It's not exactly full-blown international intrigue on East 52nd Street, but for a number of weeks there has been a police presence directly across the street from me in front of the Thai embassy. The building itself has been closed for quite a while, owing to the political unrest back home in Thailand. This gives our otherwise low-key neighborhood a faintly sinister air. In typical Manhattan fashion, the embassy is flanked by a decorous brownstone on its left and a modest little shoe repair shop on its right. There are usually two of New York's Finest lounging in front of the neat white building. From my window vantage point, their body language indicates extreme boredom.
A few weeks back, from time to time, there have been some quiet protest groups; in fact, a few times parade-type barriers have been set up in front of my building and a few flags have been waved and placards worn. But nothing lately. However, a friend, whose upcoming travel itinerary formerly included Bangkok, has been notified that Thailand will be bypassed. The fate of the goings-on across the street has yet to be determined.