Wednesday, November 5, 2008

There's a new Prez in town!

4 years ago I was pouring drinks at my place, 12" DJ Bar, on Essex St in New York City. With each passing hour, the mood turned more blue as more states turned red. It was an unpalatable cocktail of shock, dismay, and sheer disbelief that the country had voted for 4 more years of Bush. There had been hope for John Kerry, but more in an anti-Bush way than a pro-Kerry way.
The only similarity last night had to that election 4 years ago was that I was once again in a bar (on the other side this time) in NYC watching CNN.
The polls were correct this time with Obama winning many states by a small margin, and the map had plenty of blue, this time in stark contrast to the mood of the crowd. A cheer rose when CNN projected Barack Obama as President of the United States! John McCain, being the man that he is, didnt drag it out, he conceded in a classy, positive heads-up way. The crowd at Nice Guy Eddie's (not a regular place of mine, but they have lots of TVs) was diverse, clearly pro-Obama, and wildly enthusiastic. Everyone intently listened to Barack Obama's speech, which was captivating, masterfully delivered, and inspirational. I noticed the looks on the faces of the black people there, it was a mix of joy, relief, and pride - actually, almost everyone there had the same expression, but for them it obviously had a deeper importance.
I don't envy Barack Obama. He's now captain of a ship that's taken on alot of water in a swirling sea with Poseidon Adventure waves. I'm not sure that anyone could successfully steer us through the straits the world is in now, but I am happy to have him at the helm. At one point I paused and noted that we were living through a true moment in history - a decisive one that didnt involve bombs and carnage was a refreshing change. I turned to my friends last night and said, "This is going to sound corny, but I feel proud to be an American right now," to which they replied that they felt the same way. After eight long years, I no longer felt ashamed of our president.
As we left, and walked up Avenue A from Houston St it was like New Year's Eve. I've never seen a reaction to a presidential election like this in my life! People were literally dancing in the street, cars were honking their horns, people were cheering, embracing and their smiles lit up the street more than any streetlight possibly could.


maffy said...

I feel proud to be an American right now, too, Joe. Last night was a breathtaking moment in our history.

Scanman said...

Yeah, I remember November 2004. Living in Seattle at the time which is about as PC as you can get, I remember being distressed when states like Ohio went for Bush. My co-workers were astonished. I had to explain the country outside of the Seattle. This time I kept my mouth shut when Obama won because I once again found myself in a place where most of the people were disappointed in the results of the election. I raised my fist up though.