In my 18 years, I’ve lived through too many historical events to count. This along with the internet has caused a desensitization throughout my generation that allows us to compartmentalize all the crazy events that are so common they seem to happen every week. However, November 7th, 2020 is a historical day I don’t think I’ll ever forget.
The energy in NYC this week was already super powerful, hosting protests, Wednesday and Thursday, that got violent after the NYPD intervened which resulted in over 45 arrests. But then the weekend arrived. Friday the city partied for the first time. @JusticeforGeorge, a viral instagram page that supports social justice, posted an invite to a “Donald Trump is Over Party” at Washington Square Park that night. While it already had much traction and would have had a nicely sized attendance, after a repost by Timothée Chalamet, it seemed every girl ages 15-20 magically appeared and was on the lookout for that scrawny man.
While the energy was there on Friday, I got to witness a powerful and captivating speech by an activist I didn’t catch the name of, yet, it also didn’t compare to Saturday.
Saturday was pure. I woke up to yelling in the streets, immediately upset because I was having a great dream. I roll over and hear my roommate say, “Biden Won!” Sitting right up I decided in that moment, for the first time in a long time, no part of me wanted to go back to bed. I wanted to celebrate. With the news playing in the background, we danced to “FTD” sharing our music with the dorm hallway.
The whole day was filled with happiness. Honking and yelling. People cheering with real smiles on their faces. Washington Square Park, packed all day. People sprawled out on the grass, hanging around the circle and many even taking celebratory dips in the fountain. I had never seen so many people at the park.
Times Square, Union Square and seemingly every other public space in NYC, packed too. Walking down the street you felt pure joy as pride flags, BLM flags, American flags, flew with a sense of hope (I think the 70 degree weather might have been a nice touch too).
And on Saturday I learned why they call NYC the “city that never sleeps”. After almost a week of pent up anxiety, the world took a joint deep breath Saturday, as one. And so, we partied. Saturday night over a thousand people joined together at Washington Square. As the light from the day faded, no one planned on leaving. Together as a community we danced and chanted and enjoyed what felt like the first hopeful day in 4 years.
What I felt on Saturday was love. It was joy. It was hope. While Biden is not perfect, America is not perfect, and this election was ugly, but we did it. And because of that we deserved this. I hope you also got to celebrate in some way, take a breath.
However, the work is not over. We still have a long way to go, let’s not let this first “win” become the last, that’s not the plan.