New York, USA, 17.-27.6.2012, Day 3.

Tuesday, June 19th, was my 30th birthday. As I've explained many times before, my birthday is somewhat important to me and I want to do something special that I haven't done before for it every year. I started this tradition in 2010 after spending the most depressing birthday ever in 2009. I thought "Never again!" and decided to come up with something fun every year in the future instead. In 2010, I was in Los Angeles and met Rosanna Arquette and Stephen Bray at the 25th anniversary screening of one of my favourite films, Desperately Seeking Susan. In 2011, I was in Hawaii and went to Pearl Harbor and Waikiki Beach. And in 2012, I was in New York and went to my first ever Yankee game. Why baseball, someone might wonder? Well, I love baseball. In Finland, we have a similar sport called pesäpallo so I know some of the rules based on that, and well, another one of my favourite films is A League of Their Own, a fabulous film about The All-American Girls' Professional Baseball League of the 1940s, and ever since watching that film for the first time when I was maybe 10, I'd wanted to go to a real baseball game in America.

So. After having breakfast, we headed to Times Square for the baseball tickets. The Yankee store there was experiencing problems with their ticketing system and was unable to sell us tickets, but luckily we found another ticket office where we indeed got us tickets for the 7:05 pm Yankees vs. Braves game at Yankee Stadium. Yay!

The Yankee Store on Times Square.

Times Square.

Times Square.
Once we had the tickets booked, we walked to Rockefeller Center and booked us tickets for the NBC Studio Tour for Friday. Why? Because I love love LOVE the TV show 30 Rock, which is a comedy series about life behind the scenes of a fictional NBC show called TGS with Tracy Jordan - much like Saturday Night Live, which everyone will know about, I'm sure, and which is an actual NBC show. If not, the main star of 30 Rock, Tina Fey, used to be the head writer for Saturday Night Live, and 30 Rock is loosely based on her experiences. I love Tina Fey, and I love 30 Rock, and I love Saturday Night Live because Madonna has hosted it and performed on it in the past. Anyway, we got a Rock Pass, which will get you on the NBC Studio Tour as well as Top of the Rock, the observation decks on the 67th, 69th and 70th floors of the GE Building. I've conveniently managed to forget the price of the ticket but it was significantly cheaper than buying separate tickets for both attractions.

30 Rock.

Aaaaand up we went! The weather up there was amazing and the views were just as gorgeous as two years ago!

Central Park.

Me with the Empire State Building.

The Empire State Building, and to the right in the distance you can see One World Trade Center and the Statue of Liberty.

I found this guy up there and made him sing me a birthday song :D!

There is video material, too, in case someone's interested!

Once we were back on the ground again, we decided to walk to Central Park and have some sushi there. Then we walked around a bit more and finally ended up being back on Times Square where we collected our tickets for the Yankee game.

The Dakota Building where John Lennon used to live and in front of which he was shot.

Strawberry Fields, a memorial for John Lennon in Central Park.

Harperley Hall, one of Madonna's homes (or at least used to be, not quite sure anymore).

My feet on Times Square, heh.

Satu and my mum on Times Square.

And then we were off to the Bronx for the game! So exciting! Now, this is what we learned about going to a game at Yankee Stadium: buy a return ticket for the metro before you go there as there are no ticket machines at the station in the Bronx. You'll avoid having to queue for a ticket back this way.

Once we'd arrived at the stadium, we all got extremely excited straight away! The atmosphere was amazing, there were people wearing Yankee shirts everywhere and the stadium looked huge! We went inside, bought us some popcorn and drinks and took our seats, which were really very good! They were high up but you could still see what was going on really well. Plus I was sitting next to the best little 6-year-old boy ever! Whenever there was music, he'd get up and start dancing like no tomorrow, and he was a very good dancer! He certainly kept everyone sitting around him entertained!

Stole this picture from Satu :D!

Just amazing! I felt so American at the game it's crazy! I'm sure everyone who knows me will know by now that I'm not a patriot when it comes to Finland, at all. I'm always trying to come up with ways to leave my own country and experience something better and bigger, and I have to say going to a baseball game in the USA was just that: better and bigger. Simply amazing! I had no idea it would be that amazing to go to a game - I mean sure, I expected it to be exciting and everything, but I never knew there'd be music, popcorn, people selling food and drinks in the old-fashioned way by walking among the crowds of people with trays of stuff and throwing ice cream at whoever wanted to buy some...I didn't know the games lasted that long, either, and basically that the atmosphere would be so intense, in a good way, of course. Loved every second of it, and when we were back at the hotel, I kept saying that Finland sucks because nothing we have on offer here is ever as big as in America. I do understand it that some people like Finland and smaller things and that's completely okay. As for me, though, I'm looking for something more and I'm always after stronger feelings, and Finland just doesn't provide them for me. I'm so happy that I can at least always leave and go somewhere else to experience amazing things like this game was! One of the best birthdays I've ever had, definitely! Wish I could go again now! Also, I have to say that, again, now that I've written this and re-lived the feelings I had at Yankee Stadium, I just can't see how I could spend the rest of my life living in Finland. Things will have to change.

One final picture of myself: 30, sunburnt and happy :D!


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