Monday, June 15, 2009

Tehran Calms Down, at Least for the Moment

June 14, 2009
By Justin McMahan

TEHRAN - The second morning after the election, life seemed to return to a sense of normalcy in the city. The street outside of the Enghelab hotel, where we are staying, was mostly clean. The bonfires had been removed and traffic was moving at a brisk pace.

The "agency" sent a substitute minder to accompany us. He suggested a museum, but we just needed to get online. Together, we trudged to Cafe 78, a local joint owned by an Iranian American originally from San Francisco. She closed the café today, so as to avoid the afternoon protests, but we were able to use her wireless connection from the steps outside to get some work done.

We had lunch with a friend of a friend from the Bay Area who asked not to have his name used. He convinced our minder to let him take responsibility for us, which he did. At the moment, we are taking refuge at his apartment uptown, far from the protests. We know that they are occurring only because we were not able to check out the jewelry museum today, which was inaccessible due to protests.

Soon, we will head back downtown to attend a dinner with some reporters from out of town. Our understanding is that a pro-Ahmadinejad rally is getting underway, but that the Mousavi supporters have opted to postpone theirs until Monday. We shall see.

The first picture is of Andrea on the patio of a friend's apartment. The second is a view of Tehran from his rooftop patio.

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