Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Bring Back That Boston Feeling,

Whoooa that Boston feeeling!

Happy November everybody! Somehow I can't seem to take this blog from monthly to weekly, but hopefully I make up for it with interesting pictures and stories! 

So post-Sandy, the big news was the presidential election. 
I was sent to Boston to cover Romney's election night headquarters at the Boston Convention and Exhibition Center... yaaaaay. :-/
In all seriousness, I was-and-still-do feel lucky to get to have gone. This came just a month after finishing my first year as a journalist, and since it only happens once every four years, and plenty of journalists still don't get assigned to it when it does come around, I count myself as extremely fortunate to see the process first-hand, just as I felt for the RNC and DNC. 

So how was the night? Let me go back to the day before election night. 
I took my news team to the national headquarters for Romney's Campaign staff, and found a non-descript building with the doors to the lobby locked. Luckily there were plenty of people coming and going, so I could at least get that far. Inside, a Chinese news team was pleading for even a later appointment with a spokesperson, and as my team waited patiently behind them to do the same thing, a Chinese-American woman from NPR and a European news team also came in and the scene became quite clear:
All of us had emailed the proper address requesting an appointment, all of had called the designated phone number, and all of us left multiple voice-mails on that machine in the weeks leading up to getting there. None of us received a reply. Meanwhile an ABC affiliate's camera crew exited from behind the front desk area, but I must have been the first to see this and reach the conclusion that they were giving interviews, just not to foreign press. So my crew was the first to abandon that and go to the convention center where we did finally find a Romney Campaign spokesperson who gave us an interview. Success! 

Sidenote: remember how god-awful the RNC and DNC security was? The Boston security was down-right pleasant and helpful. Thank you security-gods, thank you. 

So, The Big Night:
We were broadcasting live, from the cramped press-risers in the small auditorium where Romney would eventually take the stage for his concession speech. And when I say broadcasting live, I mean nation-wide (in Japan) and about half-a-dozen times! It was a real, intense, team effort, and time moved like a roller coaster, 30 minutes zipping by in an instant, 10 minutes taking an hour the next. 
It felt like I had just finished interviewing attendees about losing Wisconsin, and getting ready for our next live shot, when the clock struck 11, news channels started calling states, and not 15 minutes later Obama was declared the winner. 
Up until Ohio was called, the mood continued to be festive. Whenever Fox News called a state for Romney, a cheer would go up from the 1000+ in attendance, but states called for Obama were ignored as the guests continued to party. When Ohio was called, probably less than 5 minutes before the whole race was called, an eerie silence spread. The funny thing was, Fox News called it for Obama, then the announcers took it upon themselves to propose how Ohio could still be in play. Some people cheered, but then a graphic, once again calling Obama the winner was displayed full screen, and a deafening boo erupted! The Fox News craziness continued but I had to go back to coordinating. 
That was it, right? I thought for sure at least half the people would go home. BUT EVERYBODY STAYED, and waited over an hour to hear Mitt give his concession speech. I guess until they heard it, they didn't want to believe it was over. Some of the people there were drunk, sleazy-types like the democratic delegate I talked about meeting in North Carolina, but a lot of the people were really level-headed, kind people, who truly and simply disagreed with Obama's ability to improve the economy and had pinned their hopes on Romney. When Romney finished his brief thank you and departed, we went down and interviewed people as they left about how they felt. There were women crying, because Mitt was their hero. Living in NYC, I might see one person in 10 who liked Mitt, but I was... I guess impressed is the word - that people believed in him so passionately. I had heard of those people, but I didn't see it, until that moment. 
Anyway, I guess my point is that not all the Republicans trying to kick Obama out were latent-racists. Then again, who knows, that was just this young journalist's impression from the night. 
Setting up the day before

German News and friendly neighbors
CNN was in front of us
The Media

Mexican News - Azteca
Here's how far I was from the stage. TV Asahi's reporter standing on the left. 

The over-flow area/entrance to the BCEC
The view outside. I've heard Romney's campaign had spent a bunch on fireworks that were never used.

Getting going. Once states started being called the monitors were almost always on Fox News. No surprise.

Changing gears;

My news team had saved a lot of money by deciding to drive to Boston instead of flying, so when work was done, we ate, and we ate well.
Here are some photos that will make ya jealous ;)
This might not make you jealous, but when we were able to take a (ONE) break, we got mini hot dogs at the BCEC on election night =^)
America's oldest restaurant, and JFK's favorite!
Started off with raw oysters and Sam Adams

Grilled oysters were meh, Clam chowder: Amazing

Lobster Linguine, here we go... 
That's was good!

Next stop Giacomo's for pesto, mushroom ravioli

Annnnd dessert. (I'm ready)

Eating right at P.F. Changs. I know it's not fine-dining, but my fish was great!  

The day the Nor'Easter hit we stopped for lunch at Catalyst, where my Mad-Chef and good friend is KILLING IT!

Honey-glazed wings
My first Pate (sp?) was INCREDIBLE 

Seriously... look at this cod. LOOK AT IT!
Dessert. (I brought the cookies home for Wendy)

Back in NYC (New Jersey actually, across the George Washington Bridge) we had Ox-tail soup at a Korean place that stays open 24-hours just to slow cook it. It was alright, I guess.

This is my favorite Korean dish!
I have so much more to tell you about, like Thanksgiving with my Mad-Chef's family, but for now I will leave you with photos of driving home during the Nor'Easter!
It took 4 hours to drive to Boston, 10 hours to drive back! Enjoy! (I didn't)
Hey, the snow is sticking!

This isn't so bad...

Thank God I'm driving...
Aww... crap. Now we're goin nowhere!

3 hours, 6 stalled cars, and 3 miles later, there was this
 Hope you had a great thanksgiving! Later this week I'll try to throw up some photos from mine!
G'night! *Muah!*