SG

Went to the US Open on Friday- it was so neat! It's a NY event that I've been wanting to do for a long time, so at the 11th hour, I snagged 2 day tickets from a coworker for me and Mariana.

We got to the Tennis Center at 11am all bright eyed and giddy- we knew that Federer would be playing and were super stoked to get to see him. Admittedly, neither of us really know anything about professional tennis tournaments (er, or tennis in general), so it was basically the blind leading the blind here. It took us a while to figure out how things work, but we eventually got it.

The Center is a huge sprawl of 3 bigger stadiums and 14 regular courts. It was a little self-contained society, with sponsor clothing shops, beer and ice cream stands and lots of food and alcohol- it's a bit of an alternate universe here.
Throughout the day, we watched 5 games- 3 of them from start to finish. Jie Zheng vs. Jelena Jankovic, women's singles, was a well-matched game- Zheng really made Jankovic work hard for that win.

Then, we got to see Federer, playing Brazilian Thiago Alves. Alves was seeded 137, so Federer really wasn't taking it all too seriously. Here are some shots of Federer I took for Jenny from our boondock seats at Arthur Ashe Stadium. The man is so HOT- he just dances on the court, it's awesome:

After the first set, Federer was clearly bored, so we took a break and went to the "Food Village" to get some lunch.

This village was pretty incredible and went way beyond dogs and burgers. Sushi, Carnegi Deli pastrami sandwiches, Indian, fish & chips, tacos, crepes, and on and on- they had everything.

We got these things called "Salad Pizzettas" from the Pasta and Pizza stall- basically a salad on top of this large circular cracker thing. We thought it was a really smart dish- easy to prepare, fast, good, and not a bad deal for $12.50 (by US Open standards).

I got the shrimp with arugula, tomatoes and red onions in a vinagrette:

How to eat this:
Mariana got the chicken caesar salad:

Tables, chairs, and a big screen to watch the game. This was a little weird- to be watching a game on the screen as it was going on just on the other side of it.

And introducing the new love of my life: Marat Safin. Russian, temperamental, a huge dude, and omg SO HOT! It was tragic to watch him totally shut down mentally at the end (last set 0-6), but the crowd was pulling for him the whole time.

This game went on for nearly 3 hours- not including the 1.5 hours we waited out for the rain to clear. We didn't get out of there until close to 11pm- we were there for 12 hours! If you are in NY and have never been to the Open, I highly recommend you do this at least once! Just make sure you bring a wad of cash for the beer and ice cream breaks.
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