You didn’t think I braved the cold, did you?

Now that I'm back from the inauguration festivities everyone who didn't go wants to hear stories about what it was like. I wish I could say I awoke at 4 a.m. on Inauguration Day, put on five layers of clothes,  stuffed my gloves with hand warmers and my Uggs with toe warmers and walked a few blocks from my hotel to the Lincoln Memorial to get a good spot to watch the Jumbotron as Barack Obama was sworn in as the nation's 44th President. That I huddled with the others as we tried to keep each … [Read more...]

Farewell D.C.; good luck O

Well that's it. D.C. is now a memory. Albeit a fond one. I am on the train back to New York, with Etta James playing in my ear on my iPod. I bet Barack and Michelle won't care if they never here "At Last" for another year after last night. It is quiet on the train. Everyone is probably as exhausted as I am after being drunk on Obama juice for the last few days. I spent part of today walking from the Capitol to the Lincoln Mall. Although images on television showed the National Mall crammed … [Read more...]

My conversation with Ellen Burstyn

I'm probably  jaded but for the most part covering the celeb angle at the inauguration for USA Today was no different than covering any other celeb event. I'm sure had I been assigned one of the 10 official balls then I wouldn't write this because I would have hopefully been inside to see the First Couple dance to "At Last." Instead, I spent last night at a charity ball thrown by the Recording Industry Association of America and Feeding America. The bash, at Ibiza nightclub, turned out to be … [Read more...]

Yes, there are crowds – just deal with it

This is what it was like stepping off the Metro at the Foggy Bottom station as I tried to get to my hotel yesterday. Everybody was headed to the free concert at the Lincoln Memorial. It took me about 15 minutes to get to daylight. Everyone had a good attitude about the Barack Obama inaugural madness but you know there's always one sourpuss in the crowd. One woman commented about all of the "tourists" in town. I mentioned to her that I am a tourist and us "tourists" are bringing a lot of … [Read more...]

Remembering MLK Jr.

I hate to admit but, as an adult, I don't think I've ever listened to and read Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech in its entirety. Until today. Of course since being out of school I've seen and heard snippets but I never sat down to watch and read the nearly 17-minute speech from beginning to end at a time when I could really comprehend the words. I can't think of a more meaningful time and place to do that than now. I am in my hotel room a few blocks from the Lincoln Memorial … [Read more...]

Hanging with soon-to-be Mr. Prez at the Lincoln Memorial

Just time for a quick note as I'm on the go. Today I hung out with Barack Obama  on the  National Mall. There was a really cool "We Are One" concert with U2, Beyonce, Jack Black, Ashley Judd, Forest Whitaker, Garth Brooks, Samuel L. Jackson and a ton of other folks at the Lincoln Memorial. It was free and open to the public. About 750,000 turned out. Check out the crowd that stretched all the way back to the Washington Monument: Every time the screen flashed to the Prez-elect, the crowd … [Read more...]

Train 101

The last post ended with me at the counter in the dining car ordering orange juice. After the gentleman behind the counter told me he had nothing left except what I saw on the counter, I spotted a ginger ale and ordered it with a cup of tea. He filled my order and I presented my biz class ticket stub since the conductor had told me that ALL non-alcoholic beverages were complimentary to biz class customers after he saw an empty cup on my tray table. He asked if I had paid for it and I told him … [Read more...]

D.C.-bound 199

  I fell asleep after the post below and was awakened by a woman who asked if the seat next to me was occupied. I was sleeping so well, sprawled out over two seats, until she tapped me several times. I pulled off my eye shades and asked here where are we. She said Phily. I tried to collect my thoughts as her and her gabby friend who sat on the other aisle seat realized they were in business class. They got up and left. Thanks for waking me up. Just as well. I was thirsty and made my … [Read more...]

Managing one’s inaugural expectations

  The thought of spending 3 hours on a train from New York to Washington, D.C. with a bunch of Obama supporters excited me. As tired as I am, I had already decided that I would forego sleep in order to converse with others who will witness history. I envisioned train riders telling stories, laughing, crying and sipping wine. Instead I sit on Amtrak 199 struggling to stay awake. Where is everybody? Where's the giddiness? Where are the black folks? And where is the damn crew? We … [Read more...]