Nov. 9, 2020 By Christina Santucci
Minutes after several TV networks projected former Vice President Joseph Biden as the winner of the 2020 presidential race, the cheering began in Astoria.
Residents along 24th Avenue near the Bohemian Beer Garden banged pots in their windows and on their stoops — a sound reminiscent of the nightly cacophony heard for months in the neighborhood in appreciation of the city’s essential workers.
“We did it,” one woman yelled to her neighbors, as another cried out “Yes!” when told that Biden had been announced as president elect.
Along 29th Street near 24th Avenue, several Astoria residents took to their rooftops to celebrate, as passing cars and trucks honked wildly below and runners clapped, raising their hands above their heads before continuing on with their jogging.
On 30th Avenue near 33rd Street, dozens of mostly masked people had gathered by 1 p.m., waving American flags as well as ones emblazoned with rainbows, which represent support for the LGBTQ community.
Several Astoria revelers wore clothes decorated with the stars and stripes, one man’s shirt read VOTER, and a woman wore a face mask with a picture of the late Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsberg.
“For 2 and 1/2 hours, I stood with tears of relief in my eyes and the biggest smile on my face, jumping for joy with the city, people of all ages and countries of origin, all so overjoyed and relieved,” said Natalia Paruz, a composer and musical saw player who rang a bell on 30th Avenue to express her joy at the election results.
Each vehicle that honked in solidarity or whose occupants gestured in support elicited an eruption of cheers from the seemingly spontaneous gathering that continued for hours into Saturday afternoon.
The festivities also drew elected officials like state Sen. Michael Gianaris and Sen. Chuck Schumer, who were seen in videos posted to social media posing with people while holding a Biden-Harris sign outside of the 30th Avenue Key Food.
“I loved my neighborhood before, and my city and my country, but now I love it even more, if that is possible. For me, today meant a brighter future. I didn’t stop smiling the whole day,” Paruz said.