Election day Chicago style

We have great weather here in Chicago – how lucky and how wonderful!

I voted at around 10:25 a.m. [47th ward, 26th precinct] One of the judges told me about 315 people had voted so far today. What a wonderful experience to be out and around this lovely neighborhood. When I was walking up Damen to get my coffee — a fellow Ravenswoodian was standing on the porch of his house waving to everyone who walked by — “I am going to stand out here all day today and say hello to all my neighbors.”

My friendly coffee barista at the Perfect Cup was wearing an Obama tatoo. “It feels just like Christmas,” she said.

As I headed to my polling place, I was struck by the lack of signs and welcomers on the streets, which sprouted up on corners in the old Chicago traditions. I was wondering whether I had missed something and the city was putting an end to that practice OR whether it might somehow reflect how much of the Obama campaign was run through the web OR whether the people arming the corners just were not out in force as a kind of protest against Hillary not winning the nomination. I have been hearing a lot of that again in the past few days.

A Hispanic man wearing an odd hat standing behind me said,” I’ll give you $10,000 to vote for McCain.” When I laughed at what he said, certain he was joking, he said. “I’ll make it $20,000.” He was making a serious offer, I think. Rather odd. When I left the polling place a neighbor of mine waved hello and said, “have a great day!” We chatted for a few minutes. It really does feel like a new day. Then heading back home  I passed a huddle of 4 old-timers who had just come from voting. They were talking in whispers, and then it felt less like a new day.

My dad, reporting from the 40th ward, 47th precinct, said that it took a long time to vote but only because the ballot was so long. He voted at my first and long-time polling place at St. Ignatius Church. When I was a kid, I loved going to the polls with my parents. It was quite a party atmosphere— almost as good as bowling — with everyone smoking and drinking coffee and eating coffee cake and chatting for hours. For us kids, it was like a prelude to the holidays because we got to run around like banshees in the green room and outside. Nobody paid any attention to us and it was wonderful.

My sister, reporting from the 49th Ward, 26th precinct, said it took her nearly two hours to vote early this morning at 6 a.m. She said the lines were long and slow moving.