This just can't be. I mean, bridges don't collapse. Cars don't plunge into rivers. These things just don't happen. Maybe on TV. Far away. Not here.
Over and over tonight I've heard it said that 100,000 cars crossed that bridge on an average day. You probably crossed it over and over yourself, probably very recently, possibly on the way to or from a game. I certainly have. And I almost crossed it tonight at the very wrong time.
My receipt from Target at the Quarry is stamped 5:54 PM. 35W south is my route home from there, but the entrance ramp was closed due to construction. So I headed toward the East Hennepin ramp.
When I got there, just before 6:00 PM, I could see that the traffic was like a painting, and I realized I was later than planned in heading toward home. I did the mental calculation: a mile and a half to the Hiawatha exit in construction would take about 5 to 10 minutes. The alternate route, city streets to the 10th Avenue bridge, would take about the same amount of time.
The car in front of me headed down the freeway ramp and then stopped. I was prepared to follow it right into stop-n-go purgatory, but in a moment of impatience I made the snap decision to keep moving and opt for the city streets. There was no other reason -- no premonition or ominous feeling or anything. I was simply tired of sitting in traffic.
I figure that I crossed the 10th Avenue bridge a minute or two before the collapse. You can probably see what else I've figured out. And after putting the pieces together, I watched the first couple of hours of coverage through the blinders of shock.
Earlier today, I expended a great deal of effort getting Noah ready for tomorrow. We talked about the train station and the train, the Metrodome and the baseball game, and all the players. ("Who's in the dugout?" "Gardy!") We talked about baseball and the new ballpark all day. We got to the point where he could almost recite back to me the whole schedule we had planned for tomorrow.
I had heard there was grass on the asphalt (thanks, Tube), so I detoured downtown to get some pictures before heading toward the Quarry and my errands.
Turns out there were also tents, and bleachers, and a stage. It's a beautiful sight.
But the Twins did the right thing in postponing tomorrow's events. There was no other choice. And while I'm disappointed that we won't get to have our baseball day tomorrow, tonight I'm just deeply thankful that my car is not in the river, and that Noah and his mom and I will have another tomorrow together.
Without getting too melodramatic, let's admit that we make hundreds of choices every day which could alter our lives in ways we cannot anticipate. Sure we make plans, but in the end we get what we get. We come to a fork in the road and we take it.
We assume that the bridge won't collapse. We assume that our car won't plunge into the river. We assume we will get to use those tickets. We assume we'll be home for dinner in a few minutes.
And there it is.
My heart goes out to all those touched by this Big Unimaginable. There will be a time for our ballpark celebration. Now is a time to grieve and heal.
"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 3019 found on this site. Click the image to be taken to the original post. A new list is created every 10 minutes.
Did I mention that the cheerleaders looked pretty sharp?
The glare problem.
Field access on the visitor's side
Looking back toward the doorway into the club
The plaza has been finished off just beautifully.
Concept drawing of Coomer gate (click to enlarge)
The Puckett atrium fireplace is just barely visible at the far left.
The start of the VIP entrance and loading dock.
The view from our Loge Box
Sunday afternoon, WFTC-HD 720P
Solution for a hot night, just inside Gate 34 (that's a cool mist, by the way, not hot steam, which would be kind of cruel)
Near the end of the Angels' 4-run second inning.
Photo by Jeff Ewer
September 23, 2007
Looking up toward Sixth Street.
Also warming things up are these planters.
This terrible picture shows the netting in place through a knothole on Fifth
A look at Gate 34.
A walkway begins to form (this is as close as you can get right now)
Bassett Creek's path through the ballpark site (Source: Minneapolis Public Library)
TCF Bank Stadium (click to enlarge)
To the left, out of view, was a row of guys in very nice suits. Most I did not recognize.
B ramp glimpse
I do love the upper concourse. Feels like home already.
The plaza as viewed from across the park. The right field overhang section will be built just in from where the plaza supports are.
"I've never seen them do that before," said a Metropolitan Club waiter as I snapped this picture.
I'm too short to see over that wall. How about a little platform or something?
From last week, you can see the piers taking shape. I believe that the front row, visible here as just forms and reinforcing rods, is the front edge of the plaza.
Looking across the top of the batter's eye
Legends Club seats feature in-seat service
One thing that the design disguises nicely is that the Pro Shop (and other key components) are actually built over lanes of freeway. That can clearly be seen here.
4th inning in the thinning crowd of the Grandstand.