Archive for the ‘Old Categories’ Category

Inauguration Coverage: Carmel, IN

Here’s my view:

I must say, it looks cold, cramped, crowded and awfully headache-y to be on the mall today.

And I sort of wish I stayed for it…

Good luck brave troopers and Inaugurites, I look forward to your making history on my TV.

Inauguration 2009: Obama’s First Flight

I’ll try and post my adventures from yesterday tomorrow- but to celebrate the eve of Inauguration I wanted to share with all of you this cool clip of Obama’s first flight on Air Force One (thanks to my friends over at Nat Geo for cutting and providing us with the clip.)

i thought it was really interesting that on his first flight he orders a cheeseburger- he’s so average joe!

Obama’s first flight on Air Force One

A Few Comments On The Inaugural Concert

We Are One concert courtesy of Flickr user Michael Foley Photography via Creative Commons

"We Are One concert" courtesy of Flickr user Michael Foley Photography via Creative Commons

Some of you may have noticed that my V-log of the Inaugural Concert never finished. As planned a large group of people (probably 20 of us) arrived at 19th & Constitution at about 5:30am. By that time about 200-300 people were in line, all of whom seemed to be fresh off the party. We waited in line until about 8am, the time that the gates were supposed to open, in the freezing cold. By that time, teams of army infantrymen and SWAT police were arriving and setting up camp along the perimeter of the National Mall and in the security tents through which every visitor would be required to pass. Another hour went by before the park opened, and pandemonium broke loose. Moving through the security tent was quick; all that was required to pass through was that our jackets be open and that our bags be placed on a table for a quick look by the personnel stationed there.

Waiting In The Cold courtesy of Flickr user afagen via Creative Commons

"Waiting In The Cold" courtesy of Flickr user afagen via Creative Commons

When the crowd exited the security tents it was a five minute dash across the Mall to the Reflecting Pool, where people rushed to the front and tried to stake their space. My group was in the front row along the barrier- our long wait was worth it. Throughout the morning, the area filled in all the way back to the Washington Monument. Everyone was literally shoulder to shoulder and tempers flaired occasionally when people tried to expand their space by sitting down and occasionally laying down. All in all it was a very boring wait between 9am and 11am, which was monotonous except for a few sound checks.

Unfortunately, one of the people in my party had a few unexpected seizures in a row just after 11. The army infantrymen and crowd control police nearby rushed in to help, parting the masses quickly and carrying him off hammock-style on a blanket. As they moved through the crowd towards the barrier, the crowd closed ranks so quickly that those of us who were with the friend with the seizure could not follow. It took us almost an hour to work our way out to Constitution Avenue again, stepping on a lot of people and starting a lot of heated arguments accidentally along the way. Once we had worked our way out of the crowd, we found a triage tent, where the medics on duty were helpful in pointing us to the Georgetown University Hospital, where our friend had been taken.

Photo courtesy of Alex Johnson

Photo courtesy of Alex Johnson

Those of you who were anywhere in the vicinity of the National Mall yesterday know that all the roads in the area were closed off by infantry units. A humvee was parked at each intersection spanning an area of at least five blocks in every direction of the mall and maybe more in some areas. Infantrymen in groups of four or more per intersection blocked off traffic and facilitated the massive amount of pedestrian traffic. Sufficed to say that getting to Georgetown University was a nightmare. From Constitution Avenue we made the trek through Foggy Bottom to the George Washington University Hospital. At first we wondered why our friend hadn’t been taken there, but it was explained to us that GW Hospital had been set aside as a mass casualty unit for the worst case scenario; I’m sure that Barack Obama would also have been able to find a bed if anything had happened as well.

Traffic finally resumed at Washington Circle Park (the intersection of K, Pennsylvania, 23rd, and New Hampshire). There we were able to hail a cab, but we sat in traffic for what must have been an hour on Pennsylvania and M. It turns out that our friend was alright. The seizures were determined to be random, and he is in the process of recovery in his own bed.

