Upper West Siders Share Post-Election Thoughts

  Last modified on November 22nd, 2020

People around the world joined spontaneous celebrations Saturday morning when Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were named president and vice president elect.

As things began to calm down on a beautiful Sunday afternoon, I took to the streets of the Upper West Side to speak with fellow locals about the election results.

Bill Ames, a Wall Street retiree living on 87th and Central Park West.

Bill Ames

What was your reaction when you heard Joe Biden and Kamala Harris won the election?

I was very surprised, I thought that Trump would win. The reason I feel Trump lost is how he handled the Covid situation. I don’t think he took it seriously enough and when he himself got sick, he practically made a joke about healing, and when he got out he was more a comedian and an actor than a real president, a real person for the people.

When I look at the person that Trump is, being so full of himself, being so contentious and narcissistic, he got what he deserved.

I’m looking forward to hearing his concession speech which should be quite hilarious because everything he’s done until this point has been nothing but hilarious. It’s beyond narcissism. He takes his own personality above the world, he thinks he’s God.

There’s a lot of people who are as rich as him, who have the same kind of thinking, they just don’t open their mouth and shut up which is the smart thing to do. He’s just a get over artist. He’s a business man and that’s all he is and that’s all he’ll ever be. It’s the bottom line with him on everything.

The only reason I thought he’d win is that the market didn’t tank as bad as it could have. The fact the market was still doing pretty well, I thought was his saving grace. After the election was over I realized it was a lot deeper than that.

Now that Biden and Harris will be taking office, what are you hoping they can do for NYC?

Well, they could definitely protect us with the Covid thing, hopefully. Inject more money in research where they can get a vaccine in the not too distant future. To me, the world doesn’t get back on its feet till there’s a vaccine. My days of going to concerts and going to ball games are long behind me but I know a lot of people miss that today and it’s sad.

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Gloria Holloway (26) and her mother Sheila (55).

Gloria Holloway

What was your reaction when Biden and Harris were named president and vice president elect?

Gloria: Relieved.

Sheila: Yeah, Happiness. It felt like this heavy load just came off my shoulders in such a way that I started tearing up. That’s how amazing it was for them to win, for me.

Were you surprised that they won?

Gloria: I was getting a little scared.

(Laughing)

Sheila: We were! It was so close! And then with Trump and his followers, it seemed like every time they showed him it was with this sea of people supporting him. I was kind of nervous but then at the same time I didn’t lose that faith.

Now that Biden is president elect, are you hoping he can do anything in particular for New York City?

Sheila: I hope he helps more of the immigrants. They are really suffering right now. I am of Dominican descent. I was born and raised here, I’m very lucky for that. My parents are from the Dominican Republic and they became citizens here but we still have family that haven’t become citizens and they’re suffering because it’s been so tough with the opportunities they haven’t been given. So, I’m praying and hoping that he really comes thru for that. I can tell from his speech he’s really for us, in helping that.

Gloria – is there anything you’d like to add?

Gloria: The same, it’s really about the immigrants. That and insurance.

Alex Goldenberg, 17 (right) with classmate Ross Brodsky (left) from The Dwight School on 89th and Central Park West.

What were your feelings and ultimate reaction when you found out that Biden and Harris were president and vice president elect?

Alex: So yesterday I was in my apartment on the Upper East Side and I could hear the cheering and excitement from all the way inside. I went out yesterday and the streets were covered with people. Really exciting. It’s good to finally get some closure.

Were you surprised that they won?

Alex: Well, I live in New York. I can only really talk about what goes on in my city and not really the rest of the world but I wasn’t surprised. We’ve had a large number of events that have occurred in New York City. We definitely need a change of power in a sense, and you could definitely see the New Yorkers who united yesterday to embrace that change.

Now that Biden and Harris are president and vice president elect, what are you hoping they can do for New York City?

Alex: So me and my friend Ross Brodsky started our own non-profit organization, Sole Purpose. We really focus on helping homeless New Yorkers get back on their feet. For us, it would be huge to see more designated resources to the homeless in New York City and just cleaning up our streets a little bit.

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Nancy, 30 years old. Did not want to disclose full name, job or have her picture taken, as she was spit on during the peak of Covid, possibly over race.

What was your immediate reaction when you saw Biden & Harris become president and vice president elect?

Relief! Relief! Because the election was so close, and frankly, I was really surprised it was this close. I’ve been glued to the computer all week trying to check results so when I finally found out there was relief and then joy.

Were you surprised that they won?

I’m not surprised but for a while I didn’t know if they would win or not, and I was surprised at that, actually.

Now that they’re president and vice president elect, Nancy, are you hoping Biden and Harris can do anything in particular for New York City?

Just taking care of Covid. That’s my biggest priority right now. So, I can visit family. So, my life can go back to normal. So, I can visit friends. My father has pre-existing conditions so we’ve been trying to go out as little as possible and its really limited our lives and its begun to affect his mental health because he’s stuck inside all the time. So, for us, we really hope they can take care of Covid.

Tommy Holmes, 38. A property manager who grew up on 85th and West End.

Tommy Holmes

What was your feeling and reaction when you found out Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were president and vice president elect?

I just thought it was an interesting turn of events and I thought it’ll be interesting to see what the Republicans do, because I know they’ll try to challenge that and have a recount or something like that. I feel like an outsider looking in and just observing what happens.

Were you surprised that Biden and Harris won the election?

Um, I guess maybe a little.

Are you hoping they can do anything in particular for New York City?

Not really. To me, it’s sort of like there’s a building that’s burning and it’s either going to fall down to the left or it’s going to fall down to the right. And whichever way it falls it’s coming down.

