I’m sure there were plenty of things going on Saturday, but yesterday marked the start of Inauguration festivities for me. On the agenda:
1) Concert on the Mall
2) Maryland State Society ball
3) Bloggerational Ball
4) 18th & Red
I have a limited tolerance for extremely crowded places and freezing cold weather. On the former point, I’ve gotten off the bus in the morning once or twice because it was just too much, and on the latter point, that 6 degrees business of Friday was absurd. As a result, I thought I would limit myself to one busy outside event this week — the actual inauguration ceremony. While brunching yesterday, however, the sense of history and celebration wouldn’t stop calling to me. All this excitement going on within walking distance of my apartment and I was missing it. So, I scurried home and bundled up like a cute snowbunny mummy. Venturing down to the Mall wasn’t so bad, but arriving at the checkpoint (19th and Constitution Ave.) was a different story. The lines crisscrossed so many times, they were indistinguishable from one another. As far as I could see, there was just a massive crush of people. It was obvious there was no way I was getting into the secure portion of it, so I walked back to the grounds of the Washington Monument, which were open and bordered by five jumbotron screens projecting the show. That area was pretty empty when I got there (plenty of room to sit down) but got rather crowded once the concert started. I left about 45 minutes into it because the area where I was had gotten unpleasantly close to the point of being packed in like sardines and I had a black tie event to get ready for.
For those who have not attended a black tie event of any sort in DC, I hate to disabuse you of the notion that they should actually be called “parties.” It’s really one big networking event. This one, for me, was even moreso because I know so many people in the Maryland political scene. I wasn’t even sure I wanted to go but got swept up in the, “be Cinderella for the evening,” craze that has swept the city (and most of the women in my circle) with all these balls. With that, I donned a floor-length evening gown, shoved the blackberry into a tiny glittering clutch, and headed off. Nothing much of note about the party. It was as they always seem to be and I didn’t stay too long.
The highlight of the day was the Bloggerational Ball. As you undoubtedly know, I keep things pretty anonymous here. Some of my friends in real life read this, but I don’t post anything identifiable about myself lest someone happen upon it (not that there’s anything really crazy here to happen upon, I just like to maintain a certain sense of privacy). I’ve never met people from the interwebs in person. However, I was intrigued when I saw the advertisement for this DC blogger party on one of the blogs I read most frequently. I checked out some of the other co-hosts and they all seemed like perfectly interesting people. Also, the party was about two blocks from my apartment and I would practically be walking by it anyway, so what was the harm in stopping by for a bit? I took the plunge and emailed my rsvp earlier in the week. Once one says one is attending, it’s declasse to flake out, so I found myself entering that lovely little bar in Adams Morgan, The Reef, in black tie attire. “Bar in Adams Morgan,” and, “black tie attire,” are two phrases that don’t go together so well. At first, all I saw were people in sports gear watching the game, but then I spotted a group of fabulously dressed ladies and knew I was in the right spot. If I started listing the people I met I would undoubtedly leave someone out so I’ll refrain. Suffice it to say, they were all, without exception, pretty awesome. I’m so glad I decided to go and I look forward to reading (and maybe seeing) you all in the future!
I would have stayed at the blogger party for the duration of the evening but I promised a friend I would meet up with him after. We hung out with some friends on the top floor of 18th & Red. Incidentally, it was closed at the time but they knew people, so they let us in and we had the area to ourselves. Plenty of open space was just what I needed after a nonstop day of crowds and socializing. We drank, danced, and were just generally merry.
All in all, a rather lovely day.