In case you haven't seen it, this web site was featured in the current Downtown Journal. There's a picture of me taking pictures and perhaps, according to some, representing some sort of threat to homeland security. (You'll find some reactions to the story here, here, and here.)
When the reporter told me that was her story, I laughed out loud.
This is what I was working on while my photo was taken (click to see a VERY BIG version).
First, let's not fault folks for doing their jobs. Some people have jobs that require them to worry, fret, and imagine worst-case scenarios. I don't envy them those jobs, and I'm glad that isn't me, but that's what they get paid to do. (I'm reminded of a certain article over at The Onion.)
But raising my little photography project in even the same paragraph as "homeland security" is just beyond insane. These people obviously don't know that the Twins have set up a high-resolution web cam which -- theoretically, now -- allows a would-be terrorist to zoom in very close and examine exactly...oh, I don't know...how cement is being poured. The idea that someone could gain useful terrorist knowledge by photographing the construction is not just paranoid, it's stupid.
I'm not surprised, however, that I would have been noticed. Look closely at the Journal's photo of me in the skyway and along the left edge you'll see the row of security cameras on the ceiling. I had never looked at them before, but I always assumed they were there somewhere. When I met with the photographer, I looked for the first time and was shocked at how many there are -- one about every eight to ten feet.
When I'm there around the lunch hour, there are usually lots of folks out for a brisk walk. But when I go in the middle of the afternoon or on the weekend the place is usually deserted. Sometimes I bring Noah, and I'm sure we would be pretty easy to spot on the cameras. I usually spend a fair amount of time just looking and then photographing. I try to notice details which have changed, then I zoom in to get good pictures. Sometimes I'm just looking for an interesting "action" shot of someone welding or laying bricks.
The way I look at it, this is a once-in-a-lifetime thing. I've been a fan of the game (and the parks) since I was Noah's age (three next week). It's possible that I'll be alive when the Twins build their next ballpark (on the current HERC site in 2040), but I probably won't be able to do this type of documentation. It's now or never. Luckily, now works out pretty well.
So, it's a hobby, not a threat. To some, I suppose it's a weird hobby. I have no answer to that. Oh, wait. I do have an answer: My book will be available in time for Christmas of 2010.
"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 moat walkway viewed from across the park.
These are the outside tracks which go under the promenade
I could gaze at this streetscape all day. It isn't perfect, but as a model for Minneapolis, I love it. (Except the Biff, of course. Click to enlarge.)
Auxiliary scoreboard (note to TF principles: this is a very good idea)
These images are found at the top of the staircase, which leads to the Suite Level.
The Ballpark Wall! (really stunning)
Home Plate Box, Section 111, Row 8 or 9-ish (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Walkway sneak peek
"Hey, Ma, it says here we go in at gate 34. Must be all the way around on the other side!" Seriously, though, this is a really inspired idea.
A little higher angle shows how the two stations are close to one another but distinctly separate. The oval, glass-enclosed area is the entrance from the Northstar platform below into the ballpark. The LRT platform is comparable to the other stations along that route.
Marquette looking south
Looking out from under Gate 34
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Looking down Sixth Avenue toward the plaza
In March, we were still only imagining baseball through those windows.
A Killebrew tribute covers part of the wall where the entry doors are located near the escalators.
Approach in the A ramp to the skywalk over Seventh
(Click to enlarge)
It's pretty easy to see right into the Twins dugout!
The transit corner entrance (Photo by Tom Sweeney, Star Tribune)
Looking back toward downtown from the end of the balcony
Supports for the little sections in the outfield.
The main concourse is a very busy place at all times.
This is as close as I could get to a pedestrian-eye view of Seventh Street (looking west away from downtown). It's inviting, not imposing, and remarkably dignified.
Reverse stairway view
Denard Span ready, in a swoop of sunlight.
Circulation ramps: Wrigley (classic, integrated) and Kauffman (modern, external)
The Hennepin Grille appears to feature chicken, brats, and fries.
That's Fifth Street (and a tattooed arm) in the foreground.