Archive for the ‘Inaugural’

Inauguration blues

January 07, 2009 By: dcgrrl Category: DC, Inaugural, Inauguration, Obama, Washington

I wrote a while back about how disappointing the Inauguration can be for Washingtonians.
The Inauguration: Welcome to the District of Clusterfu@%

The sad thing is, every time I get more excited, something happens to let me down. There are now nearly 100 balls scheduled, starting on the Saturday before the Inauguration. Yes. A full three nights before the actual Inaugural ceremony, there will be balls. Washington will have more balls than a stud farm.

I was very excited to get my Inaugural ball invitation. Wow! Then I got a second. And a third. Now Obama has sent a couple of invitations that rely on essay contests. What is this, a college application? Then I got two more invitations to “Grassroots” balls, thrown by Obama’s fund-raising crews. Aren’t those the folks that should get the invitations to the official balls?

When you get down to brass tacks, the event itself, the Inauguration, will be the MAIN EVENT. And that’s going to be in the cold morning, likely accented by a harsh wintry mix. That’s what the weather man calls it when it’s raining and snowing at the same time. If you want to witness the Main Event, then you have to wait through some prayers and speeches and put up with a few million of your fellow citizens stepping on your muddy toes.

BUT – you will feel what it is like to be one of the huddled masses yearning to breathe free! You will hear, with your own ears, thanks to the hard work of some very talented sound engineers, (including my own dear brother-in-law), a real historic event. One of the largest feats of sound engineering ever.

I mean, the first African-American to take the oath of office to become President of the United States.

And as you pass out in a hotel lobby, waiting in line for hot chocolate at the Starbucks counter, you will be glad you came to Washington. Please tip your barista. She had to figure out how to get to work early.

The Inauguration: Welcome to the District of Clusterfu@%

December 05, 2008 By: dcgrrl Category: america, DC, Inaugural, Inauguration, Obama, Washington

I have faith in our President-elect. Really, I do. I trust him, and his new administration, and I sort of trust the Presidential Inaugural Committee, but I’ve been in Washington for a long time, and I’m starting to feel the same old familiar doormat feeling. Welcome to your Nation’s Capital! Ouch! That’s my toe! And hey, stop crowding the Metro, I need that to get to work!

  • Inaugural planners have announced that the entire Mall will be open for spectators to be within history-making distance of Senators Obama and Biden as they take their oaths of office on January 20, 2009.
  • There are already dozens of Inaugural Balls and Galas planned for Tuesday and Monday night to celebrate the event.
  • Aretha Franklin is playing at the Kennedy Center, and if that’s not enough to create a mob of divas, she’s playing for FREE.
  • Diva alert #2: Oprah is landing at the Kennedy Center during Inaugural week, too.
  • In the highly annoying category, D.C. bars will be open until 5 a.m., so as I head home from work, they will party on. And perhaps as I get up for work, they will be heading home.
  • Meanwhile, Metro will be running at peak capacity, with many escalators turned off, for 15 hours. Tell me there won’t be an “incident” that causes a delay. I dare you.

All of this fun, and at my office, Inauguration Day is NOT a holiday. I had been thinking about taking the day off to celebrate the Obamanon, but what to do? Camp out for a good seat on the parade route? Fight the crowds to be one of the million on the Mall? So I can see our proud brown dot on the white marble staircase? When I see all these tourists (I know, you are Americans, too) littering our fair city, staring at Metro maps and wearing fanny packs, I don’t know if I want to be trampled, or frozen, into the American ice sculpture. I could see and hear it all better from the TV at work, and get paid doing it.

But there’s the next dilemma. If I try to get to my downtown DC office to get paid watching the Inauguration on TV, I STILL have to go through all the crowds and hassle. I won’t be able to drive to work, because I work a short distance from the parade route. Roads will be closed. Chances are garages will be full. I will still have to ride the subway to work with the elated Inaugural masses and probably give directions all the way. (Because Washingtonians are friendly like that.)

Some readers may laugh at my quandry. At least I don’t have to pay for a hotel in the area, if I could find one.

It’s just that the rest of the year, we hear the motorcade coming, we pause in our travels, and if it’s the President – Washingtonians know how to tell – we glance at each other and nod, “Hm, he must just be back from Kyoto.” We know how to deal with Presidents in D.C.

But this one, grand, celebratory day, the REST of the country is invited to come by and make a big fuss of things. It would be so much simpler if it was a nice, quiet tea party somewhere in Georgetown, but we did ask for Change, didn’t we?

I’m thinking that somebody sent out too many invitations for our little garden party, but luckily I’m not in charge of baking the cupcakes or ordering the folding chairs. Change is good, but scary. And I’m a bit scared that some flowerbeds may get trampled.

So, America, if you’re visiting your Nation’s Capital for the Inauguration, welcome to Washington. Please consider your hosts. Wipe your feet before you come in. Try not to litter. Ask for directions. We really are glad you came. Really.

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