East River is Coast Guard Central
Ahead of Ahmadinejad Visit
We haven't seen this much hot Coast Guard-on-river action in recent memory. Sunday, the US Coast Guard Icebreaking Tug Thunder Bay (above) patrolled the river off Brooklyn continuously. A second USCG ship sat just off the UN compound on Manhattan's East Side, and a bright orange Coast Guard chopper was seen making the rounds above it all.
Just a hunch, but the arrival of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad at 4:20 pm EDT could have something to do with it. His visit to address the UN's General Assembly Tuesday - and particularly his speaking engagement at Columbia University Monday at 1:30 pm - is expected to draw protestors. The Columbia speech has already sparked a heated debate, with many condemning the school's invitation, and others insisting that the open dialog will allow folks to form an educated opinion on the controversial leader.
Clarification: the Coast Guard security detail is in all likelihood a pretty standard show of force for any UN General Assembly week. But unlike a typical GA event, Ahmadinejad's visit seems to have the General Assembly on everyone's lips right now.