Ah, New York … the Big Apple. As a quasi-native New Yorker I can say, without hesitation, that it’s good to be “home.” Although, in all honesty, I never lived in such luxurious surroundings during my time in New York in the past. The Missouri delegation to the Republican National Convention is headquartered at the Westin New York at Times Square.

The hotel’s web site describes this place as “Heavenly,” providing a “Heavenly” experience, complete with “Heavenly” bed and the all-important “Heavenly” bath. That bath, by the way, features a threapeutic spa shower with two – count ’em … two chrome adjustable jets and a choice of spray options. There’s also an oversized Brazilian combed cotton bath towel. Brazilian! My goodness … they have spared no expense. Finally, there’s a curved shower rod “offering a few essential extra inches of elbowroom.”
As if that weren’t enough (and don’t you think it ought to be?) we then have the “Heavenly” bed. Not only does it come with a cozy comforter and warm down blanket, but it also provides the guest with three “crisp” sheets and – wait for it – “five of the finest pillows ever produced.”

Oh yes, the day prior to the start of the RNC brought protesters of all shapes and sizes into the streets. Police estimate upwards of 250,000 people took to the streets to protest everything from President Bush to capitalism to international banking to Israel to abortion opponents.

And, they demonstrated in favor of everything from the Kerry-Edwards ticket to gay rights to socialism to rights for Palestinians. Indeed, it was difficult to walk through the streets of the Big Apple without running into a malcontent or two … or three … or 250,000.
It was difficult going into the pit of anger and frustration that forces some of these people to take to the streets. It was all I could do to run back to the opulent surroundings of the Westin New York at Times Square to take a “Heavenly” break from the rigors of convention coverage.