A reader writes:
Camden Yards, Baltimore, MD. If I’m right, my self-esteem will be temporarily bolstered.
Camden Yards actually wasn’t too far off. Another reader:
Looks like Harbor Yard, home of the Bridgeport Bluefish in Bridgeport, CT. It’s a great place to watch a ball game. Even if it’s wrong, it’s good to support the ‘fish.
Bridgeport was the most popular incorrect guess this week. Another reader rightly gets us to the Midwest:
I’m gonna say this is the Akron Aeros’ ballpark in Akron, Ohio, from a skybox in the left field area. I’ve been to a couple of Aeros games, which is a big deal because 1) I live 9 hours’ drive away; 2) the first time I went, a visiting player gave me his bat after the game; and 3) the second time I went, there was an earthquake in Akron. Yes, in Akron. The next night, in Toledo, Ohio, a tornado zipped through the parking lot of my hotel. (I think Ohio was trying to tell me something.)
Another throws up his hands:
I give up! I have spent far too much time on your addictive contest. Thought it might be Scottsdale Stadium in Scottsdale, AZ. People can sit on the grass and watch there. Logo might be from Seattle team. Might also be Ameritrade Stadium in Omaha where College World Series is held. Or old Rosenblatt Stadium there. What stymies me is that long covered structure through which something is transported to top of the building like a grain elevator. That might make it in Minneapolis or St Paul. Found one picture of a tobacco transporter in the south but wasn’t quite right landscape.
Another was less discouraged:
I didn’t think it was possible for me to guess two windows in a row correctly. Okay, technically I’m not sure if last week’s window was the exact window, but I got the right building and that’s a win. But two easy windows in a row? Do you want all your readers to get out and enjoy the fall weather instead of hacking away for hours, yelling at the computer, sweating it because they can’t find anything in the picture?? Well, I for one, thank you.
With more than 500 entries, this contest was even more popular than last week’s. Another reader savors the correct city:
I love the smell of napalm in the morning – it smells like … Victory Field in Indianapolis!
An expert is even more excited:
I was sooo excited when I saw the contest photo. A minor league baseball stadium?? That’s my niche! I’ve visited dozens of stadiums at all professional levels. I take trips every summer to see new cities and new teams, taking extensive notes about the games I see: the food, the architecture, the people, the uniforms. It is a great way to see the country, as it gives me excuses to go to places I wouldn’t otherwise have reason to visit. I’ve seen baseball in Buffalo, Chattanooga, Rancho Cucamonga, and everywhere in between. I saw this photo and thought this week will be tailor made for me. I’ll pick up on some nuance of the shape of the tier, or the location of the lawn, and I’ll be so proud of my baseball detective skills. I will be the only winner!
That feeling lasted a few seconds, until I saw the flag. Oh. Indianapolis. Everyone is going to get this one. Fuck. You’re a tease.
2014 has been a year of highs and lows for me on the VFYW contest. So close on some, even joining the scrum on a few correct windows; and so far on others (identifying the location by yellow lichen? Seriously?) So imagine my happiness at seeing this VFYW contest. A baseball stadium! I’m a baseball fan, I’ve been to lots of stadiums, including minor league stadiums, which this clearly is. How hard can this be? Wait a minute … I’ve never been to this stadium …
After plenty of searches for urban baseball stadiums near power plants and finding nothing, I switched tactics. Not quite as obscure as yellow lichen, I found the flag. The flag of the city of Indianapolis.
Based on the level of the field and the position of the side walk pillar in the contest photo, I’d say the photo was taken at the JW Marriott Indianapolis. The photo is from the second floor convention area, from the prefunction area (so-called by the hotel’s website):
Indeed, it was the pre-function area. Another notes:
So is “Pre-function” the charming Midwestern attempt at classing up “Reception” or something? Speaking of those wholesome Indianans, in this particular VFYW search I came across this little gem of a TripAdvisor review: “Hospitality service & staff were alarmingly friendly and troublingly attentive. Or maybe as a Bostonian I’m just not used to people being nice.”
