All Summer In A Day

A fleeting moment of happiness in Queens on Opening Day, amid swirling garbage and Mets-fan anxiety.
Share |
See, he looks optimistic, right? Although to be fair his face doesn't move.

Image via Amazin' Avenue.

It was sunny and clear on Monday for Mets Opening Day, with no noisy planes overhead, so we could hear every bit of the conversations around us. The lulling pitter-patter of “fucks” in row 3 bemused our whole group—not just my father, who was new to Mets baseball, but the veterans of the trip to Flushing. I was there with my old roommate; we used to live in Flushing and walk to games along Roosevelt Avenue, through the carbon monoxide haze above the Whitestone Expressway and past the Iron Triangle's auto repair shops and psychotic guard dogs, restrained from tearing you to pieces by chain-link fences that also allow you to look into their eyes and see the contempt you’ve earned. Getting to the game in this way can be loud and gray and windy and sticky and dirty all at once and altogether disorienting, which is why almost nobody does it. Arriving at the park doesn’t seem like you’ve reached paradise, or that you’re free of any of this filth and misery—these are the Mets we’re talking about, after all. In terms of misery and pride, it’s hard to know where the team ends and the rest of Queens begins, except on Opening Day; then, for three hours, people are happy. On Opening Day, Flushing is a place transformed, all smiles and radiance in a generally fraught place just across the way from where your stolen car’s radials are being hawked at a chop shop.

It’s quite a feat to turn this place positive, even during the good times. Carlos Beltran’s strikeout in the 2006 NLCS was a shocking moment that felt like a fait accompli to most Mets fans I know, which is to say most people I know, having chose my local friends wisely. It is easy to take the baseball out of Flushing—the schedule and the Mets' play does it every September—but it’s harder to take the Flushing out of baseball, even during the offseason. I have written this story before, but when Pedro Martinez signed with the Mets in 2005, he was coming off that World Series title with Boston, but his arm was hanging by wires, and everyone knew that if any one of them snapped it would be bad news. I attended the introductory press conference, which was emceed by Mets PR guru (and current Mets “Harlem Shake” auteur) Jay Horwitz, General Manager Omar Minaya, Manager Willie Randolph and King Pedro himself. Everyone gave a little speech; at question time Minaya called on a local reporter in a room bulging with reporters from the Times, News, Post, ESPN, and everywhere else.

To my horror at the time, and my admiration every minute since, the questioner was my nominal co-worker at The Queens Chronicle, Lloyd Carroll. Horwitz wouldn’t have called on Lloyd, and physically braced himself as Minaya unwittingly went off-script, calling on someone who promptly if not unreasonably dropped trou in the middle of the dog-and-pony show. Carroll asked, more or less, ‘Why are you spending millions of dollars on a tiny guy with a bum arm?’ The room went quiet, choked by decorum, and some other reporters laughed at him with ill-disguised contempt for his upsetting of the natural order of things. Lloyd, good Queens guy that he is, didn’t buy the company line that everything would work out. Mets fans almost never do, and they’re right not to do it, just as Lloyd was correct at the time. Pedro’s Mets career had its moments, but was not a success. Lloyd was right to be skeptical. Faith in Flushing is a brutal religion, but the only thing worse than their god’s swift, sure and repeated punishment is being shut out of the church. On the day that changes for the season—when the gates are thrown open again for another year of this—there are smiles in Queens, near the dead water in Flushing Bay and the chop shops, right there in the presence of all that past.

***

Of course, unreserved happiness has a way of getting itself monetized, and Opening Day fun comes at a price. We paid $115 each for tickets, then several denominations more for beer and hot dogs and peanuts and popcorn—my father loves popcorn. Compared with the $55 standing room tickets, I think we got a bargain, trying to fit a season’s worth of happiness into one day. There isn’t the same transience to Opening Day that there is to games two through 162—since this is all there is, this is all you worry about. It was a perfect fit for a visiting father, as it’s clearly the only game we’ll go to his year. Like the Mets fans basking in Opening Day's all-summer-in-a-day sunshine, we had a day to unreservedly enjoy baseball, to start anew, to live in a microclimate. Albeit, in this case, one where napkins and plastic bags darted around the field in increasing numbers until, once there were about 50, the crew finally set about cleaning them up, to thunderous applause.

My dad hadn’t seen anything like it. He lives in Arizona, now, and compared with a semi-recent trip to a Diamondbacks game what we saw at CitiField was barely the same sport. He had taken me to Yankees Stadium as a child, and I remember bustling off the train into a crowded stadium, but Yankee Stadium was still terra firma, the known world. Queens was different. On the 7 train, my dad pored over the subway map and scoffed at a landscape dominated by railroad lines, even if wasn’t new to him—I had lived in the borough for the better part of seven years, though I don't anymore. I had met Dad and my cousin at Grand Central, where hordes of fans in Yankees gear tumbled and chanted toward the 4/5, and Mets fans poured even deeper into Manhattan’s bowels to catch the John Rocker Express. As we neared the stadium, first Arthur Ashe Stadium crawled into view, then the gaudy tents for Cirque du Soleil, a non-sequitur against sooty Northern Boulevard, the very site of Fitzgerald’s forsaken ash heaps in The Great Gatsby. The parking lots were so full—this is true—that one friend who drove in left after two hours of searching for a spot. He’s the father of a four-year-old daughter who's still too young for the opener, but he knew that they'd only need to hit it once for it to matter forever. My dad and I missed it 34 times before getting it right.

