Cheers Erupt on N.Y.C. Streets After Biden’s Victory Is Declared

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Cheers erupted and people flooded into the streets of many New York City neighborhoods to celebrate on Saturday after major news organizations declared that former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. had won the presidential race.

It started with a low thunder that sounded like faraway crowd noise coming from a football stadium. Then came the loud honking of car horns, with some people dancing on the streets and others banging on pots and pans. One man popped open a bottle of champagne in the middle of a Brooklyn block.

The response recalled the cheers for essential workers that had broken out in the first months of the pandemic at 7 p.m. every night in New York City.

On Saturday, just after Mr. Biden’s win flashed across phones, Kevin La Moureaux, 26, a medical student at the Brooklyn Hospital Center, was propping himself up on a light pole on Flatbush Avenue in Prospect Heights, Brooklyn, as he shouted “Let’s go!” to the drivers honking their horns.

“I’m a registered Republican; this is the first time I’ve ever voted for a Democrat and it feels so good,” said Mr. La Moureaux, who moved to New York from Florida for school. “I just want normalcy. I just want civility.”

Hanan Hamilton, 60, cheered as cars honked in Upper Manhattan and excitedly spoke with people walking down the sidewalk. Residents in the Hamilton Heights neighborhood banged pots and pans and revved their engines down Broadway.

“God bless, girl,” she told her neighbor.

Ms. Hamilton, a native New Yorker, said she voted in person on Election Day and had been waiting anxiously for the results.

“You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time,” she said.

Mr. Trump is a native New Yorker who rose to success in the city’s real estate industry, but is very unpopular in most, but not all, of the city.

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In many of the city’s most liberal neighborhoods, including the Upper West Side of Manhattan, Greenwich Village and the brownstone neighborhoods of Brooklyn, the partying in the streets seemed likely to continue all afternoon.

Some people in Manhattan assembled in front of Trump Tower, which has long been a symbol of the president’s success, to cheer his defeat.

Not everyone seemed to share in the excitement.

The mood was more subdued at a construction site near Hudson Yards in Manhattan. Construction workers stared at their phones with a hint of disappointment. Others walked away shaking their heads in disbelief.

“I had co-workers calling me who voted for Trump going crazy,” said John Rodin, 25. “Every Trump person I know said it was rigged, every single one. My job site was very disappointed for him to win. Everybody wanted Trump.”

In Inwood, at the northernmost tip of Manhattan, celebrations came almost instantly.

Windows above the streets were lifted open as residents cheered, banged pots and pans, and expressed relief and happiness. Cars stretching down Broadway honked and drivers lifted raised fists out their windows. Some passengers banged the side of car doors.

True to neighborhood fashion, dirt bikes and motorcycles revved their engines through intersections and the same bells, pans and whistles that were used during the 7 p.m. cheer for essential worker were now brought to the streets.

Robert and Maya Kite heard the cheers from their window, checked their phones and immediately began to celebrate.

They put their two daughters, ages 3 and 6, in sundresses, grabbed a tiny pot, a tiny strainer and two wooden spoons to bang them, and headed to the intersection of Broadway and Dyckman, where hundreds were gathering.

“We heard the sound, the screaming and we immediately assumed what the news was,” said Ms. Kite, 33. “We opened all our windows and started cheering. Then a friend told us there were people here gathering. I feel elated and that there’s hope in a way that there wasn’t before.”

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Ms. Kite added: “Having lived in these neighborhoods in New York through the crisis, we’d always hear the sirens going off during Covid. It was visceral to all of us. And to know that a president is going to take that seriously now, means a lot to us. I mean, how many people died in these very neighborhoods?”

At the sounds of the same bells and pans that had cheered on the working class during the harshest of the city’s crisis, the couple was comforted that the same energy was still bringing New Yorkers together.

“This sound is exactly the same,” Ms. Kite said.

Throughout Williamsburg, residents ran to their front porches and balconies to ring bells and bash pots and pans. The sounds of car horns honked and whoops and shouts of “we did it” filled the air. Someone blasted the song “Y.M.C.A.”

Carrie Salter, 62, an architectural designer, danced on S. 3rd Street as she gazed around at people celebrating.

“This is what it was like when the Mets won in the ’80s,” she said. “I’m very happy to be a part of this; I feel embraced by everybody right now in the community.”

Asked how she felt, she said, “Oh my God, all the stress has been released from my body, I just feel calm again. My brain is opening again.”

Reporting was contributed by Maggie Astor, Carla Correa, Derek Norman and Amanda Rosa.

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