Wow--what a crazy afternoon/night here on my block! The President is now gone and, amazingly, you would never know he'd been here today. All is quiet on the Western Village front, less than an hour and a half after his departure. It was two two days to setup but less than two hours for all of it to disappear.
Here's some video of the arrival and some shots I took of the scene; the crowds who kept getting pushed further away, the swarms of police and Secret Service vehicles, and the snipers on Anna's rooftop who took a particular interest in me as I stood at the window talking to my friends as this all went down. I believe they radioed me in because, a couple minutes after I took pictures of them, I got a buzz at my door saying it was "the police" but it was actually the Secret Service. They told me to close my windows and then left.
As for POTUS's arrival, it was quick and surprisingly quiet; no sirens blaring or Hail To The Chief or anything. After a few motorcycles and police cruisers, two armored limos (Obama was in the second one) turned onto Sullivan Street and slipped into the white tent in front of Anna Wintour's townhouse. Immediately, the Secret Service closed the flaps and that was that. According to my brother (who used to be in the White House press pool), this is standard procedure for a Presidential arrival when there is no covered or enclosed entrance.
If you want a minute-by-minute detail of the whole thing, an enterprising intern at a fashion blog called Stylite did his damndest to live blog it, even though he was on the opposite side of Houston. Anyone who got closer than that was shooed away. They really kept all un-uniformed citizens off the block...except, of course, those folks who paid $30K a plate to sup with the President. God Bless America!
On the lookout for terrorists and nosy neighbors like me
The bomb dog sniffs the post box, which I was surprised was still there.
Hey guys--I don't have binos but I've got a 6x zoom
Sanitation truck filled with sand scares terrorists away(?!)
All the poor saps at the other end of Sullivan without a view
The money shot....the Presidential limo ready to go