GLIMPSES: Threading the needle at the UN perimeter’s edge

Sep 23, 2022, 3:25 PM | Updated: 4:00 pm

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Every September, the New York City police barricades go up around U.N. headquarters in midtown Manhattan, demarcating a temporary multinational fiefdom and inadvertently annexing peripheral businesses and residence towers.

“Oh, it’s terrible,” Hillary Lee, the owner of Belleclaire Cleaners, softly moans when asked how business fares during the U.N. General Assembly’s high-level meeting.

Her dry-cleaning-and-tailoring shop is tantalizingly close to the outside world, just steps beyond the gates. Despite the proximity, she often finds herself wheeling a laundry-laden cart for blocks to deliver it to customers who aren’t permitted to idle on the pavement on the other side.

“It’s their work; it’s my work,” says Lee, who has owned the shop for four years and doesn’t hold a grudge over the security.

“But the problem is, a lot of my customers, they are really very angry. Very, very angry, they are,” she adds, jokingly mimicking their frustrations.

Residents are advised to carry identification cards and bills bearing their name and address to get past the NYPD booths. The friction at the checkpoints tends to ease as the week wears on and officers and denizens alike become familiar to one another.

“It’s a balance we strike each year because our plans are focused on minimizing, as much as possible, the impact all of this will have on New Yorkers,” NYPD Chief of Department Kenneth Corey said at a press conference last week.

Lee says she does end up adding a few U.N. visitors to her clientele, but she’s not inclined to make money off them. She lets them pay what they want; fixing the hem on a pant leg might normally cost $8-10, but she’ll take $5.

The week may be painful, but the visitors are nice, she says: “I try to help.”


Follow Mallika Sen on Twitter at For more coverage of the U.N. General Assembly, visit

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Haitian migrant Gerson Solay, 28, carries his daughter, Bianca, as he and his family cross into Can...
Associated Press

US, Canada to end loophole that allows asylum-seekers to move between countries

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a plan to close a loophole to an immigration agreement.
2 days ago
Expert skateboarder Di'Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and...
Associated Press

Indigenous skateboard art featured on new stamps unveiled at Phoenix skate park

The Postal Service unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists.
2 days ago
(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
8 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
16 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
16 days ago
Tom Brundy points to a newly built irrigation canal on one of the fields at his farm Tuesday, Feb. ...
Associated Press

Southwest farmers reluctant to idle farmland to save water

There is a growing sense that fallowing will have to be part of the solution to the increasingly desperate drought in the West.
23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo by Michael Matthey/picture alliance via Getty Images)...
Cox Communications

Valley Boys & Girls Club uses esports to help kids make healthy choices

KTAR’s Community Spotlight focuses on the Boys & Girls Club of the Valley and the work to incorporate esports into children's lives.
(Pexels Photo)...

Sports gambling can be fun for adults, but it’s a dangerous game for children

While adults may find that sports gambling is a way to enhance the experience with more than just fandom on the line, it can be a dangerous proposition if children get involved in the activity.
(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
GLIMPSES: Threading the needle at the UN perimeter’s edge