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Keeping Virginia blue

VA_canvassersI don’t put a lot of photos of myself up here, but this one was too good to resist. My little family, along with about 30 other like-minded NewYorkers, decamped to Virginia Beach for a few days leading up to the election, to help the Obama campaign get out the vote in the slightly less glamourous cities of Norfolk and Chesapeake.

And it worked!

For five days we went door to door, in neighborhoods that ranged from lovely to desolate, making sure that the President’s supporters had the information, the wherewithall and the motivation they needed to exercise their right to vote.

We spoke to a very blonde, very white woman, all dressed in pink, who told us how happy she was to see Obama supporters “out of the closet” because so many of her peers are voting for the President, but don’t want to advertise that fact. We talked with people about the economy, jobs, women’s rights and the difficulties of returning home after fighting in a war. We made sure that people understood the new ID laws that were put into place, by the way, largely to intimidate the very people we were talking with. We compared notes on raising small children and how to keep turtles alive through the winter. We drank some of the worst coffee and ate some of the best baklava I’ve ever encountered. Didn’t find any transformative soul food joints, but Johnson’s BBQ did the trick in a pinch.

Most of all, we checked out a corner of our country that is very different from the mean streets of Brooklyn, we gave our daughter a priceless lesson in how our democracy works (as well as s few people we talked to) and we participated, which is exactly what the bad guys didn’t want us to do.

And I took a bunch of photos while we were at it, a few of which I have included here for your viewing pleasure.

Here’s one of the walls at Johnson’s BBQ in Norfolk:

VA_obama wallA typical street in the Chesapeake, VA area we frequented:


The campaign HQ on the aptly named Battlefield Blvd:

VA_HQSome people put strange things on their front porches:

VA_dollsJohnson’s BBQ, from the outside:

VA_bbqAnd another wall of heroes on the inside:

VA_mlk wallOne of the streets we walked down…

VA_patch_stBill’s Brunch. Home of some of the worst coffee I’ve ever sipped.

VA_billsLunch #1 at Applebee’s. Yes, you heard me, Applebee’s.

VA_foodThe entrance table at the field office we worked from on the day before election day:

VA_front tableThis convenient mart can take care of all of your daily needs. They’ve got both beer and wine off.

VA_daily_needsJill Platner made these pins in 2008, but they look just as good now…

VA_obama_pinBut now we’re back home in NYC, waiting on gas lines and considering kayaking through the subway tunnel to get to the Union Square farmer’s market if the subway is still out, post Sandy. The election season is over at long last.

Inside, I’m singing a little Yay Obama song, though.

Hopefully, now, he’ll be able to get some things done.

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