21Moments Slide2

In one year we’ve lost Yankee Stadium, Coney Island and the economy. What else could go wrong?

Don’t answer that.

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My own photo from after the sixth and final game of the 2003 World Series. At least I got to see the locker room, even if it was the stupid Marlins who won.


  1. And thus New York renews itself.

    Coney Island, like Times Square, is a phoenix. Something is demolished, and replaced by something else, and people continue to visit. Go read “Delirious New York” by Rem Koolhaas for more insight.

    You forgot Shea Stadium. Unfortunately, due to wind conditions, home plate at the new CitiField will not look out on the Manhattan skyline.

    I wonder… did the Hilltopper fans feel the same way when they left Audubon Terrace (AKA Harlem AKA Washington Heights) for the Bronx?

    What is more disheartening is the stuff that was never built. The I.M.Pei skyscraper which was to replace Grand Central Terminal. (My opinion… keep the original Penn Station, demolish Grand Central.) The broadcast tower in the East River [sic] which was to replace the antennas at the World Trade Center. The 2012 Olympics. Frank Lloyd Wright. The Regional Plan of 1929…

  2. Looks guys, I like Shea and the Mets and all that but it’s a bit disconcerting to hear announcer and player after announcer and player priase and laud the “cathedral of sport” and realize it has to be torn down. Yes I know both are outmoded utilitarian shitholes, but it’s YANKEE STADIUM.

    Torsten, your optimism is admirable but misplaced. I like some of the glass buildings going up — you must have architectural progress or you become a dead city — but I also miss the butcher shop on 2nd avenue where cats used to sit outside hoping for a scrap. “Progress” which is just an excuse to make money for greedy developers at the expense of character is no progress.

  3. Richard Pachter:

    Shea Stadium is not the abattoir of sports. St. Andrew’s in Birmingham, England is. And, to be fair, at least the Mets have given themselves a chance of making the playoffs to mark the end of their current stadium’s dwelling.

    Even from the perspective of a Mets fan, it seems preposterous that the Yankees made their final farewell to the tune of a meaningless game against the Orioles. How did such a talented roster play so badly, so often? Joe Girardi can’t be totally to blame. He certainly didn’t force A-Rod to hit into ELEVEN double-plays in the month of August.

    Also, “abatoir” has two t’s in it.

  4. For a very different viewpoint on last night, read paul lukas’ column on uniwatch today.

    I can only hope that, in the year yankee stadium goes away, the world series is played in wrigley and fenway.

  5. Heidi, that’s the only reason I liked the Yankees: Yankee Stadium. The history (baseball! football! concerts! The Pope!), the design, the fact that it was an old-fashioned stadium, where you could sit with the bleacher creatures and have fun no matter how bad the game was. (The Bleachers were the best seats: nearest the subway, a separate entrance, bathrooms and vending directly below the seats, no lines, and very near the outfielders, all for less than $10 (then).)

    The character of the city, yes, it changes. I miss the movie theaters of Times Square in the 1960s. I miss clothes lines hung between tenements. I miss the Third Avenue El, the Polo Grounds, the original Madison Square Garden, Checker Cabs, and the New York City of Don Martin comics.

    Even the stuff that doesn’t have character, the buildings that were built to make money or revitialize neighborhoods …like the World Trade Center… eventually get accepted. They get adopted, co-opted, sanctioned by the locals.

    Manhattan is a museum of how cities used to be. Before shopping centers and automobiles and chain stores and ticky-tacky houses that all look the same, every major city was like New York, with a big, local department store, streetcars and restaurants on the ground floor of office buildings, a wholesale district of distributors and warehouses… New Yorkers idealize the past (look at the to-do over “the New Times Square”!), but we also take great ideas from other places and exploit them. (New Yorkers are also rather conservative when it comes to architecture. Look at the anger over the initial designs for the Freedom Tower.) Manhattan didn’t event the skyscraper (that was Chicago), but we have some of the most iconic buildings in the world.

    And if you miss the butcher shop, you’re always welcome to visit beautiful downtown Wakefield, coveniently located on the IRT White Plains line. (Or take Metro North to 233rd Street.) Pakistani delis, Korean grocers, Caribbean diners, Indian variety stores… If you get bored with that, Woodlawn has a nice selection of Irish pubs and dairies. (And quite a few dead people, as well.)

    I wonder… at the last game at Shea, will they play Billy Joel’s “Miami 2017” instead of “New York State of Mind”?

  6. Oh the memories that last picture brings :)

    Once the stadium is gone they’ll be putting parkland and ball fields on the site for the neighborhood. They’d be stupid not to preserve the original field itself, or at least home plate. That way any kid can literally stand in the exact spot where all the greats swung a bat.

  7. Ben McCool:

    I defer to anyone named “Ben McCool” though I was laughing so hard, I misspelled abbatoir. Sorry.

    But have you ever been to the appropriately named “Flushing,” site of Shea Stadium? Huh?

    your pal,
    Rich O’Chill

  8. I have indeed been there, Rich. I’m actually heading out there tonight!

    Though I’ll agree Shea’s in SINCERE need of replacing (1960’s architecture: in league with Satan) it boasts a fine, fun-loving atmosphere — Mets fans, victims of years of anguish and disappointment, expect nothing but heartache, so they compensate by making a night at the ballgame exactly what it should be: fun!

    As an Englishman, I’m used to a crazed, zany, utterly flamboyant atmosphere — “soccer” stadiums are a cauldron of relentless noise. Of all the American sports stadiums I’ve visited, country-wide, Shea is by far the most reminiscent. (I hear Fenway Park’s the best, mind. Sorry, Yankees fans.)

    I have the utmost respect for Yankee Stadium AND the Yankees, though on each of the three times I’ve been there this season the atmosphere was curiously dull. Hearing Cleveland Indians fans outvoice Yankees fans AT The Stadium was an odd experience…

    Oh, and sorry to be snotty about the “abattoir” thing. My bad. As much as the Mets drive me nuts, I can’t help but kick into defensive mode whenever I hear them chastised… ;-)

  9. Ben:

    My mother and brother were Mets fans so I understand that somewhat frenzied, wary underdog state of mind all too well.

    And I attended many games there (including the first), too, so all the best to you, sincerely.

    (You ought to go to Wrigley some time, btw.)

    Have fun!

  10. Yankee Stadium may have had the Pope and Louis/Schmelling, but Shea had the Beatles and the Bruno Sammartino/Larry Zybszko cage match (and the original Hogan/Andre contest underneath).

  11. I love that New York tax payers lament the losing of a structure that they paid for while players these days make so much that if they only donated a fraction of their salaries, the buildings wouldn’t need taxpayer incentives.

    Yet, local politicians allow this to happen. :(

  12. I will miss Yankee Stadium as much as an Orioles fan can miss the place. It is a shrine, but wish the Orioles played better there. Last night had that feeling of having Memorial Stadium end in 1991. I was there for the last night game ever at that stadium on the Friday night. I still remember that game. It had the best fireworks I had ever seen even though the O’s lost in 11 innings.

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