All around Manhattan, workers are putting up boards and fences to protect property in the event of post-election unrest. (ANDREW DRESSNER)
All around Manhattan, workers are putting up boards and fences to protect property in the event of post-election unrest.


Election Day in Manhattan

November 6, 2020

After a tumultuous election season and protests against racial injustice since early the summer, New York City prepared for new explosions of civil unrest on Election Day on Nov. 3. City stores, offices, residential buildings and restaurants boarded up windows or barricaded their doors in fear that election results could result in people taking to the streets. 

As of Nov. 6, there have been no widespread protests or marches in the city directly related to the outcome of the election, as the next president of the U.S. has not yet been declared. Below are photos spanning across Manhattan, from polling sites in Inwood at the island’s northern tip to the Trump International Hotel near the Fordham Lincoln Center campus to SoHo’s flagship stores downtown. 

These images capture how New York City looked the day of the historic election and how many of these locations still remain as Americans continue to wait for the final election results.

Greenwich Village

Bleecker Street Pizza with the windows boarded up and a patron eating a table outside
Some restaurants around the city, like Bleecker Street Pizza in Greenwich Village, remain open with their storefronts boarded up. (SOPHIE PARTRIDGE-HICKS)
A boarded up building with the phrase "From joy I became a fabulous opera" stickered on the boards
an apartment building with the first floor windows boarded
A button vendor in Washington Square Park with the Arch behind her
Buttons and magnets supporting Biden being sold in Washington Square Park just before election day. (SOPHIE PARTRIDGE-HICKS)

Inwood and Marble Hill

a line of voters waits outside a door
Inwood voters in line to cast their ballots on the morning of election day. (ESMÉ BLEECKER-ADAMS)
a sign that reads "do not wait in line to drop off your absentee ballot. Ballot box inside"
a sign on chain-link fence that reads "Vote Here"


a ladder stands on the sidewalk as boards are put up on the windows of a Cartier store
Many of the luxury stores that line Fifth Avenue were making preparations to protect their stores in the event of riots or protests. (ANDREW DRESSNER)
workers putting boards on BlancPain
Workers on Fifth Avenue construct what is necessary to try to protect the glass fronts of many retailers. (ANDREW DRESSNER)
one worker holds a board while another stands on a ladder with a drill
Bed, Bath, & Beyond with a boarded up storefront covered in branded posters for the store
the storefront of Saks Fifth Avenue entirely covered in black boards
Saks Fifth Avenue is famous for their elaborate window displays, especially around holiday time. The windows are now boarded up just before election day. (ANDREW DRESSNER)
workers erect a fence in front of the Apple store
The Apple store set up a protective fence around its famous glass entrance. (ANDREW DRESSNER)
barriers and police cars in front of Trump Tower
Trump Tower has the same defenses up as always. In addition, the NYPD has increased police presence around the neighboring streets. (ANDREW DRESSNER)
anti-trump protesters with signs reading "Dissent" and "Trump disgraces the presidency daily". One protester is dressed like Ruth Bader Ginsburg
Anti-Trump protestors across 5th Avenue from Trump Tower. Behind them are large NYPD trucks set up for crowd control in the event of post-election unrest. (ANDREW DRESSNER)
Radio City Music Hall seen from the street with boards on the windows
The iconic Radio City Music Hall boarded up and barricaded its doors even though it has been closed since the beginning of the pandemic. (ANDREW DRESSNER)
police officers stand in the street on Central Park West with a fence blocking traffic to the street and police cars lining the sides
The Trump International Hotel in Columbus Circle has its Eighth Avenue entrance blocked off to cars and guarded by police. (ANDREW DRESSNER)


the boarded up REI store in Soho with a purple NYU flag flying above
Stores around SoHo like REI, Adidas and Lululemon have boarded up their windows for protection against protestors. (ETHAN COUGHLIN)
the Adidas store with its first floor windows entirely covered with boards
the Lululemon store boarded up
the UNIQLO store with boards on the windows and doors but with the door open for customers to come in
UNIQLO and other stores remain open despite the protective coverings on the windows. (ETHAN COUGHLIN)
the store LIVE! with boards on the windows
the Nudie Jeans Repair Shop with boards on the windows and posters advertising a Youtube show put up
a pickup truck with the back filled with boards and ladders parked on the street
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About the Photographers

Sophie Partridge-Hicks is the editor-in-chief of The Observer. A senior at Fordham Lincoln Center, she is double majoring in anthropology and Middle Eastern studies and minoring in journalism. Sophie interned for WNBC’s Investigations Unit and is the former news editor. She is originally from London, England.

ESMÉ BLEECKER-ADAMS, Fun & Games Editor and Assistant Photo Editor

Esmé Bleecker-Adams, FCLC ’21, is a visual arts major and (oh-so-jaded) New Yorker who is incredibly grateful for her time at The Observer and for all the lovely people she has met there! Favorite hobbies include sewing, playing table tennis and ignoring her alarm clock.

ANDREW DRESSNER, Former Photo Editor

Andrew Dressner (he/him), FCLC ’23, is a former photo editor at The Observer and is majoring in natural science on the pre-med track. Outside of The Observer, Andrew loves taking photos, is an EMT and enjoys rock climbing.

GILLIAN RUSSO, Online Editor

Gillian “Gil” Russo, FCLC ’21, is one of The Observer’s virtual vanguards — er, online editors. Previously, she worked as the arts & culture editor and one of the inaugural newsletter editors. Gil is a journalism major/theatre minor who had hoped to write just one Broadway show review before graduation, and although that didn’t happen, she did achieve her new goal to do at least one thing for all 15 divisions of The Observer by then. Other fun facts include that she enjoys dancing and sword-fighting, she can say the alphabet backwards, and she modeled for a French chair catalog one time.

ETHAN COUGHLIN, Arts & Culture Editor

Ethan Coughlin, Fordham College at Lincoln Center ’22, serves as an editor of the arts & culture section. Ethan is studying film and television as well as visual arts. Originally from Maryland, Ethan can often be found exploring the city. He enjoys going to the movies, listening to music and, most of all, cheering for Manchester United.

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