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T-shirts are as common a sight as cops. Hats, too.
But two women from Brooklyn are claiming a corner on the Obama commemorative water supply. “I haven’t seen anyone with water like this,” says 23-year-old Julie Harris, one of the Brooklynites. “It’s not really for public use. You supposed to keep it, not drink it. But if you do drink it, it tastes like a Harvard Law degree. Yum. I’ll take that. It makes you smart.”
Harris’s partner, Abby Blanchard, also 23, takes credit for scoring what the women refer to in on-street promotions as “H2Obama.” “My dad got this Obama water and my friend made some Obama pins, so we thought, yeah, let’s go to D.C,” says Blanchard, a music promoter.
The two did their hawking at the intersection of 9th and E Streets NW. Cloaked in a “Yes We Can Believe” scarf and a cozy oversized Obama hoodie, they were reaching the end of a vending marathon in D.C..
Blanchard, who bought hundreds of Obama pins from a New York designer, made her real money on the Mall Sunday afternoon. “At the end of the day we had made $1,500 just on selling buttons,” she says. “When Obama’s re-elected in four years you’ll see me back in D.C. selling these things.”
The girls store the water and buttons in a space downtown that Blanchard’s father owns. But what will they do with all the bottles and buttons surplus at the end of the week? “I’m gonna hold it down and sell all the leftovers to Japanese people on eBay,” says Harris. “You can really turn this stuff around if you know where the market is.”
“Joe Temp” chronicles the District’s inaugural working class.
Photos by Charlotte Kesl