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What's New at Nats Park

Well, there is a lot of activity going on at Nats Park. That's the first thing. Inside and out. New paint smell, that kind of thing. The bunting was up, the tarp was on. Everything looks good.

Half Street is closed at the moment; the building that was there as you come out of the subway -- and forgive me, I don't know what that was -- was just demolished and they're clearing the space, or were when I arrived. They had stopped by the time I left. There is a chain link fence set up as you exit the subway and hopefully that'll be gone or it could jam up. I'm sure it'll be gone by Opening Day but I'd be surprised if it wasn't up tomorrow night. That could be tricky. (Unless they have them clearing that site on a Saturday.)

Oh, the new statues (Josh Gibson, Frank Howard, Walter Johnson) were covered in plastic, which was a bummer. I believe the one of Josh Gibson will show him in a traditional catcher's squat; that was the one that was easy to make out. (Of course, I'll end up being completely wrong about that.) They'll be revealed April 8 and I'm tempted to go back to see them.


Now, what's new? The Red Porch has been redone, expanded, etc. There are outdoor patios now on both sides. New furniture is coming; won't be here for tomorrow's game but during the first homestand. The floor is new, the windows are new ... very nice.

On the wall outside the Nats store there will be Topps baseball card replicas of each day's starting lineup, which might be cool. Good photo opp there.

There are life-size bobbleheads (well, they're about 7 feet high) of the Racing Presidents in Rushmores, where the Sony video games are located, so you can get your photo taken with them. Stan Kasten posed for photos with Teddy and I was wishing I had remembered my camera. Nuts.

What else? New recycling bins. More picnic tables. More dining rails being added (that's a work in progress, I believe). More and better signage, including LED boards above the ticket windows.

Now, the food. I didn't get to taste everything; they were offering a full serving of each item and I couldn't handle that much. So I decided to try something I would never normally try: the grilled veggie wrap and the veggie burger.

I am very much a meat eater but I must say, the veggie wrap was excellent and I also liked the veggie burger. In fact, that was a pleasant surprise. Those items are part of Levy's healthier options, including a turkey wrap, hummus, yogurt parfait, fresh seasonal fruit salad, and pear and walnut salad, which looked very good. There will be a Healthy Plate Cart in the Center Field Plaza that will serve these items. The veggie burger is available at the Grand Slam Grill and the Stars & Stripes Club.

What I didn't try but wished I had: the buffalo dog, the BBQ quesadilla and the crabcake sandwich platter. I'll depend on you NJ'ers to let us all know what you think (and some of these items may not be available tomorrow night, but will be on Opening Day).

I do have a full list of the concession stands on each level and where they are located that I'd be happy to post but I don't think there have been many changes in locations so that might be too much information. You all can let me know. Oh, and The Post's Marc Fisher was there and he'll write a column next week about the Park; I'll be sure to give you all a heads-up on that one.

That's it for now. Sorry I couldn't eat more!

By Tracee Hamilton  |  April 3, 2009; 1:24 PM ET
 
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Comments

Yes, post the new foodstand lineup!

As an aside, when has this contingent ever complained about getting too much information, unless the information in question was about the Orioles?

Posted by: wahoo2x | April 3, 2009 2:00 PM | Report abuse

"There are life-size bobbleheads (well, they're about 7 feet high) of the Racing Presidents in Rushmores, where the Sony video games are located, so you can get your photo taken with them."

A random thought. How about putting in a life-size Clint punching bag or punching dummy or whatever you call those things, so that we fans can express our Clint-love on it? Then, after they find themselves needing to replace it after every home game because it's been beaten to a pulp, maybe they'd get the hint and fire the real Clint.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 3, 2009 2:07 PM | Report abuse

Post the food stand lineup, please!

Posted by: recurring_dream | April 3, 2009 2:14 PM | Report abuse

... maybe it's my old age, or maybe the fact that as a card-carrying Luddite, I haven't yet perfected the art of reading off a monitor screen.

... but I find the leading (line spacing) of this new template makes it incredibly difficult to read, especially posts with more than a couple of lines of text. It appears to be similar to single spaced text on paper.

... Tracee, has anyone else mentioned this? Could it be changed so that the comments section displays at about 1.5 for line spacing?

