Friday, August 27, 2004

GOP Hell Week...

...Has Begun.

The barriers are already up in the West 34th Street area -- what I'm calling Area 34 -- which means my week of inconvenience has begun. All the trains that go to my work neighborhood go through that area. I usually get out at the 34th Street station and walk the dozen blocks to work for my morning exercise, but that's out for next week, and probably tomorrow, too, also a workday. I don't want to be anywhere near there. I'll be changing on the east side for the eastside downtown local, which means standing on a crowded train, if I can get into one. Going home will likely be worse. I'm hoping the fact that a lot of people have taken next week off -- I'm so jealous; if I'd have realized in April when we did our vacation schedule that the Republicans would be in town this week, I'd've taken next week off too -- means the trains wouldn't be so crowded.

Another early sign of Hell Week came thanks to Verizon. In wiring the convention halls for extra phone lines, they managed to knock out phone service for my library branch, which is more than a dozen blocks away from Madison Square Garden. We could make calls but not receive any for two and a half days. Given that phone service is the bulk of our public service, this was a major inconvenience for our patrons. A few other libraries had their phone service disrupted, too. The phones came back online midday, to our patrons' relief. But the quiet was kinda nice and gave us a chance to catch up on a few things.

And the fun hasn't really begun. Unless, of course, you count those naked protesters the other day. I know the city officials hope having the Republican convention here will translate to a financial bonanza for the city, but I really don't want them here. It's bad enough when the President visits for a morning or a day, but to go through this much inconvenience, including the protest march on Sunday (thank goodness that's not tomorrow!), the being mostly cut off from the area, the delays expected on the subways due to expected bomb threats and mysterious packages and security checks, and the real threat of violence, I just don't see the plus side of this equation.

Otherwise, today turned out to be nice, after a cloudy, misty morning. Gotta look for those silver linings.