Monday, March 27, 2006


Chris came to visit on Sunday, which was great. He was in West Virginia to celebrate on of his VT classmates passing his architecture licensing exams. And he made the time to stop over on his way home to Vermont.

I had made vague plans to do something with Steph, since she is leaving town for two weeks for some temporarily assigned duty on the West Coast. On Sunday, she called and suggested the bluegrass brunch at Fireflies. I didn't know when Chris would arrive, so I left a note with directions to and headed out. Strange coincidence, Chris pulled up and parked at the restaurant right in front of Steph & Aaron as they were walking over. Imagine my surprise when they all walked up together as I waited for a table.

The meal was great, and I think we all had a good time. Afterwards, I showed Chris my new place and he approved. Then we went for a walk around Del Ray, and I showed off a few of the more interesting buildings. Chris said that he was surprised I didn't take more pictures, since there are so many nice houses here. I said I got bored of trying to capture every outstanding home, and have shifted to photographing the freaky houses, the ones with poorly designed renovations or additions.

We didn't do much after that - the rest of the family called at various times, so we caught up all around. We watched some Simpsons - Season 7 and Arrested Development episodes, talked about work and baseball. It was good, in a very low-key way, befitting Chris's low-key demeanor. I'm really glad he came to visit.

I found some more drawings of the planned Nationals stadium:

The plan views seem to be at ground level, showing everything that will be below grade in the lower seating bowl. Nothing especially unusual or interesting.

The section view, however, is troubling. The upper decks are really far back - the barely overlap the grandstands. And they're awfully high - mostly because of the club seating (green) and the double deck of luxury suites (red). The nosebleed seats seem like they'll be pretty poor. I believe I read in the Post that the top deck is 21 feet higher than at RFK, even though there are 15000 less seats in the new park.

I would contrast this with some of the work that's being done at Fenway. For a long time, Fenway has essentially been a grandstand-only stadium, with a smattering of seats placed on the roof. I think this year, though, about 3000 more seats are being added along the first and third base sides, expanding the upper deck from 4 rows to 8. Plus they are taking down a lot of the huge glass curtain wall behind home plate. The concept drawings look really good, I think.

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