1PM Saturday, Nov. 7, 2020, Downtown New Haven

My daughter and I were downtown walking around at one or so, popping into shops and then sitting outside with iced coffees, on this unusually warm November day, with the streets as crowded as those in New York city - an hour and 40 minutes away via train - even if they don't look all that crowded from this pic. I took it while my 17-year-old daughter regaled me with tales of chaos erupting on the streets on NYC. Ecstatic celebrities she follows on Instagram were posting videos, the revelry conveyed in some cases quite eloquently, and in others awash in the very brattiness so many of them claimed to detest in the man who they'd just found out less than two hours earlier had lost the election. Then she moved on to Los Angeles, painting a similar picture, people honking their horns and blasting music, with strangers high-fiving strangers, about the news that Biden/Harris had done it, albeit just barely.

I checked my own feed, and someone I used to work with in radio posted a picture of the ocean, clearly at the beach, and captioned it with these four words: Let the healing begin. I liked it. If I think that is going to happen or not is another story; but it is certainly possible.

"A record number of Americans voted," Biden said at one point, and that alone is worthy of enthusiastic response. I have always been appalled by the low voter turnout I've witnessed in my lifetime, from local elections to the national.

I looked at New Haven's streets, though, and there was no horn-honking or music blasting or strangers high-fiving each other. Just crowds of people going about their unusually warm November day, some with shopping bags in hand, and others with strollers in tow. New Haven was going about its business, I thought to myself. These past few years I worried often that the violence overtaking city streets in America would eventually get here. How could it not? New Haven has been touted as one of the nation's most violent cities for years now. But never of the rioting variety. At least, not yet anyway.

We went into Urban Outfitters and did some mad shopping. At checkout the older (than my daughter anyway!) African-American gentleman at the register was wearing a Def Leppard shirt, and she happened to be too. I deemed them twinsies and they laughed. He lifted his fist to her, for her to bump. She did. "I can't name one song by 'em, though" he admitted, dutifully wearing the very faux vintage concert tees the chain is known for. "That's why I can't bring myself to buy the Sublime one," my daughter confided. And with that, we were off to York Side Pizza.

My New Haven was caught up in a beautiful November day and little else, well aware that America The Beautiful it will always be.

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