Thursday, May 20, 2010

Back in New York

Yes, this handsome fellow here to the right might just be my favorite memory from my quick swoop down to Atlanta this week. I'd hardly claim that he was indicative of the general class of people in the stadium -- in fact, he was ejected from the grounds after arguing with a security guard who made him turn his shirt inside out -- but he was probably my favorite. The remarkable thing about him is less that he wore this delightful homemade shirt, but that he a) was fairly friendly and congenial and b) apparently used to be in a swim club with my freshman year college roommate Sam, who did not recognize him.

Of course, there was more to my trip to Atlanta than that. Turner Field lacks in some of the snazzier amenities of the newer parks you'll see -- it's 15 years old, after all -- but it is still a wonderful place to watch a baseball game. Good sightlines, an interesting Braves Hall of Fame Museum, and that absolutely delightful Atlanta night time weather. I will get into more detail on the trip when I actually sit down and force myself to write a full length, cohesive chapter on it, but suffice it to say, I enjoyed my time, saw an new stadium, saw an awesome aquarium, drank way too much coca-cola and had a pretty good grasp of the Atlanta mass rail system by the time I took Marta to the airport Wednesday morning.

I'd often heard jokes that Marta was lacking, but after researching the public transit in Indianapolis, which I will be heading to in September for the Giants-Colts game, it looks like paradise. Apparently, people there don't need buses and don't stay out after 9 p.m., which could be tricky for an 8:30 p.m. start.

But I digress.

What I can best say about Atlanta is that, if you ever have a chance to go, you absolutely must make a trip to The World of Coca-Cola. If you're lucky like me, you'll get to fight the pangs of stomach pains when you try all 60 international varieties of coca-cola in the tasting room at the end of the tour. When you're done you don't feel good, but you still feel like you've accomplished something.

And what could be more meaningful than a rushed consumption of 60 ounces of different carbonated soft drinks?

Nothing, that's what.

Moreover, the abundance of coca-cola memorabilia is certainly more pleasant to look at than the overwhelmingly disturbing tomahawk-chopping cow that Chik-fil-a has put up above. Turner Field's left field stands. I was initially incredibly amused by this, but after seeing how the picture I took came out, with the low, subterranean lighting, I'm more scared than anything.

If you have a chance to stop at the Aquarium, which is right next door to the World of Coca-Cola, that, too, is worth the trip, though be prepared to have difficulty walking through if you just finished the Coke tasting room. Seriously, it takes a bite out of you.

So now that I'm back, it's taking me a little while to get up to speed, unlike Floyd Landis for whom it doesn't take long (heyoooo!). There's oodles of hockey I need to get my mind set for (Did you really think the Blackhawks would take both games in San Jose?), Hanley Ramirez is evidently a massive jerk and apparently the NBA Playoffs are still happening, and it's starting to look like we'll have to sit through Lakers-Celtics again.

How pedestrian.

If any of you are concerned, don't be, it won't take me too long to be back in the swing of things. Hell, I've already been to work since I've come home. It would have been nice to stay to stay a little longer, but I'm glad I had the time I did. Of course, it helps that the Mets won the game I attended, ironic since Turner Field is always such a house of horrors. That may not sound like too much to ask of them, but remember, this is the team that lost a game yesterday in which their starting center fielder had an inside-the-park home run and initiated a triple play. It was a lot to ask of them.

The Mets might figure it out soon (ha), but even if they don't, I still got to enjoy my trip. If only my comment to another Mets fan that we got our one win of the week didn't look so plausible all of the sudden....

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