Around Town | June 25, 2010 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 25, 2010

Around Town

FROM RUSSIA WITH SMARTPHONE ... Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's visit to California Avenue in Palo Alto early Wednesday afternoon had all the hubbub befitting a head of state. Roads were blocked off; Russian and American secret-service agents, identified by lapel pins, stood about in sunglasses; curious spectators clutched their smartphones waiting for a photo op of the 44-year-old Medvedev; and sharpshooters were poised on at least one rooftop. While Medvedev met with staff of a Russian company, onlookers outside on the sidewalk amused themselves. One man asked a Palo Alto police officer if Medvedev would use the crosswalk when walking to Printer's Inc. Cafe. "When you're the president of a country you can cross however you want," the officer quipped. When Medvedev finally emerged from the meeting, he walked across Birch Street to shake hands with a crowd gathered in front of Antonio's Nut House. "He DID use the crosswalk!" one observer noted. Afterwards, an older woman remarked on the importance of the occasion. In the immediate post-Cold War era of the early '90s, she said, a Soviet president would have toured a U.S. nuclear power plant or airplane manufacturer, not a high-tech company in Palo Alto. "Times have changed," she said, approvingly.

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