The niggling thoughts about NYC finally crystallised with the armed policeman (is there any other sort, these sad days?) on his beat. And his beat was? … stationed “inside” a Barnes & Noble bookshop “because people steal books and undesirable people come in from outside.” I thought it totally bizarre. As the cop thought me for thinking that.
For me, it was worse than Russia: the armed presence “everywhere”, not only the regular police, but any number of private security police, armies, forces. I’m also glad I didn’t start counting the number of bag searches and body screenings: they were constant, making going anywhere even more depressing. Americans cherish “freedom” and “liberty” but their notions of them and mine don’t coincide. Then again, just as I don’t visit tourist attractions at home, probably Americans don’t either so the body/bag search aspects wouldn’t be as irksome (to put it politely) to them as to me.
Bin Laden might now be dead, but he did win.