When the President Comes to Town

Filed under living in new york sucks so hard, politicking

I think that when I lived in Ohio, I was neutral-to-positive about the United Nations. I actually remember defending it to someone–my dad?–saying that even though it allows itself to be basically powerless and just for show, it’s a good idea at its core.

But now that I’m dating someone who lives literally steps from the UN headquarters, I understand that it was created entirely to take pity on people from lesser countries, give them good parking spots for their giant gas-guzzlers, and allow them a place to prance around in the ridiculous costumes of their homelands.

That’s right. The UN General Assembly meeting made me a jingoist.

It was all just so annoying. The neighborhood was littered with cops not doing anything, clumped in groups and lounging on whatever was nearby. Their undercover comrades sat on the park benches and pretended to read books, believable but for the wired earpieces sticking out of their collars. All of the streets were blocked off to non-UN traffic, so the buses we use every day were rerouted, which means we actually had to walk amongst these animals. And of course none of the bus stops actually had signs on them saying the buses weren’t stopping there.

Tuesday, I got to 42nd Street after work, and these guards were standing on the sidewalk behind some barriers, but I was like, “Yeah, I live here,” and tried to saunter by without incident, but of course one of the guards took a step backward to block me and gave me this whole run-around before sending me one block north, where there were no guards. Reeeeeeeeeal intense security, guys.

Wednesday night, I came up out of the subway, and pedestrian traffic was stopped to let one motorcade of black SUVs pass west and then another motorcade pass east on the wrong side of the road. White dudes in suits were leaning out both sides of the cars, yelling at every delivery boy and street-crosser in sight. It had to all be for the President, right? Sirens wailed and horns honked, and you could see all of the Secret-Service-looking guys crammed into the backs of the vehicles despite the tinted glass, and I stood in the middle of it like, “OH MY GOD THIS IS AWESOME.” Because I am from Ohio and am easily impressed by shiny things.

Oh, UN.


  1. thickcrust says:

    If you had read any of the Left Behind books you would know that the United Nations is the one world government foretold in the Book of Revelation. Considering that judgment day is coming May 21, 2011, it’s entirely possible that it was the Antichrist’s motorcade.

    • Wait, wait, have you really read those books? Also, when are you getting your Kindle?, because my ebook collection is getting out of control and needs to be shared.

      I guess I always pictured the Antichrist as the motorcycle guy in Raising Arizona, but too-clean-cut Agent-Smith-looking guys in SUVs are about the equivalent.

      By the way, I really appreciate that you left me this comment. I was complaining that no one related to this post, and Kamran said that it’s just that no one wanted to be involved in my Nazi hate-spewing. And then you showed up, right on cue.

      • thickcrust says:

        I read the first book. I am curious to know what happened in the subsequent books, but not curious enough to actually read them.

        It’s like those true-crime shows on TV. The story can be told in about 15 minutes, but teasers before the commercials and recaps after the commercials, they manage to stretch it out into an hour.

        • It’s like EVERY show on TV. I had no idea how much crap is repeated until I got a DVR and started fast-forwarding. I was evidently one of those people so distracted by the flashing lights of the commercials that I had to be reminded what happened two minutes ago.

  2. ooooh! have you ever seen derek jeter? he lives right in the neighborhood, or so reliable sources tell me. :) maybe the motorcade was for him. lol.

    • We went to the bar in the building he lives in once and expected that he’d come down for drinks with us at some point, but I guess he was off screwing Madonna or something.

      If you want to spend your days camped out front, we’ll let you sleep on Kamran’s pull-out couch.

  3. Serial says:

    At first, I thought your title was a reference to the song “When the President talks to God,” but I know you’re way too cool to make Bright Eyes references.

    I, on the other hand, am not.

    • Oh, man, I really am not. Admittedly, I haven’t listened to them since Lifted, but that is a fucking great album. “Lover I Don’t Have to Love” and “You Will” are definitely in my top 50 and maybe top 25 and maybe top 15 songs of all time.

      I went to see them in 2004 or 2005 and sat in the second row because I bought the ticket off of an old LJ friend who I somehow thought would actually be friendly toward me, but it turns out she and her friends were sitting in an entirely different section, and after they gave me the ticket, they ran away. I imagine it’s because she’s super socially-awkward, but it might be because I was wearing a denim jacket with the collar popped and aviator sunglasses. That were possibly pink. I’m glad I can’t remember for sure.

  4. Tracey says:

    I got stuck in the traffic once when Obama came to downtown Columbus during his campaign, but I didn’t see motorcades and security. Just poor people selling bootleg “Yes We Can” t-shirts for $5.

  5. People from Louisiana are impressed by shiny things too.

    And big things. We love big things.