As you most probably already know, this will be the last year for Yankee Stadium, a grand ole dame originally built in the early 1920's (it did have a bit of reconstructive and cosmetic surgery in the years of 1974-1975...eye lids, tummy tuck, some nice implants). I saw my one and only World Series game when the Yanks played the Milwaukee Braves in 1958 ("How old IS this guy, ANYWAY??")
and it was an experience that will always be with me. There is nothing at all wrong with the current Yankee Stadium, unless of course, you consider real pastoral beauty as being "wrong". As the new park will be across the street, we will no longer be able to look out to right field and say that that is the place, the very place, that Babe Ruth once roamed. But, the Mets are building a new stadium (much needed, Shea is a dump, a concrete Rockefeller nightmare, built to look modern, so of course it quickly looked dated) and the Yanks didn't want to be left behind. More skyboxes, more corporate suites, more valet parking. You know the story.
Which brings us to Churchill Downs. I hate the new corporate look. The look that dominates the classic twin spires. The look that says "the Hell with tradition," what we need is more food courts, more escalaters, more capacity, more CEMENT. I think it looks horrible, and I wonder how we allowed it to happen. I try to be calm when I see the place on TV, but it has a different feeling now, and I don"t like it. Have we changed the name of the old lady to "The Papa Johns Pizza Churchill Downs?" By the way, at the Saratoga track you can still bring your own stuff in....beer...sandwiches...coolers...picnic stuff, and without a full body search.
So keep your guard up for the new basketball arena downtown. Previously I have expressed concern about this. Do not let them take your season tickets away. Believe me, they will try to. Try to fend off the sushi bar. Don't let all the tradition go away.
"We are the Village Green Preservation Society
God Save Donald Duck, vaudeville, and Variety,
Preserving the old ways from being abused,
Protecting the new ways for me and for you,
What more can we do."
And if you want to call me a "reactionary", well, you've got me.