Archive for December, 2008

Inauguration 2009: Should You Take The Obama Way Into Town?

"Acela train sign" courtesy of Flickr user Savannah Grandfather

"Acela train sign" courtesy of Flickr user Savannah Grandfather

We all know that Joe Biden takes the train from Wilmington to Washington DC every day– if you don’t then you’ve been living under a rock.

If you have been you’ve also missed a whole lot more than that.

If you haven’t read my friend’s post from yesterday it looks like President-Elect Obama is taking a page out of his running mate’s playbook. The Inauguration committee has just announced that Barack Obama and Joe Biden will kicking off the inauguration with a series of events being held in Philadelphia, Wilmington, and Baltimore. The two will travel by train and will end their pre-inaugural rock tour in Washington D.C. After all, there’s nothing like a little train ride to hype up the already hyped Inauguration. I do however like the idea of spreading Inauguration out beyond the borders of Washington D.C. I wonder if this means the millions of people that will descend upon D.C. this year will try and hit up Baltimore on their way down. They could use the support.

Whether or not you decide to follow Obama on tour before the Inauguration, the only place you can’t be before Inauguration is The Mall. Several Federal officials have announced that overnight camping will not be allowed on The Mall. Also if you are going to try and stake out a spot for the Parade you will not be allowed to do so until 7 AM that morning.

While we are talking about things we can’t do- I just found this Washington Post article that discusses transportation options around Inauguration. It’s a good guide to refer to for anyone thinking about coming out for the swearing in. I’m very disappointed to hear that bicycles will not be allowed within the security cordon that has yet to be determined. That was going to be my strategy for avoiding the Metro. It seems as if walking is the best way to get anywhere- even in and out of the city. I can see it now, a scene straight out of Cloverfield, thousands of people trying to find an open bridge to walk across to escape DC.

Obama To Pull An Epic Abe Lincoln

abe

"Lincoln Memorial (Washington DC)" by Flickr user ~MVI~

Obama will continue following the example of Abraham Lincoln; the two may be very different in terms of policy, but they match up pretty evenly in style. January 17th will feature a railway trip for the Obamas that will begin in Philadelphia and end in Washington DC. Like Lincoln, Obama will make stops for speeches and events in Philadelphia and Baltimore before arriving in the Capitol to begin Inaugural Festivities. One kick is that Obama will break from Lincolnian tradition by stopping in Wilmington, Deleware, to pick up Vice-President-Elect Joe Biden and family.

The Washington Post reports that the Obamas have not yet announced specific plans in any of the cities en route, but that city officials were making preparations for large crowds. Baltimore Mayor Sheila Jackson could call upon M&T Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, or Fort McHenry as potential locations for speeches by President-Elect Obama.

Once in DC Obama is expected to hold a major event on the National Mall, where he will appear in person on January 18th.

Such Thing as a Free Lunch (or at least a free side)

Some of you must have taken my advice and swung by Organic to Go in the last few months because the little joint is really taking off!  They are set to open their fourth DC area location at 1700 K St., NW and will be giving away treats to customers of the store this week.  What kinda free?  Well..

Monday, Dec. 15 – FREE Steaz beverage with any purchase

Tuesday, Dec 16 – FREE Half Sandwich with any soup purchase

Wednesday, Dec. 17 – FREE Honest Tea with any purchase

Thursday, Dec. 18 – FREE Side Salad with any sandwich or soup purchase

Friday, Dec. 19 – FREE Coffee, Espresso or Hot Tea from 6:30am-9:30am

In these tough, troubled and otherwise beleaguered economic times, I’m sure at least some DC MetBlog readers could use half a sandwich or a free cup of organic joe.

GW To Be Only University In Inaugural Parade

————————————————————————————————————

The George Washington University will be riding a float built by students in the Inaugural Parade for the first time since 1949, when they participated in Harry Truman’s Inaugural festivities. The float is designed to encompass GW’s various schools and colleges. Among the attractions on the float are a twelve foot inflatable globe that will be rotating six feet above the Elliot School of International Affairs section, a live stock ticker in the School of Business Section, students building a mini-Baja automobile in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences section, and live filming of the crowd on to an LCD monitor in the School of Media and Public Affairs section.

All in all, a group of 40+ students and administrators will be riding the float, joined by family members of the alumni who rode the GW float sixty years ago. The idea of the float is not only to represent The George Washington University, which is central to the political scene, but to represent higher education as a whole; GW is the only university in the country that will build and ride a float in the parade.

The GW application to the Joint Congressional Committee for Inaugural Festivities was supplemented by enthusiastic letters of support from alumns Senator Harry Reid and Congressman Robert Wechsler. “The application process could not have gone more smoothly,” according to GW Student Body President Vishal A. Aswani. “The upcoming Inauguration will be a momentous national occasion, and students here are thrilled that The George Washington University will play such a central role in the festivities.”

