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Gender: Male
Hometown: Philly
Home country: USA!USA!USA!
Current location: Jersey Shore
Member since: Sun Feb 22, 2004, 08:01 AM
Number of posts: 23,359

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Speaking from Center City Philadelphia:

This has been a remarkable time here...it's easiest if I sum it up point by point.

1. The tenor of the place, of the visitors and the remaining residents has been fantastic: warm, friendly, exciting. I've been in town - moved in with my kid for five days to be able to get to my dental practice - and the spirit is great.

2. Which leads me to my second point: they scared everyone who lived here into leaving town because of the pending hordes of millions of people descending upon the City. People who remained stocked up on food, medications, emergency supplies, etc. all for absolutely no reason. Many stores closed...again for absolutely no reason. I'm talking about stores outside the red zone as they call it...yes we have a Red Zone and a Black Zone.

3. We have barricades all over the place: concrete barricades placed so there is no chance of vehicular disruption. This of course makes sense. We have the National Guard stationed at every corner for a huge perimeter. We have huge security checkpoints manned by nundreds of Federal Police and TSA. We have shut down the major artery, the Schuylkill Expressway all the way from the Northeast to the airport. We have literally hundreds and hundreds of emergency vehicles moving at all hours of the day and night: convoys of vehicles with flashing lights moving at very high speed on the otherwise deserted roads. The area around where the Pope is staying is like an armed fortress - it is a real show of strength from the Federal Government the likes of which I have never witnessed. There must be two thousand vehicles here with Virginia, D.C., and Maryland plates, and these people are not fooling around.

4. People are enjoying themselves. We went out last night to a very popular restaurant and bar and were among the few people in the place which normally would be overflowing. We walked around the streets and it was a real party atmosphere but sober and controlled. Tell you one thing: it was certainly a safe night to be out.

5. Hopefully Sunday will continue to be a safe and exciting event for the participants.

From the City of Brotherly Love and Martial Law I post on this Yom Kippur...

I do not believe that in the history of the United States has a major metropolitan area been so remarkably cordoned off it has been here in Philadelphia. They are not only placing high fencing in a lengthy perimeter around the Center City region, but major arterial highways are going to be closed for long stretches of time. Unless you live here you cannot imagine the extent of the disruption to literally millions of residents and thousands of businesses. I am slack-jawed at the measures which they have taken and are going to take. The preparations for security for this event have been unceasing since the announcement: thousands of personnel, cables, radiation detectors, cameras, and electronic gear which looks like George Lucas designed them for the new Star Wars film. The logistics for each of us who have to be in Center City for the next five days is staggering: the rules for walking, driving, parking, opening ones business, going to restaurants, etc. are complex beyond comprehension and changing by the moment.

This I believe is unprecedented. I wonder at the reasoning and have several hypotheses, none of which are positive.

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