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On Jan. 21, President Barack Obama will be sworn into office for the second time. This does not mean that you should go to the inauguration ceremony. In fact, you should probably avoid it. Here is what the ceremony means for locals: street closures, countless security checkpoints, and hordes of slack-jawed, slow-moving people. Sure, it’s exciting to witness a historic event, but after countless hours of standing in the cold just to maybe see the president speak for 25 minutes from an untenable distance, any sense of pride will give way to frustration. It goes without saying that you’ll need to get up at an ungodly hour to get any sort of decent view, but it’s also worth mentioning that it’ll take hours to leave the National Mall once it’s over, particularly if you’re relying on the Metro. Here’s what you should do instead: Clean your apartment, finish that book you’ve been neglecting, or go for a long walk far from downtown. Or better yet, just get the hell out of D.C. I hear Skyline Drive is lovely this time of year.
The Presidential Inauguration begins at noon on and around the National Mall. Free. Tickets required for some areas. inaugural.senate.gov.