Fenway: Slug fest.
Baseball has always been known as America’s game, and it could not have a better stage to show the true culture of New England than at Boston’s Fenway park. The energy from the people filled the park with pride, and the smells of classic hot dogs drowned the atmosphere with a powerful scent that rivaled the crowd’s excitement. Streets were filled to the brim, like everyone's beers, and absolutely everyone was wearing Red Sox paraphernalia. People stopped Rachel and I from all over to talk about the previous game. We heard it all folks. “It was a slug fest” one lady explained the previous game. “Go Sox” a homeless man screamed across the street. This was an experience of pure unity within the culture.
We walked the streets from the Back Bay train station to Fenway. It was a good distance from the station, but we knew we were getting closer as the parking started rising from $18 a game to $60 right next to the park at a gas station. We detoured a bit before exploring Fenway with a nice stroll in a community garden right downtown where we interacted with a few locals who had a personal box at this public garden. We learned that the garden started during World War II as a community garden to help feed families who were running low on food. It was then continued due to the popularity of the garden and has now even established a waiting list for open boxes.
After walking around the gates of Fenway for a little while, we naturally wanted to venture out a bit futher. Our next detour was along another street where we strolled over to Wahlburgers. We were welcomed by a bouncer at the entrance, then marinated in pictures of Mark Wahlburg. I mean posters plastered over entire walls of all his movies. Ceilings consisted of wording that spelt out his movies titles. Everywhere we went there was Mark Wahlburg. I saw him so much I think it's appropriate to call him Mark. I guess he wasn’t feeling like taking a walk on the wild side because he forgot to blast some Markie Mark and the Funky Bunch. The restaurant is a classic burger joint that was actually reasonably priced for a sit down restaurant in Boston. $10 burgers will really fill you up before a game and save you close to $50 for not eating in the park.
Time was ticking closer as we had an hour to go before the first pitch. We walked all two blocks to Fenway Park and entered the stadium with ease. Our $40 tickets were in the standing area, so we decided to get a feel for the whole stadium and walked around. I felt such a strong sense of American freedom until I was going to walk the Green Monster and was stopped by an Usher telling me that he needed to see tickets. Then stopped again trying to go up stairs and the same thing happened. So, we then moved to right field and sat down. Fenway is an absolute free for all for seats. We saw countless people warming up seats for the actual ticket holders who would eventually come and kick out whoever was there. We happened to be two of those people as we warmed up seats, each time inching closer to the field, before we settled in to our ideal seats.
At first the game was like any other, starting with the national anthem, first pitch, etc. Fenway did throw their own spin into the experience with a blow up beachball that did more of smacking into the back of unsuspecting tourists than it did of getting tossed around. The ball eventually smacked its way all the way down to the field where an Usher that clearly likes to have no fun popped it right in front of us as we all synchronized a “Boooooo”. The fans then started a wave midway through the game. At first it was a major fail, then eventually the whole stadium got on board to distract the opponent. The wave went around twice before we all felt accomplished, and it crashed. The Fenway classic, Sweet Caroline, came around in the 7th inning stretch, and everyone got into their feels in this song. The song was sung in chorus with the crowd. Patches of the song were silenced due to the empowerment of the crowds singing. In the eighth inning, the crowd began to go home early because the Sox were losing to the Angels 12 to 4. However, we never gave up cheering until the very last pitch. Then the flood gates were opened, and we all poured out into the streets, flooding the streets with our red, white, and blue attire moping around as one from the loss of the Red Sox.
We moseyed through the streets back to the train station with hundreds of other fans slowly making their way home. The sky began to dim, and it only took about two more hours to get home all together - not bad for our $10 unlimited rides weekend pass. We were able to sit back and relax both directions (I highly recommend). The whole ride back I was imagining what the atmosphere would be like if we had one, but at least this time we were entertained by two drunk buddies who brought up some wild topics. For anyone looking for an awesome activity to do while visiting Boston, I would say head to a Red Sox game and bring the kids too as the whole experience was all kid friendly and welcoming. I would do it all again.
PS: Feel free to invite me if you need a friend.