The Republican National Convention hasn't even started, but Gothamist feels like it has! We can't decide if it's because every other thing we read is about the convention or if it's just wishful thinking...probably some of both. We can't wait to head to the West 30s to check out the helmets with surveillance cameras the Department of Homeland Security outfitted the Federal Protection Service with - they look like slightly more modern welders. Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge visited NYC yesterday, and the Mayor and Police Commissioner showed him how NYC is ready. Mayor Bloomberg said the extra security measures were inconvenient but worth it and that NYers appreciated extra security. Yes, extra security is great, but will it bring a better understanding of the issues in both political parties that matter to Americans? And while there's no protest rally in Central Park, some protesters have hung a banner outside the Plaza Hotel, which is brilliant!

Local media's convention coverage:

2004_08_bloombyelephant.jpg- New York magazine's convention guide hit the stands and will be publishing daily updates...we are so loving their photographs of Bloomberg and the elephant (right).

- Village Voice's convention guide; the Voice reports on fear that protesters acting out will only help the Republican effort.

- NY1's Convention Survival Guide; LIRR commuters are being told they should take the subways when commuting into the city and you can see anti-war posters at a Chelsea gallery

- Newsday's convention guide; we like the story about the expensive fundraising events, like the $30,000 ticket for "Martinis in Manhattan." Even at the expensive price of $15 for a high-end martini, that means some people are drinking 2000 martinis, which means a messy messy hotel bathroom in the morning. And the poor volunteers whose Social Security numbers, amongst other info, was emailed out.

- NY Times Convention 2004; there's an article about how Pataki will be center stage today and about yesterday's article on Lynyrd Skynyrd performing and how the celebrities for this convention are deliciously B- and C-list (hello, Stephen Baldwin).

- The Observer published its convention issue; in a page 1 story, this line - "What’s interesting is that the delegates come from the same places we do, the places we left to move here, and so we are—more than we care to admit—like them" - rings true until Gothamist remembers that we live here everyday now.

- Convention coverage from ABC 7, CBS 2, and NBC 4.

Finally, here it from the horse's mouth: The GOP's Republican National Convention site. And if you get tired of that, here's the Democratic National Commmittee's site.