02 September 2007

The greatest

Despite the status of Major League Baseball relative to other professional leagues and associations, despite television ratings, despite the ebb and flow of player popularity, baseball will always be America's traditional pastime. Nothing can replace the unique character of each ball park. Nothing can replace the thrill of catching a foul ball. Nothing can replace the familiar chorus of Take Me Out to the Ballgame sung during the seventh inning stretch of every game. Nothing can replace the the sight of a meticulously manicured field - the green grass, orange dirt, and striking white lines. Above all else, in the eyes of every boy, nothing can replace the time spent with dad at a baseball game.

It was my opportunity on Thursday 30 August to attend a Boston Red Sox vs. New York Yankees baseball game - two of the most historical and storied ball clubs in professional sports. This is the biggest rivalry in all of baseball. One could also argue it is the biggest in all of sports. One thing is certain to all sports fans, this event shares significance among the great sporting competitions in the world. Additionally, the Yankees play in what Sports Illustrated named the best stadium in the world - Yankee Stadium (The house that Ruth built). The two greatest franchises meet in the greatest rivalry in the greatest stadium - What an experience!

Fans of both ball clubs flocked to Yankee Stadium. The loyalty of each person was easily identifiable by a baseball cap, shirt, or paraphernalia. The rivalry is healthy - each fan passionately dislikes anyone wearing to opposing color. However, this borderline hatred is accompanied by a mutual respect for the other team. A good measure of banter was exchanged amongst fans. Admirably, all of it was contained within the realms of good sportsmanship. There was no fighting, profanity, nor vulgarity - just good-natured jesting.

The game itself was very fun. The Yankees shut-out the Red Sox. In fact, the starting pitcher for the Yankees had a no-hitter going into the seventh inning. The crowd was really getting behind him. Everyone wanted him to get the no-hitter. As the game wore on, each pitch seemed to carry more significance. Unfortunately, he gave up a hit in the seventh inning. It was a great game!

I am smarter!

Before I moved to New York a friend who once lived here told me that the library on Columbia's campus would make me feel smarter just by being inside. Well, I took a self-guided tour of the Butler Library last week, and sure enough, I think I am smarter now ;).

The building is classic. It is evident that the school spared no expense on this edifice. It is a symbol to me of the value the university places on learning and knowledge.

Here are a few pictures:

This first one is the main reference room with high ceilings, tall windows, and plenty of tables for studying and reading.

This next picture is the catalog room. You can see this room has two levels. The first level has cases and cases of cards listing the library's collection. The second level has multiple small alcoves perfect for quiet study space.

This is a picture of a room representative of many rooms throughout the building. Rooms like these are everywhere allowing students to find an ideal spot for their respective purposes. Some of the rooms have long open tables, like this one. Others offer smaller desks and cubby spaces for added privacy.

I think this last room is my favorite. I almost missed this room altogether. It is hidden in one of the back corners of the library. When I walked into this room I suddenly felt like William Parrish. Fortunately Joe was not waiting to see me :).