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Highs and Lows in a Small Town on Election Day

• November 07, 2012 • 5:44 PM

I could barely contain my frustration last night when I went to El Paseo restaurant to join the local Santa Barbara Democrats (Lois Capps spoke to her supporters, as did the state senate winners). No one had thought to connect the speakers to be able to hear President Obama’s acceptance speech. More frustrating: a good many of the people in the room didn’t seem to mind. Strong feelings about living in a bubble ran through me—but best leave those unsaid.

And then today I took a quick walk down State Street, a block from the PS offices, and melodies—jazz, blues, ragtime—faded in and out, block by block. Turns out it is Pianos on State, a “collaborative musical experiment,” which runs November 1 through the 12th. Pianos have been placed up and down the street, each about two blocks from the next—if that. The week includes both professional pop-up performances, and plenty of time for amateurs to tickle the ivories when the bench is empty. At every piano I walked by, someone was kicking out sweet sounds. And it was a lovely break from election news.

Give and take, I suppose. Give and take.

Maria Streshinsky
Maria Streshinsky is the editor of Pacific Standard, and was formerly the managing editor of The Atlantic in Washington, D.C. She spent two years working at the U.S. Department of the Interior.

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