Am I ready? Well, to be honest, I am a bit nervous. Will I be standing in a sea of four million out-of-towners or two million –many natives have decided to go skiing. (Follow the rules people and we’ll get along just fine.) Will the Metro actually get me where I’m going? The Metro’s General Manager isn’t so sure. He is sure “something will happen on the 20th.” That’s what I like: confidence.
Am I prepared for the cold and the hours I’ll be standing on the National Mall? I’m working at it. Concerned that I might bring some prohibited item with me I checked out the special Inaugural sections of both the Secret Service’s Web site and the DC Government’s Web site. And I found a discrepancy. The Secret Service says prohibited items are just for the parade and Inaugural Balls. While the DC site says that same list is for all Inaugural events. I put in a call to the Secret Service (their headquarters are right next to my office) and they said they’d get back to me, but never did.
I tweeted the problem and suddenly the Canadian Embassy was following me on Twitter. Located on Pennsylvania Avenue, right on the parade route, the Embassy requested more info. Suddenly, I was at the center of international intrigue. I immediately requested “heat asylum” (to watch the parade from the Embassy’s incredible vantage point all warm and cozy) but was flatly rejected (but some of my best friends are Canadian!). So much for social media’s diplomatic channels.
Bottom line: I’m traveling light. Got my special mittens with “retractable” covers. Underneath are fingerless gloves so I can take photos without fear of frostbite. Layers, layers, and more layers. Bottled water, camera with extra SD cards and batteries, and energy bars. Check. Everything has to fit into my heavy down coat’s pockets. No backpacks allowed. Yep, I’m all set.
My biggest concern is whether I’ll be stuck in the middle of the Mall. Unlike four years ago, when the Bush Inaugural crowds were a bit more manageable, it may be hard to move around. I like to photograph the “edges” of the action. That’s where the good stuff usually can be found.
Stay tuned. I’ll be reporting in live from the Inaugural on Twitter from the best, albeit the chilliest vantage point I can find.
Related Post: Inaugural Porta-Potties #2