I've just finished posting five sets of photos (see right hand menu) from the inauguration and our visit to the capitol, the lincoln memorial concert, and the parties we attended. I'm a bit disappointed with the quality of the shots--I should get a better camera, and I have to admit that it was too cold to have my gloves off for very long. But it seems that a lot of other people took pictures...(understatement of the year)...so I'll have to rely on them for prettier images. If you haven't seen it yet, you will want to check out the "gigapan" site, which has a huge, zoom-able panoramic shot of the inauguration and the crowd. The satellite pictures are also very, very cool. You can see how the crowds are clustered around the jumbotrons all the way back to the Washington Monument.
It was an amazing experience, and Anne and I are so thankful that we were able to go to DC and mark this important and historic occasion. After eight years of grumbling to myself, and shouting at the tv news, it's really a new day. At the Huffington Post party, Sting came out and sang "Brand New Day," after remarking that he originally wrote the song at the turn of the millennium, and that it was born out of a sense of optimism about the future. Then he said, "I was about 8 years too early...it had to get so much worse before it could get better." Let's hope we're on the right path now.
Here's video from the Huffington Post party performances: will.i.am, sheryl crow, and sting. And here's "red carpet" pics of a number of the celebrities at the party...we also saw Ron Howard and a bunch of democratic and media figures. I geeked out on seeing Chris Hayes, of the Nation magazine, in line--he was a bit surprised, I think, to see himself on one of the TVs that line the walls of the Newseum, as they were broadcasting a segment from Countdown with Keith Olbermann on which he had appeared. We were really excited to see and talk with Mark Green on the metro, and to find that we were all going to the same party! And to run across Howard Dean as he was making his way, carrying his tux, toward the Newseum. Don King was probably the most unlikely celebrity spotting...
It's gratifying to think about the fact that a few million people descended into such a small geographical area and withstood unbelievable cold and crowds, for hours and hours, all without a single arrest...Like the primaries and the election, this has given me more faith in the American people, our ability to help one another, our desire to participate in our government...I have to say, the near-silence during the Swearing-In Ceremony was astounding. There was a real sense of reverence and respect, and that is what remains striking, now, only ten days, or perhaps a lifetime, later.