Random Convention News

(Originally posted in Greater Democracy)

This afternoon, I explored the city, trying to get a good feel for what is going on with the convention. I stopped in Bryant Park to use the open wifi, and check my email. There was an interesting email from Jock asking to what extent New York is currently Baghdad on the Hudson, “a city occupied by a power elite who treat the residents as second class citizens with fungible civil rights. The way the occupiers have redefined NYC, it now has its own very own "Green Zone" -- just like Bagdad. A bubble of fantasy and dogma dictated "reality".”

There was something that resonated with me about that. Just like the Two Americas, it seems as if there are two New Yorks, one in which people try to go about their daily lives and the other that the Republicans are visiting.

When I was in Boston, I went and hung out in the lobbies of various delegations. It was a great way to get a sense of what was really going on. The delegates and dignitaries would pass through the lobbies. You could pick up information about what is going out through out the day.

Here in New York, it is different. You can’t get into the lobbies unless you are staying in the hotel. The delegates are pretty removed and isolated from New York. It is easy to get information about demonstrations, but not about what is going on for the delegates.

The National Journal had good coverage up in Boston, but as a general rule, I had found out all the information already before I got my emails from the National Journal. New York is different.

I ended up going to a book discussion with Zell Miller, Michael Barone, Bob Barr and others. It was interesting to hear their perspective on books and the media in general. However, that will wait for a different post.

The National Journal also reported that “The New York City Police Department has evicted street vendors from 24 square blocks in the vicinity of Madison Square Garden. In banning street sales between 27th and 35th streets, from 6th to 9th avenues, city officials say they acted out of worry about pedestrian traffic.”

On the way to the book discussion I was passed by a squadron of police on bicycles. It was hard to tell how many there were, but my guess was that it was about 264 cops on bikes. Perhaps they were trying to keep up with Critical Mass.

Currently, I’ve been having problems with the wireless network here, with my server in London, as well as the Greater Democracy server. So, it may take a little while before I can get the pictures online. It may even delay getting some of these posts up.

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