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Russian President Putin Stops for a Donut in Chelsea

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  • Russian President Putin Stops for a Donut in Chelsea

    (This article is from 2003) Vladimir Putin stopped by a gas station in Chelsea on Friday afternoon on his way to a visit with President Bush. On hand to greet him was Senator Charles Schumer. The gas station had received a make-over–new paint, new sign. It had once been a Getty, but like all the Gettys in the city it has been transformed into a Lukoil, which bought all 1,300 Getty stations in 2000 for $71 million.
    Lukoil is Russian, and Putin’s strong head, covered with a blond crew cut, bobbed happily among the crowd, a head shorter than everyone else, as he took his tour and posed for the cameras. While inside, Putin was observed eating a Krispy Kreme Donut.
    “With the introduction of this independent source of oil, The Saudis and OPEC will not have the stranglehold on oil prices they currently have,” said Senator Schumer, Putin beside him.
    Lukoil’s official christening took place on a day of low gray skies and warm weather, at noon. The gas station, on Twenty-Fourth Street and Tenth Avenue, was surrounded by secret service officials from two countries. They all wore suits and serious expressions. Tenth Avenue was closed off at 23rd Street. Twenty-Fourth Street was closed off a block West. Pedestrians and bicyclists were asked to stand on the East side of the avenue, and the street was kept clear. There wasn’t much time for a crowd to gather, as Putin’s presence in Chelsea didn’t last much longer than twenty minutes.
    A male roller blader in shorts came barreling up twenty-fourth street wearing large headphones. He was oblivious to the shouts of “Stop!” and “Halt!” The men in suits tackled him. Headphones askew, he sputtered, “What the Hell?”
    After Putin had posed for the cameras with Schumer, he went to the waiting limousine. Schumer walked to the curb and when Putin was inside the Limo Schumer waved to him through the window. Putin waved back. Then the Limo sped off in the direction of the UN. It was followed by two Black Chevrolet Suburbans, impeccably polished black, windows down, each one crammed with the men in suits. This was followed by a Chevrolet Suburban crammed with men in Army fatigues and helmets holding AK 47s. Many of them were wearing shades, either Oakleys of Ray-Ban wrap arounds. This was followed by two vans with tinted windows, inside of which someone thought they saw a really big mounted machine gun. “Holy **** you see that gun!” he exclaimed. No one else had.
    Putin’s Limo had curtains on the windows. They were pulled aside for the departure. The curtains seemed like a Russian touch. It seemed like Putin was in the Limo that was his Limo until the vans with the tinted windows went by, and were followed by a very long limousine whose make and model were unclear. Other than a fire truck trailing at some distance, this big Limo with the strange shape and color was bringing up the rear of the motorcade. It was empty.

    the rest of the story can be found here...
    (sorry couldn't figure ou how to make this a clickable link)

    There is a building that surrounded the station, the owner of that building had tried to purchase it but were told that Lukoil was in the gas business. A few years ago someone else came to purchase the station, this time they made them an offer that was good enough to sell out.
    Tagged: Food