I had asked if this was a train into Manhattan, and found out that it was, so I got on. There was a subway map right there that I checked out only to find out that I had to go all through Queens, into Brooklyn, then finally into lower manhattan, and get off at Penn Station, about an hour ride.
At the same time Susy was taking her own train from Newark over to Penn Station, I got in just a few minutes before her. and soon she was on the phone, only a few blocks away. We navigated our way toward each other and happened to meet in front of The Pennsylvania Hotel, which I was originally booked at. The Pennsylvania is located directly across the street from Madison Square Garden. I decided to change my reservations to a different hotel, which was the same price, but about a mile and a half away from the scene of the convention. I did this because of the hype level that had reached my ears concerning how half of Manhattan was going to be shut down. The media was putting out the message that "Every other street in the city was going to be shut down, they may shut down Penn station, (Which is the main train route into Manhattan from Long Island, and New Jersey, and is located directly below Madison Square Garden.) Don't go into the city or you may get stranded in the lock down that the Police was going to impose." Well of course the hype was greatly exaggerated, a couple of blocks on either side of the garden were closed and a couple of barricades were up that people could just walk around. I ended up at the Metropolitan Hotel on Lexington and 51st St. It was a nicer Hotel, 3and a half stars, as opposed to two at the Penn. Hotel, but the mile and a half distance from the Garden made for a bit of inconvenience and a lot of walking and cab fares over to the protests. The room had a retro sixties futuristic look that was pretty cool, and a great bargain in midtown.
After a while we went out and walked over to the Garden to see if any early action was going on.
I had heard that earlier a bunch of people on bicycles had gotten arrested. We walked around and saw a few people with anti-Bush signs but overall the scene was pretty peaceful.
There were many cops around, some of them looked like they were getting an early jump of some partying of there own.
I called an old friend of mine who lived downtown in Soho, and we went over for a couple of beers and some party samples. Later we went back to the Hotel to relax and get ready for the big protest that will be happening tomorrow. We'll have a full report as soon as it is written up. Talk to you later H.L.
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