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 3037 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Viewed from an A ramp elevator lobby.
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.
This is an angle I have not used very much, from the top of the Fifth Street ramp. Because the wall is so tall (forget about watching a game from here for free -- OK, maybe with a step stool) I have to hold the camera up over my head and just snap, hoping I get something good. Here I did. This view then looks to the southwest.
Here we are waiting for the first train to arrive at the station (Nov 14).
Somebody asked how long it would be before the tarp had a sponsor. Well, not very long.
The tracks on the right will be moved to the newly-cleared area on the left. The edge of the ballpark will be about where the rocks and dirt meet.
This is the outside portion of the Metropolitan Club.
Click to enlarge
Upper deck view of the out-of-town scoreboard.
These outfield stands will likely remain visible to passersby.
Signature elements. (And they wonder why we think the real trees look so small...)
The Polo Grounds (left) and Shibe Park (Connie Mack Stadium)
(Click to enlarge)
Party deck down the right field line
A view into the Legend's Club
A skyway-level view down Seventh Street.
Limestone facing and flowers on the right field overhang
I had to hold the camera as far over my head as I could to get this shot, in which the infield is finally visible. It's a spot made for your average Timberwolves player.
...but you can get a feel for what it will be like.
These guys were there, but it wasn't any of you, right?
Wayfinding within the B ramp is still a work in progress.
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
A whole bunch of guys working on something.
The visitor's clubhouse at Target Field. (Photo by Javen Swanson)
It's a great view of the action, though standing here is somewhat discouraged.
Today's match-up (click to enlarge)
What has been actually built so far is only a tiny subset of this vision.
Finally, a night game image -- complete with fireworks! (OK, it's either a construction photo which has been Photoshopped, or some lucky photographer spent the Fourth of July in the upper deck watching the fireworks over the river. Cool either way.)