Sunday, November 13, 2011

Citizen’s Bank Park

Citizen’s Bank Park
1 Citizen’s Bank Park Way
Philadelphia, Pa 19148

April 18, 2008
Our roadtrip to Philly and Baltimore started off promising. The sun was shining, we were running on time (for once), we had enough money set aside to cover us for the weekend (including a hotel room in Baltimore), and thanks to our disastrous DC trip, we made sure to borrow a friend’s GPS. We even had Yankees Bear and Mr. Met joining us on this trip because Lisa decided that she’d buy a mascot from each stadium we visited going forward. Serena decided that she’d buy a hat from each stadium. A tradition would be born on this weekend. Before hitting the road, Lisa removed her New York Mets license plate frame from the back of her car…something that would prove to be invaluable to the safety of the Corolla.
And that’s where the good vibrations came to an end. For some reason, that a-hole GPS with a British accent decided to take us through Manhattan in order to get through New Jersey, which makes absolutely no sense. However, we didn’t question its motives since we knew nothing about reaching our destination. Once we reached the Midtown Tunnel, our ever faithful British sidekick chose to lose connection with the satellite. Now in panic mode (because we clearly do not maintain level heads in certain situations), we drove in whatever direction our car was pointing in aka: straight, which of course was the wrong direction. Common sense should’ve told us this considering Philly is south of us and heading straight would just take us to the opposite of Manhattan island, but like we said earlier, not thinking with level heads. The British bitch woke up just in time to inform us (in a pissed off tone of voice mind you) that she was “re-calculating.” Eventually, we found the necessary parkway and while sitting at a red light waiting to make a right turn, she said, “Make right on ramp.” Lisa responded by putting on her right blinker. “Make right on ramp.” Ok…. “Make right on ramp.” Right. We got it. “Make right on ramp.” Clearly, being that she’s British, she doesn’t understand that there are no right turns on red unless otherwise noted in NYC. Finally, she yelled (yes, yelled. This is not an exaggeration), “MAKE RIGHT ON RAMP!” Frightened, Lisa screamed, “OKAY” and made an illegal right turn on red without even checking for oncoming traffic. Serena hit her head on the passenger window while cars flying around us honked angrily and drivers flipped us the bird. Obviously, our GPS was a psychopath.
Aside from the random traffic jam we hit in Elizabeth, New Jersey (which despite the pretty name, is not pretty at all and in fact, smells like sewage) and the slight confusion entering the city of Philadelphia, the rest of our trip driving–wise (and we stress, driving-wise) went smoothly (partly because she stopped snapping at us for being incompetent drivers). We had a pleasant time in the City of Brotherly Love and ate a fantastic Philly cheesesteak at Jim’s (don’t ask us to verify the location because we barely found it ourselves).
With our bellies full, we hopped into the Corolla and headed to the Phillies/Mets game. By the way, if you’re ever heading to Citizen’s Bank Park to watch a Mets games (or Yankees for that matter), never, ever, EVER wear your Mets gear.  In fact, just don’t travel to Philly to watch your team play. It will be a mistake and you’ll regret it. And you may die. When we think back to this game, we wonder how we managed to get out of that place completely clothed, without black eyes, and without being peed on (will explain later). This is the game where we chose to never follow our teams on the road ever again. Thank you, Philadelphia for teaching us the error of our ways.
We parked the car in the lot across the street from the stadium. Side note: this is something that Philly has done well. They’ve assembled a complex where the Eagles, Flyers, and Phillies all play and therefore, the teams share parking lots and it helps to prevent the backup of traffic created by sporting events from clogging up the city itself. Cities with multiple teams should consider doing this…ahem, New York. As we got out of the car, we nonchalantly donned our Mets hats and were greeted by a DELIGHTFUL Phillies fan shouting at us, “Those are the ugliest hats I’ve ever seen.” Lisa replied, “So is your face, but you don’t see us complaining.” This may be the one instance of Lisa beating Serena in the angry bitch department. As we walked to the stadium, some guy threw a bean bag at us and a few other dudes shouted derogatory things at us. These are men that probably have a future in wife beating. However, one nice Phillies fan said to us, “Don’t worry girls, you go on and wear those hats with pride.” Actually, maybe she wasn’t being nice. Maybe she wanted us to be murdered and she knew that if we left the hats on, the likelihood of us being shanked in broad daylight increased immensely. Outside the stadium, one nice vendor (and they have to be nice because they’re in sales), took our picture.
We were successful with one extremely drunk Phillies fan. Unfortunately, there’s a very good chance that he was so drunk that he was about to die from alcohol poisoning because he slurred at us, “You guys are my favorite Phillies fans.” Please take note of the hats we are wearing in this photo:
They’re Mets hats, right? We’re not high, are we? Is it possible for an “NY” to ever be mistaken for a “P?”  Putting aside the violent gestures and greetings we received from Phillies fans so far, we approached the stadium with an open mind. Upon entering the building, we were impressed with the “shiny, new” feel of the place. It’s like climbing into the backseat of a brand new car. The concourse is wide and you can see the field from any of the concession stands. We meandered, bought our merchandise, and headed down to the third base side to watch the Mets take batting practice.
As usual, despite Lisa’s best attempts, David Wright ignored us. We’re not sure what it is exactly because we’ve heard dozens of stories about random a-holes getting their picture taken with him. We don’t smell bad. Both of us shower regularly and wear deodorant.
After the Mets jogged off the field, we decided to check out the rest of what the stadium had to offer. We found a Build-a-Phanatic and Kids Zone. It was the first time Serena found something she was too tall for.
We really wanted to get our picture taken with the Phillie Phanatic (who is apparently as famous as Madonna) as soon as possible, so we walked around the concourse a few times in hopes that we’d get the chance prior to the game. During our multiple trips around the entire field, we were cursed at and a pair of brats threw ice cubes at us. We hadn’t even reached our seats yet and it was already starting to feel like we were in our very own Indiana Jones flick. It would probably be entitled Indiana Jones and the Curse of the New York Mets Hats. Finally the moment arrived. An enormous, green, fuzzy creature with a trumpet-shaped nose emerged from the crowd like Jesus. It was truly a glorious site to behold. He was followed by his own version of the paparazzi (basically insane and mostly drunk fans…including us, only we were unfortunately sober and not Phillies fans) and secret service (an extremely sour lady without an ounce of personality). Somehow, we managed to get a young couple with a kid to take our picture with the town hero. We should’ve known it was too easy since the guy barely understood what Lisa asked him. Excited, we took the camera back to check the world’s greatest photo in history. The actual photo, however, was NOT great. Not even close. It was as Erin says, “angerfying.” The photo was of Lisa clapping and laughing beside a furry, green ass. Serena’s belly button didn’t even make it into the shot. Perplexed and angry, we stared at each other. The vein in Lisa’s forehead throbbed and that means that Lisa is very, very angry. Just so you know. If you ever meet Lisa at a bar and while you’re talking to her, her vein starts throbbing, you should abort whatever mission you have with her immediately. While she may not stab you (that’s Serena’s MO), she’ll definitely do something to you that is not nice.

