A friend and Cambridge resident told me Harvard Square doesn’t get too crazy when the Beantown sports teams rack up their ubiquitous sports titles. But shortly after Barak Obama’s historic victory the roar coming from right outside Hahvad Yahd got me and my Nieman homies running from the famous John Harvard statue on campus, recently decorated with balloons and an Obama/Biden sign, to nearby Mass Ave. It seems the Harvard kids take their politics more seriously than their sports. (Not that you could blame them).
Hundreds of Cambidgians engaged in all-out celebration in the heart of the square, a block from the storied Harvard Bookstore. Buses and taxis sat in pedestrian traffic as their drivers pumped their fists and honked their approval. A student carrying a small boom box sat atop a friend’s shoulders cranking Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” Large multiracial groups burst into spontaneous chants of “U.S.A.” and sang fragments of the Star Spangled Banner. Cops had more fun posing for photos than keeping the considerable peace.
This was an extraordinary night in Niemanland (if you don’t believe me peep the posts from my friends and fellow fellows Ernie Suggs and Tommy Tomlinson). This was the right year to watch the right outcome with the right people in the right city, followed by a show of public emotion which, in my lifetime, has usually been reserved for half-hearted protest, not celebration.
As a wise man once said, good times.
(photo courtesy of telegraph.co.uk)