Fast Times at Shea Stadium

My father took me to three places: The movies, Coney Island, and Shea Stadium.

The Mets games always started out the same. A quick trip down to the bodega beneath his apartment on Myrtle Avenue to get semolina and cold cuts. He usually already had the lettuce and tomatoes.

He spent years in the food industry and knew his way around a kitchen. He’d prep monster hero sandwiches and we’d load up a cooler that he flung over his shoulder.

Nowadays you can’t bring any kind of edibles into a stadium but back then we brought a feast.

Nowadays it costs $65 to sit in the nosebleed section, back then in the early 90s we’d get the same tickets at the window for seven dollars.

Not like we planned on staying there. I was a little kid and pop dukes showed me how to move. We’d start at the top of the stadium and just walk down to field level. Or the lowest level.

It depended how packed it was.

The summer time. Those were good times. The best times. You could bring a spread of food and really make yourself at home.

The way it’s supposed to be.

Nevermind there was a good chance that your car could get stolen out of the parking lot, now when you go to see The Mets you have to spend maybe $30 just to eat.

I get it. It takes money to build a new stadium, Citi Field, and run a sports team. It’s a business.

But it’s not like any of the fans actually wanted them to tear down Shea. There was a reason so many people called Shea Stadium home.

It was a dump, but it was our dump.

Like so many others I’ll never forget the way it used to be.

John Franco, Bobby Bonilla.

My father and me.

But it’s all good. Onward and Upward. We’re right back where we’re supposed to be:

The Motherfucking World Series.

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