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Nickerson Field Below

With games, practices, and ghostly pallor, the view is addictive


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A speedy version of the view from the ninth floor of StuVi2 is in the time-lapse above. Time-lapse guru Peter Moriarty (ENG’11) recorded a frame every two seconds for five hours. The results were edited into several segments; as the light outside fades, more and more of the room’s interior reflects in the window.

The alarm blasts Mission: Impossible music and out of the fuzz I become aware it’s 10 a.m. I turn in bed, entangled in my covers, and raise the blinds in my dark single. Nine floors below, the women’s lacrosse team is practicing.

Drill after drill I stare, entranced by a sport I don’t quite understand and have always refused to watch. But now I grin after every goal. Broken plays are dismissed with a shrug, as if I’ve seen it all before. I look up—it’s 10:15. I haven’t showered. I have class at 11 on the other side of campus, but instead of rushing I assure myself I’ve got five more minutes, just five more, and continue to watch.

It’s the third time this week I’ve watched practice on Nickerson—and it’s only Wednesday. I now face the truth: I’m addicted to my view of Nickerson Field.

The rest of StuVi2’s residents rave about their kitchens, the amazing entrance, their views of the river. But I can’t stop looking out my living room windows. Nothing can be better than this fix of endless athletic entertainment. It’s so bad—so good—that I’ve been driven out of my own room when I need to do homework; I can’t concentrate on anything other than the comings and goings on Nickerson. I’ve never been big on doing work in my room, but this is different. I can’t even read a five-page article without finding myself enthralled by whatever game is unfolding below me.

I’ve come to realize that I’ll watch pretty much anything, and have: the Ultimate Frisbee team practice, half of a BU Academy soccer game (I slept through the first half), even a Saturday afternoon rugby match. I didn’t know the first thing about rugby when the match started and neither did my two roommates, but we sat on the couch peering down at the field for two hours, following the play back and forth. We argued over strategy and rules, learning about both as the afternoon light faded—and ignoring the big college football game on television behind us. Saturdays are supposed to be football days. We used to sit in the common room, laptops in front of us, pretending to work as we watched games from noon to midnight, debating who is best and rooting for every team in the country but BC. Nickerson Field stole that away from us.

After a long, tiring day has turned into a night of study, I make my way home, open the door to my apartment, and tiptoe into the common room to avoid waking my roommates. I stare out the window and stand there for a minute, or two, or five, peering out as the lights of West Campus illuminate the field. It has a pale, ghostly look. I breathe in deep. Only then, my nightly fix satisfied, can I go to sleep, knowing I’ll wake up the next morning to a different scene.

Seth Orensky can be reached at orenskys@bu.edu.

This article originally ran November 2, 2009.


2 Comments on Nickerson Field Below

  • Charles Merzbacher (COM Faculty) on 11.03.2009 at 10:28 am

    Who is watching?

    A nice idea– both the story and the time-lapse photography. With regard to the latter, however, I find it very sad that the television was apparently on in this dorm room for the full five hours during which the photos were taken. As the photos themselves attest, there is a world away from the sofa in which people run, play and compete. Someone is not taking advantage of it.

  • lol on 02.27.2012 at 10:36 am

    Professor Merzbacher has a great point, you could be down there at the field participating. There are many groups on facebook dedicated to pickup games for all sports.

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