Best Place to People-Watch

The nation ogled the comings and goings at the courthouse during last fall's postelection battle, but the show goes on, folks. You want big names? How about Johnnie Cochran and Al Sharpton, who recently used the courthouse as a backdrop for basking in the outrage over the Lionel Tate life sentence? Your favorite -- or most irksome -- television news personalities routinely shoot standup footage across the street. And those annoying lawyers in television commercials who promise big bucks for your mishap? They'll be there. But it's the everyday citizenry who most intrigue: the guy who screws up enough courage to contest a speeding ticket; the would-be parents who beam with joy after a final adoption hearing; a guilty defendant's family looking stunned and puffy-eyed as they exit; school kids filing in for a civics field trip. And if you want a snack for the show, the peanut man is parked on the sidewalk most days. Buck a bag.


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