Residents of a distinguished Upper East Side block are about to find themselves in the midst of a security nightmare. Barriers, armored vehicles, sand-filled trucks, rooftop snipers and a bulletproof passageway are all coming to East 72nd Street between Fifth and Madison avenues, thanks to the Pope.
From Thursday to Saturday, locals will be made to suffer through the heightened security while Pope Francis takes up residence 20 East 72nd Street, which was once home to the late-19th Century Mayor Hugh Grant, a Catholic, according to the New York Post. Today, the home is occupied by Archbishop Bernardito Auza, the Vatican’s UN envoy.
“I don’t know if he’s going to be able to sleep, there will be so many cops outside,” a law-enforcement source told the Post.
Bomb-sniffing dogs walk the block and the streets will be cleared of cars. The block’s residents will be screened coming to and from their homes and have their bags searched.
“It’s very inconvenient for me, but nevertheless, it’s the Pope,” Jerome Deutsch, 86, told the Post.
Notables residents of the block include the emir of Qatar; James “Tom” Tomilson Hill III, vice chair of the Blackstone Group financial firm; hedge-fund manager Dan Loeb; and developer Jerry Speyer. [NYP] – Christopher Cameron