Saturday, September 13, 2008

Former Sen. John Edwards spotted in DC, buying a grill at Glover Park Hardware

WASHINGTON, Sept. 13 — Former Sen. John Edwards, Democrat from North Carolina, who was noticeably missing from the Democratic National Convention last month after news of his extra-marital affair broke in early August, was spotted in DC's Glover Park neighborhood, loading a huge, gas grill into his Chrysler crossover at about 6 p.m. today.

The grill, ostensibly purchased at Glover Park Hardware on Wisconsin Avenue just moments before, seemed to fill the entire cargo compartment of the crossover.

Sen. Edwards was accompanied by his daughters Cate and Emma Claire and his son Jack, along with another guy we didn't recognize, who climbed in the Chrysler's passenger seat as Sen. Edwards pulled away from the curb, and Kate, Emma Claire, and Jack headed back into Glover Park Hardware. (Maybe for the propane tank or grillin' accessories?)

Big Signs kind of laments being so paparazzi-ish today, but hey, we've been curious where Sen. Edwards has been since the sad news broke, and we thought you might be too. We wish the Edwards family all the best in what we imagine has been a rough few weeks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Scene: Obama and McCain at Columbia University

NEW YORK, Sept. 11 — Columbia University's campus is locked down as tight as — or maybe even more tightly than — it was a year ago for the Iranian president's visit to campus, and the Low Plaza (Columbia's quad) is packed with students awaiting the simulcast of the ServiceNation forum where presidential candidates Sen. John McCain and Sen. Barack Obama will appear tonight.

Security is tight, with campus police and NYPD having shut down all but two gates to campus — one each at 116th Street and Broadway, 116th Street and Amsterdam Avenue. Near Lerner Hall, the building housing the auditorium where the candidates are to speak, West 114th Street is closed entirely to vehicular traffic between Broadway and Amsterdam, and foot traffic is limited to the south sidewalk.

Heavily armed NYPD convoys are patrolling the neighborhood in motorcade like formation. As one rolled by me headed south on Amsterdam Avenue, windows down, instead of seeing the candidates, I spotted two officers in body armor, carrying automatic rifles.

Welcome back to Columbia, Senators.

Also spotted strolling on Amsterdam Avenue: pundit David Gergen, looking quite tall and distinguished himself in his dark suit.

The walks and steps surrounding Low Plaza are packed wall-to-wall with students awaiting New York Gov. David Paterson to warm up the crowd before the main event. The plaza itself is full of lounging students, cheering randomly every few minutes, perhaps out of boredom, perhaps because they've spotted themselves on the jumbotron slide show.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Big Sign that NOLA's Rough Road Continues: Hurricane Gustav

NEW YORK, Sept. 1 — CNN reports that there may be a breach of the levee on the Lower Ninth Ward side of the Industrial Canal, with correspondent Gary Tuckman, who had just fled the scene, reporting that water is rising around stop signs.

There seems to be no official confirmation of such a breach yet, but there is at least overtopping of the levees. Other reports suggest that there may be a water-main break that is causing the water spurting some have observed.

Gustav is yet another test for New Orleans and the Gulf Coast. Since Katrina, it's been a tough place to live, and it's tougher place to leave, as so many residents — the bulk of residents, it seems, thankfully this time — have over the past few days.

Say a little prayer for New Orleans and the whole Gulf Coast.