The Hoods in NYC – Part 3 of 5: Fantasy Camp.

Read Part 1 of 5 here.
Read Part 2 of 5 here.

At the center of the trip package I won that led to this NYC weekend in the first place were four (FABULOUS!) tickets to see the Yankees. And see the Yankees we did. That Saturday, as the subway got closer to the Bronx, more and more people decked out in jerseys and ball caps and pinstripes piled on. We had a feeling we were headed the right direction.

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And oh my. When we came up out of the subway there were Yankees fans as far as we could see in every direction. All four of us are Arkansas alums and in an effort to show the love for our Razorbacks back home (and support them on the day of their season opener), we all wore Razorback red to the ballgame that day. And – as it turned out – it was a good thing we did. It made it easy to find each other in a sea of blue!

We made our way through the crowd and got closer to the massive Yankee Stadium. It reminded me a little of the Colosseum in Rome – it was almost majestic. And we just kinda gawked at it for a minute.

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Then we made our way from gate to gate looking for this:

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Yes sir! We planned on living the high life for the afternoon. I had read about the Legends Suite (go ahead – click the link) and seen pictures online, and I’d tried my best to prepare everyone for what the Yankees like to call “the most coveted tickets in sports”.

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We thought we knew – but we had no idea. We walked through the entrance and received a wristband signifying that we belonged there. Then we were let loose into a room that was the perfect marriage of Fancy Restaurant and Favorite Sports Bar. White tablecloths and fresh flowers meets great food and flat screens.

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Our wristbands meant everything was free (except booze – which we passed on after seeing the $12/beer price tag!) and we had permission to eat ourselves silly at the buffet which included lobster, steak, sushi and various salads and breakfast quiches. We didn’t even make it to dessert before it was time to head to our seats for the game. Riiiiight after we stopped at this little candy display on the way out the door, where we could choose from peanuts, cracker jacks, M&Ms, Skittles, chips, Twizzlers – you name it. It didn’t matter that we were nowhere near hungry. We indulged.

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Our seats were on the 8th row. Third base line.

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And only the New York Yankees could order up weather like this.

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But after about the second inning, our boys decided we weren’t quite close enough and they scouted out some empty seats on the front row, a section or two closer to home plate. Why not?

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Why shouldn’t we sit on the front row of Yankee Stadium with our feet up on the Toronto Blue Jays dugout?

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Why shouldn’t we be so disgustingly close to the field that I can take pictures like this? Of DEREK JETER?

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And this one? Of Mariano Rivera throwing the game winning pitch?

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Why shouldn’t we have a waitress IN OUR SEATS ready to bring us cheesesteak or sushi or milkshakes or hotdogs or Cracker Jacks? Or anything else we could think of?

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I’m probably not supposed to admit this but the last time I cheered for the Yankees I was sitting in the Sports Book at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. You could say I’m not a huge baseball fan. But it didn’t even matter that day. The experience was unreal. I felt like one of the Willy Wonka kids with a golden ticket. We were waited on hand and foot, we ate nachos and hot dogs and ice cream just because we could, and we spent the afternoon in the home of one of the most successful teams in all of sports. Go Yankees!

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Boy did we ever get our money’s worth out of those free tickets, too. The boys insisted on eating more hotdogs after the game – just because. Teresa and I loaded up our purses with bags of snacks and bottles of pop as we reluctantly waved farewell to the Legends Suite. We all agreed that we’d never have it that good at a ballgame again – unless one of our kids happens to someday PLAY for the Yankees!

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Still on a high from the Yankees experience, we hopped on the subway and headed back to Manhattan, with plans of seeing the Brooklyn Bridge. The subway had other plans.

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I had studied the subway map enough that morning on the way to the Bronx to know (more or less) what we needed to do to get around the subway construction and downtown to the bridge. Unfortunately, it required a little backtracking. So! Grand Central Station!

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After what felt like multiple trips up and down the island, we finally got off the subway at City Hall and made our way to the bridge.

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The sun was setting and it was a really beautiful time of day to be on the bridge with the city and the harbor in the distance. There was more pedestrian traffic than I expected — and more than a few pushy bicyclists who didn’t really show us the “Southern Hospitality” we’re typically used to, but we eventually made it to the other side.

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By that time, it was dark and we had just walked about two miles since getting off the subway back in Manhattan. So we looked for a place to get a drink and a snack and just put our feet up for a bit. We stumbled upon a little place that looked promising – O’Keefe’s.

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As soon as we walked in, we knew we were in the right place. Dark little hole-in-the-wall.  With sports on TV. Wishful thinking made us ask the bartender if he had the Arkansas game — and what do you know? He found it! So we sat in a quiet little Irish/Sports Bar in Brooklyn Heights on a Saturday night and watched the Hogs.

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Of course, we were a little conspicuous. What with our red Razorback gear and our request to watch a random, non-HD football game. And it didn’t take long to make friends with the people at the next table. A guy and his girlfriend in the city for the weekend. He was Army and home on leave. And originally from Brooklyn. So after we convinced him that we were indeed NOT lost – that we had purposely left our trendy hotel in SOHO to WALK across the Brooklyn Bridge on a Saturday night to have a drink at this little dive – he told us that before we headed back to Manhattan we just had to walk down to the water and see the skyline from Brooklyn at night. Glad we took his advice.

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Having had enough of the subway for one day, we decided to cab it back to our hotel where we proceeded to stay up WAY too late in the hotel bar reminiscing about our afternoon spent in the lap of luxury and our unexpectedly fun evening in Brooklyn.

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Note: I am in no way required by either The C.A.R.E. Initiative or Saatchi & Saatchi X to write this account of our trip. This blog has not been sponsored, compensated, or otherwise obligated by C.A.R.E. or SSX — we just had too much fun not to share! For more information about The C.A.R.E. Initiative check out their website or shoot me an email.

 

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One thought on “The Hoods in NYC – Part 3 of 5: Fantasy Camp.

  1. You are an awesome blogger. I have been to the city many times but you put a detail on your trip that makes it new and fresh. I have NOT been to the new stadium. Nor will I ever have that sweet suite experience either but it sure was nice getting the tour from you. Looks like fun to this non-baseball fan.

    I have never walked over the Brookyln Bridge – I see that is a must. I am a big fan of the dive sports bars. The skyline looks incredible too.

    Thanks for sharing.

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