After a lot of worrying, it seems that most commutes during the convention have been pretty easy. Some areas, especially Penn Station and Grand Central, are thick with police presence, but others, like Times Square, have had unusually empty sidewalks - when the protesters aren't around. Of course, this is probably due to the fact that many people have left the city, letting Gothamist feel like the city is a ghost town, in some parts. Newsday reports that vehicle consultants are Christmas in August". Gothamist did enjoy the Daily News' race between three reporter across midtown to see who could get places faster in the middle of the Republican/ media/ police/ portester scrum, though.

2004_09_newpennstation.jpgAnd in extremely exciting news, Nicholas Ouroussoff, the new architecture critic at the NY Times, writes about the new Penn Station design, basically calling on politicians to start the project already. Designed by David Childs (the head architest of Freedom Tower at the redeveloped World Trade Center), the new station will have platforms that will have natural light streaming onto them and a swooping glass roof that will reach into the sky, not to mention glass floors so you'll be able to see trains coming into the station underneath you. Ouroussoff writes that the structure is "stunning" and feels like it's "propelling you to the future," and closes with:

The present administration has always seemed to look suspiciously at city life. The supposed war between urban and suburban values has become as much a cliché of political life as the division between "blue'' and "red'' states. The resurrection of Penn Station, even in a new form, is something we should all be able to agree on.
Signing off on the project would be a concrete gesture of good will that could not be measured in political platitudes.

If you go to Childs' firm's site, Skidmore Owings Merrill, launch the site, and click on transportation projects, you can access more photos of the new Penn Station design.