On Wednesday afternoon I checked the Pope's NY itinerary and noticed that one of the street closures on Friday April 18 (that's today!) was 87th Street between 1st and York. That's a block south of my apartment on 1st Ave. The pope will be at a special worship service at St. Joseph's Church on that block at 6 PM tonight. When I went to work this morning, the NYPD had already put up parade barricades along 1st Avenue and on 87th St. My block appears to be unaffected, but I'm sure it's a mob scene on my street right now. Normally I might be interested in a spectacle like this, and stand out there with my camera and try to get a picture of the Popemobile as it goes by. But the security for this visit is so heavy that I think I'll just stay out until 8 or 9 PM tonight and try to avoid the entire mess.
In other neighborhood news, the jackhammers and concrete saws that drove me crazy on Tuesday evening turned out to be there for a good reason: a leaky water main that had flooded several of the basements on my block. However, in fixing the problem, the water department had to shut off the water to the entire block on Wednesday evening and didn't turn it back on until Thursday morning. I discovered this when I got home from a long night of eating and drinking and all I wanted to do was pass out. I had the flexibility of making other arrangements for the night (and more importantly, for the shower I would certainly need and want on Thursday morning) so I was able to weather the crisis. When I got home on Thursday night the hole in the street had been filled with fresh asphalt and the water flowing from the tap was clear and plentiful.
I would like to apologize to the DEP guy that I complained to on Wednesday night. I'm sorry I gave you a hard time; I know you didn't want to be out there any more than I wanted to be without running water. I am especially sorry for suggesting that the water issue was in any way related to the pope's visit this evening. I did not really think that you were all terrorists disguised as water department repairmen planting a giant bomb in the street as a plot to kill the pope. You have to understand: I'm crazy and sometimes a little paranoid.