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3 years in: current thoughts on nationals park?

  • the Fed Hill development and bar scene existed prior to OPACY-it continued on after it was built but that area was actually one of the few nice spots downtown in the late 80s.

    anytime you bring 70K into town for a Ravens game, of course the size of the crowd makes the party. If the Skins had a stadium near Capitol Hill, do you think the tailgate scene in the surrounding hoods would be any different? And that's a far cry from most Orioles games.

    I was just in the inner harbor not long ago-what scenary are we talking about? The powerplant live? it's not bad but a tad cheesy, don't you think? There were a lot of empty spaces in the inner harbor area and what was left were chain restaurants and stores-hardly this image of charm city.

    PennQ/chinatown is a commercial area that turned into mixed development...it's not a neighborhood with brownstones or corner pubs...that's why they built lofts and high end condos, and brought in higher end restaurants and shops. Baltimore folks like to claim DC is sterile and without character, but that's largely in part due to Baltimore's make-up where nice little cozy hoods are adjacent to sketchy streets. There are a lot of hoods (mentioned below) that are not sterile, but in general DC is just segregated differently because when the wealth comes in, it takes the entire hood, not gentrification by the block as is done in Bmore.

    The bottom line is whether the team is good or not to bring the crowd in. I went to an O's game pre-Buck and the scene outside the stadium was nothing special as evident by the small crowd inside the stadium. When they build around Nats park, it will be a good scene. DC has turned one hood after another (H street, U street, 14th Street, Ledroit, Logan, Eastern Market/Mt. Vernon, Adams Morgan, etc...) for the past dozen years...I doubt that will stop if the developers pour money into SW Dc outside the stadium.

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by TerpPride 3 years ago

  • The beauty of the Pickles / Sliders area is the outdoor drinking space so close to the stadium, especially on an amazing day like yesterday. I attached a photo of the scene during the game game yesterday (I wasnt able to score a ticket so watched there). Chinatown doesnt have that type of outdoor drinking space. I much prefer the bars around Federal Hill to those around Chinatown - they have more character as opposed to the more sterile, mostly chain bars of Chinatown. Thats a personal preference though.

    The nats bullpen place across from the stadium was pretty cool the few times I visited... is that still there?

    re: Ravens tailgating: Theres tons of parking lots and tailgating around the stadium, but its more of a mix of bars and tailgating then other stadiums like Philly, KC or Green Bay.

  • if comparing outdoor tailgating at football and baseball games to the scene of a downtown arena is the objective, I'm not sure what the point would be. Hopefully the Nats will ultimately have a similar tailgate/bar scene when they develop that area.

  • KLynch said... (original post)

    I think Nats Park is very nice, I plan on visiting again when the O's are in town. I always say that Camden yards is like a beautifully restored Historic Mansion, and Nats Park is like a brand new Ryland Home. I'm into character, so I'm more of a fan of Camden Yards.

    This just depresses me.

    I need to find a way to be happier about the boring stadium, but I can't. I wish it faced the river and didn't have the upper deck blocking the view of it. I wish its external architecture wasn't so bland.

    I will just have to let it go, realize it's a fun place to watch baseball, and worry about beautiful views and nice architecture when I'm not watching baseball. I guess if it were an amazing, slamdunk perfect ballpark that every other fanbase was jealous of, I'd probably spend too much money there anyway.

  • KLynch said... (original post)

    Federal Hill is one of the great neighborhood transformations anywhere, and I think you can credit the Stadiums for it. Federal Hill during a Ravens game is just insane. What is so great about Chinatown? It just another sterile development in DC.

    You say this like Verizon Center/GP/Chinatown/PQ was one huge planned development. Let's put the arena here, the AT&T store here, Legal Seafood there, Fuddrucker's over there, turn on the lights and watch the people come. That whole area was absolutely nubs before VC. There was nothing doing. Do I wish there were less franchise/chains occupying spots down there? Sure, but they only went there because VC brought people down and opened that area up.

