Photographs from the city that is hosting the 2016 Democratic National Conventionby Sam Tanenhaus / July 26, 2016 / Leave a comment
Scroll down to see the pictures that Tanenhaus took to accompany this piece, along with several pictures he has taken since then
The story of the 2016 election, we’ve been told for more than a year now, is a story of disconnection—between party chieftains and grassroots activists, between “establishment” candidates and and restive voters, between the “elite” (king-making “donors,” media pundits, professors and “professional historians”) and the unruly citizenry, the super rich “one per cent” and “the struggling middle class.”
It’s all true, but it’s just a glimmer of the truth, which exists all around us, and you can see, hear, touch, and smell it in the two cities the parties chose for their conventions this summer. You don’t see it on TV—by “you” I mean us, America’s living room spectators—but to walk the streets this week in Philadelphia is to see the country and the people the Democrats say they are here to represent and “fight for.” America is one of the wealthiest nations in the world—on balance, probably, the wealthiest in human history—but it teems with the poor (47 million as Bernie Sanders reminded us last night), the overlooked, the forgotten. Many live beyond the reach and also, by choice, beyond the claims of politics.
Here are pictures I took on my iPhone just blocks from the downtown convention center where media folk like me come to get our “credentials” each day. Not the main conventional hall. It’s a giant sports arena (basketball, ice hockey) surrounded by acres of parking lots. This venue is downtown, near the bus station, Chinatown—streets with nail salons, taxi drivers desperate for fares (“C’mon buddy, take a cab,”) shirtless men (the heat is excruciating), customers in nail salons.