Congress Falling Short On Inauguration Security Costs

"Police at the United for Peace rally and march on Washington, DC" by Flickr user jcolman

Back in 2005, Congress allocated $17.5 million to cover the District’s security costs for the second Inauguration of George W. Bush. 300,000 people attended those festivities. Fast forward to 2009, January 20th to be exact, and D.C. could potentially face beyond 4 million guests for Inauguration. The only catch is that this time Congress has only allotted $15 million for security.

On an average day, residents and tourists in DC have to worry about the risks of living in a large city with high crime rates; only last night an 18 year old was stabbed in the chest with an ice pick at a Green Line Metro Station of all places and a 14 year old was stabbed as a possible result of MS-13 gang activity.

In the chaos that 4 million people will create by packing on to the National Mall, moving throughout the city, and taking the Metro will cause, security will have to be a priority for a litany of reasons. Simple personal safety, the safety of government officials, and national security only scratch the surface of the policing fiasco that sheer volume of people will usher into Washington.

There are many things that need to be cut back financially, but Inaugural security is not one of them, and Congress should know that.

Inauguration 2009: Renewing America’s Promise

"Inauguration" courtesy of Flickr user martinstelbrink

This week the Presidential Inaugural Committee announced the theme for next month’s Inauguration, “Renewing America’s Promise.“

In a press release sent to DC Metblogs this week President-Elect Obama comments that, “At this moment of great challenge and great change, renewing the promise of America begins with renewing the idea that in America, we rise or fall as one nation and one people.“

While the theme is kinda interesting, the real news I wanted to write about is the preliminary schedule that was also released this week (as released by the PIC):

Sunday, January 18th
The schedule of official inaugural activities will begin with a welcome event on Sunday afternoon that is open to the public.

Monday, January 19th – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
In 1994, to further commemorate a man who lived his life in service to others, Congress transformed the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday into a national day of community service.  To honor Dr. King’s legacy, the President-elect and Vice President-elect and their families, like Americans in communities all across the country, will participate in activities dedicated to serving others in communities across the Washington, D.C. area.

Tuesday, January 20th – Inauguration Day
The President-elect and Vice President-elect and their families will participate in the traditional inaugural ceremonies and events, including the swearing-in ceremony on the West Front of the United States Capitol, a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall, the 56th Inaugural Parade, and official Inaugural Balls.  Details about the Inaugural Balls will be released at a later date.

Wednesday, January 21st
The newly-inaugurated President and Vice President of the United States will participate in a prayer service.

I think the interesting note of the schedule is the Welcome event- as soon as more details get released on this event I can expect this event to get mobbed as people try and find someway to see the new President. Will this be an event on The Mall? Maybe Obama should take a page out of his convention playbook (and the Pope’s playbook) and hold an event at Nationals Stadium.

Also released this week was a list of organizations that will be participating in the parade. I heard on CNN that thousands of marching bands applied earlier in the year for the honor. You can look at the list that will be updated regularly on the committee’s website. Some of the notable to me include the local marching band from Howard University and the World Famous Lawn Rangers of Amazing Arcola- a weird named drill team that’s partied with Obama before.

For more information stay tuned to DC Metblogs and you can also head on over to the Washington Post who just created an “Inauguration Central” section of the site which includes a live webcam of the construction of stage in front of the Capital.

Don’t Drive Drunk

Don’t drink and drive also please wear your seat belt.

December is the most dangerous month when most of people get killed or life time injured by accidents.
I do not care where ever you go, when ever you go, we all know time location and our work all is important but think.
Is your life is not important ???
Your children are also important…
When you are at the driving seat, you are responsible of all people who are sitting with you, so tell them WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT OR GET OFF FROM THE CAR !!!!
Must View:
If I can wear it than why cant you ?
Seat Belt Picture by WK

Seat Belt Picture by WK

Lose Child in the car, this could be her last trip, she was making face when I took her picture, so cute to lose…

Lose Child - Picture by WK

Lose Child - Picture by WK

Can you feal the pain ?
Injured in Car Accident - Picture from Flickr

Injured in Car Accident - Picture from Flickr

Drive Slow in Winter.
Picture from Flickr

Picture from Flickr

This could be your future house for the life time, so the choise is yours, do you want to wear the seatbelt and drive safe or this bed is waiting for you.

Picture from Flickr

Picture from Flickr

In praise of the Ginkgo

props to avlxyz on flickr for the image

props to avlxyz on flickr for the image

In the category of clearly underappreciated, the Ginkgo tree has taken a beating in the DC blogosphere lately, here and possibly here. And so I feel the need to post a defense.

According to Casey Trees, there are about 4,200 Ginkgo trees in DC.  As one of the Earth’s oldest plant species, Ginkgos make excellent street trees.  The Ginkgo tree was also a favorite of architect Frank Lloyd Wright. And they’re yummy — Ginkgo nuts (aka “white nuts”) are roasted and eaten as snacks, and the extract from Ginkgo biloba leaves has all sorts of health benefits.

The city has a Ginkgo injection program that — okay — could have more resources and be more effective.  It has to be difficult to treat that many trees at just the right time.  But if everyone could step carefully when the fruit falls, we can all enjoy the beautiful foliage, cleaner air, reduced stormwater runoff, carbon sequestration, and cooler climate.  Trees!

