Election Night – New York

MSInteractive's Eric Alzuhn was in New York City on election night 2008.  While working from his Times Square-area hotel room, he decided to venture out and experience that historic night in one of the world's great cities. He said the mass of humanity and excitement in the air was as you'd imagine and he provided me with the following commentary and photo essay:

say business travel isn’t what it’s cracked up to be, but my
travels to New York City on November 4
, made for a truly
unforgettable experience – watching the election results stream in on the jumbo screens in Times Square and Rockefeller
Center (or on this night known as
Election Plaza).




Thousands of people packed the streets and the area
surrounding the ice rink awaiting the declaration of the new president. All
eyes were focused on the broadcasts of NBC and MSNBC and as you'd exptect, the
pageantry surrounding the event was in true New York style – awesome!

Everywhere you looked, something was happening –
veteran news anchor Tom Brokaw delivered the play-by-play, political pundits
added their color commentary,  crowds
cheered, loved ones embraced and children on their fathers' shoulders
watched the events unfold first-hand. 

Each time the network awarded a
state to a candidate, eyes went from the
jumbo screens
to ice rink to
the GE Building at 30 Rockefeller Plaza ('30 Rock').

The side of the GE Building reproduced the race to 270
electoral votes with red and blue 'window washing' carts and banners – creating
a thermometer effect. The carts climbed up the building releasing a tail of
fabric while their operators manually flipped score cards in conjunction with
NBC’s predictions.


The ice rink – closed for skating – had a large map
outlining the United States applied on it. 
When an individual state was awarded to either Obama or McCain, a crew
caring a red or blue graphic cutout of the state shuffled across the ice to fill
in the map and watered over it to freeze it to the ice.





Then, at precisely 11:00pm ET, with the close of the
west coast polls, Barack Obama was announced our 44th president.  The crowd erupted in cheers
that reverberated off the sides of the buildings.  Dancing and celebrating  continued the streets until well past 2:00am. It was truly an unforgettable evening!"