President Barack Obama will be back in town Thursday for a trio of fundraisers that are expected to snarl traffic throughout the Upper East Side and Harlem.
Instead of his normal route -- a helicopter to Wall Street and then a motorcade that shuts down the FDR Drive or West Side Highway between the financial district and midtown -- Obama will be coming into Manhattan over the RFK Triborough Bridge, said traffic guru "Gridlock" Sam Schwartz, which will likely lead to closing the FDR drive above 63rd Street.
“The Secret Service is really shaking things up a bit,” Schwartz told amNewYork. “Maybe they’re reacting to complaints from lower Manhattan about traffic jams.”
Obama’s first fundraiser, “Cocktails & Conversation with the President” for a cool $15,000 per person, starts at 4 p.m. at restaurant Daniel on E. 65th Street.
He’ll then travel a few blocks — Schwartz said he “wouldn’t be surprised if [Obama] doesn’t decide to take a little stroll” instead of driving — to director Spike Lee’s house for a $35,800 dinner at around 6 p.m. with a few dozen people.
The president will then take in a 7 p.m. show featuring singers Al Green and India.Arie at the Apollo Theater in Harlem, with tickets going from $100 to $25,000.
“If you’re south of 59th street, you’re probably in good shape,” said Schwartz, warning, “just stay south of 59th street.”
This is Obama's 10th trip to Gotham since March.