Monday, June 30, 2014

PNC Park

PNC Park
115 Federal Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15212

June 7, 2014
After spending the day at the Carnegie Museum of Natural History and a pair of breweries, we took the quick subway ride from our hotel to the ballpark. Since taking the guided tour of the stadium the day before, we were completely smitten with the ballpark and super excited about watching a game (for more photos and behind the scenes action of PNC Park, check out our blog post from our guided tour). When we arrived at the stadium for the game, it was already really crowded, so we quickly snapped a selfie outside before heading in.
At the recommendation of our awesome tour guide, we purchased crab fries to share for $9.75 before going up to our seats. The stand is located in Pop's Plaza on the main level near left field. Our guide gave us a lot of suggestions, so we wanted to make sure we hit as many of those as possible while being cost effective. Hence, sharing meals. Nearby is a gluten free stand called Just4U Healthy Options.


Unfortunately, we ended up in the wrong section by mistake and since the game was starting and we didn't want to be "those" people that stand and block the entire game, we quickly slid into the nearest empty seats for the time being. We figured we'd finish the crab fries, get ourselves sorted out, and find our correct seats. In the meantime, Serena pulled out our trusty notebook to start taking notes about our stadium experience. As you can see in the picture, for the price, you get quite a lot of food. The fries had a delicious spicy kick to them. The only negative comment we had was that the fries came with a creepy cheese sauce that didn't taste good (see dish hanging off the side of the cup). So far, our lovely tour guide was batting 1.000 in the recommendation department.

It was brutally hot. The kind of hot that when you're sitting in a seat, you can't sit with your legs closed or your arms at your side because your limbs and body touching one another traps entirely too much heat. Despite the fact that we truly enjoyed the crab fries, the weather made it difficult to eat them. Sitting in front of us were three young chicks with a whole lot of hair. Listen, it's not a problem to have a shit ton of hair on top of your head. We're two chicks that have a shit ton of hair on our heads and there are a lot of individuals on this planet that would pay good money for that hair. Like Derek Jeter. Since we are among those with a lot of hair, we know just how sweaty and suffocating our hair can be on a humid, hot day like this one. Ladies and gentlemen with long, thick hair: suffer in vain no longer. We'd like to introduce you to the wonders of the ponytail and its many relatives: the bun, side bun, braid (single, French, pigtail, etc.), the updo. All of these hairstyles function to sweep the hair off of your neck, allowing what little breeze that's available to cool your skin.

Behold one of the girls in front of us:
As you can see, that's a lot of hair. During heat waves such as this, let go of ego. You must accept that that being pretty is not an option any longer. Only comfort. Your face is going to look moist and melty just like everyone else's and the only thing this look serves to do is trap sweat against your neck, shoulders, and back...and our legs. Our legs, which are situated behind you and actively dying each time your long locks rest on top of them. When you don't embrace the ponytail on days like this in crowded spaces, your hair suffocates our lower half and makes us dry heave.

Aside from the mass of hair sitting in front of us, the girls kept to themselves and didn't bother us, which is all we could ask for. While slowly munching on our crab fries, we dutifully took notes on the game's action as it unfolded before us so that we could reference later (for this very blog post). Serena entered a few details into her Ballpark Passport Trapper Keeper (after all this, Lisa forgot hers at home like a real a-hole).
PS - note the mass of hair sitting just in front of Serena.

Basically, all we were doing was minding our business when shit hit the fan. A girl that can only be described as a "chickenhead" arrived. Apparently she was a friend of the three wookies sitting in front of us. Without saying anything directly to us, she merely shouted, "SOMEONE is sitting in our seats. We have those four seats and these four seats." One of her wookies replied, "Okay, no big deal. No one is here yet. We can take care of it when everyone arrives." There was no placating the chickenhead. All she did was repeat herself loudly in her empty, bimbo voice over and over and over again. Truthfully, all she had to do was look at us and politely ask us to move. We were in the wrong and we had had no intention of remaining in those seats to begin with. We would've gladly moved without any confrontation at all. However, she didn't have the balls to confront us directly. Only passive aggressively, which is one of the most pathetic, useless traits a human being could possess. It's slightly worse than stupidity only because stupid people don't know any better. Passive aggressive people are just feeble a$$ f*cks and since we have the temperment of Vlad The Impaler, our reaction to her may not have been the most rational. 

Serena merely stared at the girl without wavering with the expression that Brother has referred to as, "The Look." If Serena had the same magical powers as Maleficent, she could probably commit murder simply by flashing The Look. Unfortunately, since Serena has yet to determine how to summon the forces of alternate universes for this purpose, she must settle for making people extremely uncomfortable with her stare. Lisa, on the other hand, was less subtle. Loudly, she declared, "what a dumb bitch." The wookies were suddenly very uncomfortable. They continued to try to calm down their chickenhead to no avail. Therefore, Serena continued to give The Look and Lisa continued to call the chickenhead a dumb bitch. Again, we can't stress enough that this is hardly considered rational behavior. We are adults with 401(k) plans and Serena is a 200-hour trained yoga instructor. Clearly, we know better, but that didn't stop us from being angry New Yorkers.

