Saturday, September 24, 2011

The End of Days, Part II: Chocolate and Tennis

I too can live a little high-brow...uh, on Aims' invitation.

This September 2nd, Aims' invited me to attend the evening session matches at Arthur Ashe stadium for the U.S. Open 2011.

It was the Friday before Labor Day and we both got out of work early for the long weekend.  With time to spare before our 6 p.m. admission tickets, we walked at leisure along 5th Avenue to catch the 7 to Queens from Grand Central Terminal.

We came across a Michel Cluizel Chocolatier on 5th Avenue.  Expensive orange slices dipped in chocolate drew us in (talk about your "standard" expensive purveyors of fine chocolate at $75 per pound for some orange slices), and the store had various beautifully crafted pieces of chocolate on display - tiny mushrooms, chocolates disguised as tins of sardines (which I am so going back to buy a package for someone or myself - so cute!), mini macarons and a wonderful little in-store cafe!

After much debate, Aims and I ended up getting a Napoleon and a pistachio macaron to share.  Aims got a tea but I do not recall which and I got a cup of dark chocolate drinking chocolate.

But where's my chocolate?!
So much custard makes me happy.

This is not as good as the ones at Finanacier

Ah! My drinking chocolate!
The Napoleon was a bit tough to get through but the sweet yet tart raspberries made for a glorious custard infused time.  I will have you know that custard needs no help to be awesome though but I'm sure everyone already knows this.  Custard is a life necessity.

My drinking chocolate as Aims' pointed out seemed like quite the process to make.  Indeed, it took some time for it to come to the table but when it did - bliss!

As tiny as the cup seemed, drinking chocolate needs to be handled in small doses.  This particular cup was dark chocolate in drinking form that was brilliant.  It was hot, thick and burnt me a little.  It also was too much and rich! I felt slightly ill after consuming it, honestly.

After our satisfying jaunt at the quaint little French cafe and chocolatier, we made our way to the train to dirty old Queens.  Bwahahahaha.  Ah Queens, I seldom visit thee yet I'm always quick to make fun of you.

Apparently I have to go to Queens for some dim sum, Chinese eats and Korean food.  I'll make it there one day but this night was for our tennis.

Some where in there, is my seat.
The train ride to Queens was a fun one - a lot of people were traveling to go to the stadium with others anxious to go home to start their long weekend.  It was a nice atmosphere and a beautiful evening for the matches.

I like the little board walk thingie.

So many people!
This would have been a better picture or there would have been more pictures if we weren't rushed out of this part of the area before entering the actual grounds.
Here you can watch the matches on the big screen right outside the stadium (still  on the grounds)
A winner is you

After walking around the grounds and losing at winning a free night at a spa, and buying way too expensive shirts as Birthday presents (stupid over-priced sporting shirts! Psh.  It's the same crap at concerts too.  Bah - oh yeah, speaking of concerts, there was a mini one going on there too by the Miniature Tigers.  I hope to never hear them again), we caught the last few sets of the women's match between C. McHale and C. Wozniacki.  Hipsters.
Lovely grounds

Truly great space

In Aims' opinion, women's matches are boring.  I did not find it was too bad watching them but when the Roddick vs. Sock match started, I understood what she meant.  The men have serious power behind their hits and are willing to take more chances.  The match was good even if Roddick is a has-been (as per Clownie's declaration on that).

Our seats were way up and scary to get to and get from.  But I have to say, sitting in Section 334 was a good deal at the stadium.  From that angle, I got a gorgeous view of the crowd, and the game itself.  It was easy to follow the ball and the players' movements.

This is a close up?
I'm having a Gossamer People Moment

During the matches, all must be quiet.  People must be seated so as not to distract the players but during the breaks in-between, that place is the noisiest.  There are songs played during ever break even if for a minute or two, and there's lots of dancing in the stands.  The Party crew goes to a section and doles out free caps or t-shirts.  It's a general fun time with lots of fan energy.

I was not very happy when the entertainment asked the fans to pick the next song at break between three song choices: Maroon 5's "Move Like Jagger", Muse's "Uprising" and Foster the People's "Pumped up Kicks".  I didn't want to hear no stinking "Uprising" but of the three, it was the best choice.  Being sheep, people voted in Foster the People and I was in a Hipster sort of hell.

The ball boys and ball girls cracked me up the most, of course.

bwahaha, cats.
Even though the evening was cold and Aims and I were freezing, it was all part of the awesome experience and I thank her kindly.  It's not often I go to sporty events and this was a welcome opportunity.

The ghost of citi field lingers in the distance, along with our trains lined up and ready to take us home.

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