The Economist/ Subscription Department/ PO Box 46973/ St. Louis, MO 63146-9772
photograph by simon_travelboy
i didn’t have a ticket. but woke up at 5AM, walked down to the national mall. got stuck in b/w a line of ticket holders and a large marble building for an hour. apparently jesse jackson walked through my crowd, but i can’t confirm b/c i was more than shoulder-to-shoulder with people, we were literally standing on top of each other. i was so happy to free myself from the cluster mass of people, i walked into busboys & poets, ordered breakfast and decided to just watch the inauguration from there. but around 9:30 AM, CNN announced that there were still open spots in between the Washington and Lincoln Memorial. i knew i’d regret not going, especially being so close. so i hauled ass over 15+ blocks to get back onto the mall. i really regret not having a camera. but to use simon_travelboy‘s shot as example, i had a perfect view of the jumbotron on the right, i was somewhere close to the flag. while i watched the inauguration on a giant TV, much like everybody else in the world, to be on the Mall, to know that this was happening less than a mile from where i was standing, when barack obama was sworn in – it was incredible, and completely worth it.
as much as DC boasts there were no arrests, and things went rather ‘smoothly’ except for the purple ticket holders stuck in the tunnel, i have to say even with as many volunteers and police present, very few were actually giving directions to help keep the crowds moving -> leaving the Mall was more chaotic and frustrating than trying to get in. it was nice to have national guard on every street corner of DC though.