May 8, 2010
The Town Hall

New York, NY

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GK: Times Square is just a hundred yards west of here, and the vendors are out in force — (FN: Hey, got your pashminas $5, looky here, I Love New York T-shirts, hot cashews, Jonas Brothers posters) — at the spot where the car bomb was left a week ago, there’s just vendors now. There was an alert yesterday — a cooler was found with nobody attached to it so they shut down Times Square (SFX. COPS ORDERING PEDESTRIANS. Back there. Stay behind the yellow tape. Gotta go around. Can’t go here. Stand back. Thank you.) — and it was closed down for a few hours, with a lot of cops standing around looking bored and media trolling for interviews — (SS; Hey, eyewitness news — what do you think? TR: ITALIAN. SS: You— whaddaya think? TR: GERMAN. SS: Sir, you got an opinion on the car bomb? TR: EGYPTIAN. SS: Anybody here speak English? TR: Well, you gotta just get on with your life, you can't live in fear. You know? I don’t know anybody who’s afraid right now. I’m not. You gotta get on with your life, you know what I mean?)

One reason cops like to block streets and shut down parts of the city is just to slow things down. (MOTOR SLOWING, STOPPING) Buses stop. (HISS OF DOOR OPEN) Bikes go through. (BIKE PASSING) Nobody honks, nobody yells at anybody. It was just real quiet in Times Square when they shut it down yesterday. It was like St. Paul. So if someone had driven a car with a bomb in and parked it, they would’ve noticed…

GK: … That’s why the car bomber last week was able to park that Nissan. There was so much else going on. Often the case in New York. There was the runaway Mr. Softee truck that rolled down the hill (SFX), and landed in the duck pond in Central Park (SFX), and the charter plane that takes tourists on the Captain Sully ride (SFX) — you pay a hundred bucks to take off from LaGuardia and land in the Hudson River (SFX).

And Mayor Bloomberg gave a press conference about noise pollution (TR MAYOR: We have made tremendous strides during my administration in making New York a quieter place so that New Yorkers sill not need to have weekend homes in which to find relaxation. He announced that-to reduce noise pollution, taxicabs would now have clown horns (SFX) and as he announced this, the manhole cover on which he was standing blew up forty feet into the air and the Mayor landed on a fresh fruit cart. (SFX) And that’s why they didn’t notice the Nissan.

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