Blog Prompt 3 - Genius Loci
To many Chicagoans, Wrigley Field is more than just the venue that the Chicago Cubs have called home since 1916. To many Chicagoans, Wrigley Field captures the essence of the city and their love of the Chicago Cubs and provides an environment that fans keep coming to.
Today's season finale, for instance, 39,000 plus came to watch two out of the running teams (Colorado being the other) duke it out in a meaningless game. That's only a couple thousand or so less than full capactiy. So what draws 3 million plus fans to the 'Friendly Confines' every year? Well, it is hard to explain in words because you have to actually experience the game in person. You have to see the energy of the die hard Cubs fans who have not seen the team win a World Series since 1908, the peddlers, scalpers, and street vendors outside the ballpark, the surrounding neighborhood of sports bars, restaurants and apartments that Chicagoans refer to as Wrigleyville, and finally the actual, timeless structure itself - the bricks & ivy, the centerfield scoreboard, the newly renovated bleachers, the old columns, and the dusty concrete that gives the stadium its own unique and old-time feel. The ballpark is rich with history and it is the best place to watch America's Pastime. That's the best that I can describe it and every time I walk in, I look around to appreciate it.
You see, there's an added personal significance of Wrigley Field. It means just a little bit more to me because it is where I work. I was a Wrigley Field Seat Vendor for the past two seasons and plan on working there again next season. It was my first job and kind of like a dream job. I am a huge Cubs fan, always optimistic that this year is here, so for me to be able to be at every home game I can possibly attend is a pleasure. To be able to see the baseball's best on a daily basis (usually from the other team), and make a hefty amount of money each game makes all the hard work, transportation, and heavy lifting worth it. To me, Wrigley Field is everything above, and also a symbolic representation of my introduction into the real world. I have learned many of the concepts that develops one's street smarts the past 2 years, just by riding the 'El' Train everyday to work, let alone the encounters with fans, fellow vendors, and random strangers along the street.
The genius loci is defined as the location's distinct atmosphere or "spirit of place". Well, once you enter and take a look around at the beautiful Friendly Confines of Wrigley Field, you will feel the genius loci. I just hope that baseball fans are lucky enough to one day watch a game at Wrigley Field.
***The pictures below are pictures I took with my own camera phone - not a fancy professional photgraph. The second to last picture from the bottom is from the "Upper Left Comm" - where I would reload the food that I'm selling. It's a spectacular view of Wrigleyville at night. It is good to look back at them time to time to remember the fun times of working there.