And yes, there was baseball, and I did a lot of explaining who was who. My dad might have heard of David Wright; he wasn’t sure, but he thought he had. He certainly didn’t know Marlon Byrd, who had a first inning RBI that led me to stand up and do bird-arms and a loud “CAW!” that the wonderful, foul-mouthed drunks behind appropriated from me for the game’s duration. I told him about Cowbell Man and the formerly poorly hyphenated bespoke jersey he wears—which, reading “Cow Bell-Man,” used to make him sound like a bovine hotel worker. Emmy Rossum sang the national anthem and was quite fetching but missed the high note. Rusty Staub threw the first pitch from about 20 feet, and it was his birthday. My dad liked Brookyn beer more than Stone IPA. He clapped his hands at “Ev-‘ry-bo-dy-clap-your-hands!.” He didn’t clap during Lazy Mary. The answer to the trivia question was “30 Rock.” The ball was under hat number 3.

Oh, also, the game: Edinson Volquez was terrible, David Wright okay, and Collin Cowgill excellent. And then, like that, we were leaving, bouncing down stairs, filling up a Metrocard, and standing clear of the closing doors. It was a good day, but it was over, and Dad was set to spend the rest of the season back in Arizona. First, he’d have to come back to Queens one more time, though, and fly out of LaGuardia. He'd have one last look at the stadium from his seat, the exhaust from his plane mixing with that from the exasperated sighs of Mets fans, wilting the bloom from the rose. Until April rolls around again to make believers of everyone, if just for a day.


Share |

Comments

It has fully emerged to crown Singapore's southern shores and undoubtedly placed her on the global map of residential landmarks. I still scored the more points than I ever have in a season for GS. I think you would be hard pressed to find somebody with the same consistency I have had over the years so I am happy with that.how to buy car japan

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job !
Fanduel Promo Code

my reach and further develop my career. Feel free to ask me any questions about my service
acne no more book

Queens begins, except on Opening Day; then, for three hours, people are happy. On Opening Day, Flushing is a place transformed, all smiles and radiance in a generally fraught place just across the way from where your stolen car’s radials are being hawked at a chop shop.
lebanon escorts

it has the seriously brilliant site. it has the realy informational including a this sort of fine occupation. everyone loves the following.
click here

Albeit, in this case, one where napkins and plastic bags darted around the field in increasing numbers until, once there were about 50, the crew finally set about cleaning them up, to thunderous applause.
beirut escort

moment we entered the Grand Garden Arena, with Brazilian or U.S. flags being handed out to everyone ... movers and packers pune

Hi! This is my first visit to your blog! We are a team of volunteers and new initiatives in the same niche. Blog gave us useful information to work. You have done an amazing job!Paternity Test

Queens begins, except on Opening Day; then, for three hours, people are happy. On Opening Day, Flushing is a place transformed, all smiles and radiance in a generally fraught place just across the way from where your stolen car’s radials are being hawked at a chop shop.
Escorts lebanon

Very good points you wrote here..Great stuff…I think you've made some truly interesting Check This Out points.Keep up the good work.bunks

A very awesome blog post. We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. Thanks for such post and please keep it up.what are network protocols

We are really grateful for your blog post. You will find a lot of approaches after visiting your post. I was exactly searching for. .. How To Naturally Relieve Constipation

verified accounts with guarantee in very cheap price. I have been doing this for many years and joined here to expand http://learntogetridof.com/how-to-get-rid-of-a-fever/

I just found this blog and have high hopes for it to continue. Keep up the great work, its hard to find good ones. I have added to my favorites. Thank You... Hay Day Cheats

Queens begins, except on Opening Day; then, for three hours, people are happy. On Opening Day, Flushing is a place transformed, all smiles and radiance in a generally fraught place just across the way from where your stolen car’s radials are being hawked at a chop shop.
exchange Colombia coins

Nice to be visiting your blog again, it has been months for me. Well this article that i’ve been waited for so long. I need this article to complete my assignment in the college, and it has same topic with your article. wholesale beef jerky

Great write-up, I am a big believer in commenting on blogs to inform the blog writers know that they’ve added something worthwhile to the world wide web! probiotics supplements

Thanks for excellent & amazing post. This post is really a big help to my project. Thanks and more power! do follow blog comments

Omar Minaya, Manager Willie Randolph and King Pedro himself. Everyone gave a little speech; at question time Minaya called on a local reporter in a room bulging with reporters from the Times, News, Post, ESPN, and everywhere else.
escorts in lebanon

Randolph and King Pedro himself. Everyone gave a little speech; at question time Minaya called on a local reporter. הסעות מלוטון ללונדון

