Stretching the definition of election day a bit, I found myself in New York during the voting. Then in Frankfurt when the results were announced. Finally in Singapore when the analysis came out.
Travelling around Manhattan on Election Day
When I set off in the morning, the queues were short. There was some excitement in the air, but not much. The outcome seemed to be a sure Hillary win despite the heat of the last few days. I am from India, and with a population 4 times as big as the US, voting takes place in different stages. Despite this, normally the queues are big from the start.
The crowds on the streets in Manhattan were normal. People crossing the street with a red light happens in India too!
The metro was also quiet. This is not a sight one would ever see in Indian metros – always crowded.
At the diner on Madison Avenue where I had a late breakfast while walking around, there were some comments as Trump lived quite nearby.
The diner was quintessential New York, as was the “small” breakfast I was served. In India this would feed 2!
People followed their daily routine. If they were browsing, it would have been at clothes stores as in India. But I love books so went on a round of antiquarian stores. This was Argosy books on 59th street off Lexington.
While walking around I ventured into the Manhattan gallery on 2nd Avenue between 55th and 56th, a very quaint place for antiques. I was told how (now President-elect) Trump had been booed when he voted nearby earlier that day. That would never happen in India. Democracy there is as strong as in the US, but despite ones personal opinions of the candidates, no one boos them on their face.
Later in the day in Manhattan, the action began to pick up with longer queues. Looks more like an Indian queue in terms of number of people, but an obvious difference being the dress. Coincidentally, the picture has a view of Shyam Abuja, an Indian clothes brand!
The queues became even longer.
Walking around I couldn’t help but enjoy some of the amazing New York sites, like this “Truck” art. I thought of this as my brother in law has collated an amazing collection of New York street art. In India most street art is political. Truck art has always been big in the sub-continent, but thats for another post.
Came across this display of Halloween pumpkins. They looked like they were lining up to vote as well!
The most amazing site I came across however was this lady in full gear stepping out of an antique Rolls Royce to cast her vote.
I watched the results coming out later that night at the Union League club on 37th street off Park Avenue. At 2.43AM, Fox news announced Trump had won. The room erupted in cheers. In India, I would have seen drums and people dancing on the streets!
I was heading back to Singapore the next day and in the lounge while in transit, found this piece of election memorabilia. I was puzzled by the header, but then realised it was the New York Times late edition published before the results were out. It referred to the cliffhanger that was then still in motion.
Back in Singapore
I read about the impact in the US with demonstrations and appeals for calm. So far all my comparisons of the US elections vs what would have happened in India were that the US would be more calm. In this case, I think the US reaction was quite (and continues to be) very strong.
What does a US Presidential election mean for non-Americans?
It means a lot. Despite China and Russia claiming their place, the USA is still the leader of the world. What happens there, has a big impact and an indicator of global trends. One only hopes that President-elect Trump’s bark is worse than his bite.
What was your experience?