Thursday 4th September – Friday 5th September
New York City, USA
Red Sox at the Yankees, The Bronx
As sporting rivalries go, Red Sox – Yankees is right up there. This is a rivalry reaching back almost 100 years. It’s 1919, and the Red Sox sell a ball player called Babe Ruth to the Yankees. The Yankees go on to become the dominant team in American baseball, thanks in no small part to the legendary Babe. The Red Sox enter a slump (nicknamed ‘the Curse of Babe Ruth’) that is only broken by their World Series win in 2004.
In short, there is no love lost between these two teams.
So, that was enough to get us to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx for this, the deciding game in a three-game series between the two teams. The added bonus? This was one of the last home games for Yankee captain Derek Jeter, a real legend of the game. And playing for the Red Sox was one of my favourite players, David Ortiz (though the booing suggested he is less popular in the Bronx!).
The Red Sox took an early lead with a home run by Ortiz. The Yankees pulled it back to 3-3, only for the Red Sox to score again and take a one run lead into the final inning. Bottom of the ninth, and the Yankees scored one home run, followed by a walk-off home run to send the fans home happy. We left the stadium to Frank Sinatra’s ‘New York, New York’. A really exciting game and a great atmosphere!
The tension was briefly broken at the end of the sixth inning, when the ground staff came out to rake the sand between the bases. ‘YMCA’ was being played in the stadium, and at the chorus the staff dropped their rakes to lead the crowd with their dance moves!
Walking Tour, Grand Central Station
Grand Central Station is one of our favourite places in New York – a beautiful building in the heart of Midtown. We decided to find out a bit more about it on Friday by taking a free walking tour of the Station and surrounding area.
Our tour guide, Peter, gave a dramatic and fascinating account of the area’s history.
What was most interesting was how the station had come to be built. The station that first stood here was designed for steam trains. When steam trains were banned from Manhattan Island, the station was initially going to be moved. Instead, the railways were electrified, the tracks were put underground, and Grand Central Station was built. Many of the surrounding streets (and their high-rise buildings) are actually built over what is essentially a huge train yard!
After a pitstop for lunch in the excellent food court in Grand Central, we took a cable car to Roosevelt Island, a small island just off the East side of Manhattan. It’s only a short hop from the high rise buildings, but feels a lot more relaxed. There’s lots of green space (including a new memorial to Franklin D Roosevelt called Four Freedoms Park at its southern tip) and a bit more of a family-oriented feel.
Product of the day
Spotted in a supermarket: the perfect combination of biscuit….and learning opportunity!