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):
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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 3042 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Notice that the wooden-backed club seats are now covered by a green tarp for protection from the elements.
Delmon Young getting warmed up
This opportunity is half a block up Third Avenue and thousands of people walk right by before and after games.
Friendly faces greet you right inside the door of the Legends Club.
Here is the most recent outfield configuration, captured from the animation video. We probably shouldn't make too much of the logos seen on the scoreboard: Best Buy, Dairy Queen, Target, Pepsi, Dodge and Qwest...
Click to see the whole, beautiful image. (Photo by Tyler Wycoff)
Look closely at the overhang. You'll see the on the right it is flush with the fence, and then it sticks out farther and farther as you move toward center. More fun for Michael Cuddyer.
North Loop Deli
For executive entertaining
Flag poles, fencing, main entrance gates
Photo by Jeff Ewer
Here's where the plaza will empty out around that skyway emergency exit tower at the corner of Second Avenue and Seventh Street.
I don't exactly know what this is. A first-aid station? Concession office?
Skinny dugouts at TF
Notice the temporary railing extensions
From about two blocks away you can finally get an idea of what it looks like. Just to my left (but out of view) was a valet parking stand where a limo was idling.
Poles through the gap
Site of the proposed new Atlanta Braves ballpark. Look familiar?
This view, through a B ramp window, won't last forever.
Infield dirt used as accents
The dessert carts came out earlier, and looked even better than last year.
Here's a quick look into the layout of the Metropolitan Club.
Skywalk over Seventh
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.