Daily Archives: April 17, 2008


I’ve been joking that I’m going to start a website called popewatch.com so we know where he is at all times. I’m thinking of somehow bringing google maps into play with this scenario.

I initially came up with that idea last summer, while visiting the Vatican and seeing so many people being disappointed that the pope was not “at home,” but rather, at his seaside summer residence. There’s no sign that tells you if he’s in or not — somehow I had it in my head that it would be like visiting Santa Claus with a little clock sign up on his throne pointing to the time he’d be back. This is not the case, instead, you have to actually ask someone that works there. But it’s pretty much implied that during the summer months, no one is actually home in a city if they have the means not to be (pope included).

If the pope is home, he appears at his fourth floor window, which is thrown open and a red velvet banner is placed over the sill. As in our case however, the window remained shut tight against the 110 degree heat. Thus, popewatch.com so you know where he is at all times. This would be especially useful when it comes to traffic (especially in and around Rome) and when he visits other cities around the world, since it literally cripples transportation.

While the pope’s in our city, I will be happily ensconced in the suburbs, enjoying the lovely weather, our visitors from D.C., seder dinner and the beauty of having a street to escape to that the pope won’t be cruising down anytime soon.

– Downtown

Pope My Ride

Pope Prep

Can’t help but get sucked into the neighborhood excitement preparations over the imminent visit of His Holiness. In fact, I wish I had a tool to track his travels, sort of like Doppler radar for the Pope or the way that new stations track Santa’s sleigh on Christmas Eve.

The NO PARKING signs are being put in place along the UES, police barricades, both blue saw horses and metal barriers are being set out as I type. As best I could tell, there’s little action on Fifth Avenue (compared to Monday’s spotting by this UT girl of the “pope advance team” with their heads tilted toward the heavens). That is, no bleachers, no barricades BUT there are pennants hanging from street lamps. For four blocks, I noticed Con Edison vans doing work at numbered street intersections, maybe that has to do with the underground safety precautions??? I didn’t ask.

The last time I recall a Pope in my midst was during my college days, Jean Paul, toured the US. I remember seeing his white robes, golden halo like aura (really) around his head and his silly pope mobile and all the talk about it. I didn’t see the pontiff first hand, only via national news. This time, I’ll be out there watching him ride by. Speaking of which, I ask the family members last night over dinner if any one would care to join me? Answer: a resounding no. I’ll take notes and pics.