President Obama was greeted by shouting from crowds packed tightly behind barricades just west of 7th Avenue as he drove through the West Village en route to Sarah Jessica Parker's Thursday night. Some — protesters armed with handmade signs and chants — had planned to be there, to voice their disapproval of the celebrity-studded dinner which cost $40,000 per person to attend. Others, meanwhile, spilled into the streets out of bars that serve $12 cocktails upon hearing that they might get a glimpse of the president.
A bouncer outside the cocktail lounge Wilfie and Nell on West 10th Street appeared slightly frazzled as well-heeled patrons of the crowded bar ran out in droves as Obama's limo drove by. At a sports bar, The Windsor, across the street, the scene was similar.
In terms of volume and signage, the protestors were the more visible group. A press release outlined the goal of the protest: "Members of F the Banks, Occupy Wall Street (OWS) and local and national housing advocate groups will demand justice be brought to the banks by confronting Obama with his broken promises and deceptive funding priorities. While the President raises campaign funds at Sex In the City star Sarah Jessica Parker’s West Village townhouse, the underfunded and understaffed federal Mortgage Fraud Task Force leaves big banks free from accountability and millions of American homeowners screwed."
Only twenty or so protestors were on the scene by the time the President's limo drove by, but they made their presence known with chanting and signs.
Passers-by, meanwhile, voiced their excitement over spotting the President, using Twitter and Instagram to share the moment.
Inside the dinner, the fifty guests included Meryl Streep, Michael Kors and Anna Wintour, who also moderated a brief Q&A with the President. Parker's husband Matthew Broderick was reportedly not in attendance. He was "busy" starring in a Broadway musical.