Thursday, January 22, 2009

T.A.H. GOES TO WASHINGTON

We said “you’d have to be crazy to go to Washington Tuesday,” with all the bridges into the city from Virginia closed off and the Metro sure to be absolute bedlam. So call us “sort of crazy” – we made a spontaneous trip in on Monday afternoon.

We rode in from Fairfax, VA with a political insider who had both fancy tickets and, more importantly, a parking pass issued by the U.S. Congress and the D.C. Police. Credentials, baby!

We stayed with friends on Capitol Hill and, as we lacked those cool tickets behind the Prez next to fashion designer Dian Von Furstenberg that our buds had, we walked the nine blocks to Inauguration Central about 90 minutes prior to the swearing in of the 44th President of the United States.

For those of you who know your D.C. geography, you’ll appreciate this story. We walked down Independence and wound up entering the throng through a somewhat convoluted route that found us ultimately in the center of 4th street directly in front of the Capitol – we’d call it a Par 9 from the Capitol steps. It appeared that there were about 200,000 people in front of us and about 1.5 million behind us. It was quite a sight.
In fact, there seemed to be as many people milling around the rest of the streets of Washington D.C. as there were on the Mall…

To say it was amazing is a bit of an understatement. All politics aside, an inauguration is both a cultural and patriotic event well worth attending.

Yesterday, there were several news stories about would-be attendees who had tickets but were never allowed into the Mall viewing areas. They complained that while they waited in stagnant security lines only to eventually be refused entry, other non-ticketed folks snuck around/under/over some police tape and walked directly into the festivities.

Hmmmm…that might have been us. Oops.


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