In City of Brotherly Love, Festive Obama Backers Take to the Streets
By Libby Copeland
PHILADELPHIA --The city tonight is -- wow. Words can barely describe it. Broad street, a main drag that runs north-south, is alive with people celebrating the election of Barack Obama. It seems like the entire city is here. People are standing in the median strip, dancing, hugging, banging pans and holding Obama signs. They're driving their cars slow, hanging out the windows and the sunroofs, beeping horns nonstop and screaming Obama's name. "Obama, baby!" "This is history!"
Some are sitting on the roofs of their cars. Two men were actually standing on the very tops of cars as the cars rolled along. Another vehicle drove by with at least nine people hanging out the windows or standing on the back bumper.
People have been chanting, playing the president-elect's speeches at full volume. Strangers are slapping hands. A middle-aged woman makes the sign of an O with her hands to a passing driver.
Students have taken to the streets in packs. Several guys took off their shirts. A few young men had taken off their their pants, too, and were walking in the middle of the street in just their boxer shorts, despite distinctly cool weather.
The cops are out, blocking off sections of several streets and moving around with sirens blaring, in an apparent attempt to unclog lanes.
"We look good again," said Moore college student Jennie Crichlow, 20, standing on a street corner with three friends. And by "we," she meant Americans, and how her countrymen were regarded by the rest of the world. As for Obama, she said, "He's never heard his name so many times before tonight."
Crichlow and her friends -- and a few minutes later, a massive throng of people -- were walking north along Broad away from city hall, where, Crichlow said, some people had been dancing the electric slide without music.
It's worth noting that this marks the second time in four days that Philadelphia has had reason to celebrate. Last Friday was the big parade to celebrate the Philllies' World Series victory.
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