Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Happy 4th of July!

Yesterday was a pretty good day for me despite the fact that I had to work.  It was R-Day, which is always fun so long as I don't have to participate, and I closed out the day with a Bluefish win over the York Revolution down at the Ballpark at Harbor Yards.  Even the Yankees won behind a suddenly resurgent Masahiro Tanaka and good hitting.

West Point's new Commandant got R-Day kicked off with a flashback photo to his own R-Day.  It's hard not to like a man who puts it that way.

In another post, he said, "Work hard and don't quit!"  That's good advice.

I'm glad as Hell that they didn't have cameras in Central Area the day that I reported.

* * *

I hit the bike yesterday afternoon just as a pop-up thunderstorm started looming over the island of Manhattan.  In minutes, it got so dark that I thought I was going to have to take off my sunglasses.  I headed up West 66th toward the Hudson Greenway just as the first raindrops struck my arm, and I knew that however long this storm was going to last, it was going to absolute drench anything in its path.  I was meeting Sally and the girls at Harbor Yards for the game, so for once, I couldn't afford to get covered in New York City road-slime.

I hit the Greenway at a dead sprint.  With maybe a 15 mph following breeze, I averaged probably 22 mph on my foldie up to 106th street, cut across town, hit all the lights green, and then sprinted north into Harlem.  I ran ahead of the storm for maybe ten minutes, but the leading edge caught me just as I turned onto 120th Street.  I put on a burst of speed, cleared the storm again, but then it started to rain for real just as I got to 125th Street.  I ducked under the awning and headed up the stairs to catch my train just as the sky opened up.  

125th Street gets soaked, as seen from the safety of the Metro-North platform.
Rain hammered the streets of Harlem, but I enjoyed it from the safety of the Metro-North overhang.  I folded my bike, feeling happy and alive.

Sally was waiting for me at the Ballpark at Harbor Yards.  They pulled into the parking lot just as my train got into Bridgeport.  I re-folded the bike, stuck it in the back of Sally's car, and then we walked to the stadium, where I grabbed a chicken parm sandwich and an order of french fries.  We took this to the beer garden and watched as Bluefish starting pitcher Jonathan Albaladejo began warming up. 

 Albaladejo was brilliant last night.  I wasn't scoring the game, but I think he pitched just over six innings, allowing just 2 runs on 6 hits with 11 strikeouts!  That ain't bad, especially for the Atlantic League.  We were sitting maybe five rows back just behind home plate, and from there you could really see just how good Albaladejo's command was.  He was consistently on the inside corner of the plate, and he had good breaking pitches.

Our crew for the evening.
Another strikeout, as seen from the right field bleachers.
They look pretty cozy.  Should I be jealous?

Meanwhile, I kept my phone open throughout the game, allowing Hannah and me to follow the Yankees back in the Bronx.

We closed up the night with fireworks set to Lee Greenwood's "Proud to Be an American," which close friends will know is a song I've particularly loathed since my own Beast Barracks way back in 1991.  But on R-Day on the eve of the 4th of July, I found it wholly appropriate and actually found myself singing along with the rest of the crowd.  Hell, I even got a little misty-eyed there for a minute...

We opened with Lee Greenwood...
...segued into a patriotic mix...
...and closed with Katy Perry's "Firework!"

 I had a really good day.

Happy 4th of July, everyone!

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