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.
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This page was last modified on January 21, 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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Many people will approace the park from this direction and it's a pretty great first glimpse. It features all the design elements in modestly condensed form, and still manages to look like a ballpark (instead of something else).
Click to enlarge
The start of the VIP entrance and loading dock.
This area will supposedly show the Twins chronology. Will it stretch back to 1901?
Legend's Club, Section E (Click to enlarge greatly.)
There are no caddies in baseball.
Saturday afternoon, KMSP-HD 720P
Peering through Gate 34
This looks up Fifth Street (LRT train visible in the distance). This bridge is also being partially rebuilt (see next photo).
I would put on this face.
Bench seating just off the plaza
LRT throngs after the game
The beautiful Promenade has become a sea of temporary barricades. (Smoker's Row outside the unnumbered gate)
Now, THIS is just some guy who appears to be hanging out on the LRT tracks talking to himself.
Doors directly to the concourse, and a view of the stands beyond
The Target Center rooftop patio. Hardly glamorous, but a great view of the ballpark.
Photo by Jared Wieseler
Click to enlarge.
The outfield stands taking shape.
I was surprised at how close those upper deck seats seem. From the plaza, you feel like you can reach out and touch them. It really adds to the impression of overall compactness.
The back row of seats in straight-away center. Note that, beyond those seats, you can see the planters (for flowers) on the front of the Left Field Bleachers.(Batters Eye)
Viewed from the sidewalk on Seventh Street. No skyway infringement needed.
Here's one big problem with a retractable roof: completely terrible seating in left. These scant few seats would have been tucked under the track. No sunshine, no open concourse, it was a terribly kludgy idea. With some hindsight, it's very clear that adding a retractable roof on this small site would have required compromises which would have just been too extensive to tolerate. Without it, the design was free to grow into something much more memorable.
This is some of the signage in place for concession stands.
A desolate Marquette Ave
The Pantheon (with inset of the magic eye)
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
From the TV camera platform -- the view you'll see on TV