Archive for August, 2010

WashingtoNationals

As my time in Maryland was drawing to a close, there remained one activity that I had not yet accomplished. Having made excursions to Washington DC for a variety of reasons, I had yet to go and see a baseball game at Nationals Park. Many of you can recall my misfortune when visiting Camden Yards to see the Orioles play, so I definitely put my lessons learned into practice this time around.

First of all, I would be parking for free on this trip. I feel that DC has the right idea when it comes to their Metrorail stations: free parking on weekends and holidays. With the reduced fare, spending some time in DC on the weekend is certainly a good deal. Of course, this time around, I remembered my previously paid for Metro tickets, so the cost was already compensated (for the most part). However, I tricked the system a little bit by using one card to get into the station, which meant that I did not have enough money on the other card to get out of the station. Luckily, the attendant at the Navy Yard station was more than helpful. So in reality, I did pay for parking, but the payment was more for extended transit than for parking my car at the Metrorail station.

Front-row ladybug

Of course, that’s if you can ever get to the Metrorail station. I’m not certain if it was because of the baseball game, or if the traffic on the beltway is always terrible that time of day (I tend to think the latter). At any rate, a drive that (according to Google maps) should have taken 30 minutes, ended up taking almost an hour and a half. I had given myself 2 hours to leisurely get to the stadium, but the traffic really cut into my buffer.

Another detriment to my punctual arrival at Nationals Park was the fact that I had to transfer between lines on the Metro. Having usually taken a direct route into DC, I hardly ever encountered this delay. It was definitely a little frustrating having to wait when you’re on a tight schedule. And yet, luck was on my side once again, as the only

thing I really missed in the first half hour of the game was what appeared to be a boring first inning. Still, I do enjoy the ramp up to the start of the game, so I guess I did miss something.

The game itself was fairly average, if not borderline boring. However, this was probably due to my late arrival. If I had shown up with time to spare, I would have gotten my scorekeeping card and been able to keep track from the very beginning. At any rate, Nationals Park was probably the most beautiful stadium I’ve been to. I think this may be due to the fact that it’s certainly the newest stadium where I have attended a game. The scoreboard was pretty slick, if not HD, but that’s probably because I wasn’t right up next to it.

Everything felt cleaner and less run-down when compared to the other stadia I have been to. High, shallow layers of bleachers also seemed to get rid of the “supporting beam” problem I had at Camden Yards, as the levels were well cantilevered. The layout felt a little tight, if not “coliseum-like”, since space is somewhat of a premium in DC. In fact, there seemed to be some major development around the stadium in terms of apartment high rises, so I think that area will produce some high-cost living within the next year or so.

Presidential faceplant

Of course, I can only assume that the stadium layout removed any visual barriers, as I had a front-row seat. When I bought my ticket for this particular game, I made sure that it was inexpensive while also ensuring that I wouldn’t be stuck in a terrible spot like I was last time. In fact, I’m pretty sure I didn’t even sit in the correct section, since it was easier to get to my seat number going right from the stairs, as compared to the left. Luckily, since the crowds were light, my seat changing didn’t lead to any issues with other ticketholders. Overall, it was an enjoyable evening once I got past the stress of the commute to DC. I could finally check the last thing off my Maryland “to do” list as well.