From the sound of it, the concert was unbelieveable. As we returned to Foggy Bottom late in the afternoon we were able to hear Barack Obama’s voice booming throughout the neighborhood. People were still streaming towards the Mall, though they were fighting the tide of those on their way out. Later in the evening I had the opportunity to watch the Concert on HBO, which turned out to be even closer up than the spot we had abandoned earlier in the day. Though that was a nice consolation prize, I still look forward to more success on Inauguration Day.

Inauguration 2009: Weekend of Destruction Day 1

I almost feel like the CNN team with all the Inaugural posting we have going on right now. DC Metblogs certainly has things covered with our team captain Anthony throwing parties at midnight in order to stay up and try and get to today’s concert. We also have Metblogs creator Sean in town who’s also chiming in with his perspective.

That also means that I won’t be remaining quiet this weekend, in fact I’ve already declared my weekend a “Weekend of Destruction.” That means every day til Wednesday will probably be a day I will rock out- leading to a destruction of my health, morals, and what little social life I had to begin with. It only makes sense I declare this a Weekend of Destruction- after all DC is technically in a state of emergency.

So let me share with you my nightlife last night.

While DC has been pretty satisfied with the extended bar hours, the crowds are only starting to come out. On my way to Dupont Circle the metro was packed from the Caps game that just ended however I did see a lot more suitcases than usual in my crowded car. I also noticed that there were a whole lot of tour buses dropping folks off when I got to Dupont.

The Big Hunt was terribly crowded but I was out pretty early at the point- the crowds grew as the hour approached midnight- luckily there was still a whole lot more nightlife to go.

I met up with some friends at Columbia Heights house party which was ok but the keg was kicked soon after my arrival and my crew and I were soon walking over to The Wonderland Ballroom which would of been cool since I’ve never been there but when we arrived we found out they were one of the unlucky ones that decided not to go for the late night license.

That reminds me, make sure you check out the Washington Post’s list of bars open late so you don’t make the same mistake we did.

We ended up grabbing a taxi over to U-Street where Local 16 was finishing up a priviate Inaugural party on their deck (it looked really nice all tented and heated.)

It was great being able to stay out til 4 AM last night- what I didn’t like was trying to get a taxi to get myself back into Virginia. It appears that a few cabs that we stopped didn’t want to leave The District. Concerns over security? Did anyone else encounter this?

Well today should be a little more chill- unlike Anthony I won’t be heading out to the concert but I will be enjoying the Ravens/Steelers game tonight and maybe try out another neighborhood.

Inauguration 2009: Operation Celtic Renegade Is In Effect

Right now I’m going to say I’d rather get up late, walk to my TV or go to a watch party, and enjoy the ceremony. To me it looks like a hassle to even try and get into town.

Those were the words I wrote in my last post, as I decided at the time I wouldn’t try to go on the mall.

However something funny happened. I made the decision confident that I was falling into the position held by many other of my friends. However upon talking with them on Inaugural plans I found out that I am actually one of the few. All my friends know the risks and perils but still intend on giving it the old college try on Tuesday. (more…)

Nancy Pelosi’s Cat Cam Capers

It appears that Nancy Pelosi is taking a page from Barney Cam and posted a video on her YouTube channel that appears to be a cute video of her cats in the Capitol– I urge everyone to check it out for the pleasant surprise at the end.

After watching the short video I have to say that she may be the hippest Speaker of the House ever.

Inauguration 2009: Escape From Virginia

Remember that movie The Siege? The one with Danzel Washington and that guy from Monk?

Well a scene I’ll always remember from that film is the part where crazy Bruce Willis seals off NYC and puts troops on the bridge. Well right now I feel like one of the New Jersey people looking in. Hey at least I’m not one of the crazy people caught up in the mess just past that bridge.

Well as I write this a week from Inauguration I realized I’ve been writing about the big event however I have still not yet thought through my own plans for the weekend, which is only a few days away!

Ok well allow me to think out loud as I fill you in on the latest news.

