DC in its Inaugral Splendour - Before the Millions Descend

There has been a lot of activity and excitement in DC since the past few weeks. In my more than two decades here in US, I have witnessed the inaugration activities for Presidents Reagan, George Bush (Sr), Bill Clinton and the incumbent President,but never have I seen such intensity in the air as in the case of our 44th President-elect Obama. It is truly unprecedented!

The pride, the excitement, the hopefulness -just the pure joy and and euphoria are undoubtedly palpable coupled with anxiety and tension evident from the high security preparations and constant media updates. Basically the nation's capital is just pulsating with high emotions and I have been a part of this feeling since the elections because I work in downtown DC right on Pennsylvania Ave,a few blocks from the White House and a few blocks from the US Capitol, right on the Presedential parade route.

Such is human ingenuity when motivated by financial gain that many DC residents are letting out their homes for out-of-town visitors at exhorbitant rates per night. This is all novel for me as I cannot imagine letting out my home to strangers, but then that is me...

As expected, the nearby businesses are holding many celebatory parade-watching receptions and I was invited to a couple. But being the wimp that I am, I have opted to stay home and be a part of history from the comfort of my couch with a cup of tea and my basset. I am paranoid about huge crowds with the potential to morph into mobs. I guess, I have fallen prey to the media hype about all the diversions and blockages etc etc.

Anyway here are pictures thanks to two of my co-workers who braved the 20 degree or less weather to capture the flavor of DC in all its glory as it prepares for the momentous occasion. The pictures are in no particular order but will just provide personal insights about the beauty of this city so full of life, diversity, culture and history...

Our beautiful office building facing Pennsylvania Avenue

Pictures of Presidential booth
US Capitol from a closer view
Pennsylvania Ave near the Capitol-parade route

Another co-worker braving 20 degrees to get the real feel.
One of our office building entrances.
The National Archives across our office building.
The Newseum building a couple of blocks from our building

The building on the right is my office and the close up is the side facing Pennsylvania Avenue.
Pennsylvania Avenue leading to the White House

White House to the extent it can be seen from close quarters.
The Capitol
My co-worker who went in 20 degrees to take these pictures.

Well these are certainly a necessity

Above the excitement and thrill of the fabulous concert on the DC Mall

Devotion to Obama cannot be doubted in the case of this gentlemen at the Metro...
Signs and welcome banners like this are visible all over the city.

Welcome Mr. President!


Malini said…
hey raksha
You have made Dc come live for me. When i was leaving for the Us 5 months ago everybody envied me and said that i was lucky to be here at a time when the most momentous election in american history would be taking place. I must admit that as an outsider i felt privileged to be a part of the anxieties, aspirations and jubilations of the american people.. Thankyou for the little insight into the preparations. this information will definitelyadd flavour to the event as I listen to it on the radio. The pictures have created a visual setting and I can almost see it happen. Kudos to your friend and her photographic skills
Inger-Lis said…
Wow, I so wish I was there. I would brave the crowds, the cold, and the lines to the bathroom to get to see the inauguration. But what I won't do, is shell out money for a plane ticket to get me there:)
careysue said…
Awesome Raksha!!

We'll be watching with you!!

It is an exciting day, historic and full of hope!

Thanks for the wonderful pictures!
Sandi McBride said…
I loved to have seen the people trying to escape the city before the madness descended! Great shots, thanks for sharing! Hope it all calms down soon.
cyclingred said…
I wish I had known about the gatherings in Old Town. I would have gone there. I spoke withsome who went and they said the lines to the porta potties weren't bad.

I heard it took a few hours just to get in and out of the metro stations.

Overall I think things went quite well considering the crowd.
Teri said…
I love these photos. I would have so loved to go to D.C. for this week's festivities. Alas, family stuff keeps us all here. And something about those low temps. Ack. :-)
lmerie said…
That was fun too see, all this before the crowds! I bet the energy was amazing!
So fun that you got to be there during the exciting times! JF said he wished he could've been there too :)
Anonymous said…
So wonderful to see you stop by my blog and I was deeply touched by your support. I am quite scared but it certainly makes it easier knowing that there are people out there that care. Again thanks.