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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
A look at Gate 34.
A beautiful, glowing sunset after the rain.
Home Plate Terrace -- really great seats; maybe my personal, budget-based favorite
For some inexplicable reason, a lot of the new parks being built these days feature grand staircases like this one.
8:22 PM The sun has caused glare in the webcam, but you can still see the reflection affecting the upper deck behind home plate.
This is a slightly blurry view of the pavilion in center. It has a quirky shape, but one which is completely consistent with the overall ballpark design. Nice work there. You can also get a glimpse of the greenery which will rise above the fences.
The first completed mural
Rich Pogin (left) and Bruce Lambrecht (Source: Skyway News)
Bench seating? (Click to see hi-res version.)
Just one lane of traffic and a couple of feet between the fence in right-center and the wall of the parking ramp!
Do you think somebody's already cooking hot dogs out there?
Concept drawing for the fan/player appreciation wall. (Click to enlarge.)
Those little oval additions are positively laughable!
Looking up toward Sixth Street.
Press box, hallway to the print room
Opening day, 2010
Desolate. Dirty. Mysterious. Expensive. Unlikely.
Limestone still dominates the Seventh Street walkway from a pedestrian point of view. But brick take over as you move upward -- a concession to cost, no doubt.
Final Metrodome baseball sight
Such promise. (Click to enlarge.)
Glass going in over the Oliva gate.
At TF, you never know when you may bump into a Pohlad
Note that, even though the scoreboard appears strategically placed, it's the outfield stands which block any potential view of the field from this roof.
Fun with section counting!
The action drew everybody to the top step. (Click to enlarge greatly.)
Chef stand and menu in the Carew atrium
Look closely and you'll see limestone on the front of the press box!