The Republicans Held Their Convention in NYC And All I Got Was A Lousy “Upright Citizens Brigade” T-ShirtSurvived NYC. And thanks for asking.
Turns out I’m not the only one who noticed the overwhelming police presence in NYC. Here’s Michael Novack over on National Review’s blog, “The Corner”:
Monday a.m., I got a cab to take me as close as he could to Madison Square Garden for an early interview on Tavis Smiley’s show on PBS. Close turned out to mean outside all the barricades and roadblocks at about 31st and Fifth. Not too bad. My special pass got me through every police barrier, block by block, and there were again lines of policemen, firemen, and equipment both sides of the streets. I didn’t realize that the NY police could look as much like a massed army as it does.
Here he is again on Penn Station (remember, TBC Readers, you read it here first:
Let me describe arriving aboard an absolutely fully reserved Acela train at Penn Station Sunday at noon, security all over the train and at the Newark station and in Manhattan. Greeters and policemen all over the place in Penn Station. Squads of them in places. Heavy equipment, and a few powerful looking automatic weapons. Eager and friendly greeters and cops waved the herd of us toward a contrived 7th Ave exit (not the usual one) and then when we got to the street sent us back to the 8th Ave exit, where they said there would be cabs….I pulled three bags, beginning to puff and to sweat by halfway down the block. Hot. Muggy. 33rd Street blocked off to our side. Police all the way down. A siren and other police cars racing up 8th Avenue ahead. No taxis in sight. One taxi at the corner, about 280 patrons waving. Cop says, try walking up the Avenue, maybe 35th, 36th. (“Or,” I thought, “37th of 38th.”)
Hot. Muggy. Stop to switch hands on bags. Rearrange the top bag.
Just past 39th St. I remembered that Mother Cabrini, the first New Yorker declared a saint, is the patron saint of parking places and taxicabs. Swift prayer for help.
Taxi swings around 39th corner, out of nowhere, stops and takes us in.
It was even worse on Sunday. I was lucky enough to get a cab driver who ignored virtually all of the police directions and put me right on the corner of Penn Plaza. When my cab arrived, it was practically the only vehicle on the street, and as it pulled up about a dozen people, who seemed not to have seen a cab in hours, immediately descended upon it, money and suitcases in hand. “No more fares, no more fares,” the cabbie shouted. He seemed eager to get rid of me and get out of there. Who could blame him? I don’t know how he got me there without the both of us ending up in a police van alongside the anarchists who got arrested earlier in the day; the ride back looked to be even tougher going. I tipped him very well for his troubles, figuring that some of it might have to go towards bail.