Monday, June 15, 2009

The Definitive Photographic Tour of the New Yankee Stadium

(Seth Curry Saves Duke is taking some sick time on this uncertain Tuesday. For the morning's post, I'll be borrowing content from a facebook album I created in April. The following 23 pictures and captions were posted after visiting Yankee Stadium for the first time to see the Yanks-Cubs preseason exhibition. Enjoy!)

A view of one of the concourses near the stadium's outfield. The rafters are absolutely fascinating, evoking both construction sites and Moravian-Era Post-Revivalist Triangle Art in one fell swoop.

Another concourse view. The pillars and ceiling are a wonderful shade of ash-gray which puts a delirious new spin on Soviet industrial architecture. It's difficult to ascertain the full effect from a photo; it truly must be seen to be believed.

A view of the Johnny Rockets concession stand. The pipes above blend seamlessly with the yellowish beam, putting the entire focus on the spectacular logo, and the understated but elegantly minimalistic "Shakes" sign.

A wider view. The 'Fries' addendum, fresh and unexpected, is simply stunning in person.

Aluminum trash cans "litter"ally dot the concourses all around the stadium. Putting them in clusters like this was a stroke of communal genius.

A view in different light of the trash cans. There's an openness about the cylinders that indisputably emanates from the small porous covers, functioning as circular bridges to the stadium proper. Call it "ComPost-Modernism."

Wider view of the trash cans. They're artfully placed to blend in with the steel escalator, another structural coup.

Wide view of the trash cans, using a flash. I couldn't get the gaping imbecile behind them to move. I could have killed him, I was so furious.

The sign for the first aid station. I couldn't get in to the station itself without some sort of medical emergency, and by the time I thought to manufacture one, it wasn't really believable. The sign itself, though, is a masterpiece of font and symbol.

At first glance, the water fountains are rather traditional, but when you consider that water is the purest substance on earth, unadorned and essential, shouldn't the fountains, too, be reduced to a level of dignified simplicity?

Nathan's famous hot dogs concession stand. An ultimately successful integration of outside commerce into the pristine interior of baseball's foremost organization.

The urinals are a nod to the classical restroom movement pioneered in the late 1930s. Gone is the impersonal 'trough' structure which has simultaneously socialized and alienated modern bathroom-goers for twenty-odd years.

I used the one on the left.

A 'Fresh Lemonade' stand, hearkening back to the imagined innocence of post-war America, when blossoming suburbs produced such spontaneous shows of what I term 'community capitalism.' To my disappointment, the stand was not run by precocious children, but rather by two nondescript Hispanic workers.

A sign indicating the direction of the Yankees Team Store. Close readers will notice the winking allusion to the First Aid sign. It's as though the architects are equating consumerism with an ailing nation. Gallows humor, indeed, and I say 'well done!'

A bespectacled idiot obscures my picture of what I believe is an Aetna insurance ad. Whether or not you are insured, you can be ensured that I chased this vagabond down the concourse and gave him a thorough dressing-down.

A pretzel vendor caught in a moment of reflection. His hat is perched with glib insouciance, yet still one can read in his face the sort of extreme pride which is almost always evident in Yankee employees.

The stadium produces in newcomers the touching impulse to pose for photographs with loved ones. Here, I capture such an incident. I only regret that the bright green in the upper-right somewhat ruins the dim beauty of this 'found art.'

A folding chair in the rear sections of the second tier. Here, comfort and style mesh into a dynamic unity that both defers to and augments the stadium's 'epic duality.'

A guard rail near the lower level. Never has a life-saving device been rendered with such delicate strokes. It is as durable as a wooden moose, and as fragile as a faberge egg. Breathtaking.

With some regret, I must admit that this exit sign did not meet my expectations. Though the choice of a traditional design is bold in its self-conscious-yet-revolutionary retrogression, still I found that it did not live up to the consistently innovative motif of its brethren, such as the trash cans.

A stolen snapshot of the Nathan's kitchen. The bustle gave me quite a thrill, and I nearly fell over when this poor woman hurried past with her delectable frankfurters.

Probably the absolute height of architecture inside the stadium. The pretzel racks are a 'delicious' blend of looped prongs and parallel support structure. If I had come across the designer after beholding this miracle, I would have eagerly fallen to his or her feet in fervent worship.

An unfortunately blurry photo of my section's usher. I believe his name was Menendez, or Velasquez, or something of that nature. Although I found him slightly inattentive when I began asking him my list of fifty questions, he did wish me a pleasant day with something like grace upon my departure in the second inning.

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