In New York, the baseball stadiums are hidden away in other boroughs. When you get off the subway, there's a very distinct you don't belong here vibe from the locals. You make a bee-line to the stadium and back to the train as soon as you can. You eat in Brooklyn. In Boston, Fenway is right in the middle of the city. There are entire streets dedicated to pedestrian traffic, and those are lined with pop-up stands selling Red Sox shirts and restaurants. It's a carnival. And everyone is so happy. Maybe it was the perfect spring day. Maybe it was the Home Opener. Maybe it's just the Red Sox.
Because that crowd loves the Red Sox. There was a moment when the pitcher, Clay Buchholz, was one ball away from a walk and one strike away from an out. He was taking a moment on the mound, head down, and the whole front section of the stadium stood up, applauding, just to root him on. It was quite a moment. And then he pitched, and struck the batter out.
Our pal, Chelsea, a long-time fan of the Red Sox, prepped us with good advice: take the train and buy your t-shirts outside the stadium. To this I would add: eat Wendy's before you go, so you don't feel deprived not buying a $10 hot dog, (of course) buy a bag of peanuts from the guys selling them in the stadium*, try to plan your visit to coincide with Buzz Aldrin's (for real - he stood up to wave and everyone went nuts), really think about bringing that baby with you, and lastly, spring for the soft serve in the souvenir baseball helmet. You only live once.
*if I sold concessions in the stadium, I would, for sure, want to sell Cracker Jack. It's the cutest.