Services near convention can whip up or cool down political madness
During political convention season, a veritable world crops up outside the arena, catering to those attending the festivities and even offering them a chance to get away from the political madness. YNN's Josh Robin reported from the Republican National convention in Tampa, and filed this report from Charlotte, where the Democrats meet starting Tuesday.
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CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Posters, a whole lot of police and the invasion of the press are clear signs the next political convention is on its way here. It is a sensory overload and hyper-secure mess that can tax, if you will, even the most die-hard of partisans on either side.
"It's going to be chaotic, because I work on Johnson Road, and they're going to close Johnson Road down. So I can't wait to see about that," said Jackie Taylor-Heyward, a Charlotte resident.
"I work at Lowe's and they are really nervous, slash excited, because they're not sure. It can go either way," said Shay Rogers, another Charlotte resident.
If political swag has been a convention staple for decades, there's a thoroughly nouveau offering in 2012: a relaxation spa.
The Oasis Spa under quick construction in Charlotte and its sister spa in Tampa, are the brainchild of Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post and her sister, author Agapi Stassinopoulos.
"People go 'Ah, this is wonderful,' and they exhale. And once you exhale, you de-stress," said Stassinopoulos.
"We really want to demonstrate that even in the middle of a chaotic political week here in Tampa and next week in Charlotte, we can unplug, recharge and return to the convention renewed," said Huffington.
That is exactly how some at least appeared after a few moments on the yoga mat and a coconut juice, or three.
The Huffington Post is notoriously left-leaning, but the sisters insisted no one is trying to smother political rivals with kindness.
"This is completely non-partisan," said Huffington.
Democratic conventioneers may have no qualms about decompressing in Charlotte, but Al Bouldin of North Carolina was one of the few Republican officials YNN saw at the Oasis in Tampa.
"I think it's a very nice gesture, no matter what the source is, I suppose," said Bouldin.
Even if it does not change anyone's politics, maybe it would help to tone down the election-season volume.
"I would hope. But maybe not so much so over the next 70 days," said Bouldin.