Part One… photos by Posh.
Posh’s dear friend Emily whisked us over to Petco Park shortly after we landed in sunny San Diego. A baseball stadium built right downtown, as this one was, is a smart move. There’s no room for tailgating, but you gain walking access to other attractions, i.e. bars and restaurants.
As I’ve mentioned before: theirs is a stadium plunked in the middle of a revitalized gaslamp district where palm trees line the streets and 20-somethings get their start stumbling home from outdoor cafes, or the marina, or the beach. Ours sits in a post-industrial wasteland of endless parking lots and abandoned warehouses on what was once a hellish swamp in a soggy river valley. Their stadium has an outfield view of shimmering offices, condominiums and a convention center; ours has a view of a highway… and more parking lots.
We circled outside the park along the homeplate side, adjacent to the San Diego Convention Center, which I perceived to be the size of roughly an airport, bus terminal and two convention centers combined. It seemed to be made of nothing but flying buttresses and glass, and resembled the Spanish Armada. While we were out there it was hosting a convention… for people who host conventions.
We got our tickets from the will-call window. They were wide and printed with the Padres All-Star and that day’s starting pitcher Jake Peavy.
“Look, babe,” Posh said. “Another ticket to put up on your wall!”
Yes, I’ve taped the tickets from the few dozen games I’ve been to this year to my apartment wall. Yes, I’m a loser. The will-call window girl — who was either: smiling at us, or laughing at me — wished us a good time. So did the kind elderly lady who scanned our tickets. Thanks, kind elderly lady!
We walked up some stairs, which for no particular reason were flanked by a waterfall fountain.
“I have a feeling this is going to be impressive,” I told Posh.
First things first. Where’s the bar?
Oh, here’s one… outside… in the warm California sun… ventilated by a sea breeze… and I’m feeling faint. Am I dead? Is this heaven?
I didn’t blanch at the Sun Tax: $19.50 for a raspberry vodka with soda and a Sauza rocks margarita. We bought some popcorn and hotdogs — it was 2-for-1, so that means two regulars and two veggie dogs for us — and found our seats… and watched Peavy and Ben Sheets bash each other’s brains out for seven innings.