Monday, November 14, 2022
Generally clear. High 45 degrees.
Our calendar has lots of local events! Click on the link or the lady in the upper righthand corner.
A woman wrote that she lost a gold locket last Thursday that is “precious” to her while visiting the American Folk Art Museum on Columbus Avenue at West 66th Street, and walking around the neighborhood. If anyone finds it, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll connect you with the owner.
How Upper West Siders Are Feeling About the Midterm Elections
By Carol Tannenhauser
“Yes, I’m a citizen. Yes, I voted,” said the newsstand guy on the corner of 81st and Columbus in response to my somewhat intrusive questions. He wasn’t offended at all, so I pressed on. “Who’d you vote for?” “Hoo-kahl, Hoo-kahl,” he cried. It took me a second to realize he meant Gov. Kathy Hochul. He rummaged around and held up a sticker that, for some reason, read “Future Voter.”
A shopkeeper across the way was not so cheerful. He had voted for Republican Lee Zeldin for governor for two reasons: “He’s anti congestion pricing and anti crime,” he said. “I live in Queens. I have two trucks. I have to pay $7.50 each way to go home? And if I go below 59th Street they’re gonna charge me $23?!”
I tried to argue that they “would have to make allowances for local residents and merchants,” but he wasn’t hearing it, so I thanked him and moved on. I was following the route I had taken on my post-election walk around the neighborhood in November 2016, two days after Donald Trump was elected president. Back then, I wanted to hear the reactions of my neighbors to Trump’s win and Hillary’s loss. Now, on the Thursday after the 2022 Midterm Elections, I was retracing my steps to find out how random Upper West Siders were feeling about the results.
“Relieved that it didn’t turn out as badly as I expected,” said a woman inside Strand Bookstore, on Columbus Avenue between 81st and 82nd. (In 2016, it was Book Culture.) “I’m hoping that whatever contests are still in play go Democratic.” She laughed. “That’s what happens: my dread now shifts to the next election!”
“Conflicted,” another Strand shopper answered. “Because I really want the city to be as safe as possible and I feel right now it’s not. But at the same time, I’m a liberal person who wants to make sure we also have our individual freedoms, so I’m very conflicted about that.”
“I’m feeling pretty good about it,” said a woman passing by the bookstore as I stepped outside. “I’m happy that people are thinking through what could happen in the future with women’s health. I’m happy that more of the conservative side is getting voted out at the moment, and that we have people who are trying to fight and help. I’m happy…for now,” she concluded. “That’s probably the best we can hope for.”
“I’m happy about New York, apprehensive about Congress,” an older man said.
My last interview was with a young woman of color, who was lost. She was looking for “the Madison Avenue express bus to get back up to the Bronx.” Oh boy, I said, and explained the situation. We walked together to the 81st St. crosstown bus going east, and I asked her my question. “How are you feeling about the results of the midterm elections? Are you happy, sad, indifferent?”
“I have no idea. Let me ask you a question,” she countered. “Are you satisfied with the way the country is now, with the economy and crime? Because I believe that, in 2020, things were better than they are now.”
Me: “You’re a Republican?”
“I mean, what has the current president really done?” she asked. “You know, some might say he hasn’t done anything, and then there’s the other side that’ll say he’s done a lot. You don’t know who to believe, because the media lies to us as well. We don’t know where to get our news from.”
“That’s one of the problems with this country,” I said. “The truth is played around with…”
“What bus am I looking for?” she asked.
I turned off my recorder, but remember her final words.
“It isn’t over yet, you know,” she said. “They still have a couple of more to finish counting.”
Editor’s Note: Since this was written, the Democrats won their 50th Senate seat. How are you feeling now about the results of the 2022 Midterm Elections? Let us know in the comments.