Confession: I’ve lived in New York for over 2 years, and never once have I been to a Yankees, Knicks, Jets or Rangers game. For some reason, this embarrasses me.
Although I generally shun sportscasts in favor of watching mindless reality television, when it comes to the real thing, nothing makes me happier than a good baseball game and some beer…oh and of course, lots of cupcakes too.
Cupcakes and a Skyline
Michelle’s roommate, Jen, celebrated her bday this weekend and graciously invited a bunch of us girls to a Yankees game on Saturday in honor of her day of birth. Now, that’s what I call celebrating in style. Visions of the Sex and the City Yankees game episode where Carrie ends up meeting and dating the hot new Yankees player were totally NOT running through my mind…
But before the, game there were rooftop celebratory drinks on Friday night.
I brought the cupcakes (shocker)
A bunch of Baked by Melissa cupcakes for the crowd and a special Pina Colada Crumbs cupcake for the birthday girl. I think it’s only fair that the birthday girl have a larger cupcake than everyone else ;-)
Michelle also provided some cupcake fun along with her adorable cupcake tree.
She loves that tree and enjoys every opportunity to use it. I will say – it sure takes the cupcakes up a notch. Michelle’s cupcakes were from the Whole Foods bakery, and I was very impressed. The buttercream frosting was delicious!
The birthday girl baked the lasagna.
Jen is Italian. I’m not sure if it’s required that all Italians make delicious lasagna, but Jen sure makes a good one. Every time I go over to Michelle and Jen’s, there is always some sort of yummy Italian dish available.
We also hung out with some unexpected visitors…
Michelle and Jen’s rooftop is very large, so there were a few crowds gathered in different areas. Apparently one person in the crowd brought a dog. We never quite figured out who he belonged to, but we adopted him for the evening. We called him Smiley.
And of course, there were pictures.
I’ve hung out on quite a few rooftops here in NYC, but Michelle and Jen have the best view, by far. Name a landmark in NYC, and you can probably see it from their building. It’s always a treat to view the city from there, especially on a pleasant summer evening. Still, I made sure to call it an early night, because I wanted to be in top form for my very first Yankees game!
For Love of the Game
Way back in the first couple posts of Sometimes Healthy Living Blog about the National Marathon (4 months ago!), I alluded to my love for cheesy sports flicks. I own every cheesy sports flick ever created and maintain that Cool Runnings will always make me cry much more than the Notebook. What moves you more? Seeing a couple of long-lost lovers kissing in the rain or watching the first-ever Jamaican Bobsled team carry their broken sled over the finish line to a “slow clap” from the crowd? I rest my case.
What can I say? I’m a sucker for the whole “heart of the champion” plot line. Anyway, one of my favorite sports movies is the critically-panned For Love of the Game, starring Kevin Costner. I think it has something to do with the fact that the movie is 50 percent love story – 50 percent baseball. I like the even ratio. Besides, it is absolutely realistic to think that a pitcher would be flashing back to the great love of his life on the pitchers’ mound when he’s one at-bat away from a no-hitter in Yankees Stadium.
I’ve seen the movie more times than I can count, and since it takes place in Yankees stadium, I’ve always dreamed of going there. Granted, that was the old Yankees stadium…
But, regardless of whether you like the movie or not, any viewer would agree it brings the spirit of the Yankees crowd to life. The hooting and hollering, the relentless shouter with a thick New York accent and the obnoxiously loud crowd – I wanted to be a part of it. I’ve been to many Cubs and White Sox games in my life, but I always had the impression that Yankees games would be something special and unlike any other baseball game…(apologies for anyone I’ve offended with this comment including the die-hard White Sox fan, Sometimes Healthy Dad)
But Back to the Yankees Game
So, with For Love of the Game dreams in my mind, our crew headed to the Yankees game via subway. The game was at 4:00, and we were out of the door by 2:30.
There were 9 girls in total at the game, and what a fun crew we had! I always roll my eyes at the loud group of people on the subway when I’m alone, but this time I was part of the crowd. I don’t think the fact that we were riding public transportation created a need for us to filter our conversation, so I’m fairly certain I saw a couple of older women roll their eyes at us. What can ya do? We were having a good time. Sometimes ya gotta throw caution to the wind.
After a short subway ride, we were at the stadium. From the minute we got off the subway, we could feel the excitement of the impending game all around us.
Then I saw this beautiful site, and I just had to snap a picture…
It was just big and iconic as I imagined. In Chicago, Wrigley Field was really a part of my every day life. It was located an area of town that many young professionals frequented, so perhaps I just got used to seeing it while out and about. But Yankees Stadium is not something you see every day here in NYC, unless you work in Harlem. So, for me, the site of the outside of the stadium was pretty surreal.
And of course, us girls just has to get a photo in front of the stadium.
Sidenote: I realize not everyone wears dresses to a baseball game, but comfort was my priority, and I feel most comfortable in dresses over shorts. Perhaps I looked like that girl in a dress at a baseball game, but hey, at least I was comfortable.
