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NYC Time Traveler

Obama On The Corner

I'd done six tours in seven days and was planning on taking the day off, I slept late the Monday morning that President Obama arrived in Manhattan for (among other things) appearances at Barnard's commencement and on ABC's The View. The former happens to be my alma mater but we alumnae don't get tix to events; the latter tapes directly across the street from my apartment, but I didn't think there'd be anything to see—heightened security had begun days in advance—and besides, I'd slept in, probably missing both arrival and departure. In fact, when I finally stirred myself to look out the terrace windows, sometime before noon, there seemed to be something still happening down there: I threw on some clothes, hurried to the corner, where I was told that I'd just missed the arriving convoy. Oh well; my karma, I should've stayed at my window post, instead of taking that elevator downstairs. 

But when I got back upstairs, 1010 WINS was reporting that the President would "momentarily" arrive at the Barnard campus, much further uptown. The mystery was solved when I took myself out, later, for a few leisurely errands, and ran into a crowd now awaiting Obama's arrival at ABC. What I'd missed had been some kind of run-through: this was the real deal. And sure enough, with West End Avenue between 70th and 64th Streets securely blocked by, among other things, sand-filled sanitation dump trucks, the Presidential convoy pulled into the ABC parking lot at 65th, to cheers and whistles. Of course we couldn't actually see him (or, for that matter, really know which limo he was in) but it was somehow exciting all the same.

With West End more or less back to normal, on my return, I assumed I'd missed the departure. But then, from the terrace, I noticed that security vehicles were in motion once more, and people gathering again on the corners still open to pedestrian traffic. Instead of going back to the street, I grabbed my camera and waited, realizing my bird's-eye view was far better for the purposes of filming whatever might happen next. I shot two short clips: the first, the final securing of the avenue and street, climaxed by a cavalcade of police motorcycles taking off; the second, the central convoy of Presidential vehicles leaving ABC and the neighborhood by driving across West 66th Street. That's the one I'm posting here:


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