Most ridiculous security measure spotted yet: the two cops on evening detail in a parking lot on Memorial Drive in Cambridge, at least three miles away from the convention venue, keeping Mahoney's Garden Center safe from terrorist attacks.
A couple of blocks away, the road closures started.
And it ain't just the restauranteurs in my neighborhood feeling the pain. The North End, the neighborhood nearest the convention center, is particularly hard hit -- it gets a lot of business from tourists ordinarily this time of year, and the security measures have made it nearly inaccessible by car.
On Salem Street, Bova's bakery opened a new streetside sales window this week with a sign to welcome the DNC. By late yesterday afternoon, the window was shuttered. Inside, cannoli -- the bakery's most popular item -- were not selling. Bakers usually refill five trays at least three times a day. "Today, I'll be lucky to fill it once," said Diana Bova, an owner, adding that sales had tumbled 50 percent.
Down the street, Ernesto's Old World Pizza had sold 70 pies by 4:30, down from a daily average of 200. "It's awful, and I'm angry about it," said the owner, Rocco Anciello. "The convention is not benefiting us at all."
But it's nice to see that political accountability in America is not yet dead:
Business owners who had supported bringing the convention to Boston said yesterday they felt especially betrayed by the turn of events. They faulted Mayor Thomas M. Menino for agreeing to security measures they thought were too extreme, and the media for hyping the extensive road closures.
"We thought that according to the mayor, business was going to be good around here. But we got absolutely nothing," said Albert Scaperelli, manager of the Euno Ristorante in the North End. "We were so supportive of the city that we even changed our hours to cater the DNC. But we haven't seen one person from the DNC."
What we need now is a good opposition candidate...