Taking a trip down to the ballpark between appointments this afternoon was a spontaneous decision which reaped some surprising rewards.
It has seemed for months now like all we can do is wait for the gates to swing open, that there was nothing left to discover from the sidewalks. Well, wrong.
After reporting here on numerous occasions that there were no knotholes from which any part of the action could be seen, lo and behold I found one.
It's pretty tiny, part of the Oliva gate area. In fact, though I didn't measure it very scientifically, I discovered that moving my camera about six inches one way or the other was enough to make it disappear. So, if you can't get a ticket, find that foot of gatespace and claim it for your own.
Just don't get your hopes up because there's a lot of concourse and standing room between that gate and the action. Odds are quite high that if you stand here during a game, you'll be looking at asses.
For reference, here's what you'll see through the long-touted "official" knotholes:
Knothole non-view #1
Knothole non-view #2
But there were other things to discover.
The circulation building is such a distinctly separate part of the design, that it never occurred to me that it could contain any ballpark operations. But lo and behold, there are ticket windows -- warm, climate-controlled ticket windows, behind that glass.
In fact, here's some of that climate control now:
Stay warm while buying tickets.
Directly above this scene, furniture has gone in on the Town Ball Tavern balcony.
Town Ball Tavern balcony
Now that the barricades are gone, there's lots to see behind the Oliva gate.
Heaters over standing room (the backs of the retired number circles visible above)
Note the speakers hanging beneath that deck
It's so great to see TC caps walking around down there. If you haven't taken a sidewalk tour, now's the time.
"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
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The knothole (sans view of anything interesting)
Nine spots for hops bats.
Mary Larson (left), a music teacher from Maple Grove, was a TwinsFest SSB winner and got to sing the anthem before the game.
A final glimpse from the street of stadia installation along the left field line
This is also the promenade, where the first indications of the final texture of the walkway can be seen. This layer of concrete is going on top of gravel (as has been done over on the plaza).
Larry DiVito, mowing
A sharp-eyed reader caught me trying to make the best of a bad situation with my SP-570UZ on Sunday afternoon
A familiar view through the top floor elevator lobby window in ramp B (HRP View and Terrace).
The green in question (click for very large version)
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.