July 28, 2010

The Obama Has Landed (PART 2)

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

The Obama Has Landed (PART 1)

The President arrived here at 7:20 sharp, as predicted by his schedule.  He's at Anna's now having dinner.  I will post some video and more pics of all the security scene later.  Snipers are watching me through my window as I type this....for reals!

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner....Obama! (PART 2)

It's 3PM....roughly four hours away from President Obama's arrival on my street and the block is already in lockdown.  Access to Sullivan from Bleecker is closed, with two sets of barricades blocking the sidewalk and a large dump truck parked in the middle of the street (pictured below).  

Meanwhile, they have constructed an elaborate tent for the President's limo to pull into to screen his exit from the car and into the townhouse of Anna Wintour.  There are Men in Black everywhere too.  

So I am in the bubble, as it were.  Fortunately, I just came back from a run to the deli. :)  I've been told if I leave after 5pm it will be tough to get back in my apartment.  And these people are not kidding around.  

Guess Who's Coming To Dinner....Obama!

I knew something was up on Monday when I saw a group of five police officers wearing "NYC Anti-Terrorism Unit" t-shirts standing on my corner and pointing up the block.  The next day there was an unusual number of big guys in big suits, something rarely seen on my block in the Village.  Then the signs went up...."No Parking Wednesday".  Knowing the President was supposed to be in the city on Wednesday for a taping of THE VIEW, I decided to Google "Obama" and "Sullivan Street".  Sure enough, PODUS was set to attend a fundraiser at the townhouse of Vouge editor Anna Wintour, who happens to be my neighbor.  

When I woke up this morning, my block was already in partial lockdown as you can see from the photo above.  They just finished towing the few remaining cars that were left by people who slept late or are out of town. I even saw the cops give someone a ticket for an unnamed offense.  I think he sassed one of the cops who told him to walk on the other side of the street.  

Unfortunately, I won't be attending the event as my invitation must have gotten lost in the mail. (ha) But that's probably a good thing.  The report I found online said it's a $30,000 a plate affair which is slightly out of my range for political donations, more or less dinner!  Anyway, I will be updating the blog later today about the preparations for the Presidential visit and more photos of all the Obama-hubbub.  And maybe some pictures of The Man himself.  Stay tuned....