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President’s City Visit Met With Mixed Reaction

Some Resent Subsequent Gridlock
US President Barack Obama speaks to the United Nations General Assembly September 23, 2010 at UN headquarters in New York.  Obama beseeched the world Thursday to back his Middle East peace drive, warning of more bloodshed in the Holy Land unless Israelis and Palestinians make peace within a year. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

US President Barack Obama speaks to the United Nations General Assembly September 23, 2010 at UN headquarters in New York. Obama beseeched the world Thursday to back his Middle East peace drive, warning of more bloodshed in the Holy Land unless Israelis and Palestinians make peace within a year. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK (CBS 2) — The presidential appearance at the UN meant presidential gridlock on Manhattan’s East Side Thursday, CBS 2’s Magee Hickey reports.

Some residents didn’t mind that parts of the city turned into a frozen zone with traffic backed up for miles. In fact, some loved the idea of a passing glimpse of Mr. Obama in the back of a limousine.

“It was thrilling,” said Louise Lyaland after she saw the nation’s leader. “It was amazing, eerie. Exciting.”

Some drivers weren’t so gleeful.

Truck driver Joey Andiano said he never would’ve come into the city had he known the traffic that awaited him, even if it did mean a passing glance of President Obama.

“Not too crazy about him,” he said. “I picked the wrong day.”

Even those trying to skateboard to work had a tough time.

“Usually takes me 20 minutes,” said John Maxwell. “An extra half hour today.”

Part of the problem was all the avenues and streets completely closed to traffic – there were 44 of them.

The frozen zones and street closures will continue on the East side all of Thursday afternoon and then move over to the West side at 5:30 p.m, when the president will be hosting a dinner at the Museum of Natural History.

Columbus Avenue will be shut down from 86th to 77th streets, as well as 81st street by the museum.