Visiting DC for the Inauguration January 16, 2005 6:26 AM   Subscribe

I may be in D.C. for the inauguration. Anyone else? I've never been to Washington. Any tips for travellers? Or tips for someone going to a public gathering like this? I've been to a football game before, but I imagine this is a different type of get-together.
posted by airguitar to MetaFilter Gatherings at 6:26 AM (21 comments total)

Did you mean to post this on the green?
posted by crunchland at 6:27 AM on January 16, 2005

I think he meant to put it here, i.e. exactly where it belongs.
posted by bingo at 6:45 AM on January 16, 2005

...unless he really isn't proposing a get-together, but is using the idea solely as a way of getting people interested in answering his question about what to do in D.C.
posted by bingo at 6:46 AM on January 16, 2005

If I was going to DC for this inuguration, I'd bring plenty of oaktag and Sharpies. But I digress...
posted by LouReedsSon at 8:01 AM on January 16, 2005

Do you have a ticket? Call your congressperson and see if they have any remaining. A ticket lets you onto the Capitol lawn.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:13 AM on January 16, 2005

are you going to celebrate or protest?
posted by mdn at 8:18 AM on January 16, 2005

It's like a football game.... with snipers.

But seriously, when Bush the elder was inaugurated, I went as a guest. (I was with a youth group, and we were going regardless of who won. I was disappointed, but an inauguration is an inauguration....)
So I got to go to all the cool stuff- the Inaugural Ball, Special Dinners, et al. I'd say see everything you can in D.C. while you're there. Esp. Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Vietnam, the newly opened WWII memorial. The Smithsonian. Saucy Intruder has it right- it's worth checking to see if you can still get a ticket. It makes a difference.

When at the event, dress warmly, bring a blanket or lawnchairs. Binoculars.

If you want to make a statement, sharpies and posterboard are a good call.
posted by exlotuseater at 8:56 AM on January 16, 2005

Oh, and I hope you're a Jesus Christ fan, because there's a lot of prayin'.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 8:58 AM on January 16, 2005

one thing for sure, you'll see the last public appearance of Rhenquist--the cold will certainly knock him off, if he shows.
posted by amberglow at 9:04 AM on January 16, 2005

this may help
posted by amberglow at 9:10 AM on January 16, 2005

A pair of swim-goggles and a vinegar-soaked bandanna or rag is good if there's mace or teargas.

just sayin'
posted by exlotuseater at 9:10 AM on January 16, 2005

I'd like to take some pictures and just be there for this (sad) chapter in American history rather than get maced and thrown in jail, but if I can pelt a certain limo with snowballs and take pictures, that would be aces. I'll be travelling there for the first time and (being unfamiliar with D.C.) meeting up with someone who knows the area, or who could just use the company would make this trek all the more momentiful.

On preview:thanks for the tip
posted by airguitar at 9:14 AM on January 16, 2005

A pair of swim-goggles and a vinegar-soaked bandanna or rag is good if there's mace or teargas.

Careful with the seal on the goggles, though, because the last thing you want is mace getting in there while you're wearing them.
posted by cmonkey at 9:54 AM on January 16, 2005

I'll be there. I'm planning on joining a march from Dupont Circle and taking lots of pictures. Feel free to email if you'd like to meet up.
posted by amandaudoff at 9:56 AM on January 16, 2005

The radical reference people will be there. They have a schedule for the counter-inaugural events [excel file], if you lean that way.
posted by jessamyn at 12:06 PM on January 16, 2005

Have you a place to stay? accommodations are usually at a premium.
posted by Cranberry at 12:32 PM on January 16, 2005

Just make sure not to purchase anything on that specific day.
posted by jonson at 12:46 PM on January 16, 2005

I've got tickets, so I'll be in the crowd somewhere. There is a loooong list of prohibited items, including umbrellas, camera bags, posters, signs, coolers, and anything else they feel like prohibiting.
posted by armage at 1:27 PM on January 16, 2005

If possible, avoid driving to/from or in DC. Ride Metro if possible. The Metro will be crowded for an event like this, but it beats the hell out of driving, especially with all the street closings for the inauguration.

Get a map. North/South streets are numbered, East/West streets are named, diagonal avenues are named for states. Addresses in the district are also specified with quadrants (NW, NE, SW, and SE) centered on the capitol.

Expect a MASSIVE police presence for the inauguration. Park Police, Capitol Police, Secret Service, Metro Police, and maybe even State Police from VA and MD will be on hand. Don't pelt any limos with snowballs, especially if they are part of a convoy with non-descript SUVs with tinted windows.

If you are into doing touristy things, there are a number of great museums, memorials, and monuments along the Mall. What are your interests?
posted by Fat Guy at 2:39 PM on January 16, 2005

Don't forget, the president has asked all attendees to dress up like Osama Bin Ladin for the inauguration.
posted by Aquaman at 4:05 PM on January 16, 2005

The advice I usually give for first-time protestors/observers is to pretend you're preparing for a long hike. Necessities: weather-appropriate clothing (layers! waterproofs if necessary), sturdy, comfortable shoes, plenty of water especially if you'll be cheering or yelling, snacks with simple and complex carbs and protein, basic first aid supplies. Also likely to be useful: bandana (a dry one as well as vinegar-soaked), sharpie and paper, cell phone, camera, duct tape.

armage, last I heard, the police were allowing signs and posters as long they aren't on poles of any kind. Though perhaps that differs by location.
posted by hippugeek at 7:06 PM on January 17, 2005

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