Update, 6:20pm: Obama’s motorcade went down Lafayette and pulled up to a tent located between the Carl Fischer building and the Sculpture for Living on Cooper Square. The area described in the post below remains barricaded so don’t even think about being a pedestrian in the Cooper Square area during the next hour unless you want to be stuck in a human Habitrail.
Update, 6:40pm: Here’s your obligatory #POTUSpeepin’ video of Obama’s motorcade turning from Houston (not far from where we saw him in 2014 onto Lafayette.
Barricades (Barry-cades?) are up around Astor Place and Cooper Square right now as President Obama is set to roll through. The sidewalks around Cooper Union’s Great Hall, the Sculpture for Living, the Public Theater, Joe’s Pub, the Carl Fischer building, the old Village Voice building, and Grace Church School are all blocked off and businesses like the Chase bank on Astor Place aren’t being allowed to take in customers. An employee at Chase said she didn’t know when the branch would be reopening.
According to NY1, Obama is in town to chat up Jimmy Fallon and attend a couple of Democratic fundraisers. One will be at the home of BuzzFeed chairman Kenneth Lerer, according to CNN. The fundraisers are scheduled for 5:20pm and 7:50pm, per the president’s schedule.
Officers on the scene gave me mixed info about when Obama might come through: one said his motorcade is expected to come down Lafayette sometime between 5pm and 6:30pm; another said POTUS would be in the area around 7pm. This much is certain: tempers are flaring as pedestrians are forced to take detours. One woman who was trying to get to K Mart ended up shoving away nearly everyone in her path, sparking an expletive-laced exchange with another woman who dropped the C bomb on her and said not-nice stuff about her mother. So, business as usual on the streets of NYC.
Speaking of bombs, police dogs are walking the perimeter of Cooper Union, so leave the fireworks at home.
If you were at last night’s Hillary rally at the Navy Yard, where many supporters waited a good three hours to get into the packed Duggal Greenhouse, this might be your chance to see two presidents in two days. Depending on how those fundraisers work out, of course.