If there was elect-ricity in the air on Tuesday morning, then Tuesday night was a powerful jolt indeed, as America selected its new Presidential Idol by the name of Barack Obama, who, in his undergrad stint at Occidental College in the early '80s, lived as an Angeleno (an Obamangeleno?) in Eagle Rock (or rather, Eagle Barack?) for two years, at least in the Fall and Spring.
In New York City, crowds at Times Square and Harlem gathered, cheered and danced in the streets. In Washington, DC, multitudes staged an impromptu street party outside of Obama's next home, And in the president-elect's.hometown, an estimated quarter million people celebrated in Grant Park to see El Nuevo Presidente make his victory speech.
Like over 60 million others, Obama was the Militant's choice on the ink-a-vote card (He didn't want to openly endorse him on This Here Blog since his rivals might make a case of the Illinois senator associating himself with...Militants (is that such a dirty word?)). So thusly, he wanted to celebrate this historic moment.
He thought about heading to Century City (via Metro Rapid, because the parking situation was no doubt gonna be nuts out there) to join in the big-ass party that was the Century Plaza Hotel, but by the time he was ready to leave, the polls have closed in California, the networks have just projected Obama as the winner, and McCain's concession speech will soon follow. So the Militant had to scrap the Westside trek and return the compound and see it on TV.
See the problem here? The biggest party in Los Angeles - one of the cities where the president-elect resided in - took place in a private space, a hotel ballroom in the Westside that was limited to a capacity of less than 7,000 people. There was no public celebration (though the Militant has heard from operative reports there were a smattering of small, neighborhood fetes), no dancing and partying in the street. Perhaps the biggest thing he heard in terms of public celebrations were people driving along Wilshire, honking their horns. Whoop-ee.
Surely, one or more of you will respond in the Comments section with a paragraph that includes the phrase "too spread out." Sure for those of you out in Canyon Country, Rancho Palos Verdes or Rancho Freaking Cucamonga, but the Militant lives walking distance from a subway station.
But then again, despite a dense Central area of the city that is more transit-advantaged than the rest of the region, we still have a ways to go in terms of the use, or even the awareness, of public space.