Sisterhood Of The Traveling Post-Its

Maybe it was the freezing temperatures that kept people at home that night. When I walked into Mackey’s Public House this past Saturday the crowds were light but cheery.

I was out on the town after watching the Wizards come so close but not close enough against the Lakers. At least they pulled off a comeback but I have a bad feeling when it comes to the future outlook of the home basketball team.

So I was at a table with my date when I see a server walk over and strike up a conversation with a table of women. He wasn’t getting drink order or phone numbers- but inquiring about the mess they appeared to have made on their table.

I glanced over and noticed that these ladies were drinking on a table covered in Post-It notes.

The small white company branded notes told me that the display wasn’t part of the bar decor. Laughter was the only understandable behavior as the women scribbled down notes on new post-it notes and stuck them on the table, their friends, and their own body parts. Was this some drinking game I’ve never heard of? Was it the result of a long happy hour that’s evolved to behavior too drunken to really understand? After the server left I had to do the same and I leaned over to find out.

I walked over and introduced myself, asking what was on these notes that were being exchanged. A blonde probably the size of my pinky told me that each note represented a different ex-boy friend and the night was spent exchanging stories while creating paper representations of old flames.

And just like that I was sucked into a scene fit for any romantic chick flick or episode of Sex and the City.

After the explanation I was handed a blank pad and a pen and asked to contribute. Any combination of words, sentences, or diagrams were permitted. As I write this I have thought of five better stories I could have recalled but I scribbled down the first thing that came to my mind that night.

I won’t disclose what I wrote but it was one word and it required no explanation once I slammed it down on the table.

The ladies hooted and hollered and stuck the note on my pants.

I didn’t get any of their names but found out that they all knew each other through a combination of roommates and classmates at various graduate and undergraduate studies. I’m actually glad I didn’t get a name for fear that I may become a post-it note, an inside joke scribbled on a piece of paper on a night of drinking.

The owner of the pad and originator of the spontaneous activity had two post-it notes stuck on her shirt. One read “Leggy”, which is apparently her nick name, and the other read “Emotionally Uninterested.”

She explained, “I dated this guy who told me that he wasn’t emotionally unavailable to women- he was just emotionally uninterested.”

Other stories that were told me that night included trickery to land a date in the Bethesda Metro, a proposal in the middle of the ocean, and a Marine who hasn’t made a move after three dates.

“We’ve been dating for a month and after three dates he hasn’t even kissed me- isn’t that weird?”

After looking at the owner of the note I wondered myself and it sparked debate and further stories between me, my date, and her.

The conversation between the ladies soon turned to dancing so my date and I returned to our table to enjoy our drinks and watched four ladies and a pad of post-it notes out in Washington DC.

As I finished my drink the DJ puts on Beyonce’s latest track, a catchy dance beat called “Single Ladies.”

I laughed as it was an appropriate theme song of the night, as the ladies sang, danced, and displayed their bare ring fingers.

Inauguration 2009: Newseum Open & The People’s Inauguration

"National Mall" courtesy of Flickr user NCinDC

Everyone is trying to figure out where to watch the ceremony, especially those that are coming into town tickets or not.

It’s been already assumed by many but the Inaugural committee has announced that the entire length of the National Mall will be open for the ceremony. Now any DC local or person that’s been there can tell you- there is going to be no view on the Lincoln Memorial side for it is 1.9 miles long in length from the Capital to the Lincoln. However many will want to just be there just to say they were there. There have been no official word on steps that will be taken to accommodate a full mall which CNN estimates to be 1 million people. Sounds like another million man (and woman) march that day.

"Capitol from Newseum" courtesy of Flickr user ktylerconk

"Capitol from Newseum" courtesy of Flickr user ktylerconk

Another place that will be open for Inauguration is the Newseum, which recently announced that the balconies building (EDIT: The Newseum has told me that they balconies will be closed to the public because the local and national media will be there with their cameras) will be open for regular visitors to the museum that day. The views from the building are certainly going to be a prime spot to view the Inaugural parade since the museum is located on Pennsylvania Ave. You can get complete Inaugural information at the Newseum’s website.

EDIT: The balconies may not be accessible to you but since the front is made of glass- you can actually enjoy a view of the Parade inside without standing in the cold! Also you they will be showing the ceremony on their 90-foot-long video wall.

After Obama is sworn in and the pardae marches down Washington everyone will be getting dressed up to celebrate at a local Inaugural Ball or Party. After the election one of the more high profile hotel deals out their was JW Marriot’s “Build Your Own Ball” deal where for only a cool $1 Million you can use the hotel to host your own Inaugural affair. Well the Washington Post recently profiled the man who spent that money- and will be throwing a ball for the disadvantaged. He’ll be providing tickets, tuxedos, make-up, and even an after ball breakfast to those who are “down on their luck.” He wants to everyone to be able to celebrate this historic event and is calling it “The People’s Inaugural Ball.” I encourage everyone to read the article- it’s a real heart warmer.

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