Good morning, everyone.
There have been a series of major events scheduled to come to town. Any of these would present major logistical challenges, but having so many happening in such a short timeframe requires a high level of organization and coordination from the mayor’s office, the police department, and the streets department. It speaks to our growing popularity as a major destination in America, and we should all take pride in that.
But it also means traffic. Let's talk about that.
First up is the Pope's visit. I ask your patience as we work through the security concerns and traffic control.
A certain local paper has estimated the crowd for the Pope's weekend to be two-to-five-hundred-thousand. My office has the responsibility to keep this city, our visitors, and His Holiness safe, so for planning purposes we are working with a higher estimate of one hundred bazillion. We are closing all schools, all businesses that do not sell souvenirs or refreshments, and most public transportation within a thirty-mile radius of His Holiness's face. You’ll find out what a great city we are for walking, and even better for three-legged potato sack races to save space on the crowded sidewalks. Traffic will only be permitted on even-numbered streets, streets that are not named for a tree, tree nut, or signer of the Declaration of Independence.
So do your homework.
I'm not saying you should not drive into town that weekend, but if you're stuck in traffic, five thousand cars ahead, fifty-thousand behind, consider abandoning your vehicle. We could use it as an Air BnB.
Next up, Sir Paul McCartney's concert at the baseball stadium. Expect the expressway to be backed up for fifty miles. We never finished the off ramps. Infrastructure in this country is woefully underfunded. You have to ask yourself how much you're going to see from the nosebleed seats. Are you there for the music, or because you have a morbid interest in a man his age still going?
Let's talk about the Olympics.
Many of you have expressed vocal – extremely vocal disappointment in my decision to walk away from our city's bid to host the Summer Olympics. Need I remind you we do not have an off ramp to the stadium? We can't have a million people taking a detour through the MacDonald's drive-thru lane. Truth is, the Olympics Committee is a bunch of crooks. They bleed cities drive all over the world. The economics don't make sense. Anyway, this town already has professionals teams in football, baseball, hockey, soccer, indoor soccer, indoor handball, cricket, outdoor cricket, about two-hundred-and-seventy college teams in various sports, the 2014 Little League Runner Up Champs, six free neighborhood bocce courts, and a skateboard park all the adults agree is nearly adequate. How much fucking sports do you people need?
The Labor Day "Made in America" concert will continue as planned, Mr. Beyoncé's Husband has promised to give the city back to us when he's through with it. Beyoncé, people!
Rather than close major thoroughfares for the New Years Parade, we'll be accepting petitions from residents of each city block requesting to have the parade on their street, like a block party. Should have thought of this years ago.
When I became your mayor, I was proud and honored and humbled to have e opportunity to lead this great city on the next step in its great journey to becoming a world-class destination. I think I can honestly say, and you would agree, I've done great things on crime, and tax reform, and having fewer and fewer of our schoolchildren forced to wait in long lines for a latté or frappuccino. I'm saying we have a lot of coffee houses now.
But every mayor faces challenges. I would be the first to tell you I am not a party planner. Actually my wife would be the first to tell you.
The traffic, the noise, the plastic red cups left sitting in the potted plants -- not my cup of tea. Work on real estate tax adjustment, read to pre-schoolers at the library, figure out what the hell the police commissioner or the City Council President is telling people, then I'm home with my feet up and a good book on tax reform or potted plants.
Don't get me wrong, I'm glad everyone wants to visit here, but in hindsight we probably should have spread this out a little more. It's a lot for one weekend.