Tuesday, August 28, 2007

U.S. Open 2007

Yesterday DH and I took the day off to attend Round 1 of the U.S. Open. It was a glorious day in Flushing Meadows Park.

Unisphere

In the early rounds, match play is continuous and concurrent on the several courts on the grounds. We had "Arthur Ashe" tickets, which reserve an assigned seat in the main stadium, the Arthur Ashe Stadium, and also permit one to wander around and sit in the open seating in other courts. Our reserved seats were semi-nosebleed, which has its advantages for a knitter. Here's the sock with defending men's champion Roger Federer, who romped over qualifier Scoville Jenkins in the Arthur Ashe Stadium.

Roger Federer and sock

With a bit of patience and luck, it's quite easy to get unassigned courtside seats. We watched Marion Bartoli, the Wimbledon women's runner-up, cream Alexa Glatch from Row 1 in the Grandstand court. (Alas, no knitting while sitting in front.)

Marion Bartoli

Umbrella boysThe U.S. Open has its traditions. The winner of a match usually hits a few autographed balls into the stands. (Federer whaled his into the upper deck, which impressed mightily.) The courts are infamously hot and noisy, so in addition to alert ball boys and girls, there also are attentive umbrella boys and girls, at least for the players.

US Open swagThere's plenty of souvenirs and prizes and swag for those inclined to collect them. (Me, not as much as some.) The free tennis ball fan came in handy, as did the free radio, which could be tuned to announcements and commentary. There's also live music and even a bookstore full of tennis books.

The Tennis Center is named for sports pioneer Billie Jean King, who exposed "shamateurism" (money under the table), insisted on equal prize money for women, and championed Title IX. The sock posed by a plaque listing her accomplishments.

Billie Jean King plaque and sock

Althea Gibson, who broke the color barrier in tennis, was honored during the evening session. Alas, DH and I only had day tickets, but we did see the marching band (!) lining up as we were leaving.

Marching band

There are many restaurants in the Tennis Center, but having spent the equivalent of a ticket on snacks and hydration alone [eyeroll], we opted to have dinner in Flushing's Chinatown, which is larger and more interesting than Chinatown in Manhattan. For example, this restaurant is capped with a whimsical noodle bowl.

Flushing Chinatown

In some Asian cultures, it's considered ill-omened and rude to stick one's chopsticks into a bowl. We peered in the windows of the place, noticed the roast duck looked sub par and a majority of the customers looked not-Asian. Hm. So we went across the street to the felicitously named Fortune House Restaurant and ate ourselves happy for $14 including tip.

All in all, it was an excellent day off.

5 comments:

Bezzie said...

Wow! How cool! This part of the country never ceases to amaze me--all the neat stuff going on all the time!

Bridget said...

I'm so jealous, it sounds like you had a great day!

Kim said...

I remember the whole Billie Jean King/Bobbie Riggs brew-ha-ha from when I was a kid. At 9 or 10 yrs old, I was surprised that women were treated differently than men. When I was 11 or 12, I went to the US OPen & ate the BEST hot dog I ever ate in my whole life. I remember it vividly to this day. Flushing's food scene rules! Sounds like a great day & love the tennis ball fan!

Missjenimae said...

I am so jealous, this is the first year in the last few that I won't be going to the Open. Glad you had fun!!!

Devorah said...

What fun! Thanks for sharing.

Did any planes fly overhead while you were there?