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Take Me Out to the (Apartment Roof Next to the) Ballgame

by Nena Perry-Brown

Take Me Out to the (Apartment Roof Next to the) Ballgame: Figure 1
The view from F1RST

Earlier this week, UrbanTurf reported on which new apartment complexes in Navy Yard offer views into Nationals Park. Today is Opening Day, so we figured it is only fitting that we visit one of those rooftops to see what it is like to watch a game from across the street.

The roof at F1RST, a 335-unit apartment building across from Nats Park, offers a good view of home plate, first base and the pitching mound, but one of the parking garages that flanks the field and the Budweiser Brew House just off the field hide third base from view. The placement of TVs on the roof acknowledges the need for a closer look, as stadium seating faces one of those televisions rather than facing the field. The TVs are typically tuned in to the game and they help fill in the blanks.

"You just have to watch [the field] and then you see or hear something good happen [based on the crowd's reaction], and since it's a little bit delayed, you can turn to the TV and see it," F1RST resident Kelsey Combs, who moved from an older building in the neighborhood, explained. F1RST also has an elevated deck with slightly better views of the field. 

For resident Dan Galambos, for whom today was his first home game as a F1RST tenant, the option of watching the game from the roof was a big factor in his decision to move to the building. However, he also noted the difficulty of being able to follow everything.

"If I really pay attention, I can have an idea [of what is happening], but it's still tough because you can't hear [the announcer]," he pointed out, a fact that must come as a relief to some nearby residents who may not necessarily want to hear the games all the time.

Property manager Penny Bilawa believes the proximity to and views of the Park are a major draw for some residents, although not all. "It's a great rooftop regardless of the views," she pointed out, and this definitely rings true to the experience — particularly because those views do not come unobstructed. F1RST also has apartments with views into the Park, one of which was vacant during our visit. The views are no less obstructed, but just one floor down from the rooftop, the ballpark seems dramatically closer (and the scoreboard is much more visible). 

While the views aren't perfect, having the option to watch a professional baseball game from home when you don't want to deal with the throngs of people clamoring to get to and inside of the Park, is not a bad amenity. As for concessions, F1rst provides eats and beverages for those on the roof during gameday, and there are also grilling stations for those interested in bringing food upstairs to cook.

This article originally published at https://dc.urbanturf.com/articles/blog/and-i-would-have-seen-the-whole-game-too-if-it-werent-for-that-meddling-par/13796

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