From across the way in Manhattan, the ballpark beckons in cream and blue, like a saucer of light next to dark ribbons of water. The confidence of outsiders is such on a World Series night that they are willing to park their cars across the river on the streets of Harlem. These streams of baseball fans are predominantly white. They sport suburban coats as the weather chills, and they feel secure enough in numbers to be willing to walk as aliens along someone else’s sidewalks for a chance to avoid the expense and tangle of stadium parking.
North of the stadium, as the ballpark lights send a white blush up into the darkening blue city night, the outsiders park in the streets of a housing project that is home to Andre Atkins, a tall, thin, black 16-year-old who is part of a (feral) youth culture (better known as a race) that can make stadium visitors very nervous.
“It’s like the night of the Ali fight,” Andre says, describing the mass of interlopers on his project streets.
ex NYT Clines 10/13/77