Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Obama's inauguration: The setup

It's now 20 days until the Presidential Inauguration and over the next month, I'm going to be posting -- every day or every few days depending on subject matter -- on the event. As many of you know, I'm an online journalist, specifically I'm the managing editor, digital news, for the National Post, one of Canada's national newspapers. I'll be cross posting some of my work here on the Post's news blog, Posted and also smaller updates on my Twitter account While some of my work will be done for the Post, I'm doing this as a civilian. I've seen all the major world events in my career through the lens of an editor. Now, I wanna experience it as a citizen.

I'm a frequent visitor to DC the past two years, been down here on average once every three weeks since R. lives down here. She lives right in Penn Quarter, which means her building is one block away from Pennsylvania Avenue, which Barack Obama will walk up after giving his inaugural address.

Anyways, enough of a set up of what I'm about to do, lets start with today's subject, the setup:

The streets of Washington, DC, are showing signs of being prepped for a big party. I went for a run around the capital this morning (see route) -- by far the best way to see a city that's wide, short and expansive.

I started from where my girlfriend lives in Penn Quarter, near the FBI building. I ran down Pennsylvania toward Capitol Hill, in the opposite direction where Obama and family will travel up on Jan. 20. Here are a few glimpses.

Pennsylvania Ave. looking toward the Capitol, with a newspaper box (Politico) in the foreground. They also have The Onion newspaper boxes which is a nice touch.

Next, I stopped at the Newseum, which is at Pennsylvania and 6th. You can see the daily headlines that they print out every morning and post in fron t of the building.

Then off to the Capitol, where preparations are well underway. You really can't approach the building but this picture provides a good glimpse of construction

Then off to the other side of the Mall, destination the Lincoln Memorial. It's two miles from the Capitol to the Memorial (3.2 kilometres). On inauguration day, they're expecting 3 million at last estimate. Many will be crammed into this space.

Then off to the Lincoln Memorial (we'll show pictures of Lincoln in a later post) where Martin Luther King Jr. famously gave his "I have a dream" speech. (Also sadly also famous for the Forrest Gump scene where he waded into the water).) You can see the Capitol in tucked behind the Monument.

Next off to the White House, where things are busy as usual. Girl with 'Peace' sign keeping it real in a very windy day.

Finally, back to Pennsylvania where they've already set up a good 10 sets of bleechers, big and small. You'll need tickets to get this type of seating.

You can feel the vibe. It's like the calm before the storm but the preparations are being made. On Inauguration day, I'll be among the millions trying to catch a glimpse of history.

Ran 5 miles in 58:58 with tonnes of picture stops. A fun way to run.

1 comment:

Sonia said...

I remember DC vividly, was there summer 2004. The FBI center was still close to tourists.