The first (and favourite) stop of Marc and Ryan’s father and son ball trip was in Fenway Park and the Green Monster in Boston, where they took in a game against the Blue Jays and a game against the Mets. This historic stadium, which opened in 1912, has so much character and its confines are so friendly that is should be on every baseball fan’s list.
The stadium is surrounded by its own “village”, as the neigbourhood streets and houses were slowly taken over by baseball memorabilia stores and by sports pubs and restaurants. The atmosphere in this little community is simply electric, and makes the whole Fenway Park experience unique.
Marc and Ryan also visited the very impressive Museum of Science, took long walks along the Charles river, with its beautiful parks and trails, and of course simply had to have lunch and a pint at Cheers (where everybody somehow knew their names …)
The other classic visit was to Wrigley Field and its ivy covered walls in Chicago. Built in 1914, it is also very charismatic, and sitting in the open bleachers so close to the players is a great experience. Americans can also add a lot of panache to what would normally be a fairly “normal situation”: Marc and Ryan had goose bumps as a bald eagle circled over the stadium during the singing of the National Anthem and landed on the mound in time for the “land of the free and the home of the brave”.
One of the most amazing sights at Wrigley is the mish mash of improvised stands on top of the houses across the street behind the outfield bleachers. Entrepreneurial homeowners have erected bleachers of their own on their roofs and balconies, and fans get to enjoy the games from these “creative” stands.
Marc and Ryan also went to the Lincoln Park zoo. This free zoo (it survives on donations) is a 35 acre oasis of green in the heart of the Windy City, and has some remarkable exhibits.
The father and son ball trip also included a trip to New York and Yankee Stadium. This was no longer the house that Ruth built, as the “new” Yankee Stadium had just opened, but it was impressive nonetheless. One of the downsides of this humongous park is that it is not wise to make references to “A-Roid” when he’s at bat and you are surrounded by Yankee fans …
Ryan and Marc discovered Time Square, wandered around Central Park, and climbed the Statue of Liberty. Ryan suggested visiting the museum on Ellis Island, where they were both taken aback by the history and names of thousands of immigrants that still permeate the walls. They also roamed the subway system and took in a New York City night sky from the top of the Empire State Building.