Sunday, June 8, 2008

The Belmont Stakes

Drove all the way from mASS yesterday to the Belmont Stakes in Elmont, NY. Over 4 hours and roughly 200 miles later I arrive smack dab in the middle of what America is all about: diversity. Folks from all walks of life came together somewhere around the number of 100K to see Big Brown vie for the Triple Crown.

The way the whole establishment is setup you cannot help but to get caught up in the demographics. There were so many different sections for different folks depending on how much they were willing to pay and also their status (official, press, etc). There were places that you were allowed into by having a certain stamp on your hand or card around your neck or even sticker on the card around your neck. And I simply didn't understand where I could sit, stand or even buy a drink for most of the day. I did notice that the one of the most comfortable areas I found in the whole place was also the most exclusive as well. On the very top floor of the Belmont a private party was taking place in which there were bodyguards in suits and earpieces (you know, Secret Service style) guarding the entrance. The air conditioning emanating from the room was so cool that my travel companions decided to park themselves in some chairs right outside the door. While they were busy cooling themselves off on this 90+ degree weather day I just sat their and observed the bodyguards doing their jobs allowing and disallowing folks based on the card around their necks and/or the stickers on said cards. Even up to now I still don't know what is on the sticker or card that allowed access. Sad.

But here is what is even more sad. After spending $20 to be in the Clubhouse versus the $10 to be in the Grandstand we still ended up watching the race from the Grandstand. Well, I wouldn't really say we watched the race exactly. We watched the monitor that they have on the track instead of the actual race itself due to the large and very boisterous crowd standing on benches throughout the entire race. And what a crap race it was. Matter of fact I will end this blog here before I get all up in arms once again thinking about my roundtrip-8-hour-drive-400-miles, chipped-windshield, $30-bet-wasted, Casino-Drive-scratched, Big-Brown-finishing-dead-last, no-Triple-Crown-yet-again, Belmont Stakes trip.

But we all made it back safe and for that I am thankful. :)

1 comment:

G Hop said...

You said "....what America is all about....." based on that, what you saw and observed, I agree. But it is not just about diversity, but also about secrecy; money; credit (I doubt everyone there and elsewhere bet with money they don't have to pay back); debt; uncertainty, those to want to stay and gain more, those who want to stay and make back what they lost; those who leave very disappointed that it was not what they expected; and those who leave not knowing what happened behind the doors that appear to have it all.

Sure sounds like America to me. With all of that being said, what do you think of America and would you go back?