When you arrive in Boston, you can’t do without it. It’s a “must”, a fever, an obligation. You must absolutely visit the house of the Boston Red Sox: Fenway Park, also known as The Cathedral or America’s Most Beloved Ballpark. Practically, we are talking about the stadium that, since 1922, has hosted the home games of the baseball team with red socks
Here it is not about being superfans or great baseball lovers; this is one of those places that with time has become “sacred architecture”, thanks to events, anecdotes, legends.
Here there is only one red chair, The Lone Red Seat, to mark the furthest point out of the field. Here everything is dominated by a peculiar green tone that, at sunset, produces indelible reflections. Here the scoreboard is still hand-worked by 3 operators in charge. Here, to not mention names, Babe Ruth played.
It is therefore mandatory to attend a Red Sox game, once in Boston.
The visit to Feneway Park starts with the purchase of the ticket and the selection of your seat at the official box office near the stadium, enjoying the photos on the walls, and deciding where to sit to watch the game. Once the ticket is in your pocket, it is shopping-tour-time, strolling and buying, randomly, in the several merchandising shops along the perimeter of Fenway Park. From t-shirts to red socks, autographed bats and unmissable hats with the very visible “B”. Then you go in. And you get excited, like children.
There could be, in the order: a rodeo, a fashion show, a country music concert or the Pope’s visit. These would not be valid reasons to buy the ticket. You buy the ticket to get goose bumps. That you feel crossing the entrance, and you feel fully immersed in the characteristic “Fenaway Green”.
You look for your section and you spot your seat.
You get comfortable and enjoy the view: history and modernity blend, simultaneously, giving moments of completeness and joy.
The entrance of the teams: the magic that surrounds all the attending audience. A shiver.
The beginning of hostility: the sound of the bat that meets and crashes with the ball.
The diamond. The pitcher’s mound. Strike. Catch. The referee signals.
Payers’ comments. Mutterings. Innings.
The emotion burns calories and makes them hungry. Peckish, and thirsty.
And so, while the sun sets, and the game goes on, you enjoy the fullness of the taste of a cold beer and a properly made hot-dog, with relish “on top”, to sublime it.
The colors of Fenway Park become one color, while the evening take over:
It is the color of marvel, of when an historical 1912 structure meets a baseball game, lighting up from the reflections in the sky brushing the “Green Monster*”, and making the stadium, players and audience a single thing.
This is the secret of Fenway Park.
And this is, in the end, Boston.
*Green Monster: high green wall inside Fenway Park.