A Beautiful Day in FlushingBy: Brendan Bilko
For one day, at least one day, hope sprung eternal in Flushing. I walked off of the Main Street bound Local 7 and onto the Mets – Willets Point platform around 11:30am. There was a relatively surprising reticence amongst those walking down the platform stairs and through the tunnel with me. No “Let’s go Mets” chants, no screams, no noise less the vendor pushing his one size fits all caps. It was as if we were all on the same page – “Yeah it’s a great day, but…”
Just outside the ballpark things were a bit more lively. SNY was setting up to record the pre-game show and people were flocking to will call to pick up their tickets. Fans searched endlessly for their fanwalk bricks and took in all the wonderful new bits of Mets history that now littered Citi Field’s exterior.
Upon entering the stadium the mood was even more upbeat. Everyone was scattering and looking for the new fine fare that had been advertised to us over the last couple of weeks. Although I was determined to try the new crabcake sandwich, hunger hadn’t struck me yet. Instead my brother and I meandered over to the rum bar for some sort of delicious mango beverage. A bit pricey, but also a perfect fit for the sunny weather.
We took our seats and listened to Howie announce the lineups and staffs of both clubs. Ray Ramirez and crew received (at least what I believed) sarcastic boos while Mr. Perez received legitimate ones. The loudest cheers were for the Venezuelan tandem of Santana and Rodriguez, and of course our poster boy David Wright. Introductions were followed by the Star-Spangled Banner sung by members of our armed forces. After a fly over crescendo, it was finally time to play ball.
While Santana’s 1-2-3 top of the first was exciting, David Wright’s home run in the bottom of the frame was the real energizer. The people in my section all jumped, screamed, hugged, and high-fived. He got it out of the way, and we were happy for him. Not happy for the runs, happy for him. I’m sure he felt some of the weight of New York jump off his shoulders.
I won’t go into further game details as you can get those details from other venues. What followed that first inning was one of the nicest afternoons I had ever spent in Flushing. From the suds to the sunburn, it was all a simply amazing experience. Upon exiting and walking back up to catch a Manhattan bound 7 Local I momentarily felt hope, and that’s as good as April gets.