New York erupted into all-day street parties, rallies and festivals after news outlets declared on Nov. 7 that former Vice President Joe Biden had defeated President Donald Trump.
Thousands of revelers swarmed major intersections, parks, and plazas to play music, dance, and hoist anti-Trump signs and banners. After nearly four years under the Trump administration and months of life amid the COVID-19 pandemic, people on the streets expressed hope, relief, and cautious optimism.
“The one good thing in 2020, this is it,” said Evelyn Matias, one of hundreds of people who gathered in Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn.
Nearby, Adam Sachs declared the celebration “a four-year, 10-month, release of anger and fear for everyone.”
Amid pounding drums, soaring brass melodies and joyous chants at the plaza, Maria Gutierrez said she was relieved. “The last four years have been horrendous and scary, and I just feel like relieved and hopeful like I did back when Obama was president,” she said.
In Washington Square Park in Manhattan, people ran through the central fountain as nearby cars played the 2016 rap “(FDT) F— Donald Trump” by YG and Nipsey Hussle.
Partygoer Jorge Pacheco said the day had a personal significance. “It means my mother gets to stay. It means the next generation doesn’t have to live in fear like I do,” said Jorge Pacheco, a Latino originally from Queens. “It means my family gets to build a home, not be scared and finally feel like this place accepts us and wants us.”
Samsu Uddin, a Brooklynite originally from Bangladesh, said he hopes he can obtain a green card under the Biden administration.
Others cheered the election of Sen. Kamala Harris, who will be the first Black and South Asian person and the first woman to become U.S. vice president.
“She’s bringing some color. She’s got that ‘oomph’ to her,” said Sean Millz in Washington Square Park. “You need an assertive powerful woman next to you.”
Despite the celebratory mood, some remained concerned about racial and immigrant justice under a Biden administration.
Pancho Gonzalez in Grand Army Plaza wore a mask with the name of Breonna Taylor, the Black woman killed by police in Louisville, Ky., in March. “There’s still a lot to be done,” he said.
This story is the work of a student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. Other news organizations are welcome to publish this story as long as they adhere to these guidelines.