Wednesday, November 5, 2008

City Views, Country Dreams

Good afternoon from New York, on the day after Election Day.

Usually, my Country Dreams refer to visions of what it would be like to not live in a big city. But today, I think that I will dream a bit about how my big country may evolve under the leadership of our newly elected President.

I was up very late last night watching the election reports both on television and on various web sites. It was quite thrilling to watch state after state, including some surprising states, fall into the Obama column. One of the surprising states was Virginia, where I was born long, long ago, and raised in a culture that would never have allowed Mr. Obama's candidacy, among other participations.

I cast my own vote late yesterday morning, and was fortunate not have had to wait at all. My polling place is in the cafeteria of a neighborhood school that hosts various election districts. The voting booths for the other districts all did seem to have lengthy queues, and that was wonderful to behold. Any time that there is a large turnout, everyone wins.

Having voted, I took a bus to mid-town, and met a friend for lunch. We had not seen each other in quite a long while, though we do continue to stay in touch. Our friendship goes back about 30 years, which is quite a while. It was grand to gobble our sandwiches, and talk, talk, talk. No one choked, even though we surely did a lot of laughing.

After that lunch, she had to return to work, and I walked home through Central Park. I hope that you will enjoy some of the views of the little pedicabs, various multi-colored trees, and some views of the aftermath of Sunday's marathon race.

The above picture is for a blogging pal, who loves trees.

Please note the tiny red balloons let in the tree on the path just ahead of where the marathon finish line was painted.

It is interesting to see that the same crews who helped set up all the apparratus for the marathon's finish line have to return to that scene of Sunday's glory on Tuesday to pack it all up again.

And that allows me to return to the election results. My friends and I are thrilled. Around midday, I went out to buy a "souvenir" copy of today's New York Times. No luck. Every newsstand for a mile or so along Broadway was totally sold out. This is a momentous day, and a day for celebrations.

Tomorrow will be a day to begin to get serious about what this change to our government can mean. I so hope that Mr. Obama will be able to continue to motivate the citizens of this country to be more than dreamers, to convince them to contribute to our country's future, in many ways. United we stand, divided we fall ... this can be more than an antique motto.

I have seen many elections, worked on many campaigns, seen hopes rise and fall. Often these past hopes seems to be tied to the fate of just one person, the President elect. Right now, we do seem to have the sense that something different has occurred. Each one of us can take on some responsibility in our own lives to carry this difference to many more tomorrows' worth of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

There are also many people who are not at all pleased with the election results, and some of them have begun their vocalizing. The challenge is to keep holding the positive attitudes and not be drawn into negative imagery. I think this time, we just might manage to make more of our dreams come true.

It is lovely to hear so much support of the election from overseas. Thanks to all. We really are all in this together.

May we all work hard and wisely, and dream well, and let's have great results.


  1. Frances, how interesting to hear this from a 'real' American, rather than just someone on the screen. It must have been fascinating watching the run up to the election.
    It saddens me that he is so often referred to as 'the first Black president', when he is actually half white.

  2. Great blog Frances. I always leave my radio on all night and woke in the early hours to hear the acceptance speech. The BBC has been covering it heavily all day.
    Onwards and upwards eh?

  3. Let us hope he is the man to bear the weight so many dreams and so much idealism. The signs are good but the challenge is enormous.
    Let us hope then.

  4. Yes Frances, who was it said

    We must be the change we want to see in the world?

    Was it Nelson Mandela?

    Great blog and lovely photos, thank you.

  5. Really lovely post Frances, and so too are those wonderful pictures.

    Watched the coverage on TV this morning as I missed the results. Pleased to know Obama won, although it will be very challenging for him, lots of policies to sort out. I am hoping for a better peaceful world, let's hold onto that dream.


