Since January, 2003
            
 (a random before-and-after moment)
July 14, 2005
May 18, 2014
2nd (East) at I, Looking South-Southwest (see more)

I know, it seems like the returning Nats were just welcomed home last week, but that was for an exhibition! The 2012 regular season is now underway, and the first-place (really!) Nationals will play their first home game Thursday at 1:05 pm against the Cincinnati Reds, with the gates opening at 10:30 am to help handle the expected sellout crowd. And the game isn't a one-off: the team will play at home every day through Sunday, April 22, with series against the Astros and the Marlins following the four games against the Reds.
JDLand's new Visiting Nats Park page has a whole lot of links about the stadium and the neighborhood, but here are the main ones in bullet-point form, in case you can't bear to click through:
* Getting There: Figure out where to park (and learn why "I'll just find a space on the street" probably isn't going to work). Or take Metro. Or the Circulator. Or a water taxi. Or a bike. (Dr. Gridlock has his annual "how to get to the ballpark" column as well.) My Live Transit Info page might also be worth bookmarking, to see when the next bus or train is coming, or if there's a Bikeshare bike close by to snag. (And, if you're a resident, remember that you may have to use the Navy Yard station's New Jersey Avenue entrance if you're coming home as the game is ending.)
* What's New in the Hood: See what's changed around the neighborhood and what's now on the boards since last season. Stuff is happening.
* Wander Around a Bit: Talk a walk on the Anacostia Riverwalk, now with a handy bridge not far from the 1st Base Gate that takes you directly to the Yards Park and the Navy Yard. And, while you're wandering--or even when you're in your seat--check out my mobile web app that uses your phone's GPS to show you what your location looked like not too many years ago.
* Food and Drink Outside the Ballpark: See the area's food options, current and future (including a new Potbelly Sandwich Works at 3rd and Tingey). And learn about why there's all those shipping containers on Half Street where the Bullpen(s) used to be, and what the Fairgrounds' plans are for Opening Day.
* Food and Drink Inside the Ballpark: Figure out which new dishes you're going to try. There's also an "Eat for the Cycle" promotion at Shake Shack/Box Frites/Blue Smoke/El Verano Taqueria, if the StrasBurger isn't enough for you. And here's the team web site's list of concessions, if you want to plan your attack in advance.
There will be pre-game ceremonies paying tribute to the US military, including a flyover by the 113th Wing fighter jets. There's also an Opening Day Curly W Cap for the first 20,000 fans to enter the ballpark, and there will be additional festivities on N Street.
The rest of the first weekend of baseball at home has other events planned, including "Opening Night" on Friday the 13th (eek!), Stephen Strasburg Bobblehead Night on the 14th (plus Justin's Cafe's block party over on 1st Street), and Jackie Robinson Day on the 15th. Here's the full lineup of promotions and giveaways.
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Chris says: (4/12/12 2:25 PM)
The intersection of 4th St SE and M St SE was scary today before the game given the combination of bicyclists, vehicles, and pedestrians. A car pulled way into the intersection to turn left and almost hit a mother and baby on a bike. Crossing as a pedestrian was difficult as well.

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