The Decision

Por en Chicago 11/7/12 4:37pm

This election day is one I’ll never forget. We went sunup to sundown and up again criss-crossing Chicago. Our mission: to document historic moments that could bring the world to our city, if only for one day, through our lenses.

We went from Logan Square to Pilsen, from Hyde Park to the Loop, inside our offices of Hoy and the Chicago Tribune newsroom, The Wit Hotel rooftop, and finally McCormick Place.

In Logan square we found young organizers. In Pilsen, we met an elotera on the street serving customers and voters walking out from the Rudy Lozano Library.

In Hyde Park we paid a visit to the self proclaimed “official salon of President Obama,”  Hyde Park Hair Salon, while they prepped for a viewing party. We stopped at polling stations all along the way where the sound of the voting machines took on a life of their own.

On our way back to The Loop we walked into the iconic Billy Goat Tavern under Lower Michigan Avenue where the famous Cheezborger’s were sizzled on their flat top grill while the TVs kept patrons up-to-the-minute on election results.

The clock was always ticking. We didn’t know if the results would come fast, or slow. Inside Tribune Tower, we were working on our paper for the next morning. Eight floors below, the staff of the Tribune was hard at work on their coverage.

From there we made our way to The Wit Hotel rooftop where a group of republicans gathered for a viewing party for presidential hopeful Mitt Romney. The vibe went from loud to quiet as a mouse whisper as soon as the results started to point toward a win for President Obama.

While Sam shot the Republicans, I was at McCormick Place, which might as well have been on another planet.

The crowd there had been standing for hours, staring at giant screens waiting for their candidate. The fatigue was starting to wear down. Some asked for space in the crowd to stretch their legs, others squatted trying to relieve their aching feet.

When the Obamas finally walked onto that stage, applause filled the room and cheers rang out. The crowd gave the re-elected president their full attention for his acceptance speech. When he finished the applauses roared again while confetti fell like rain from the ceiling.

We hustled back to the Tower to cut the footage and the audio. We’ll write more about our plan and how we executed this video in a day with four people in an upcoming post, but for now, we just hope you enjoy watching it as much as we did making it.