Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Dancing In The Streets

Skepsis on election day's morning: Will he make it? The expectations are high - also on 2nd Ave on Houston.

Since I was not (yet) allowed to vote, here I just hand over to my beloved wife Kate (I took the pics though):

"With these pix [(c) Janko Puls] I hope you get a sense of the ecstasy we were experiencing in the wee hours of the morning after (no drugs, but perhaps a little wine was imbibed!;-) - and we felt the rest of the world dancing with us. After Obama's acceptance speech, I was on my way to bed...but I could hear out our bedroom window people cheering, so Janko and I decided we had to check out the scene.

The East Village comes out to party!

Dancing in the streets!

People were pouring into the streets to celebrate. Almost everyone was smiling, hugging, shouting, jumping up and down, and generally rejoicing - and yes...dancing in the streets. It seems they spontaneously started to congregate near the intersection shown here (First Avenue and St. Mark's Place, just around the corner from where we live).

1st Ave is shut down by a huge street party.

Slowly it became a crowd that swelled out into the avenue, taking over the intersection and stopping traffic, until the police gently corralled folks into St. Mark's, the smaller side street, and left them there to party, though with their presence on the sidelines (as we saw on our way home two hours later - the last albeit blurry photo).

Make noise! Show your appreciation! Shout out your relief and excitement!

It looks like it was a little hairy for the drivers, as the crowd really did slap on each car that managed to crawl through all who had descended, but everyone - including a poor older Indian cabbie who even had someone stick their hand in his window to rub his bald head - was smiling and shouting and honking / making noise along with the rest of us. You'll see one woman driver was even video taping *us* as she drove by!

Self referential: Yes, we did it!

You can just make out there's someone on top of the bus, who, when it finally made it through after being blocked by this crowd - traffic was stopped for what must have been an hour - the driver had to be warned that he had an "unpaying passenger" atop, and to let him jump down before proceeding uptown.

Ride with MTA!

There were people banging pots and pans, bodhrans and drums, and this woman with her bugle. It was amazing - like a dream (come true! hurray!) - a really incredible, and immensely moving, experience to be a part of, and such a wonderful and fantastic piece of history to have participated in.

World, can you hear us???

Here's to what finally promises to be a brighter, safer, more peaceful future. WE DID IT!"

2.30 am. Dancing crowd on St Marks Place between 1st Ave and Ave A. American flags waving and hanging out of windows, everybody is dancing and singing. A rare view in the East Village... :-)

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