Staying in town or getting out?

Hosting family or friends?

Renting out your home for $500 per night?

Are you going to a ball?  Official or not?

Can you get tickets?  To the swearing in?

Do you know people with offices on Pennsylvania Avenue?  Can they get you in? (But not on the roof — the secret service is banning that.)

Are you going to walk or metro?

You know there’ll be gridlock for 4 days?  And no porta-potties? And that you can’t get on the Mall before 7am?  And that events are loading in equipment the week before for fear that they won’t reach their venues?  And that 10,000 coaches have nowhere to park?  And you need to shop as if it’s December 31, 1999 because the shelves will be empty?

And there are no hotel rooms closer than Philly?  Except that there are, but the rumor is so strong that no one is even looking in D.C.

Yes!  We have inauguration-fever here in the nation’s capital.  Our obsession with January 20 is punctuated only by news of the latest appointments, or speculation about the next appointments,or the choice of Sidwell Friends for the girls, or a debate on how best to acquire a puppy, or the fact that Ben’s Chili Bowl has added “Obama family” to the list of people allowed to eat free at Ben’s — joining a previously solitary “Bill Cosby.”

Was there life before November 4?  That intense primary and election season seem distant memories.  Our city is infused with new life and, like a town that lives and breathes with its sports team, we are on the edge of our seats for the season opener on January 20.


12 responses to “Obamallelujah”

  1. lane says:

    Great title,

    and great ending.

    such style!

  2. Stella says:

    I confess I borrowed Obamallelujah from Reverend Billy and the Church of Stop Shopping, who are pretty great.

  3. Dave says:

    I love the Ben’s Chili Bowl factoid. And damn, I want a chili half smoke.

  4. Washington DC is totally amorphous in my mind. I’ve been there a couple of times — walked on the mall, went to museums, marched in protests — got arrested there once even — but I don’t have any sense of what it’s like to be there. Last time I was there, maybe 2005? Definitely since I was blogging (got stood up for a coffee date with a DC blogger) — I remember driving around and not really knowing where I was, though I did know what roads would take me back to where I was staying. Like I was driving in Takoma Park MD and I thought huh, this is a suburb now? (Not actually sure the suburb I was in was Takoma Park MD, but there you go.) This is the ame way I feel about Los Angeles and surrounding communities FWIW.

  5. Shorter TMK: “There’s no there there”

  6. Jane says:

    January 20th just doesn’t seem like it can come quick enough.

  7. Stella says:

    TMK – there’s a lot of there there, but it’s not always visible to the tourist.

    i’m a big defender of dc – it’s so maligned by so many people for so many different reasons. it’s not a lot of things, but it is a great, small, livable walkable city with tremendous cultural resources and every neighborhood has its own authentic character and community.

    you just need a resident to show you round…come on down!

  8. it’s not always visible to the tourist

    Yeah — sorry, #5 implied that I thought otherwise. I’m sure that’s true, and next time I come down I might well impinge on you to show me.

  9. lane says:


    Micheal Kimmelman in the Times once said it’s like a city of Hospitals.

    The scale of it is like that, boxy and beurecratic. But it’s really a great town (with the right people of course!)

    I love DC.

  10. LT says:

    i heard a good suggestion that we should just hold off on the new year 2009 and celebrate it on Jan. 20th. Who’s in?

  11. lane says:

    And on a more serious note. It is so great that DC is such a black city, culturally at the top of the old confederacy. And now this cool black kid has been elected president.

    Good for DC.

  12. Kate the Great says:

    I don’t think I’ll be doing anything on January 20. No offense to anyone, but I’ll be happy when he is president and I grinned yesterday when I heard his voice on the radio, but I don’t think I’ll attend the swearing-in. I don’t even think I’ll watch it on TV.

    But I probably will be grinning during the entire day, now that this post has reminded me.