The Quotation Of The Day Mailing List
Quotation of the Day for January 23, 2010
"As soon as you walk into Shea, you don't know what you're inside of. You feel like you've been forgotten about, or perhaps eaten. Staircases, ramps, and escalators come out of nowhere and you can't see what they're attached to. There are no focal points or spaces, just lit ads and posters that someone seems to have put up a long time ago.
"Sure the seats and rows are cramped, but I like them. You feel as if you're in the middle of other people's lives. You hear their conversations and nothing prevents you from joining them. You are along on the dates with the girls snuggling against the guys for warmth. The nut has to be lived with. The guy next to you on the edge of his seat can't sit still and therefore you can't either. At Shea you are attached to the crowd, physically and emotionally, and when people stand up and scream, you are pulled up with them because you can't pull away from them.
"In the new stadium, I will probably like being closer to the action on the field. But I'm not really convinced that smaller is good. Try getting tickets for a game at Fenway. I like how big Shea is. I like it when it has 55,000 people in it. I like how noisy it can get. I like its awkward incoherent immensity, which never feels oppressive because so many things at Shea are so silly, like Mr. Met and the apple in the hat and the t-shirt launches and Lou Monte singing Lazy Mary at the seventh-inning stretch. Shea has a personality. It is big and goofy and unsophisticated. It inspires the stadium characters who come and go over the years, who make themselves famous by holding up signs or beating cow-bells. It inspires vendors and ushers to be characters. It inspires sentimentality and manic energy. It is very New Yorky in an old-fashioned way. The smaller, stylish stadium might preserve some of what Shea has. But I'll bet it won't be the same."
- Dana Brand, author of The Last Days of Shea, a history of the final two seasons of the New York Mets baseball team in Shea Stadium.
Submitted by: Terry Labach
Jan. 20, 2010
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