Back From New York: UN Takes Over Manhattan

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I’m back from a short visit to New York—and it never fails to stun me with it’s you-never-know-what’s-going-to-happeness.

Take Sunday night (Sept 17)– we were dining at Milos, a delicious Midtown Manhattan Greek seafood restaurant, when the street grew noisier than normal outside and the darkness was punctuated with strobe lights… Cop cars with lights flashing trailed by an imposing line of black SUVS and limos….obviously something very hot was going on because the moving entourage stopped outside my restaurant.

The cop cars that were at the head of the line closed the street at one end where earlier in the day a movie starring Will Smith (“I Am Legend”) was being filmed.

Now it was very dark outside.

Out of the SUVS stepped the highly professional security guys—grey suited & beefy– walking every which way– but it soon became clear that the focus of their attention was the Italian restaurant directly across the street. Colorful tent-like umbrellas hung from the ceiling. Was it called Coco?

I saw the backs of a small group of people, men and women, escorted quickly through the doors.

Right away I knew it was related to the big and controversial United Nations meeting about to take place.

Soon the SUVs pulled over and parked—even though it was a deep black outside I could see the guys holding the big weapons.

I dashed out of the restaurant to do research. I had to know what was going on. I did shoot some photos out of Milos’ windows– but the hoopla outside, the flashing lights, was too much competition.

On the street I found out security was polite but they weren’t talking.

“I’m just hired to work here; I don’t know what the job is” one muscular guy told me. He was wearing a beautiful suit with the little button on the collar—like the one they wear in the movies—and maybe talk into.

Meanwhile, curious onlookers had gathered and were talking among themselves. I joined them to find out what they knew.

“Who is it?”

“I heard it’s the President of Lebanon,” one man said.

“It’s the head of Italy,” said another.

“What kind of restaurant is that?” a woman asked pointing across the street.

Somebody said, “Italian”.

“It’s over-priced,” said another.

“We pay for it.” Was I the one who said that?

It made us all laugh.

(In fact, when I later walked over to check out the menu, I discovered that it was not an expensive restaurant at all; the entrees were moderately priced).

With too many unanswered questions, I walked over to one of the guys holding what might have been an AK-47 type weapon–he was sitting in the back of an SUV, with the back down. Actually pretty scary but I couldn’t resist.

“What’s going on?”

“I’m not in a position to answer you,” he said.

“But I gotta know; just tell me this, is it UN-related?” I can be very persuasive.

He nodded. Ahhhh…a second of satisfaction. I took a deep breath. Part of the mystery had been solved–bit was it?

I was on a roll and moments later I got the real scoop. I found someone willing to answer my question.

“What’s going on?” I asked again.

“It’s the President of Iraq. He’s eating dinner in there right now.”

Triple Ahhhhh…..My curiosity was sated, I could finally relax.