We all know Washington, DC is a city that likes to drink and party. Add The President and you have a good reason to grab a tux or gown and brave the cold. That’s what many of our We Love DC crew did as they hit up the Official and Unofficial parties celebrating the Inauguration of Barack Obama. Here’s what they saw and heard.
Four years ago I trudged down to The Mall and stood in the cold to see Barack Obama get sworn in as President of the United States of America. This time around I avoided The Mall and checked out the Inaugural Parade instead. I still ended up waiting outside in the cold but it wasn’t that bad.
Read on for lots of photos from the parade route.
This Saturday, February 20, at 6pm, the Lincoln Theatre will host a FREE, one-time screening of Marching Band, a documentary that captures the spirit of the 2008 Presidential election through the young and talented students of the University of Virginia and Virginia State marching bands.
While the film centers around the Obama campaign, politics is not the focal point. The film really tells the story of these two collegiate marching bands, the kids who love playing music and marching, and their experiences of the change facing their country and themselves. Continue reading
The Glenn Beck/FreedomWorks 9/12 DC Taxpayer Rally was on Saturday, with conservative Tea Party activists congregating in Washington to protest various things like healthcare reform, federal taxation, government deficit spending, and the President being a Stalinist Nazi Fascist Kenyan Hitler. They drew a healthy-sized crowd, by many accounts much larger than the 30,000 names registered online by FreedomWorks. DCFD estimates are said to be in the 50,000-70,000 range.
Given these numbers it seemed a bit unrealistic for a much-cited article from the right-wing Daily Mail to claim “up to two million.” This AP photo does show an impressive crowd gathered from the edge of the Capitol Lower Terrace to just west of East Capitol Circle/1st St NW/SW, filling up the entire Capitol lawn:
‘Fresh & Frozen’
courtesy of ‘M.V. Jantzen’
Obama hit the Del Ray creamery (well, custard-er-ry, or whatever you call it) Dairy Godmother this afternoon. Good thing I snuck in last weekend for the Bordeaux Cherry, ’cause after seeing what happened to Ray’s Hell Burgers, lord knows Dairy Godmother will be a packed house for the rest of the summer.
Dairy Godmother tweets “President Obama and his daughters just left. Pres. had a hot fudge sundae and daughters had vanilla cone and brownie sundae with sprinkles.” and “Malia had a brownie sundae with a housemade brownie, van.custard, hot fudge, whipped cream and cherry. Then she gave her whipped cream to dad.”
Happy Father’s Day, Mr. President.
He’s just twelve hours older than the presidency he’s named after, but the Ringling Brothers’ newest Elephant calf is named Barack. While the President might rather have a few donkeys named after him rather than the traditional mascot of the Republican Party, it’s nice to see another endangered species add some numbers to their herd.
I suppose you could make some sort of joke about similarities in parentage, as currently, the Elephant Center isn’t sure which of their donors was the father just yet.
But that would be in poor taste. So we won’t make that joke.
Click through this link for the most amazing full-screen high resolution picture of the inauguration. It’s incredibly entertaining, plus you can play fun games like “find Beyonce” and “I didn’t know W had a side table!”. Plus, if you were lucky enough to have a seat up close, you’ll be able to play the most fun game of all – “find me!”
So the Balls have (mostly) come and gone, but I think it’s still worth sharing advice of what I did right, what I did wrong, and what I wouldn’t do again when it comes to Inaugural Balls. Continue reading
Leaving work yesterday, I walked up Massachusetts to Union Station, and wound up pushing my way through a barrage of Obama swag, and screaming sellers. One seller was on his cell phone telling another person “come down here, there are tons more people here!”
I was offered a poster of shirtless Obama, a 2009 Obama calendar, first family mouse pad, and more tee shirts than Joey wore when he was being Chandler. There was everything, literally EVERYTHING I could want with Obama’s face (though I didn’t spot the coveted Obama Flip Flops). There was a woman pushing a walker trying to sell tees 4 for $20, and another guy hawking the hard-to-find WaPo election day paper.
Did anyone else experience this crazy Obama-market? And I swear I read somewhere (can’t remember!) that street sellers were going to have to cease selling Obama’s image on everything – cookies, money, vanity plates – after the election. Does anyone else remember that?
In case you were under a rock yesterday, we had us an Inauguration yesterday. Our 44th President was sworn in on the steps of the Capitol while an estimated two million people witnessed it and the following parade.
