Unless you must see the Pope, avoid New York this weekend at all costs

A New York cab driver told me yesterday he expects this to be an insane weekend n New York, from a transportation stand point. “Much worse than when Bush is in town. People actually want to see the Pope, you know,” he told me.

I believe him. With the Pope arriving here from Washington on Friday, there will be massive road closings, tightened security, thousands of visitors from out of town…They are apparently already sealing mail boxes in the area where he’ll be staying (East 72nd between Fifth and Madison) and erecting barricades.

The chances of seeing Pope Benedict XVI. are somewhat slim, anyway, unless you have “tickets.” It’s kind of a funny concept – having to obtain a ticket to see the Pope. Forget the Yankees! The Pope is the hottest ticket in town and people are scalping tickets to the Pope’s mass.

Unless you absolutely must see the Pope’s shadow, my advice is: stay away from New York.