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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
2007, Noah's first game (Torii's last)
The base of the old Met Stadium flagpole. (The plaque refers to the "Flame of Freedom" and not the origin of the pole.)
The plate marker is just to the left.
The glare problem.
The entry from the platform to the ballpark.
Larry DiVito and staff member (you write the caption)
5:45 PM, section 327, row 9, sitting: shade.
Despite what those signs say, every one of these places was selling either snacks or Yankee memorabilia out of its front door. Do you suppose anything like this will spring up anywhere near the new Twins ballpark?
Don Swanson, left, in-coming commander of the Richfield American Legion, and Joe Kennedy, right, out-going commander, are pictured with the Legion's new flag pole, which once stood at old Metropolitan Stadium. (Click to enlarge.)
Dome, what have you taken from us?
The east wall of the building looks like it will be the first part completed. These are probably supports for the plaza, and they hug the very edge of the site.
The brick has been tinted where the circulation ramp meets the admin building.
Now, why is there horse shit on the street next to Target Field? (I saw it in two places. Mounted police maybe?)
The Ceremony (VIP in the crowd)
Looking from First Avenue toward the ballpark (over the top of a construction barricade)
Because of the scale, it's sometimes hard to realize that there are actual guys down there doing the tough work! Here they are getting ready to pour a footing.
Viewed from another angle, you can see that the bullpens now sit beneath the upper deck outfield seating.
This was from January 19, 2007, when it looked like wonderful things might never happen here.
Not me, but it might as well be.
Here's where I was when the alarm went off, and though the siren wasn't terribly loud, at least one guy is plugging his ears.
Met Stadium on May 17, 1975 (Twins vs. Brewers featuring Hank Aaron)
The alumni band sounded great.
Viewed from the A ramp.
A slightly different angle, and you can see some of the structural elements.