... sorry it's not a baseball related issue.

Go Nats!!

Posted by: natscanreduxit | April 3, 2009 2:21 PM | Report abuse

My suggestion for those who find the page a bit small in the typeface area - use Firefox and the faboo Ctrl+ (that's Control and the Plus keys together) to biggify the whole page. I think that newer versions of IE may work the same way now too.

Works great for me.

Posted by: OldDude | April 3, 2009 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh, nunof1 give him a break, Clint is fine. It's the job he has that you don't like. If you had that job of cheering how would you be???

It's Screech that I dislike. Screech - the name of an annoying sound. Better would be something like the eagle from the Muppets show. But what the h*ll do I know.

Posted by: anyone1 | April 3, 2009 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"...something like the eagle from the Muppets show."
----------
Oooo! Sam the Eagle would be GREAT. He could introduce Wayne and Wanda to sing a song at the seventh inning stretch!

Posted by: OldDude | April 3, 2009 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Not to give anyone an opening for a food/Chico Snark, but:

selling hummus anywhere NEAR a ball park should be illegal, let alone IN the ball park.

Posted by: TimDz | April 3, 2009 2:35 PM | Report abuse

I know that this in no way is important in the grand scheme of life, but I hope that the Nats finally do away with the old "Teddy Loses" every President's Race. I don't mid having the races, heck my daughter LOVES the dang thing, but enough of the ridiculous methods of Teddy losing. Having Teddy lose each and every time was cute at first, but time has come for it to stop. Perhaps there is a correlation between Teddy losing and the on-the-field losing. If Teddy starts to win, then the Nats will start winning.

Ah, what do I know. I want to try the buffalo dog. April 13th can't come soon enough!

Posted by: erocks33 | April 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

"selling hummus anywhere NEAR a ball park should be illegal, let alone IN the ball park."

You're just afraid people will buy it, smear it on one another, and commit hummusexual acts in public. Stop being so closed minded.

Posted by: wahoo2x | April 3, 2009 2:45 PM | Report abuse

SBF at NATS320 has some photos
http://nats320.blogspot.com/

Posted by: brothbart | April 3, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Yes, please post more food info! Is it me, or did the NJ banner get a makeover (larger)?

Posted by: Keenan1 | April 3, 2009 2:47 PM | Report abuse

It all sounds great. Can't wait to see for myself this weekend!

Thanks for gutting it out and eating what you could, Tracee. You're a real gamer in my book. :-D I'm especially pleased to hear about the healthier eating options.

I'd go back to see the statues (and a game), but that's just me. You can get some background on the statues on the nats320 blog. Here's an older posting about them:

http://nats320.blogspot.com/2008/12/statues-final-chapter-with-omri-amrany.html

He also has a more recent posting with the list of new concessions. But it would be good to see them on the Post site at some point. If I recall correctly, there was an area of your site that featured ballpark maps at one point?

Last but not least, I don't mean to brag (well, actually, I do), but once you've posed with the real Teddy, a bobblehead just doesn't cut it.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 3, 2009 2:51 PM | Report abuse

"Ah, what do I know. I want to try the buffalo dog"

Is it a buffalo dog because it's made with buffalo meat, or because it has spicy buffalo wing sauce? Or both? (Actually, both sounds kinda tasty.)

Oh, there I go with a lame food comment again.

Posted by: nunof1 | April 3, 2009 2:52 PM | Report abuse

TimDz: Hummus rocks. Dang, now we're discriminating against food too?

Posted by: kfisher32 | April 3, 2009 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Clint aka Ryan Secrest puts smiles on the faces of the young women.

Now this is very cool for us old men, we get "On the wall outside the Nats store there will be Topps baseball card replicas of each day's starting lineup, which might be cool. Good photo opp there"

Thanks for mentioning the veggie burgers and hope it will be better than last years as I think they were just Boca Burgers they nuked in the microwave.

I was in a Suite at the Wizards last night and they use Levy's and the food was awesome! Of course the suite menu is outrageously priced so it should be good. ;>)

Posted by: dmacman88 | April 3, 2009 2:54 PM | Report abuse

After reading the comments (thanks for control key reminder, Old Dude), I see that I was scooped on the nats320 front. Tracee mentioned a NJ template change earlier, Keenan, which the banner change (and the type change on the comments) must be a part of, I guess.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 3, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

You're just afraid people will buy it, smear it on one another, and commit hummusexual acts in public. Stop being so closed minded.