Is there anything in particular you’re most concerned about? Is there anything you’d like to see?

Well I don’t have a political affiliation. I don’t vote because I couldn’t vote for either candidate without supporting something that I think is evil. In their case they’re okay with millions of unborn children being snuffed out. Something like 36% of them are black children and that seems very inconsistent with the left’s message of challenging systemic racism. They just ignore that part of it. I don’t understand that. Why don’t you just bring those things together?

So, I think that’s a huge injustice that will seem to be supported now. But you know if Trump had won, I couldn’t get behind a lot of the things that the conservative Republican party stands for either, so I’m not really concerned. I think there’s all kinds of things that all parties do that are immoral and out of line with the character of God and the things Jesus taught.

Thanks. Did you come from a protest?

No.

You’ve just been walking around with this sign today?

Yeah, this sign, I’ve been talking to people on Amsterdam about the message of Jesus and the question that I ask, which I find is awkward and uncomfortable for people is, “Who do you think Jesus is and why?” So yeah, it’s not political. I have no interest in political conversations, really.

Well, in a sense you could say it’s political because I think the message of Jesus is the message of a very real kingdom. The kingdom of God and that Jesus is the king, he’s the lord. The message that went out into Rome 2000 years ago that really started to turn the world upside down is that Jesus is lord and not Cesar. That’s true today, Jesus is lord. Not Biden or Trump or Harris or anyone. And if we want to be a part of the eternal kingdom that he’s going to bring down here when he returns, then we have to be a part of his government and obey his laws and see things the way he sees them.

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Sammy Buttons, 59. Professional busker playing at the Grow NYC Farmers Market @ 77th and Columbus.

Sammy Buttons

When you found out that Biden and Harris were president and vice president elect, what was your reaction?

I didn’t have one. Because I knew what it was.

Were you surprised that they won?

Nope. I bet on Trump winning in 2016. Of course, I didn’t vote for his ass but I bet on him. And the reason why I bet on him was, one, we had a black president. So, this was the white lash coming back from having a black president for 8 years that pretty much half the country hated because he was black. Not because of the party. How old are you?

I’m 35.

This was the first time in history we ever heard the head of the senate from the opposite party actually say, “Our whole goal is to make Obama a 1 term president.” I heard Mitch McConnell say that the day after Obama won in 2008.

So as far as Trump is concerned, I bet he would win. Not because I voted for him, of course not, but because of enthusiasm.

Now I knew Trump was going to lose this time. And I won’t even get to the race thing.

Okay.

I had my own mental algorithm that whoever was the president in this cycle would be a 1 term president. How deep is that? Going back to Kennedy. Kennedy and the Johnson administration lasted for 8 years. 8 years of Democrats. Nixon to Gerald Ford, 8 years. Reagan, 8 years. So, Democrat … Republican. In between Reagan, Jimmy Carter, Democrat … 4 years. Then Reagan … 8 years. George Bush the first … 4 years. Obama 8 years, Bush 8 years, fuck I’m gamblin’ …

We had Clinton 8 years too.

8 years of Clinton. 8 years of Bush. Then 8 years Obama. I would bet everything I have that anyone who’s president would be a 1 term president based on [the fact] the country was due for a 1 term president, that’s it.

Now that Biden and Harris are president and vice president elect, what are you hoping they can do for New York City?

New York City is New York City. It’s an entity of its own. What? A bail out? Nah. That hasn’t happened since the 70s. They still haven’t fixed the water in Flint. They still haven’t rebuilt Detroit from the riots. Newark just came back after 40 years to some degree.

Check out Sammy Buttons on Instagram.

John Taylor, 60, a technical writer living on 68th and Columbus. He didn’t want to be pictured because “it’s dangerous to be a republican in Manhattan.”

What was your reaction when you found out Biden and Harris were president and vice president elect?

Are you talking about when I saw the election results or today?

Yesterday, when the city was cheering that the AP reported that Kamala and Biden would be winners based on the electoral college.

My attitude was giving them the middle finger.

Were you surprised that they won?

Yes. Based on the rallies, Biden had twelve people. Trump had hundreds, thousands. I never saw a Biden parade. I saw tons of Trump parades.

Now that Biden and Harris are president and vice president elect, are you hoping they can do anything in particular for New York City?

I don’t think they’re going to make it to the presidency. I believe there’s enough voter fraud that it’s going to be reversed. When Gore ran against Bush in 2000, the hanging chads in Florida, Gore was the president elect for 32 days. And that was reversed. I’m hoping this goes back and is overturned. As for your original question, will they do anything for New York City? I don’t know.

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Ben (66) and Lisa (71) Nivin from Lincoln Towers @ 150 West End. Both retired. Ben worked in advocacy for individuals with developmental disabilities and Lisa was a teacher.

Ben and Lisa

What was your reaction when you found out Biden and Harris were president and vice president elect?

Ben: It was finally good news after a long period of the Covid and that uncertainty.

Were you surprised Biden and Harris won?

Ben: I wasn’t surprised. In fact, I expected a larger victory. What surprised me was, despite everything, was that Trump was able to get over 70 million votes, that’s a lot.

Indeed. Now that Biden and Harris are president and vice president elect, are you hoping they can do anything in particular for New York City?

Ben: Well for New York City, certainly the stimulus. As we walk up Columbus and Amsterdam, there are way too many stores that are closed. There are way too many small businesses which have closed and surely under a democratic president I hope that the state, the city and the nation would all benefit from the new legislation.

Thank you. Lisa, is there anything you’d like to add?

Lisa: I think a major thing is a return to decency and respect and I’m hoping that Biden will be able to restore more communication on all sides and diminish the hostility we’ve been feeling between Trump’s people and people who support Biden.



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