Something is happening. Something big. The DNC is coming to town, and it is huge.
The media is already here. Mainstream and otherwise. Behind the Time Warner Cable Arena where the convention will take for two nights before moving to Bank of America Stadium, the broadcast trucks have filled an entire lot. CNN. MSNBC. NBC. Even FOX.
The metamorphosis began Friday as the Republicans were leaving
Additional security is already obvious. Police are everywhere. Police on foot. Police on motorcycles. Police on bicycles. Police on horseback.
Many of the public spaces that are normally readily accessible along Trade and Tryon Streets are now lined with black iron fences with single entrance points. Some restaurants have taken similar precautions in order to minimize large groups of patrons arriving en masse.
White tents can be seen scattered on main streets and side streets signaling the promise of countless pre-, during and post convention celebrations.
Just outside the Epicentre, in the block before the convention site, a massive bust of Barrack Obama sculpted out of sand promotes
Banners fly everywhere. Red, white and blue bunting decorates many storefronts and plazas. The
Marshall Park, where the Jumah took place on Friday, is gradually becoming protest central. A tent city for the Occupy Wall Street crowd growing in size hourly.
Pedal rickshaws have appeared to accommodate a pair of riders with transportation between hotels and the convention site or to offer a unique excursion through the city.
Humana is providing free Freewheelin pedal buses which feature a capacity of up to nine people for health and well-being delegates who want to exercise their way around
Rent-a-bikes are also available. The service, which became a fixture in the city a few weeks ago, offers several locations where riders can cycle through town on their own. The first half hour is free while the second half hour costs $4. After that, rentals are incremental in half hour segments.
Street closing for pedestrians and vehicles will be announced daily. Changes can, and will, occur depending upon the time of day. As a result, it will be impossible for residents to establish a pattern of access because what is acceptable in the morning, may not be open in the afternoon. Routes that are all right to use on Monday may not be viable on Tuesday.
As the week progresses, so too will the confusion of simply getting around.
Beginning at noon on Labor Day the CarolinaFest commences with a parade led by the Johnson C.
The main stage will be surrounded by four statues of sculptor Raymond Kaskey, the Grand Disco plaque which hearkens to
By Monday the city will look considerably different to Charlotteans. The “happy face” will be painted on, the makeover will continue until Friday and the debutante will be ready to showcase her coming out party to the world.
Peabod is Bob Taylor, owner of Taylored Media Services in
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