I came. I saw. I ate tacos.
Okay, I did a little more than that during my first trip to Citi Field. For starters, I watched the Mets get their first win in their new digs, 7-2 over the Padres. But the sentiment of leading off my Citi Field experience with tacos is fitting, because taking in a game at the new ballpark is about more than just the game itself.
It’s even about urinals.
For starters, they look like little space pods. I wanted to take a picture, but my better judgment prevailed. These urinals have attained cult-like status for the fact that they don’t flush. How do they work? Neil Best asked the same question in his Newsday blog and got the following response from Mets executive VP Dave Howard:
“There’s a liquid just below the opening of the drain that allows urine to pass through but seals off odors. Each urinal saves 40,000 gallons of water per year. So you do the math. That’s millions of gallons of water we’ll be saving a year.’’
Who knew the Mets had changed their colors to blue, orange and green!
Other observations …
The food:In a word, amazin’. I really wanted my first Shake Shack burger to be at Citi Field, but the line stretched all the way to Jones Beach, so I opted for tacos. I had never eaten a taco at a ballpark, so I was a little nervous. But boy, were they awesome! For $9.75, I got three filling tacos: one grilled steak, one pulled pork and one chicken. The meat was wrapped in sturdy soft corn tortillas and topped with all sorts of fresh goodies. Three different types of salsa came on the side. As sad as this may sound, they may have been the best tacos I have ever eaten. (Though the chips left something to be desired. Namely, chew-ability, as they were as hard and dense as a slab of concrete.)
My only other food complaint? On a cold night, they ran out of hot chocolate. This is a no-no.
The Ballpark: I have mixed feelings. On one hand, it looks stunning. The main entrance from behind home plate and the Jackie Robinson rotunda almost brought me to tears. (Almost.) The scoreboard and replay monitor are as good as they come. I love the quirky outfield wall and the ballpark’s enclosed feel; this place will have a distinct home-field advantage once the team gets used to the dimensions. And, at 42,000 capacity, is there really a bad seat in the house?
Well … maybe.
Our seats were in the promenade, near the very top of the stands. The entire lower bowl feels like it’s at field level, but then the upper portions of the stadium are slanted straight up, which made me feel like I may, at some point, fall onto the field. My wife wasn’t feeling so well, which solicited the following response from a friend: “Is it the altitude?”
Also, I felt the concourse, while nice, was very cookie-cutter, reminding me of every other new ballpark I’ve seen in person. And, as my wife astutely pointed out, simple things like stairs and escalators were hard to find.
Overall, though, I thought it was a great place to catch a game. MAJOR upgrade from Shea.
Including the urinals.