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Park Avenue Gets a Visit From the President

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Rochester: Park Avenue Gets a Visit From the President
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It was a secret surrounded by a lot of speculation. Would the president during his two day trip across Upstate New York and Pennsylvania stop in Rochester? When the Presidential motorcade pulled off Route 490, it was evident. as it made its way to Park Avenue, it was clear the secret was out.

The crowds started to build as the President's motorcade made its way down Park Ave. It was hot, then it was raining, but that didn't turn people away.

"I was hoping he could see the president," said Steve White, who waited on Park Ave. with his son. "This was a once in a lifetime opportunity."

We heard that from a lot of people Thursday. People like Brian Nielsen from Irondequoit.

"Oh my God. It was so cool. Once in a lifetime thing," he said. "I was walking up here and a guy with an earpiece said, 'Hey do you want to get close to the President?' I said yeah. I had my son on my shoulders so I think that's what helped."

The same happened to Lori Graifman and her family from Long Island, who happened to be in town visiting the University of Rochester for her daughter.

When we asked if she had decided on the UofR, Graifman said, "This definitely helps!"

The President went to Magnolia's and had half of a sandwich and the restaurant's signature soup with a group of students. Susan Palermo owns the cafe.

"He was wonderful. The young people he had with him were wonderful," said Palermo. "He went around the whole restaurant and shook everyone's hands who were inside."

This was an unexpected visit for Palermo and her staff. She says she got a phone call only 45 minutes before the President arrived, asking her if she'd like a special guest.

"It's the biggest thrill of my life, and my staff. What I had to tell them, was, 'Don't change the expressions on your face. I'm going to tell you this and I want you to go around and do your business.' They said, 'Are you kidding?'"

While the President's visit was unexpected, social media helps news travel fast. Just ask Rachel Studley who happened to be in restaurant, and only minutes later was promptly posting all about it on Facebook.

She said there was no need to call anyone to tell them she had met President Obama, "They saw it on FB!"

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