Archive for the ‘Inauguration Central’ Category

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…)

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…)

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 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.

Everywhere you go has valet…


My bike at the Jeff Mem, on my summertime commute

My bike at the Jeff Mem, on my summertime commute

…Even the Presidential Inauguration!  Well, bike valet, that is.  As Frank mentions in the post below, yes, the Washington Area Bicyclist Association is offering its ever-popular Bike Valet service for those of you who don’t want to deal with Metro delays, dodging tour buses, or finding yourself parked on the Beltway in your car ten miles from the Mall. 


Bike Valet service will be located at the Jefferson Memorial, and north of the White House at K Street.  Today on WAMU’s Morning Edition, WABA’s Henry Masias noted that cyclists “will be able to get just as close as anyone taking Metro or bus,” even though you won’t be able to ride right up to the Capitol.  Bike racks will be available rain or shine, but in the event of rain there won’t be valets to park your bike for you.   So, DC, will I see you on the bike path?

Inauguration 2009: "How to Get There" Links

Happy New Year DC (is it too late to say that already?)

About a month ago I agreed to take a little trip over inauguration weekend rather than stay for the event.  Not that I needed my arm twisted-a few seconds of imagining the traffic nightmare this city would be was enough to convince me that missing the most historic inauguration ever wasn’t the worst thing in the world.

As we get closer though, and reports that there won’t be as many people as originally anticipated surface I’m beginning to rethink the quickness to which I volunteered to jump out of town.  I’m still going to be leaving, don’t get me wrong, but a survey of some web site tend to show that the city looks like it is getting its act together regarding “how to get there.” 

So while I’ll be watching the inauguration from a couch several hundred miles away (and reporting here from said couch) I thought I’d pass along some helpful transport links for those who are staying in town:

Take the Train:  Despite the fact that everyone else will do it too, I’m guessing that Metrorail will be your best bet if you have more than a mile or two to cover. 

The commemorative cards are now available online at the WMATA site and at sale centers.  They look a lot sharper than I was prepared for. 

Strangely-Metro has decided to close some of the metro stations and parking lots for the event.

For Metro’s full coverage of Inauguration Day-click here.

Or…Don’t take the train:  Is Public Trans not green enough for you?  Well then ride your bike!  WAMU had the story this morning about bike racks and valets (Bike valets?) being made available on Inauguration day. 

Stretch those Legs:  How about a nice walk?  Right along the parade route.  The city of DC’s home page has a great Inauguration 09 site, including this “getting there” page which highlights some walking routes.

Roads?  Where we’re going we don’t need…roads:  And neither should you.  Unless you have a flying Delorean (which I would also suggest not taking to DC for the Inauguration) it looks like cars and buses are going to be severely limited in where they can go and what they can do.  Do your best to avoid trying to park in DC or drive anywhere near the mall-the sooner you can get out of a car the better. 

Can we Sail?  Yes We Can!:  Yep-you may have missed booking it already, but at least one group of Obama fans will be sailing to the Inauguration.  No clue where they are going to park it, but even taking a boat here you’ll still be subject to the rules of the road once you land. 

Other tips?

Inauguration 2009: Obama’s Having A Ball

"Inaugural 09 Hotel Madness..." courtesy Flickr user dbking

The best part of Inauguration might possibly be what happens after the swearing in.

After the speeches are given and the parade has marched through it’s time for the real celebration- the Inaugural Balls.

The night life on inaugural weekend out in full force with an extra few million in town and bars, restaurants, and clubs expected to be opening a little bit later than usual, there’s going to be a party somewhere. The key is to find the one you want to go to.

President-Elect Obama and Vice-President-Elect Biden will be hosting 10 balls and has recently announced the lineup of official galas (all official balls are going to be held on Inauguration Day, January 20th.):

Youth Inaugural Ball
The Youth ball is intended for young Americans aged 18-35 and will celebrate the Inauguration of the new president and the role young Americans can play to serve their communities.
Washington Hilton, Tickets: $75

Obama Home States Inaugural Ball & Biden Home States Inaugural Ball
Obama and Biden will each host guests from their home states to a ball to celebrate their inaugurations with those who know them best – their friends, families and local supporters.
Illinois and Hawaii invited guests; Delaware and Pennsylvania invited guests.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets: $150

Eastern Inaugural Ball
CT, ME, MA, NH, RI, VT, PR, and USVI invited guests
Union Station, Tickets: $150

Mid-Atlantic Inaugural Ball
MD, VA, DC, NY, NJ, and WV invited guests
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets: $150

Midwest Inaugural Ball
KS, IN, IA, MI, MN, ND, NE, OH, SD, WI, and MO invited guests
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets: $150

Southern Inaugural Ball
AL, AR, FL, GA, KY, LA, MS, NC, SC, TN, and TX invited guests
National Guard Armory, Tickets: $150

Western Inaugural Ball
AK, CA, ID, MT, OR, WA, WY, AZ, CO, NV, NM, UT, OK, GUAM/AS invited guests
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets $150