This was as close as we got to the Phanatic:
Pathetic, isn’t it. We attempted to find the Phanatic again (all while the game continued on the field), but it was no use. Of course, as we searched for him (you’d think finding a giant green creature would be easy in a sea of red and blue), our self-esteem continued to take a beating from the locals. “You’re guys are ugly!” “Die!” “Mets suck!” “We hate your hats!” “We hate you!” “Your mother smells!” “You smell!” “Kill yourselves!” “Go back to New York, a-holes!” Random screaming in our faces. Someone spitting at us. Things like that. It was all very heart-felt. Tired and dejected, feeling a bit like Charlie Brown, we removed our hats and bought ourselves a sausage sandwich because at the time, we thought we’d rank all of the stadiums’ sausage sandwiches and let’s face it. What makes you feel uplifted more than an Italian sausage? We just don’t know.

This purchase would turn out to be yet another mistake on our part. The sandwich could not compare to the sausages of RFK Stadium or Yankees Stadium in any way, shape, or form. It was awful. To date, it is one of the worst pieces of anything we’ve ever eaten anywhere. Lisa couldn’t even finish hers. Obviously, we should’ve had another Philly cheesesteak.

Our seats were located somewhere in the upper deck. Where, exactly, we don’t know. We never found them. Maybe we were too tired to figure sh*t out. We’re not sure, all we know is that we couldn’t find them. We spent the rest of the time hanging over the railing in the upper deck near right field and watching the game from there. While standing there, a group of drunk Phillies fans approached and started chatting us up (probably because they assumed that we were fellow Phillies fans since our hats were tucked safely away in our purses).  Our new friends decided to inform us that one of them had 20-20 vision, as if that qualified for something with the opposite sex. It was something he was very proud of. We think they would’ve had a better shot if they just told us their penis size.  

Chase Utley hit a home run and the Liberty Bell in center field got all sparkly. It didn’t make us want to root for the Phillies, but it was still a pretty cool thing to watch.
By the end of the 8th inning, the Mets were decisively pulverizing the Phillies and the Phillies fans had already pulverized us. Plus, since we never found our seats, our feet and shins hurt and we still had to drive to Baltimore to get to our hotel. We decided to pack it up and go home.
We shuffled through the parking lot to the car. Before pulling away and bidding Philly adieu, we witnessed a very drunk young man pissing on an SUV with a Mets license plate. Thank you, Philadelphia, good night!

