November 4th, 2008. In the area around the Army recruiting station, ABC has several large video screens and their news center. A large crowd of what was probably 99% Obama supporters spontaneously gathered to watch the election results together. I included three clips from Obama’s victory speech, dubbed over the video.
Times Square is the traditional place for New Yorkers to gather for the observance and marking of big events. I knew there would be the large video displays of the election results, that it would be bright enough there for my camera to shoot video. Around 9:30 when I could see that the results would tip soon, I took the F train to Times Square.
For the most part the crowd could not hear what was being said on the screens. I was able to hear the speeches with my trusty battery powered portable transistor radio, way out-of-sync with the various video feeds displayed around me. I’m surprised no one in that large crowd thought to bring a boombox. It was interesting being there, but there was little cohesion to the crowd. Video was flashing 360 degrees. Animated Budweiser ads displayed over the NBC feed all night. The ABC camera crane swooped over our heads, generating random screams and waves at the camera at intervals. I’m glad I was there to witness history, and get this video, but it would have been good to hear the speeches along with a crowd actually listening to the words. ABC had a sound system that boomed out over the street, but it must have been highly directional. It was only a muffled background cadence when I was a half-block away.
Irene Roxanne has posted this truly joyous video she shot from her bike of the spontaneous crowd in Union Square. The downtown crowd showed much more energy than the media driven and police cordoned crowd midtown.