Video: President Obama’s Motorcade Rolls Through the East Village

For a period of time this evening, 12th Street was “frozen,” to use the police parlance, as President Obama’s motorcade came and went from a fundraising dinner at Gotham Bar & Grill between Fifth Avenue and University Place.

Around 7 p.m., The Local couldn’t get any closer to the restaurant than the southeast corner of 11th Street and University Place, where N.Y.P.D. barricades prevented pedestrians from passage.

A woman who claimed to be a resident of 12th Street was told she would have to wait behind the barricade or at a nearby business until the freeze was lifted. Meanwhile, a delivery worker from nearby L’Annam Vietnamese Cuisine was not only allowed through the ersatz blockade, but escorted by a uniformed officer to the next corner where it appeared he was handed off to another officer and allowed to continue.

After the President’s motorcade passed by around 7:20 p.m., authorities permitted traffic along the eastern side of University Place but warned pedestrians to “keep moving” and “get home while you can.”

The Local proceeded down 12th Street where, near Second Avenue, a freeze again went into effect around 8:10 p.m., as police officers awaited the President’s eastbound departure from the restaurant. This time, not even deliverymen were allowed to walk down or across 12th Street. One, in fact, was called a “knucklehead” as an officer escorted him to the curb and told him to wait behind yellow tape.

Again, residents grumbled as they were blocked from getting into their homes on 12th Street. A police officer told one woman to pretend 12th Street was the Red Sea.

“This sucks. I hate Obama,” griped the young woman.

“You just won some points,” laughed the officer. Still, she was not permitted to cross.

Around 8:40 p.m., as about fifty people waited at each corner of the intersection, scores of N.Y.P.D. and Presidential vehicles finally zipped down 12th Street, to mild cheers, as you can see in The Local’s video.

The most enthusiastic cheers of the night, however, may have gone to a lone skateboarder who rolled into the intersection about ten minutes later, shortly before the police tape was lifted and the neighborhood was allowed to go on with its business.

Did you catch the President’s East Village cameo? Was it a thrill or a pain in the neck?