City Paper is not for tourists
The standard profile of a crossing guard is pedestrian—a nice, smiling face who wants to help people get from point A to B. But the woman stationed at the intersection of 19th Street and Virginia Avenue NW is breaking the mold.
This blog item was reported by Jule Banville and written by Erik Wemple
“Obama! Let’s start the party!” she bellows. Could there be a Hatch Act violation in there somehwere?
This pumped-up civil servant is ushering the Springsteen– and Beyonce-seeking multitudes toward the Lincoln Memorial, where they’ll take in a ton of inspirational tunes from the aforementioned stars plus U2, Mellencamp, Mary J. Blige and many others, as part of Obama‘s official Welcome celebration.
This event is perhaps the first to test a question on everyone’s mind right now in the District of Columbia: Is this inauguration everything it’s hyped up to be? Will it exceed the (somewhat dubious) head count at the LBJ inauguration of 1.2 million individuals? Will it blow that figure completely out of the water?
Right now, our best guess is maybe not. According to our correspondent on-the-scene Jule Banville, the “throng,” such as it is, is not exactly packing the runway to the Welcome concert. “I would say it’s not a massive turnout,” says Banville, in full street-hike mode toward the festivities. The feds have 19th closed off between K Street and the Mall, and people are moving pretty freely within that space.
In other words, now’s a good time to get off your asses and go to the show.
Though the masses may not be alighting on the Mall, vendors appear to be filling the vacuum. Obama merchandise is all over, though, again, takers not so much. One vendor had a nice, long-sleeve, tastefully designed Obama inaug T on offer for a mere $5. He was having trouble moving the product.
Update 12:18: Line is slowing down as people join from all sides. Banville is expecting a wait of about 20-30 minutes to get inside the security checkpoint. “I’ve seen several larger-than-regulation bags getting through.”