Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Obama, Chicago, Street Dancing, and Grant Park

True story time!

I'm burning the midnight oil to churn out this important blog post... Actually, I'm just awake and this post has no significance whatsoever. Here's the scoop...

I've been pretty edgy the past few days because I wanted the election to be over with and for Obama to be crowned already. I texted people jokes about voting for butterscotch and tried to appear stable, but inside my stomach was a knot that would surely kill me if this fucking election dragged on any longer.

That was until around 9pm Chicago time, when I checked the election results and saw that Obama was winning, and Grant Park was going nuts. So I put on my press hat, took along my shitty camera, and went to join the ruckus. Who knows? Maybe I would end up participating in some historical history time. And possibly host an Obama victory orgy (No dice).

Got on the L to the Washington stop, and was quickly absorbed by a dozen or so jubilant black youths chanting "Obama!" and "Yes we can!". It was truly a great scene and I had a smile on my face the whole time. Here's a sampling of our trek from the L station to Grant Park.

I was getting high fives and woo!'s from across the street. There was a tremendous sense of excitement and anticipation. We march on. on

My favorite!

Along the way, I saw 50 people camped out on the stairs of the Art Institute. This guy was among them, and from the look in his eye, I could tell that he was their leader. And yes, that's a fucking pizza box!
I had to take 3 photos of this guy because my flash was all fucked. He stood there grinning in the same spot for a good 45 seconds. I also noted the distinct aroma of marijuana wafting around.

There were hucksters at every corner, selling t-shirts and hats. Some guy was selling cardboard Obama stand ups. There was also a guy selling Obama slide whistles. I'm not kidding!
What's going on with the lady in the lower right corner? Is that a smile or is there a scorpion in her blouse?

There was a little pot party going on in a garden along Michigan Avenue. Dudes with dreads were waving a big black flag around. I have no idea what it means or represents. Are they stoned pirates, white skinned Black Panthers, or anarchists who smoke drugs? I couldn't tell and didn't get a picture of them. Whoever they are, I probably don't cotton to their nihilistic bike messenger ideology, and I hope an Obama victory doesn't embolden them. We must end the scourge of honkey dreads.

This guy came up to me and said, "Take my picture, man!" So I said, "Okee-dokee." He was overjoyed.

I turned into the park, only to spot theses two exhibitionists who were more than happy to pose for a picture.
Maybe my memory is fuzzy, but was Abraham Lincoln a squat faced, husky drifter with two black eyes? I forget. The other one has the right idea, though. She's purdy. Too purdy. She's hiding something.

When I finally got to Grant Park, I found it to be fenced off, forcing me to watch the Jumbotron with thousands of others who couldn't get in. This was actually pretty boring, and anti-climactic. There were 40 minutes of wandering before Obama gave his speech. People were standing on porta-potties, climbing trees, and even sitting on top of gazebos to try to catch a glimpse of the action inside Grant Park. A LOT of people were smoking dope and talking on their cell phones. But that speech was cool. Everyone got real quiet when he was talking, and roared when he said something uplifting or whatever. I wish I could have been inside the fence, but my journey was awesome anyway.

On the way back to the L, hordes of people filled the streets of downtown Chicago. You couldn't move, but the atmosphere was still very charged. People started getting tired, and then some cars rolled by honking their horns and everybody started getting psyched again. High fives all around, and more Obama chants.

I'm glad I went, and I'm glad Obama won. Relieved might be the more appropriate word, actually. I'm optimistic, sure, but not 6 hours after the election is officially over, I'm just happy to have it all wrapped up. Now I can focus on my other worries. Like finding the right table cloth for my wedding. And draping it over my wife's cage so she stops squawking.

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