In order to not disturb the rest of the section, we waited until the close of the inning to pick up our stuff and relocate to our real seats. From several rows up, we could still hear her bubblehead voice bellyaching, so we snapped a photo of her following her 4,000th selfie with a friend:
 
Here's the view from our legit seats:



  

There are four #21's on the league scoreboard in right field. Each 21 represents one of Roberto Clemente's batting titles.


 

Our real seats turned out to be infinitely more pleasant than our borrowed ones. Thanks to the stadium's overhang, we had the comfort of mostly sitting in the shade.  Under no circumstances should you infer from that statement that we were "cool." It was still as hot and sweaty as a man's pair of underpants at the gym, BUT we were at least protected from the piercing death ray that was the sun.

During the 5th inning, we spotted the Pirate Parrot (stupidest name ever) in the lower level in right center field, mingling with fans. Since the tour guide advised us to sample a sandwich from the Primanti Brothers (a supposed local traditional fare) and it was around the time we typically eat our third lunch of the day, we figured that we'd meet Pirate Parrot and grab a sandwich while we were at it. The concourses, for some reason, were so packed with slow moving drunk people that by the time we bumped into Pirate Parrot, he'd already reached left field. We politely asked (we promise you that we asked politely. We swear that there wasn't a single ounce of rudeness in our request) one of his handlers if we could take a picture. The handler totally blew us off! We even repeated our question just in case he didn't hear us. He pushed by us and ignored us! We couldn't believe it! Everyone assumes that New Yorkers are the meanest, coldest, rudest people on the planet, yet we'd never been treated like that by a staff person at a Mets or Yankees game. 

Abandoning the idea of getting a photo with Pirate Parrot (he no longer seemed worth it), we walked the lower level back toward the first base side to see if we could find the Primanti stand. The concourse was complete and total chaos. We hadn't seen that many intoxicated, badly behaved people since the last Islanders/Rangers playoff game we attended at the Nassau Coliseum. To put things into perspective, hockey fans are insane. The Islanders/Rangers games (let alone a high stakes game like the playoffs) play host to insane hockey fans "on steroids." That's how sloppy these Pirates fans were. They put Islanders/Rangers fans to shame. It was terrifying.  The mass of drunken idiots moved at a glacial pace. Please. Be as drunk and stupid as you want, but pick up the f*cking pace. We reached the area behind home plate just as the pierogies lined up to race around the field's warning track. Since the crowd was hardly moving, we stepped aside to watch the race.



We could see the pierogies step into the stands via a gate in the wall near left field, so we tried hurrying through the crowd to meet them. Unfortunately, the drunky mcdrunkersons of the stadium were not on the same wavelength as we were. It took us 20 minutes to go 20 feet. By this time, we could see that the pierogies had already managed to make their way down most of the first baseline. They were closing in on their exit near home plate. We needed to make a break for it or else that would be it. Photo opp gone. We scooted down the steps of the closest section to cut them off at the pass. The pierogies and their handlers were faster. As we raced down the steps, each one was escorted to safety. The only pierogie left for us to take a picture with was the chick. We met her at the bottom of the steps at the same time. "Can we take a picture?" The handler scowled at us and pushed her charge past us. We were somewhat appalled by this. How obnoxious do you have to be that you can't even acknowledge us? If you don't have time for a picture, all you had to do is politely say so. Your mascot can't be polite on your behalf. It's a mascot. They can't f*cking talk!

Dejected, we trudged up the stairs to search for the stupid Primanti sandwich. It turned out that the stand is located near right field, logically not far from where we were, but it still took us 20 minutes to get there. Absurd. For $16.50, you can get the sandwich with a soda or for $17.25 with a beer. Unfortunately, the sandwich looks totally disgusting. According to the posted photo, tomato and cole slaw are among the toppings of the sandwich. The photo made Serena dry heave. We ditched the stand and decided to find the Rivertowne Brewing All Star Hall of Fame Club because it is the only place in the stadium where you can find "The Closer," a grilled cheese sandwich named for the Pirates' closer, Jason Grilli. The restaurant is located in the left field area, so we walked the outfield concourse to get there. Along the way, we spied an uneaten Primanti sandwich on the floor and we felt relieved that we decided to avoid it. It looked sad and pathetic and covered with white creaminess that immediately prompted dry heaving.

As we climbed the steps to the Club, we noticed that it would be a perfect location to get a picture of us with the Roberto Clemente Bridge in the background. A really sweet Brewers fan agreed to take our picture. As he lined up a shot, an idiot jumped into our picture and claimed that we were best friends for life. The Brewers fan asked if we knew him. Serena replied, "no, we don't spend a lot of time with a$$ clowns on purpose." He kindly offered to take another picture and then asked if we wanted him to delete the other one for us. Lisa replied, "No. Now that jerk is going on the blog." We present to you Mr. Jerk Face:
Here is the nicer photo:
The Club itself was mobbed. We couldn't figure out why. There was a game going on outside and no one cared. Everyone was plastered and focused on the television screens broadcasting the Belmont Stakes, which takes place on Long Island. Where we live. Why bother going to a baseball game at all then?

