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  • Writer's pictureRuth Walker

Where were you when ...?

Some events are so historic, we remember exactly where we were when we witnessed them. The moon landing. The assassination of Kennedy. 9/11. They changed the world and the way we navigate it, and our tiny, insignificant part in that is forever etched in our memories.

Saturday was one of those days.

The honking of a car horn and a solitary whoop were the first sounds that suggested this was not going to be an ordinary day. A march, perhaps? But, as I peered down 11th Ave towards 42nd St, there was nothing much to see so, grabbing a Citibike, I pedaled to the bike path along the river.

By the time I’d cycled a single block, the city’s heart had exploded in an overwhelming display of joy. It sounded like every car on the West Side Highway was honking its horn. There was whooping and hollering and screaming, fists held aloft, as 11.30am on Saturday, November 7, 2020 would go down in history as the time Joe Biden was announced president-elect, with Kamala Harris the first woman, first Black VP.


It was as if, in that moment, all the stress, fear, and uncertainty, not just of the last four days but the last four years, had been lifted. The tension we’d been holding in our bodies was released and we cried and danced with relief.

As the news spread, New Yorkers took to the streets, desperate to be with their people. This was not a day to celebrate alone. At 75th St, heads were buried in mobile phones, double checking the results, almost in disbelief. Could it be true? Finally, after all the waiting and hoping?

At 101st St, a woman was talking to a friend, weeping. We exchanged smiles, then whooped and laughed together as I biked passed.

At 125th St, a car’s passenger was standing through the open sun roof, a Biden/Harris flag blowing victoriously behind her.

And at 163rd St, the banging of pots and pans that had followed me from Hell's Kitchen to Hamilton Heights had grown to epic proportions. People were chanting: “Forty-six! Forty-six!” There was even confetti. It was a glorious, unforgettable day to be a New Yorker.

Then, just when you thought things couldn't get better, the internet went and wrapped the whole thing up with a big bow. Blessed be the meme makers. These are some of the best, starting with the hilarious, couldn't-make-it-up, Four Seasons Total Landscaping fail.

#45 seems bemused by what happens when votes get counted.

Who doesn't love a vibing cat meme?

But this one is still my favorite – an ear worm that has sustained me all week. Oh happy day.

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