fauxklore (fauxklore) wrote,


I went to Phoenix for the weekend, primarily to check off another major league ballpark. The flight out was tedious, but I did get upgraded which always helps. I decided to try using the light rail to get downtown (which had not been built the previous two times I was there) and it worked well. You have to take a shuttle bus from the airport, but that was well marked and the ticket machine was easy enough to figure out. I was also amused by a young woman on the train reciting Invictus out loud to her friends.

I stayed at the Hyatt on the grounds that it was near the ballpark. Actually, with the light rail, I could just as well have stayed somewhere cheaper and not filled with conventioneers, but that is 20/20 hindsight. Since the game wasn't until the evening, I made my way (via light rail and bus) to the brand new Musical Instrument Museum during the day.

It was opening day for the museum, which was a little weird in that a lot of exhibits were not yet finished. That was actually a good thing in some ways. See, they give you an audio device that plays music clips when you're next to various exhibits. And, if you're like me, you stay and listen to the entire clip, which can take some time. I started with the global galleries upstairs and made my way through the Africa, Middle East, Asia, and Oceania sections, listening pretty thoroughly to what was there (and reading the placards which had been installed - again, not complete). At that point, I realized that I was not going to have time for everything and listened more selectively through the Latin America, United States / Canada and Europe sections. I watched the entire video on the making of a Martin guitar, but skipped the hip hop clips, for example. I didn't have time to do more than glance at the downstairs exhibits. There will be a nice gallery of mechanical musical instruments eventually, but all of the videos there were "coming soon." And I had no time for the gallery that lets you try out different instruments. There are also things like John Lennon's piano, the Chinese Olympic drum, and the only playable octobasse (essentially, an overgrown double bass) in the Western hemisphere. I spent nearly five hours and figure that I saw a bit under half of the eventual contents of the museum. Overall, I can recommend it, but suggest waiting a few months until all the exhibits are actually installed.

As for the baseball game, Chase Field is really nothing special. Its unique features are the swimming pool out beyond right field (which you can't really see if you're not sitting near it) and having been the first retractable domed stadium with natural grass. The Diamondbacks are nothing special, either, so far as I can tell. Ian Kennedy pitched reasonably well, but the offense wasn't there, stranding several players. And Jayson Werth played very well for the Phillies, hitting two home runs and making a couple of excellent defensive plays. I was able to enjoy those plays, since I didn't actually care who won.

In case anyone is wondering, the two ballparks I have left to go to are Milwaukee (which I have tickets for in a few weeks) and the new one in Minneapolis.

The trip back was annoying since it was on an Airbus and I didn't get upgraded. On the plus side, we did get into Dulles about 20 minutes early. I was too tired to do much of anything, so time to go and get caught up on things at home now.
Tags: baseball, museums, music, travel

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