Maybe this is how Gardy feels after being tossed out of a game. I mean, there's nothing quite as humbling as being shown the door by The Authorities.
Well, that's exactly what happened to me today down at Ford Centre -- that spectacular, Borg-like building on the northwest corner of the ballpark site. My company once had space in that building, and I've been going down there to take photos of the ballpark site (and now ballpark construction -- how cool is that!) since October 31, 2001 when I snapped this beauty (click to enlarge greatly):
Today I was interrupted by a voice which said, simply, "Hello. Who are you?"
Tough question. Um, I'm just some guy taking pictures of the ballpark construction for a web site which is kind of a hobby of mine and that a lot of people visit to see some pictures because it's kind of their hobby too and I've been doing it for a long time and sorry if that's wrong. (That's about how it came out.)
The guard was very professional -- even cordial -- and explained that they had been warned in an email not to let anyone take pictures of the ballpark from the building. No further explanation was given. They must read the Downtown Journal.
I might feel a little less humiliated if I'd gotten something really cool to show you all, but this is what I got before getting the boot:
I'm hoping the management company is willing to consider an exception to this policy (what with the Pohlads owning the building and all), and I'm pursuing that because it would be a shame to lose this perspective. But I will, of course, abide by their wishes.
Meanwhile, I recently got a great offer from another building owner in the neighborhood, who was eager to welcome me to his roof with open arms. I've been trying to find the time to pursue that, and now will make it a priority.
One has to wonder what all the hullabaloo is about. My new camera (the Olympus SP-570UZ, which has been pretty disappointing overall) can get a lot more into the frame when zoomed all the way out. But that comes at the expense of glare when shooting through a window. This means that shooting through the skyway windows just doesn't work anymore.
Instead, I'm outside and down on the street, where the view may actually be better. Even with a little bit of reflection on the subject, I still think the worries about people taking photos from the skyways are perplexing. I've said it before, and I stick by it, that the people who make such decisions are just doing their jobs and their rules must be respected. But there is a point at which it becomes a little, I don't know, sad.
Vigilance is one thing. But when the machinery of society is jittery about a guy with a camera pursuing his little hobby (which, admittedly, may seem strange to some), then it has already given in to its would-be enemies. The battle is already lost.
To the Goods
Here is some new limestone:
Here is where it appears there will be exit from the circulation ramps after the game:
Here is where we will buy tickets:
Here is a rest room (presumably for men):
Here is the current view up Seventh Street:
Here is the steel work in progress on the Fifth Street side (yes, the sidewalk is open again):
Here's a view from the north of the freight tracks snaking beneath the promenade:
Here's the Seventh Street facade (notice the glare I mentioned):
"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.
Ben took this picture of me (carrying my mostly useless camera) and Twins rep Chris Iles down by the admin building
A great view from the balcony outside the Metropolitan Club
Scoreboard as viewed from Fifth Street.
Click to enlarge greatly.
This view, also from the same warehouse roof, shows the newly-rebuilt viaduct on North Seventh Street.
4th inning in the thinning crowd of the Grandstand.
TC caps everywhere! (Is that you?)
Showing more of the context for the louvers.
The outfield stands taking shape.
Ballark Authority members listen to the LEED introduction
A view into the Legend's Club
Playing surface dirt out there? Maybe. (click to enlarge)
Secret entrance exposed!
Seating mound (seen from the B ramp)
Memorabilia on display in the Metropolitan Club
Indications that club seating (the wider spaced areas above each dugout) will be a major presence in the lower deck
Delmon Young getting warmed up
The flowers don't have quite the fullness depicted in the original sketches (where they were positively overflowing), but they are quite lovely -- a great, subtle touch. And that's probably a very challenging place to grow anything.
Target Plaza looking toward the grandstand
This is why I get it, even if I don't like it.
The wooden louvers are in on Fifth Street
This is the view from the Seventh Street circulation ramp. It will eventually be covered by the wood louvers.
Ready for action.
Here's the view of the entrance ramp to 394. Looks like they are painting...
A detail from the above image shows that the section signage is now in place