Posted by: wahoo2x | April 3, 2009 2:45 PM
___________________________________________________________

This may the most ridiculous comment I have ever seen on the NJ.

What the HE*L are you talking about?

Posted by: Section505203 | April 3, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

" Perhaps there is a correlation between Teddy losing and the on-the-field losing. If Teddy starts to win, then the Nats will start winning."

- erocks33
------------
I've had theories about when Teddy would win all along. My first guess was he would win at RFK's last game, then I surmised that Teddy would win Opening Night in the new ballpark. My current theory is that Teddy represents the Nationals in the president races, and he will win his first race when the Nats clinch their first division title. If that's the case, then I say it's worth the wait! Or he may never win...

Posted by: cheeseburger53 | April 3, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

@ wahoo2x: touche...and groan.

@ kfisher32: Not discriminating at all...I'm just a traditionalist...Kind of the opposite of serving of hotdogs at a fancy wedding reception.

Posted by: TimDz | April 3, 2009 2:56 PM | Report abuse

Thing is, now it's okay (kosher, even?) to make food comments, nunof, because it's a food-related thread. Weird, isn't it? I assumed buffalo meat, but you raise an interesting point.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 3, 2009 2:57 PM | Report abuse

I think that it was just a case of a jocular swing and a miss, 505203. Moving on, new post up.

Posted by: natsfan1a1 | April 3, 2009 2:59 PM | Report abuse

First of all, it's good to know there are vegetarian options. Thanks for that, and for all the other information, Tracee.

Secondly, it is imperative that "hummusexual" and "bigify" be entered into the NJ lexicon.

Finally, we can only have Sam the Eagle if we include Statler and Waldorf in the stands. They could cut to them in between opponents ABs and they could criticize the opponents outcome.

Statler: I'd heckle, but I think he's doing a good enough job of embarrassing himself.

Waldorf: I just scored that play ZZZ in my Bob Carpenter scorebook!

Both: Ha ha ha!

Hey, Jim Henson was a local guy (Northwestern High School, University of Maryland), and the Muppets (okay, Sam and Friends) first debuted on NBC-4. Maybe they could make it work...

Posted by: JohninMpls | April 3, 2009 3:11 PM | Report abuse

"...something like the eagle from the Muppets show."
----------
Oooo! Sam the Eagle would be GREAT. He could introduce Wayne and Wanda to sing a song at the seventh inning stretch!

Posted by: OldDude | April 3, 2009 2:32 PM

-----------

And there are plenty of people here who could portray Statler and Waldorf.

Posted by: greggwiggins | April 3, 2009 3:17 PM | Report abuse

TH, did you mean the building across the street from the Half St. Metrorail entrance, the old Metrobus garage that was used for valet parking last year?

Posted by: greggwiggins | April 3, 2009 3:21 PM | Report abuse

@dmacman88: Clint does not put a smile on the face of all young women.

My daughter ran into him at an Adams Morgan bar and reports that he's even more obnoxious than his Nationals Park gig makes him appear.

She was not impressed.

Posted by: Meridian1 | April 3, 2009 3:43 PM | Report abuse

I put up some photos from today's tour and food tasting and there will be a slideshow with more soon if you'd like to check them out.

http://natsnewsnetwork.blogspot.com/2009/04/taste-of-nationals-park.html

Posted by: baseballphotosbycheryl | April 3, 2009 3:58 PM | Report abuse

LMFAO @ wahoo2x.......

Posted by: dah1963 | April 3, 2009 5:25 PM | Report abuse

Nationals owner Theodore Lerner is now worth $3.2 billion dollars. The Lerner family already owns art, a major league baseball team, and lots of real estate.

Art is good. Baseball is good. But why is the cash-strapped DC Government buying art work for the wealthy Lerners?

See

http://notionscapital.wordpress.com/2009/03/26/dc-buys-bronze-bobbleheads-for-billionaires/

Posted by: MikeLicht | April 8, 2009 8:23 PM | Report abuse

The comments to this entry are closed.

 
 
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