From there, it was time to address our priorities.
First and most importantly, was fitting in with the crowd.
If I was wearing a dress at the game, I at least needed to have a Yankees hat. When it comes to sports, my fandom is geographically based, since Omaha doesn’t have professional sports. So as long as I’m living in NYC, I’ve declared myself a Yankees fan. It’s more fun that way, promise. I didn’t end up getting the pink hat, since it was for toddlers. However, I had to try it on because it had a cupcake on top of it.
Next up, we needed to purchase some adult beverages.
There is something about sitting inside a ballpark that makes me crave draft beer. In fact, most of us were on the same page, and enjoyed a few of these babies throughout the game. We laughed at how the players on the big-screen became progressively more attractive as we drank our adult beverages. Ohhh, beer goggles – they never fail.
But beer wasn’t the only thing on our minds, we all agreed that besides the beer and baseball player watching, the food is the thing we most look forward to at baseball games.
Some of us went the traditional route with hot dogs.
Others, enjoyed some popcorn.
I picked the Cracker Jacks.
Cracker Jacks weren’t in my original “game plan” for the day, but when the vendor walked by, I just couldn’t help myself. Despite a couple of surprised looks from the crew, most of the girls agreed that they forgot just how good Cracker Jacks taste, so nutty and caramel-y all in one bite!
Michelle and I shared a Philly Cheesesteak.
This was another first…my first Philly Cheesesteak! For some reason, no circumstance in my entire life has led me towards the cheesesteak. Whenever it was an option, I think I always saw something I wanted to eat more. But, wow, I’ve been missing out! The combination of the steamy steak, mushrooms, onions and melted cheese on top of that soft bread was absolutely delicious. I may be ordering more of these in my lifetime…good thing I’m headed to Philly for somethin’ special next weekend. Healthified cheesesteaks anyone?
Oh and then, there was the baseball…
We were focused on much more than just food, beer and baseball players in that Yankee Stadium. There was an actual game being played. It wasn’t much of a nail biter, as the Yankees ran away with it after a couple innings, with the help of a grand slam! Yet, the crowd enthusiasm remained ridiculously high throughout all 9 innings.
This win made most of us Yankees fan extremely happy, except for the little Red Sox fan sitting next to me. Born and raised outside of Boston, no matter how much she loves NYC, Michelle’s heart will always belong to her Red Sox.
The atmosphere was everything I hoped for and more! We even had one of those obnoxious, thick-accented New Yorkers sitting behind us, shouting complaints to the ref. The crowd was loud and spirited the entire time, and unlike with most games I’ve attended, not many people left early, despite the insurmountable Yankees lead.
And thanks to Jen, we had incredible seats, just to the right of home plate, meaning we were smack dab in foul ball territory. We didn’t have any come our way, but several came very close. I was somewhat relived, because I always had either a beer, cheesesteak or Crackerjacks in my hand. It would have been difficult to decide between the foul ball and beer…Nevertheless, it was quite entertaining to watch others scramble for the ball.
Our conversation throughout the game was rather interesting, as well. On my side of the row, we were analyzing each Yankee at-bat and googling to see whether or not he was an eligible bachelor. I was pretty taken with Brett Gardner, since his at-bat song was the popular country song “Dirt Road,” and he seemed, at least from his picture, to possess a certain level of Southern Charm. But alas, Wiki told us he was married. Sigh.
I realize this type of conversation wouldn’t fly if I had been sitting with more serious baseball fans, but that’s the beauty of going to the a baseball game with a fun group of ladies – you can analyze which player looks best in those adorable baseball pants without feeling guilty about it ;-) That doesn’t mean we weren’t actually watching the game…it just means we mixed the legit game-watching with some playful girl talk.
When the game was over, we took the opportunity to take a few more quality pictures.
And, finally, it was time to get back on the subway and head home. It was a bit more crowded on the way back…
But that didn’t stop us from chatting the whole way home.
After an exciting day at the ballpark, even though we had intentions to go out, we ended up ordering pizza and
mocking watching Dawson’s Creek. Many of the girls came in from out of town to celebrate Jen’s bday, so it felt kind of like a slumber party (even though I went home eventually).
The older I get, the more I relish the opportunity to eat pizza, (pretend to) watch sports, gossip and hang out with a bunch of girls. I imagine 10 years from now when I’m “settled down” and married (optimism is important, Sometimes Healthy Mom), I’ll look fondly back at weekends like this, where it was all about the Girls Night Out.
And speaking of night out, I’m spending a night indoors icing and stretching my foot, which has become more of a problem these past couple weeks…More on that later, but at least it gives me an excuse to lay on my Sometimes Healthy butt and watch the Bachelor Pad tonight ;-).
When life hands ya chronic foot problems, you make time to take a load off and watch reality tv…
When was the last time you went to a baseball game/sporting event? What’s your favorite thing to order at a game?
If you’re single, how often do you have Girls Night Out? What about the married folks – still have Girls Night Out?
Watching the Bachelor Pad? Team Jake or Team Vienna? Humor me.