Tuesday, January 20, 2009

"I could smell the inauguration"

Well, I can't be in Washington D.C. for inauguration because I have to work in New Jersey. But I was there this weekend!

I took the opportunity to take a four-hour drive to P.G. County, Maryland to hang out with my fraternity brothers and check out the weekend festivities in the Nation's capital.

Here's how it went:


We started on Saturday night by enjoying a party at LOVE, a lavish and upscale club with four floors to get your 'two-step' on.

It was pretty crowded by the stage on the second floor so there wasn't much room to do anything up there. The bar was packed and the Ciroc was flowing. The bottles of Ciroc were lined up all over the bars throughout the club.
Talk about advertising. After all, this was P. Diddy's party and he's their mouthpiece for the popular Vodka.
We bumped into friends from college because this was inauguration weekend and everyone was in D.C. for this historic event.

The stars of the night included Diddy, Stevie Wonder, Terrence J from 106 & Park, Kevin Liles, Hot Sauce from And One Mixtapes and Lola the video vixen. [CLICK HERE TO SEE CELEB PICS AND VIDEO FROM LOVE.]

Due to the late night of partying, we got a late start on Sunday afternoon. The plan was to head out early to attend the 'We Are One' concert at the Lincoln Memorial.

We probably didn't get down to the concert before it was almost over [maybe about 3:30/4 p.m.]. I believe it started around We took the Metro into D.C. and it wasn't that crowded, to our surprise. The train began to fill up as we got closer to D.C. and when we finally got there it felt like we had arrived. You could just smell the inauguration atmosphere coming up from the escalators of the Metro station.
You were immediately met with people trying to sell t-shirts, buttons, hats, calendars, posters, Obama custom watches, playing cards, etc. You name it, they had it. Kids were also running around selling hand/foot warmers (2 for $5).

I asked one group of young girls about their posters that they were selling for $1 and they told me the money was going to the "I am broke fund." Wowwww. Clearly, everyone was trying to make a dollar, literally.

We took a host of pictures, as did most people who were out there. It was a surreal feeling and experience. It was ideal as you could imagine. I didn't hear any babies crying. No parents were yelling at their kids. No couples were arguing. Everyone was happy and glowing because of what was 48 hours away -- the inauguration of Barack Obama. There was one group who came up from Montgomery, Alabama. This woman [pictured above] was among that group. She held up a quilt that she made dedicated to Obama. She said it took her a week to make.

We caught the latter part of the concert. We weren't very close and watched it on a big screen from just in front of the Washington Monument. We got there in time for Usher, Shakira and Stevie Wonder's performance of "Higher Ground." Then U2 hit the stage for "In the Name of Love."

Next up, was the man everyone came to see -- Barack Obama.

People began chanting "Obama! Obama! Obama!"

I knew I wouldn't be at the actual inauguration so I wanted to take in this moment. I took photos and shot some video [which I will post later]. I wasn't along as it looked as if everyone was using a camera or cell phone to capture this moment. It wasn't the inauguration, but it felt pretty close to what that will probably be like today.

He concluded his speech with this:

"There is no doubt that our road will be long. That our climb will be steep. But never forget that the true character of our nation is revealed not during times of comfort and ease, but by the right we do when the moment is hard. I ask you to help reveal that character once more, and together, we can carry forward as one nation, and one people, the legacy of our forefathers that we celebrate today."

Beyonce was on next to sing "America the Beautiful." She looked great, of course. Although I could only see her on the big screen. Some people screamed for "Single Ladies" as she concluded. I thought that was pretty funny. Obviously, the club track would not be appropriate for this type of event. But some people were freezing cold and probably could have used the dance routine to warm up. I convinced a group of young ladies to give the dance routine their best shot. And they did. [video to come]
We left the mall area and headed for the Metro, which was packed. We opted to use the elevator to get down to the train. Definitely a better decision.

1 comment:

mberenis said...


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