On Monday morning I boarded a Bolt Bus and headed down to Washington, D.C. for the inauguration of Barack Obama. I got in on time, right around 2:30. The only cabs available were regular people trying to make an extra buck and I was a little wary of that scene, so I walked through a depressed industrial area to a gentrifying part of NE that gave way to gentrified NW where I helped Emma prepare for her little pre-inaugural shindig.
The party was well attended by Teach for America types, former Yalies, and a good mix of Washington types including a lawyer who would be starting a stint for the Attorney General the next day. After the party ended we headed out to Adams Morgan where I ran into an old Yale friend now working for professional organization of chemists doing environmental work and several members of Columbia’s political science program (by design and by accident). Also of note at Local 16 was Aidan Gillen.
On too little sleep I headed out for the Mall with Zachary, Gabriela, and Scott.
Walking through DC was a Maze. It was at least 3 miles of walking for the mile and a half to the Washington Monument, probably more. The police had no idea how to get to the Mall and there were not enough volunteers around directing people.
We arrived to our first view of the Washington monument to Sunday’s performance by U2 of “Pride (In the Name of Love)” playing over the loudspeakers. It was pretty amazing. It was like being part of a pilgrimage as we walked among tens of thousands through the entrance towards the monument.
Before the half hour of choral singing they played some of Sunday’s concert including Pete Seeger and Bruce Springsteen doing the entirety (depression lyrics and all) of “This Land Is Your Land.” We all sang along.
We entered to “Uncle John’s Band” but to be honest I wasn’t paying that much attention. I was much more concerned with the arrival of the guests of honor.