Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Inauguration tchotchkes

Kalin came all the way from Vancouver to attend the Inauguration ceremony with Dory. They left Sunday afternoon and returned late last night after spending 7 hours slowly making their way from DC to New York. They then spent another hour or so recounting (in part due to my insistent questioning) their first-hand experience of the Inauguration ceremony. And while the stories of the million-person crowds struck terror in my heart, a small part of me felt regret for not participating in person.

These souvenirs, if they should choose to keep them — a nametag, a small paper American flag waved vigourously on the National Mall, an unused DC metrocard, pictures taken with frigid hands — will be worth the memory exercise and bragging rights in the future when they recount their participation in history to the next generation: "I was there when the first black president was inaugurated."

CONSUMED: my apartment; Brooklyn


  1. Aw, don't feel bad! Just think about how lucky we are all to be alive right now, regardless of where we witnessed the historic moment. Although I, too, wondered if I shouldn't have said "screw it" and headed down to watch history unfold, I talked to a bunch of people at choir last night who simply watched as you and I did -- during a break from a work day (that was spent mostly glued to the news, anyway), with colleagues -- and we realized that it a certain significance to it, too, however unexpected.

    And what I felt while watching it was a strong sense of all being in it together -- our friends on the Mall, folks in the bar where I was, and people I knew who were watching it from around the world. I usually only get that feeling while watching the Olympics. :)

  2. I got that feeling when I was looking at The Gates in Central Park. It's what made me like The Gates so much (and not The Gates themselves).