January 15, 2009

inauguration

as you might imagine, the inauguration is a BIG FREAKING DEAL around these parts. they're closing all the major highways in VA inside the beltway; they're closing every bridge into the city from VA; you won't be able to drive through the heart of downtown; the metro is opening at 4am. how to get around, how many people are actually going to show up, what each person's plans for the day are, if we'll even be able to get onto the metro, whether people have to go to work... it's discussed many, many times a day, between friends, coworkers, on the radio, on the news. there are maps, tips, survival guides, suggestions to get the hell out of dodge. but no matter your feeling on the incoming president, or the inauguration itself, everyone in the area is being affected by the goings on this tuesday.

i get the impression that the prevailing mindset for most locals is of the "get out of dodge / lock yourself inside your house for the day" variety. people don't want to deal with the crowds, the traffic, the tourists, the drunkards (did i mention they're keeping the bars open extra late next week?). which i totally get. i mean, in theory. because i feel the exact opposite.

i am SO EXCITED to be downtown on tuesday. a lot of people have the day off already; i'm taking vacation time so i can make my way downtown. my original plan was to try to metro into the city, and if the metros were too crowded, walk across one of the bridges and make it in that way. i've been saved from that, however, because a friend has offered up her VERY CONVENIENTLY LOCATED apartment (10 blocks from the capitol!).. so my friends and i will crash there monday night, and then see how close we can get the next morning. ideally, i just want to be on or near the national mall for his speech. they're rigging the mall with jumbotrons and speakers, so if you can get to the mall, you should be able to get in on the action. that's the hope, anyway.

but.. man. i want to be with hundreds of thousands - possibly millions, if the estimates are to be believed - of other people who are excited about this. who don't mind waking up early and standing for several hours in horrible cold weather just for the opportunity to be THERE, be right at the capitol, when obama gives his first speech as president. i want to feel the thrill of the crowd, the mutual excitement. i want to see the beaming upturned faces as everyone watches him on the screens. i want to see the elderly black ladies weeping because they never thought they'd see this day come. i want to see the pride in peoples' eyes, knowing they helped make this happen. i want to be part of the cheering throngs. i want to be IN IT. i can't wait.

18 comments:

  1. makes me wish i was still in dc! if i can run in the cold, i would definitely be okay to witness a historic moment in the cold! change you can believe in :)

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  2. 1) That last paragraph gave me a chill and brought a tear to my eye. Given how much I cried the night of the election, I have a feeling I'll be best friends with a box of tissues next Tuesday.

    2) You best take that fancy camera of yours with you and share with those of us who cannot make it there!!!!

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  3. I am staying as far away from DC as possible. I hate crowds like that! haha

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  4. take lots of pictures!

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  5. You are brave for going down there on Tuesday. I wanted to at first, but I'm chickening out. It's WAY too cold. I also have this teeny fear I will be crushed by the crowds.

    Take pics!!

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  6. We just got a nasty nasty email from our IT director informing us very curtly that we cannt watch any streaming video of the inauguration. I'm taking the day off but it still filled me with rage.

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  7. I am with Nilsa, got chills on that last paragraph.

    I am also very excited. This time next week we will be engulfed in a new era and I couldn't be more excited!

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  8. The last paragraph gave me goosebumps and made me a little weepy, too. OMG how exciting!!! I can't wait to hear every minute detail.

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  9. Exciting! Can't wait to hear how it goes!

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  10. I considered it, but it takes me 2 hours to get there on a good day! Also, I have 4 kiddos and I hate crowds (why do I live here?) AND it's going to be freakin' cold. Still? I'll be sitting in front of my TV crying right along with those elderly black women.
    TAKE PICTURES, PLEASE!!
    DH has to work, all hands on deck, because it is a hospital, and also because the civilians have the day off (Federal Holiday within DC) but active duty aren't allowed to take leave. He's prepared to sleep in his office if necessary.

    Have a great time! Take pictures!
    I'll be glued to the TV.

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  11. You need to go and then blog about it with pictures. I had reasons but I missed the gathering in Grant Park on election night. Would have been cool to see.

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  12. So jealous! I'm with you. Despite the inevitable madness, if you're right there, you cannot miss this. You'd never forgive yourself if you didn't witness it. Go! And take pictures! :-)

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  13. I think it's an awesome opportunity to see history in the making. I hope you enjoy yourself.

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  14. That is sweet! So jealous here, I'll be watching from up in Canada. Be sure to take pics and write one awesome post about it - I'll be thinking of you down there, experiencing history!

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  15. Alice,you are making me re-think my stance, darn it!!
    I hate 2nd guessing myself.
    I've blogged about it this afternoon, and written on facebook, and I'm still up-in-the-air. People far away often say GO, but I haven't found anyone to go WITH who lives here, including my own children. I need to make a choice by Sunday morning (option for 2 free tickets to ride one way inbound on the MARC).

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  16. I'm going to be at work - but I know we're going to be watching it online from the office.

    Have fun! I can't imagine what the energy will be like!

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  17. I am so excited that you will BE THERE! And I am so excited to know a DC blogger so I can read all about it! :)

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