The Closer was nowhere to be found on the menu, but when we asked the waitress for it, she knew what we were talking about. The sandwich is $14 and comes with a side of potato chips. Serena substituted french fries for an extra $1. The sandwich itself boasts 9 different cheeses, but since it's only available at The Club, you have to sit at a table like you do in a restaurant. You can't take it to go. You have no choice but to watch the game during that time frame on a television, which totally sucks. According to the television, the Pirates were losing 8-3. What a nightmare.

We want to preface this next paragraph with the fact that we were REALLY looking forward to this sandwich. The sandwich has been ranked pretty high by ballpark foodies, our tour guide recommended it, and it has 9 cheeses on it. NINE! It's basically what heaven is SUPPOSED to look like. In heaven, you snuggle in a sandwich with 9 cheeses on it, bacon (unless you're a vegetarian, which is sad, but hey, it's YOUR heaven, so it should be all about what makes YOU tick), and either Taylor Kitsch or Kate Beckinsale. Or both. Depending on what sort of shit you're into. The sandwich that arrived was not heaven. It wasn't even hell. It was sadness served on bread. There was a weird, funky tasting lettuce on it that we ended up scraping off. Lisa Googled the ingredients of the sandwich and according to the portable internet machine, this was cabbage, which is strange because the both of us like cabbage and neither of us liked whatever the hell this was. We also ended up scraping off the bleu cheese because it tasted like bad fish. Eating this sandwich was one of the most depressing experiences in the history of our ballpark tours. What should've been an orgasmic feeling turned out to be a "failure to launch." By the end, we picked pieces of the sandwich apart and then settled for eating our potato chips/fries. *sigh*
We finally received our bill at the start of the 9th inning. Rather than leaving and potentially missing a late game comeback, we hung around The Club to see the outcome on television. Unfortunately, Brandon Kintzler shut the Pirates' offense down fairly quickly. The Brewers won with a final score of 9-3.

The "free giveaway" for that afternoon's game was a post-game Goo Goo Dolls concert, which sounded pretty awesome. We tried to focus on what a great time that would be as opposed to the shit show that we'd been experiencing all day.  From the restaurant, we headed back up to our seats to enjoy the concert. We managed to miss 50% of the game because of poor crowd control and sure enough, reaching our seats was delayed by the crowds as well. We couldn't figure out where these people were coming from. Was no one in their seats watching the game? Were the Pirates giving out free shots of Jameson? Why were so many people totally shit faced? Why were so many people not watching the game? Why was everyone betting on horses on Long Island? What memo did we miss? By the time we reached our seats, they'd already managed to set up a stage, march the band and their instruments out onto the aforementioned stage, herd a bunch of fans onto the field, and start the show. That's a lot of activity for us to miss. There is absolutely no reason it should take you that long to walk up a few ramps and find your stupid seats. What the hell?

If you follow us on Instagram (@travelingbbabes), you can catch a little video snippet of the show.


As soon as we got to our seats, we started to relax. The Goo Goo Dolls sounded great. The weather had cooled. There were less people in our section, probably because all of the idiots were still at the bar.

We were about 5 songs in when Lisa tapped out for the evening. The Goo Goo Dolls had just finished playing Iris, Lisa's favorite Goo Goo song, when a drunk a$$hat threw his full soda bottle from several rows up. The bottle landed on the stair next to Lisa's leg and exploded onto her and a 6 year old boy. There were no apologies. Merely drunk laughter. Lisa looked at Serena. The vein in her forehead throbbed. It was so huge, it had its own zip code. And security guard. "I'm done. We need to go," she said.

Before leaving the stadium entirely, we stopped off at the gift shop to get Serena's Trapper Keeper stamped. According the cashier, the stamp hadn't been used since May and she complained that it was annoying to change the date. Apparently, we'd inconvenienced her.
All in all, we wouldn't say that this was a worst stadium experience than our Philadelphia one, but we'd rank it pretty close to being that awful. Great ballpark. Terrible day.

4 comments:

  1. four slices of sourdough, nine different cheeses, candied bacon, and a leek and granny smith apple compote....I'd punch someone in the face if they gave me one of those.

    well better luck in Tampa TBBs

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  2. It was a huge over priced failure pile!

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  3. Aww, sorry your Pirate adventure was such a bust. You girls definitely deserve better treatment than that. Aren't these people professionals? Don't they know your celebrity status? And these 'fans' should be parting like the red sea, and throwing ticket stubs at your feet as you grace them on the concourse for Pete's sake. I do give Serena a lot of credit for her restraint, and giving a d!ck punch to the d-bag that jumped into that pic with you (and her hair is bad-ass, too).
    Do I remember right you girls will be attending a game in Brooklyn? If so, I think you'll be surprised how great the minor league experience is.
    Keep the faith.
    -MD
    http://minoringinbaseball.com/

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    1. If only the rest of the world would be just like you and understand how epic we really are! Yes we are going in Aug to a Cyclones game :)

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