July 27, 2004

2 and 2 Together

Boston.com : Easy does it on Day 1 for commuters

Hundreds of thousands of commuters steered clear of the city, or left far earlier than usual, leaving roadways half-empty and occasionally hushed on the convention’s inaugural day. The traffic tangles that some residents feared never happened.

Great to hear! Bob and Patti alerted me to this with their comments. Dire predictions were all way off base. But wait!

With many employees either on vacation or working from home, convention delegates had the sidewalks of the North End nearly to themselves, walking past almost empty restaurants toward a luncheon hosted by the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee in the shadow of Old North Church.

”Nobody’s going to pay for food when you can get it for free,” said Joe Taglieri, a manager at the Florentine Cafe on Hanover Street. ”For my restaurant to be empty like this on a summer day in the North End is unbelievable. Wow. It just doesn’t happen.”

As Taglieri spoke, he spotted a city official, who, he said, once predicted streets full and restaurants so jammed that the neighborhood would have to be cordoned off to accommodate the crowd.

”He must feel like a fool now,” said Taglieri,

So, the problem is that the delegates are being fed? No, that’s just a restaurateur mantra. This is the same garbage we heard in an earlier post about some bozo with a banner.

The delegates are being fed (although I’m sure some will wander from the program as the week goes on). But journalists are numbering around 15,000—more than 3 times the number of delegates. Are they all being fed as well?

Let’s put two and two together. This has nothing to do with feeding delegates. People were told to stay away from Boston this week. Consumers were told to stay away. And more than 15,000 people have stayed away. A drop in business is going to be proportional to the number of people above and beyond 15,000 who were frightened away from the city this week. How can business be good when everyone is avoiding Boston?

It’s apparently too much to expect that people interviewed in the paper to come to this conclusion on their own.

[I should add, as someone posted in a comment, caterers are doing a good business feeding the delegates. The delegates did not bring their food with them. Someone in Boston is getting that business. So, the “delegates are being fed” is only a comment on how the convention is affecting a particular restaurant. And, at that, it is also an inaccurate comment/mantra.]

Posted by James at July 27, 2004 5:57 PM
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