  6. I kept wondering what might you be thinking as the day dawned on the election and the excitement began> I too watched Virginia and thought about the past. A new era has begun lets hope he has the strength to carry it through.
    Lovely pictures Frances

  7. A momentous day indeed.
    Lovely pics from Central Park, my friend sent me an 'I heart NY' post card with the words 'book now to come!' on the back, she loved it there.

  8. a big day indeed. However, not to sound sour, but I remember teh glorious optimism in May 1997 when Labour here got in crushing the Tories who had been in power since 1979. I'm not saying that teh scale is the same, but I hope that the fall from grace never happens. Maybe our long long stretches of government are at a fault, though I could ramble on about the relative systems at length and just have never understood your collegiate thing and the endless primaries. I'm glad it's over, that the right guy got it and let's hope for good times ahead! lovely photos too.

  9. A great blog francis and great photos .Thank you xxo

  10. History in the making. It will be interesting to see what changes come.
    Loved your photos and lovely to hear of your chatty lunch!

  11. Many people were up all night here in Vienna, and not only the young ones, watching the vote counts rolling in. It was after 5am, local time (the time difference to NY is 6 hours), when they finally were able to welcome the new President with a cheer.

    May this be the start of a new era.
    We all know that sacrifices will have to be made, but I trust that with so much hope in our hearts, everybody will try the best to help build the future in unity.

    Thank you so much for your kind comment on my blog! I have visited yours before, probably coming from Gretel's. Wonderful to be back and looking forward to seeing each other again in the blogosphere!

  12. Am so glad that so many people on this site supported Obama. But Frances could you perhaps do a little piece on what the US voting form looks like - don't you have to vote for all sorts of people besides the President? Or am I wrong? And do you vote by machine or as we do by making a pencilled cross?

    You are lucky to be in a position to change your country's destiny. Here in Europe we feel the effect of your leaders but are powerless to do anything about it.

  13. Frances, Obama’s win was very exciting, especially the support he got from “red states.” You just reminded me to save our NYT – we get it delivered in Maine. What lovely photos of Central Park! It brings back so many good childhood memories.

  14. I went to sleep with the radio on, there was live coverage on the BBC of your election - but in a way it felt like the world's election. I woke just in time to hear the confirmation of the results and then the acceptance speech. I was so relieved and happy, I lay in the dark with tears trickling down my face. Even better is the hope and inspiration this has given to so many millions of people. I think it is very different to the Labour victory over here, which I remember vividly. Blair was not really a change - he was another privately educated man, with a comfortable background. I don't think the world celebrated when he came to office; Obama is something entirely different.

  15. Lovely to read such an upbeat and hopeful blog - it must have been quite a momentous night in America on Tuesday. And we can feel the great optimism about a brave new dawn on this side of the pond, too. I must say, he does seem like a breath of fresh air and we are all hopeful of a positive new beginning.

  16. I'm a bit with Milla on this one I'm afraid. As with Tony Blair, it is very hard when so many hopes and dreams hang on one man's shoulders (which is what this is really all about - the Democrats as a party are the same, after all, just as Labour was, it's just a different figurehead with a keen new vision and only time will tell if he can change his party as well as his country). If you hold someone on such a high pedestal, they have a long way to fall. BUT, yes, thank God George W Bush has finally been put back in his box (and someone please lock it and throw away the key). That man has caused SO much damage - it is a daunting task for Obama to have to clean the house after what Georgie's left behind him, but with the right team behind him, he can only make it better. I hope.

  17. love all the pics.
    will be praying for our new prez and the country...

  18. Hi frances, I don't know how I missed this, I'm sorry. I really enjoyed reading about the momentous events in your country from your perspective. Those queues to vote were amazing - I'm glad you didn't have to. Thank you for giving us a glimpse of the marathon - I was really disappointed not to be able to watch it on the television.

  19. I thought I had commented on this before!
    Oh dear!
    Anyway a terrific post.......... and how happy the election has made us all feel
    as if a great weight has been lifted from us all.
    I popped by you work the other day on the way back from Union Square.
    Greetings on an overcast Friday.