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There are places in your life that become more than just physical structures, but rather standing monuments that mark different periods of your life. In Flushing Meadow, what’s now torn metal and dirt was once a monument all of us shared. With each change in its look, came a new chapter in our lives.
Today I found myself standing in 4 inches of mud, capturing some of the last images of what used to be our summer playground. It was never aesthetically beautiful, but what lay between the bleachers was deeper than physical appeal, it was 35,000 hearts all pulling for the same thing. It was pride in ourselves, reflected through blue and orange pinstripe uniforms. It was the pride we have in being New Yorkers projecting across a diamond.
Say what you will about Shea Stadium, but it held all of us for years and years. It deserved a better send off than being unceremoniously pulled apart by hard hats in the dead of winter, but it is what it is. I wasn’t alone; there were ladies with pocket cameras, old men in Mets caps staring at the rubble, cars stopping and plenty of people coming to pay their respects to whatever period of their life Shea represents.
For me Shea is standing in the visitor’s bullpen tunnel with my little brother in 82’, not wanting Nolan Ryan’s autograph because he wasn’t a Met (I hadn’t learned about Jim Fregosi yet). It was pulling my dad back into the stadium during game six with one out because this time I would NOT let him beat the traffic. It was standing with my dad over the Red Sox bullpen, yelling at Bob Stanley. It was the utter ecstasy of the wild pitch. It was finally giving in and leaving early, only to find that between the seats and the car, Mike Soccica had hit a home run that ended the 80’s. It was cutting school and giving the box seat ushers $20 to let me in. It was my youth and I could fill a stadium with these stories a million times over. I’m sure you could too.
New memories will be obviously made, but every so often, when I take a loan out to watch a game at CitiField… I’m going to close my eyes and pretend I’m in the parking lot…. where my memories are.
They tell me it’ll be down by next Friday… bring some snow boots and go relive your youth one more time. I don’t encourage everyone to risk their body and snake around the inner workings of a live job site, but park near it… look at the small untouched pieces and wait for game time… if just for a minute.
Posted By Nik Kolidas