One benefit of riding the Northstar train is getting a look inside the circulation building. Even though this part isn't connected to the rest of the ballpark, it's still Twins Territory.
The entry from the platform to the ballpark.
A mural featuring the names of a bunch of Minnesota towns.
Up inside the circulation building. (That's the LRT platform visible through the windows.)
This is where you will put out your butts -- I mean enjoy some pretty flowers.
Riding the Rails
If you are a Facebook fan or Twitter follower, you know that Noah and I got on the Northstar train and rode to Big Lake last Saturday. Us and about a billion other people.
It was standing room only until we got about halfway home. What were all these people doing? Same thing we were: checking out the route and amenities and everything.
Here we are waiting for the first train to arrive at the station (Nov 14).
I'll probably never have a reason to ride that train again, but there's something very engaging about seeing your city from a completely different vantage point. You have moments when you recognize the back of a landmark, and you discover that places you know actually have different place names from a train.
You also get to see a lost history of the city documented in metal awnings, loading platforms and abandoned track spurs which used to serve all of these ancient warehouses. For some, this would be boring. For me, it was fascinating almost every moment. (Hmm, maybe there is a reason for me to ride that train again...)
I used to live adjacent to these tracks in northeast Minneapolis, and always wondered what it might be like to ride a train on them. Turns out, it made me seasick.
This probably wasn't a very common reaction among riders, but it nabbed two of us in our party (my brother and his family also joined us). It's easy to understand when you realize that those tracks move through some pretty serious freight yards on their way to Fridley. They have to go slowly, and there are trains moving at different speeds on each side, and the cars have a bouncy ride that is common for commuter rail, but quite different from LRT.
Add to that the fact that, since we were standing, we had to fold in half to look out the windows. A deadly combination.
Once we hit 50 MPH, in the stretch past Anoka, and had a few of Noah's crackers in us, everybody recovered just fine. I wouldn't let it deter me from riding, because the solution is simple: don't look out the window!
Here are a couple of sights from the trip.
Our conductor in Big Lake
With the engine behind us, we got a real sense of how fast we were going by looking out the front (back) window
Arrival back at Target Field
Not only is there a new look here, but there are new features -- including details on two new services which will be available in the next couple of months.
You may also notice that the front page of this web site no longer has any Google ads -- at least not for the next few weeks. That's my way of saying thanks to the folks who donated so generously and unexpectedly.
There's a donate button in the upper right of this page if you feel so inclined. I will use any donations to extend the ad-free period, with the goal simply being that donations replace the (somewhat measly) ad earnings, which go to cover the direct expenses of the site.
One final thing is that the old domain name, though it will still be recognized, is now the former name of the site. So RIP, TwinsBallpark2010. You done good. Hello, BallparkMagic. (Update your bookmarks!)
Thanks for your patience while I got all this ready. Now we can get back to talking more frequently about baseball and our new ballpark.
"You talk about the magic, the aura, but what really makes a stadium is the fans. Concrete doesn't talk back to you. Chairs don't talk back to you. It's the people who are there, day in, day out, that makes the place magic."
– Bernie Williams
Explore the Site
Here are 50 images chosen randomly from the 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
The sculpture on which millions of kids will one day pose.
Here's a detail from the above image, showing the LED strips up close.
A cold afternoon in 323, but we had our trusty Twins blanket -- made by my mom when Noah was born.
Also from the same lobby, other window, a view which will clearly disappear before too long...
Some brick work out in the centerfield pavilion.
The view through a construction "knothole".
Rally Hanky (2002 ALCS)
Here's a closer look at the bullpen area. It's hard to tell for sure, but I think there is still an opening to the concourse right above.
Click to see the full-size image.
LRT station has appeared.
Inspecting the delivery
OK, people are definitely riding their bikes to games! (Photo by Tim Davis, courtesy MBA)
Photo by Tyler Wycoff
I'm too short to see over that wall. How about a little platform or something?
This looks like a Twins Pub, but is actually the scoreboard operations.
Photo by Jared Wieseler
This opportunity is half a block up Third Avenue and thousands of people walk right by before and after games.
The finished product. Note that, at the very bottom of this image, you can just barely see the tops of the windows which look into the Champion's Club. (Home Plate Box)
The main concourse is a very busy place at all times.
A look at Gate 34.
The Carew lounge was all ready for some corporate event.
Overview of the storage tracks.
Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)
I love this view of the Basilica.
Through the windows of the Metropolitan Club you can see one of the displays of Met Stadium memorabilia.
A recent view of the Bud deck in progress
No admittance -- yet! Note that you can see the seating bolts which are in place already.
The transit corner entrance (Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune)
Now looking north, the tracks emerge from beneath Seventh Street as freight tracks only. The Northstar line ends at the northwest corner of the ballpark. One day, however, you can bet that other passenger trains will approach from the southwest metro on these tracks -- if our legislators are smart and persistent, that is.
A desolate Marquette Ave
This view is from the roof of a warehouse which stood where the A ramp is today. The HERC is now located where the tracks turned north (toward the top).