    I'm not going to lose sleep because that area isn't "keeping it real" considering what it was before. I can get a Thai dinner and four beers for $25 before a game...I don't really feel I'm missing out because it's not $2 Bud products all night with 98 Rock broadcasting live in the corner underneath the Eddie Murray jersey on the wall.

  • Cantina Marina $3 beers before game. Get sloshed. Metro one stop to Navy Yard.

  • MocoLunchbox said... (original post)

    Cantina Marina $3 beers before game. Get sloshed. Metro one stop to Navy Yard.

    It's less than a mile walk. Don't even bother with the metro from Cantina Marina.

    http://goo.gl/maps/EaiE

  • I think the hate has gone a little too far on Chinatown. Yes, it's a bit chainy, but it's a pretty fun place to be now. I will give DC props for what the arena has done to that area.

  • JJBittenbinder said... (original post)

    Downtown (or near downtown) stadiums really can't qualify for best tailgate scenes. Sorry. I kind of hate crappy stadiums out in the middle of massive parking lots, but these are the champs of tailgating, and it isn't even close. Kansas City, Philly, Meadowlands, Orchard Park, and so on; those are the best tailgate scenes.

    I really don't agree with this.

    KC, sure awesome tailgating scene.

    nothing that memorable about either Philly or Meadowlands though.

    as a Redskins fan, the absolute worst is FedEx field. thankfully, I'm done going there after last season.

    the "best" tailgating environments that I have seen are Green Bay (#1 by a long shot, the whole town shuts down, and it's a big party), and Pittsburgh.

    Raven's tailgating kicks the Redskins's asses, and it isn't close. I'd rank the Ravens in/at/around a top 5. Lots of stuff to do, and good atmosphere.

    The new Nat's stadium is OK, nothing more, and nothing less. They should have definitely taken a page from both Camden Yards and PNC in regard to site lines. But they didn't. They HAD to build that big ass garage just outside the Stadium because they needed the Parking to comply with Zoning requirements. It WILL be better once the neighborhood around it improves/starts development. It'll probably be 5-10 years before this is fully built out.

  • Terpito

    FWIW, the parking garages will get knocked down at some point once they get parking in the surrounding developments figured out.

  • Haven't been to Wrigley, but I've been to just about every ballpark on the East Coast, plus a few other random places and I think Pickles/Sliders is a close second to Fenway for best bar scene around the ballpark. Fenway is relatively expensive too, so I honestly could see that going either way. Yankee Stadium has a few good bars across the street from the old place but it just way too expensive. Everywhere else I've been has little to no pregame scene, unless you count tailgating in the parking lot (Philly).

  • canadianpotato said...

    It's less than a mile walk. Don't even bother with the metro from Cantina Marina.

    http://goo.gl/maps/EaiE

    --

    Agreed. Metro noted for the lazy ones

    This post was edited by MocoLunchbox 3 years ago

  • TerpPride said... (original post)

    the Fed Hill development and bar scene existed prior to OPACY-it continued on after it was built but that area was actually one of the few nice spots downtown in the late 80s.

    Federal Hill did exist in the 80's but it is nothing like it is now. The entire penninsula is nice now, 10 years ago you didn't go south of Fort Ave, 20 years ago you didn't go south of Cross St. The Whole Cross St. area has changed a lot too. I've lived in Fed Hill for 8 years, and it gets nicer and more rehabbed every month, and most people credit the stadiums for the renaissance.

    This post was edited by KLynch 3 years ago

  • KLynch said... (original post)

    Federal Hill is one of the great neighborhood transformations anywhere, and I think you can credit the Stadiums for it. Federal Hill during a Ravens game is just insane. What is so great about Chinatown? It just another sterile development in DC. If anyone finds China Town to be better surrounding Scenery than the Baltimore Inner Harbor or Federal Hill, than we are not going to agree on much.

