengel is the only person to have his number retired by both the Yankees and the Mets

Here’s a picture from last night, notice the 37 there too?

Ever wonder where the Yankees got their logo?

This is for a mass held in 1965

Here’s one for 9/11

One of the neatest things about this tour was that they let us walk on the field. We got to walk all along the warning track from the outfield to the dugout. They wouldn’t let us walk on the grass field, but when they weren’t looking I snuck my foot on the Kentucky Bluegrass.

That’s my foot on the warning track

As I said earlier, they let us go into the visiting team dugout too. I guess I didn’t know what to expect, but I would have thought that the dugouts were more lavish. They were quite spartan. Basically there’s a padded bench and some steps and that’s it. It’s quite narrow too.

Me, John and a water cooler cruising in the dugout

After that we went up to the press box. It literally has the nicest view in the house. You can see everything in perfect clarity. There were rows of work tables and telephones where reporters can work on their stories.

Here’s the view

Here’s where I sat. Can you guess what BBWAA stands for?

Here I am calling in my breaking news story

Keao’s not the only artsy photographer in the family!

After the stadium tour, we went to a couple of shops that sell Yankee merchandise. I was in there and I asked the guy how much a hat cost. Get this, just because I look Japanese, he automatically assumes that I’m from Japan. He answers me in Japanese! I mean, I did ask him in english and I kind of expected an english response in return. Oh well, I guess I should be impressed by his language ability.

After that lesson in race relations we decided to go to Staten Island. There’s a free ferry that goes there so the price was definitely right. If you’re keeping score at home, so far we’ve visited four of the five boroughs, Manhattan and Queens last night and the Bronx and Staten Island today. But back to the ferry ride. It’s a short ride across New York harbor and there are some really cool views of the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island.

Here’s where many immigrants crossed before coming to America

The famous Statue of Liberty

These waterfall things were pretty cool too

By the time we got to Staten Island it was pretty late so we decided to get some food. We saw a few places that looked interesting but in the end we decided to go for the safe bet…pizza.

This looked good until we looked closer and spotted the word “organic”

The Popeye’s looked good too, but we figured we could get that back home

The buffalo chicken pizza on the right was excellent!

You know the food’s good when they don’t even try to be polite

After lunch we went to the Staten Island museum. As far as museums go, this one was okay. It was small and somewhat interesting and it was only $2. They said no pictures so that means I only took two (it was so cool I couldn’t resist).

These rocks are glowing under high intensity ultraviolet light

Then, of course, we had to head back to the Bronx to go to the game. It was the Yankees v. the Red Sox. One of sports most intense rivalries. We all expected a great game full of dirty plays and nasty fans. Maybe it was because the Red Sox dominated this game or maybe it was because we were so high up, in either case, it was pretty tame. The worst part of the whole thing was entering the stadium and missing the sign that said, “”. What that means is if you’re in an even section go left and if you’re in an odd section go right. We were in section 36, but since I missed it I went to the right. We’re talking the complete wrong side of the stadium. We were in the last section, in the third row from the top. I felt so bad for John because I made him walk from one side to the other.

Recognize this shot from Seinfeld when George works for the Yankees?

We were so high up we were above the foul pole

See how high the lights are?

This is how close we were to them from our seats!

Here we are after the game

So after this very full day, we were heading home on the subway and this guys asks John if he ever fought in a UFC. He then explains that in the 90’s there was this guy that beat up this sumo dude. I guess because John is Japanese and, um, you know, he thought John was that guy. Nah, he thought John was the another guy that fought the dude that beat up the sumo guy. Maybe John has a career in ultimate fighting yet.

To view the rest of the pictures from Yankee Stadium and Staten Island click here.

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