So let’s approach Inauguration from a weekend standpoint. It’s going to be a crazy long weekend from Friday – Tuesday. Unfortunately I have a hot date with a play I’m helping to stage manage on Friday and Saturday morning, so my weekend starts that night. (more…)

Package delivery hazards, and being a city mouse

Props to joezilagyi on Flickr

Props to joezilagyi on Flickr

I guess I understand why FedEx offers this service; “real” FedEx is aimed at delivery to offices during the business day.  But then FedEx began contracting out Home Delivery (not without issues) for online orders to folks who are not often home during the day.

I find it interesting that FedEx recently changed its ad campaign from Relax, It’s FedEx to We Understand.  But I don’t think they understand the differences between home delivery to country mice and city mice.  Case in point was delivery this morning of a rug ordered online.

9:55 am: Loud knock at the door.
9:56 am: I open the door and am almost beaned by a rolled-up rug falling at my face.   The guy driving the Penske rental van (illegally parked across the street) calls out “Sorry!” as he gets in and drives away.  I drag the 60-pound package into the house.
9:58 am: I check the FedEx tracking website to see that the package was left “on the porch”.

Okay, I live in a rowhouse in the densest urban neighborhood in DC.  I do not have a “porch”, I have two cast-iron steps outside my front door, which I don’t even own.  No one in their right mind should leave a package at my door.  Right.

And so I will rant briefly about being a responsible online-orderer in the city, which includes:

  • planning accordingly for when one is home to answer the door and when one is not
  • getting to know one’s regular FedEx, UPS, and USPS delivery professional
  • knowing one’s neighbors and relying on one another to get accept packages

I won’t add “expecting a delivery person to be able to read a note taped to the door”, because that’s been kind of hit or miss.  </rant>

Inauguration 2009: Inaugural Parade Bleacher Seats On Sale Today

"Down Pennsylvania Avenue" courtesy Flickr user brmurray

You don’t need a ticket to stand on the sidewalk and watch the Inaugural Parade but if you are interested in some of the bleacher seats you’ve seen being built along the streets of DC your chance to get a ticket is NOW!

The Presidential Inaugural Committee will sell 5,000 tickets for at 1:00 PM EST today. The tickets will be $25 each on Ticketmaster.com or by phone at 202-397-SEAT(7328), 410-547-SEAT(7328) or 703-573-SEAT(7328).  Tickets will be distributed on a first come, first serve basis. There will be a limit to four tickets per person.

If you are lucky enough to get tickets you must be in your seats by 1:00 PM on January 20th.

Now we’ve all heard of concert tickets selling out in minutes- how fast do you think these tickets will go? I predict the tickets will be sold out at 1:05 PM today after Ticketmaster crashes at 12:47 PM today.

Rhee To Discuss Student Disciplinary Policy With Public

Michelle Rhee by Flickr user angela n.

"Michelle Rhee" by Flickr user angela n. via Creative Commons

Michelle Rhee has turned heads since becoming Chancellor of Schools in DC. Her unorthodox policies such as weakening tenure power, firing hundreds in the public school system, evaluating teachers in person, and paying students for good grades have been featured in Time Magazine and here on Metblogs. Rhee is now rolling out her new student disciplinary policies, geared towards keeping children in school and instructing constructively through appropriate consequence. She is holding three public forums to discuss these new policies.

Forums (via NBC DC)

So far I’m a believer in Michelle Rhee. The problems in DC are drastic, and drastic problems call for drastic measures. She has a forceful personality; she prioritizes on the spot and makes difficult decisions that ruffle a lot of feathers. Since I have not experienced Rhee in person yet, I will attend one of these forums, either on January 13th or 28th. The changes that are happening in the DC school system will have long term impacts on the local culture. Everyone in the DC area should be a part of these changes.

Take a look at this video at Time.com. If you have time read the article too. Enjoy this quote from the article, courtesy of Time Magazine.

“We’re in Washington, D.C., in the nation’s capital, and yet the children of this city receive an education that every single citizen in this country should be embarrassed by.” -Michelle Rhee

Terms of use | Privacy Policy | Content: Creative Commons | Site and Design © 2009 | Metroblogging ® and Metblogs ® are registered trademarks of Bode Media, Inc.