Sneaking Spaces

Like Harriet M. Welsch, I love sneaking into places. For instance, when they started building a new baseball stadium for the New York Mets in 2007 I just knew I’d have to find a hole in the fence (this is my philosophy of life: every fence has a hole in it somewhere) and explore. I took my daughter Abby early one Sunday morning, and we scored big-time. We even got to stand on the rudimentary pitchers mound and take pictures.

Maybe this was my way of marking my space. I’ve been going to Shea Stadium since I was a little kid, and if they’re building a new stadium in the Shea parking lot and turning Shea into a parking lot itself — well, hell, I have trespassing rights. Anyway, the spot looked a whole lot different when we went to see the New York Mets play the Tampa Bay Rays on Friday night. It was a fun game, though I don’t like the new CitiField quite as much as Shea. Shea Stadium was a perfect simple circle, and everybody faced towards the middle. CitiField has more angles, more distractions, more exhibits and shops and restaurants. Anyway, it was strange to be there with 30,000 people and think about how different the spot looked two summers before when we snuck through the fence.

Anyway, the Mets won, and it was a rollicking happy crowd like every time I’ve seen the Mets at home. The best part of the game was after the game when we walked out to the parking lot where Shea used to be and found the old third base. Marking our space again, I guess.

Let’s Go Mets! The Home Run Apple still works, so Queens will be okay.

And now, a parting poem from Frank Messina, talented poet laureate of the New York Mets, author of Full Count: the Book of Mets Poetry, and a fine spoken word poet too.

It Was I, Mrs. Wiley

It was I, Mrs. Wiley
who swiped
your garbage pail lids
and turned them into first, second and third,
It was I who lifted
the welcome mat from your front stoop
-unbeknownst to you-
It was I who proudly placed it down
and crowned it “pitcher’s mound”

It was I, Mrs. Wiley
who laughed out loud
as balls ricocheted
off the side of your house
and into your pruned rosebushes
and it was I, Mrs. Wiley who
cracked a home run
through your second-story window
It was I, Mrs. Wiley
who hid behind the Apple tree
as you hollered through the broken panes

It was I, Mrs. Wiley
who had the chance to confess
when I saw you in Church
but instead, looked away
and it was I, Mrs. Wiley
who your dog chased
through the pickets
without looking both ways

and it was I who watch
you repair the window
with putty and tape,
stifling my giggles
as you balanced the ladder
It was I, Mrs. Wiley,
who broke your window
and caused you such despair
yes, Mrs. Wiley, it was I

5 Responses

  1. “Every fence has a hole
    “Every fence has a hole somewhere” … I like that. Great pictures, great post! Of course you had trespassing rights.

    I have always been fascinated with changing spaces. For example, there was a pizzeria/pub here in Jacksonville for years called Applejacks, and all the local bands dreamed of playing there when they were good enough. There was a mystique to that place. Not only did my band eventually play there, I also videotaped several other shows by other bands.

    Now it’s closed, old, and falling apart. It’s weird to think of all the personal histories that sparkled through that now-empty space.

  2. The Stooges
    (as in Iggy)

    The Stooges
    (as in Iggy) played Crosley field,
    Which has been gone for a long time, on 6/13/70. I was nine, too young to attend

  3. Shea Stadium- The Beatles
    Shea Stadium- The Beatles played there- Celtic Park in Glasgow,and other places which remain sacred to many, are centre’s of devotion by a very religious mass of people whose idea of god is very different from the established churches.
    These places are the ‘cathedrals of the people’ and should be cherished as such.
    The Rev David Moore of the East End Mission in London when asked about his ‘calling’ and his relationship to god replied ‘West Ham FC was his god and sole religious devotion, being a vicar was just his day job’. Every body smiled when he said it, he wasn’t kidding.
    ‘Aint the same place, if it aint the same space’.
    In the UK, no club which has ‘shifted ground’ has won anything at the new joint.
    The Mets could be in for some barren years wandering around modernity before the new ground settles in to sacredness, usually takes about a generation.

  4. fun stuff, still tryin’ to
    fun stuff, still tryin’ to get you that pic of the lad sitting next to us who caught the ball(at comerica park our replacement for tiger stadium). ofoto did a nasty thing and wiped out all my pix. I’ll find it somewhere though.

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Litkicks will turn 30 years old in the summer of 2024! We can’t believe it ourselves. We don’t run as many blog posts about books and writers as we used to, but founder Marc Eliot Stein aka Levi Asher is busy running two podcasts. Please check out our latest work!