Another reader reconstructed the Indianapolis city flag in an image editor, then reverse-image searched his way to success. Here’s somebody looking to make up for last week:
After misreading “Zane’s” as “Zone’s” and thus becoming an ignominious member of the 2.1% who didn’t get the window last week, I was determined not to miss what at first glance looks to be a slam dunk: somewhere in a decent sized US city with a minor league (most likely AAA) baseball park. There’s even a flag RIGHT THERE that should be a pretty big clue as to location. And it is: the blue field with a white cross, overlaid with a white star in a red circle at the center is the flag of the city of Indianapolis, Indiana. That was surprisingly difficult to discover (I took a few detours through the county and municipal flags of Texas first, many of which feature a “lone” star) but I imagine you have no shortage of people from Indy that will recognize it on sight, in addition to the legions of highly competent Google sleuths that regularly populate these contests.
The view is from a building just off left-center field at Victory Field, home of the Indianapolis Indians, which claims to be “The Best Minor League Ballpark in America” (a claim with which, as a proud resident of Durham, NC, I am inclined to disagree.) Specifically, somewhere in the JW Marriott across Maryland Street, among the floor-to-ceiling windows (you can see the American flag from the ballpark reflected in the attached screen grab.) Based on the interactive floor plan on the hotel’s website, this window appears to be in the “Prefunction” area of the third floor, just outside the JW Grand Ballroom.
In another entry, we learn that “the Indianapolis Indians are a Pittsburgh Pirates AAA affiliate that somehow manages not to use a racist cartoon Indian on their hats (Cleveland take note).” For more on that subject, check out the Dish thread “Do Mascots Need Modernizing?” Another entry:
The contest photograph is packed with clues. I relied on minor league baseball stadiums (too small for major league, too big for little league or most universities) and a handy website listing all minor league stadiums. I started with those in Northern industrial states and it did not take long. Google Street views on the north side of Victory Field immediately included all the foreground clues in the contest photograph (red Indian teepee, street light post with no parking sign, brick perimeter fence column, trees, flag poles, memorial plague, etc.). The contest window had to be one of those directly across Maryland Street on the south face of the Marriott complex:
Many readers focused on another key element:
This started with a Google search for “minor league baseball stadium near coal power plant”, which found a nearly identical view:
A native weighs in:
I knew this picture instantly (even faster than the view from Monticello earlier this year). In the background is the former Indianapolis Power and Light (now Citizens Thermal Energy) power plant. Interestingly, the long diagonal structure used to haul coal to the boilers, but this facility was switched to natural gas a few years ago so the conveyer system is now obsolete. If you look at a map, you’ll notice a lot of railroad tracks behind Victory Field. I grew up just south of Indianapolis, and I spent a lot of time trainspotting at that location. I live in Berkeley, CA now; thanks for bringing back some really fond memories. I was in Indianapolis at exactly this time last year for the Monon Railroad Historical-Technical Society convention, and stayed a couple of blocks away at the hotel in Union Station. That was the first time I’d seen the new blue Marriott tower from which this picture was taken. The blue glass accounts for the blue hue of the picture.
Another has a recommendation:
No useful trivia about the team or stadium, but I will say that the Indy 500 is a cultural event worth attending at least once before you die. Not for the race but for all the stuff that is associated with it. You have no idea how noisy a race is unless you are in the stands…
You have to appreciate the concision of this entry:
1. U.S. ballpark.
2. Industrial city.
3. The flag is not a state flag.
4. It is not a major league ballpark (Google elimination of each one).
5. Aha! Maybe it’s a city flag.
7. Victory Field.
I grew up in Indianapolis, and spent a number of cheap dates in high school and college going to see the Indianapolis Indians, a pretty good AAA baseball team. Back then, the Indians played in Bush Stadium, a charming old park built in 1931 and used to film the underrated Eight Men Out, where a couple of my buddies appear as extras in some crowd scenes.