Neighborhood Inaugural Ball
With tickets available free or at an affordable price, it is the first official inaugural ball of its kind to be held during a presidential inauguration. A portion of tickets for this event will be set aside for District of Columbia residents. The ball will also feature a robust interactive component, including webcasting and text messaging, to link neighborhoods across the country with the new President and this premier event.
Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Tickets: TBD

Commander-in-Chief’s Inaugural Ball

President-Elect Barack Obama will host the Commander-in-Chief’s inaugural ball to honor the country’s active duty and reserve military.  Additional invited guests will include wounded warriors (Purple Heart recipients), families of fallen heroes, and spouses of deployed military.
National Building Museum, Tickets: Free to those invited, closed to the public

If you aren’t one of the lucky ones to get an invite to an official ball- not to fear there’s plenty of “unofficial” parties that weekend. Unofficial affairs range from the popular Black Tie and Boots Inaugural Ball put on by the Texas State Society to family friendly affairs like the Children’s Inaugural Ball. A couple of DC bloggers are hosting Bloggerational Ball 2009, in honor of all the New Media geeks out there (does that mean I should try and go?)

The Washington Post, Washingtonian, and all have very comprehensive listings on Inaugural bashes in the district. I also suggest signing up for the DC for Obama newsletter; the group has also been distributing listings of local parties.

Of course not everybody will be in the mood for partying, like the Republicans who are reported to be fleeing in mass.

Also those that know better, like WP’s Roxanne Roberts, gives us tips on surviving a ball while warning us to stay away.

This week I am going to figure out exactly how I want to take on Inauguration but I’ll tell you what- parties are going to be a big part of it.

Inauguration 2009: Jim Moran Tries To Be My Friend With Inauguration Tickets

Updating you in my personal quest to get Inauguration tickets, after Jim Webb sent me an e-mail telling me I’m not getting any tickets I got an e-mail from Jim Moran. Here’s the top of the e-mail:

First off I want to say that my friend status with you is going to be dependent on if you hook me up with tickets or not. I’ll prolly continue to vote for you however- you are doing a pretty good job. The letter goes on to not confirm nor deny my chance for Inauguration  tickets- just some ideas to think about if you don’t get any, however I do like those 198 to 17,000 odds.

Like Webb’s e-mail Moran hints at Jumbo-tron screens so that is looking like it’s going to happen. He also sent me a link to a map of the parade route in case I wanted to try that instead. He also hinted at the possibility of Cell phone congestion, so expect to be cut off from the world if you enter the “secure perimeter.”

Man I still haven’t decided if I’m going to try and go but it’s seems like I’m climbing a mounting or going to Jupiter- I have to worry about bathrooms, walking, and communications. I better bring some MREs or maybe some signal flares in case I need help… on second thought maybe flares wouldn’t be a good idea.

Inauguration 2009: Inauguration Estimates Cut In Half

"Clinton_inauguration_1993_crowds" courtesy of Flickr user dpape

Did estimates of up to 5 million people scare you from coming out to see the Obama Inauguration?

Well how about 2-3 million? Does that number sound more appealing to you?

Inauguration officials are now revising earlier estimates of Inaugural attendees by half. According to the Washington Post, “turnout could easily reach 2 million, officials said, far outstripping the 400,000 who attended the 2005 inauguration of President Bush.

It doesn’t surprise me that only 400,000 people came out to see Bush swearing in again. I wonder how many of them were protesters.

The WP article notes that 5 million people may come into the DC Metro area, but it seems unlikely that the entire 5 million will actually make it to The Mall and parade route. So does that mean that a fallback plan of watching the festivities at a local pub may not be smart? Trying to fight through the other 2 million that came into town but didn’t want to go the extra mile to be there in person may make leaving my house a nightmare no matter what I do.

I also wonder if this story will entice even more people to try and see the events in-person. Next thing you know we really do have 5 million people in DC because they thought, “5 million people? No way! But 2 million people… maybe I will try and make it in…”

Now for some more Inaugural news.

Obama’s playing the part of Lincoln very well

"Lincoln Bible" courtesy of the Presidential Inaugural Committee

So the Obama’s got the Lincoln train ride thing down. He’s also kicking off Inaugurapalooza with a concert at the Lincoln memorial. And of course we all know Obama’s from the “land of Lincoln.”

He wants to make sure we get the whole Lincoln metaphor down with his decision to use the Lincoln bible to take his Inaugural oath. The bible hasn’t been used in over 150 yearsm since- you guessed it- Abe Lincoln used it. With the announcement the Lincoln bible came out for a little photo op and CBS has some video of it on display.

More Inaugural Weekend Details

It looks like the Inaugural committee has released some more details on the events that weekend, here’s the latest details from the Presidential Inaugural Committee:

Sunday, January 18th
No new details on the welcome event on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial except that it will be in the afternoon

Monday, January 19th – Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
The President-elect, Vice President-elect, and their families are going to honor Dr. King through various community service activities. The earlier reported youth concert at the Verizon Center will be held that evening.

Tuesday, January 20th – Inauguration Day

"the president's own" courtesy of Flickr user happy via

The festivities will start at 10 A.M. but officials say that if you have tickets that you should try and get into the areas around 9. Remember that there’s no overnight camping on The Mall and that you can’t stake a parade spot til 7 AM.

Musical groups to perform include The United States Marine Band, Aretha Franklin, The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”, The San Francisco Boys Chorus, and The San Francisco Girls Chorus. John Williams will conduct an ensemble including Itzhak PerlmanYo-Yo Ma, Gabriela Montero, and Anthony McGill.

Here’s a the current rundown of the ceremony:

  • Call to Order and Welcoming Remarks: Senator Dianne Feinstein
  • Invocation: Dr. Rick Warren
  • Musical Selection: Aretha Franklin
  • Vice President-elect Joseph R. Biden, Jr. will be sworn into office by Associate Justice of the Supreme Court, the Honorable John Paul Stevens
  • Musical Selection: John Williams, composer/arranger with Itzhak Perlman, (violin), Yo-Yo Ma  (cello), Gabriela Montero (piano) and Anthony McGill (clarinet)
  • President-elect Barack H. Obama will take the Oath of Office, using President Lincoln’s Inaugural Bible, administered by the Chief Justice of the United States, the Honorable John G. Roberts, Jr.
  • Inaugural Address
  • Poem: Elizabeth Alexander
  • Benediction: The Reverend Dr. Joseph E. Lowery
  • The National Anthem: The United States Navy Band “Sea Chanters”

President Obama will escort President Bush to a departure ceremony then attend a luncheon in the Capitol’s Statuary Hall.

The Inaugural Parade will march down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. Here’s a preliminary list of parade participants that have been invited.

Wednesday, January 21st
No new news on the prayer service that will take place that day.

How cushy is an Honorary Co-Chair role?

The committee has also announced their Honorary Co-Chairs which include former President Carter, Clinton, and Bush (the first one.)  Mayor Adrian Fenty and Colin Powell are also on the list. While I don’t know what exactly an Honorary Co-Chair does at the Inauguration- I bet he/she will have really good seats.

Talking about seats I was showing a friend around DC last night and we visited the White House where we saw the VIP Grandstand still under construction.

The work looks top notch and there’s a round frame at the top- probably for the Presidential Seal. I also noticed glass partitions installed in the front and center rows. I bet those are probably bullet-proof. There’s also another grandstand structure opposite of this one. That’s probably as close as  I’m going to get to the parade- or anything Inaugural for that matter.

More Inauguration Links

The Inauguration Committee on Twitter:

Volunteer for the Inauguration:

Inauguration 2009: Jim Webb’s Early Lump Of Coal For Me

On this Christmas Eve let me I got an e-mail from my local senator, Jim Webb. It wasn’t a holiday greetings or a solicitation for money but a response to my earlier request for Inauguration tickets:

Thank you for contacting Senator Webb’s office regarding Inauguration tickets.  As you may know, the Senator’s office has received more than 35,000 total ticket requests and has been allotted only a few hundred tickets.   Unfortunately, at this time, we are unable to accommodate your request for tickets to the Inaugural Swearing-In Ceremony on the West Lawn of the United States Capitol. However, please note that the remaining sections of the National Mall will be open to members of the public who were unable to obtain the limited tickets available.  These areas will have large screens to ensure that the general public can easily view the ceremony and festivities.

We wanted to give you this status update well in advance of Inauguration Day so that you can plan accordingly. Please also be aware that in addition to the public viewing area on the National Mall, there are a number of events during the week, including the Inaugural Parade, that do not require tickets.

Due to the extraordinarily high interest in the Swearing-In Ceremony, Senator Webb has sent a letter to Senator Dianne Feinstein, Chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies, requesting additional tickets to account for Virginia’s proximity to Washington D.C.   Should Senator Webb receive additional tickets from the Inaugural Committee or any other source and be able to accommodate your request, we will be sure to let you know.

The Swearing-In Ceremony is the only Inaugural event to which our office has received tickets.   Please see the links below for updated information on other Inaugural events that may interest you:

Thank you again for your interest.


Kathryn Wilmoth

Administrative Director

Office of Senator Jim Webb

I’m not surprised that I didn’t get any tickets, but it’s a bit of a bummer to get on Christmas Eve. If his office sent it on Boxing Day- then it’s another story. I wonder if thousands of others got the same e-mail on Christmas Eve.

"Jim Webb Speaks 2" courtesy of Flickr user kalexnova

There are some tidbits to glean from the letter. We know that the tickets will be impossible to get and that Virginia, Maryland, and DC are already trying to a bigger slice of the ticket pie. We also know that even without tickets we can expect people to flock to The Mall so they can say, “Hey I was there!”

However there has only been speculation about possible accommodations for the general public and now this is the first “official” word on having screens on The Mall. Of course no further details on how many and where.

Well I hope everybody has a happy holidays- I’ll be checking my inbox to see if any of the other members of congress I requested tickets from come through. It would be a Merry Christmas indeed if I was one of the lucky ones.

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