The biggest celebration in Southwest started around 11:30 p.m. with a handful of excitable smokers standing outside the CC Club at Lyndale Avenue and 26th Street.
Soon others joined them, from inside the bar, from the Bulldog bar across the street, from nearby apartments. A dozen. Two dozen. Three. Four. More.
They cheered. They hollered. They blew into kazoos and lit off firecrackers. They ran back and forth across the streets. Strangers hugged and shared smuggled drinks and waved Obama signs. They chanted, alternating between "Yes we can" and "O-ba-ma."
Passing cars honked. Some stopped in the middle of the intersection. One car drove past with people hanging out of every window—driver’s seat included—fists raised, cheering and whooping.
The celebration fed on itself, people on bikes and on foot stopped to participate or take photos or simply marvel at the crowd, which had grown to nearly 100 people.
At one point four squad cars arrived and eight weary-looking officers paced the street for a few minutes. One officer pleasantly informed gatherers to stop running in front of traffic, and then they all drove off.
Around 2 a.m., a carload of people arrived, parked their car, and blasted hip-hop music. People danced and jumped and sang along, altering lyrics at whim, mostly to things like "I love Obama."
Just past 3 a.m., long past bar close, the revelers drifted away, one by one, in pairs, into the night already transitioning to dawn.
Click here to listen to audio from the celebration.