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SAY HELLO TO MY L'IL FRIENDLY ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK.

 
   
   
 

If given the choice between spending a day eating ice cream while petting fluffy ponies or having a root canal, which do you choose?

 
 

 

Well. Who doesn't love ponies?

But what if your choice was between having a root canal or having 85 million people whose belief system you completely and utterly despise overrun the city where you live for a week?

My dentist's name is Dr. Jeffrey Gold. He's very gentle.

 
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New York City has been deluged with Republicans. And not just any Republicans: we've got the ones who drank the Kool-Aid, the rich, loud, angry, self-serving, jingoistic, short-sighted, asshole white male Republicans.

On the flip side, by last Thursday

 
  the good guys had already gotten arrested for rappelling down the front of the Plaza Hotel with a giant anti-Bush sign, and it's only a matter of time before they figure out that Central Park is shockingly easy to sneak into (psst: it's really, really big), and a battle ensues that makes the Tompkins Square Riot look like an argument over the last organic cheese doodle at Whole Foods.

Which is why, by the time you

   
 

read this, I will be in Miami.

Hey! Don't yell at me! Ordinarily, I <heart> protesting. I went to that one in 2003, I took a bazillion pictures and ended up climbing a light post on the corner of 53rd and Lex where I clung for dear life as police horses trampled the protesters below. Back in the Giuliani era, I screamed lots and lots and lots, because I truly believe that art made of elephant dung is still art, and that wallets are very rarely guns. I have taken back the night, I have wanted peace and I have wanted it now, I have walked from one end of this island to the other whilst carrying awkwardly-phrased signs on poorly-constructed sticks, and I have even, on occasion, had a moment for Greenpeace. But this time around, I choose to take example from our fine brothers and sisters in the country of Greece who managed to set the Olympics on auto-timer and get the hell out of there, because giant groups of single-minded people coming to your city are bad, no matter what side they're on.

But so like blah blah blah, it's a big trend, people have left town because of the Republican National Convention. (Forget for a second

 
    that this is New York and no one is here during the last week of August, ever, anyway.) I asked around a bit to see where people are headed. At my place of employment, at least two people say they planned their vacations specifically to avoid the GOP ("I can't handle Theater Matinee Wednesdays," said one, "why would I stick around for this?"), and as for everyone else, well, when they're not rubbing the belly of the disturbingly overweight bomb-sniffing dog named Magic that our building management has  
 

seen fit to place in our lobby for the next few days, they're discussing how hellish our life is going to be and how, exactly, they can jimmy open the windows so they can drop shit on people from the 28th floor. Apparently there is some sort of fine for doing that.

I've got one friend who's taken off for Iowa where, presumably, she will not be registering swing voters but rather spending a lot of time at the mall. Another is getting married. My dear friend Leroy is headed to the Poconos, which he has recently declared to be "the cradle of liberty, because fish and bears and deer are neither Republican nor Democrat." He plans to send messages back via bikesagainstbush.com.

One acquaintance is headed to Florida to visit her brother, who is in the Navy, and who is getting shipped off to the Gulf in October, and I would like all of the people who are running for President who know what getting shipped off to war feels like to raise their hands, please? Just checking.

But this is just a teeny cross-section, and I really have no idea how it reflects upon the larger reality at all. I wish I could say that NYC will be a ghost town. I wish that what we'd all agreed upon was flight -- taking to the woods of the outer boroughs where we could drink our beer and do our drugs and have our sex and say our crazy anti-American liberal pinko sissy things in peace, maybe hiring some artists to do up a few especially evocative tumbleweeds to roll down the avenues of Manhattan in our absence -- but I know that's impractical. Life must go on, and God knows if there's any group of people equipped to handle this sort of thing, it's New Yorkers.

I get off the train every day at a stop where the dry erase board behind the lady in the box reads, "Tourist Attractions: Ground Zero -- get off at Cortlandt Street," for crying out loud.

And anyway, full disclosure: I'm just going to Miami for work, where I will be hanging out with Puff Daddy, and trying to choose between Voting and Dying and seeing if somehow I can choose the Dying but have Paris Hilton participate as my understudy. It's pathetic, not even a choice of my own to be elsewhere, but I'm not complaining, and I'm actually looking forward to seeing what this all looks like from

 
 

Florida. Maybe my wish, in lieu of it becoming a ghost town, is that New York City will look just like normal -- crowded, pissy, occasionally too brightly lit, and altogether wonderful-and also that nothing will catch on fire. And that if something DOES catch on fire, it will be Applebee's.

And that all of you will be well and healthy and happy and do whatever you want to do, because this is our time, our time, insert rest of motivational speech from Goonies here, and if

   
 

those Republican fucks are looking
to have a grand old party, dammit, we should show them how it's done.

 

Whitney Pastorek is a staffer at Entertainment Weekly and runs her own damn site at Whittlz.com.