The city of Toronto is on virtual lock-down as the G20 Summit goes on over the weekend of June 26-27 in Canada’s largest city. According to Business Week, the G20 event is being met with heightened security: “In Toronto, a 12-block section of downtown is surrounded by concrete barriers and three-meter (10-foot) high metal fencing, part of Canada’s largest-ever security operation with 20,000 police and security guards. Starting at 8 p.m. tonight, only people who work in the security zone or are accredited for the summit at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre will be allowed past the gates.” The G20 brings out all manner of crazy protester; hence the increased security protection. In my experience, having lived in New York and Los Angeles, average days seeming were often like heightened security. Heightened security was also brought about on specific days for certain events which required it.
September 2008: President to United Nations: When outgoing President George W Bush made his final visit to the UN General Assembly on the east side of Manhattan, I was working at the Screen Actors Guild just up the road a ways. I recall being out early that morning and there was a great deal of hubbub over the event. The United Nations building is located on 1st Ave between 42nd and 48th Streets. When I approached the area it was from the south and as I was walking up 3rd Avenue that must have been when President Bush’s car was approaching because there were scores of black cars with tinted windows, going around all different directions as well as intensified police security on the ground and in helicopters. I had never seen a President arrive to the United Nations before; it was something else.
July 2007: Steam Pipes Burst: As I’d written about for Associated Content when it happened; another time where there was an eerie stillness in New York City was when there was a steam pipe explosion incident. Park Avenue had been closed off just south of Grand Central Terminal and as I approached the area where there would ordinary have been a huge bustle of taxicabs and others; there was an elevated sense of tension in the streets. Police were stopping traffic and sectioning off areas for workers to repair the damage but because we all knew so little of what was going on, it was a little intimidating.
August 2004: RNC at MSG: Another event that was a pain in the butt to get around was when the Republican National Convention came to Madison Square Garden. It was only for a couple of days but my wife and I lived just west of Madison Square Garden and every time we wanted to go home we had to show police our ID. The fact that the nations Republican voices were all in attendance didn’t make the area any more peaceful but it certainly made traveling a challenge.