Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Obamanomenon

In case you were living in a cave, yesterday Barack Obama became the first black man elected president. It was a clear, abnormally warm day in Chicago, and I took advantage of it by photographing some of the day’s events, which included a rally at Grant Park where Obama spoke to the thousands of supporters. It felt like New Year’s Eve night. People were dancing together in the street and celebrating this Obamanomenon. Below are photos I took of Election Day in Chicago:

Patricia Palden sits in silence as her husband, Lama Lobsang Palden, conducts a puja, or prayer, for Barack Obama at the Blue Beryl Dharma Center in the Rogers Park neighborhood. "I've really been waiting for this my whole life," said Patricia, who believes Obama is the best candidate for world peace and a cleaner environment. Five years ago Lama Lobsang moved to Chicago from Tibet. He has been a lama his entire life.

A young resident reads a newspaper and drinks coffee outside a polling station in Rogers Park, where his girlfriend was working. Many people voted before going to work.

Obama supporters make phone calls at Loyola University reminding people to vote and inform them of their nearest polling station.

It was an abnormally warm November day as people looked inside the Tribune Tower windows on Michigan Avenue.

Woo-Woo posed for photos with the first arriving Obama supporters for the night time rally at Grant Park. Woo-Woo, who has gone to virtually every Cubs home game since 1969, wore an Obama Jersey with the number 08.

An Obama speech ticketholder waiting early in line for the Grant Park rally. Only 70,000 tickets were given out. Non-ticketholders watched CNN and Obama's speech on a jumbotron.

I heard the voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. delivering an inspirational speech as I walked down Michigan Avenue near Grant Park. The voice was coming from this Volvo. As it slowed down the guys inside waved peace.

On a street corner in the South Loop a man holds a drawing of Obama and Martin Luther King, Jr.

Vendors sold T-shirts and Obama apparel around Grant Park throughout the afternoon and night.

Obama supporters took photos in front of signs like this while waiting to enter the Grant Park rally.

Obama supporters demonstrating their freedom of speech on the bridge crossing to Grant Park.

A view of the Chicago skyline from Grant Park as the rally began.

People watched the CNN election updates on a jumbotron in Grant Park.

People watched the CNN election updates on a jumbotron in Grant Park.

Just after it is announced that Obama won the presidential election, people cheered and clapped while this supporter took a photo on his camera phone.

Obama delivers his victory speech at Grant Park.

An artist poses for photos with his Obama portrait as he hugs supporters.

Two girls pose for photos of a life-size Obama they brought to the rally.

Congress Parkway was flooded with thousands of Obama supporters after the Grant Park rally. The trains and buses ran all night to make sure people got home safely. Thank you CTA.

People celebrated Obama's victory on Michigan Avenue.