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

Mmm.. great to be here in your article or post, whatever, I figure I ought to likewise buckle down for my own site like I see some great and refreshed working in your site. laado

This is additionally a decent post which I truly delighted in perusing. It isn't each day that I have the likelihood to see something like this.. Local movers

Enjoyed every bit of your blog article. Much obliged.I actually take pleasure in the blog.Really looking towards study more. Keep writing.Thanks for discussing, this can be a amazing article.Really looking towards study more. Really Great.Awesome article.Really looking forward to read more. Keep writing.Im obliged for the website post.Really thank you! Awesome.Great article. Cool.Very informative blog post.Really thank you! Actually Great.
Abdul-Hakeem

I have to search sites with relevant information on given topic and provide them to teacher our opinion and the article. cine on line

Mmm.. great to be here in your article or post, whatever, I figure I ought to likewise buckle down for my own site like I see some great and refreshed working in your site. agenzia comunicazione Mantova

Mmm.. great to be here in your article or post, whatever, I figure I ought to likewise buckle down for my own site like I see some great and refreshed working in your site. agenzia comunicazione Mantova

Your websites facilitate all the more each else volume is so engaging further serviceable It chooses me occur for withdraw reprise. I will in a split second snatch your rss channel to remain educated of any updates. optiplex 740 motherboard

I at long last discovered awesome post here.I will get back here. I just added your blog to my bookmark locales. thanks.Quality presents is the essential on welcome the guests to visit the site page, that is the thing that this website page is giving. tricks india

Hello there to everyone, here everybody is sharing such learning, so it's critical to see this website, and I used to visit this blog day by day offbeat travel blog

It is amazingly decent to see the best subtle elements introduced in a simple and understanding way. Hair fall solution in ayurveda in hindi

Such an exceptionally valuable article. Extremely intriguing to peruse this article.I might want to thank you for the endeavors you had made for composing this amazing article. apartments in turkey

I beginning late went once again your article and have been investigating along. I need to express my vitality about your piece wellness and capacity to affect perusers to investigate from the most reliable starting stage to the end. I should need to look at additional cutting-edge presents and on share my bits of knowledge with you. http://www.thebaynet.com/community/sports/breaking-newsbetin-kenya-jackpot-results-and-tips.html

Your websites facilitate all the more each else volume is so engaging further serviceable It chooses me occur for withdraw reprise. I will in a split second snatch your rss channel to remain educated of any updates. golf trophies

Incredible data! I as of late went over your blog and have been perusing along. I figured I would leave my first remark. I don't recognize what to state with the exception of that I have. Dreamhost

Your blogs further more each else volume is so entertaining further serviceable It appoints me befall retreat encore. I will instantly grab your feed to stay informed of any updates. video production

Appreciate you discussing, great website article.Thanks Again. Cool.Great, thanks for discussing this short article post.Really thank you! Actually Cool.Im pleased for the website post. Want more.Looking forward to examining more. Great blog.Really getting excited about study more.I loved your post. Much obliged.This is one amazing blog article.Really thank you! Can read on... Buy gmail accounts

I price the article.Really thanks! Much obliged.Really loved this short article post. Cool.Thank you for the blog.Really thank you! Fantastic.Thank you ever so for you personally post. Keep writing.I cannot thanks enough for the blog.Really many thanks! Fantastic.I appreciate you sharing this blog post.Really getting excited about read more. Great.acompanhantes sp

Welcome to the gathering of my life here you will master every little thing about me. Yeh Hai Mohabbatein Watch Star Plus Drama Serials Episodes Online

A huge thanks for the report post.Thanks Again. Fantastic.Enjoyed every bit of one's post.Much thanks again. Fantastic.A circular of applause for the article.Really thank you! Awesome.I am therefore thankful for the blog post.Thanks Again. Significantly obliged.Awesome article.Much thanks again. Will read on...
Thanks again for the post.Much thanks again. Really Cool.Great, thanks for discussing this information post.Really getting excited about study more. Great.I liked your report post.Really looking towards study more. Significantly obliged. Abdul-Hakeem

Incredible data! I as of late went over your blog and have been perusing along. I figured I would leave my first remark. I don't recognize what to state with the exception of that I have. problems faced by teenagers

A voyance en ligne is easy to find when you need to meet a fortune teller able to speak to you about your future. To the 0892 22 20 33, a voyance pas cher is always available. You can talk to a true fortune-teller and ask here all you want to know. She will use tarot cards, cristal ball, pendulum and more to help you and give you the answers. This is a voyance sans attente, for everyone who need it.

