It’s 59F and a clear blue sky so I cannot ignore such a beautiful weather and set off for a Sunday photo trip around New York. As it is the first post-election weekend, I want to see the scale of protest against the president-elect.
I start at Corona Park in Queens. I love its “flying saucers” which always remind me of the first Men in Black; and the Unisphere has definitely become one of the New York icons. Besides there are never too many people at Corona Park. So it feels sunny, carefree and leisurely.
Takes about an hour to get from Corona Park to Manhattan by bike. You can get there by subway, but I ride under the elevated structure of 7 line, so it’s really easy to find the way. I pass through the Chinese and Hindu districts and past a tiny 50 people group of anti-Trump protesters. They walk peacefully along the street with their banners. There is no brawling whatsoever.
Manhattan is completely jammed, as usual on a Sunday afternoon. I go from Ed Koch Queensboro Bridge to Fifth Avenue, to see what is happening at the New York residence of Donald Trump. But there are no protesters and all I can see is just a few groups of Pokemon GO players and lots of police (I have counted as many as 19 police cars and vans at Grand Army Plaza intersection alone). I stop to call my son and he tells me that Pokemon GO is “not cool” anymore. In turn, I try to explain him how I voted in this election and for what reason. We both agree that future is going to be extremely interesting;)
I move along to Central Park – it looks so gorgeous at that time of the year. I ride up to the Mall and Bethesda Terrace, stopping every few meters.
There is a really big demonstration at Columbus Circle, in front of Trump International Hotel and Tower. It seems rather peaceful so I ride through feeling quite safe and remembering huge protests during 2004 G.O.P. Convention. It was really turbulent time in the city and you had to be careful not to get swept into some unwanted demonstration. Thousands of people were arrested and litigations continued for at least ten years.
But today it is peaceful at Columbus Circle. I pass by a family with little kids, They are carrying a #lovetrumphate banner and it seems like a practical lesson in democracy: the parents showing their kids that everybody has the right to manifest one’s views and yet feel safe.
Times Square, by contrast, lives its own life, as do the nearby 42nd Street and Bryant Park. Far from Trump buildings, at a safe distance from Union Square – here you can get lost in the world of colorful billboards, diverse temptations, holiday decoration, and shopping.
Finally, I take Fifth Avenue down to Washington Square Park. New York looks fine. I believe nobody is really wishing for turmoil and I hope it will stay that way.