I’ve been in NYC a few different times, and have never seen so many cops in my life as I have on this trip.

On my way to the office this morning, I was abruptly stopped at 3rd Ave. and East 50th St. by an entire platoon of New York cops that quickly cordoned off all the bustling pedestrians walking to and fro to their places of work. They set up metal guard rails lining the entirety of 50th as far as the eye could see, not allowing anyone to pass north or south. It was amazing. Thousands and thousands of people penned up at each street corner, asking each other what the hold up was. I think I had some idea, since the UN General Assembly is going on. I either expected Bush or Ahmadinejad to come hurtling by in a cavalcade of cars, flanked by an equal number of security officers on motorcycle. But when a handful of black cars quickly drove by with little fanfare, and the cops quickly pulled the metal blockades away from the corners, life returned to normal like nothing ever happened. Just another day in New York. I still have no idea who that was.

However, taking the expressway to JFK this afternoon to catch my flight home, it dawned on me as I sat in the back of the cab that on each bridge we passed under, there were a number of NYPD officers perched near the rails, watching us go by. There also were cops positioned on random hills near the shoulder of the highway, and police sitting in cars near on and off ramps. Clearly, someone important was coming through. A few minutes later, I heard police sirens from behind us, forcing every vehicle to pull over to the right. We came to a slow crawl as the lead car passed us. I saw an Iranian insignia on one of their license plates. Had to be from their local embassy. And of course, they were escorting Mr. Nuclear to the airport. A bevy of heavily armored bulletproof vehicles were also in the mix, as well as an ambulance bringing up the rear. It was pretty damn impressive, all told about 20 different vehicles. The kind of protection only afforded to crazy fuckers that have a deathwish agenda on half of humanity. I couldn’t help but wonder what the NYPD cops “protecting” this guy were thinking as they watched him go by. 

As soon as I checked in and got through security, I decided to settle down at the little bar in my terminal and kill some time before my flight with a nice Guinness. The dark stuff. My classic standby. Even though it’s technically a macro, it’s just about the only one of its kind that I look forward to drinking now and again. There’s nothing like watching a nicely poured pint settle into itself, building the anticipation until it’s ready to be enjoyed. I always found it funny that places like Bennigans actually had Guinness on their menu under the appetizer section. 

Poured into a standard pint glass with its typical blackish red coloring. Nice tan head. Compared to most other beers, I’m always impressed with the fantastic, thick lacing left on the glass after each sip. I suspect that has more to do with how it’s pushed through the draught line, using nitrogen, versus something inherent with the beer itself. Roasted malts dominate the nose, also coffee. The taste is nice, but contrary to how most people perceive it, I’ve never looked at this as a heavy beer. In fact, the mouthfeel is pretty thin. I think the most positive characteristic of this beer is actually how refreshing it is. At least to me. I would rather sit down and drink 10 of these guys before drinking the equivalent in some light beer. Maybe it’s the lighter carbonation. But I’ve always enjoyed the stuff.      

Rating: B-

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