by Eileen, New York Guest Travel Planner & Resident Mets Fan
With the exception of a semester abroad in Australia during college, I’ve lived in New York my entire life. I grew up and still live in the most diverse county in the United States– Queens. I first lived in Jackson Heights and moved when I was six to Fresh Meadows, which is a little further into Long Island. Being only fifteen minutes away, the New York Mets are the only team I cheer for.
The New York Mets were born in 1962 as answer to the departure of the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants for California. The departure of the two teams left a divided fan base that collectively hated the New York Yankees. The New York Metropolitans were born wearing the navy blue for the Dodgers and orange for the Giants.
As all teams do, the New York Mets had their highs (World Series Champions in 1969 and 1986, National League Eastern Division 2008) and lows (too many seasons to count, epic collapses from 2007-2010), but I still went to Shea Stadium and I continue to go to Citi Field and I think you should too.
There are only a few things that are truly breathtaking and the Manhattan skyline is one of them! Even I pause to catch a glimpse of Manhattan from the top of Citifield.
Exhibit B. The Food
Sure hot dogs, peanuts & cracker jacks and a beer are baseball game standards. Citi Field offers these delicious options but also had so much more! Walk behind center field and help yourself to delicious milkshakes from the Shake Shack. In the mood for Greek, Italian, Mexican, American seafood? Don’t worry Citi Field has it! Bored with your normal go-to beer? Don’t worry there is a stand dedicated to just beer- American, locally brewed, imported, dark, light! Oh and they have a gluten free stand! Come on an empty stomach, ye be warned.
My personal favorite is the Gluten Free Stand behind the first base foul pole! Yummy gluten free food? I’m sold!
Exhibit C. Cheaper Tickets
I realize that some of you readers may not have heard of the Mets before, some may have only heard of them in passing– it isn’t a big secret that the Mets are definitely the other team in New York. But they are here and they play on, which means they will do everything they can to fill the seats. The Mets are the most economically sound team in New York. They have giveaway nights (T-Shirt Tuesday) and sectioned off cheaper seats during more popular series. They want you to come to the ballpark without breaking the bank!
Many of my friends who are Yankee fans come to Citi Field more than Yankee Stadium, and that’s not because they had change of heart and jumped teams. It costs less to enjoy the other team than it is to enjoy their team.
Exhibit D. Citi Field
Many times I will purchase the least expensive ticket and head to the game. I’ll watch the first few innings of the game from my designated seat, however around the 4th inning I’ll get up and start walking around.
One of the great things about Citi Field is that you can now walk around and enjoy the game from any level in the stadium. While there aren’t any seats outside of the seating sections there are multiple areas where you can stand and enjoy the view. They even have cup holders on the benches you can lean on while standing. Why not walk around and enjoy the game?
Citi Field also knows how to entertain it’s fans between innings. While we do sing “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, we also sing “Lazy Mary” by Lou Monte during the 7th Inning Stretch while trying to catch a free t-shirt. We learned Spanish with Professor Reyes (’05-’09) and we always cheer when Cowbell Man comes around. Citi Field provides an atmosphere that constantly keeps your attention while keeping the fous on baseball.
One of the great new additions at Citi Field has been the Fan Fest behind Center Field. While this is area is the main food concourse, this is the spot for families and friends to play around in. I definitely didn’t make it through my first baseball game— my father was tired of my complaining it was too cold or too boring and we left around the sixth inning. The Fan Fest offers different types of baseball themed games— Xbox games, good ol’ fashioned T-ball. It’s a great alternative for families with younger kids who won’t sit through a full game. It’s also just a lot of fun to hang out in.
Exhibit E : It’s in Queens!
As I mentioned before, Queens is the most diverse county in the United States. It’s also the most ethnicially diverse urban area in the world with over 2.2 million residents. Of that population— 46% of residents are foreign born, from over 100 different nations, and speak over 138 different languages. We love our culture.
Queens is definitely worth exploring. The 7 subway train departs from Times Square, winds its way through the neighborhoods, makes a brief stop at Citi Field and Flushing Meadows Park, and ends at Flushing Main Street. In the mood for some Greek flare— head to Astoria. In the mood for a mix of Latin American culture- head to Jackson Heights or Elmurst (where I grew up). In the mood for some Filipino food or a very much Irish neighborhood pub- head to Woodside (where my father lived). I think you get where I’m going with this; head to Queens to see regular New Yorkers trying to live the American dream live it.
My wonderful colleague, Jeanette wrote an amazing blog on all of her top recommendations along the 7 line. I suggest enjoying lunch at one of those establishments, heading to Flushing Meadow Park to see the Unispehre and enjoy the general calming effect parks have, and then catching a baseball game. It’s a $2.25 fare— what is there to lose?
Want to book a package including Mets tickets? Eileen would love to help you! E-mail her directly at firstname.lastname@example.org!