November 8, 2012 § Leave a comment

Tuesday was Election Day but, my God, go past Canal Street and you could never tell, just in the exact same way Halloween came and went completely treatless. Wall Street and the financial district was an odd mix of lonely, suited cuff link men and legions of orange-vested workers trying to make everything look normal again. A few delis were open, some pubs too, with “CASH ONLY” signs on every window. After thirty minutes my fingers were numb and I started hallucinating that I was in a post-apocalyptic New York eternally stuck in January with all AT&T stores with completely ruined merchandise.

See? Exactly.

On all those winding streets down there Manhattan really does start to look like the stereotypical cardboard Hollywood set, the kind used for movies or sitcoms. Things still look old if you focus on just a few buildings. Like it could be the dirty old Great Depression New York.

The day went on and I covered the election uptown with my classmates. It still didn’t feel quite like the election—I kept waiting for that chaos that came from 2008, when one minute I was sitting in the GW screening party and the next minute there were people crying poetically, others screaming, others banging stuff, others staring vacantly at CNN in disbelief, and others already halfway to the White House where they would learn to play tuba in celebration.

Washington Heights is a blue neighborhood, and the bar I went to with a classmate was packed—especially crowded after factoring in everyone’s bulk of coats and scarves. The place had eight televisions, a few on CNN, a few on MSNBC, and one sad one on ESPN. MSNBC announced Obama’s projected win first. I was facing a stranger who sat at a table with her friends and suddenly she just pointed up at the screen and started screaming. Then the rest of the bar started screaming. It was still restless though—no announcement from CNN—so the bar relived the screaming once again when they finally strolled on in with their projections.

After that, though, everything stayed about the same. A few people trickled out to call others. A few people went home. We went back to school to file our story and the streets were deserted. The subway was quiet. Campus was mostly vacant. The newsroom wasn’t particularly loud but that was mostly because of fatigue and deadlines.

Washington Heights Election Night

Here was the end product:



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