Almost Ready..


Yesterday I went “downtown”  to meet a friend for lunch and saw some of the preparations for the Inauguration tomorrow.

Flags along Pennsylvania Avenue-  though they only seem to be on one side of the street  – perhaps they dolled up the other side yesterday afternoon.    That is the District of Columbia (Washington DC)  flag beside the Stars & StripesIMG_0336

I assume this is a broadcast box waiting for media: IMG_0341

Some buildings were decorated: IMG_0343

Cement blocks which will be used to barricade streets tomorrow:   IMG_0348

Some people will get to watch from bleacher seating temporarily installed in-front of the National Archives Building  – a little hard to see into the glare of the sun!    It’s not going to be sunny tomorrow apparently so photographers will not have this problem. IMG_0338

And most importantly the port-a-loos

Rows of port-a-loos  IMG_0335a

Port-a-loos on every block: IMG_0346

But .. will there be enough?    The Inaugural Committee says there will be about 2,400 portable toilets around the parade route and National Mall.   Officials are quoted as saying they expect between 600,000-800,000 people ….   so that’s one toilet per 300 people.

This is as close as I will get to the Inauguration.    The comfort of my couch wins over crowds and I’m certain that I will find an unoccupied, clean toilet and not have to pull apart many layers of clothes to actually use it!


27 responses

  1. Hmm, maybe I am too cynical about it – and I am sure there are people arguing that this kind of balooba gives shops revenue. Though – the dude has been there already. Is it really necessary to use all the tax payer money to set up something huge like this?

    • The official swearing in happened today (without hoopla) because the 20th January is *the* day the Constitution says it has to happen but today is Sunday so the party (complete with another swearing in happens tomorrow). The official event is financed by taxpayers but the parade and inaugural balls are paid for by private donations. We tax payers cover security, transportation & emergency services – which is probably a big % of the costs.

      For his first inauguration Obama raised $53 million for the events tax payers didn’t have to cover. ABC News said it cost $170 million for the 2009 inauguration. So, yes it is a massive amount of money even if not as many people come this time! (1.8 million attended his inauguration in 2009).

  2. those are great photos!!! I’m not sure it’s necessary, but I know some people who had worked VERY hard on Obama’s campaign who were specially invited, and they are thrilled to be going. Sometimes a bit of celebration is not a bad thing. I’m pretty sure it will be more low key that the initial one.
    Kind of neat to be so close ot history!

    • Yes it is neat to be so close to all the historical things that happen in DC even when it disrupts our daily routines. A couple of people at work were included in official activities yesterday, including one of the inaugural balls – they said everything was “fantastic”.

  3. Ooooo……marvelous pix!!! Staying home sounds like a super idea given the loo-issue and the weather.
    1 toilet for 300 people. Wow. ::shivers::

    Thank you for sharing these, Emjay!!

    • Yeah, the toilet issue is a deal breaker for me if I’m going to have to fight that many people to get to the front of the queue. At least they had a relatively nice winter’s day weather-wise – today there is a spiteful wind.

  4. They’ve put a few porta-potties at Metro stations too. I wish they’d leave them there permanently!

    We’ll be watching from the comfort of our own home.

    • I never heard any more about the self-cleaning ones they were testing at a couple of stations (similar to ones in Kings Cross, Sydney). It’s such a hassle here if you need to go – you have to leave the station and find a Starbucks/McDonalds unless you want to ask the station assistant to unlock theirs. I’ve overheard people asking and their requests have not been well received. And, a lot of the time there’s no station assistant in those kiosks. I don’t think Aussies realize how lucky they are with all the public toilets we have…….

  5. It is a little like sporting events, the view is much better from my couch! I couldn’t believe the President sat chewing gum while he reviewed the parade! I detest the habit of so many Americans to chew gum all the time, and never thought the President would do it so publicly.

    • @ FD – I saw someone interviewed on TV last night who said they’d waited 3 hours to get through a security checkpoint and walk to one of the designated areas only to discover the jumbotron was broken and they didn’t see a damn thing.

      The gum chewing was off-putting – my local station reporters kept commenting on it and even wondered if he’d be chewing his way through the Ball.

      And, yes, there’s a lot of gum chewing here and a lot of it seems to end up on the bottom of my shoes!!!!

  6. I thought the inauguration was a moment of hope in what too often appears to be a depressing political landscape. Very interesting ‘backstage’ pictures….all those dunnies. 🙂

  7. Port-a-loo. Ugh. Nothing worse than being stuck somewhere and having to think about using one. Do I risk it and end up with some weird strain of Ebola? Or do I hold it and destroy a kidney?

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