A LOW-RES VIEW OF THE NEW YORK CONVENTION, IN AND OUT OF DOORS (AND CHECKPOINTS)
Several of them, actually. And I've arranged them more or less in chronological order, from walking over to the Farley media center, then crossing up and back over to Madison Square Garden for Wednesday's afternoon program.
Past the first security check, in mid to late afternoon. The delegates are all inside, the press is working or, like me, done for the day. It's just me and the police. And you think this is empty? Check out this:
Midtown Manhattan ... empty. A block away from the entrance, it's desolate. It was, as they say, like the Omega Man.
That's not a UFO up there; it's an airship, a dirigible, a zeppelin. (Fujifilm, not Goodyear.) To quote Rodney Dangerfield as Mr. Burns long-lost son Larry: "Oh, and once I saw a blimp!"
A view from the back (?) of Madison Square Garden.
A view back on MSG.
A view back, looking more toward the street.
A view toward the street and Farley.
I should have just done a panorama series and Photoshopped it together.
Now, there's a pretty big gap here where I was disallowed from taking a picture of the media center entrance. I decided to put the camera away until I got in. So we pick up with me getting across the bridge pictured above, from the interior:
A few of those pixels in the middle are Brit Hume at the end of the hallway.
Inside MSG, looking back on the bridge and the same area as the views above.
The place reminds me of nothing so much as the inside of a community college building, but with a popular sports team.
Left to right, back row: Condoleezza Rice, Dick Cheney, George W. Bush, just doing their job. Left to right, front row: Host committee security temps, doing the same.
Skyboxes above, divided about evenly between broadcast media and VIP boxes. I have no idea who was in each of the VIP boxes (as the VIPs among VIPs (e.g. the VP) were seated on the floor). But the media wouldn't let you forget. Fox News, NBC/MSNBC and and about half the VIPs got the best view.
NHK, ever Japanese, enclosed their box in a plastic box that should be out in toy stores by Christmas.
Pop quiz: Guess who had the worst-positioned skybox -- Al Jazeera, or Bloomberg TV? Answer: Bloomberg! Only by one box, though. I presume the Mayor is just trying to play down his personal financial interest in the convention, but someone tell me if there's more to it. (And if anybody knows where I could get NHK's TV coverage, let me know that too.)
The floor, afternoon program. Sports stars and actresses are saying great things about America, troops, the Republican Party, George Bush, New York City, sports and acting. This may have been Angie Harmon and Jason Sehorn, but I wasn't paying attention. When I went on Thursday (about which more later) I saw Lynn Swann and Dorothy Hamill.
It's really small in here, by the way, and stadium-like. It's old, of course, but still a surprise that New York hasn't built anything bigger in Manhattan. If I was the Beatles, I'd have chosen Shea as well.
The console on the side of the arena opposite and facing the stage. Up top is the "orchestra pit," if we can still call it that. Just below is the mixing booth, where all the traders doubtless stand by to get the best recording. And then down a couple more steps are the cameras, still and television. I counted five TV cameras: I'm guessing ABC, CBS, NBC/MSNBC, Fox, CNN and everyone else made a deal for one of those feeds. Below that, though you can't see it, is a large screen TV scrolling speech text, not a proper teleprompter though those things are up on the stage.
The balloon guys are on a short leash with us, but but no one doubts the lights crew will be on its game.
The lobby out is everything the actual arena is not: large in scale, majestic in decoration and backlit scenes from New York sports history at Madison Square Garden. But the temporary walls detracted considerably.
The electronic signboard out front isn't bad, either.
This stands just outside the front (?) of Madison Square Garden (and Penn Station). The urge to compare it to the monolith in "2001" is tempting all right, but with all the primary colors I saw the cover of Super Mario Bros. 3
This and the signboard photo were taken precisely where so-called Black Bloc anarchists had just hours before set a dragon on fire, as I've noted elsewhere. Matt Labash explains all and provides a photo in another Murdoch-owned news outlet
A view of the tallest building in New York, outside Penn Station. It actually does stand out a lot more than it seems to here, but I liked the street scene as well.
A view from my hotel room window, 9th floor overlooking Broadway and 32nd. That's an iPod billboard on the left. Not pictured: A Sean John billboard on the building above it.
So there you have it. I still have a set of Thursday pictures as well, and you'll have those, too, shortly.