The street is up to 11 police cars, 12 black vehicles and assorted vans of varying hues of beige. The diplomat van turns out is leased and when I walked by a police dog was sniffing high and low and two tall thin guys with matching blonde buzz cuts were looking over every nook and cranny with mini-flashlights.
The police within the barriers are wearing bullet proof vests. I’d tell you more but someone might kill me.
Last week it was lines around the block at The Pierre, yesterday and today there’s some big deal at The Regency. Never before have I noticed cement barricades along Park Avenue or 61st Street but for the past 48 hours they’ve been in place. As are two police doggies and their masters. One walks the block while the other inspects cars entering the 61st Street garage. I noticed a group of men outside the hotel looking skyward Monday afternoon, assumed they were some sort of security detail or looking at real estate. Upon entering our building, I was told that the metal barricades along the 61st Street sidewalks were set up for a “Veteran’s Day Parade.” Nice idea but not quite accurate.
At any given time there are ten black cars on the north side of 61st street with two police cars in the lead. An array of non-black vehicles, including a pea green colored van with New Jersey plates, another bland colored van with diplomat plates and a NYFD emergency truck on the south side. Another one is on the southern corner at Park Avenue. When the guarded guest is in residence, the “get-away limo” is parked with the other black cars, accessible through the staff/celebrity entrance. Otherwise, the street is empty of vehicles.
The crazy thing is that when he or she is about to exit the building, we, the neighboring residents were locked inside until said person made his or her way out, into the vehicle and down the street…a helicopter flies overhead and supposedly snipers are posted on rooftops. I didn’t see anyway, perhaps it’s just as well.
Pedestrians are free to roam the street though trucks have to stop and show their bill of lading before they enter the street. The flow of traffic is smooth and of course, this gawker wonders who warrants this attention. Rumors range from Obama (surely not), the Israeli Prime Minister and the Israeli Foreign Minister.
Meanwhile, there seems to be an official “guy” straight across from my window, he’s monitoring the scene below.
As am I.
Regardless of whose safety is at risk, I’ve got the lowdown on the security detail. Despite ALL of the precautions outside, I feel less safe given the number of weapons that the officers bring to the neighborhood.