Tuesday Jan 20th is Inauguration-- but for me, it starts Saturday the 17th as I board a Lucky Star Bus and head for NYC.
On Sunday, my sister, her friends and I start on a roadtrip to Washington DC, to catch a pre-Inauguration concert and speech.
Above: Naomi, Tamarra and Kelly. We arrive to catch the end of the Sunday concert and listen to Obama give a speech.
Below: Get your official Inaugural mouspads!
One the many, many vendors selling Obama/Inauguration paraphernalia. Nothing, nothing was beyond being made into Inauguration merchandise.
Above: Naomi, Kelly, and Tamarra.... every weekend, they knocked on doors, campaigning for Obama. Through campaign or statespeople connections, they were able to get silver Inauguration tickets, and were near the front of the crowd during the Inauguration ceremony on Tuesday.
Below, Lincoln memorial with Obama speaking.
The crowd departs for the evening.
I love large events, because I can walk down the middle of the street. (A lot of DC streets were closed off for Inauguration.)
Monday, I am staying with a big mix of cousins, family members and friends.
We make plans for the next day.
Interesting photo taken by Lizzie on Monday, at Dupont Circle:
Below: Tuesday, and Inauguration Day! I leave with a group of cousins and acquaintances around 9am.
The subways are surprisingly clear of crowds....
...Except, once the subway came closer to downtown, the train slowed to a crawl. It was announced that part of the delay was caused because "a passenger was hit by a train". Later, we heard the details: a woman had fallen into the tracks. However, a Houston Transit police officer jumped down and moved her and himself under the platform edge, and the train harmlessly rushed by. The woman had some injuries from falling, but both were fine.
Finally, we exit.
I promptly get lost from the group, and spend the next 10 minutes looking for them.
We find each other, and decide to exchange cell numbers. Then we start walking down to the national mall.
The ceremony begins. (We watch TV coverage on Jumbotrons, or large outdoor screen things)
Around noon, President Obama is officially sworn in!
Then the crowd becomes quiet, as Obama gives his Inaugural speech.
Shortly after Obama's speech, we begin exiting the National Mall.
Or at least, we try to.
We get caught in a mob of people, and run into a dead end.... we can't get out of the National Mall.
Below -- Porta Potty Party!
They shouted helpful things like, "Go left! You can get out if you move left!"
Speaking of which, below: photograph by my cousin Lizzie.
Lizzie was working as a volunteer during the start of the ceremony, and somehow ended up at the front of the mob. At one point, the mob started pushing down a fence in an attempt to get out. But other people started yelling at the mob for doing that, so the mob stopped. (A peaceful sort of mob, as mobs go?)
Still, Lizzie had enough. She climbed up the nearest tree to take a breather.
Meanwhile, back on the people still trapped in the mob. Us. We were getting king of squashed.
Andy W. began shouting, "Soylent Green is made of People!"
I added, "Let's go Red Socks?"
And then, there was a murmur running through the crowd. People were pointing at something in the sky.
I think it was Former President Bush, leaving on a heli.
We finally get out of the squashed mob, and join the huge crowd that is exiting the National Mall.
Or (again) trying to exit.
What the -- A wall? But we aren't Americans for nothing. Measley concrete walls do not stop a crowd of Americans. (Or really, anyone else.)
Below: finally walking out, up 18th Street.
And that evening, Naomi, our various aquaintances and I all met up and drove back to NYC. The next day, I caught a Fung Wah bus back to Boston.
I guesss I should close with this:
The small button in the center has Obama and Martin Luther King. Also pictured: one snazzy National Park Service button.
(The "Barack to the Future" button has the wrong year... Several people have voiced their opinion that somehow it means Obama can time travel.)