One day, we’ll return to Philly as fake Phillies fans, eat a Philly cheesesteak, and sit in a pair of seats. It doesn’t even have to be our seats, but they’ll definitely be seats. We’ll be incognito to the point that you won’t even realize that we’re secretly hoping that you lose.


  1. Babes,

    Hey sorry I couldn't send this comment along back in 2008 when you made the trip, but better late?

    Jim's Steaks is on 4th and South Street, and one of my personal favorites for cheesesteaks. But, its not really the best place for cheesesteaks in the city. I could tell you where the best are, but seeing as how you are New Yorkers, I might actually open myself to ridicule, and possible retribution.

    Oh hell, a babe is a babe and if any drunk baseball fan can't understand that, then they probably don't even understand the infield fly rule, and can't really be called a fan, now can they.

    My personal number one is John's Pork, on Snyder Avenue, just off Columbus Blvd. Yeah, the name is John's Pork, but that's how we do it in Philly, hoping the throw off the misguided. The only problem is, John isn't open on weekends, nor past 3 pm, but it is worth the trip, and within a very short distance from the stadiums. Tony Luke's inside the stadium I hear is good, though I've never had one there, instead eating at the restaurant at 39 East Oregon Avenue, again not that far from the stadiums. The snarky little British GPS girl can probably get you on to the Bank after that.

    One final epicurean delight. The McNally Schmitter. Actually, these are a little iffy. I used to eat them at the original bar in Chestnut Hill, before they found a spot in the Bank. I loved them. Its a Cheesesteak with sauce and a few slices of salami. But last time I had one at the Bank, it was dry and kinda turned me off on recommending them, but if you get one DURING the game, you might have better luck.

    I am actually very sorry that you got treated the way you did, but I am not surprised. Oddly enough the Mets/Phillies rivalry was never that big a deal as whenever one team is good, the other sucks, well except for a couple years 2007 to 2009. But the Mets were perfecting their gasp and wheeze swan dives in those years, so you'd think we'd have been more gloat, less obnoxious in those years. Maybe I did not get the memo.

    But I do hope that you do come back down for another Mets or Yankees game. Its actually quite nice to know there are babes from New York that have a sense of humor.

    Oh, and a little Philly secret . . . the Phanatic? That guy wears that furry costume all season long, day in and day out during all those summer games . . . you might not want to be THAT close to him. Just saying'.

  2. Hey Jim! Thanks for this! Considering our initial trip to Citizen's Bank Park was so unsuccessful, we'll be making a return trip as Phillies fans. : ) Serena's already got her hat and Lisa's fully prepared to wear red. We love food, so we'll definitely be taking note of all of these recommendations you've provided us with.

    We now have a new GPS, who is still pretty bitchy, but no longer British. She's gotten us to Foxwoods and New Jersey a few times without any issues, so she'll do for now. However, Serena is desperately trying to figure out how she can get it to speak to us like Darth Vader like in the Tom, Tom commercial. Or Yoda. We feel like the GPS will piss us off less if we enjoy listening to the person giving us directions. "Right turn, you must go." Amazing, right?

    We expected to get some ragging from the Phillies fans no doubt. We've witnessed it at Citi Field and Yankees Stadium against Phillies and Bo Sox fans, but rarely had the ragging been so aggressive. We've usually seen it be more on the playful side. What shocked us the most about this trip was not such much the ragging, but the kind of people who actually attacked. It was all young men! You'd think that being we're girls, they'd have saved their aggressive behavior for other dudes. Their daddys must have never taught them how to treat women because if Brother ever acted like that, we're pretty sure Papadukes would've put him through a wall.

    Lastly, we really try to get our picture taken with every team's mascot if possible. Yes, we've been unsuccessful with some teams (San Francisco, San Diego, Milwaukee), but the Phanatic was such a disaster that we feel like we need retribution. : )

  3. Babes,

    WEll, YEAH. I am shocked at the treatment especially because you are, in fact, babes. Does not say a whole lot for the upbringing'.

    And in my family, its didn't take Papa to learn us good. Mom was the one that showed us how a man treats a woman, OR ELSE.

  4. Regardless, these boys clearly needed some parental guidance! :)

  5. I just had a really sad thought. I bet there are guys that actually think this makes them babe candy. .

  6. Oh don't you know? There's nothing more arousing than an intoxicated man jumping in your face and shouting, "DIEEEEEEEEEE!"