    Read CVD's post, like, a dozen more times. No one's killing Federal Hill. It's a sweet spot. But comparing FH to Chinatown - a hellhole that became a reasonable spot to hang out maybe 8 years ago - is retarded. It's not like anyone thinks Chinatown is one of DC's top neighborhoods. B-more folks: Do at least a little research before you drop "another sterile development in DC" schtick on us.

  • TerpPride said... (original post)

    if comparing outdoor tailgating at football and baseball games to the scene of a downtown arena is the objective, I'm not sure what the point would be. Hopefully the Nats will ultimately have a similar tailgate/bar scene when they develop that area.

    Didn't you do just this above:

    "I've been to Pickles and the other local spots near the Park a million times, you're acting like it's something ridiculously special...they're sportsbars! As noted prior, what developed around Verizon Center has turned out to be much cooler than anything around the Baltimore stadiums..."

    That is what the Baltimore folks are responding to. Also, as noted in my post above, the actual indoors bar of Pickles and Sliders is not anything special at all... they are divey sports bars. The roped off outside area is great though.

  • ROCKS said... (original post)

    Didn't you do just this above:

    "I've been to Pickles and the other local spots near the Park a million times, you're acting like it's something ridiculously special...they're sportsbars! As noted prior, what developed around Verizon Center has turned out to be much cooler than anything around the Baltimore stadiums..."

    That is what the Baltimore folks are responding to. Also, as noted in my post above, the actual indoors bar of Pickles and Sliders is not anything special at all... they are divey sports bars. The roped off outside area is great though.

    I actually brought up Chinatown because some of the Bmore folks were insinuating that the area around the Nats park would not be developed well. As far as comparing the areas around OPACY to Chinatown, I don't see any difference from the bars or establishment standpoint. If you guys are only talking about the outdoor/tailgating scene, obviously DC does not have that at either VC or Nats park.

    Admittedly, I've only been to pickles for games pre-buck in recent years and the scenes for those pregames were nothing special-that was what I was going on. Certainly, a 70 degree opening day crowd with a winning team or a ravens game presents a different environment. do all the O's games have a big pre-game scene these days?

    This post has been edited 2 times, most recently by TerpPride 3 years ago

  • TerpPride said... (original post)

    I actually brought up Chinatown because some of the Bmore folks were insinuating that the area around the Nats park would not be developed well. As far as comparing the areas around OPACY to Chinatown, I don't see any difference from the bars or establishment standpoint. If you guys are only talking about the outdoor/tailgating scene, obviously DC does not have that at either VC or Nats park.

    Admittedly, I've only been to pickles for games pre-buck in recent years and the scenes for those pregames were nothing special-that was what I was going on. Certainly, a 70 degree opening day crowd with a winning team or a ravens game presents a different environment. do all the O's games have a big pre-game scene these days?

    Theres generally a good crowd there on a Friday or Saturday, especially if the weather is nice. As I stated before, I prefer the local bars of Federal Hill to the chain / franchise bars of Chinatown. Thats not to say DC doesnt have plenty of areas with solid local bars.

    Is that beer garden across the street from the nats park still open? I think it was called the bullpen?

    This post was edited by ROCKS 3 years ago

  • ROCKS said... (original post)

    Theres generally a good crowd there on a Friday or Saturday, especially if the weather is nice. As I stated before, I prefer the local bars of Federal Hill to the chain / franchise bars of Chinatown. Thats not to say DC doesnt have plenty of areas with solid local bars.

    Is that beer garden across the street from the nats park still open? I think it was called the bullpen?

    sure, it always comes back to preference. I just don't go to games enough for the type of bar to be a factor-i'm pregaming regardless. Certainly when big games draw crowds that lead to outdoor drinking-that's a different story.

    if this was a matter of my regular drinking scene-I'd likely pick Fed Hill or U Street or 14 St. over chinatown as well. that's probably why their establishments are more sterile...it's a destination place catering to a larger demographic.