Obama and Bieber to bring gridlock chaos to midtown Thursday
Midtown is likely to be a nightmare Thursday — and you can thank President Barack Obama and Justin Bieber.
Not only will the president be in town for a Broadway show and some fundraising, but Bieber will be appearing at Macy’s just a few blocks south in the afternoon to promote his fragrance.
“We’re gonna be on Bieber-Obama lockdown,” said traffic guru “Gridlock” Sam Schwartz. “It’s the first time that the president may get upstaged in traffic impact.”
Schwartz said the entire West Side will be a mess.
“Don’t even think of driving into west midtown Thursday,” he said.
Before seeing “Sister Act” at about 8 p.m., Obama will attend a $35,000-a-plate dinner at Daniel on East 65th Street followed by a fundraiser at the Sheraton hotel, at Seventh Avenue and 53rd Street, with Whoopi Goldberg, the show’s producer. He’s reportedly going to land at Kennedy Airport at 5 p.m.
The wilderscene, though, certainly will be outside Macy’s.
Considering the near-riot caused by Bieber’s scheduled appearance at a Long Island mall in 2009, Herald Square could easily be flush with throngs of screaming teens.
A spokeswoman for Macy’s said they have hired extra security officers and expect NYPD to provide additional help.
However, an NYPD spokesman said the department had yet to be notified about the Bieber event and had not made plans to increase the number of officers.
Dozens of teenage girls began lining up at 7 a.m. yesterday outside Macy’s, equipped with iPods, water and snacks.
Best friends Killian Leahy of Blairstown, N.J., and Anna Paola of Belvidere, N.J., were the first in line and planned to wait overnight to purchase Bieber’s perfume and a VIP pass Tuesday at 10 a.m.
Having saved more than $1,000 in their Bieber-related slush fund, they said the $135 pricetag on the fragrance package — which includes perfume, body lotion, hair mist and a photo with the singer — was worth it.
“We lovehim,” said Paola, 15. “You do anything for Justin.”
“We justhope he’s not mean,” added Leahy, 15. “I really want him to follow me on Twitter.”
The growing line of Bieber fans camped out on towels, sleeping bags and lawn chairs, and took turns getting food.
“Bieber is one of my only guy inspirations,” said Janelys Pichardo, 16, of Washington Heights.
“I just love the way he carries himself and how he gives people hope to follow their dreams.”
The president vs. The Biebs
Orchestra seat and a photo with the president
Orchestra seat and pass to attend pre-show with Whoopi Goldberg
Be one of the first 325 customers in line at Macy’s Herald Square to receive Justin’s new fragrance, called Someday. Don’t expect an autograph, but you can snag a photo with the Biebs.
(With Tim Herrera)