I think this is an informative post and it is very useful and knowledgeable. therefore, I would like to thank you for the efforts you have made in writing this article. parking lot lighting design

Excellent read, Positive site, where did u come up with the information on this posting?I have read a few of the articles on your website now, and I really like your style. Thanks a million and please keep up the effective work.
music blog

I recently found many useful information in your website especially this blog page. Among the lots of comments on your articles. Thanks for sharing. getting more followers on instagram | buy instagram likes fast delivery

Flushing is a place transformed, all smiles and radiance in a generally fraught place just across the way from where your stolen car’s radials are being hawked at a chop shop.
lebanon escorts

I am always searching online for articles that can help me. There is obviously a lot to know about this. I think you made some good points in Features also. Keep working, great job ! Tumblr

except on Opening Day; then, for three hours, people are happy. On Opening Day, Flushing is a place transformed, all smiles and radiance in a generally fraught place just across the way from where your stolen car’s radials are being hawked at a chop shop.
escorts lebanon

I give you quality USA Phone verified accounts with guarantee in very cheap price. I have been doing this for many years and joined here to expand my reach and further develop my career. Feel free to ask me any questions about my service. facebook accounts

My dad and I missed it 34 times before getting it right.joann fabrics coupons

when the gates are thrown open again for another year of this—there are smiles in Queens, near the dead water in Flushing Bay and the chop shops, right there in the presence of all that past.
unhappy

This was because Montreal was experiencing a mass emigration of English speakers after the Parti Quebecois had come to power. Toronto was the Second City (thus, for example, SCTV) until relatively recently. Regardless, there's no question that Toronto had taken the top spot by the early 1990s and it was a mistake. obat peninggi badan

This content has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your blog and maintain checking pinoy tambayan

You have done a great job on this article. It’s very readable and highly intelligent. You have even managed to make it understandable and easy to read. You have some real writing talent. Thank you. Twitter

Minaya, Manager Willie Randolph and King Pedro himself. Everyone gave a little speech; at question time Minaya called on a local reporter in a room bulging with reporters from the Times, News, Post, ESPN, and everywhere else.
toronto party bus

Very informative post ! There is a lot of information here that can help any business get started with a successful social networking campaign !Cotton Filled Pillows

I very recognize that you wrote this item moreover used part very benevolent info on this categorical issue. I was in imperative wish to acquire few info on this point further acknowledges to you, I've got that! Acknowledges, quondam more! Hay Day Cheats

Why are you spending millions of dollars on a tiny guy with a bum arm?’ The room went quiet, choked by decorum, and some other reporters laughed at him with ill-disguised contempt for his upsetting of the natural order of things
escort in lebanon

Manager Willie Randolph and King Pedro himself. Everyone gave a little speech; at question time Minaya called on a local reporter in a room bulging with reporters from the Times, News, Post, ESPN, and everywhere else
gift baskets for men

Queens begins, except on Opening Day; then, for three hours, people are happy. On Opening Day, Flushing is a place transformed, all smiles and radiance in a generally fraught place just across the way from where your stolen car’s radials are being hawked at a chop shop.
iphone 4 wallet case covers

Nice blog. You have collected so much information for your blog. I am really excited to see the next post. ringing in the ears is called

Really nice and interesting post. I was looking for this kind of information and enjoyed reading this one. Keep posting. Thanks for sharing. curtain factory outlet

Flushing is a place transformed, all smiles and radiance in a generally fraught place just across the way from where your stolen car’s radials are being hawked at a chop shop.
toronto rug services

worse than their god’s swift, sure and repeated punishment is being shut out of the church. On the day that changes for the season—when the gates are thrown open again for another year of this—there are smiles in Queens, near the dead water in Flushing Bay and the chop shops, right there in the presence of all that past.
קריוקי

I would also motivate just about every person to save this web page for any favorite assistance to assist posted the appearance. click here

Albeit, in this case, one where napkins and plastic bags darted around the field in increasing numbers until, once there were about 50, the crew finally set about cleaning them up, to thunderous applause.
expandable wire bangles

Three are usually cheap Ralph Lauren available for sale each and every time you wish to buy. They're produced by the very best degree developers who will be distinguished for your polo dress creating. You'll find polo Ron Lauren inside exclusive array which include particular classes for men, women.προσφορεσ παπουτσια

Opening Day, Flushing is a place transformed, all smiles and radiance in a generally fraught place just across the way from where your stolen car’s radials are being hawked at a chop shop. mobilehomesforsale.com

any of this filth and misery—these are the Mets we’re talking about, after all. In terms of misery and pride, it’s hard to know where einfache Anleitung folgen

Durchführung erhalten wir von unseren Teilnehmern dafür die besten Beurteilungen mit 100% Erfolgsgarantie..https://rebelmouse.com/

I am a new user of this site so here i saw multiple articles and posts posted by this site,I curious more interest in some of them hope you will give more information on this topics in your next articles. Glad to chat your blog, I seem to be forward to more reliable articles and I think we all wish to thank so many good articles, blog to share with us.Jordania

I just stumbled upon your blog and wanted to say that I have really enjoyed reading your blog posts. web development companies sydney