By Yepoka Yeebo
MIDTOWN — President Barack Obama was out on the town Wednesday evening, kicking off his night with a dinner at Midtown's Four Seasons before moving on to a $30,000-a-head fundraiser at the Greenwich Village home of Vogue editor Anna Wintour.
Parked cars were cleared from the two blocks of West 52nd Street between Park and Third avenues and police barricades set up in anticipation of the president's arrival at the Four Seasons, located at 99 E. 52nd St. NYPD and secret service patrolled the street.
A staffer at the Four Seasons said Wednesday night's menu was being prepared for Obama by Marcus Samuelsson, executive chef at Midtown Scandinavian restaurant Aquavit.
A previous plan to host the dinner event at the home of billionaire hedge fund manager, Marc Lasry, was reportedly nixed by the White House due to messaging concerns and growing hostility from Wall Street bankers, who are angry about the president's financial reform agenda, Washington Post said.
Following the first fundraiser dinner, Obama went downtown to Wintour's Sullivan Street town house, where barricades and a tent had been erected earlier for the Democratic National Committee fundraiser. The Wall Street Journal reported that 50 guests were expected.
Manhattan traffic was snarled throughout the evening because of the security blockades, and some New Yorkers took to Twitter to air their grievances.
"New York traffic a nightmare - thanks President Obama!" tweeted political blogger Patricia Murphy.
Earlier on Wednesday, the president and his entourage slipped into an underground entrance of ABC studios in Midtown West, for a taping of an episode of "The View" that will air on Thursday, the Daily News reported.
"In the last month what has been the rose and what has been the thorn?" Barbara Walters asked Obama in a clip shown on ABCNews.com.
"Where do I begin?" replied the president.
Prior to the taping, Obama had a sub at a sandwich shop in New Jersey. The president said that the mammoth combination of pressed ham, boiled ham, salami, capicola, prosciuttini and provolone, plus lettuce, tomato, oil and vinegar, salt and oregano was "as American as apple pie," according to the News.