A Built-Up Tension Broken at Bidens Victory
“There was an overwhelming feeling of hope and prosperity in the air… you could feel smiles through masks” said Olivia Azzolina (’21). After four long days awaiting election results, on Sunday morning at 11:24, CNN called the presidential election a win for Joseph R. Biden. A sense of trembling tension quickly morphed into one of New York City’s most joyous united celebrations.
Since election day onNovember 3rd there was an unusual silence in the city. As you walked around commonly populated areas there was an abnormal stillness. With stores boarded up and often crowded restaurants seemingly emptied, the overwhelming tension stretched to all lengths of the city.
From the tears in the eyes of passersby to the shared love between family members, friends, and strangers, celebrations started the moment the news was released and continued throughout the day. As people filed through Washington Square Park, either driving by with a cheer and a honk or dancing in the fountain, each person was fulfilled with a restorative hope. As traffic backed up on various street blocks, a beautiful cacophony of honking, cheering, and a simple affirmative joy engulfed the air in New York City.
Although the unity formed as a city was a necessary reaction to the outcome of the election, it does not negate the work that is yet to be done. While we celebrate the victory of voting out an unfit president who incites hatred and division, there is importance in the recognition of the still problematic systems in place. The effects of our country’s polarization were abundantly clear as the celebrations of the election results took place. “The most unity I’ve ever seen in my life was rooted in this hatred for someone, rightfully so.” Zoe Gomez (‘23) said in response to the celebrations.
Donald Trump’s time in office incited a new form of division and open hatred towards those with differing views from oneself, yet the Biden/Harris victory establishes a hope of turning our country around and finally starting to make progress.
Georgia Stettner, a high school student at Dalton in NYC, after watching the news endlessly, ran out onto Broadway and Broome street to witness the historical moment: “A hairdresser at the salon next to my house was standing outside when I got downstairs… and she looked up at me and my mom and we made eye contact and just screamed both out of excitement and pure relief. I honestly did not believe that Biden would win so it was the most exhilarating feeling I may ever feel. The laughing… smile on my face… I have never felt more connected to another person, strangers… we were all alike being brought together by this deep hatred for Trump. Thinking back to it I’m smiling the same way I did in that moment. It’s not really something you can describe, it was just a unified feeling.”
The unity in our city was not merely in lieu of Biden’s win, but more driven by a collective disdain for Trump. Donald Trump grew up and grew his successes in New York yet is repelled by its citizens. Columbus Circle held large masses of people dancing in the streets, singing, and playing instruments at the doorstep of the Trump International Hotel.
“If you go and look at what has happened to New York, it’s a ghost town. Take a look at what’s happening to New York. It’s dying,” Trump stated in the final presidential debate.
New York City was most definitely not a ghost town on November 7, 2020.