Great post.Really looking forward to study more. Need more.I love and appreciate your blog post.Much thanks again. Need more.wow, great blog article.Really many thanks! Awesome.Very informative blog.Much thanks again.
https://howdoesyourgardenmow.com/pull-behind-lawn-mower-trailer/

Major tha"nks for the post. Want more.Enjoyed every bit of one's website post.Really getting excited about study more. Fantastic.A circular of applause for your post.Much thanks again. Will read on...Thank you ever so for you personally blog article.Thanks Again. Cool.Fantastic article. Cool.Looking ahead to examining more. Good article.Really thank you!Thanks ever so for you personally post.Really getting excited about read more.the best embroidery thread for machine embroidery

Enjoyed every bit of your blog post.Much thanks again. Awesome.
China manufacturing

I unquestionably esteeming each and every piece of it and I have you bookmarked to look at new stuff you post. cedar roofing maintenance

Wonderful report post.Thanks Again. Fantastic.
voyante par téléphone

Initial You got a awesome blog .I determination be involved in plus uniform minutes. i view you got truly very functional matters , i determination be always checking your blog blesss. shifu reviews

Really appreciate you sharing this blog post. Thanks Again. Awesome. affinity serangoon

Quando la voglia di pizza ti assale, 1food.it ti propone una lunga lista di pizze tra cui scegliere la tua preferita, la pizza scelta verrà consegnata a casa! pizza delivery milano

Getting excited about examining more. Good report post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.
Wedding makeup and hair

Getting excited about examining more. Good report post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.
Wedding makeup and hair

Getting excited about examining more. Good report post.Much thanks again. Keep writing.
Wedding makeup and hair

Good to become visiting your weblog again, it has been months for me. Nicely this article that i've been waited for so long. I will need this post to total my assignment in the college, and it has exact same topic together with your write-up. Thanks, good share. Mountain biking

I am continually hunting on the web down articles that can help me. There is clearly a ton to think about this. I think you made some great focuses in Features too. Continue working, incredible job ! natrijum askorbat

I was just browsing through the internet looking for some information and came across your blog. I am impressed by the information that you have on this blog. It shows how well you understand this subject. Bookmarked this page, will come back for more. Zwembaden

For this web site, you will see our account, remember to go through this info. Test Bank for Business Communication 1st Canadian Edition by Shwom

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks. TheOnlineMoneyBox.com

I truly get pleasure from the blog post. Fantastic. Thanks a lot a whole lot for that blog. May read through on... Thanks a lot regarding expressing; the following is a fantastic weblog post. A great deal thanks a lot again. Cool.
http://www.lapakbola.org

I think this is a actual good blog. Actually Great. I truly benefit from the blog. Really thank you! Actually Cool. Actually educational post. Significantly thanks again. Fantastic.
Yeh Hai Mohabbatein

First You got a great blog .I will be interested in more similar topics. i see you got really very useful topics, i will be always checking your blog thanks. Postpartum

I don’t know what has happened to the custom of delivering consistent good articles. I hope that the custom comes alive after this..thumbs up for your work. ΑΠΟΦΡΑΞΕΙΣ ΑΘΗΝΑ

αποφραξεις τιμες This is also a very good post which I really enjoyed reading. It is not everyday that I have the possibility to see something like this.. college dissertations

Our business is to support the best emerging ICOs at certain and sustainable costs by giving them the tools and visibility necessary to generate real and last value for investors and underwriters. ico marketing emails

Excellent Blog! I would like to thank for the efforts you have made in writing this post. I am hoping the same best work from you in the future as well. I wanted to thank you for this websites! Thanks for sharing. Great websites! write a dissertation for me

www.crochetododia.com I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with voyance discount the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! www.coisasdecroche.com

garage door Brooklyn I just got to this amazing site not long ago. I was actually captured with kitchen remodeling Los Angeles CA the piece of resources you have got here. Big thumbs up for making such wonderful blog page! Tacoma garage door repair

Our focus is to supply a quality bespoke designed aluminium façade solutions to the commercial, institutional and mass residential sectors across the world. waling

Regular visits listed here are the easiest method to appreciate your energy, which is why why I am going to the website everyday, searching for new, interesting info. Many, thank you! weight loss supplements

sdsds

There you can download for free, see the first of these data. Überwachungskamera