Next up is Rebecca from This Purist Bleeds Pinstripes. Rebecca is a medieval history Master’s student at Fordham University and a recent graduate of Syracuse University. She collects swords and shot glasses, and she promises that she’ll update her blog, on a more regular basis once Spring Training starts. She loves Mo, Joba and Jose Molina, and can’t wait till her Matt LaPorta-signed bat is worth enough to pay her tuition.
Her post is about living in the Bronx:
How do I write about this place??
I’ve been here for five months, and still I haven’t tried it — it seems a task too daunting for a graduate student, much less a baseball blogger.
When I walk to the grocery store on Arthur Ave, and I pass the cathedral, bells ringing and all, I imagine I am somewhere in sixteenth century Spain or eighteenth century Mexico. When I can smell the freshly baked bread and I see the fresh seafood lying on display in front of the fish market, I may as well be in Florence.
The language of this place slowly filters in — a Puerto Rican/Dominican blend of Spanish spoken so fast that despite my years of study, I have to strain to understand it. I begin to spot the bodegas that are on every street corner, which sell the essentials: Agua, cerveza, galletas, dulces and the Daily News. More often than not, the News is flipped over so that the back page — the sports page — is what greets you. Every bodega I’ve been in sells the News; I’ve only found one that has the New York Times.
After all, things like the mortgage crisis and the credit default swap don’t mean much to a lot of the people here, not when they’re too busy making sure they have enough money to pay for a gallon of milk and a carton of eggs.
Most of the people I meet could never afford to go to a Yankee game even in the old Stadium. I almost have to wonder if the Yankees even belong here.
And then …
Then I remember that night in The Jolly Tinker, a dirty, dark, dank place that calls itself an Irish pub. I am sitting at a table with three classmates. There are two pitchers of beer, and J. is busy telling us his life story, something that involves parents in a rock band, Katrina, and living homeless in Manhattan for three months. One of the pub regulars walks over to our table and points out his hat, one commemorating the 2008 All Star Game at Yankee Stadium. The same one I am wearing.
“You go to the game?” he asks. His manner betrays a lifetime in this borough, hard work while the world passes him by. In his FDNY fleece with his slurred speech, he is every bit the stereotype. A baseball fan from a generation that no longer matters, his opportunity spent.
“Nah,” I say. “Couldn’t afford the tickets.”
J., sighing because I am again talking about baseball and not medieval England, slams his beer on the table, and then, in his thick southern drawl, says, “All right, that’s it, I have to say it. I hate the Yankees.”
“You’re from the South,” I say. “You don’t get it.”
The man in the hat looks at me and smiles.
Thanks to Rebecca for writing. She has been a loyal reader here for a long time and it’s much appreciated. Next up: Sam from the Sam I Am blog.