Neither snow nor rain

New York, NY, USA -- 01 September 2004 | Permalink

Aside from the slightly heavier police presence, the orbiting blimp (decorated with a large Fuji logo, with 'NYPD' written underneath in much smaller letters) and the double line of traffic cones marking off the center lane in 42nd St and 9th Avenue - so that the Republican bigwigs in their black SUV convoys can whisk up and down to Madison Square Garden without being delayed by ordinary road users, protesters, terrorists and other members of hoi polloi - I've seen relatively little to remind me that the Republican National Convention is currently occupying a sizeable chunk of Midtown.

Local businesses, however, may feel the impact more. It appears that the central post office opposite the Garden has closed for the week. “Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.” says the carved legend on the building, but apparently neither Herodotus nor the USPS took the RNC into account.

Meanwhile, the friend of a friend spent yesterday in police custody. He says that the NYPD proved to be much less gentle once the television cameras were pointed elsewhere, and there are reports of mistreatment of protesters. The more humane crowd policing that I witnessed on Sunday may have been a calculated one-off, rather than a more intelligent new policy.