How Was Your Inauguration Day Experience?

Anyone head down to the Capitol/Mall? For those who didn’t have tickets how close were you able to get? How was the parade? For those who also went in 2009 how did it compare?


Photo by PoPville flickr user theupper

46 Comment

  • Not quite as chaotic as 2009 but still once again, it was so hard to find “help” and get good information from anybody (what streets are open..can I go here..do I need a ticket..how long is the wait, can bring this item in this area). We were relying on Girl Scout volunteers. It seems simple signage outside the perimeter would help if the resources aren’t available.

  • I was on the mall with some friends. The monitor was out of sync and the audio was garbled. Otherwise wonderful.

    • Yeah! What’s up with that! The more i think about the completely screwed up video and audio, the more I get angry that I couldn’t really participate in the event because I couldn’t hear ANYTHING! Urgh! So disappointing!

  • Stayed at home and watched on my computer. Warm and cozy – no crowds and easy access to the bathroom.

  • Considering how adamant the news reports were that there were ‘no credible threats’ there sure were an awful lot of up-armored HMMWVs scattered about. Welcome to the police state I suppose…

  • Froze waiting for hours at 13th and Penn for the parade, only to have Obama roll past in the limo. WTF. I wish I’d stayed home or gone to a bar and watched on TV – I would have seen everything *and* been warm! At least that experience didn’t suck as bad as it did for the people who apparently (per the Post) paid for parade tickets but never got through security.

  • I just wonder what Barack and Boehner said to piss off Michelle

  • It was great until someone stole my mom’s camera out of her pocket.

  • The speech got some rousing applause at Nellies. The drag queens approve.

    If Beyonce becomes the president, then Jay-Z would be the “first gentleman”. Am I the only one who was thinking about this? Probably not.

  • Amazing time at the Artist’s Ball @ Rock n Roll hotel.

  • I ran errands. Traffic was wonderfully light and the stores uncrowded. I DVR’d the inauguration and watched Obama’s speech and some of the other highlights in the evening. So glad not to be on the mall.

  • So much easier than 2009. Took the bus, went to the unticketed area by the Archives and grabbed a bus home. Great day.

  • Much more organized (of course also half the people) of last time. There were very good maps & guides this time in the Post and on WAMU website, (so no need to rely on Girl Scout volunteers!) We took an easy bus down 16th st. and walked to the Washington monument grounds to watch on the Jumbotron – which unfortunately, and inexcusably, was completely f**ed up.

    Jumbled sound and messed up picture. Were they all like this? People started leaving about halfway through because we couldn’t see or hear anything. I shared earbuds to my mp3 player with one friend and doing a “mic check” style live repeat of the poem as we walked back.

    Still a great feeling and happy crowd, still glad to just be there, but Jumbotron people should be fired.

    • If I meet anyone from the Jumbotron company, I’m gonna get stabby on them. Totally ruined our day. We had a much better time when we got to Solly’s and watched highlights at the bar.

      Overall, the organization of the event was pretty good. Things were clearly signed/marked and I really like the official Inauguration mobile phone app. It helped a ton. However, there were a few bottleneck points that needlessly backed up the crowd (for instance, the buses parked at Constitution & 17th that totally cut off the road and gave the large crowd two very narrow exits on the sidewalks – there was already a bad backup when we left early, can’t imagine how much of a mess it was when everyone exited).

  • Not bad actually! We walked from our place near Meridian Hill to the Mall, got there around 9:30, had a decent view of a jumbo-tron, and had a fairly good time. The energy on the mall was great! The only unpleasant part was getting out. For a few minutes we were definitely stuck in a scary crowed that felt like it was about to stampede. But luckily the crowed finally found an exit and everything turned out ok. All in all, I’m definitely glad I went. :)

    • That was the same as in ’09 – totally blocking pedestrian exits from the Mall. Very dangerous situation. They need to just let people walk – don’t allow buses or any vehicle on Constitution – and only block off those areas that really need it, like immediately around the White House.

  • pablo .raw

    It was fine, a little bit confusing but I blame myself for not doing the proper research. Not as cold, not enough jumbotrons and the sound was terrible; James Talylor sounded like he had some kind of disease. I did a quick
    time-lapse, it was impossible to keep people from bumping into my camera stand…
    http://www.flickr.com/photos/benavente/8404484498/

  • 3 hours waiting on the Mall, and then 2 hours and half along Pennsylvania Avenue: Totally worth it!
    Some of my pictures:
    https://picasaweb.google.com/107698119400842128643/BarackObamaSPresidentialInauguration21Jan2013

  • I had a really good experience. Biked down and got there around 9:30. There was plenty of bike parking, and I didn’t have any trouble getting my bike through the crowd (had to walk it through the crowd for maybe a block upon leaving). It wasn’t too cold, I had a good view, and everyone was pretty calm and happy. The only thing that wasn’t great was the screen and sound were out of sync (although the sound quality was fine where I was).

  • A guy climbed a tree near Garfield Circle (near the Grant Memorial in front of the Capitol) and spent the entire Inauguration screaming about stopping abortion. If you think a malfunctioning Jumbtron is annoying, think about standing in a crowd with a guy screaming about the “American holocaust” for 2 hours. I didn’t stick around to see what happened when he finally came down.

