Surprise, surprise. The Republican National Convention cost $150 million to put on. The NY Times points out the "19 hours of speeches and two years of planning" are "by far the most expensive such event in the nation's history." The numbers are staggering ($281,000 for President Bush's circular stage; over $200,000 on balloons), but it's not that shocking given that the first privately funded convention happened in NYC and the revelers were Republicans - the top 1% needs to live it up, you know. Interesting facts: Mayor Bloomberg donated $7 million of his own money, and $85 million of the money came from private donors. The Mayor is happy about the $4 million surplus (and there was that story recently about how convention folding chairs were donated to senior centers), but Gothamist wonders about the smaller businesses who were hurt by the lack of business - what is the city doing for them?

Here's the City's press release; and for further reading, here's a PDF of all the receipts and disbursements and a post convention statement. And on the RNC-in-NYC note, some say the NYPD knew that Pier 57, the holding cell, was dangerous to people's health. Plus, Gothamist's coverage the week of the convention

Photo from inside Madison Square Garden during the RNC from Mike Epstein/Satan's Laundromat