I'm sure the idea of sending a music critic to write about the aural experience of a game at The Yankee Stadium seemed like a good idea at the time. I'm sure I would have agreed that it could be "fun" and an "interesting angle. But could they have sent someone
who was not recently sent here from another planet?
More rows at the new stadium are open to the sky, or so it seems. So from where we sat, in the first row of the grandstand on the first-base side, the gaggle of voices blended more organically. And individual shouts pierced the pervasive rumble of chatter. During one lull someone high up in the grandstand actually yelled, “Hip, Hip, Hooray!,” which struck me as an antiquated phrase. People all around me laughed, but I gather it’s also a name-bending cheer for the Yankees’ Jorge Posada.
But I could deal with that. I was, after all, at the game myself with a niece and nephew. You would never know, though, that the game was a taut, tight, 2-hour pitching duel decided only by one of the strangest run scored I'd ever seen: Cano scored because of two throwing errors.
But, yeah, okay. This, however, is as though I was reading a parody version of the NY Times
Some people might consider it “obnoxious” for a child to have a playhouse that costs more and has more amenities than some real houses, she conceded. But she sees it as an extension of the family home. “My daughter loves it,” she said. “And it’s certainly a conversation piece.”
Even in a troubled economy, it seems, some parents of means are willing to spend significant (if not eye-popping) sums on playhouses for their children that also function as a kind of backyard installation art.
There are a number of companies and independent craftsmen that make high-end playhouses, which can cost as much as $200,000, and come in a variety of styles, including replicas of real houses, like the Schillers’, and more-fantastical creations like pirate ships, treetop hideouts and fairy tale cottages. And many of these manufacturers report that despite the economic downturn, they are as busy as ever.
Barbara Butler, an artist and playhouse builder in San Francisco, said her sales are up 40 percent this year, and she has twice as many future commissions lined up as she did this time last year. Not only that, but the average price of the structures she is being hired to build has more than doubled, from $26,000 to $54,000.
“Childhood is a precious and finite thing,” Ms. Butler said. “And a special playhouse is not the sort of thing you can put off until the economy gets better.”
Likewise, Glen Halliday, who has a playhouse business in Portland, Me., said he has seen profits increase 15 percent annually during the recession. “We’ve been helped by the growing concern about childhood obesity and the need for active play,” he said. Business has been so brisk, in fact, that his company, Kids Crooked House, recently expanded from a 1,200-square-foot barn into a 4,000-square-foot manufacturing building.
Labels: Decline and fall of the New York Times