My First Time

Emilie Cole

So Wednesday night was my first time at Nationals Park, Home of Your Washington Nationals,!

I mean, wow!

Everything from the logistical ease (literally a one-minute walk from the Navy Yard Metro) to the resulting giddy excitement (yelping and clapping every five minutes when I realized I was actually there) to the delicious half-smoke NatsDog (freshly-bunned, smothered generously with chili and onions, and juicy enough to hydrate you for the entire evening) just knocked my socks off.

And I wasn't even wearing socks!

In fact, I had such a good time that I started to wonder if I would ever find something to say other than how much fun I had and how much I love Nats Park.

The answer, at least for now, is "no."

After coming to this conclusion, I started thinking about those that have found reason to take issue with this or that inconvenience. I mean, how fun would it be if you entered Metro, walked directly into a train waiting just for you with its door wide open, zipping you right to the Navy Yard stop without even one annoyingly sudden mid-tunnel stop, had no redundant Metro announcement about which way to walk, strolled right up to the gate and then right to your seat where a vendor was waiting with nuts and beer to sell you, and then watched nine innings of baseball with nary an infraction against your patience or tastebuds?

While my first time wasn't "flawless," it was perfect...even despite the fact that one beer vendor accidentally mixed some MGD into my Miller Lite. Or that the bathroom stall ran out of toilet paper. Or, um, the 10-4 loss (although the subsequent playing of Marley's "Three Little Birds" as we left the park kind of made up for it). Why? Because I got to sit in a seat and watch balls be hit by wooden sticks.

That sliver of the Capitol Dome at night looked pretty cool, too.

By Emilie Cole  |  April 11, 2008; 4:00 PM ET  | Category:  Emilie Cole
Previous: Practical Information No. 2 | Next: A View From the Cheap Seats


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I LOVE that song when we lose. LOVE IT.

I've only been three times but the magic of the first time is already fading a bit. It's nice to read about yours.

Posted by: Stantun | April 11, 2008 4:28 PM

Disappointing. It's generic new stadium. Outside of the great scoreboard, there's nothing truly magical about this place.

Posted by: Bill | April 12, 2008 1:33 PM

Being someone who spent a good amount of time in Wrigley Field, and having catch games at Busch Stadium, U.S. Cellular, Petco and Angel's Park I must agree with Bill.

I loved some of the food but its a real generic ball park. I am hoping they will keep making changes to it to give it more "character".

Posted by: David Park | April 12, 2008 3:45 PM

I agree that the ballpark leaves something to be desired. It is perfectly nice, but missing that special spark. It is visually uninteresting. A real shame that so few seats provide a view of the Capitol. It is a huge HD TV with a ballpark attached.

I would suggest that they put a scale model of the Capitol Dome on top of the Red Porch Restaurant where the giant baseball was supposed to go. It would fit perfectly, provide visual interest and indelibly mark the ballpark as being in Washington as nothing else could (except for a view of the actual Capitol, which apparently could not be arranged for most seats).

Posted by: Ed in Alex | April 12, 2008 7:31 PM

I'll be coming to see the new stadium this summer.
I'm interested in hotal suggestions.
Should I stay near the stadium ?
Whats fun & easy?
Looking forward to a fun time

Posted by: 8weeks | April 12, 2008 9:42 PM

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