A Pink Floyd connection:
Funny Story: I took my 3 daughters to a game there earlier this year. When my oldest (4 years old) saw the power plant to the south (which you can see in the picture) she asked if that’s where the animals live. If you remember Pink Floyd’s Animals album, the resemblance is striking.
As a serious Pink Floyd fan (my second daughter is named Vera), I almost fell over when she said it and it still makes me wonder why the hell she did.
Another former resident provides some context:
That is most certainly Indianapolis, IN, taken from the back side of the JW Marriott, looking over Maryland Street at Victory field. Without doing too much research, I’d bet it was taken out of one of the hallway windows that line the outside of the meeting rooms. I recognized this immediately. The old coal fired steam plant right behind victory field is a dead give away to anyone who has lived in the city, as is the Indianapolis city flag flying to the left of the stars and stripes.
Fun personal story here. I originally moved to Indianapolis 18 years ago. We moved here because my father had received a job at the Courtyard by Marriott that used to inhabit this same site, which was Howard Johnson’s before that. They renovated it to create more rooms and meeting space for the Super Bowl that was held in Indianapolis a few years back, adding a large curved blue tower that sits alone on the west edge of the downtown skyline (the JW Marriott hotel), and using the former tower of the Courtyard as a split unit between a Courtyard and a Spring Hill Suites.
Victory Field is one of the best Triple A parks in the country, and was designed by the same people who designed Camden Yards in Baltimore, MD. The design of Camden is responsible as the influence on many “throwback” modern ballparks across all levels of baseball.
This reader worries there are hard times ahead:
Let’s see, two weeks in a row now we’ve had views so easy they almost reach out of the screen, grab your lapels, and scream their addresses in your face. So I’m betting you’ll go the other direction next week and give us one that’s correspondingly hard. Something like this?
Even so, Chini will get it somehow.
And he can’t wait:
Man, you should have heard the stream of full on, raised-in-Staten Island-so-I-can-curse-in-seventeen-languages invectivery (yeah, invectivery) that came pouring forth after I loaded up this week’s image. At least I get the satisfaction of knowing that the Dish team might have spent their weekend wading through an even bigger pile of responses than those for last week’s Malibu Barbie of a view. And these easy shots are needed, I suppose, to bring new folks on-board.
This week’s winner is yet another long-winless veteran:
Perhaps to reward us for a long summer, but a bit of an easy one this week, especially with the flag and the Wikipedia entry on USA municipal flags. But perhaps most interesting was the obvious minor league ballpark with a teepee in it. (I wonder if Dan Snyder has thought of trying to put traditional Indian housing in FedEx field …) So a couple of Google searches brought me to the Indianapolis Indians and their Victory Field.
Here’s the reader who submitted the view:
I was elated to see my photo in the contest! After shouting over to my wife that this week’s contest had my photo, I suggested to her that it would probably not be fair for her to enter the contest. I should add that I’m a former winner from a couple of years ago, and that one of my views is actually in the book. In any case, this completely made my day.
The view shows a game in progress of the Indianapolis Indians at Victory Field. The photo was taken from the third floor of the JW Marriott hotel in Indianapolis. I’ve attached a street view showing the window from which I think I took the picture:
There really isn’t any room number, as the photo was taken from a lobby area in the hotel’s convention center. There’s a whole wall of windows overlooking the stadium, and in the street-view picture I gave my best estimate of the window from which the photo was taken. I can add that the flag on the left is that of the City of Indianapolis, of which Wikipedia helpfully points out that “A 2004 survey of flag design quality by the North American Vexillological Association ranked Indianapolis’s flag 8th best of 150 American city flags.
Next week will definitely be a lot harder, so if you’re up for the challenge, see you Saturday. In the meantime, here is this week’s guess collage – see if you can find your entry: