How New York Reacted to Biden’s Win

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Weather: Mostly sunny with a high in the mid-70s.

Alternate-side parking: In effect until Wednesday (Veterans Day).


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Credit…Chang W. Lee/The New York Times

In many New York City neighborhoods, one did not have to be following the news on Saturday to know that the presidential race was over. Hoots and yells and car horns erupted, followed by the banging of pots and pans. People spilled into the streets, waving flags, blasting music and dancing atop cars.

In a heavily Democratic city, Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s victory over President Trump — and the barrier-breaking election of Senator Kamala Harris as vice president — predictably drew jubilation.

But behind the celebration remain worries about growing political divisions and uncertainty about what Mr. Biden’s win might mean for a city facing a deep economic crisis and the looming threat of a second wave of the virus.

[In President Trump’s hometown, people celebrated his ouster.]

“I feel like I’ve been holding my breath,” Justin Oakley, 30, a web developer, said in the Prospect Park neighborhood of Brooklyn. “We’ve been through so much, the city has been through so much this year, I’ve been to so many protests. But now it’s like, ah, finally, something to celebrate.”

But at a construction site near Hudson Yards in Manhattan, workers stared at their phones with a hint of disappointment on Saturday.

“I had co-workers calling me who voted for Trump going crazy,” said John Rodin, 25.

He added, “My job site was very disappointed for him to win. Everybody wanted Trump.”

On Sunday, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, a Democrat, said in an interview on ABC’s “This Week” that he expected Mr. Biden to unite the political divisions in the country. Mayor Bill de Blasio expressed similar optimism about Mr. Biden’s ability to “heal.”

But some Republicans in the state joined Mr. Trump and others nationwide in amplifying questions about the validity of the vote. There has been no evidence of voter fraud.

The election results also illuminated divisions within the Democratic Party, especially as Democrats across New York did not perform as well as many hoped.

In an interview with The New York Times, Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said that Mr. Biden’s actions, particularly the selection of his transition team, would affect his relationship with progressives.

“I don’t know how open they’ll be,” she said of Mr. Biden and his team. “And it’s not a personal thing. It’s just, the history of the party tends to be that we get really excited about the grass roots to get elected. And then those communities are promptly abandoned right after an election.”

Mr. Biden has vowed to appoint a “national supply chain commander” and establish a “pandemic testing board,” similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s wartime production panel. The moves are likely to be welcome news in New York City, where a recent uptick in cases has raised fears about a second wave.

New York City schools will use air purifiers, space heaters and filters in classrooms, according to a city plan on how to handle the coronavirus as temperatures drop. [Gothamist]

The State University of New York announced a plan to allow in-person instruction on campuses for the spring semester, which includes the cancellation of spring break. [N.Y. 1]

Three people were shot in Brooklyn and Queens on Saturday. [amNY]


Alyson Krueger writes:

Ever so carefully, New Yorkers are trickling back into offices that have been revamped for the pandemic. But as infection rates rise around the country and city residents fear a repeat of last spring, the return to in-person meetings and chatter in break rooms has been slow: As of September, only 10 percent of office workers in Manhattan were back, according to a recent report.

So, what’s it been like to go back? A selection of professionals shared their experiences with The Times.

Lauren Pellegrino, 25, went back to her paralegal job in Midtown Manhattan on Sept. 28. “They gave us a two-week warning,” she said. “Mentally I wasn’t ready. It was like, ‘Don’t worry, we have hand sanitizers and masks, and all this stuff.’ But I kept thinking, If I have to go to work in a hazmat suit, maybe it’s not time yet?”

Mauro Maietta, 37, a district manager at Crunch Fitness, said: “Our clubs used to have prime times, in the morning before work or on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday evenings. They were packed, energy was high, every piece of equipment was in use, music was blasting.”

“Now we have a constant flow of six to 11 people every hour,” he said. “It helps with the social distancing, but the energy isn’t the same.”

Marilyn Ramirez is a high school teacher in Washington Heights. Students returned in October.

“We are in the building two or three days a week and then home, on the computer, the rest of the time,” Ms. Ramirez, 51, said. “It’s boring in the school. Kids sit in the same classroom all day while teachers rotate. They can’t hang out in the halls or do clubs or sports. One student told me he can’t come back because it’s too awkward.”

It’s Monday — take your time.


Dear Diary:

It was one of those late-summer nights where it’s still warm enough to wear a T-shirt but brisk enough that you might get a slight chill.

I was biking along Fifth Avenue in Brooklyn after having a burrito at a small Mexican grocery in Sunset Park. Just as I passed Sunset Park itself, I noticed a woman I had once worked with at a call center.

“Linda?” I said. “Is that you?”

It was, and we chatted for a while in front of the park.

When we worked together, Linda would tell me about how she fed Mountain Dew to the trees in the park and about how she enjoyed going to a church near where she lived to watch the choir rehearse. She had changed a bit, but our conversation transported me straight back to the past.

“I think I’ve seen every single Marvel film twice over,” Linda said, breaking into a smile.

We walked to a nearby deli, where she wrote down my number on a loose sheet of paper.

And then I was off, biking toward the future but aware of what had passed.

— Haley Goetz


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