I live about 20 blocks from CNN's New York offices and usually walk to work. Today, as I followed my familiar route, there were subtle yet definite reminders of the history made last night.
Two blocks from my apartment building a chalkboard sign outside a local bar caught my eye. It read: "Yes, we did." I snapped a quick picture on my blackberry. Continuing on, I made a detour to the CVS on the corner to pick up a prescription; a young African American man wearing a "Vote Obama" t-shirt was smiling as he chatted with an employee in the pharmacy department. Several blocks beyond CVS, I noticed a cluster of red, white and blue balloons nestled in the branches of a tree on a side street. Just hours earlier in my neighborhood (Hell's Kitchen, west of Times Square) spontaneous celebrations had erupted in the street when CNN called the election for Barack Obama; I had watched from my 20th floor balcony.
Now, about 12 hours later, the streets were relatively quiet, aside from the typical traffic. But the balloons were a reminder that Election Day 2008 in New York City was unlike any I'd witnessed.
Several blocks later, as I neared the Time Warner Center, I passed another sign outside a restaurant, advertising a "Bailout Recession Special for $10, tax included." The meal included a burger or cheeseburger, a bag of chips, and a soda or Snapple. What I really loved was the tag line: "You've already spent $750 billion. What's ten more?" I snapped another picture. If the exit polling we've seen is right, that burger special encapsulates why so many Americans had such an appetite for voting yesterday.
Filed under: AC360° Staff
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