PARTY IN THE NYC: New Yorkers celebrate Biden victory, Trump defeat in spontaneous fashion

Just after 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 7, most of the major TV news networks and the Associated Press called Pennsylvania for Joe Biden — making him the projected president-elect of the United States over incumbent President Donald Trump.

Within moments across New York City, the party was on.

Champagne corks popped, music blared, car horns honked and people danced in the streets in celebration of Biden’s victory and Trump’s defeat, nearly four full days after the last polling closed in the presidential election.

The city hailed the election of Biden, who received the most votes of any presidential candidate in history, and California Senator Kamala Harris as his vice president-elect, the first woman ever to hold the office and first woman of color and Asian descent to serve in the executive.

Without question, revelers also heralded the defeat of Trump after four years of turbulence, chaos and policies many saw as harmful to the city and country. 

A man carries an American Flag through Times Square after Joe Biden was elected the 46 President of the United States. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)
A family waves the American Flag after Joe Biden was elected the 46th President of the United States. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

Hundreds gathered in Times Square and Washington Square Park in Manhattan to mark the occasion — the largest public parties in New York City in months due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Spectators wore masks as they cheered, danced and sang in delight of the outcome.

Across the city, drivers honked their horns and pedestrians applauded. In Brooklyn, people danced to live music provided by a band along Columbia Street between DeGraw and Sackett Streets in the Columbia Street Waterfront District.

Gail Ressler said she felt “relieved” and “excited” by the outcome.

“I could hear the noise outside, so I came outside,” she said. “There’s nowhere else I’d rather be — maybe Philadelphia.”

The jubilant crowd also cheered the arrival of a U.S. Postal Service worker — a particularly essential worker throughout the election process due to the delivery of mail-in ballots.

The festive mood continued near the Barclays Center, where people danced in celebration. A. Croom of Bedford-Stuyvesant proudly waved the American flag as she partied.

“[I feel] phenomenal, phenomenal,” Croom said. “My girlfriend told me about it while I was in the shower.” After hearing the news, she headed over to the Barclays Center, she said, “to support my community.”

Things were rocking at Grand Army Plaza and nearby Prospect Park. Hundreds turned out to celebrate Biden’s victory. 

Minoah Finston, 35, of Crown Heights was in the middle of his morning job at Prospect Park when he found out that the country’s president elect would be former Vice President Joe Biden.

“I heard people freaking out in the park and I stopped and when up to someone to see if the race had been called and I said some things that you can’t print in a newspaper,” said Finston. “It was a general feeling of joy and elation and pride. We are here because we did a thing together.”

A Crown Heights home health worker, Melissa (who declined to provide her last name), decided to head over to Grand Army Plaza after learning of Biden’s victory.

“The sun is brighter, the air is fresher … it is a relief. I am happy today,” Melissa said.

Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

Alejandra Caraballo, a transgender Latina running for the 35th City Council District in Brooklyn, happily opened a bottle of Cava at the plaza. She heard that Biden won on MSNBC and immediately jumped out of bed, grabbed some pots and pans and headed outside.

“I just know my community and how they suffered under Trump,” Caraballo said. “Everyone was just immediately relieved … it’s over. Now we can have a normal presidency, a normal life that we were robbed of for four years.”

Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech
Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

Meanwhile, in Times Square, the crowd not only reveled in Biden’s victory but also continued the campaign for equal justice.

“This is a tremendous day for our democracy,” one reveler, Richard Ellis, said. “We regained it back.”

People celebrate Joe Biden winning the Presidency in Times Square. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)
People celebrate Joe Biden winning the Presidency in Times Square. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)
People celebrate Joe Biden winning the Presidency in Times Square. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)
People embrace in a hug after Joe Biden was elected the 46th President of the United States. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)
People celebrated Joe Biden being elected the 46th President of the United States in Times Square. (Photo by Lloyd Mitchell)

The party was on again in Washington Square Park in Manhattan, where hundreds celebrated just last night. On Saturday, Senate Minority Leader and New York Senator Chuck Schumer was among the revelers.

Photo by Dean Moses
Photo by Dean Moses
Photo by Dean Moses
Photo by Dean Moses
Senator Chuck Schumer parades through Washington Square Park on Nov. 7, 2020.Photo by Dean Moses
Photo by Dean Moses

The celebration continued on into the afternoon at Union Square, which also doubled as a rally seeking an end to racial injustice and police brutality. 

“Even though you may try to hurt my pride, even though you might to arrest me, even though that you try to stop my brothers and sisters from using their First Amendment rights to protest, we will never stop,” said one speaker, Nova. 

A man sends a message with a t-shirt at Union Square on Nov. 7, 2020.Photo by Mark Hallum
Alejandra Caraballo pops open a bottle of champagne during a celebration at Grand Army Plaza in Brooklyn on Nov. 7, 2020, hours after news outlets called the presidential election for Joe Biden.Photo by Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech

With reporting by Kevin Duggan, Lloyd Mitchell and Alejandra O’Connell-Domenech