When I started planning my move back to New York, I realized that I finally had the chance to experience some professional sports teams. I told myself that I was going to go to as many Mets and Yankees games as possible, especially since I was moving to Queens and would have a fairly easy commute to Citi Field.
Shockingly, that didn’t happen. It took me months to get to a Yankees game, and it was only because my friend Jon offered me Mets tickets that I dragged myself the few miles to join him and my friend Kris at a Mets game. I think baseball games are better experiences when you go in a group, so I was really excited to have someone to go with.
Just like I had never been to Yankee Stadium before, this game marked my first time at Citi Field! I had to take a selfie with the home run apple from Shea Stadium.
The Citi Field dog! Yes, I tipped him.
The stadium opened in 2009 as a replacement for Shea Stadium. Many people (including my mom) refuse to call it Citi Field, since Shea was such a landmark for the team. Outside of the stadium are personalized bricks surrounding important moments in the team’s history, including the Bill Buckner game in 1986.
No matter what you want to call it, the stadium is really, really cool. I read someone post on Facebook that the Yankees are usually the better team, but Citi Field is the superior stadium. Walking through the stadium, I felt a lot more welcomed than I did at Yankee Stadium. They seem to focus on the overall fan experience in Queens, instead of just “go take a seat and watch the game.”
Everywhere you look, there is a detail from the team’s past. The stadium seats are green in homage to the Polo Grounds, the first home of the Mets. There is a bridge motif wherever you look, in honor of the city bridges. These details definitely didn’t go unnoticed, and it really made the stadium feel like the home of the Mets.
To be blunt about it all, the team is bad. I don’t know much about baseball, but I’ve seen enough of my friends post on Facebook over the years to know that most of the time, the Mets are just not good. They deal with countless injuries and so many other weird things that you might think they're cursed. I hope they'll be better next season – I think their fans deserve a World Series after all of the suffering they’ve been through.
Now that we’ve discussed the Mets being bad, let’s discuss something good. The food at Citi Field.
Citi Field features many popular food franchises, and there's a bigger selection to choose from than at Yankee Stadium. There’s Shake Shack, Milk Bar, Do, Nathan’s, Mister Softee, and so many other places!
We were seated right near Arancini Bros, so I opted for them for dinner.
Arancini are Italian/Sicilian deep fried rice balls. Traditionally, they’re filled with meat and tomato sauce, mozzarella, and peas. Arancini Bros has a variety of them, including a pizza style, buffalo, and mac and cheese version. I ordered the sampler (6 balls) and got the traditional, buffalo, and mac and cheese types. They were so good!
While I was ordering dinner, the Mets somehow gave up 9 runs to the Phillies. Somehow, the environment at the game was still a lot of fun. We were seated close to the field, but unfortunately there were no balls hit our way.
Tradition said I had to go find ice cream in a tiny helmet. Citi Field didn’t run out of the mini helmets like they did at Yankee Stadium, so it was mission accomplished.
Back to the game, where the Mets almost started a comeback in the 8th inning. Almost.
We stayed until the end of the game, but the Mets unfortunately lost to the Phillies. There really was no beating this view though.
I’m happy that I was able to cross off a Mets game from my bucket list. This summer I got to see the Yankees, Mets, and Cyclones all play, with 2 wins and 1 loss overall. Citi Field was by far my favorite stadium, both for the food selection and all of the cool architectural features. Hopefully the team is better next season, but it’s still worth a trip over to Citi Field for a game!
Interested in more bucket list adventures in New York City? Follow along on Instagram at @fiveboroughbucketlist!