Our prolific area photographers were out in force yesterday; many of them you’ll recognize from prior visits to the Flashback. I encourage you to check out our Flickr feed, as all but one of the following shots came from it. And for images around the world, check out a special Flickr section that features some great shots taken by photographers outside our Beltway.
Many, many thanks to our regular pool contributors; you guys made my job extremely hard today with all the great photos. Keep it up!
With most of Union Station’s Grand Hall reserved for tonight’s inaugural ball, and the Metro station and rail concourse already packed to capacity, the crowd entering Union Station had to be divided into Metro, Amtrak, and MARC/VRE riders. Confusion reigned outside as the Columbus Circle road was closed off, forcing people to circle around sidewalks and fences and clumps of National Guard and MPD personnel.
How was it for you?
CNN is reporting that Senators Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Teddy Kennedy (D-MA) were both taken from the Luncheon at the Capitol (see, Kaspar, got that one right.) after suffering medical emergencies. CNN suggests that Senator Kennedy was having a seizure, and that it was unclear the extent of the medical difficulties that Sen. Byrd was experiencing.
585,281 people had ridden Metro as of 1pm today, which means we’ll probably eclipse the record some time around 7pm today, if my math is right. I would bet we’ll clear 1.3M people by the time that Metro closes tonight.
Update: The 4pm graphs are out for the Metro, and they’re up to 806,000 riders for the day. At 4pm. So, by now (5pm) it’s likely that record has been topped, and it’s probable that they’ll be well over 1.3M riders for the day.
There’s a Brand New WhiteHouse.gov this afternoon. The transition hit right as the clock struck noon, and the place is already pretty mobbed.
Congratulations, President Obama, and welcome to your new home. Today, it’s a new Capital, though all the streets are the same. The Wordle above is a representation of the prepared text of your First Inaugural Address, which I enjoyed deeply.
Here are the three paragraphs that we should all take to heart:
So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America’s birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:
“Let it be told to the future world…that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive…that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it].”
America. In the face of our common dangers, in this winter of our hardship, let us remember these timeless words. With hope and virtue, let us brave once more the icy currents, and endure what storms may come. Let it be said by our children’s children that when we were tested we refused to let this journey end, that we did not turn back nor did we falter; and with eyes fixed on the horizon and God’s grace upon us, we carried forth that great gift of freedom and delivered it safely to future generations.
As a friend of our twittered this afternoon, he spent $80 on 5 hours worth of parking for a meeting in Northwest DC. While supply & demand are certainly market forces at work in our fair town this week, I can certainly see this being a bad case of usury. Ouch!
Any other sky-high prices out there that you’ve seen? $6 for a Half Smoke at somewhere other than Nationals Park, perhaps? $40 for a sweatshirt at somewhere other than the Smithsonian Museums Gift shops?
While the major phone carriers are doing their best to support record cell phone traffic, I’ve already noticed that voice and data services are degrading by the minute.
Last night, AT&T’s data network for the iPhone was down, even up in Petworth. Some text messages were going out, but delayed by minutes to hours. Multimedia messages were held in queue until late in the night.
Today you’ll be lucky to get a cell phone call out. All my attempts are failing – I only get a fast busy signal at home. I figure the Mall is pretty much a black hole of lost communication attempts.
Next up in the Inaugupocalypse, children, spouses, and entire families lost for days on the Mall due to non-functional mobile phones.
We caught these ads last night at Gallery Place, and this big banner was part of a series of ads hawking bookcases and dressers and a big ol’ sale down at Ikea. I admire the timeliness of the ad, but I’ve got to ask: Did y’all really want to commercialize the Inauguration in such a way? Kinda creepy to use the peaceful transfer of power of a nation to sell cheap ass furniture.
But that’s just me, I guess.
The folks at Bold Progressives want you to know that there are some tickets you just shouldn’t have to buy. They’ll be raffling off Inauguration tickets this week, all you have to do is enter. Why free? Well, I’ll let them explain: “Because the inauguration shouldn’t only be enjoyed by those with tons of money. Everyday progressives who worked hard to elect Obama deserve a chance to enjoy the inauguration.”
So there you go. No ticket yet? Sign up!
Got a spare ticket that you can’t use? Get in touch with them, they’re looking for more tickets to add to their stack.