A day at Yankee Stadium and a night with Letterman

We’re sports fans, so Yankee Stadium was a must when we visited New York.

You’ll have lots of time for photos of the outside of the Ed Sullivan Theatre

You’ll have lots of time for photos of the outside of the Ed Sullivan Theatre

We’re sports fans, so Yankee Stadium was a must when we visited New York. However, we elected to wait until we arrived and then were disappointed when we couldn’t get tickets. It just happened the much-hated Red Sox were in town for an important series and the games were all sold out.

Out of desperation, we decided to buy tickets from a scalper who was lurking around the stadium.

We were both embarrassed and disappointed when our apparently counterfeit tickets scanned invalid at the gate. This brought us to another discovery about buying tickets on a safe and legal website called StubHub.

Using this online service did get us two tickets for a game and into beautiful new Yankee Stadium. Expect to pay $9 for a beer and $8 for a hotdog, but with this comes the electric atmosphere of sitting in Yankee Stadium to watch one of the most famous teams in the sporting world take the field.

We took the subway to the game and were surrounded by Yankee fans outfitted in baseball caps, T-shirts, jackets, scarves and hoodies that screamed their Yankee pride. As the train got closer to the Bronx, the excitement filled the air as hundreds of fans made their pilgrimage to the promised land of baseball.

We were not disappointed, the fans were as unruly as they are always depicted, the stadium grand and the baseball wonderful. If you are a sports fan, don’t miss this experience.

Another interesting thing to put on your itinerary when traveling to N.Y. is to attend a TV taping.

Tickets are free and it is easier to get tickets if you are from out of town. You can apply online to get tickets for most of the shows. My husband requested tickets to the David Letterman show about four months in advance of our trip (www.cbs.com/lateshow).

We were surprised when we were called by Letterman show representatives about a week before our departure date. Thank goodness it was my husband who answered as the woman on the line told us we would get the tickets if he could answer a question about the show.

I wouldn’t have known the colour of the announcer’s hair (red) but Glen did.

We had to still stand in line for about an hour to get our tickets and then again in another line for an hour, early to the taping as the TV crew want to pump up the audience before the show.

The taping of the show was very interesting as we were treated to the great music from Paul Shaffer’s band and guests that included the prime minister of New Zealand, Colin Ferguson, who is host of the Late, Late Show and the band Snow Patrol. It was amazing how many behind-the-scenes employees it takes to pull off a taping.

Letterman himself is a polished performer and didn’t disappoint the crowd. More than anything, I was thrilled to sit in the Ed Sullivan Theatre where famous entertainers such as the Beatles took the stage so many years ago.

If The Late Show isn’t your bag, there are many other tapings in New York, including popular ones such as Saturday Night Live, Live! with Regis and Kelly, The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show. Every show has their own procedure for giving out tickets, but you definitely need to apply months and even up to a year in advance to get on some of the most popular.

A few don’t need advance tickets as you can line up early and hope. We didn’t want to waste so many hours in a lineup so the advance tickets were great. We both really enjoyed the experience.

I would be remiss not to mention that we also loved the shopping, not only along Fifth Avenue and 57th Street, but in every one of the neighbourhoods we toured. We took the subway to Brooklyn to an interesting shopping area in Williamsburg.

We also enjoyed a last-minute decision to attend a Bruce Hornsby concert at Town Hall. Town Hall is a National Historic Site and has wonderful acoustics. It is the host to many kinds of performances so it is a great place to check out when you visit New York.

We couldn’t leave New York without visiting Ground Zero. We were stunned with the impact of seeing the great gaping hole and the eerie silence surrounding the one-time home of the twin towers of the World Trade Center. The construction on the new World Trade Center Complex, including the Freedom Tower, has been slow going. It takes time to restore all that the 9/11 attacks took away.

Mona Knudslien is a recently-retired Red Deer teacher and school administrator. Her column appears on Saturdays.

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