Gooooooood Morning, New York City !!!
At least last time I had been able to take a shower.
As you have heard already there were two explosions at the British Consulate this morning in New York City.
This was not the first attack since 9/11, but more about that later.
Apparently the bomb was located in a cement planter placed on the sidewalk outside the door of the building. If you've ever been to NYC, these planters are everywhere. They surround public buildings, Madison Square Garden, Penn Station, the Empire State Building and quite a few Jewish Synagogues. Most popped up in the months after 9/11, when the entire review of security measures was completely overhauled. Mostly they have become a depository of trash. Cigarette butts, soda cans and candy wrappers are the norm. Bombs are not. The bushes that grow are usually pathetic and wilting, forgotten when somebody hops on up for a quick sit. During the winter months they stay filled with inches of snow.
Someone dug into this and planted a bomb.
Good Morning New York City.
On 9/11, I had just stepped out of the shower when Diane Sawyer told me "A small plane has struck the World Trade Center."
I've always given the President that tidbit. The first plane was a question mark to all of us, that was of course until what we saw next. I saw this horror with my own two eyes. What happened in Florida, there is no excuse for.
Ironically the building that houses the British Consulate is only three blocks from the Manhattan offices of Citibank. You may recall the recent hysteria and lock-down of this location based on "highly specific intelligence" that was discovered during the summer of '04 in Pakistan. I took a stroll around this area some weeks later and noticed something somewhat disturbing. While a line was formed to enter the building and longtime employees were searched and made into suspects, the buildings directly across the street had no such security. One could easily stroll in and out of most of the surrounding block, cross the street and you were a suspect.
Again, this is not the first terrorist incident here in NYC since 9/11. Many seem to forget the Anthrax Attacks of Sept-Oct. 2001. On Friday October 12th, I had business in the Rockefeller Center area, that was until I noticed people running away. A quick question to one person confirmed that mayhem had occurred, something suspicious had been found in the building and it was time to go home. One quick call to my wife and I was gone.
Whenever I hear some spokestooth say "We're safer, after all there hasn't been another terrorist attack since 9/11" I tend to wince. Not only because the statement is factually incorrect but the patting ourselves on the back, itself will forever be premature. Today may be proof of that fact.
It's a good thing that Wyoming gets so much federal terror money because they really are at risk, not those people that live in New York City. The current program sent $38.31 per person to Wyoming in the 2004 budget, compared to just $5.47 per person to New York. That is a lot of "Mountain Protection" instead of "Midtown Protection" and I'm sure the bears really appreciate the money. North Dakota received $30.42, I believe that these two states have the population of Brooklyn and Queens, two of NYCís boroughs. Makes sense.
Yes, we had a bothersome episode this morning. This blip on the terror radar won't be enough to stop us from doing what we do best, live. Theater, Art and the goofy dress-me-up parties will continue unabated. In fact I heard that the Consulate itself was going to host an election bash this very evening. JOLLY HO, CHAPS!!!