A Year In New York

A Daily Bite of the Big Apple

A Year In New York header image 2

Day 21: Take Me Out to the &%@! Ball Game

July 17th · 4 Comments

My first softball game as a New Yorker was due to start at 3:30 pm at someplace called East River Park. I studied the map until I found it: a long sliver of green between FDR Drive and the East River, way down on the Lower East Side where I had never been. Better leave myself a lot of time to get there.

I left my place at 2:45, blinking at the hot, bright sun. My savvy little plan was to take the 15 downtown and then cut east on the 14D, and boom, I’d be there. Truth is I am still deciphering the bus system – I just learned the right way to hold a Metro Card so the machine wouldn’t bleep at me – and I was excited to see if this plan would actually work.

I made my first mistake straight off. The bus driver shook his head at me when the Metro Cards in my wallet, all three of them, each read a value of $0.00. “Off,” he said.

Ejected and dejected, I walked six blocks to the 68th Street subway station to buy a new Metro Card, then back to the bus. (Some transit-wise readers are right now crying out, “You should have stayed the subway!” to which I reply, tiredly, “yes, yes, I know that now.”)

Forty-five minutes later, I emerged from the bus groggy and wondering why I’d ever decided to move to New York, standing next to a woman saying to her cigar-smoking husband, “It’s like the heat is comin’ up outta the ground!”

I took the 14D east, the only white guy on the bus, past the power plant and identical brick towers – those must be the projects – and landed at 10th Street and FDR. I walked across to the baseball diamond at 4:30, having traveled almost two hours now.

The diamond was empty.

This email had arrived in my inbox five minutes after my departure:

It seems our numbers have dwindled, and the temperature is somewhat unbearable. Let’s call the game for today, and rest up for the next one.

Tags: Sights & Scenes · Sports · Urban Survival · Why I Hate This Town

4 responses so far ↓

  • 1 RizzoJ // Jul 18, 2008 at 12:25 am


  • 2 sam iam // Jul 18, 2008 at 6:43 pm

    crikey. makes a great story though.

  • 3 Bharath // Jul 21, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    Blackberry, dude! That’s where it’s at.

  • 4 Kimberly Winston // Jul 22, 2008 at 3:34 pm


Leave a Comment