. . . Tuesday July 27, 2004

Thou Dothn’t Protest Too Much

I’ve beeped every time I’ve gone through Fleet Center security checkpoints. The first time, as a security official told me to stretch out my arms to be metal detected, I realized that I may have inadvertently left a subway token in my pocket. He responded: “I’m not looking for your token, I’m looking for your gun.”

When I didn’t respond, he asked: “You’re not from Boston are you? You’ve got no sense of humor.”

That odd exchange aside, almost every warning about a city in gridlock and a municipality with resources stretched to their limit have failed to materialize. I’ve talked to doormen, cops, cab drivers and security officers at Fleet. Pretty much everyone has indicated that things are running a lot more smoothly than they had anticipated. Last I checked, there hadn’t been a single convention related arrest (although they may be going easy on you if you tell them you’re from a swing state).

One of the controversies in Boston is the location and barbed wire vibe associated with what has become known as the Free Speech Cage (the section where protesters are allowed to protest). In a way, the venue is actually driving the issues that are being protested. Every time I’ve walked by the enclosure, someone on a mic was complaining about the enclosure itself.

The streets are easy to navigate. Getting from here to there, no problem. This afternoon, I asked a cab driver if he was sick of taking people to the Fleet Center. He laughed and said he loved it. “We wish this could go on all month,” he said explaining that he was doing getting fares until four or five in the morning. See the Democratic Party is already increasing wages in America.

Here are some pictures of life along Boston’s streets over the past couple of days. So far, so good.

Concentration is important!