Feldbericht Aus New York: Day One

by John Smith

30 August 2004

I work in a company in the City of New York. The address is such that the building housing said company sits atop Penn Station and is directly connected to Madison Square Garden. I would like to relate to you all, beloved white men and women, what I've observed there today, the opening day of the Republican National Convention. I will tell you that thus far, there is not much of startling import to relate but I will do my best.

It was suggested by management that we arrive extra early in order to avoid any mayhem and/or confusion. I left my apartment in lower Manhattan at 7:00 a.m. for the 1/2 hour walk to Madison Square Garden, armed with my trusty special identification cards without which I would be denied ingress to my place of work and even the surrounding streets. To be honest, I expected some sort of 'something'.

As I walked north on 6th Ave and approached West 23rd St. there was a decided surfeit of policemen and policewomen. Many of them were wearing orange day-glo vests and many were sporting friendly looking t-shirts (emblazoned with something in the order of "NYPD Neighborhood Watch") even though they were packing the full kit of firearms, handcuffs, etc. The rest were your garden-variety rank-and-file NYPD officers. Nearing West 29th St., checkpoints began to appear and here one needed one's building passes to proceed further. Apart from the gruff demeanor of some of the cops, they seemed calm and helpful.

I reached West 32nd St and 6th Ave and turned left. Surprisingly, there seemed not to be an aggressive checking of passes there. The area was replete with concrete barriers and a big sand-laden sanitation truck blocking the entrance to West 32nd St. for any vehicles. From here, it's a straight shot westward to the monolith of 2 Penn Plaza. As I neared 7th Ave. and 32nd St., I heard rock and roll music. It was being played by some sort of Up With People-type combo in the forecourt of 2 Penn Plaza, the entrance to Madison Sq. Garden. The band was dishing out a spirited version of "Hang On Sloopy." I kid thee not.

Here I presented my building pass and company ID and was swiftly allowed to enter through the gates (here there appeared more of a maze type feel what with all the gates and bottleneck of checkpoints) and up the steps and into the building. The tenor of the police presence changing a bit here from local law enforcement to federal. Many of those in authority were in suits. I noticed to my left and right, as in an airport where natives are winnowed out of the throng in a queue, the people going into Madison Square Garden proper, the conventioneers. Among them were throngs of similarly polo-shirted smiley corporo-sheeple. One set of these types were wearing shirts that said "Monster."

So, there I was, up and in, into the eye of the hurricane that is my place of business. I went out for lunch and saw more of the same and ditto on my way out to go home. Here is where I'd like to say a few things.

The cops: A plethora of black and hispanic policemen and women. Apart from the fact that I don't feel women should be in uniform, whether military or quasi, seeing black women armed to the teeth does not sit well with your humble observer. Also, many of the black cops had dreadlocks dangling from under their caps. Lovely.

I'd say all of the above is pretty boring. It is the police state writ tedious. It is Starbucks and Barnes and Noble and Corporate nothingness vying for blockbuster status. It's a yawn and 1/2, and that's the scary bit.

Two days ago I made an uncharacteristic trip out to Queens. NOW, there my friends is something to give us pause. I stood agape at Roosevelt Avenue and 82nd Street and felt for all the world that I was witnessing the recent toppling of a cockroach-infested anthill, such was the appalling preponderance of illegal Mexicans, Columbians and god only knows what else. I won't preach to the choir and I'm sure many of you know what I saw and how I feel.

Stay tuned for day #2.


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