In the sequel to Friday’s opener in Staten Island, on Saturday the boyfriend and I took a trek to Coney Island for the Brooklyn Cyclones’ home opener. Getting to MCU Park is a straight-forward but rather long trip from where we live so we only make it out there a few times a year and Opening Day is a special enough occasion that the train ride doesn’t seem as loathsome as usual.
This year the Cyclones’ opener happened on the same day as the Mermaid Parade which made everything a little trickier than usual. With the two hours of padding between the end of the parade and the start of the game we were hopeful that the four block walk from the train station wouldn’t be too painful. This turned out to be not the case, when we stepped out of the station the streets were flooded with people walking in the opposite direction as us, and I had to do some quick scouting to determine the least aggravating path to MCU.
When we got to the main entry gates, it was packed and disorganized. There weren’t lines so much as blobs of people generally moving in the same direction and not nearly enough security people to attend to the crowd. The security guards, to their credit, were working fast and doing their best to pull some order out of the chaos. The bloblines moved pretty fast and we got into our seats in the bleachers in time for the first pitch, though we missed the player intros. Since I’d already seen the players on both teams introduced the day before I didn’t mind. My goal for the day was to get into my seat in time for the game, so mission accomplished.
In previous trips to MCU Park I’d either picked up standing room tickets or seating between the bases. This time I’d decided to go the cheap route, completely understanding that I’d probably be in the middle of groups of kids and the like. We found ourselves in the middle of a birthday party, for some reason their tickets weren’t all sold in a block and we were in between some of the party-goers. No big deal there, we just offered to switch seats so everyone could be together and everyone was happy.
The bleachers at MCU Park suck, to be frank. They are rickety, and it’s hard to see over the heads of the people sitting in front of you. A small boy sitting next to us was unable to see anything for large stretches of the game, even when sitting on his mother’s lap. The man and I decided to get up and roam after the fourth inning, and so I told the mom and kid combo to just scoot over to our seats as the people sitting in front of us had left. I hope the boy could see better, he was very happy to be at the game and from talking to his mom it seems they go on family trips to lots of the area ballparks during the summer. Take notes parents and future parents, that’s how you wind up with kids who love baseball as much as you do.
After walking over to the main area of MCU Park, our goal was to get something to munch on to tide us over until hitting up Nathan’s after the game. This led us to what was easily the most frustrating part of the night: Waiting on line for food. Yankee Stadium has a reputation for having slow moving lines but it was utterly ridiculous at MCU. The lines were not long—especially when compared with the previous night at RCB—but you’d be hard pressed to find ones that moved slower. There were four or five people on line before us and it took two full innings to get served. Strangely the culprit seemed to be that everyone was ordering hot chocolate (it was windy and chilly once the sun went down) and there was only one station where it could be made (it is made with your standard Swiss Miss mix packets, not premade like coffee).
Once we actually got up to order, it didn’t take very long. So as to avoid eating too many hot dogs in one night—if such a thing is possible—we got hamburgers and fries. I am not very picky about ballpark food, it’s generally pretty boring and standard—but we were really disappointed with the burgers. They were completely bland and there is no cheese option to add some taste to the meat. At $4 a pop we will never be having the burgers there again, it was a totally unfulfilling mini meal even with the crinkle cut fries. In short: don’t buy the “Brooklyn Burgers”, they suck.
After eating our food we wandered over to left field where we spent the rest of the game.
My last note: They are–or were, on Saturday night–extremely lax about smoking at MCU Park. While no one was smoking in the seating areas it seemed people were lighting up everywhere else. I am a smoker and I was pretty taken aback by this (and no I did not light up anywhere, I went to places that seemed to be designate smoking areas away from the large groups of people). I don’t recall it being this way last year. In contrast, they had a ton of “Alcohol Compliance Officers” around the place. I have no idea what they do (Remove very drunk people? Snatch beers away from underage drinkers?) but there were a lot of them.
Oh, and the Yankees lost again. They did stage a comeback it fell short. Such is baseball.