AP

GLIMPSES: Threading the needle at the UN perimeter’s edge

Sep 23, 2022, 3:25 AM | Updated: 3:44 pm

Police block off streets near the United Nations headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in New Yo...

Police block off streets near the United Nations headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2022, in New York. (AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

(AP Photo/Julia Nikhinson)

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Every September, the New York City police barricades go up around U.N. headquarters in midtown Manhattan, demarcating a temporary multinational fiefdom and inadvertently annexing peripheral businesses and residence towers.

“Oh, it’s terrible,” Hillary Lee, the owner of Belleclaire Cleaners, softly moans when asked how business fares during the U.N. General Assembly’s high-level meeting.

Her dry-cleaning-and-tailoring shop is tantalizingly close to the outside world, just steps beyond the gates. Despite the proximity, she often finds herself wheeling a laundry-laden cart for blocks to deliver it to customers who aren’t permitted to idle on the pavement on the other side.

“It’s their work; it’s my work,” says Lee, who has owned the shop for four years and doesn’t hold a grudge over the security.

“But the problem is, a lot of my customers, they are really very angry. Very, very angry, they are,” she adds, jokingly mimicking their frustrations.

Residents are advised to carry identification cards and bills bearing their name and address to get past the NYPD booths. The friction at the checkpoints tends to ease as the week wears on and officers and denizens alike become familiar to one another.

“It’s a balance we strike each year because our plans are focused on minimizing, as much as possible, the impact all of this will have on New Yorkers,” NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said at a press conference last week.

Lee says she does end up adding a few U.N. visitors to her clientele, but she’s not inclined to make money off them. She lets them pay what they want; fixing the hem on a pant leg might normally cost $8-10, but she’ll take $5.

The week may be painful, but the visitors are nice, she says: “I try to help.”

___

Follow Mallika Sen on Twitter at https://twitter.com/mallikavsen. For more coverage of the U.N. General Assembly, visit https://apnews.com/hub/united-nations-general-assembly

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

AP

Photo: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is sworn-in before the House Committee on Hom...

the MyNorthwest Staff with wire reports

Senate dismisses two articles of impeachment against Homeland Security secretary, ends trial

The Senate dismissed impeachment charges against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, as Republicans pushed to remove him.

13 hours ago

idaho gender-affirming care...

Associated Press

Supreme Court allows Idaho to enforce its ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth

The Supreme Court is allowing Idaho to enforce its ban on gender-affirming care for transgender youth while lawsuits over the law proceed.

2 days ago

Image: Former President Donald Trump speaks to the press in Manhattan state court in New York City ...

Associated Press

Trump’s hush money trial gets underway; 1st day ends without any jurors selected

The historic hush money trial of Donald Trump got underway Monday with the arduous process of selecting a jury to hear the case.

2 days ago

Photo: Israeli Iron Dome air defense system launches to intercept missiles fired from Iran, in cent...

Tia Goldenberg and Josef Federman, The Associated Press

Israel is quiet on next steps against Iran — and on which partners helped shoot down missiles

On Sunday, Israel's leaders credited an international military coalition with helping thwart a direct attack from Iran.

3 days ago

Early phases of Iran's drone attack against Israel. (Photo: Getty Images)...

Associated Press

The Latest | Iran launches its first direct military attack against Israel

Iran launched its first full-scale military attack against Israel on Saturday, sending drones toward Israel.

5 days ago

Early phases of Iran's drone attack against Israel. (Photo: Getty Images)...

Associated Press

BREAKING: White House confirms Iran drone attacks towards Israel

JERUSALEM (AP) — The White House says it will provide unspecified support for Israel’s defense against an ongoing airborne attack from Iran. National Security Council spokesperson Adrienne Watson said in a Saturday statement that “Iran has begun an airborne attack against Israel.” She added: “The United States will stand with the people of Israel and […]

5 days ago

GLIMPSES: Threading the needle at the UN perimeter’s edge