Yankee Stadium neighborhood guide
Make a day of your trip to the ballpark. Here's everything you need to know about Yankee Stadium and the surrounding area.
Tue Apr 3 2012
All about Yankee Stadium: Consider calling in sick for the Yankees' home opener on April 13—they'll face off against the formidable Los Angeles Angels, who snagged the off-season's highest-profile free agent in Albert Pujols. The schmancy stadium boasts wider seats and more leg room than its predecessor, and you'll find sushi and a steakhouse (along with more standard fare like Brother Jimmy's BBQ and Tommy Bahama's) among the concessions. For cheap tix, visit yankees.com; it's currently offering obstructed-view seats for $5 and bleacher seats for as little as $12.
While you're in the neighborhood...
Drink your way to victory
Yankee Tavern, a neighborhood bar decked out in wall-to-wall Yankee paraphernalia, has been connecting fans with liquor since 1923. "I've been coming here for 30 years," says local Dennis Terry. Brews start at $5 ($3 when there's no game); accordingly, the place is always crammed with patrons pre- and postgame. 72 E 161st St between Gerard and River Aves, Bronx (718-292-6130). Daily 11am–2am, with extended hours on game days.
See the City of Light—in the Bronx
The Grand Concourse may be three blocks from Yankee Stadium, but it just so happens to be modeled after the Champs-lyses in Paris. Ballplayers used to spend game nights at the Concourse Plaza Hotel (now a home for seniors), where Babe Ruth supposedly had his own three-bedroom suite. Don't miss the new exhibit “Baseball in the Bronx” at the Bronx Museum of the Arts, which displays plenty of pin-striped memorabilia, such as one of Joe DiMaggio’s bats and one of Elston Howard’s Golden Gloves. Bronx Museum of the Arts, 1040 Grand Concourse at 165th St, Bronx (718-681-6000, bronxmuseum.org). Thu, Sat, Sun 11am–6pm; Fri 11am–8pm; free. Through May 13.
Get fit, tan and inebriated
Whatever your pregame ritual, Joyce Kilmer Park can probably accommodate it. Situated along the tree-lined Grand Concourse, this small park is dotted with eye-candy monuments and three blocks of grassy knolls. Toss around a Frisbee, stare at the hottie who dared to show her face in a Red Sox cap, enjoy a picnic, loaf in the sun or subversively drink from a brown paper bag before leisurely strolling the two blocks to the stadium. To double the size of your playing field, head three minutes south along Grand Concourse to Franz Sigel Park. Here you'll find more greenery, a nice view of the city, basketball courts and two softball fields—just in case you feel the need to exercise your inner Jeter. Joyce Kilmer Park: E 161st St at Walton Ave, Bronx (nycgovparks.org). Franz Sigel Park: E 158th St at Grand Concourse, Bronx (nycgovparks.org).
Spice up your culinary life
Let's face it: Half of the pleasures of baseball lie in what you're going to eat before, after and during the game. Locals love Feeding Tree for everything curried, jerked and juiced. The resto's cheap Jamaican menu includes entres like jerk chicken with bread for $7. 892 Gerard Ave between 161st and 162nd Sts, Bronx (718-293-5025).
Make it a date night
To sweeten the deal for your sophisticated better half, bring your significant other to Giovanni. Although the ambience isn't exactly Tuscan romance, you and the SO can dine on $20.95 shrimp parmigiana or veal Giovanni—or, if you're really cheap, $3.50 slices of pizza. The restaurant is a ten-minute hike from anywhere you'd catch a fly ball, but manager Chris Deseanu says they get "a lot of spillover from Yankee stadium"; reservations are recommended. 579 Grand Concourse at 150th St, Bronx (718-402-6996, giovanninyc.com). Daily 10am–midnight.
Belt a musical number outta the park
While it's true that every Yankee fan celebrates a win differently, Vega Alta is counting on some fans' penchants for turning up the falsetto. Every Thursday at 9:30pm, the lounge hosts a free karaoke extravaganza, in which fans can moonlight as Marc Anthony or Barry White. With beer and mixed drinks between $5 and $7, we just hope you don't embarrass yourself. 880 Gerard Ave between 161st and 162nd Sts, Bronx (718-590-9436). Daily noon–4am.