"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Los Angeles Minute

I am a New Yorker and as such I prefer to walk wherever I’m going. You know, if it’s possible. I had a dinner last night on 48th St and 2nd Ave. I had to run an errand at Columbus Circle first. I hoofed it. No other method of transportation occurred to me, though I’m sure there were smart ways to use crosstown buses to make it a little easier and a little cooler. I enjoy walking.

I understand that Los Angeles and the surrounding beaches and sprawl is not built for walking. Still, when I went to the Dodger game on June 26th, my older brother Chris and I figured we’d put that notion to the test. We drove to the game very early, parked the car and walked out of the stadium towards Phillippe the Original.

It seemed very straightforward, the only tricky part was crossing the 110. The walking map / GPS on my phone had it pegged as a 25 minute walk. The phone is lucky it was not smashed on the sidewalk.

Maybe if you were one of the Elves from Lord of The Rings, it would have been a 25 minute walk. But my family moves at Dwarf or Hobbit-speed, especially in the heat.

Did I forget to mention my wife was pushing a double stroller? Disaster. You can imagine that an area not expecting pedestrians would skimp on sidewalks. There’s maybe 50 feet of sidewalk around Dodger Stadium that can accomodate the girth of the doublewide stroller. The road ahead was so treacherous that we had to send a scout 100 yards in advance in order to map where we could walk.

The sandwich at Phillippes is good, and probably deserves a Tasters Cherce, but the lines go on and on and noboby eles has planned to walk back – ever. So as we ate, the spectre of the return journey hung  above us.

But as with any disaster, it’s all about the people you’re with and how they react. We couldn’t stop laughing at ourselves, for thinking like New Yorkers and getting ourselves in this mess. My wife put a gob of their mustard on her sandwich before realizing how hot it was. We cracked up again. We missed the first pitch, and the first inning, but we caught the other eight and didn’t leave early.

Good thing, because the Dodgers won in a walkoff. We even hung around so the kids could run the bases. As we were leaving, my older son said, “When I grow up, I’m going to play baseball like those guys.” I think we were the last non-employees to leave Dodger Stadium. Great day and a walk I’ll probably never forget.

Map Courtesy of Bob Timmermann @ The Baseball Toaster

Categories:  Baseball  Games We Play  Jon DeRosa  New York Minute  NYC

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1 Jon Weisman   ~  Jul 7, 2011 10:36 am

Wow - I can't believe you attempted that round trip on foot with a stroller. Congrats for coming out smiling :)

2 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 7, 2011 10:39 am

Wait, they let you on the field at Dodger Stadium? That's great.

3 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 7, 2011 10:53 am

[1] We were smiling, but we did abort the return leg in favor of a 3 minute taxi ride.

[2] It was great, but they are yelling at you the entire time and try to stop you from taking pictures (so they can sell you theirs). whatever, well worth it to touch 'em all in a big league park.

4 Alex Belth   ~  Jul 7, 2011 10:55 am

I've only been twice. Was like Shea Stadium in Heaven.

5 a.O   ~  Jul 7, 2011 11:10 am

We are the only industrialized country that completely ignores roadway design elements that promote walking -- or at least don't make it completely arduous. The health and sustainability benefits are significant, but we need major policy changes before most people (NYC'ers aside) start to consider walking a viable option even for short trips.

6 Jon DeRosa   ~  Jul 7, 2011 11:18 am

[4] First time for me and my brother. Loved it. Probably among the handful of best experiences I've ever had in a foreign stadium - fenway, wrigley and dodgers stadium.

7 Mr OK Jazz Tokyo   ~  Jul 7, 2011 9:24 pm

Sounds amazing!

I have a feeling I would detest Los Angeles for lack of walking. I havn't driven a car in 14 years and don't miss it at all. INcredible public transport here and wonderful to walk through all the nieghborhoods. Also can't imagine not being able to stop for a jazz beer on the way home because I got to drive..

8 Murray   ~  Jul 7, 2011 11:06 pm

Tiger Stadium, Jon. You forgot Tiger Stadium.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver