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The Indefinite Article.

Monday, August 30, 2004

The Republicans Invade

So the Republican Convention is on the same street as my office, wouldntyaknowit, just 2 blocks away. I take the subway into Penn Station, which is connected to Madison Square Garden, where all the hoopla is. I'm surprised and amazed this morning that the subway actually stops at Penn Station, as the rumor about town last week was that all subways were being re-routed away from the area. So they decided to make things easy on us, after all. Hardly anyone on the subway ride in -- lots of people getting the heck out of town for the week ... but not me, nope, stubborn 8 mos.+ pregnant lady decides she's gonna work 'til she can't stand up no more.

So anyway, I get off the subway and climb up onto 34th street, where I see a fairly large percentage of the 10,000 cops that are in the area this week to secure the event. They're packed in little clusters on street corners here and there .. I try to walk up closer to the Garden but they're only letting people with "RNC" badges past, so I don't get to see anything interesting -- 8 a.m.'s probably too early for most protesters anyway.

I saw on the news last week that lots of bike riders were arrested for riding past the convention center in a pack, even though it's a weekly gathering and not an event targetting the RNC specifically -- a few of them had signs/banners/etc. but they do this every week, so what's the big deal?? Lots of bogus sounding charges -- overly amped cops eager to arrest someone, anyone, to justify their presence -- road obstruction charges, that kind of thing...

34th street and all the streets around the center are closed to traffic but pedestrians can walk up and down the sidewalks. Cops everywhere, plain clothes policemen stepping out of cop cars, eyeing my black bag and fat belly suspiciously -- wish I had something more exciting to keep ya fellas busy, but all I got is a Garden Design magazine, my wallet, and a baby in my belly.

Lots of conservative types walking down the street in front of my office -- button-down shirts and ties, slicked back hair, polished shoes -- they would probably blend right in on Wall Street or Madison Ave, but down here in the fashion district the regulars are all much more casual and definitely less white-bread if you know what I mean ...

So not a lot of interest to report yet, but I'll keep ya'll posted if anything vivid happens ...


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