  • Watched the inauguration from a bar downtown. It was sort of weird to be watching the action just a few blocks from the mall, but it was nice to sit and eat while listening in comfort. Then we went to a friend’s office to watch the parade. It was eerily easy to get into her office. We waited longer than I anticipated, and only caught the limo Obama was in. Oh well. Walked up and caught the first bus up 14th. That was also eerily easy. All in all… I had a pleasant day, though it certainly didn’t match the excitement of 4 years ago on the mall!

  • I took an S2 down to the WH around 11:45 and got my (ticketed–I was lucky) seat on the southern end of Pennsylvania Ave, near 17th Street. My first time through, there was a 30 second wait at security. It was so easy that I went back out to get Starbucks for our group. At this point crowds were streaming back from the Mall. They saw the entrance and crowded up to enter. There were no signs that it was a ticketed entrance only. The MPD, USSS, and military reservists at the entrance said nothing about this to the poor Girl Scout volunteers. They were left to fend for themselves against the increasingly frustrated crowd. That was the worst part of the day. Eventually word was passed to them to start shouting “tickets only”, and things proceeded.

    Then the parade came through and POTUS and FLOTUS walked directly past, smiling and waving. Michelle blew a kiss to my friends. It was an incredible experience. Then the Biden’s came through and Joe was literally jogging back and forth between the crowd barriers. He was having a blast and we were too.

    During the course of the day we also saw Leon Panetta, Rahm Emanuel, and Terry McAuliffe.

    Right after they went through I walked home and was sitting on my couch at 4:30PM. Great day all around.

  • Went to work, didn’t see the festivities, didn’t go to any balls. I haven’t even gotten around to watching the speech yet.

  • the jumbotron by 9th and independence worked well and there was room to stand or sit. no complaints there, though I was surprised that no one even checked bags at the 12th and independence entry point. I saw lots of coolers, chairs, a laser pointer–stuff that wasn’t supposed to be allowed in.

    The parade was frustrating because we had tickets to the bleachers and the tickets were WAY oversold–there was one stupid set of bleachers that had been full since the morning. I ended up standing with all the non-ticketed folks, which I wouldn’t have minded except that we paid for seats! In the end, we went home about 30 min after the president and VP went by. But it was still interesting and I do love marching bands.

  • I had a great time! We left the house at 8 a.m. and still got a decent spot, about halfway back just outside the Hirschorn Museum. Our jumbotron was functioning correctly. MUCH MUCH MUCH warmer than last time around! Had a great time cheering and booing as the different politicians arrived. Afterward we walked up to Dupont, had some Shake Shack, then hopped on the thinned-out train and headed home for a nap.

    Aside from the GIANT man that was standing in front of me and kept swaying so that I had to sway opposite to see, the only scary part was arriving via L’Enfant. Huge crowd trying to get through the turnstiles and eventually they just let us go through without paying. When I passed through I noticed that half the ‘stiles were marked “Smartrip Only” in a crowd of mostly-ticketed toursits. Nice going. Then the escalator to the street stopped and people started yelling and surging forward because for some reason they needed to get upstairs faster…?

  • got stuck in a terrible entrance line on Indiana Ave, but luckily got word of a shorter line near Judiciary square and made it to the mall just in time for the swearing-in… Not sure what happened to those other poor folks, just not enough lines to get through security, we barely moved in 90 min of waiting, but the other line had TONS of security folks and we got right in… the main issue was leaving, it was VERY difficult to get to Lenfant plaza station from the Mall (we walked around the History Museum, down to the Wash Mon, and back around to LP station), and it was so packed I think they may have closed it…. we ended up on a bus to Navy Yard and metroed back to U Street from there… over all very glad I went, and next time I’ll have a better plan to get home :)

  • greenroofgoddess

    Wonderful time! Our office had its regular Inauguration Day Party, with colleagues, spouses, and clients. Great time, great view from the balcony along Penn Ave, and both the President and Vice President walked our block–the same as 4 years ago! It was super easy coming downtown via 11th St, and easy coming home on the Green line. And it was great to see the excitement and energy from everyone on the street along the parade route. Hubby and I had a great time, and baby enjoyed the day with the babysitter. Yay!

  • I’m a SW DC resident. All I know is the city or whoever needs to get their act together w/regard to the redevelopment down here. Safeway was packed, Z-Burger was out the door, and Subway was doing good business. They need to add more options by the time 2017 rolls around because the area would make a killing. So many people walking to the Waterfront station from the Mall (since it’s about a mile, mile and a half from the Mall.)

    I managed to go as an honor guest to the Inaugural Ball last night. Really well done and classy. Managed to rub elbows with Rosario Dawson.

  • Went to swearing in on capitol grounds with Blue ticket, took over an hour to clear the gate and security at 9:30… had the mob trying to squeeze thru the gate, do know understand why the organizers cannot grasp the idea of queues. once past the gate teh actual security went quick or at least the line i choose. left before Beyonce to avoid same issue on exit.

  • Did not go to the Mall but, as in 2009, circled the periphery and photographed the people, the get ups, the vendors, etc. Way fewer people than last time but the same good spirit. My favorite moment of the day was watching varicolored kids and their parents dance to an amateur band at Dupont Circle metro station. Really captured the mood of the day.

  • It was great except for the idiot who climbed the tree in the green section of the Nat’l Mall. I know we dems believe in saving the environment, but that was one tree that should have been chopped down.

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