It was one of the largest rallies in a campaign full of them, as what Sen. Bernie Sanders’s campaign claimed to be more than 27,000 people crowded into Washington Square Park to hear the candidate speak. The presidential candidate, joined by his wife Jane, seemed taken by emotion when he saw the size of the gathering.
“Jane and I left New York City when we were kids – it is great to be back,” said Sanders.
The venue, with the candidate framed under the iconic 124-year-old marble arch, resonated with the history of American protest. It had been packed before for gay rights rallies, anti-war marches, and protests after the death of a black Staten Island man named Eric Garner at the hands of the NYPD.
Rival Hillary Clinton was far uptown and in a far different neighborhood Wednesday. She held a rally in Co-Op City, the huge 1970s cooperative housing development in the Bronx that is home to immigrants from nearly every continent. There were no famous faces apart from her own, and a public school chorus singing the national anthem was the only live entertainment.