Thursday, January 15, 2009


Everywhere you look in downtown DC, you are reminded of the upcoming inauguration. It’s a huge effort to prepare the city for the onslaught of people who will be crowding in for some glimpse of the festivities next week, or at least to be able to say “I was there.”

I think they must have ordered enough porta-potties to have one for every 100 people. They are everywhere. It’s as though they are winter flowers sprouting up along most every stretch of sidewalk. (MC – Take note!)

Miles of portable chain-link fencing have been rented. It would seem there is an effort to force the hordes into certain preconceived paths. I wouldn’t hold my breath.

When I saw the green “fencing” around much of the East Wing, I was reminded of the efforts at the National Zoo to keep the giraffes from eating the trees. Do they really thing for a minute this flimsy plastic mesh is going to keep people off the grass?

I looked somewhat longingly at the Capitol, as it stood draped in red, white, and blue with thousands of rented plastic chairs neatly set out for the paying guests or other dignitaries. I quickly came to the realization that was the closest I was going to get for quite a while.

I will spend Monday night with friends and then walk toward the tsunami of spectators gathering on the Mall for Obama’s auspicious beginning. I’m fairly sure I’ll never see him in more than a big screen image, but I’m excited about the possibility of being there with all those people as the anticipation of change becomes a reality.


Blogger Lemmonex said...

Those fences will be knocked down in about 5 minutes...they can dream, though.

9:19 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Lemmonex -- I can see the headline now: "Injured by a falling chain link". I think it might be pretty nasty. I'm keeping my eye on a porta-potty but staying clear of the fencing if possible!

9:30 AM  
Blogger karen said...

great & looking forward to more updates, Barbara!

1:21 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Karen -- I'll keep you posted unless I get trapped under a fallen fence!

1:27 PM  
Blogger Walker said...

Interesting pictures, we were just talking about preps.

1:41 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Walker -- It is taking literally weeks to get ready for what will happen in just a few hours. I wonder what the rental bill is? I wonder what pot of money is paying that bill?

Out of curiosity, how did you get here?

1:47 PM  
Blogger tut-tut said...

I hope those potties are distributed out and about. Can you imagine the throngs milling about, waiting to use them?

3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exciting!! I'll be watching on TV, same as the night Clinton got elected, when I and my friends spontaneously ran into the street w/champagne flutes in hand (mine had non-alcoholic cider). We whooped and clinked until the glasses broke! I fervently hope Obama's path goes more constructively than Clinton's, and that when he eventually leaves office that I'm not glad to see him go (and no, I'm not talking about Lewinsky, but rather welfare and NAFTA and...).

Have a Grand Old Time, Barbara!!!

P.S. Sorry to go on, but my word verification is "spetor" -- like both "spectator" and "specter" a propos!!

-- F.

6:44 PM  
Blogger Kellyann Brown said...

How exciting!!!

We are trying to decide where to watch the whole thing live at school... the forum or the gym. Since we are a gathering place for the community... well, we are all pretty excited here...clear across the country!

8:44 PM  
Blogger Merle Sneed said...

For many a president, inauguration was the high point.

9:56 PM  
Blogger Barbara said...

Tut-tut -- The potties seem to be everywhere, one of the things that actually convinced me to walk down to the Mall!

Anon -- You can look for me in the crowd. :)

I love it when the verification word is a real word that makes sense in the context!

Kellyann -- You mean you will be at school that day? I assumed it was a holiday everywhere!

Merle -- God help us if Inauguration Day is Obama's high point. I'm not sure things could get much lower right now...

10:57 PM  
Blogger red dirt mule said...

i'm excited for our nation and all the possibilities that are still ... possibilities!

but the pix remind me of an era of fear; the need for protection - from the masses or for the masses ???

a strange juxtaposition.


12:14 AM  
Blogger Avid Reader said...

I think his train ride would be pretty exciting too... all the people lined up along the way to watch the train pass by. it's positively exciting!

11:23 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

RDM -- Yes, I agree, sort of like 1984 in 2009, yes?

AvidReader -- It is exciting. I think the country is more than ready to give him a chance to heal the many wounds that exist.

11:47 AM  
Blogger SJW said...

Even at a distance of 3,000 miles (there or thereabouts) the excitement is tangible.

Came across you at Adrianne's Bodhi Tree.

5:03 PM  
Blogger Steve said...

Have fun! I'm treating the inauguration the same way I treat New Year's in Times Square -- I'm staying the heck away and watching it on TV. But you will emerge with indelible memories, that's for sure!

(My word verification is "retea," which I suppose means tea all over again.)

9:40 AM  
Blogger Barbara said...

SJW -- Why have we waited so long to find each other? Welcome! I know so much more about you after reading your "interview"!

Steve -- We will all have great memories on Tuesday no matter where we take it all in. It's almost insane to stand out in the freezing cold so far away that we can't see a thing except on the big screens here and there when we could be home re-tea-ing in our cozy family rooms.

9:14 PM  

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