Okay so not really. But he really did look like him! I wanted to snap a picture but since there was nothing around that I could have pretended to be taking a picture of, you’ll just have to take my word for it.
After about 30 minutes in line, we decided that we would get lunch from a street vendor. $2 for a salted pretzel and $2 for a bottled Sunkist. Only when Jay gave the guy a $10 he only gave $4 change. Jay questioned his math and he said that the salt was an extra $2, so Jay pointed to where it said “salted” for $2 on the sign.
Not to be out done the vendor said that the drink was $4, once again Jay pointed to the bottled drink sign that said $2. The vendor insisted that the $2 only covered Pepsi’s and that the Sunkist was more – Jay immediately traded the Sunkist for the Pepsi and took his additional $2.
At first I didn’t get why the guy was doing that, and Jay had to explain it to me. When I commented that I was too naïve for the city, the lady behind us mentioned that she’d had the same problem with the vendor and asked where we were from. She and her husband were from Australia, visiting their niece who lived in NYC. They were very friendly and we spent the remainder of the 1 ½ wait chatting with them.
We finally made it to the place where they take your tickets, and were directed inside to a big security building. It looked similar to airport security – they had containers to empty your pockets and put your purses and jackets in which were sent through a metal detector while each visitor had to walk through one as well.
As we were standing there – already stripped of our belongings, but not yet through the metal detector, the guy in front of me in line leaned back onto my things, knocking them onto the ground. I freaked out a little because my camera was in the container, but thankfully nothing was hurt.
First stop off the ferry was Liberty Island. We hadn’t been able to get tickets to tour the statue, so we walked around her, and snapped a few pictures, and then it was back to the ferry.
Ellis Island was the next stop. Although I had been there before, during my trip 4 years ago, I remained disappointed that the building was not still set up like it was back in 1890. I would have preferred it to remain historically accurate; instead it was turned into a museum – gift/snack shop and all.
We passed on the Ellis Island t-shirts, mugs, and pens, but did get one cheesy memento of the place – a flattened penny with a picture of the building on it. The first spring Jay and I were together we were at Nascar Speedpark and one of us commented on how cheesy the “I love you” penny making machine was. Jay took it as a personal challenge and made me one. When we saw the machine at Ellis Island, he decided that my change purse needed another.
On the ferry ride back to Manhattan, Jay and I met a guy about our age from Ireland. Jay had trouble understanding him, so I had to translate. He was in town visiting a friend and planning on catching the Yankees Red Sox game that evening. I told him that my brother-in-law was from Carrickfergus and he told me the name of his hometown. It sounded like Coors or Cars or something like that, but I wasn’t able to understand more than he was from the Republic.
After disembarking the ferry, it was time for us to head to the Bronx – our baseball game didn’t start till 7, but we weren’t sure how long it would take us. And we definitely wanted to get their early. Jay was dying for dip (he had ran out earlier in the day) and we weren’t sure where to find it. After the previous day’s fiasco asking for directions from the cop, we were uneasy about asking someone, but really didn’t have a choice.
We stopped at a news stand, and Jay asked where the closest place to get cigarettes was. We could tell that the guy working the stand wasn’t a native English speaker, so Jay thought better of wasting time trying to explain what “dip” was, instead asking for ciggarettes. He was very nice and sent us across the street to a deli.
They did indeed sell cigarettes, but not smokeless tobacco. He suggested that we go to the tobacco store just up the street, but told us to hurry because they might close at 5. I must love Jay a lot (or else still be grateful for the rock on my hand) because I took off running right behind him.
Thankfully, this store did have something suitable. Not quite natural cut Grizzly, but mint Skoal was going to work well enough that he wouldn’t be antsy during the ball game. As the guy behind the counter rang it up, I asked Jay if he wanted to get two to ensure that he didn’t get into this predicament again, then the salesman said “$7.10 please”. Jay and I both agreed that one can would do him. (At home it costs $2.12)
Then it was off to the subway – we caught the subway near the Staten Island ferry port and headed toward the Bronx. Or so I thought. The more I looked at the map I realized that we weren’t on the right train. So we hopped off, walked a couple of blocks, and got to the right one.
Or so I thought.
It was the right train line, only we were on the wrong side – we needed to be going the other direction. A lady that worked their noticed our frustration and told us how we could get to the correct side without exiting the turnstiles and having to pay another fair.
Once we were heading in the right direction, I commented to Jay that I could understand why New York City cops had a bad name. The native New Yorker gave us wrong directions on purpose, getting us even more lost and frustrated with the city. In contrast, the three ethnic people that we got assistance from that day went above and beyond to help us out with something they really didn’t care about.
The express train was taking us in the right direction, but once in the Bronx we had one final change over so that we could get off at Yankee Stadium. We knew for sure it was the right train when we saw how crowded it was. We were barely able to squeeze on. I wasn’t comfortable wearing my newly acquired bling on a crowded subway, so I turned it around backwards so that the diamond was pressed into the palm of my hand.
As we stepped off the Subway the new stadium under construction was on our right, and the real Yankee Stadium was on our left. Just seeing it – knowing that this was the last year the house that Ruth built would be standing brought a tear to my eye. Somehow I doubt that the house that ‘Roids built will be able to live up the original’s legacy.
We found a ticket gate and got in line. I had purchased them on Stub Hub and was told that was a reputable online site, but when we got to the turnstile and the usher scanned our tickets – it beeped red and my heart skipped a beat. Turns out the bleachers have a separate entrance than the rest of the stadium and we were instructed to go around and enter on the other side.
We also found out that Monument Park is only accessible with regular game tickets, not bleacher tickets. I was disappointed that I wouldn’t get to see Gehrig’s plaque, but I think Jay was more bummed than me. He even offered to hop the fence and get a picture of it for me. I assured him that was okay – I would prefer not to have a picture if it meant having to spend time in the Bronx police station.
We take our seats and settle in for THE game of a lifetime.
It was hard to believe that I was actually going to see a Yankees/Red Sox game in Yankee stadium. Fortunately I had convinced Jay to leave his camo Boston hat in the room. The bleacher creatures taunted anyone wearing Sox paraphernalia. When Manny Ramirez hit a home run into the outfield – the fans threw the ball back. The Red Sox dominated New York until the last inning when the Yankees finally got their second wind. Unfortunately it wasn’t enough and the Sox still won.
Afterward, we walked around to the other side of the building and found the sidewalks barricaded. We had stumbled upon the player’s exit.
The only player that came anywhere close to us was Johnny Damon. The rest of the guys just got straight on the bus. He came over and signed autographs.
I finally convinced Jay that we had seen everyone we were going to see, and we headed back toward the subway. By the time we got on the ferry I was so tired I couldn’t keep my eyes open and I fell asleep. I woke up just as we were docking and we scurried out to the bus stop – perfect timing to catch the bus back to the bed and breakfast.