My neighborhood erupted at 11:00 last night, about 10 blocks north of the White House. Closer than you think, since I can see the executive mansion just a few steps from my door. As soon as the California polls closed and the networks exploded with their news, people yelled, whooped, cheered, their voices echoing in the alley behind my building. The noise got louder a few minutes later, as residents left their buildings the bars and restaurants in spite of the rain and car horns blared up and down 16th street. That's what I saw in my head, as I didn't move - the TV kept me glued in my living room - the TV and my laptop where I had the NYTimes, Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC open in Firefox tabs. What was it - 15 minutes later - that the report came over the wires - McCain had conceded to Obama. I could see on TV that scores of GW students converged on the White House, pumped by the history and eager to let the current resident know that his terrible occupancy is not only over, it's finished with a blast of everything missing over the last eight years - including eloquence, intelligence, and unyielding hope.
Around 1 am I went outside. The rain was a drizzle, the car horns split the air, people on the sidewalks high-fived each other. I called my brother in New Hampshire, and held the phone to 16th street, in sight of the White House, leaving a message that was mostly street noise.
Check out these stunning pictures at the Boston Globe's site, which I found thanks to kottke.org.