D.C. readies as millions head to city
Obama’s inaugural events are expected to draw unprecedented crowds.
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Larry Breitkopf, an 80-something retiree from Skokie, Ill., who volunteered for Obama in Iowa, got a ticket to the inauguration from his congresswoman, Jan Schakowsky (D). But finding a place to stay took a lot of work. He tried university and religious connections, and finally got a place three blocks from the Capitol.Skip to next paragraph
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Was all the effort worth it? No question, he says, repeating what he told a Chicago TV interviewer: “The whole world will be watching, and I’ll be there.”
After the swearing in ceremony and inaugural parade, there will about 100 official parties, including 10 inaugural balls plus concerts and receptions. For the first time, there will be a “neighborhood inaugural ball,” featuring low-priced tickets and A-list talent, including Beyoncé, Mary J. Blige, and Alicia Keys. Obama will attend this ball first, then drop in on the nine others.
Star-gazing will be another pastime for inauguration-goers. Actor Will Smith told reporters in Los Angeles last month that he and his family are “definitely going.” “We’ll go there and just cry – probably two, three days in a row. Just lots of crying. We’ll probably cheer a lot, too,” he was quoted as saying in US Weekly.
Anyone who wants to catch a glimpse of Bruce Springsteen, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, Usher, Shakira, and others need only show up at the Lincoln Memorial on Sunday, for the opening “inaugural celebration” and free concert at 2:30 p.m.
Obama rolls and Biden brunches
Aside from lots of advance logistical planning, local restaurants are also getting into the inaugural act with special dishes.
Asia Nine is offering the “Obama Roll,” with mixed green vegetables. The “Biden Roll,” named for Vice President-elect Joseph Biden, contains crabmeat, cucumber, and wasabi cream sauce. In honor of the departing administration, there’s the Presidential Lame Duck Roll, containing roasted duck, cucumber, scallions, soy nuggets, and hoisin sauce.
For January, Nage is offering “Biden Brunches,” featuring a Biden impersonator performing political sketches and serving up “Bidenisms” – poking fun, no doubt, at the future veep’s tendency to talk for too long and at times off-message.
And for those who want an inexpensive inaugural treat, Ben & Jerry’s has temporarily renamed its butter pecan ice cream, “Yes Pecan!”